Throughout my twenties, my single friends dropped like flies. They were getting married and ditching me for husbands. Granted, I would have done in the same if given the opportunity, but I hadn’t been. Not with a guy I really liked, anyway.
Were there even any good guys left? And if so, where were they holed up and why weren’t they coming charging over the hills on their white horses to find me? I felt left behind and alone.
Have you ever faced a season of life that you desperately wanted to skip? Snap your fingers and wake up five years down the road (or even just five months) when everything was different? I wished I could snap away my season of singleness, with its Singleness Awareness Holidays like Valentine’s Day, Christmas, my birthday… (You get the picture.)
But I couldn’t.
And now, nine years later, I’m so thankful that I couldn’t.
During college, a wise friend told me, “Tiffany, you can’t keep the seasons from changing, or it’ll stunt your growth.” I had wanted to hold back that time of life — stay forever in the moment I was living.
By my mid-twenties, the same principal applied in reverse — I couldn’t skip the seasons, because that too would stunt my growth.
If I had skipped my season of singleness (which, might I add, lasted nine years longer than I would have liked), I would have missed out on an incredible adventure with my Father God!
Working a 9-5 job for the first four years after college, I often begged God to send my husband. “After all,” I’d reason, “it’s not like I live overseas as a missionary. I’m not doing anything that requires singleness. I’m just working a 9-5 job!”
But apparently, God had something He wanted to teach me through my season of singleness.
Well, that’s oversimplifying it. There were MANY things He wanted to teach me. But one of the top things I learned was that He could truly satisfy my heart.
Psalm 145:16 (ESV) says of God, “You open your hand; you satisfy the desire of every living thing.”
I read that many times, but did I believe it? No way. No way could I be satisfied without a husband! I had tried and tried, but the desire for a husband was still there, chipping away at my soul, leaving me breathless and teary-eyed many evenings.
Sure there were moments of satisfaction in Christ, but they didn’t last. All I could think was, “My husband is missing out on so much life that we could be sharing right now. He’s missing out on so many memories we could be making.”
At age 25, I finished my master’s degree and released my first book, when my dad asked, “Tiffany, why are you working full time? Why don’t you quit your job and travel to speak full-time? After all, you have nothing to lose; you’re single!”
So I did. I started traipsing around the country, just me and God and my little PT Cruiser full of books. I tried it for six months, found it was sustainable, and kept going. The next year I visited 36 states in three months.
It was an incredible Father-daughter adventure! Praying for hurting young women, hearing stories of lives set free, seeing the country up-close and personal…but none of that compares to how I grew in my relationship with Christ.
I got to know Him like I never had before. In the absence of a husband, He was my protector. My comforter. My lover. My companion. My provider. I laughed with Him at the funny little moments of life, shared my worries and fears with Him, cried with Him.
And here’s the kicker: We made memories together.
All this time that I’d been thinking, “I’m missing out on making memories with my husband” — I’d actually been making memories with God. Memories that will never fade away or disappear. Memories that mean more to me than anything.
In short, He became my everything.
As I traveled the country, I remember praying, “God, I still feel lonely sometimes. I still want to get married. But that’s okay; it’s how you created me. And honestly, if I had to stay single the rest of my life, it would be okay. It would be sad and lonely sometimes, but it would be okay, and I would accept that, as long as I got to live that life with you.”
If I had skipped my singleness, I would have snapped my fingers and woken up after that season of special Father-daughter-only adventures had ended. I would have woken up two months ago, at age 29, wearing a white dress, soaring down the aisle. My wedding wouldn’t have been nearly as beautiful as it was, because it couldn’t have been as beautiful without that Father-daughter time, because of what I had walked through and what I had learned.
Some of you may have married young, others may still be waiting for a godly man to steal your heart away. Embracing our season of life has nothing to do with the age at which we’re married. It has to do with letting our heavenly Father whisk us away on Father-daughter adventures in the midst of all our seasons (including the lonely ones), whether married or single.
In those times of life when the pain feels unbearable, the loneliness feels suffocating, and all we want to do is give up, see what God will do. Instead of asking to skip the season, ask Him to teach you all He wants you to learn through that season.
Tiffany Dawn is the author of “The Insatiable Quest for Beauty” and “Boycrazy: And how I ended up single and mostly sane.” She lives with her husband James in beautiful upstate New York when she is not escaping winter through cross-country tours. Connect with her at www.tiffanydawn.net.