Much of this post was originally published in 2017, but I’ve altered and added to it to reflect my current convictions on the purpose-filled, Christ-centered life. I hope it blesses all my readers, no matter who or where you are!
Happy Saint Scholastica Day! This is the feast day of one of my favorite Christian heroines, the strong-willed, learned twin sister of Saint Benedict of Nursia. I’m so thankful I get to start this week reflecting on a woman who devoted her entire life to Christ and His people. Scholastica (and other Christian heroines like her!) inspire and encourage me…especially when I need some confirmation that my “unwedded bliss” really is something to celebrate.
Valentine’s Day isn’t always easy for single, unattached people. I know it’s gotten so much easier for me in the past few years, but the temptation to feel sorry for myself (or throw up all my emotional defenses until February is over, haha) is still very real. God has been so faithful, though, constantly reminding me of the following truths since I originally shared them with my readers three years ago…
1. God loves you more than you will ever know.
“Faith,” Ann Voskamp writes in her book The Broken Way, “is confidence in God’s kindness no matter the confusion of circumstances.” God loves his sons and daughters so much, and He’s in the business of drawing us closer and closer to Himself. He works all things for our good…even when we can’t see what or where that good might be.
When my one and only “serious relationship” crashed and burned, it hurt so much. I didn’t understand why God would seemingly set me up for something wonderful, just to jerk it all away from me. Now I understand that He wasn’t just protecting me from a very perilous situation; He was also teaching me something I desperately needed to know: “I love you more than any man ever could. I’ll be with you even when everybody else fails you, and I will give you peace.”
Jesus knows what it’s like to be broken. He knows the pain of loneliness. He knows what it’s like to feel betrayed and forgotten. He felt all those things as a carpenter of Nazareth. You’ll always be safe taking your broken hallelujahs to Him because He always understands, and He loves you with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3)! He takes great delight in you, quieting you with His love and rejoicing over you with singing (Zephaniah 3:17).
2. You are RIGHT where God wants you to be right now.
I’ll be 28 in a few weeks. My mom was married with three babies by the time she was 28. I have two choices: I can either fret and wonder what’s wrong with me and why I’m “so behind schedule”…or I can remind myself that God ordained every twist and turn of my story before the foundation of the world.
Here is a truth that I now stand upon: There’s a reason I’m unmarried, and it is a good and purpose-filled reason. I’m confident now that God has me in this place because He wants me to be so grounded in His love and goodness, I’ll be better equipped for whatever challenges life has in store for me. He’s molding me into exactly the kind of woman He wants me to be!
3. NOW is the time to invest in yourself & your relationships with God, your family, & your church!
I used to think self-care was selfish. There is a self-obsessed, navel-gazing kind of self-care, but there’s also nothing wrong with taking the time to make your soul happy. By taking care of yourself, you’re simply equipping and strengthening yourself physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally–which, in turn, makes it so much easier for you to focus on serving God and others!
Fill your head and your heart with God’s Word; that is the most important thing. Spend some time outside every day. Enjoy stories (the real ones as well as the imaginary ones) of kind, noble heroes and heroines. Fill your head and your heart with God’s Word! Create something, even if it’s just a pan of cookies–but not too many cookies, because your body needs nutritious food, too! Fill your head and your heart with God’s Word!! Find a way to serve your community or your church, even if it’s just serving in the nursery or bringing a meal to a new mama. Get a good night’s rest. Belt out your favorite songs in the car (did you know singing out loud for an hour can boost your immune system?). Fill your head and your heart with God’s word!!! Hug someone (did you know hugging can boost your immune system, too?). Count your blessings and write them down (gratitude can alleviate depression!). Did I mention filling your head and your heart with God’s Word???
Take the time to embrace what God says about you, to enjoy your beautiful life, and to “do your little bit” in your corner of the world. And remember, you don’t have to be a politician, a missionary, a pastor’s kid, or even a mother to make a difference. The only person you have to be is you.
4. You don’t need anybody but Jesus to be truly happy.
The 2015 Cinderella film ends with a song called “Strong.” I have my quibbles with the admonition to “Trust in your heart”–but there’s one line I do think is true, at least to a certain extent:
“A bird all alone on the wing can still be strong and sing.”
Of course, we are never alone if Christ lives inside us. We must cling to that truth, especially when we do feel “all alone on the wing.” But we must also cling to the truth that we really can “be strong and sing” right where we are, because of the fact that Christ lives inside us.
You don’t have to wait for your life to begin, because your purpose-filled life began a long time ago. You don’t have to sit around waiting for the perfect mash-up of Steve Rogers, Tom Branson, and Mr. Knightley to come a-knocking on your door, either. If that person exists, he’ll come when the time is right.
And if he doesn’t? Well, there’s plenty for you and me to do and learn in the meantime–and more than enough people in our lives to love.
As for those cruel, cutting thoughts in your head about how nobody will ever love you for who you are, or how you’ve been totally forgotten…they are lies–all of them–because God loves you so much and He will never, ever forget you.
In the light of that truth, we really can be strong and sing our little hearts out.