As a 23-year-old, fresh out of university, I felt like I was on top of the world. The world was my oyster! I was determined. I was optimistic. I was enthusiastic. I was ready to do anything and EVERY thing. I had a plan. I had goals. I had principles. I was grounded. I did not have a worry or care in the world, because I knew that Jeremiah 29:11 was the foundation of my life, and NOTHING could stop me! And my take on my Prince Charming? “Oh, he will fall from the sky, God knows best.” I built a fantasy in some part of my mind that I would be married by 30 and live happily ever after with Prince Charming and a couple of Baby Charmings. (Thanks, Disney!)
I went on and lived out my best life!
Today, I am 36. YES. Exactly thirty-six. I don’t quite feel like I am on the top of the world. I still am determined, optimistic and enthusiastic, although to be honest, it has waned. I still have goals, plans, principles and I’m more grounded than EVER, except, NOW, I have added on a lot more worry, care, responsibilities, grey hair, and cellulite. Yep. You heard me.
And Prince Charming?! Now, that fantasy bubble has long been burst – by the thorn of each passing year! You see, it was a lot easier to be 23 and single, compared to 36 and single. The truth is, marriage isn’t the be-all and end-all of life. I know that. My head and my heart know that. I have heard it from countless married men and women that marriage isn’t the ultimate goal. But then again, the struggle of being single is real. The desire for an intimate relationship, companionship, to build a family, to build a home – is REAL. The societal demands and disdains placed upon a single woman – is REAL.
So, what do I do?
Get mad at God and life and drown in pessimism? Sulk and retreat to my cave and wallow in sadness? Turn green with envy looking at other people’s life on social media? Or aimlessly waste my life on Tinder/miscellaneous dating sites, just to seize the next available bachelor (out the window with all my principles of purity and being set apart)? Turn the “been-single-too-long-so-now-ready-to-mingle-desperately” mode ON? And give my heart away recklessly to every Tom, Dick and Harry, hoping one will of them will be IT?
T-e-m-p-t-i-n-g. But, GOSH NO!
If you are an older single woman, here’s what helps (note, it’s still in present tense ) me:
Face the fact – it’s so important that we live in the reality of this season, fully aware of every need, feeling and thought. Do not suppress them. Do not hide them. Do not ignore them. Do not belittle them. Deal with the emotions, questions and pain.
Trust the process and the timing – God KNOWS what He is doing. My foundation of Jeremiah 29:11, keeps me stable, amidst my unstable, highly fluctuating emotions. Trust that God has got you in the palm of His hands. Trust that He will make everything beautiful in its time.
Get out of your funk – seriously, YOU can. Be practical. Pray, worship, study the word, build yourself up. Go out, serve. Invest into others. Go out, have fun! Work, and work hard! One word of caution, don’t let all the ‘external doings’ be merely an outward band-aid to the real, internal issue. Always keep the heart-matters in-check.
Safety net of counsellors – always, always, ALWAYS have one or two sisters/mentors that you can talk to. It’s so important to have a support network. We were never created to do life alone.
Only Jesus – The be-all and end-all of life is JESUS. As passé as it may sound! The sooner we come to a place of surrender, the more liberating it will be. The older I get, the more I realize that His love can get deeper, wider, and CRAZIER! I love that there is NO PRICE TAG to His love. There are no requirements to be fulfilled so that He can love me. There are no strings attached so He will accept me. (Watch Indian Matchmaking and you will know what I mean). I am accepted. I am loved. Period. And His love is FOREVER.
So then, what about Prince Charming?
The Lord will perfect that which concerns me; Your mercy, O Lord, endures forever; Do not forsake the work of your hands.
Rest in His love and “EZER” on, sisters!
My lifeline: Jeremiah 29:11, Isaiah 49:16, Ecclesiastes 3:11, Proverbs 3:5-6, Proverbs 4:23, Proverbs 11:14, Jeremiah 31:3, Psalm 138:8