(Grab your 1 Peter 5 reading guide here!)
Today marks the two year anniversary of my husband getting down on one knee and asking me to marry him. This happened only four months after dating and knowing each other a for less than one year. I had never dated anyone and committed to the Lord that I would wait for the man that God would have me marry one day. Little did I know that meant I truly wouldn’t date anyone in middle, high school and college. During those years I wrote letters to my future husband as I longed for him and waited for him (read more about this here!). I felt like I would never meet my future husband. I cried buckets of tears and poured my heart out like water before the Lord. Through it all, I learned that Jesus is more than enough, but that lesson came through much searching. God didn’t allow me to waste my single years, though some of them were harder than others. He doesn’t want any person to waste their single years. They are a gift from Him. Yes, a gift. Here is a letter I wish I could have read in my single years. I pray it encourages you to take heart in the Lord and live today fully for His glory.
Dear Single Self (& Single Friends), You are not alone. You never were and you never will be. I feel I need to repeat this, you are not alone. In the world of singleness it is easy to feel, well, singled out. Kind of like you are wearing a scarlet letter that say available and alone. You may feel lonely and you may feel hopeless, but don’t allow feelings to direct your steps. God has promised to never leave you or forsake you. Never. He has promised you life that is abundant…today. (John 10:10) Your years are not wasted and your life has already begun. Don’t look ahead to what might be. (Matthew 6:33-34) Be grateful for the beauty of today. Each new moment is a gift from the Lord and is also a trust. How are you using your singleness to bring glory to your Creator?
God calls us to different things in different seasons of life because He is sovereign. Every married person was once called to be single. Most single people will one day be called to marry. Paul reminds us to live as we are called and to be thankful for that calling. Sister, Satan does not want you to use your singleness or enjoy its’ blessings. One day when you are married, he will do all he can to rob you of its’ joy. The Evil One is always looking to distract you from the moment God has you in and the purpose to which He has called you. You have to fight His schemes. The way you fight is to rejoice with others (yes, even your friends who are getting engaged and married), and to make much of Christ where you are. The only way we can do this is to fall madly in love with Jesus.
Don’t waste your time wishing it away for tomorrow. Use your extra moments (when you may feel alone) to spend in God’s Love Letter to you, the Bible. Even on Friday nights when you may be home alone, choose joy and spend time worshipping your Creator and getting to know Him. His love will never fail you. He wants you to know the depths of His heart and to make the most of each day. Expect great things from your great God. Believe Him. Trust Him with your deep desire for marriage. As Elisabeth Elliot once said, “unfulfilled longings are material for sacrifice.”Abraham gave up his precious son, Isaac, because he trusted God’s plan. In return, God blessed Abraham because his heart valued and worshipped God alone. Offer to God what is most precious to you, even if it is a desire to be married. God treasures these humble offerings.
The more you get to know Him in the Word, the more you will trust Him with this desire. Sister, you are valuable for the Kingdom of God. You can do things for the sake of the Gospel that many can’t do. Go, adventure the world and serve the least of these in the name of Jesus. May your life point others to Christ and your love be for Him. Trust Him with your days. You never know what He has planned for tomorrow. He loves you more deeply than any man on this earth ever could. His ways are best and His plans are beautiful. Take heart, be strong, live fully and fall in love with the One who satisfies every longing. He is worthy.
your sister, Gretchen