- Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Many years ago, I realized marriage might not be in the plan anytime soon. So instead of sitting around waiting for "life" to find me, I decided I'd find it. And I've discovered life is what you make it.
I had to find a release for the love in my heart. And since no one was sitting in my La–Z–Boy, I watched for opportunities to reach out. After realizing that little things, such as a smile from a stranger, a gift from someone anonymous, or a card from a friend, make me happiest, I started doing similar things for others. Out shopping, I held doors for strangers and offered sincere smiles. I received many thanks and smiles in return. I adopted an elderly lady and visited her, played cards with her, took her shopping, and ate out with her. I watched coworkers closely to see when they needed pick–me–ups. Then I sent encouraging cards. I wrote letters to old friends. And my favorite: I sent anonymous greetings and flowers.
A little gesture can turn someone's whole day around. And I think I've helped do so. A married person showers a specific person with love, gifts, and time; a single person can spread her efforts more widely. Like a flower girl throwing petals from her basket, I'm doing the same with kind gestures.
Because I always wanted to be married, I spent the majority of my 20s feeling inferior and wallowing in self–pity. I wanted God's best for my life, but was frustrated to think that meant I'd be single forever.
Reading countless books about living as a Christian single inspired me to pour out my desire to the One in control of my life and marital status. I read that contentment isn't eliminating my desires, but rather trusting God with my desires. I realized being angry or discontent with singleness was insinuating God made a mistake and didn't know best. That new understanding helped me seek contentment.
Now as I enter my 30s, I cultivate contentment by giving. I teach a Sunday school class and a women's Bible study, and I recently helped a young mother relocate. This fall I'm taking a mission trip to see if God wants me on a foreign field. I'm striving to live like Jesus, dedicating myself to God's mission and prayer. For the only way to be content is to give one's self completely to others.
We welcome your feedback and brainstorms at: SinglesNewsletter@ChristianityToday.com
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