They Do Exist.

Being Single: Pining for Someone to Like It & Put a Ring on It

Editor’s Note: We’re launching this month’s topic on Making The Most Of Being Single with an awesome confession by Brandi Larrick. As a sidenote, are you single and struggling? Consider becoming a mentor/mentoree and gain a close friend to love you through it. – Lauren

I’m finished making excuses for being single.

I’m not too busy for a boyfriend. I’m not focusing on my studies. I’m not focusing on my career. I’m not trying to discover who I am. Mom. . . Dad. . . You know how you ask if there are any guys at college and I say, “No, not a one.”? That’s a blatant lie. There are lots of guys. Lots of great looking, intelligent, witty men who would donate one of their kidneys to an Ethiopian orphan and nurse a sick, baby bird to health.

So, why am I single? Because I am discerning what God wants for my life.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve fought Him on this issue. I’ve prayed that God find me a man and deliver him in time for the release of *Insert Movie Title Here*, so I’d have a date. I’ve prayed that He would send him to me before grad school, because that seemed like a swell time to tie the knot. I’ve even avoided praying and rationalized my way through giving my number to a 32-year-old, gas station attendant with a knack for being clingy whom I knew absolutely nothing about (let me just say, that did not go well). To say I’ve wanted to be single for the last few years would be quite the work of fiction.

Despite the moments I’d wished God had given me the go ahead on some guys who’d asked me out, I can genuinely say I’m glad, even thankful, He kept me stag. Why? Because I’m a dependent coward. In the past I wasn’t looking for someone to share life with. I was looking for someone to leech onto and live life through. By staying single, I had to leech onto and live through God. Without a set of broad shoulders to lean on, I learned to find strength and purpose in Christ.

This little epiphany hadn’t dawned on me until one night when I was. . . well, sort of panicking about my future. I’m graduating soon, and I wasn’t 100% sure what I wanted to do or where I wanted to go. It’s not that I didn’t have options, I did. But simply having options doesn’t calm nerves. The fact I could choose the wrong one and have a stagnant, unenjoyable life was where the panic comes into play.

So, what did I do when I couldn’t prevent my mind from wandering into the potentially dismal abyss known as my future? I genuinely, earnestly, sincerely, redundantly wished with all my might that I had a husband, so I could just go with him wherever he ventured and take care of his home. As soon as I had fully realized what my proposed solution was to my uncertainty, I felt sick.

I had completely abandoned turning to God for comfort. I’d stopped discerning God’s direction and purpose for me and started yearning for some faceless male being to drag me along, so I wouldn’t be alone.

I turned to marriage not as a means to grow closer to God and glorify Him with someone but to replace Him.

This is not my announcement that God has called me to be single ’til death. This is me saying singleness is not a death sentence.

It’s amazing what I’ve learned these past few years, and I know I wouldn’t have been able to grow like I have in my relationship with Christ while attaching myself to someone. I simply couldn’t have handled it.

I just want to make sure you never think I’m single because I’m independent and strong. I want you to know that I’m single, because I’m dependent and weak but depending on Christ..

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31 Responses

  1. Gwen

    Thanks for this! I seem to be at this crossroad myself. But God has been teaching me to be dependent on Him, and Him alone. It's hard, but slowly and surely, I'm getting there.

    Thanks so much for the encouragement!

    September 9, 2011 at 2:12 pm

  2. practicingjane

    So, so good! Thanks for putting this into words. I love the closing lines.

    September 9, 2011 at 2:40 pm

  3. Adrienne

    Wow, you took the words right out of my mouth!

    September 9, 2011 at 2:41 pm

  4. I learned a similar lesson before I graduated college and in my grad school years. I will never be able to find my identity in a man. He'll never be able to give me all that I'm seeking and it's too great a responsibility- or burden- for anyone else to bear. Finding myself through Christ's eyes was a breath of fresh air. And though I didn't think I'd still be single at 31, I continue to bring myself back to that lesson. I'd rather be single and under God's plan for my life, than in a bad marriage.

    September 9, 2011 at 5:33 pm

  5. Cori

    I needed to read this today! Thanks so much for your honesty!

    September 12, 2011 at 12:17 pm

  6. Daw

    WOW, Holy smokes, awesome! Thank you for putting it like this. Im single and going through " I want a man!" but apparently I am not ready for a man and God knows this and starting to realize this. Great post!

    September 13, 2011 at 9:20 am

  7. Tressa R

    I have realized the same thing over the last 6 months. I have been trying to fill this whole in me, and I thought the only way to fill it was by falling in love and getting married. Now I know the only way to truly fill it and be happy is to seeks God and His infinite love.

    September 14, 2011 at 12:55 am

  8. jummy

    i totally agree with you. i am in the very same place. infact i'm going to be 33 yrs old on the 30th october, 2011. i have been quietly dreading the coming of my birthday. what even makes it difficult most times, is when God has shown you a glimpse of what is to come, what is to be, and what is already completed, it is the impatience that kills the waiting and pruning period for God's will to fully take place in your life, and the devil sees it as an opportunity to throw all his wiles, schemes, plots and scams at you, making fear, doubt, unbelief, and uncertainity in the word you had receieved from God. i realised that every morning when i pray to God and commune with Him, it all seems insignificant. it's REALLY HARD, but slowly and assuredly i will get there through God's grace, amen.

    October 3, 2011 at 7:15 am

  9. Guest

    i loved your article. But i have to confess that it hurts to read the Ethiopian orphan you mentioned. I am Ethiopian and i know you didn't write anything further from the truth.Its just that we also have to hear that in stand up comedies and newspaper articles and school and conferences. It just hurts hearing something like this about your own people. I am really sorry if this offends anyone i know i am off topic but i just wish people consider you know…like not making as example for the worst situations in life. Like me..i just wanted to read an article that helps me deal with my singleness. And somewhere in there is mentioned an Ethiopian kid..I really do understand that you didn't mean it in a bad way and i wish i didn't have to say anything except that its mentioned everywhere i go and thought may be saying it hear might be safe.

    November 7, 2011 at 8:26 pm

  10. This is a very well-written and insightful piece. I'm so glad you laid it out like that. It's a helpful way to rethink what it means to be single and how God is so important for us to lean on. I sometimes feel like people think I'm calm and that I have things together as a confident, single young woman. But what they don't realize is that any peace they see (which I don't always feel) is because I'm leaning on a God I trust. And you just put that into those two wonderful last lines. Thank you!

    November 13, 2011 at 9:43 pm

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  13. Amy

    Thanks for posting this on Twitter – I really needed to hear that right now. I, like you, am about to graduate college and have no clue where God is leading me in life. At times I have been guilty of thinking that if I just had a husband, I could just be a wife to him and know that's what I'm supposed to be doing with my life. But the Lord calls me to wait and depend on Him alone until He brings it all into competition. Again, thanks Brandi for this post!

    August 2, 2012 at 2:12 pm

  14. Tori Olson

    Thanks so much for the words of encouragement! Where I live, most couples get married at 19 or 20 so at 23 I feel like I’m already considered an old maid. I’ve never had a boyfriend because I’ve always felt like God wanted me to single, even though I had plenty of options. Haha

    Not sure if I am meant to be single forever (even though that possibility doesn’t really bother me), but God has a plan for me right now that doesn’t involve being a relationhip and I’m ok with that. If its supposed to happen then it will happens in God’s timing. : )

    August 2, 2012 at 2:15 pm

  15. Julie

    Wow. One of the best things I’ve read in awhile. Thank you. You put into words what I’ve been feeling in this time of my life.

    August 2, 2012 at 2:59 pm

  16. anon

    Thank you for putting this into perspective. :)

    August 2, 2012 at 3:57 pm

  17. Emily Kate

    ooh I have like 10 girls I wanna send this too. thanks for sharing!

    August 2, 2012 at 4:01 pm

  18. Oh, man! That last line is a gem. Praying that is true for me and so many of my lovely friends who are single. That instead of relying on our own strength to be strong and make it through – that we would let go and receive God's perfect and satisfying care and love.

    August 2, 2012 at 4:09 pm

  19. alliespence

    wooo hoooo!!! amen girl!!!!

    August 2, 2012 at 4:34 pm

  20. zoegrl

    that was so encouraging! I am with you on this one. Def not single by choice, but I am learning to trust that if I'm single its not a surprise (or cause for a freakout session) to Jesus. I particularly LOVED the phrase: This is not my announcement that God has called me to be single ’til death. This is me saying singleness is not a death sentence.

    thanks for that. needed the reminder.

    August 2, 2012 at 6:39 pm

  21. mellie

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I have been feeling this a lot lately, wondering what I will do next after graduation and where I should go. I even worry about somehow going the wrong place and missing my husband, and ending up alone. All these thoughts just make me panic and want to run, but this really speaks to me. I have been praying that God will guide my steps and give me PEACE to know that he holds everything in his hands and if I'm seeking His will, I CANNOT miss the awesome things He has for my life!

    August 2, 2012 at 7:15 pm

  22. lovely

    “So, why am I single? Because I am discerning what God wants for my life.”

    Are you saying that people who are attached are NOT discerning what God wants for their life?

    Am not too impressed by this article that glorifies singlehood so as to comfort those who are single by elevating them into some higher spirituality.

    We can all be attached and discerning God, and “dependent and weak but depending on Christ”.

    August 2, 2012 at 8:23 pm

  23. Olive

    Thank you for this wonderful piece, its like you were totally describing my life and issues about being married. Sometimes we forget to understand that God is and will always be with us wheather married or single. Singleness does not mean we are totally forgotten by God. The pursuit of all should be to know and key into the will of God for our lives, whether you later get married or not and the bible says we should Always give thanks.

    God bless you and i join you in this mission to depend on God TOTALLY

    August 3, 2012 at 4:43 am

  24. "In the past I wasn’t looking for someone to share life with. I was looking for someone to leech onto and live life through. By staying single, I had to leech onto and live through God."

    I think that is incredibly mature of you to admit that – and so gracious of God to protect you from entering into an unhealthy relationship.

    Honestly, I am married and a mother, but I want you to know that while what I have is a gift from the Lord, the Bible is explicitly clear (1 Corinthians 7) that singleness is also a gift from the Lord. There are things that you can do for the kingdom of God and ways that God can use you that I am not able to be used because I am married and I have children. You have a freedom that I do not have because you do not have to discuss life decisions with a husband or take children into consideration. I want to encourage you to seek the Lord about how He wants to glorify Himself through your singleness because it is a gift. The church does not do a good job of emphasizing the gift of singleness. You may not get married and you may not be a mother, but I can tell you that no matter what gift the Lord has for you in the long run, He will use that gift to maximally glorify Himself and draw you closest to Him. You are blessed by being single, not just if you're married and a mother, please don't forget that.

    August 19, 2012 at 3:52 pm

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  26. Seriously Says

    well being Single really sucks for me, especially for us men that have a lot of trouble meeting a good woman today.

    October 10, 2013 at 4:25 pm

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