I’ve been reading a lot of articles lately about singleness, relationships, and marriage. Is it just me?
About a year ago I was in a church service and we were singing this song I’d never heard when one line zapped me right in my… hmmm… gut? Heart? Brain? Whatever. It was this, “My heart will sing no other name, Jesus, Jesus.”
As I sang it, the desire rose up loudly within me that it be true. At the same moment, God spoke something very clearly into my head, “Peggy, I want you to stop having crushes.”
I used to think that having crushes was just a high school problem. After my husband left me several years ago I felt pretty sure that I was done with hope in the area of Romantic Relationships. But I guess I didn’t count on God working the kind of healing that he worked. I didn’t count on so little residual bitterness. That’s good, I know. Without the shield of bitterness, though, I started noticing … well.. men. And just like some silly high school girl, I started having crushes again…
Unfortunately my version of a crush came with the same “too much” that it came with in high school. Dangerously close to idol worship.
And so it makes total sense that God would speak this to me as I was seeking to worship Him. The comical part (in retrospect) is that I heard what God said and then added more to it. Suddenly I was in semi freak-out mode thinking that God was gently hinting that I would never marry again.
Here’s what I failed to remember about God. He’s not a gentle hinter. He doesn’t hint at all, actually. What I find of him in the Bible and what I experience of him in my life is that he always gives it to me straight. He always leads me to the truth, no matter how painful that truth is. It’s one of the things I am most grateful for about Him.
Fast forward several months later; I was on the phone with an old friend and we were talking about the crazy stuff that we’ve been through and he said something about how he was sure that God would replace the things I had lost- child, husband. My response surprised me. I told him that I didn’t want God to replace anything and whether I ever marry again or not, I already have the relationship for which I was created.
The statement surprised me because I meant it. I’m not talking about having a romantic relationship with God, but about learning that I was created for so much more than just that one relationship.
Although I was created to be a wife, mother, sister, daughter, friend… I am first and most significantly a friend, child and servant of God.
Okay, so I’m all better, right? No more crushes? Well, not exactly. I’m not blind, people. But to my complete gratitude, I’m discovering other very rich pursuits.
The students in the school I’m staffing are studying 1 Corinthians and when the lecturer got to chapter 7 (which talks about singleness, marriage, sex, divorce) she used the slightly cheesy visual of a gift bag. She set it on the podium and asked how many of us were single. Everyone raised their hands. She said, “This is singleness and you all have this gift.” She did this to show that singleness as a gift is not something only a few people have, but something that everyone who is single has.
What’s great about this visual is that I actually got excited about this truth (also, super curious about what was inside of that gift bag). I have been given such a gift. I may, at some point exchange this gift for the gift of marriage, but until then? Being single is the gift I have. It really is a gift, and I like it.