Let’s be honest, the twenties are hard. It seems like everyone around you is getting engaged and married—you truly couldn’t be happier for your friends—but, you constantly find yourself questioning why you’re not at the same stage. As much as I wish I could be at that stage of my life right now, I know I still have more room to grow before God places that man and all the experiences to follow into my life. Sweet friends, allow me to remind you that singleness is not a punishment or something to be pitied rather, it is meant to be a time to focus on self-growth, self-love, and self-worth. Often times we’re so caught up in all the love around us that we forget about ourselves.
For those of you that know my story, you may know that for the past four years I have chosen to stay single, in an effort to focus on bettering myself for a healthier lifestyle and to grow in my relationship with Jesus. Obviously, as a teenage high school/college student with wild temptation all around me this was at times insanely difficult. But, if I have learned one thing over the course of my life it would be that if you can’t love yourself it’s really difficult to love others. On the contrary, it’s very difficult to accept love from others. It is unfair to put the pressure on another human being to fulfill the expectation of love that can only be found in Jesus.
At the point when I first made this decision for myself I had lost all concept of my identity and self-worth. When I finally discovered my worth couldn’t be found in boys but rather in God alone my life radically changed. The twenty-first century American culture we currently live in has the tendency to make it very difficult for young woman everywhere to love themselves and appreciate the complex individuals God created us to be. The world around us likes to tell us that we have to look a certain way, do certain things, and fit into a particular formula in order to get a boy’s attention. We CRAVE love and to be loved so bad that it’s not uncommon to lose who we are in the process. I’ve been there, and I have met dozens of other young women who have experienced this in their lives as well, if this is you too, you’re not alone.
The good news of my story is that my decision to pursue singleness has ultimately lead me on a journey towards loving both Jesus and myself. I promise you it is not selfish to take time to fall in love with yourself. Being happy and content with who you are and who God originally created you to be in all your uniqueness gives you a reckless sense of joy and confidence unlike any other. When we stop trying to be the girl we think all the guys will like and start being ourselves God will place all the right people into our lives that appreciate us for who we are.
Right now is unlike any other time we will have in our lives. Take advantage of your singleness and grow in loving yourself first. Pursue a hobby you love to do. Talk to new people and expand your horizons on your circle of influence. Take yourself out on dates to get coffee or ice cream. Dive into your bible and spend alone time with Jesus. Do yoga, run a mile, hang out with your parents. Whatever it is that you’ve been dying to do for so long, do it. Be a friend, sister, daughter, and woman in pursuit of Lord. Fall in love with your passions and the woman God created you to be. Chances are, even though it may seem like it now, you’re not going to be single forever.
When we learn to love ourselves and love Jesus, only then will he bring the man we’re supposed to spend the rest of our lives with into (or back into) our lives. If I already know that God has a perfect plan in store for me in his perfect timing then I am not worried about my Mr. Right getting “taken” while I’m pursuing Christ and discovering more about the woman of potential he created me to be. I’m not saying, take half a decade to purposely be single, but I’m challenging you to consider asking yourself where your source of love comes from. If you need to take a step back from relationships for a while to learn how to fall back in love with yourself, do it. If you feel like you know who you are and are confident in the person God created you to be, you go girlfriend. But the single most important thing to remember in our constant love crave is that, if we want to feel loved we must begin with knowing that we are already loved by a man who died on a cross for us 2,000 years ago. Sweet friend, my prayer for you is that in this time of singleness you would fall wildly in love with yourself & Jesus, and that he would fill your heart with an incomprehensible joy.