Every day we make choices. Some are as small as deciding what shoes to wear or what we will eat for breakfast. Others require more thought, more prayer. How do I choose to spend my time on this earth? Who will I choose to spend my life with? As of late and with the newness of becoming a bride to be, I’ve been reflecting on my past years, my single years. Times of right and wrong, flesh and spirit, yes and no.
One thing about life is that we live it forward while understanding it backwards. I was single for quite some time. I dated occasionally, but the college world wasn’t the best setting for dating. A lot of men I surrounded myself with, quite frankly were not looking to date at all. They wanted to “hang out”, but oh no, not date. Had I been more aware of this, I would have acknowledged the warning signs and said no to the bad more often. Are there men out there looking for a nice woman, wanting to take her out on dates and bring her closer to God? Absolutely. To find them, I believe you must learn to say no to the bad and wait for the good.
Dating is full of choices. I had a choice, and often, I chose wrong. I said yes to the wrong guys. So many times. It seems obvious not to give the guy who doesn’t call when he says he will the time of day, or to say no to the guy who drunkenly texts you late at night wanting to “hang out”. It seems obvious to choose the guy who tries, who speaks less of himself and cares to ask more about you, who wants to bring you closer to God. Why did I choose wrong, and why do so many others do the same?
I believe we think that good men no longer exist. We grow so impatient waiting for God to bring the right person into our lives that we settle for less. We settle because it’s easier to say, “I’m dating someone,” than to say, “I’m single.” It’s easier to give in to the pleasures of this world right now, than to wait for the goodness God has planned for us in the future. The world has placed such a stigma on the word single. If you’re single, you must be alone. If you’re single, there must be something wrong with you. Wrong. I believed this insane lie for a while and allowed it to consume me. I placed my worth, dignity, and hope in the hands of men as opposed to the God who loves me so dearly. When we stop doing this to ourselves, we make room to enjoy life a whole lot more.
During my single years, I had the chance to travel to some amazing places. Traveling has such a special place in my heart. It taught me beauty, patience, culture, and how to truly love. I was able to build wonderful friendships during this phase of life, and these friendships have become like family. If I could go back, I would have enjoyed this time much more. I would tell my younger self that everything is going to work itself out. Enjoy where you are at in this season of life God has you in. My single years shaped me into the woman I am today, and I know I will be a much better wife because of them.
You see, singleness is not a punishment. It allows room for growth, learning, and appreciation of who you are. Maybe God is preparing you for the sacrament of marriage during your wait. Perhaps you are ready, but your future spouse is not. God may be busy forming him or her into the person they need to be to make your future and life work for His kingdom. I don’t know His plans for your life, but I do know that He is good. He wants good things for you. Continue to trust God, and He will give you the desires of your heart.
Justine Kaiser is a graduate of Indiana University with a B.S. in Radiation Therapy. She is currently living in Fort Wayne, Indiana working as a radiation therapist at a local hospital. Justine is a devoted aunt who loves to travel, bake and keep up with her Yorkie pup, Leo. She believes that through sharing our life stories, we can encourage each other to be the person God created us to be. Go Hoosiers!