by Ryan Duncan
One Presidents Day weekend, my father and sister drove from Illinois to visit me in Virginia. It was a great weekend, one of the best I'd had in a while. We toured Richmond city, ate at some of the best local restaurants, saw two movies, and spent our time as a family.
On their last day in Richmond, the three of us traveled to a small part of the city known as Carytown where we stopped for frozen yogurt in a neon-colored shop named "Sweet Frog." That's when it happened. I should have known, should have seen it coming. The brightly colored walls, quaint setup, even the concept -- frozen yogurt -- how could I have missed it? But no, I was totally blindsided when my dad leaned over to me and said,
"You know, Ryan, this would be the perfect place to take a girl on a date."
To be fair, I love my Dad and giving good advice is what Dads do, but I am more than aware of how painfully single I am.
Jon Acuff, author of Stuff Christians Like, once wrote an article about what happens when young, twenty-something guys are asked if they're dating.
"If you answer ‘yes', I imagine fireworks go off, confetti cannons fire and you get a ribbon that says "1st place" but when you answer ‘no,' three things happen:
My friend's mom brings up my last High School girlfriend, a prom date, or "that one girl your mom was telling me about at school" and proceeds to ask, "what happened with ‘that'?" Then I awkwardly explain why those relationships didn't wind up with me being on one knee, pledging my life to that female. A generic cliché like, "Life was just taking us in different directions" usually gets the job done.
My friend's dad hears I am single, which causes him to give me an abundance of "Dad's trying to be cool" fist pounds and references to me being a single man and "free." Once the high fives stop, he gives me a ten-step action plan on how to meet women based on what he did to meet his wife.
But the worst, no question, is the little old ladies at church. Being 22 and single is something they absolutely cannot fathom. They often explain how they had been married for 5 years at this point in their life and had two kids and one on the way. Nothing you say to justify your state in life appeases their grief that you are not married."- (Stuff Christians Like # 955)
Funny as this is, in all honesty, I was worried. Since college, three of my best friends had gotten engaged. Two others were in serious relationships. I was just, well, single. I am not good at dating; I never have been. What if I never meet someone? What if I never start my own family? What if God's plan for my life is to stay single?
As I sat there, stewing in my own anger and self pity, my sister pointed toward the wall. "Hey, look at the acronym they made." I turned my head. The store had decorated the walls with shirts bearing their name and logo. On one shirt, beneath the Frog in "Sweet Frog" someone had printed the words, "Fully. Rely. On. God." It's strange to think that God would speak to someone in a neon-pink frozen yogurt store, but honestly, I think he did.
God does have a plan for our lives. We can spend our time worrying about what the future holds, or we can trust him, and take each day as the gift it was made to be. It doesn't mean life is going to be easy, far from it, but we can be reassured with the knowledge that our Heavenly Father knows what he is doing.
Intersecting Faith and Life: Are you single and worried about your future? Get involved with openings at your church, and give some of your time to God.
The Characters of Christmas is a podcast created to help you take a fresh look at the Christmas story by getting to know the minor characters that played a part in Jesus’ birth. It is the companion to Dan Darling's book "The Characters of Christmas: The Unlikely People Caught Up in the Story of Jesus."