Letter to a Single Lady
Recently I came across my letter to a single lady. I wrote it in college when I was between relationships and feeling sorry for myself. When I reread this very-much needed pep talk I gave myself (yes, I wrote it for myself), part of me giggled, part of me remembered how painful it was to be single, and part of me was shocked at my blunt, but honest realism.
I decided I needed to share it with you… those of you who are single currently and are wondering why on earth you are on my blog, wondering how you will survive yet-another infamous V-day, wishing your relationship status wasn’t so painfully obviously single. This is for you today!
But I also want to remind those of us who aren’t single anymore but maybe sometimes unintentionally hurt your single friends because you’ve forgotten what it was like to be single.
[I had planned to go in an entirely different direction with this post and then this letter said it all and then some. This post is a little long so bear with me.]
Without further ado, a letter to a single lady (a.k.a. myself),
Dear single lady,
You are not defined by your relationship status, at least not to an earthly man. You are not bound to be forever alone. You are not eternally pathetic because of your lack of a boyfriend. Wake up, girl friend!
You ARE defined by your relationship with God. God adores you.You ARE never alone. The Holy Spirit is with you and never leaves nor forsakes you. You ARE worthy. Christ has redeemed you. In Christ alone, your hope is found. He didn’t make you to lie around in bed and wallow in self-pity and misery. Valentine’s Day shouldn’t just be about romance and chocolate and flowers. Valentine’s Day is supposed to be about love. Real love is more than just romance. Sure, the God and King of the Universe romances you, calls you to Himself, and makes you feel like a princess… because you are… don’t get me wrong… BUT love is more than romance, sister!
The Bible says love is patient (1 Corinthians 13:4). Be patient, my sister. God is working in you and around you in ways you do not understand. He hasn’t abandoned you. Your desire for relationship is natural, normal, healthy, and human, but it is not the end-all, be-all. I’m not going to tell you He has someone fabulous waiting for you because only He knows the future. You can hope. Don’t give up hope, but don’t forget your purpose on this earth is not to be completed by a man, but it is to be completed by God. Philippians 1:6 says, “Be confident of this! He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it.” God isn’t done with you yet.
The Bible says love is kind (1 Corinthians 13:4). It may actually seem cruel to be the only single person among your friends on this loving holiday, but our God isn’t cruel. And hold up a second! It’s NOT ALL ABOUT YOU. Who else in your life right now needs your kindness? What about that girl down the hall whose boyfriend just broke up with her? Or that elderly woman in your church who lost her husband last year? Or that guy in your class who has a disability and can’t drive and wants to take his girlfriend out but is too embarrassed to ask for help? You have a free evening. You have compassion in you. You know someone with a car. What about that Spirit that lives in you? Can He shine through today in your actions toward others? Will you bear the fruit of kindness?
The Bible says love doesn’t envy (1 Corinthians 13:4). Uh oh! Isn’t that exactly what you did when your friend told you about the awesome V-day plans she has with her boyfriend? Isn’t that exactly what you were doing when you watched that sappy romance movie and you wanted to be the lead? And she’s not even real! Why are you discontent? You weren’t maimed or killed in the last week. You still have life and all your limbs. You didn’t catch the flu. You still have your health. You have an income, a church body, food, family, and friends. So what if you conspicuously lack a boyfriend? You have been so blessed, my sister. Don’t forget your many blessings. Don’t give into the fear of being forever alone. This is a lie from Satan. Even if a man doesn’t come into your life, even if God’s got different plans for you, envying others isn’t going to make your circumstances better. “The fear of the Lord leads to life,” Proverbs 19:23 says, “and the one who rests content is untouched by trouble.” It doesn’t say there will never be trouble, but you will be untouched when trouble comes (you will still be intact, you will be unbroken, you will be good and pure still) because God is in you. Life, my sister! You have it. Go live it! Not for a man, but for God.
The Bible says love isn’t proud or self-seeking (1 Corinthians 13:4,5). You may be thinking, ‘What do I have to be proud about?’ Here’s what I say to you. Don’t be so proud that you don’t admit that it hurts to be single sometimes. Don’t stay home tonight because you don’t want to burden anyone with your miserable company. But don’t go the other way either. It’s okay to be sad. It’s okay to cry. It’s NOT okay to wallow. It’s NOT okay to whine. It’s NOT okay to complain. Humble yourself and admit when you’re wrong here. Find a friend who can sympathize and share this hardship, but don’t turn it into a pity-party. If you walk around and wear your complaints like a badge of honor, like it’s something glorious to be able to negatively vent to your friends about your singleness, shame on you. Proverbs 29:11 calls this person a fool – someone who vents their full emotions. A wise person controls their emotions. You don’t need to spew everything out there to every person you’re around today. God isn’t out to punish your pride by making you stay single, but He does desire you to carry your burdens to Him. You don’t have to bear the weight of this alone, but there are far worse things in the world than being single on Valentine’s Day. Misery loves company, but seriously, kick that pride of yours to the curb. It’s not helping anything.
The Bible says love doesn’t dishonor others (1 Corinthians 13:5). Don’t guilt trip your friends who are in a relationship. This is dishonorable. Be genuinely glad for them. I know this is hard, but celebrate with them… don’t hold it against them. You don’t have to be the third wheel, but you can genuinely make an effort to smile and support them. Remember those blessings I talked about? “This is the day that the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24. Enough said.
The Bible says love isn’t easily angered and keeps no record of wrongs (1 Corinthians 13:5). All those almost-relationships, and all those relationships that went sour… those aren’t worth hanging onto. You can’t hope for the future when you’re stuck in the past. Forgive them. I can’t believe you just wrote that. What? I’m serious. The Bible says forgive those who hurt you as you have been forgiven. It doesn’t say forget it completely. It doesn’t say become b.f.f.’s with these guys. But it does say forgive them. Let go of the wrongs done to you, sweetheart, because they’re just weighing you down. Maybe you can’t actually forgive them in person (and sometimes you really shouldn’t for your own safety), but write them a letter releasing yourself from the bonds of anger, frustration, and bitterness you’ve been harboring toward them. It’s hurting you, not them. Stop drinking the poison. Galatians 5:1 says, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by the yoke of slavery.” Let go, my friend.
The Bible says love doesn’t rejoice in evil, but in the truth (1 Corinthians 13:6). You don’t need to secretly gloat when your friends’ relationship doesn’t work out. You don’t need to enjoy the wallowing process. Sure, you’re miserable, but sometimes I think you like it there. Why do you hold yourself there? Why not live in the freedom of the truth? Why not rejoice in the truth? The truth that you’re uncomfortable with your singleness but that doesn’t define you. The truth that you are loved beyond measure by the God of this life and the next. The truth that you were made for something more than you’re allowing yourself to be right now because in your solitude with your fear, misery, shame, guilt, anxiety, and depression you’re safe, right? But you’re not living free. Live in the light. Live in the truth of God’s promises. “You were bought with a price (Christ’s death on the cross),” says 1 Corinthians 6:20, “so glorify God with your body.” Get out there and put love and truth in action.
The Bible says “love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres. Love never fails.” (1 Corinthians 13:7-8). Protect the least of these, the unloved, the overlooked, the down and forgotten. Trust in the goodness of God. Trust in His unfailing love. Hope in a brighter tomorrow for sorrow lasts but for a moment, but joy comes in the morning. Don’t give up. Persevere. Push through. Serve God in the waiting. Let God love you. God hasn’t and never will give up on you. Believe it. You go girl, because God goes before you. God IS love. He is the one who will be all these things for you when you cannot, when you’re too weak to continue, when you’re kicked down by the lies of the devil and this world, when you’re feeling forgotten, alone, and ashamed, when you’re wondering if you can make it through the next few hours, let alone till tomorrow morning. Zephaniah 3:17 says, “The Lord your God is with you,the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in His love He will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.”
Hannah (February 14, 2009)
This Valentine’s Day, live fearlessly in real love…what the Bible says real love is.
Read and meditate on these verses:
“Love is patient, love is kind, It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
“The Lord your God is with you,the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in His love He will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17
“We know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.” 1 John 4:16