During the past few years, I have always joked that I could picture myself anywhere from being a nun to being the next Mrs. Duggar with 19 kids. During the past few months, I have sensed a leaning more towards being a nun. Well, maybe not that extreme—but single and working at Oakridge or whatever Christian ministry God has for me. I do not believe that this new leaning is rooted from an “oh, pity me; I’m still single; no guy is ever going to marry me” type of attitude. Instead, I believe that God is leading me down this road.
During my first few years of college, if I liked a guy, I would try to be discreet about it and hope that he would ask me out, but then I would eventually come right out and tell the guy, even though there was no indication of interest from him. This led to a lot of brokenness (and I also read I Kissed Dating Goodbye), so I toned it down a bit and just had a lot of crushes on guys who never asked me out, and I never told them that I had an interest in them. This was really hard for me to practice, but it led to less brokenness.
In the last year, however, singleness has been less difficult for me. During the last year, I have still had a lot of crushes on guys, but I’ve also been content with singleness. My attitude has been, “If God wants to bring a man to pursue me, that’s fine; if not, I’ll enjoy the benefits of singleness.” Maybe this shift in attitude occurred because I have thought more about marriage and all that it includes. I thought about it, and I realized that I am probably getting the best sleep of my life right now as a single person. With marriage, I’m sure there come fights about how cold to set the thermostat at night, snoring, sides of the bed, etc. I am glad that I don’t have to deal with that at this point in time.
Be that as it may, I have felt an ever-increasing desire for singleness during the past few months. My attitude is no longer “if God wants to bring a man to pursue me, that’s fine; if not; I’ll enjoy the benefits of singleness.” On the contrary, I am not sure that, even if a man started to pursue me, I would be interested. I have seen several instances during the past few months where I was able to serve because I am single, and that brought me a lot of joy. I appreciate the opportunity to serve the Lord and not be “concerned about the affairs of this world—how [I] can please [my] husband” (1 Corinthians 7:34). I can only imagine how torn those who are in ministry sometimes feel. I’m sure they look forward to going home at the end of the day to be with their families. If I remain single, I do not have to feel torn.
In addition to all these things, in having conversations with other women, I believe that I do not “burn with passion” (1 Corinthians 7:9). So that element of singleness really works out in my favor. :)
It could be that I am just being selfish in my desire for singleness. Like I said above, I am probably getting the best sleep of my life now as a single person. In addition, I am introverted, so I cannot imagine having to share a house with someone after a long day’s work. I would want a quiet place to come home to in order to rest. Also, there is more freedom in singleness, in that one can come and go as one pleases and does not have to plan too far in advance to go somewhere. Plus, I like being a part of other people’s families, and that isn’t very practical when one is trying to build a family of one’s own. As I said at the beginning of this paragraph, I might be selfish in my desires to remain single, but I think that it is more likely that God has been changing my desires, due to how “natural” it is to want to marry and then due to how I used to want to be married so badly.
This is not so say that marriage is bad; it just may not be something that I am called to. It is also not to say that I may be called to be single for the rest of my life. Maybe God will one day rekindle the desire for marriage in me. Maybe He just wants to get a lot of use out of my “early” adult years, and He doesn’t want me to be distracted by crushes on guys or anything like that. However, until God so changes my desires back to marriage, I will enjoy singleness and the work that I am able to do for God.