“This time of singlehood is so precious… you’ll never get it back so just enjoy it!”
Do these words sound familiar to you? They’re familiar to us too, so we know what you’re thinking…
“Yeah, exactly. I’d love to never get these years back.”
Many of us find ourselves in a state of singlehood far beyond when we would have expected. We would have been happy to get married a decade ago, and are now itching like crazy to have a baby! What’s left to enjoy about being single?
One of my closest friends (who is about 15 years older, and much wiser than I am) told me when I was eighteen:
“Never try to be anywhere other than where you are, because then you’ll miss what God has for you in that present moment! If you are single, don’t spend it wishing you were married. Don’t waste your time of singlehood because then you’ll miss what God has for you in your single life… and you’ll never get it back.”
Her words cut me like a knife; and I have never forgotten them. From that day on, I’ve never wanted to waste one day of my single life. Sure, I’ve struggle tremendously being single. There have been days of hardship, days of loneliness, days of heartache, but I’ve tried to pray for the grace to embrace what God has for me during this time that I’ll never get back!
As we’ve focused on singlehood this week, I’ve had to ask myself: what’s been so special about my recent years of single life? How have the last years of being single blessed me and changed me? Here’s a few ways.
1. I’ve had lots of time to know and fall in love with Jesus Christ.
One of the gifts we singles are given is the gift of time. Sure, we have jobs, families and commitments, but we generally have much more time than married couples and parents, and this usually means we have more opportunities for things like daily mass and adoration. During my time of singlehood, the Eucharist has become the center of my life. God has given me the greatest gift of all: the gift of Himself, body, blood, soul and divinity in the Eucharist. What more could I truly ask for? Knowing and falling in love with Jesus Christ in the Eucharist has been the greatest gift of my life.
2. I’ve had extra time and space to work on myself.
We singles can sometimes tend toward more narcissism than married couples. The flip side of that is we might have more time and space for self reflection. During the past years, I’ve really been able to look inward and see where I need healing, where I need help from others, what areas of my life need work, and where I need to invite Jesus in more deeply. All of this has allowed me to grow, heal and change through the years so that I can become a better woman (and God willing) a better wife and mother someday.
3. I’ve gotten to travel the world.
I’m a big believer in travel. I think it’s one of the greatest means of education. It opens our eyes to the world, and broadens our horizons. When we are single, it’s the best time to travel! There are endless places and cultures to see, and it can only enrich our lives.
4. I’ve known the great joy of community and true sisterhood.
Living community life (whether in an organized lay community setting or with roommates) allows us to grow in intimacy, transparency and vulnerability. It can be uncomfortable living in true community because many of us these days flee real intimacy (we don’t want our defects to come into the light!). But living in true community is also the greatest joy as well as the best preparation for marriage because of just that… we allow ourselves to be seen! And allowing ourselves to really be seen, and to be loved just as we are, is the ultimate joy. This is real intimacy. We are meant to experience true acceptance and love not only in marriage, but also simply in friendship. This is the most precious gift Maria, Christine and I were able to experience with each other as roommates over the past three years. And it’s the gift through which His Own was born.
5. God has prepared my heart for marriage in surprising ways.
God has used every bit of my singlehood to prepare my heart for the man He has for me. He has used my friendships, my ministry, my traveling, my past relationships, my heartaches… everything to prepare me for my vocation.
And He is doing the same for you.
Nothing in your single life is being wasted. I know it sounds cliche but this truly is a precious time. A time that God is using. A time that you’ll never get back. And a time especially that you can enjoy!
One night Christine, Maria and I were all in our bathrobes, painting our toe nails, watching a chick flick, eating sushi and all laughing. We looked at each other and said, “Wow girls… we know we’d love to be married, but our lives are really beautiful! One night we’re gonna be up at 3 a.m. with a screaming baby, and we’re gonna remember this moment, and smile…”
God has you where He wants you. Just for today, enjoy your singlehood. Don’t miss the beautiful moment that God has right in front of you.