Thoughts on being alone.

I sit today in a silent church, the only one in the pew.

The only one in the building.

I think about the time I was a bridesmaid, buzzed because of a drink but sobered by my status:


The only single person in the bridal party.

Totally unattached, no prospects.

I shook it off, because so what? I can dance alone. I can eat alone. I can be alone, and be ok. I can even be alone and like it. Because, you know, freedom and me time and I’ll do what I want, and stuff.

But being alone and being ok with it isn’t a constant.

There are the ups, like flying solo (literally – I like to travel alone), and the time and space and energy to get to know God or your friends or yourself. But while you get a little bit louder now, while the DJ plays “Shout” at a wedding, you don’t really think about the downs.

You don’t really think about the frustration of always hearing from the people in whom you have no interest and hardly hearing again from the people in whom you do. About being so distracted by the desire for a significant other that you waste your time, space and energy dwelling on what you don’t have instead of enjoying or learning from what you do have. While you dance, you don’t really think about the “maybe I am supposed to be single” thought that looms a lot, or the realization that “maybe I haven’t yet used this time wisely.”

It is in these downs that we don’t think about the truth.

The truth is that while I sit in this silent church, the only one in the pew, the only one in the building, I’m ok with it. And I like it.

I like it because it reveals that I’m not actually alone.

That I – totally unattached and no prospects – am not alone.

I am not alone, because Jesus. I am not alone, because the Church. I am not alone, because every guy I meet is my brother and every girl I meet is my sister.

Because I wasn’t put on earth to find a person to love. I was put on earth to love every person I meet.

Because I meet people every day, and every time I forget it, God finds a way to remind me.

The best parts of being single.

After a breakup once, I hugged my knees on a living room recliner and watched sitcoms through teary eyes.

Another ending.
The hard part that time was not the saying goodbye or the feeling alone. The hard part was accepting how good odds are that – if marriage is my vocation at all – it will take longer than I would like to meet another guy who meets my standards: who loves Jesus, practices chastity, does what he says he’s gonna, acts his age (and not his shoe size).
Caught up in thoughts of how long it’s going to be before we meet other good men or women is a good way to miss the good that surrounds us — to forget the best parts of being single. With the help of readers, I’ve compiled a list of them, a list I’ll read as a reminder should I find myself watching sitcoms through teary eyes again.
The best parts of being single are…

…the nearly uninterrupted pursuits of spiritual, personal, and professional growth; the cultivation of patience, acceptance of what you can’t control, and maturity (all of which are transferable to relationships); and hosting your own personal living room dance parties (just me?).

And according to readers, the best parts of being single are…

…doing whatever I want whenever I want. -Monique

…being free to come and go as I please. -Mary

…saving money. -Caleb

…being able to focus on school and my relationship with God without any distractions. -B-Ran

…being a loner when you feel like it. Also, meeting new people when getting set up. -Greg

…not having to shave every day. -Shawn

…not having to give explanations. -Carlos

…using coupons when you go out to eat. -Abraham

… making your own schedule. -Dan

…going out with the guys. -Anthony

…having opportunities to be spontaneous and travel different places on a whim. -Kelsey

…fulfilling my (current) life purpose effectively. -Discipulae

…having time for God and reflection -John

…the free-ness to serve others, because you have nothing tying you down -Pedro

…the  having no pressure! -Angel

…time to read. Excessively. -Goo

…being able to marathon bad reality TV with no one to judge you! -MCN

…Spontaneity! -Jen

…drinking out of a milk carton. -Mario

…being able to fix myself instead of “fixing” someone else. -Julie

…having the time to help and share my time with others! -Ce

…having the freedom to go on random adventures without having to check someone else’s schedule! -Aimee

…saying yes to the craziest ideas, whether study, travel or just a night out. -Laura

…prioritizing my immediate family. -Julie

…knowing more people on a deeper level. -John

…detachment from worldly and sensible things, more focus on God.? -Jason

…flirting. -Anthony

…not having to put the seat down. -Trish

…sleeping alone. -Michelle

…more time can be devoted to ministry work.? -Nathan

…you still have time to change. -Daniel

…being able to do God’s work. – P Edward

…figuring out who I am. -Marybeth

– – – –

What are your best parts of being single?

[Guest Post] What I learned about patience by being single.

sarah-vbGrowing up, I always figured I’d get married someday.

That, along with having kids, was just one of those things you did when you were an adult. I more or less kept that mentality up through college, which included a break-up with a guy who I was sure at the time was “The One.” When that ended, as much as I still wanted to be with someone, I figured maybe God was telling me to hold off in the relationship department for awhile. My “someday” was not at that time. So I put dating on the back-burner and instead focused on my college classes and socializing with friends, figuring that “someday” would happen at an undisclosed point in time after graduation and finding an adult job. Then a funny thing happened as graduation loomed closer and closer: good friends started getting engaged. Suddenly I found myself going to bachelorette parties and bridal showers, shopping for bridesmaid dresses and wedding gifts. While my “someday” was at some point in the distant future, my friends’ “somedays” were happening right then.

As happy as I was for my friends, all that wedding fever brought back to the surface my desire to be with someone. While I wanted to wait on God and on who or what He had in store for me, my flawed human nature got the better of me. I began to grow impatient. When would it be my turn to shop for a wedding dress? When would I get to have a bachelorette party thrown in my honor? Not only was I not getting married, I wasn’t even dating anybody, and there were zero prospects in my immediate future. So, since God seemed to be ignoring me completely, I decided to take matters into my own hands. What resulted was a string of hilariously bad dates with grossly incompatible men: the blind date with zero chemistry. The Italian guy with whom I had nothing in common because he was just too European and I was just too American. The Australian who informed me on the first (and only) date that he needed sex in a relationship because he was an affectionate person. The guy from Starbucks who was just…off. At the end of it, I was frustrated and still nowhere closer to my “someday.” Meanwhile, friends were still getting married.

Looking back, I think all those cringe-worthy dates were part of God’s lesson in patience. I think He was trying to show me that, by taking matters into my own hands, I was robbing myself of something way better He had in store for me. Along with learning the hard way what I DIDN’T want in a spouse, God was also showing me qualities I DID want, both through people I met in church and elsewhere. And I realized that the people with those desirable qualities were worth waiting for. That God’s plan, regardless of whether or not it included marriage, was worth waiting for. I learned that just because I was single didn’t mean God loved me any less than my married counterparts. He wasn’t ignoring me. He had His best in store for me, regardless of my marital status. I just had to be patient and trust Him.

So that is what I am doing. I’m still single. No prospects. But I’m truly okay with that. I’m enjoying His best as a single, growing in my faith and discovering new interests and hobbies. I’m focusing less on when my “someday” will be and more on resting in Him and trusting in Him. And I can’t wait to see what else He has in store for me.

– – – –

About the blogger: Sarah Van Blaricum lives in Tampa, FL with her fur baby, a mini schnauzer named Ava. She works full-time at an ad agency in the Bay Area, but likes to pretend that writing is her real job. She blogs here, tweets here, Googles here, and would love it if you stopped by to say hi.

[Guest Post] Eve: Round II

Guest blogger Amber Mobley!
Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,(except for that one). ~ Genesis 3:1 – 2

I’m Eve, y’all. I just recently realized it.

Boasting solely in God and His goodness, I have to say that my life and experiences have been AMAZING! The places I’ve lived, the people I’ve met, the things I’ve accomplished…but, I have to admit: for a large part of my life, I’ve still been unhappy because I didn’t have a ‘real’ boyfriend and have never been close to marriage.

My situation runs parallel to the foolishness that Eve got herself into.

As Ephesians 6:12 states,”We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

And just like he did with Eve, that dirty devil’s been trying to start a fight.

That dirty devil had the nerve to get in her head and make her think that she should be ungrateful because God didn’t want her eating from one, ONE, of the trees in the garden. This hefa had a kazillion kabillion million shillion trees to eat from and enjoy, but she was worried, concerned, and even “mad” at God because He told her to leave ONE of those trees alone for her own good.

Just like Eve, I’ve been conversing with the devil for far too long. He’s been in my head and in my spirit, trying to convince me that I’m worthless — or worth less — because I’m single at 30.

Here I’ve been, for 30 years, eating from the kazillion kabillion million shillion trees and having the nerve to keep looking at that ONE tree — with the relationship fruit — and being ungrateful for aaaaall of the other fruits that have come to me in their season from phenomenally tasty, delicious and plentiful trees.

So, my new mantra — because I know me :o) — is “All the trees in the garden…” (I’m leaving the “except for that one” part out in order to help me focus on all I DO have.)

– – – –

About the blogger: Amber Mobley currently lives in Kansas City, Kansas but — throughout the last 12 years — has called Washington, DC; Shreveport and Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Tampa, Florida and Los Angeles her home. She freelances for The Kansas City Star (Faith Walk and Ink) and is currently one of the coolest librarians this side of the Mississippi as she’s working on her PhD in education. Click here to visit her on Facebook.