My Parting Thank-You to Singleness

In a few short weeks, I’m donning the white dress in my closet and crossing the threshold from singleness into a life-long marriage commitment. Entering this covenant will be the most important decision I’ve made apart from my salvation, and I’m praying for courage and wisdom to honor it well.

I realize if you’re currently single, you might be snickering right now. Why do you need courage? I’d sprint down that aisle if I had the chance! Hear me out, friends. Although I’m beyond excited for this new adventure in my life, I’m also convinced marriage is going to require as much, and probably more, sacrifice than singleness. That brings me to my first “thank-you” to my time as a single:

I thank my single years for teaching me to practice sacrifice.

As my single friends know, singleness has its fair share of sacrifice. Christian singles may have to die daily to their desires and submit them to the obedience of Christ. They often choose to give of themselves when they so much desire for someone to invest in them. And while life isn’t always lonely, it sometimes is. Even well-meaning friends don’t seem to understand the struggles they face.

Just because I’m saying ‘I do’ doesn’t mean these sacrifices and struggles are going away. They’re just going to change. For example, I will have to submit to my husband’s headship. Even though I’m so happy right now I can’t imagine this responsibility being a challenge, I’ve observed enough marriages to know that conflicts will come. I’ll have to sacrifice what I want for our marriage’s good. On a daily basis, I’ll need to die to my selfish desires to love James, my future husband, well.

Whether single or married, we are to be “imitators of God” (Ephesians 5:1 NKJV) and model our lives after Christ who “gave Himself” for the church, His bride (Ephesians 5:25). Our relationship status doesn’t change the command to live sacrificially. It just provides different circumstances in which we are to exercise it.

I thank my single years for showing me that my identity is found in Jesus Christ, not circumstances or a relationship.

When I was single, I often felt as though I had to prove myself in my career, writing, and service. While I certainly believe my single years gave me the opportunity to cultivate my God-given abilities, I had to learn that my identity isn’t found in anything I do or anything I have.

Regardless of my relationship status, my identity is in Christ alone. I’m God’s daughter first and always will be. Once married, I’ll still be God’s daughter and then James’s wife. And even if there are days I feel like a failure, I can take comfort knowing God is still my Father, Savior, and Sustainer. He’s faithful and will remind me that even when I fail or make mistakes, I am still His. I’m so glad to serve a God who gives second chances! Single or married, we all need them.

I thank my single years for teaching me to depend on God and establish a deepening relationship with Him.

My single years often drove me to my knees and to search the Scriptures for God’s promises. Many years, God seemed strangely silent, but I had to learn His timing is better than mine. His plans far surpass my stubborn expectations.

My walk with God has had its share of bumps and detours, but along the way, I’ve learned I can trust Him. I need time with Him each day just as I need air to breathe. My relationship with God has plenty of room for growth, and I’m excited about that. As I begin my marriage, I know I can depend on Him, even when hard times come, because He is always faithful.

He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it. (I Thessalonians 5:24 NKJV)

Whether God has called us to be single or married right now, His faithfulness remains the same.

I could add more to this gratitude list, and perhaps you could too. If you’re still single, waiting, or searching, please know this bride-to-be is cheering for you. My prayer is that you would not only find a godly spouse, if that is your desire, but also make the most of your single years. One day, you just might thank them.

~ Kristen

I’m grateful to DailyPS.com for hosting this post on their site. For more encouraging and inspirational posts, visit DailyPS.com.

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The Season of Change

The fact Florida doesn’t experience foliage proves to be a sore spot for many residents. Personally, I’m happy to live with the trade-off of year-round sunshine since driving north a state or two lets me visit fall in all its glory.

However, I may be the exception. The other day, a friend shared a graphic of the current fall foliage, which met with nearly unanimous groans. The focus was my home state, Florida, and the key read something like this:

With some, I’ll never win the sunshine over foliage argument. However, there’s one season that proximity to the equator doesn’t determine. The season of change doesn’t discriminate like fall colors or winter flurries do.

In any given year, we may face changes in jobs, professions, schools, churches, or relationships. Maybe we made or didn’t make the team this year. Maybe our new commitments require cutting out other good things from our calendars.

How do we deal with change? As I thought about this question, I remembered high school science projects (of all things), because the scientific method takes a positive, proactive approach to problem solving. In many ways, change is a “problem,” but not in the negative sense of the word. It’s a challenge, something through which we can grow and learn.

That said, here is a semi-scientific approach that may help us deal with the unavoidable changes in life.

#1: Identify the constants.

Regardless if our world seems to be spinning, God and His Word remain solid.

  • “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8 NKJV).
  • “The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever” (Isaiah 40:8 NKJV).

Though change can be uncomfortable, it can also drive us closer to God as we seek to understand His plan for our lives.

#2: Consider the variables.

“Ten years from now, will ______ make a difference?” My mom asked my brothers and me this question all the time when I was growing up, and I grudgingly came to realize she was right. Often, some perspective can help us realize that change isn’t the end of the world.

However, some decisions will have long-lasting consequences. Where we go to college, what career we choose, and who we marry will impact the course of our lives. We would be foolish not to bring these decisions before the Lord in prayer, seek godly advice from family and mentors, and consider how the options align with the calling God’s placed on our lives.

#3: Form your best solution.

Recently, I was talking with a friend and mentor whom God has called to a new opportunity and place. He told me he’d given God every chance to close the door, and yet, God hadn’t. Instead, after hours of prayer with family and friends, he believed God was calling him to move forward in faith.

The conversation reminded me of Proverbs 3:5-6.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths (NKJV).

Change can be conflicting and even frightening, but when we’ve done our part, the times comes when we must move forward and trust God to do His.

#4: Accept the outcome, and let God work.

Sometimes, the results exceed our wildest dreams, and other times, we wonder if we made a misstep. I remember a period in my life when I felt God had opened a door, only to find Him closing it months later. Had I misheard His voice?

Looking back, I don’t think I had. Though that season proved difficult for me, I can see how I grew through it and how God used it to bring me where I am today. Without that experience, I would have missed out on greater blessings and opportunities.

Challenges and problems aren’t always the result of sin or misguidance. They can be God’s tools to bring us where He wants us to be.

Are you facing a change and feeling unprepared? Are you stuck on any of these steps? If so, what truths from God’s Word can help you grow through the circumstances?

~ Kristen

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