I have sat where you sit. I have rolled my eyes at the people who told me to “just keep waiting” as their phones chimed with messages from their significant other...
I bet it took everything in you to even click the link to this article. Part of you is so sick of hearing promises that “he will be worth the wait,” while the other part of you is hoping there will be some magical words on your screen that make it hurt a little less or make a little more sense.
So first, I applaud you for reading. Second, I want to tell you that I have sat where you sit. I have rolled my eyes at the people who told me to “just keep waiting” as their phones chimed with messages from their significant other. I have watched girls talk about their “roster” of men, while I couldn’t find enough men to play a one-on-one match of Tennis.
I have questioned why God made me play the waiting game as I sat and gave relationship advice to all of my not-so single friends. At one point, I even started to map out what my life would look like without ever finding a husband. I began to be overly self-sufficient, constantly pessimistic, and in constant question of the character of God.
But There is Hope
Friend, I want to tell you to hope. Psalms 25:3 says that “No one who hopes in you will ever be put to shame”. Other versions say that “Surely none who wait for You will be put to shame…”
I know, the last thing you wanted to hear was another person telling you to wait. But, I am not simply saying to sit there and wonder if Prince Charming will ever show up. I am asking you to wait expectantly. Psalms 5:23 says, “At daybreak, Lord, You hear my voice; at daybreak I plead my case to You and watch expectantly”. A few chapters later, in Psalms 25:5, we hear David say, “Guide me in Your truth and teach me, For You are the God of my salvation You [and only You] I wait expectantly all the day long.”
As you wait, realize that you are not wandering aimlessly in hopes that someone might show up one day. You are sitting at the feet of the throne of God, waiting expectantly for Him to orchestrate the details of your life, trusting that his thoughts, his ways, and his plans are more beautiful than you could imagine.
Hope is Found in the Hard Truth
I know you hear it all the time, the honest but hard truth that “while you wait, grow your relationship with the Lord.” It is such good advice but such a hard pill to swallow over and over again.
For me, growing with the Lord in this difficult season meant being raw and real with Him. While I do regret not utilizing that time to learn more about God's character through the Word, I truly believe that by me telling God when and why I was angry, sad, frustrated, and doubtful, so many walls broke down. I allowed God to see the me who was not the “perfect Christian girl” that I thought would surely warrant a husband from God. Those real, raw moments did grow my relationship with my Father, even if this growth didn't unfold how the Christian blogger who got married at 18 years old told me it would.
I remember people telling me that “He’s out there. Don’t worry, I have no doubt you will meet him.” And coming from southern culture, this "encouragement" often came in the form of pity rather than genuine encouragement. Immediately, I would always consider some of the most Christ-like people I knew who were single and combat their words with “Well, what about ___? She's nearly forty and still hasn't found a husband, but she loves God better than us all”. (I know, I was a real peach, the most optimistic fruit on the tree).
But, to be completely honest, I don’t know why some people live in singleness. I don't have all the answers, nor do I fully understand the gray messaging of Paul's encouragement for some to be single (1 Corinthians 7). However, I do know that God said in Genesis 2:18 that it wasn’t good for a man to be alone. I know that God is our Friend, Father, and Protector. And I know that He only has good things in store for His children–things of fulfillment, goodness, and hope.
Hope Can't Grow When Watered with Pessimism
So, my friend, yes, you, the woman in her 20s who wonders if she'll ever have a boyfriend, let alone get married, try your hardest not to gain a pessimistic view. When you let this hopeless mindset settle in, it'll take a bleak toll on every area and aspect of your life. Try not to sit in the sadness; that table can be hard to leave, and it never offers true community and satisfaction.
However, know that on the days when you have had enough—when everyone else's social media posts with their boyfriends trend or their coffee shop tangents rail on about how wonderful their new husband is—you can run into the arms of your Father. I speak from experience when saying that His arms are strong enough to handle your doubts, fears, pity parties, anger, and worries.
He is compassionate, kind, fiercely loyal, and the best company one could ever have while navigating a difficult season. He doesn't fret your future because he knows when and how he will bring your prayers to life, yet he will never dismiss your present sadness, fury, and downright frustration. He isn't scared of your limitations and laments.
He has good, good plans for you. That, I can promise.
And if you aren't quite in the mood to listen to me, a woman who now sits on the other side of the hard times, I'll leave you with encouragement from God's handcrafted, heavenly-inspired Word:
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28 (NIV)
Related Resource: Check out our FREE young adult podcast Big Pond, Little Fish! Host Alyssa Roat joins other young professionals in a podcast exploring life, career, family, friends, and calling from the perspective of a young Christian fish trying to make a splash in the world’s big pond. All episodes are at LifeAudio.com. Check out episode one here:
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Olivia Lauren is a graduate student passionate about Scripture, particularly the Book of Romans showcasing God's grace. Outside her studies, she enjoys teaching her dog new tricks and finding quicker ways to silence the smoke alarm after trying a new recipe.