Once upon a time in a faraway land lived the most beautiful princess. There in the highest room of the tallest tower she lived, waiting for her knight to come slay the dragon and rescue her. . .
So the story goes. It’s funny that, though you learn so much, as you tend to ponder some deeper things in life, you choose to look back to some of the first things you learned. For me, this was fairy tales. Yes, I grew up with boys and first learned about all the superheros and their great adventures, but in those rare nights of just me and my mommy time we would read the sparkly books with girls in beautiful pink dresses on the cover. Of course every story began with words similar to the ones this blog began with. This princess awaits her knight and the story begins as he comes onto the scene.While I loved those stories and still do, I today am faced with an issue that those stories didn’t answer for me.
What was the princess’ story before the knight came?
What is her purpose before she is rescued? Is the tower solely a prison? What if he had never come? All of these questions spin in my head because I find myself in that very place, the place that barely takes up a page of the book and you don’t bother to read the words because you only look at the beauty of the picture of the castle on the page. I have found myself in this empty upper room as long as I can remember. Since day one I have waited for this gallant knight to come, to slay the dragon, to sweep me off my feet, and to become the onset of my story, but yet I wait. So I wonder, what is this season of life for? Surely this elaborate castle is not solely a waiting room. No, it has to be much more….
These are the thoughts that run through my mind. Since midway through this semester the Lord has laid on my heart the topic of singleness. What a scary idea, right? As a girl who loves romance and joyously dreams (sometimes a little too much), having this topic served on my plate has been daunting, overwhelming, confusing, and yet oh so rewarding. I have pondered this topic asking, why is it so difficult? Why does the church address it so poorly? What is its purpose? Does the Bible speak to this issue? What role does singleness play in redemptive history? etc.
The futuristic nature in me has said to hold off on writing about this until the future (when it could possibly become a large pile of gathered thoughts some like to call a book), but the heart for the girls, ladies, and women inside of me said that these thoughts were “for such a time as this” [Esther]. So single ladies, once you put your left hand back down from doing the dance to Beyonce’s song, listen up:
You are beautiful. Your beauty is not, has never been, and will never be defined by the amount of attention a boy gives you. The most delicious cake in the world is still the most delicious whether it is ever appreciated for its grandness or not. Also, this is a way that you, uniquely from men, image your Creator. He has created women to intrinsically desire to portray beauty [Captivating]. After all, think about all the beauty that is within Him, we see evidence of it both in His creation and in His story of redemption. The Lord is beautiful! And you, His daughters, have been created to show the world that.
You have a purpose, for right now. I struggled with this one. The Lord convicted me that I was only looking at this season of life as a waiting room. I was doing so much to prepare to be the best wife, but doing so little to nurture my heart in this season of life that honestly really sucks sometimes. But despite the time in our lives, the Lord has a purpose. For me, I do feel called to marriage eventually, but I also am eventually called to vocational ministry. I feel called, in the future, to choose to serve a man but I also feel called, in the future, to regularly minister and pour into teenage girls. I am preparing for my future vocation by educating myself and getting as much ministry experience as possible. Just because I do not currently have a title under my name does not mean the Lord has not given my ministry a purpose in this season of life. In the same way I am preparing to be a wife by pursuing purity relentlessly in every area of my life and by praying for my husband and our future together. Just because I am not with “him” does not mean that this season is not significant. I am not less of a woman and neither are you.
You are not a misfit. I am currently reading The Path of Loneliness by Elizabeth Elliot who was widowed less than to years after her marriage. In this book she talks about how single people can feel like misfits in a culture where family is the core, and it is so very true. She makes a comparison to legs, saying everyone just expects that everyone would have two legs until one day you run across someone with only one and the horror and sorrow you feel is written all over your face. We live in a culture where the evening drive-thru line is full of cars with a man and a woman (who’s driving though has changed over the last few decades), at church on Sunday morning men and women sit together, couples go out for dinner together, wedding invitations are sent out with a plus one, and single people are single. Despite the cultural norms, despite the feeling that you are in a minority, you belong. You belong in the midst of the presence and satisfaction of an all-powerful, boldly pursuing Father who longs to know you deeply and intimately. You are not missing a leg, in fact you are being held up but the One who unfailingly sustains.
So take heart, little tender-hearted sheep. Learn His voice. Delight in His protection. Bask in His pursuit. The Shepherd watches over you.
And know, little princess, that you are not just waiting in a high room. You are so much more than that. Live and breathe as an image bearer of the Most High made to shine his light in such a unique way. Do not wait, but be content and satisfied. Each season has a purpose. Each page plays a part in the story.