- Wednesday, May 28, 2008
I never expected to be 46 and unmarried, but being single has given me flexibility. I made the most of now by moving to DC to complete a graduate degree in theology. Afterwards, I was ready to put down roots, so I moved back to my hometown to be near family (including seven nieces and nephews!).
Two years later, in an effort to live my life fully, I made a big leap and bought a house. While I often long for a partner to help with maintenance and improvement projects, I've been thrilled to decorate and garden, beautifying my corner of the world. Several single women homeowners live nearby, so we jokingly call ourselves the Single Women's Club block.
I'm more content than I've ever been, and Prince Charming hasn't even shown up yet! But because I've intentionally cultivated my spiritual garden and basked in God's presence, I'm beginning to see how precious I am to him. The journey here hasn't been easy, but I'm grateful for my present peace. And who knows what the future will bring!
In the grand scheme, the single season is temporary because our time on earth is temporary.
Contentment comes from faith rooted in the joy of a relationship with our Savior. Getting to this place of joy is a difficult journey, regardless of our marital status. Trials and suffering are frequent on this narrow, often lonely road. But reading, contemplation, prayer, and stillness have brought me inner peace.
The apostle Paul is a role model in contentment. Because he had an eternal perspective, he pressed on and found contentment despite his thorn in the flesh. Knowing heaven is our certain destination brings us contentment here and now.
When I get frustrated I'm single, I serve in ways I'd be less able to if I were married. Recently, I drove an 85–year–old widow to see her sister for her 90th birthday. Despite living only two hours apart, the sisters hadn't seen each other for ten years. Watching these ladies giggle together like teenagers helped me find value in my present circumstances.
I used to think my life would start at marriage. But over the past year, God taught me my life has already started—and I need to make the most of it.
Now I don't waste time sitting idle waiting for a mate. I'm involved in my church—singing on the praise team, volunteering in the nursery, directing VBS, teaching Sunday school, leading the Christian Education department, helping with the ladies' ministry, and assisting the pastor. God wired me with a passion for ministry in the local church, and while I'm single I can devote my time to this calling. To live a full, contented life, I make the most of every opportunity and use my talents to advance God's kingdom.
I cultivate contentment by daily thanking God for loving me whether I'm married or single. I was married 14 years, and then my husband had an affair and divorced me. During that difficult time, I finally realized how much God loves me.
I'm no longer waiting for the perfect man. I'm content doing what I want. I can attend church Saturday night or Sunday morning or both if I want. I can choose where to go on vacation and pursue my own interests. I can give my time and money without consulting anyone else. Although my heart still breaks over the end of my marriage, I feel blessed beyond words.
In an effort to be content, I make fulfilling, enriching plans. Instead of focusing on what's not in my life right now, I focus on what is in my life. I know I was a great wife and can be again. Until then, I keep my days full and my nights even fuller with the joy and love of family and friends. I take time for myself and stay involved in my community. Single life may have drawbacks, but, thankfully, it's drama free.
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