I have always wanted to be married and have a family. Lately, my dissatisfaction in singleness has increased. The majority of my closest friends and family are married or seriously dating, and I spend many nights alone when others around me spend them with their significant others. I’ve been frustrated by the seeming lack of single, godly men in the church and a culture where men don’t often take initiative.
I have felt stuck in my current situation. And though I am in a position in life where I feel very ready to get married, God has not given me that one thing that I so deeply desire. God has not promised me marriage, and I know I could be single the rest of my life if that is the Lord’s will. Even though I have fallen into moments of despair and severe disappointment, the truth of God’s Word has helped me see my singleness in a new light.
Lord over my life
Through the haze of my pain and loneliness, I have been pushed to prayer and Scripture more than ever before. Scripture has reminded me again and again that the Lord is sovereign and in control of my life, and He is worthy of all praise. Psalm 71:19–20 says:
Your righteousness, God, reaches to the heavens, you who have done great things. Who is like you, God? Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up.
God has used this Psalm and many others to give me hope. This one specifically gives me the promise of a restored life, no matter how deep the valley, and I can rest in the knowledge that He is carrying me through. He uses our difficult situations to grow us and ground us more firmly in Him.
Wanting what others have
In my LIFE Group, we recently went through a book about lies women believe. One lie that stood out to me was that God is a giver of good gifts to everyone except me. How often I have believed that! When I believe this, my focus is on myself. I fall into the trap of self-pity and undermine who Christ says He is: a giver of good gifts who doesn’t change (Matthew 7:11; James 1:7).
Another sin that has surfaced is finding myself coveting people’s situations in respect to marriage. I have to daily confess that sin to the Lord in prayer. I have been disobeying the tenth commandment, “You shall not covet” (Ex. 20:3–4). When I am jealous of what others have, it is so hard to see the blessings and gifts God has given to me, and I am unable to live a life of joy and contentment in Him that He wants for me. I have to intentionally look for the blessings God has provided for me and follow what He instructs in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, which says, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” I find that the more thankful I am and the more I focus on Jesus through prayer and rejoicing, the more content I am in Him who provides good things.
The greatest gift
Through my time with the Lord, I realized that I had lost focus of the big picture. I had been looking at my own piece in the puzzle and was dissatisfied with what God has given me. But God has been turning my focus to the bigger picture: He has already given me the greatest gift. Through the death and resurrection of his Son, Jesus, I have been forgiven of all my sin and now have the Holy Spirit living in me! Though I do not have a physical partner to walk with me through life at this point in time, I can be encouraged and rest in the knowledge that my God will never leave or forsake me, as He says in Hebrews 13:5.
God has given me everything I need, and no man can ever satisfy as Christ does. So even though my desire for marriage has not changed, my focus has. My life is not about me, but about Christ. My purpose in life is sharing that good news and obeying the Lord, for this is what we all have been called to do (Matt. 28:18–20). If God can best accomplish his will in me through marriage, He will make that happen in his good time. In the meantime, I have been blessed with wonderful friends and family to walk with me through life, and that’s something I never want to take for granted.
His faithfulness, my faith
Though I still have many days where I struggle to trust God completely with my future, I strive to remember that God’s timing, not mine, is perfect. His good gifts and blessings in my life might not necessarily look like what I want, but it will be so much better than I can imagine.
The Lord wants to give good gifts, and He does! But more importantly, He wants us to seek Him wholeheartedly. I look for the truths He has given throughout Scripture, promises such as: He will never leave me nor forsake me (Heb. 13:5); He will direct my path (Prov. 3:5); He cares for me (Luke 12:6–7); He loves me (John 3:16); and He will walk with me through the deepest valleys (Psalm 23:4).
Because I know these truths, those painful days are made less so, and I know I can trust fully and completely in the one who will never leave nor forsake me. The Lord shows His faithfulness even in these difficult times, and I am reminded that He is God and worthy of all praise!