When I read last week's topic, "What I LOVE about being single", my reaction was on the negative side: it seemed a bit counterproductive to write a post about the joys of single life when I feel that God has called me to the opposite. But then I remembered something I read (possibly in a Jason Evert book) about the importance of remembering that though I may eventually be called to marriage- today-and most likely for several more years- I am called to be single. Hence, it is important that I do not spend all my time now dreaming about, wishing for, and waiting on the days I am married. Though happily anticipating this time is a good thing, allowing my life now to be less than ideal because I'm waiting for my vocation to be fulfilled is not what God intended. If the years leading up to one's vocation were useless, then God would not have provided them. Since He did provide them, assuming that He did so for a purpose would be safe. So as I create yet another list, read in it the light of what I have written- I enjoy this time because I know God has designed it for a purpose, but when the time comes for me to trade my singleness for a wedding band, I will do so even more joyfully- knowing that I used the time leading up to that moment to prepare for it.
- Accountability- Being a single lady about to leave for college means that I am about to be accountable to only one person- myself. Though I will have teachers with deadlines and commitments to keep, ultimately I will be the only one making the decisions. During childhood, I was accountable to my parents- and though going off to college does not remove the respect I owe them, it will be time for them to step back and allow me to make my own choices. Once I am married, my husband and I will discuss matters before making a joint decision and be accountable to each other. But for right now, I'm enjoying the responsibility and growth that come with knowing that I am acting because it is something I've decided is necessary, and if I do not do something I should have, it will be up to me to take the steps to correct my error and ensure I do not make the same mistake twice. I think this is a wonderful lesson in being responsible, learning to humbly admit when I've made a mistake, and figuring out the best way to manage my time. (Of course, I am always accountable to God above everything and everyone else, and it is of the upmost importance that I never forget that He is the master judge).
- The Excitement- I'm in that wonderful place where I do not have a boyfriend, do not have any romantic history, but know that I have reached an age where beginning to experience such things is appropriate. Though the relationship stage has its own set of rules, its own ups and downs, I know that the right time is closer now than it was four years ago, and that soon the man God has prepared for me- and prepared me for- will be with me. It's fun to wonder about this: to wonder if I've met him yet, or if he's still miles away, to wonder what kind of person he will be and how we'll get along. Songs like Michael Buble's "Haven't Met You Yet" reflect my feelings as I anticipate the wonderful relationship God will eventually introduce into my life.
- Growth-Sarah Swafford advised young women to "become the woman of your dreams, and you'll attract the man of your dreams". In the same vein, she shared advice that a priest gave her regarding the search for her future husband: "“He said to run toward the Lord — and when you get there, look out of the corner of your eye to see who has been running with you,”. This time is meant for becoming "the best-version-of-myself" (Matthew Kelly). These years are set aside for me to work on personally growing closer to Christ, on becoming fit spiritually, physically, and mentally, and to set my foundation firmly on Christ. Entering the dating world without a Christ-centered life could be disastrous, because when Christ is not the center, a guy could become that center much too easily. Thus I will continue to try to use these years of singlehood to form myself around Christ, so that when God places the right man in my path, I will be strong enough to meet him.
May you all have a wonderful week, and an blessed July!