Thirty Pieces of My Thirty Years #5: Singleness

Singleness was not supposed to be one of the pieces of my life. As a little girl, I figured I'd do what I saw most of the people around me doing - go to college, meet someone, fall in love, and plan a wedding. Shortly thereafter, I figured, we'd settle in a cute little house and have a few babies, and the rest of life would be a haze of cozy, joyful Kodak moments. It seemed to me the perfect plan, and since I didn't see anything morally wrong with any of it, I was sure that God would help work out all the details.

Well, needless to say, God had other plans for my life. I was graduated from college with a diploma and teaching credentials, but no boyfriend in sight, much less a marriage prospect. The neat little plan I had for my life was unraveling, and suddenly, I found myself facing a season of life I never imagined - singleness.

Many people idealize the single life - lots of expendable income, more free time than you know what do do with, endless options. I wasn't thinking about any of those things though; all I could imagine were years and years of lonely dinners, dateless weddings, and way too quiet Saturday nights. I feared being alone.

But in His wisdom, God allowed me to experience six years of lonely dinners, dateless weddings, and quiet Saturday nights. I learned that if I let go of my fear of being alone, I could actually enjoy the quiet moments, that they provided rest for my soul.

I learned that even when I felt alone, God was near, that He was working in my life, calling me to trust His plan and let go of my own.

And I learned that singleness was full of wonderful blessings: a rewarding career as a middle school English teacher; a chance to pursue my passion by getting a masters degree in creative writing; opportunities to travel to Hawaii, Arizona, Boston, Cambridge, London, Ireland, Scotland, France, Italy, and Switzerland; and sweetest of all, eleven wonderful roommates who are now among my dearest friends.

Even though I'm very thankful to be married now, the reality is that if I'd been married when I thought I should, I would have missed out on many, many blessings. I'm not saying I'm no longer up for a house full of babies or that album of Kodak moments, but I am saying that I'm grateful for the story God's written for my life thus far, including the chapter called singleness.

When I was struggling with being single after graduating from college, I prayed some super-spiritual prayer like, "God, if I have to be single, can you at least let me live with some really cool roommates?" The picture above, taken on our wedding day, is evidence that God often answers even our most selfish, pitiful prayers. The women you see (along with CJ and his many roommates) were all roommates of mine in or after college, and they have filled my life with much joy, encouragement, and laughter. Mary Grace, Rachel, Jill, Leah, Brynne, Lisa, Julie, Amy, Chrystal, Kelly, and Kirsten, thank you for being the best roommates a girl could ask for. God has used you in my life in my life in more ways than I can name here, but each of you helped make my single years the rich, sweet time they were.