Take this entry more like a reflection than a life lesson. Haha, I say “life lesson” as if I am knowledgeable and worthy of giving advice. Being brave enough to schedule a dentist appointment does not suddenly make you wise enough to give “adult advice”, Kira! Gaahhhh!
Where was I? Oh yeah! Take this post as more of a reflection, as me taking time to reflect on the goodness and faithfulness of God and what that looked like for my life specifically. Read those last four words again. Again, I question if this is even necessary to post because the church as a whole makes marriage look like the end goal of Christianity. There is a remarkable beauty that comes from singleness and I have the utmost respect for the individuals who are called to singleness. Praise God for you as you walk this earth with undivided attention as Paul puts it in 1 Corinthians 7. God gets all the glory regardless of what He has in store for your story specifically. Honestly, the part of me that wants to write about this is because I must give God all the credit. The way He has grown me and worked in my heart is worthy of speaking about. Now we all know that I am nothing close to perfect but I see how God has grown me and how He continues to grow me every single day.
And of course, it’s tradition around here to awkwardly bring up what Scripture says rather than play a guessing game with God. The Bible has never promised that all people are called to marriage. The Bible has never promised that you will have a life filled with prosperity, wealth, health, and a loving family. Maybe you will. Likely you won’t. But I emphasize this, one promise made clear in the Bible is that salvation is a free gift from Jesus and if you believe that He is Lord, you will be saved. “For while we were still helpless, at the right time, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For rarely will someone die for a just person—though for a good person perhaps someone might even dare to die. 8 But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:6-8. Regardless of where you stand with Christianity, man, if those verses are true, that changes everything. This is your invitation to seek truth. This is your invitation to question how the universe came to be. This is your invitation to question the validity of the Christian faith. Oh, and friend, if you find the evidence that points to Jesus, today is a beautiful day to give your life to Christ.
Now that my tangent is over, this is my story and where I have seen God show up.
This is not about pointing fingers or forcing blame onto others, but I wish I learned more about the uniqueness of dating as a Christian. I believe it is around the severely uncomfortable years in middle school when the “cooties” begin to disappear, right? It’s fun to look back at yearbooks to see all of my old crushes, but also, ahhh why was I so awkward and why did I dress like that? Why do I still dress like that? Alas, I did not realize there was more to this concept of “Christian-dating” besides two people who go to church regularly deciding to date. Though dating did not exist during biblical times, the way we can approach “Christian-dating” can be beautiful, God-honoring, and surprisingly complex.
I mentioned in my mission statement that I have a heart that wants to shepherd and grow young women in their faith. I often think about high school girls, especially as they prepare to move out and navigate a world increasing in ungodly views. This ties directly into that as everything I learned about dating, singleness, sex, marriage, divorce. It was mostly taught by friends, overly dramatic TV shows, the internet, and regrettable decisions. So I absolutely learned the hard way and my goal now is to set young women up to address the forgotten, unspoken, and awkward topics of the Bible. That’s a need God has put on my heart.
So with that backstory, I began re-learning how to date and what that all means. To my friends that know me, when I research, I go hard. I invest a week or so surrounding myself with facts and research in efforts to become a “master” of said subject as efficiently as I can. Just recently I spent at least half a day or so investigating one Greek word that I came across while reading the Bible…as one does. I wanted to make sure that I was fully understanding this one particular translation of Scripture, duh! Anyway, though I watched hours of sermons and read all the Christian books on dating, I was not dating. I wanted to, but it just was not happening.
Embarrassingly I have to give a shout-out to all of my family and friends who listened to me complain and cry about being single. Like with God’s planning in all things, if I were to redo it all, I would have just shut up and fully trusted God’s timing in the first place. Isn’t that interesting, it’s always an “in retrospect” type of thing? Shout-out to my friends who watched me during the times where I could only be described as “desperate”. It’s quite defeating to reflect upon all of the silly first dates I attempted to go on in an effort to find a guy who would love me as Christ loves the church (Ephesians 5). I even attempted to tell myself that God did not design me for marriage as if using reverse psychology on God would work. I do look at who I used to be and she seems unrecognizable. I am not going to repeat all that I said in both my “Single & Secure” and “So, I’m Engaged” posts as I’ve definitely already overdone it but I will talk about the beauty that I found in being single.
I alluded to it earlier but Paul talks about the undivided attention that can come from singleness. Though technically I am single until my wedding day, even now Ben and I are slowly experiencing the busyness and divided attention that comes from being engaged. Our weekends are spent in premarital counseling, planning our wedding, and maybe one of those days we go on a date. I applaud the patience of my friends. I’ve been a bad friend and I have not been doing a good job keeping up with them. There are no excuses for that and I am convicted to do a better job. Anyway, let’s back up to March and when Ben and I were not together.
One of the most beautiful things about being single is you have all the time in the world to do whatever you want. I must give all credit to God because it was through His conviction rather than my logic, but I remember watching a sermon on singleness and it struck me, “Kira, you’re single. Go and take advantage of that. Use this time to work in God’s kingdom. What are you waiting for? Go.” And for my life specifically, that meant serving. Yes, it was great to spend hours reading the Bible and watching sermons, but what the heck am I doing to build community within the church? How am I using the time that God has given me? It seems intuitive to use the time to solely work on yourself and to grow as a person, and of course, you should, but what can we do for others. How are you, my Christian friends, working to build God’s kingdom?
I have always had a desire to serve through small groups and this goes back to what I said about shepherding, but my excuse was always, “I’ll do it after college and when I have more time.” But if I’m being honest, if I waited until after college, what happens when I am “too busy” with work? Christian and non-Christians, we all see this now. “I’ll start working out after high school”, “I’ll join a club after my first year”, “I’ll go back to church after midterms,” etc. How often do we actually follow through with these statements? It’s times like this where I am thankful that God remains true to His promises and wow how I am glad that I’m not God. So when it came to serving, why not do it now? What is my excuse? And to make it even better, if you’re single AND being fully supported by your family (in terms of food, finances, etc.), go and take advantage of it! You have all the time in the world, go and do something, Christian. What are you doing with your time? How are you spending your time? How much of it is for you and how much of it is for God?
Listen, if I am coming off as condemning rather than letting Jesus use me to convict, then I have failed. I am not trying to make you feel bad nor guilt-trip you into serving. That’s not what church is about. Jesus does emphasize the importance of rest. All I’m asking is for you to consider the beautiful gift of singleness, whether that’s for a season, several seasons, or more. Consider it and possibly take advantage of it. I wish I learned this sooner.
With God’s perfect timing, He provided that opportunity for me. Of course, this was not about me inspired by the Holy Spirit and reaching out. No, God knows my heart and my intentions. Instead, He used a mentor of mine to connect to me. She approached me and asked if I was willing to volunteer and help with small groups. I knew that’s where I was called to be at that moment. It fit the desires of my heart. It fit the “free time” I had, well, I could create. That’s where I was called to be.
Taking advantage of my singleness did not stop with just transforming my relationship with God, serving at my church, surrounding myself with the Bible and sermons, but it also allowed me to build deeper relationships with mentors and people in the faith. It is game-changing to have a community that loves Jesus and is willing to pour their life into you. Join a small group. Find a mentor and actually keep up with them. My prideful self often forgets the importance of receiving biblical wisdom in all areas of my life, especially from those who have been Christians for quite some time now. Little did I realize how helpful these mentors would be once I began dating again and as Ben and I walk through this season of engagement.
My only regret is not realizing this sooner. I wish I took advantage of my singleness sooner instead of using that time to mope around and be upset with God. There is beauty in singleness and I can say that while also telling you that there can be a lot of pain in singleness if you have a heart that desires marriage. I hear you. I feel you and I am not asking you to simply disregard any of those emotions. Feel them and healthily cope with them. Surround yourself with a community that loves Jesus and loves you. Let me remind you that this is a reflection of my own life. This is not me trying to explain why God has you single, in a relationship, married, or divorced in this very moment. This is solely me reflecting on the absolute perfect timing of Jesus. There is absolute beauty within singleness that the church skims over but I urge you to see it as a gift. Celebrate it. My only regret is not realizing it sooner. Marriage is not the end goal of Christianity. The love story of the Bible is about the love Jesus has for you.
You are created intentionally, made worthy, and loved fully. It is all through Jesus alone. I appreciate you taking the time to read this. May God continuously receive all the glory for everything that happens in my life and for the small chunk that I decide to write about.
“I want you to be free from the concerns of this life. An unmarried man can spend his time doing the Lord’s work and thinking how to please him. 33 But a married man has to think about his earthly responsibilities and how to please his wife. 34 His interests are divided. In the same way, a woman who is no longer married or has never been married can be devoted to the Lord and holy in body and in spirit. But a married woman has to think about her earthly responsibilities and how to please her husband. 35 I am saying this for your benefit, not to place restrictions on you. I want you to do whatever will help you serve the Lord best, with as few distractions as possible.” 1 Corinthians 7:32-35