“I must not be attractive enough.”
“I’m too fat.”
“If only I were funnier…”
Oh, the thoughts that plague the single person’s mind.
I’ve spent a lot of time and energy wallowing in singlehood. I’ve exhausted myself trying to figure out why on earth boys wouldn’t ask me out. How could I have so many boy friends, but none of them wanted to be my boyfriend?
I felt like I had heard it all. “They’re just scared.” “You’re a strong woman, men are intimidated by you.” “He’s probably just shy!” And the classic Christian message: “Jesus is your boyfriend!”
Ok. No thanks.
At least that’s what I thought…
Then one fateful day I came to the horribly wonderful realization that I had been wasting a lot of time. I came to the recognition that my life was in progress at that very moment, and I was spending it crying about a boy I wasn’t even sure existed.
What kind of life was that? Not one I wanted to live, I can tell you that much.
That very day I decided to take the advice of Tim McGraw, as cliché and cheesy as it sounded, and to live like I was dying. To live each day so that at the end of the day I could look back and say “I would change nothing about this day.”
What I found was that being single and having spare time was a gift. This was the time when I could learn about who I was and how I wanted to live my life. It was great—for a while. But I very quickly discovered that who I was and what I wanted were things I couldn’t actually discover on my own. I, myself, didn’t have all the answers.
I soon found that while I thought I knew what I wanted, I really didn’t know at all. I’d date guys who seemed to have everything I liked on paper, but then we’d break-up. I thought it was them. Then I realized… it was me.
I had arrived at a very frustrating point in my life. I had no idea what I wanted. And I had no idea how to figure it out.
So I turned to the only person I’d ever been told knew more about me than I knew about myself: Jesus.
And oh man, I did not want to go to him. I was so fearful of what I thought he was going to tell me: “He’s going to tell me I’m single because I have to be a nun!”
But I had nowhere else to go. So I begrudgingly began talking to the Lord. I asked him questions about myself, about my life, about the things that had happened. I complained to him. I told him my fears, my worries, my frustrations. I told him I was mad at him for leaving me single, and I asked him why. And then… I listened.
Over time, what I found was that the Lord had given me this time to be single for a very particular reason: he had given it to me so that I could get to know him.
He had given me this time to be single so that I could learn about who he is, and who I truly am in his eyes. He showed me that I am pretty enough, that I am perfect as I am, that he designed me with certain desires in my heart that only he could fulfill, and that he loves me.
It was truly amazing. But it took a long time. Like, a super long time—it took years. In fact, I am still learning who Christ is, what it is he is asking of me, and what types of things I want and need in my life.
So why are you still single?
I can’t tell you.
But Christ can.
He has plans for you. Big ones. This time of being single is a time when he wants to prepare and help you discover those plans. It’s a time he wants you to spend getting to know him. My very best advice is to take it. I don’t think you’ll regret it.
Ashley Ackerman is first and foremost a daughter of God, and after that she works as a speaker, blogger, administrative assistant, and nanny. She is a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, where she earned her master’s degree in Theology. You can read more of Ashley’s blog posts by visiting ackergirl.blogspot.com.