Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength;
They will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired,
They will walk and not become weary.
Two unexpected words came to mind during my quiet time. Perplexed, I scribbled them down for future pondering. Much to my surprise, later that day I actually used them in a conversation.
I was chatting casually with a new coworker about the holidays and New Year’s goals. Rather quickly, the topic transitioned to relationships and dating. A highly energetic gal, she excitedly shared that she had decided to slow down in the dating process this year; so far she had only had six different dates. I tried not to react; well honestly, I tried to keep my mouth from gaping. Six different dates in a 9-day span was slowing down? What she defined as exciting, I was about-near-having an anxiety attack on her behalf.
At an unaccountable words-per-minute speed, she gushed on about how she had really determined she was a better person when she was in a relationship and she was certain this would be the year she would find true love. Then she paused and asked about my love life. That is when it happened: the two words popped out.
Gloriously single. I told her I was gloriously single.
Did I really say that? Outloud? After all, I was the child who begged for a Ken doll so Barbie would be happy. I was the high school senior who fretted because I had not yet found my prince. I was the young adult who compromised my values because I was afraid no one else would ever fall in love with me. I was the one, who after 11 years of marriage, was suddenly single and facing my fear of being alone. I was the one who spent more than a decade scanning the horizon anxiously waiting for my true prince to appear. And I was now stating I was gloriously single? Yep, I sure was…and it was true. I am single; the Lord is glorious. In Him, I am gloriously single.
She wasn’t quite sure what to do with my answer. So, bless her heart, she eagerly offered to help me join an online dating site and find me a man. She rambled on about the all the amazing men she was meeting. I listened to her chatter and heard more than she was saying. I heard the desperation in her voice that said she thought she needed a companion to be happy. I heard the fear that she would never find her prince. I heard her willingness to compromise.
I fought the urge to lovingly get in her face and speak truth. I wanted to tell her, “Honey, stop.” Stop thinking it takes a man to make you happy. Stop thinking a man will validate and define your worth. Stop letting the long season of loneliness redefine what you value… because if you do, you will settle for what will ultimately make you unhappy.
I am not sure if she is Christ-follower, but I will look for opportunities to encourage her. I pray she will discover the One True Lover of her soul; the only One who will quiet all her fears and fill the lonely places in her heart; the One who will give her unspeakable joy and call her His beloved.
I pray that one day when someone asks her about her love life, she will reply: I am gloriously single.