So…I’ve lived most of my life – and I mean most of my life – believing that my life would actually start on my wedding day.
No, really – I had been waiting for my ‘other-half’ to make my life complete. Not only that – I believed that I was missing out on a form of spirituality and experiences with God because I hadn’t met my husband yet. For real! This is why:
Our Christian culture looooves marriage. Loves it. My private Christian high school and private Christian college loooooved marriage – I’ve been in 12 weddings since I was 18. And I still have best friends that are single – meaning there’s a good chance there will be closer to 27 Dresses in my future. When meeting people at church, the well-meaning and sweetly asked question: “Oh, and are you married?” comes so, so often. If I’m not careful, I can easily take that as an insinuation that I should be. Obviously, it must be important if everyone asks, right?
But let me tell you where believing this lie – the lie that I’m somehow “incomplete” as a single woman – got me: loneliness. Unnecessary pain. Temptation to wallow in self-pity and bitterness. Ew ew ew!
Finally, just in the past 6 months, the Holy Spirit, the One who guides me into all truth, got through to me. He reminded me of two incredible people who were single their whole lives. Paul the Apostle was one of them.
Paul was a rockstar. He experienced the fullness of what God had for him while he was on the earth. He was used by the Lord in his time and culture and his legacy is – literally – eternal. We read his words constantly and his experiences with God have been catalytic for life-change in unfathomable numbers of humans. So, how could it be vital for a person to be married in order to encounter all that God has for them? Clearly, Paul was effective and yet had no wife to teach him how to be sacrificial or loving.
The other person the Holy Spirit highlighted to me was Jesus Christ Himself. If Jesus is our model, our way to connect with the Father, and He didn’t have a wife either, is it possible that He could identify with every level of the human experience? Though it seems ironic – I have to believe the answer is yes (and also the Bible says that he identifies with us in everything soooo…:)
I’m not condemning marriage – no, I still can’t wait for the day when I get to stand alongside an incredible, Godly man and embark on that adventure. I’m only thankful that I now have permission that I never felt to live my life fully and completely today – as a woman who is made complete by Christ and Him alone.
In case you’re curious about what TO say to single gals that you meet at Grace (if you don’t want to ask the “are you married” question anymore), here is what I would love and appreciate (other singles can add their thoughts too!). Ask me about work. Ask me about the ministry that I’m launching in Ardent. Ask me if I’ve traveled anywhere recently. Ask me about my nephew and nieces and ask to see pictures of them (that’ll get me going for awhile, so be careful what you wish for!). And to take it a step further: invite us single gals into your life, into your world. We don’t all need a one-on-one coffee date to connect. We totally get that you have kids and a life and a level of busy that we can’t even comprehend. So, invite us into the unswept floors and baskets of laundry. We would love to hang in your world and sip tea while your 2-year-old races around the house without clothes on. We’d love to change your new baby’s diaper while you get dinner on the stove. We’d especially love to be invited to your kids t-ball or soccer games on Saturday mornings or Thursday nights. To be invited to join family is a powerful need in the human existence. We can all learn from each other and we all just want the opportunity.
Danae comes alive in the Fall. Crisp air and morning jogs crunching fallen leaves is enough to keep her soaring through the overcast Oregon days. She spends her [currently] single life working at George Fox University, kissing her nephew and nieces, reading really good books and writing curriculum for the Student Leadership Team at Ardent that launches this month. Her musings can be found at danaerose.wordpress.com.