“But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” 2 Peter 3:8
For the first twenty years of my life, I was perpetually single. It felt like God had decided to make me wait a thousand years to even be asked on a date. As I watched my friends find that “special someone,” I was convinced that I would never find a guy who saw me as more than a friend. And vice-versa, that I would never find someone who I could click with on a deeper level than just friendship. Over the years, I struggled with the waiting—I was impatient. I wanted to experience that connection, that love that I saw a lot of my close friends shared with their significant other. I wasn’t desperate. I could wait. I just didn’t want to—I was dissatisfied.
And the main reason I was dissatisfied was because society said I should be. Social media, TV shows, movies, books—basically everything a young adult encounters says they should be in a relationship. A non-platonic relationship.
So, society, this is what I have to say to you: Singleness is not synonymous with eternal damnation. Stop making people think that. It’s simply not true. Sure, Thesaurus.com mentions words like confinement, emptiness, desert, isolation, and my personal favorite, wasteland—but then comes words like privacy, peace and quiet, identity, individuality. Being single is NOT being alone. I spent twenty years without a boyfriend and my life never resembled a wasteland. My life was overflowing with friends and family and meaningful relationships that brought me a lot of joy.
Contrary to popular belief, having a boyfriend or girlfriend won’t fix all your problems or fulfill your life dreams and goals. Though society may say otherwise, you don’t need anyone to “complete” you. What you need is God and only God. A significant other can be a blessing, but they will never be necessary to your life. For those of you in happy, healthy relationships, that might sound false. But if you think your significant other is necessary to your life, I would suggest re-evaluating your relationship. You don’t need him or her. You don’t. You may certainly want them in your life (if you don’t, I have no idea why you’re dating), but unless you have been surgically attached to each other and now share the same physical heart, you don’t need them. And the same goes for friends, family, pets, books, large stuffed animals, doughnuts—you will never need anything or anyone but God.
When I was single, my problem was not being alone. My problem was that I was seeking and expecting fulfillment from the wrong thing. I put all my hopes and expectations in “one day,” that imaginary time in the future when all my dreams would come true because a cute boy finally asked me out. Well, a really cute boy did ask me out. We started dating. We’re still dating. And you know what? All my hopes and expectations for dating were fulfilled. My boyfriend is a far better man than anything I ever dreamed of praying for. I am so incredibly thankful for him. He’s my best friend and I hope that will never change. Dating him has been so fun, but it hasn’t been perfect. It’s not peaches and roses and butterflies all the time. We’re still flawed humans. We both mess up. And you know what else? I’m still waiting. Now, I’m just waiting for different things—college graduation, a career, financial security, a dog, a house, doughnuts, world domination (oh come on, don’t tell me you’re not always waiting for doughnuts, too).
My daily struggle is to remind myself that my ultimate fulfillment, joy, and peace cannot come from anything this world has to offer, including a handsome, loving boyfriend. It has to come from a perfect God who has perfect (and unknown) timing.
"For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken. On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God." Psalm 62:5-7
We live in fallen, broken world. Everyday, the evil and sin becomes more evident. The recent shootings in Orlando, FL are evidence. The corruption of power in our government is evidence. ISIS is evidence. I am evidence. Sure, I’ve never broken the law. But, I still hurt people (and often myself) with selfishness, arrogance, judgment. Humanity is flawed, no one is perfect and no one can provide anyone else true fulfillment. So I’m done waiting for “someday.” I’m putting my hope in my God, who is in control of “right now.”