Freedom From Singleness

I've started and stopped this post so many times in the last few years. For some reason, no post seemed right. I still didn't have the grasp on the concept of singleness I felt like I needed to before I wrote, and didn't believe the truth that I wanted to before I laid all my thoughts out.

For anyone who has ever struggled with singleness, you know the deep roots that it sets in your heart. Satan lies in SO many ways sometimes through thoughts and sometimes through well-meaning people.
"You deserve a relationship. God is holding out on you."
"Once you are truly content in the Lord, then He will give you a relationship."
"Your standards are just too high."
"The person who knew you better than anyone else rejected you. So how could anyone get to know you and still want you?"
"All the good guys are already taken. You'll have to settle if you want a relationship."
"By the time you do get into a relationship, everyone will already be married. Once you're married, they'll have kids. You'll never catch up."

I could go on and on and on. But this isn't a sap story, it's meant to exhale the life that has been breathed into me by SO many people, books, songs, stories and my sweet Lord. I write this post now because when I started praying Philippians 4:11-12 hours and hours each day over tears in a coffeeshop pretty much my entire sophomore year, I just longed to be content. And now, I'm not just content- I truly enjoy where I am. I like being single, and while I certainly don't intend on staying single for ever, if that's what the Lord would have for me- then it would be enough. When I first opened up to my best friend, Christin, about being single in tears curled up on her couch, she told me something that has stuck so strong in my mind

"Kelly, I know this will be so hard. But this time with the Lord is going to be so precious."

And that's exactly what it has been. SO precious. I wouldn't trade it at all. So I'm going to compile the strongest advice and truth that has God has drilled into my heart to hold on to in hopes that somehow you'll be encouraged by it too.

1. I am not entitled to a relationship
A relationship is not the result of me being good enough, spiritual enough, skinny enough, together enough. It is not the result of me being content and satisfied in Christ (although that is a great thing to be before going into a relationship). But nowhere in the Bible has God promised me a relationship. And even if I were to be married, God doesn't promise that my husband won't cheat on me or be killed months into our marriage. Elisabeth Elliot (author of Passion and Pursuit) waited years before marrying missionary Jim Elliot who was speared to death by a tribe within months of their marriage. Her second husband was martyred as well, and her third she has been with for over 50 years. Not typical, but possible. And that's been helpful for me to understand. God doesn't promise marriage to equal consistency or security because humans are sinful and Satan has come to steal, kill and destroy.

2. Marriage is temporary
On earth, it's meant to point us to Jesus. It's meant to show us our sin and be a beautiful picture of unity. In the Bible, it's talked about a LOT especially in relation to Christ being the bridegroom and the church his bride. But once we are reunited with our bridegroom, marriage won't need to exist in heaven. So while it's great to have on earth, if my ultimate desire is for my husband, then my ultimate desire won't be met. All my longings are ultimately fulfilled in Christ.

3. If it were the best for me, I would have it
A wise woman told this to me a few years ago- and while I do have to put effort in as well as God, the purpose of her statement is Matthew 7:9-11. “Or what man is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone? “Or if he asks for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he? “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him! If I'm seeking a man who will be like bread for me (fulfilling, nourishing to my soul and fuel to my faith) then ideally if I am obedient to God in my choice of men He is not going to give me someone who will be a stone for me (cold, unresponsive, keeping me stagnant and unable to grow) or a snake to me (pulling me back from my relationship with God, acting as poison to God's truth). I know that sounds harsh but God brings people together for reasons and a guy who would be bread to someone else may be a stone for me. And likewise a guy who could be a snake to someone else could be bread for me. Because we're all different and God created personalities to fit together in different ways. I just can't usually see those ways, which is why I need to trust that my Father does. Psalm 38:9 assures me that God withholds no good thing from those who follow Him. He isn't shortchanging me.

4. His love is BETTER than life
Better than life, better than a marriage, better than kids, better than a wedding or a ring or fun couple-y weekends, better than any of my desires and any of my longings. His love will always be better regardless of my relationship status. And if I flip it and think that any man's love will fulfill me more than God's, then I am putting that poor guy on a pedestal and into a role he can never fulfill. Any human will fail me at points. I HAVE to believe that God's love is better every time in order to love anyone like they deserve to be loved with the grace that I understand God has for me.

5. Singleness means an undivided heart
1 Corinthians 7 is the famous singleness passage, and I've definitely clung tight to that. Because Paul was AWESOME and single. So there's hope for the rest of us. But he says that while a married woman is concerned about how she can please her husband, a single woman's aim is to be devoted to the Lord both in body and spirit, so that we can live in "undivided devotion to the Lord" (1 Corinthians 7:34-35). It's about making the most of the time I have with an undivided heart and getting to be concerned with only God's affairs (whatever that means for specifically- it can look different for any of us). It's a privilege, not a curse. And if you think you are less significant to the kingdom because you're not married, look at Paul and Jesus' ministries and think again.

6. Singleness has allowed me to empathize
This alone would be enough reason for me. I've walked through breakups with multiple friends and actually knowing how they feel makes all the difference. I say much different things to them than I would have said if I had never experienced a breakup, or the loneliness of being single. And for anyone who is curious, no girl EVER wants to hear, "You'll find someone better" or "God has plans for you". We KNOW! It's just hard to feel that. Being able to look people in the eyes and just say, "I've been there" makes all the difference in the world.

7. It's okay to be honest
For a long time the only way I knew how to cope with hating being single was to ignore it. I just shoved all my desires under the rug because I wanted to be strong and okay being alone. After months of that not working I was just frustrated that I was still hating being single and  thought that if I was really a good Christian I would just be content in the Lord. Psalm 38:9 was the biggest refreshment to me. "All my longings lie open before you, Lord; my sighing is not hidden from you." All my longings are free to be laid before God. He already knows them. I don't need to pretend to be okay. He knows my desires because He is the author of them. They don't surprise him and they're not wrong. We were designed to crave love, the feeling of being chosen, pursed and accepted- just ultimately from God and not man. But even from Genesis 3 right after the fall, God informs Eve that her desire will be for her husband- so this is nothing new. Being honest with myself, God and others makes me feel weak sometimes, but bringing it into the light dismantles Satan's power over it and allows others to speak truth into me.

8. It's not a license for a daily pity party or an excuse for apathy
While honesty is necessary for me to have deep friendships where I share my heart and not just pretend everything is okay, I need to still go to the Lord first and then share what I still need to after that. My engaged friends do not want to hear constant laments about singleness, and my single friends don't need that reminder all the time. Some days I just have to pray I won't have a spirit of complaining (Philippians 2:14-15) and then choose over and over not to- because it doesn't change anything. Something I learned this summer too from an AWESOME book that everyone should read called the Sacred Search is that being closed off towards dating or not taking any effort and just waiting for God to drop a guy out of the sky isn't helpful. If I'm not going to places where solid guys who love the Lord are and actually talking to them then that's on me and not God. He CAN drop someone out of the sky, but He usually won't. Even though guys should be the pursuers, it takes willingness and boldness on the girl's part too.

9. It's not a season of waiting, it's a season of growing
While God will ask me to wait for things in life, He urged me not to think of this as a season of waiting, but of growing. Waiting insinuates that I am stagnant and unmoving- twiddling my thumbs until God drops a guy out of the sky. And God just said, "Well, what if that day never comes? What are you waiting for?" John 15 says that he breaks off every branch in me that doesn't bear fruit, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. And I just trust that as he changes me He's working in areas of my life that I can't even see, and using all of it for His glory and my good.

10. He knows and He cares
Some days when I hear about other things going in the world that are so heartbreaking, I feel guilty for being upset over something that seems so small. But God notices me. I don't have a high priest who is unable to empathize (Hebrews 4:15). He has walked my suffering and he knows it hurts. Jesus' heart for women in the Bible- especially those who have been widowed, rejected and lonely- is in stark contrast to how most men treated women in that time. And the authors of the New Testament were adamant in noting it. He always cared. But His thoughts are also higher than my thoughts and His ways higher than mine (Isaiah 55:8), so though He knows, He doesn't owe me an answer. It doesn't make Him unloving, it makes Him holy and worthy of my trust when I don't understand.

I could definitely continue with lots more encouragement I've heard and experienced, but for the sake of not exhausting this post I'll leave it with saying I'm all too familiar with the ache of disappointment when friends thought I would be the first to get married, the questions of relatives always wondering why I'm not dating someone, the constant reminder in wedding planning that I'm nowhere close to that point in life, the sting being single brings while all my friends are moving onto their next stage of life and all our conversations convert into wedding plans and buying houses. And there are a lot of you who feel it MUCH more than me.

I titled this post Freedom from Singleness because it wasn't intended to make us feel cursed or chained, that's just how Satan twists truth in our minds to make us feel. But God LOVES us. He has not forgotten us. He has chosen us, He is constantly pursuing us and telling us to look up and around for all the ways He is wooing our hearts even now. We are His treasures. His prized possessions. He gave His Son so we could feel the depths of His love- He cares so deeply. And any wounds we've experienced are not too great to heal. The joy that he offers us is SO much greater than any disappointment that we face. And He is on our side- fighting for us every time, not just the days we feel close to Him. He is enough and He is not disappointed in us for loving Him too little. His love covers us. Every time. No relationship status will ever change any of that. So hold tight to Isaiah 43 and just keep walking, because the thing about having our loving Father is that we will ALWAYS belong to Someone.


  1. Love this so much, Kel!! Such words of wisdom, beauty, & freedom flowing off of the page!

  2. Kelly! I was connected to this blog post through a kind of magic. I believe it was god connecting me with you. I was feeling unloved, unimportant, insecure and I founded here exactly what I needed to move to state of inner peace! THANK YOU!