As a single, Christian female living in the south where it’s the norm to get married young…it would be easy for me to get down and out about not experiencing life with “my person”. I lived a few years like that actually. I was jealous of my friends who got to travel with their husbands and became bitter when I would see the sweet things these guys were doing for their wives. And let me tell ya, it was a terrible way to live. I was lacking confidence in my season of life. I was dreaming of the day I would find someone to experience life with. During what I like to call “my bitter years”, I was drawn into more sin and I was experiencing less joy. My friends could tell. I wasn’t fooling anyone. The look on my face probably said it all. I was unhappy and wanting what I didn’t have. A mate.
What I didn’t realize though was a pretty simple thought, actually. I didn’t have to find a husband to enjoy the life God has for me. (You’re reading this and probably thinking ‘yeah, duh idiot.’) But, it’s easier said than done to really take captive of that truth and start living like you believe it. It took me a long time to get there. But once I did…my life took a turn for the better and I haven’t looked back! I’m still single, so the desire to find a soulmate hasn’t disappeared, but the way I’m experiencing life allows me to figure out who I am, in a much deeper way. It teaches me see the value in my life without a spouse. It forces me to grow in my relationship with God. And it opens up doors to some really freaking fun times. hahah
My bad attitude and bitter heart weren’t the reasons God didn’t bless with me good times. It was self-inflicted. My bad attitude attitude and bitter heart told me I wouldn’t have fun if I wasn’t experiencing life with a man. Satan really knows how to get you when you’re down. I want to get the point across that it wasn’t God keeping me from a joyful life. I let that terrible mindset control me for a long time and I kept myself from a joyful life. There came a point where I had to make a decision to either keep living in bitterness and envy, or start living out the truths that I knew.
After waiting a couple of weeks and re-reading this before posting, I had a thought... If I was reading this from the outside, I would be wondering, “So what things can I be doing to be proactive in living a joyful life in the midst of loneliness?” Here are just a few things that have helped me over the years and are still helping me today:
1. Finding your Foundation
What I have to preach to myself every day of every week is that God has to be my foundation, not those things that I think are gonna make me “happy”. So if I’m longing for a husband (which I totally am)…I’m constantly praying that God will change my mindset of “want” to a mindset of contentment in the season I’m in and that He would be my foundation rather than the idea of marriage or having someone to share life with in a romantic way. I’m praying for my relationship with Christ to be strengthened and grow each day so that when my person does come along, I’ll be guided by the Spirit on the path that He has for me. (This isn’t JUST about relationships though, let’s make that clear. This is about growing close to God because you want to know Him more and live a life for the Kingdom.) So, figure out where your foundation lies and let God change your mindset!
"For no one can lay any other foundation than what has been laid down. That foundation is Jesus Christ." | 1 Corinthians 3:11
2. Seeking Inclusion
I would also HIGHLY encourage you to be a part of a strong knit community group. Be surrounded by people who love you and can speak truth to you when you’re in a lonely place. Running away from people or secluding yourself is destructive to your life and the situation you’re in. Find someone you trust to keep you accountable and pour into you on a regular basis. For some people, this is extremely hard because they want to be alone when they’re feeling sad or lost…but I’ve been in both places and I can guarantee having one or two or 10 people to go to is so beneficial. In my life, I’ve seen that hiding in my loneliness is toxic and can very easily start to become a habit that is hard to break. And if you’re in a place where you can’t think of anyone who would come along side of you, a good place to start would be to ask if your church has any community groups that are for people your age/in your same season of life. This has been a HUGE help for me. So, find your people and hang on tight!
"Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another." | Proverbs 27:17
3. Taking Advantage of Life
Another thing I kind of had to force myself to do was look for opportunities to have fun. (LOL laughing at myself but this is so true.) Even when I would hear that some friends were getting together, I would choose not to go and throw a pity party instead. It wasn’t all the time, but there were times when I would just stay home and watch a romantic movie (for reasons that are beyond me). This is just me being super vulnerable and realizing, after the fact, that it wasn’t worth it. I started making myself available to LIFE. haha I started going to group outings and saying yes to movie nights. It was a simple “task”, but for a while it didn’t seem so simple. I also started making some of the fun. I planned weekend trips or week long vacations (alone or with a friend). These things got me out of the house and out of my own head. Eventually I wasn’t just saying yes to get my mind off of being single but I started having fun and living a truly joyful life. I started seeing that other people were in the same boat as me, which was honestly refreshing. There’s something about being vulnerable with others and letting them in on what you’re going through. (Hence this blog lol) So, start saying yes to adventures and see the difference it makes!
"Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe in Him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." | Romans 15:13