Every day, there's a new engagement announcement at the top of my newsfeed. It doesn't surprise me anymore-- it's become more of a guessing game of who will be next, and if they, too, will share pictures from on the top of a mountain where he finally popped the question.
Every day, I see people saying yes to their forever love. I'm happy for them. I can't imagine that joy and excitement.
I can't imagine it, because I'm nowhere close to it. And that's okay.
I keep telling people that I can't see myself getting married, and people keep telling me "it's just because you haven't met the right person yet." I wish they would stop saying that. I keep thinking how happy I am in my life right now, how grateful I am for the job I have and the friends I have and the community I'm a part of. I keep thinking how much closer to the Lord I am than ever before, how solid my faith is now after so many years of searching for affirmation and affection and assurance in boys that could never satisfy my heart's desires like the Lord can. I'm deeply happy with my life and I'm not desperate to find "the one" right now. I wish people would know and understand that my life will be full and wonderful and beautiful even if I never get married.
People keep telling me that my day will come, that I'll find love when I least expect it, that when I stop looking is when I'll find it. Here's the thing though (and I say this with so much love for the people who have told me that) -- I am a complete, whole, alive, thriving person on my own.
I do not need a man to make me complete.
I do not need a man to make my faith or my ministry or my writing or my work complete.
I do not need a man to validate my existence or affirm my identity as beloved.
I don't see myself getting married right now, and I'm 100% okay with that. I don't need a white dress and a diamond on my finger to affirm anything about myself or my worth. I don't need a new last name to give me my identity. (And I couldn't have said that and believed it a year ago or even two years ago, so this is progress that I'm proud of.)
I love the married people in my life. I love their marriages. I love that they are teammates and partners and companions and best friends. I love that my grandparents both have been married for decades-- their legacies are beautiful and incredible. I love my parents' marriage and the strong foundation they have built for our family. I love my friends' new marriages and seeing them join together in new ways as they figure out life and all of its challenges and joys together. I love the engaged people in my life and getting to be a part of an exciting time for them of so much planning and anticipation and expectation. It's all a joy. I wouldn't wish any of it to be any different than it is.
But just because happiness and fulfillment and joy for them looks like joining lives with someone else does not mean it has to look the same for me.
I wouldn't wish for my life to be any different than it is right now. It's so good. It's deeply fulfilling. It's rich. It's full of adventure and exploring and new experiences. It's full of incredible people who challenge me and make me laugh and keep me going and make it all such a blast. It's full of art and words and books and coffee and good food. I have never felt more free, more confident, more alive, more satisfied, more motivated, more empowered.
I've been in good relationships and hard relationships and silly relationships and long distance relationships and short relationships. They all taught me so much, and so has being single. And being single? It is so good right now. I am not actively looking for a relationship, I am not moping and longing for a relationship, I am not putting my life on hold to wait for a boyfriend to be by my side.
This is where I am right now, and I am loving it. I'm happy. I am so grateful God has designed my life like this, because this is my story, and it's one I am grateful for.
I have loved being in relationships, and I adore children (most of the time) and you're all very right that it could be my future still. The thing is, it just as easily could not be. And for now, it's not. For now, I love that my free time is all mine. My weekends are all mine. I can spend a whole Saturday reading books in bed, because nobody is demanding anything of me. I can not shower for three days if I want to. I can eat an apple with peanut butter for dinner instead of having to stress about getting a meal on the table for my family. Life might not always look like this, but maybe it will, and guess what? I'm okay with it. I'm glad for it. I'm cherishing it.
So, friends and family and well-meaning strangers, thank you for loving me so well. I know the heart behind your comments is one that is good and pure, but just know that I'm alive and well and happy and confident and content in my singleness. Please hear that. My life is good even if it doesn't look like your life. I've never been this happy. Maybe you're right, and someday I'll meet someone that changes everything and I'll take all of this back. Maybe not though. I'll be me either way. Stubborn and passionate and sassy and emotional and loyal and adventurous and introverted and curious and creative all the same.
I love you just how you are. I'm just asking you kindly to love me just how I am, just where I am, single and happy and not looking for a man to make me me. What I would love to hear from you is less "you'll find him someday; you just haven't met the one yet; you say that now, but just wait..." and more "you go girl; I'm proud of you; you are so loved."
Please feel free to share your responses in the comments-- I would love to dialogue more about this!
One year ago on the blog: The Way She Worshipped
Two years ago on the blog: One Year In College vs. One Year Out: How We've Seen Jesus