We live in an age obsessed with romantic love. Even the hyper-sexualized secular world is still running after wedding bells and the happily ever after.
There is something deeply ingrained in our human nature that craves relationships: we’re made in the image of our Creator who is love.
We are called to love one another of a love that is selfless, but it’s very easy sometimes to make our state in life our validation. We have an enemy that thrives on our insecurities.
When all your life you’ve heard the message that you are not enough, the hardest part of coming to faith is accepting the unconditional love and unmerited grace that is poured on you. And the love of a spouse is such a temptation it may well have become an idol.
There isn’t a harder state of life for someone like me than being single in the late 20s. The more I spend life alone, the more I get used to it, and I wonder whether I will be able to let someone into my life after all. Knowing the value of singleness in serving God, on paper this sounds just marvelous. And yet, not all that glitters is gold. Doubts always linger, waiting for the moment of weakness to overcome me like a storm.
I haven’t used the image of the storm casually. One of my favorite passages in Scripture is the episode of the walking on the waters in the Gospel of Matthew (14:25-33). There are two main reasons why it speaks to me so much: first of all, Peter is scared. And the second, most important one, the Lord was there for him. Because I have a confession to make: I am Peter. I wonder what has been going on in his head on his return to the boat. If it had been me, it’d be something along these lines: why did I lose sight of Jesus, and saw the storm? Why can’t I be like this other person who never doubts? Have I been too arrogant getting out of the boat in the first place? Beating myself up is second nature.
Yet Jesus was there all along. Peter failed, but he did not fail alone, and the Lord came to his rescue. After all, he is the only one who dared to get out of the boat, so his little wavering faith is more than his faith would have been if he had simply stayed in the boat.
Being single may sound trivial to some, but for me (and probably many others) it’s a real storm. We have past wounds, and it can be hard to forget them even after we have taken the first step out of the boat after we have said: “Your love is enough.”
In the Wait
When you’re single, well-meaning people always tell you to learn to wait on the Lord and trust in His timing, because He has wonderful plans for you. It never worked out too well for me, which only added more insecurities.
My biggest wake-up call was the realization that it wasn’t all about me. Marriage, or any relationship on the way to it, won’t make my insecurities go away like magic, and to expect that to happen is not only wishful thinking but a gateway to reducing a person to someone whose role is to reassure us that we are good enough. It’s just another way to objectify them. God may have a wonderful plan for me that includes a great life partner, or He may not. My value remains in Him and Him alone. “Receive my love” were the prophetic words someone had for me once. That’s what waiting for the Lord in singleness means for me.
About the Author
Alessia is a 28 years old stereotypical Londoner trying to figure out and follow God’s will in the chaotic but exciting big city. She blogs about her messy life with authenticity, a big dose of humor and some very deep thoughts at The Blond Pond