Twenty-Five & Single

Content: adjective

Satisfied with what one is

I’m 25 years old and I have never not been single. I’m 25 years old and I’m content with my singleness. In a world that is saturated with a “sex culture,” it has been a battle to find that state of contentment. Does being content in my singleness mean I don’t want to ever get married? No, but I’ve found satisfaction in something far greater. If getting married is something that never happens for me, I’m okay with that, because my satisfaction, my contentment, is not found in another person, it is found in Christ. Through Christ I have realized my singleness is a season, one that I can embrace and make the most of, or one that I can allow to break me apart.

Contentment: noun

a state of happiness and satisfaction

I remember a time in my life, specifically my pre-teen and teenage years, when my focus was on nothing but boys. I’d read romance novels, I’d constantly be thinking about a crush, always on the lookout for some eye candy wherever I went. I would watch chick flicks dreaming of the day that “prince charming” would walk into my life, sweep me off my feet, and we would live happily ever after. It didn’t matter how many books I read, how many heroines found their hero, how many happy endings I watched, I was never content. I oftentimes, more often than I would like to admit, would think to myself, “hmmm I wonder if that’s my future husband.” However, Future Husband didn’t come when I wanted him to. My plan was to find Future Husband and be married before I graduated from college. My plan clearly didn’t happen. 

I quite often get the question, “So… Do you have a boyfriend yet?” Believe it or not, I actually had someone once ask me what was wrong with me when they found out I was single with no “prospects.”  I have had the condescending, “Oh honey, you’ll find a man soon,” and the unwanted matchmaking of someone trying to fix me. I know their intentions were not to make me feel less, or to make me feel inadequate and insufficient, but at the time, my focus was not on Christ. I was self-focused on what I did not have and I allowed their words to be twisted in my mind, into thoughts of not being good enough. I had worries and fears that I would never find Future Husband, that I would be forever alone. At times I would be overwhelmed with feelings of sadness and loneliness. It would lead me to the question, “why me?” It would lead me to the judgmental thoughts of, “if they can get a boyfriend, then why can’t I?” It led me to the negative thoughts of “what’s wrong with me?” and “why am I not enough?” I remember nights when I so longed to no longer be single. I would cry myself to sleep, sure of the fact that I was, in fact, not good enough. 

From the time I was little I watched people. I obsessed over romantic relationships, thank you Disney Princess movies. In real life, I’ve watched so many gals drop the bar just to be with someone. Just to say they are in a relationship, or just to feel loved. Didn’t I so want that for myself? I watched them drop the bar, trying to fill the hole in their heart. Looking back, I can see how I tried to fill the hole in my heart with romantic books and movies, so I am not judging those girls. Had it not been for God’s guidance in my life, I could have easily been that girl. The girl who settled.

If I was so boy obsessed… then why didn’t I just get myself a boyfriend? I knew what I wanted in my significant other and refused to settle. I set my bar high and I kept it there. Did it hurt to keep it there? Yes, remember the crying myself to sleep thing? Was it easy to keep it there? No, remember the questioning my self worth thing? Keeping the bar high is not an easy task in a world that is filled with media that says “your life will be better if you’re not alone”, “your life will be better if you have a significant other, look at how happy they are,” and “you’re not complete without a man by your side.” 

So you might be thinking at this point that my bar was too high. That I had unrealistic ideas of romance. Maybe in middle school and high school my bar was a little crooked (and I admit, I was a little too obsessed with Edward Cullen and the drummer from Mayday Parade), with a list heavy with more physical attributes than actual values, but over time I set it straight and my core “list” was set. 

This is my bar. My list for the “perfect for me” man:
He must be a Christian, a born again believer in Jesus Christ, and he must have a fervent desire to serve and obey God.

That’s it. That’s my list.

My faith is vital, there is no way I would be even close to where I am if I didn’t have a personal relationship with Christ. It’s so important that I can share that with my future spouse and have a husband that will lead me closer to Christ. I don’t want someone who has zero motivation and sits around all day. I want to be able to serve Christ with my future husband and I can’t do that if he’s lazy and doesn’t want to serve just because it might be difficult. I’m by no means looking for the “perfect man,” because the only “perfect man” there has ever been is Christ. 

Many nights I would pray and pray and pray that God would bring Future Husband into my life. I often prayed that if a specific someone I was crushing on was my Future Husband, that God would make it clear to me. But, God didn’t answer my prayers, or at least that is what I thought. 

Over time I came to realize that God wasn’t not answering my prayers, but that my plan for my life was not equivalent to God’s plan for my life. 

I’ve had flirtations with guys before, some lasting longer than others. We talk, we flirt, but never to the point where we become “Facebook official.” Quite a while ago, there was this one guy I was interested in. For a couple of months we talked every day and I thought we had a good thing going, a good friendship at the very least. I remember asking God to guide me and to help me know if a relationship with him was something to pursue, or leave it at just friends. Not very long after praying that, the guy dropped me like a hot potato and started talking to another girl, and boy did that hurt. He didn’t even acknowledge my presence anymore when we happened to be in the same room. It was like I just stopped existing to him. Ouch. My pride was bruised on the fall, but over time I realized that God did answer my prayer, it just wasn’t what I had been hoping for.

As I grew up physically and mentally, I was also growing spiritually. The closer I grew in my relationship with God, the less the negative thoughts would pull me down and the less and less finding Future Husband was my focus. When finding Future Husband was my focus, or rather the fact that I had not found him, that’s when I struggled the most. (Cue the negative thoughts and crying.) I had heard, and even read, about finding my satisfaction in Christ, but it was a journey actually applying the concept to my life.

How did I find my satisfaction in Christ?

In my journey I discovered that contentment and satisfaction in Christ is found through my knowing and claiming my identity in Christ. It wasn’t just enough to know who God says I am. I have to actually believe I am who God says I am.

Girl, let me tell you… When you are fully believing who you are in Christ, there is no room for not good enough, fear, doubt, or shame. 

The world wants me to believe I am: not good enough, not pretty enough, broken, flawed, too fat, not funny, not smart, not loved… not enough.

God tells me I am: His child (1 John 4:4), loved (Romans 5:8), chosen (1 Peter 2:9-10), victorious (1 Corinthians 15:56-57), capable (Philippians 4:13). God tells me I am enough. God knows everything about me, the darkest parts of me, yet He still loves me and takes me as I am. I choose to believe that I am who God says I am. 

One night, I remember it so clearly, I was feeling extremely overwhelmed by loneliness and sadness… I cracked open my Bible. This is what I read:

Psalms 139: 13 -18

(v. 13) For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. 
(v. 14) I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. 
(v.15) My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. 
(v. 16) Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.
(v. 17) How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!
(v. 18) If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.

The Creator of the earth created me, protected me while I was still in utero. His thoughts about me outnumber the grains of sand. He never leaves me.

The days were fashioned for me before I was even created. 

Right now. 

This day. 

So I’m not going to waste this day because I’m single. I’m not going to listen to the world tell me the reason I’m single is because I’m not good enough. The reason I’m single is because God has a plan for it. Jeremiah 29:11 tells me that God has a good plan for me. God’s plan for my life may involve me being single for five more years, or ten, or maybe even till the day I die. And that’s okay with me, because His plan is always so much greater than my plans ever could be. 

Being single won’t stop me from serving God or being who He created me to be. Being single isn’t a “problem” I need to fix. Being single is okay and I have found contentment in Christ.

Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

-Paul the Apostle

Whatever state I’m in: single or married, rich or poor, chubby or thin, I’m choosing contentment in Christ.

Maybe you’re like me or maybe not. 
Maybe you doubt your self-worth because you’re not model-thin. 
Maybe you doubt your self-worth because you’ve been caught in the comparison trap. 
Maybe you doubt your self-worth because you were hurt by someone close to you. 
Maybe you doubt your self-worth because your kid is sick or not hitting the milestones when you thought they should.
Maybe you doubt your self-worth because everyone is telling you how to parent your child.
Maybe you doubt your self-worth because you always seem to be left out or a second thought.
Maybe you doubt your self-worth because you were intensely bullied growing up. 
Maybe you doubt your self-worth because you’ve never heard “I love you.”
Maybe you doubt your self-worth because “not good enough” are the only words used to describe you.
Maybe you look in the mirror and all you can see are cracks and flaws. 

Cracks and flaws… We all have them.

Whatever your struggle is that is causing you to question your self-worth, this is my challenge to you:
It doesn’t matter who you are, where you’ve been or what you’ve done, God still loves you. Find out who God says you are. Claim those verses. Pray them. Even when tears are streaming down your face and the waves of hurt are crashing in. Be brave. Fight what the world wants you to think about yourself, and claim who you are. Girl, you are enough.

If you don’t know what God says about you, if you don’t know the depth of His love for you, and you want to know more… Please reach out to us at Radiantly Brave. We would love to share with you how much Jesus loves you. God will open His arms to you just as you are. I leave you with the lyrics from an old favorite.

Are you hurting and broken within?
Overwhelmed by the weight of your sin?
Jesus is calling
Have you come to the end of yourself?
Do you thirst for a drink from the well?
Jesus is calling
O come to the altar
The Father’s arms are open wide
Forgiveness was bought with
The precious blood of Jesus Christ

Leave behind your regrets and mistakes
Come today, there’s no reason to wait
Jesus is calling
Bring your sorrows and trade them for joy
From the ashes, a new life is born
Jesus is calling
O come to the altar
The Father’s arms are open wide
Forgiveness was bought with
The precious blood of Jesus Christ

Oh what a Savior
Isn’t He wonderful?
Sing hallelujah, Christ is risen
Bow down before Him
For He is Lord of all
Sing hallelujah, Christ is risen

O Come to the Altar – Elevation Worship

Valerie loves going on adventures, spending time in nature, and getting lost in the wonders of God’s creation. She works in the 6th grade resource room at the local middle school, co-runs a faith-based youth mentoring program, and is actively involved in Bible camp ministry. Valerie loves mentoring other women, teens and children. She has an obsession with pens and stocking up on beautiful journals. Valerie’s greatest joy is sharing Jesus with others. Her greatest desire is to know Him more deeply and make Him known. You can find her on Instagram @valerieeejayyy