Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Pain of Singleness

Being single can be painful.

I won't pretend that's not true. Don't get me wrong, there is a deep sense of fulfillment that comes with being able to devote all of my time and attention to the roles God has called me to, but the sobering fact remains: I would rather work alongside someone than alone.

For this season of my life, I have been called to work in God's kingdom as a single woman. Two things accompany that:

As a single woman, I have freedom beyond what I would have if I were in a relationship. By this, I mean freedom  of time and commitment, and freedom to dedicate myself wholeheartedly to my involvements. I love having the liberty to devote myself so completely to something.

Secondly, I recognize that this season could very well last for the rest of my life. I have not felt expressly called to singleness, but I also have not received the promise of a husband. No verse states, "Seek and ye shall find a spouse," and that's alright.

However, recognizing all of this does not change the emotions and longings that accompany singleness. It is painful to see people who get to experience the unique joy of having a tangible partner in their work for Christ, knowing that I have never and might never experience that. I long to be able to share my passions with someone who I know both loves the Lord and cares deeply for me. I long to rejoice with someone about their own passions and come alongside them as they seek to follow Christ. There is an element of that in every good friendship, but a relationship brings a unique intimacy to this dynamic. Part of my longing for relationships also stems from the desire to engage in the adventure and challenge of learning to be so mutually dependent, whereas at this stage of my life I am so accustomed to being self-sufficient. I yearn to be fully vulnerable and authentic with someone I am in a trusting relationship with.

Now, there are many counter arguments to what I have said, assurances of my worth and fulfillment in Christ. However, automatically listing off these rationalities, as we can tend to do, may end up diminishing the legitimacy of the of the emotions I feel. For example, if I am feeling particularly alone, I may say, "I don't feel as though I will ever be married." And though this may be dramatic on my part, if someone responds by saying, "Don't say that! Of course you will," then I end up feeling shot down and as though I wasn't heard. Furthermore, that person is not speaking truth into my life because, unless God gave them a vision He didn't give me, they don't have any guarantee of what will happen in my future.

And we all fall into these traps, of trying to encourage someone without having the best words with which to do so. But I urge you, as I urge myself, to think and to listen first, to then be able to speak more effectively into the situation.

So, although most of the time I am content with singleness and being present with where I currently am in life, there are times when the pain of singleness hits. I praise God that He walks with me through these moments, showing me His love and His plan for me, and it's by His grace that I can use this pain towards gaining a better understanding of myself and the world around me.


"Not my will, but Yours be done."


  1. well said. that whole post was very eloquent and expresses something I think we've all felt at one point or another. Since I started college, God has taught me and given me the opportunity to choose this time of singleness to engage fully in the lives of those around me. That might not sound profound, but it's been a huge life lesson that I don't have to feel incomplete right now but instead fill myself with Him and then rejoice in the friendships and be intentional about developing them. Your post was just a great expression of the struggle :) <3

  2. We guys deal with the same kind of struggles. We just have different ways of showing the struggles.