Throughout my singleness, one of the most encouraging things has been other single women who are walking this journey with me. I watch my older sisters in Christ to learn from them and like them be an example to single girls younger than me. I am energized, strengthened, and encouraged when I spend time with other single women of all ages and stages of life. So I hope that reading the stories of other single women, like Jennifer, today, and the many others I am planning, will encourage you as much as they have already encouraged me.
Once or twice a month I am hoping to share stories of single women and how God is working in their lives. Today, I want to introduce you to my friend, Jennifer.
Jennifer is a 22 year old recent college graduate who double majored in Creative Writing and Bible. She is a writer, future published author, missionary kid, avid reader, imaginative, cheerful, and spunky as well as my former roommate.You can find her and some of her writing at her blog Midnight Moons.
Can you share your story?
The first games I remember playing were house. I was the Mom, I begged my older sister to be the dad... and we had babies- cute adorable dolls whose eyes were close when you laid them down. If anything, I was going to be a mom. I was going to have kids and a husband and... you get the idea: a white-picket-fence as my parents called it. I decided at like 15 that I wanted to get married at 20, and I may have ogled at boys in both middle and high school. Romances were my favorite.
But I didn't meet anyone who wanted to sweep me off my feet in college, and that was probably a good thing. I learned so much about love and what it is, about friendship and accepting people as they are, about putting God first. I am 22 now, just out of college and getting over my bout of "how did I graduate college not even dating???" I am just over asking myself what's wrong with me as a person and settling into the struggles of adulthood (No one said it was THIS hard!). I get out of work with time to crash- regain health that seems to be almost sick but something wrong because I keep getting colds, etc. It's a stage of life that I suppose is also important, for I am again learning to be happy for others, to love myself where I'm at, to love people who are different and accept the distance of "work together" (which in reality is much further than the relationships you generally have with professors and fellow students by your senior year in a small college).
How has being single been a blessing in your life?
Being single taught me that my identity is not in being a wife. It is in God's love for me, and it is to God's love I must run, now and when I'm not single. Being single blessed me with real friendships that will last a lifetime and be a support if the day ever comes that a man slips a ring on my finger. It also taught me a balanced view of men, creating a deep respect for their skills and unique struggles that are often the same, but different than ours.
What has been the hardest part about being single?
The hardest part is not knowing what is coming. If I were already married, I would know not to pursue a graduate degree that would land me in debt. I would be content to work my current job or some such thing until motherhood interrupted (blessed) my life.
Also, I just really want the physical touch and intimacy. I want to stop asking myself if there's something innately wrong with my womanhood that no man asks me out.
Has there been a specific book (or maybe books) that have helped you the most through your journey as a single woman?
Yes and no. It was a book, but it was only the first chapter and I don't remember it's name. I just remember what it said: If you can't be happy while you are single, then you won't be able to be satisfied while you are married. I wouldn't honor God, and none of the roots of the problem would be dealt with.
What is one thing God has taught you that you wouldn't have learned if you were married?
It's more like one thing I am thankful I learned before I was married. My husband is not my God. He will not swoop into my life and fix things. He will make my life wonderful, but he won't make my life "right". He won't save me from my craziness or my deep emotional needs. I instead have developed a new sense: a desire to love him. The knowledge that before I marry him I have to believe in him and he has to accept and believe in me.
If you could go back in time, what words of advice or encouragement about singleness would you share with your younger self?
I would tell my highschooler self that you can't replace that time you have with your parents. Enjoy the cuddling with your father and learn to respect him, really- not for the sake of learning to respect your future husband, but because Daddy needs that respect. Learn to believe in him- but also give him the space he needs to live his own life.