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Singleness and Hardship

A woman standing alone in a field
I know God is always with me, but sometimes I need a tangible reminder, a flesh and blood person to hug and cry with.

At 36 and single, I’m feeling okay about life. I was never the girl that dreamed of marriage. However, by this age I assumed I would be married with kids. Most days I don’t think about being single; it’s just what my life is. But there are some days when I find myself thinking about it often. The past couple of months have been a string of those days.

I live in Baton Rouge. In case you’re not aware, there was a serious flood here in August. It completely devastated my city and the surrounding areas. There are about 200,000 people who have been affected in one way or another. I, unfortunately am one of those people. I’ve lost most of my furniture, my home and my vehicle. As you can imagine, this season has been beyond overwhelming. In the midst of all the chaos, I’ve thought many times how husband sure would be handy. Not handy in the sense that he would fix everything — although I’m not opposed to that! — but more that I’d have someone to walk through this hardship with.

I know God is always with me, but sometimes I need a tangible reminder, a flesh and blood person to hug and cry with. The season isn’t the only difficult one I’ve navigated alone, but it has been one of the most devastating. It seems as though every time I turn around, I’m dealing with some new consequence from the flood.

Honestly, it’s exhausting. I’m physically, mentally and spiritually drained. I’d like to come home to someone who understands and who’s with me every step of the way. But, I don’t have that, and I don’t know if I’ll ever have that. So, where does that leave me? And if you’re in a similar position, where does that leave you?

1. Remember God is always good.

“You are good, and what You do is good;
    teach me Your decrees.” Psalm 119:68

From Genesis to Revelation, the nature of God is weaved through every verse. He is good. He only does good. He can never be anything beside good. In His love, He is good. In His grace, He is good. In His direction, He is good. Even in His discipline, He is good. In His sovereignty, He is good. He brings good out of every situation. I’m learning to lean into the mystery of His ways especially when I don’t see His work.

2. Ask for help, and accept when it’s offered.

“When pride comes, then comes disgrace,
    but with the humble is wisdom.” Proverbs 11:2

I’m all about the independent life because I’ve always been the self-sufficient type. I get things done. I rarely ask for help unless it’s a last resort. This is my greatest strength and weakness. God never intended us to do life alone. We watch Him in the Garden of Eden say that it’s not good for man to be alone. He gives Adam a partner, a wife. Until I’m married, and even after, I’m called to live in fellowship with others. And you are called to that very same thing.

In this trying season, my God-given community has stepped up in more ways than I can count. I’ve received text messages from friends near and far telling me they’re praying for me and asking how they can help. Many have simply reminded me I’m not alone and I am seen. Some have even offered to bless me with financial support. There are hardly enough words to express both my pride and my humility in this season.

I know that this is how we, as believers are to live, but it can still be difficult for me to accept help from my friends. I’ve had to lay my pride on the altar and let God crush it. There’s no room for pride. There’s only room for gratefulness.

There is a blessing that comes from receiving, but there’s also a blessing that comes from giving. I don’t ever want to hinder God’s blessing in my life or someone else’s life because of my pride. May we be graceful givers and receivers.

3. Let the purpose of community accomplish its work.

All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need.” Acts 2:44-45

This is one of my absolute favorite verse in the whole of Scripture. Life during the days of the early church was in not easy. The vast majority of people weren’t wealthy, but they lived as well as they could, making the most of their circumstances. They truly embodied this contemporary concept of “doing life” together because they didn’t view their lives as their own. They belonged to each other. When one hurt, they all hurt. When one succeeded, they all succeeded. They carried each others’ burdens. They held on loosely to their possessions and had no problem selling them so that every need was met. They lived a lavishly generous and sacrificial life.

This is the kind of life and community I want to cultivate. This is the life that pleases God. This is the kind of life that sustains you when natural disasters strike and everything falls apart. This is the kind of life we can lead, with each other, if only we were to try.

Have you experienced a season of singleness and hardship? How did God reveal Himself to you? How does community shape your single experience?

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