I’ve known my best friend since I was seven years old. We dreamed about our futures, always picturing entering each new season of life together.
Last month, I stood next to her as she said her vows to her groom. It was a beautiful moment, knowing how deeply she has always wanted to be married and seeing how perfectly God brought it all about.
Until recently, I have never felt like singleness was a significant aspect of my life. But the older I get, and the more newlyweds I encounter that are younger than me, the more singleness seems to be a defining part of me.
Watching my best friend enter marriage has changed my experience as a single. No longer is singleness something she and I have in common; we are in different seasons of life — something we never saw happening. More than ever, singleness feels like a dominant aspect of my life, maybe even a permanent one.
What if I never get married? What if I’m doomed to be different – single in a sea of married couples? What if I never feel satisfied as a single?
The week of the wedding, I was concerned with a whole different set of what-ifs. A stomach bug was racing through my workplace and I was convinced I would catch it and miss out on the festivities. Then the day before the wedding, I woke up with a cold that I feared would take away my voice before the reception speech.
The what-ifs kept my brain busy for days, and I spent most of that week worrying. But I never caught the stomach bug, and I didn’t lose my voice until after I gave the speech.
Everything went beautifully. Not only were my fears never realized, but I had some very special moments with my friend that I will treasure forever.
All that time spent worrying was ultimately wasted. All that energy spent fearing what I couldn’t control stopped me from fully living in the moment. Those what-ifs stole my time and energy from a very meaningful week.
A lesson in the stars
It was a beautiful wedding.
The ceremony was at a rural church. I’m a city girl, so as I left that night, I couldn’t stop staring at the stars covering the country night sky. We catch a glimpse of how big God is in the sky; it’s immeasurably huge but can never contain Him.
I marveled at the stars, realizing there are so many more that we can’t see. God even knows all their names. This same God knows me too — all my needs and wants and hurts.
How often do what-ifs and fears of the future keep me from enjoying what I have been given? How often do my worries keep me from enjoying where God has me right now?
Standing under the stars that night, I saw that God had given me a perfect weekend. And it wasn’t even my wedding. If I can trust God to care about such little details in my life, why wouldn’t I trust Him with everything else? In that moment, I decided to give Him control.
Nothing — but everything — has changed
The irony in giving God control is that He already had control. I’m just learning to rest in it and to trust Him day by day. That is what I learned the night my best friend got married. We can trust that God knows our childhood dreams and deepest longings, and every way He works in our lives is beautiful.
Because God has control of my singleness, I can be happy for how He is working in my married friends’ lives – I know He’s working in mine too.
Because God has control of my singleness, I know He will show me who I should be in a relationship with or not.
Because God has control of my singleness, I can be confident in where I am right now because He has me there.
Because God has control of my singleness, I am free to pour my time and energy into whatever opportunities come my way, even if they aren’t what I expected.
I may never get what I think I need, but in that not-getting, I just might get something even better — a taste of the bigness of God. We can trust His plans are better than ours.
The God who made the stars controls my story. I know that He will fulfill His plans for me — and you — in ways more beautiful than we ever dreamed.
Copyright 2019 Lauren Dunn. All rights reserved.