“You can have anything you want if you ask for it”
Social media is full of inspirational posts and memes with accompanying quotes like this. The positive thinking movement, will have us think that we can be, do, and have anything. If only we set our minds to it.
But life is more nuanced than that.
As a single woman in her forties, faced with the daily barrage of inspirational posts and memes, I could be forgiven for feeling like the reason I am single, is simply because haven’t tried hard enough.
But as a single Christian woman in her forties, I don’t see my singleness that way. So why is that?
I came to my faith later in life (in my thirties). I’ve never been married, and for a long time my singleness made me feel “less than”.
But, slowly, I have come to realise that being single doesn’t mean I’m less valuable or important than others. In recent months, I have felt a shift in my thinking. I am accepting of my life now.
I am accepting of my singleness.
But does accepting my life and status, mean that I am “giving up?”.
Is this a negative resignation to my my singleness?
As my thinking has been shifting, I have put that very question to myself: Am I giving up?
I believe the answer is a resounding “NO”.
By accepting my singleness, I am committing to living my best life, NOW. I am not focusing on the lack of a partner. Instead. I am focusing on all that I am, and have, as a single person. I am focusing on who I am in Christ.
There may be some of you reading this, who are thinking “well d’uh! I’ve always thought that way”. And if that’s the case, I am truly pleased for you!
For me, coming to a point where I am ok with my singleness has taken a long time! I believe that is the case for others too - especially as we get older.
As Christians, we know that we are not promised an easy ride in life.
But we do have the promise that we are never alone.
In the same way, God does not promise us a spouse. But He does promise that He will love us and never leave us.
My loving heavenly father is helping me to see how fortunate I am. How my life doesn’t have to be compared to the lives of those I see around me in couples and marriages.
My prayer for fellow single people, is to recognise their worth, independent of having someone to share their life with. To advocate for themselves in their churches and friendship groups. To seek out understanding in real life, as well as acknowledging the very real understanding that we have in the Lord.
I may never be married. I accept that. And that is not giving up.
Laura is a forty-something Church Administrator from the south-west of England. She is a passionate advocate for single people living their best life, and her loves include Jesus, singing and coffee.