I promised myself a year. A year free of romantic relationships.
This would be my year.
My year with Jesus alone. My year of crazy awesome and undistracted growth. The year my heart would just automatically shine for all to see with love, patience, faith, joy, and every other kind of fruit of the spirit.
I secretly believed this season of singleness would summon forth a higher form of spirituality that I had never known before.
While many (myself included) struggle with being on the other end of the spectrum, believing relationships and marriage will cause their struggles to disappear, I found myself on the opposite end: after awhile I believed singleness would do that.
But in truth, nothing does that.
Ten months (well, more like a day) after being newly single, I found myself face-to-face (once again) with the same need for validation, security, and anxiety at a lack of control just as I had when in relationships. I found myself looking for all of these things in all the wrong places. Jesus was second and I didn't even have a boyfriend.
In my season of singleness I have been tempted to take my "hands off the handles" & just coast. Coast in my relationship with Jesus & stop paying attention to the areas that God wants me to work on. I woke up to this when I realized the patterns of sin & weakness in my life when I was in relationships were the same when I was single, just coming out in different ways.
Relationships or the lack thereof will always bring unique struggles to that season, but either season will merely manifest the same struggles in different ways.
Idol making, anxiety, & the foundations we build on shifting sand are not only manufactured in relationships. They are manufactured in the fallen hearts within us. They are not problems that merely arise at the entrance of another sinner into our lives, they only make more visible what is already there.
We begin to believe that singleness is holier, harder, better.
"See that married girl over there y'all? Well, dang, I don't need a man to be content & joyful. See I'm all independent and everything."
(Yeah, maybe you haven't actually said it in those words, but we sure as heck have thought it.)
What is it you're waiting on to get better because of a certain season?
Validation? Security? Joy despite circumstances? Peace? Direction? Purpose? That pornography problem? Selfishness? A real love for Jesus? A real love for people?
In any season we will face the temptation to place other things above Christ in our lives. We will struggle with idol making, worry, control, & lusts of the flesh.
In any season we will face our sins, shortcomings, weaknesses. In any season we must undergo sanctification & strive for growth & by grace receive it.
In any season we must look to Christ alone to be the immovable Rock on which we stand. The Joy that never fades. The Hope that never ceases. The Love that never lets us down. The Name we elevate above all else & the purpose for our living & breathing.
I write to the girl (or guy), just like me, who thought that a certain season would finally tame their wandering heart. To the girl who thought that a man would finally give her all the love & stability she craved. To the girl who thought that singleness would mean freedom from hurt & temptation to place her trust in anything but Jesus.
Do I believe that there are unique struggles to certain seasons? Heck yes. But the examples to love, to trust, to obey, to walk in purity, to love Christ first are to all people in all seasons because God knew that we would always struggle with these things.
Let's stop right where we are, single or married, and stop waiting for the "next thing" to answer the longings & be the victory over our sins & weaknesses. Let's commit to fight against sin & to cultivate a heart that loves Christ right now.