This past week has been great, despite how late I’ve been staying up these past few days. Last couple of weeks of freshman year in college will do that to ya. But I’ve had such great interactions with my friends, having lunch/dinner/Starbucks dates with several of them, working out with my best friend, and staying up until 2am at the Yellow Deli with a few other people (oh boy, never again :P. That’s probably a lie though…).
I’ve been through so many changes this year, as I’ve mentioned before. I’m definitely not who I was when I was in high school. There’s been so much growth and change in me and in my friends. God has been so gracious to open our eyes and to teach us so many things. Sometimes it took trials to get our attention and to turn us back toward Him, but I am thankful that we have that option: to run back into His arms and ask for forgiveness.
Well, lately, I’ve been struggling with contentment, mostly relating to me being single. Yes, I know, “I’m only eighteen” and “I’m only going to be a sophomore in college.” “I have my WHOLE life ahead of me,” many people say, and “I should just enjoy being single because that’s where the good life is at.”
I’ve heard all of this said to me many a time, and after some situations that have happened to me, I agree with it. Yeah, it’s easy to be single. I don’t have to wonder where my boyfriend is, who he is with, what he’s doing, if he’s going to text me like he said he would, and I don’t have issues of balancing spending time with him and spending time with my friends. I’m living the simple, single life: I worry about where I’m going, what I’m doing, who I’m going to hang out with.
But dang…the single life is not only simple…but lonely. I mean, I’m not saying that I’m completely lonely because shoot, I have God, I have my friends, I have my family. But even though I’m having a great time with all of them, I can’t help but wonder and imagine what it would be like to have a significant other in my life. I think of what he might look like, how he might act, all the sweet things he could say to me. I think of where and when we’d meet and how we would become friends and slowly realize that there’s more than just a friendship we have.
It’s just been a struggle. I look at all the friends that I have who are in relationships and there seems to be so much joy there. So many smiles, laughs, sweet gestures…I’d love to have all of those things.
I’m not saying that I think being in a relationship is the basis of my joy, but I can’t help but think that I’d be even more joyful if I had a boyfriend, someone who loved me for me.
Through the struggle, though, there’s been such encouragement.
I went to the dentist yesterday for a cleaning. I usually hate the dentist: all the tools they put in your mouth, sometimes the weird tasting toothpaste, and the nurse and dentist always asking you questions as they’re all up in your mouth and expecting an answer from you. (“So, how’ve you been lately?” “Aahh beeh gooh.” “I’m sorry, what was that?” “Aahh beeh gooh!” REALLY?! How do you expect us to answer if your fingers are pressing my tongue down?!)
But yesterday completely changed my outlook on going to the dentist.
I’d gone to my first appointment to this new dentist last October and the nurse I had then (Leah) was so sweet. She didn’t make things awkward; she was actually interested in my life, but didn’t ask me questions when her hands or her tools where in my mouth; and she was so talkative and open about her life, and I LOVED hearing about pieces of her story. So great.
So, in October, we talked about me going to Covenant, some of the boys that went there and how they were cute, her dog, how she loves to run, my major, what I want to do with my life after college, her church, my church, I mean the topics switched so many times with such smooth transitions. Our conversation made me forget that I was at the dentist’s office. We’d also talked about how she was 34-years-old and still single, but how she was content with it. She lived in a house on the mountain with her dogs, and she loved every moment of life being a nurse at the dentist office and running with her dogs when she got home. I absolutely loved her in the 20-30 minute time we had with each other.
Fast forward to yesterday. I stepped into her little room and hopped in her chair. I looked at her and vaguely remember seeing her before. But then she started talking and we remembered that we’d seen each other just 6 months before, and we relayed that so many things in both of our lives have changed.
The main thing, though, that had changed in her life was that she had a boyfriend. I was so excited and curious as to how they met and when and where. So she relayed her story to me and I ate up every little detail and exclaimed how happy I was for her.
What she said to me after telling me how great he was, how amazingly well they clicked, and how he always beats her at Words with Friends was along the lines of this: “Honey, I was perfectly content with being single. And then he just came along, we became good friends, and we’ve been together ever since.”
That just totally encouraged me. She was content in being single…for 34 freakin years! I sat back as she cleaned my teeth and thought to myself, “Could I be content being single for that long? Was my heart capable of that?”
I thought it was so amazing how Leah wasn’t even looking for a guy. She wasn’t constantly trying to meet up with guys. She just lived her life, and at the right time and right place, God placed this guy in her life. It encouraged me to see that, even after that many years, hope of being in a relationship isn’t hopeless, and if it’s in God’s perfect timing, it will be the perfect relationship!
It made me think about what Pastor Frank said this past Sunday in church…
Pastor Frank spoke about Hannah in 1 Samuel and how she so desperately wanted a child. She was being teased by her husband’s other wife, Penninah, about not having children and it was probably a daily struggle to see all of Penninah’s little ones running around. Elkanah, her husband, loved Hannah so much and gave her a double portion of the meat offering they gave every year because he knew she was barren. But despite the love of her husband, she was still unsatisfied.
Finally, Hannah fell on her knees and cried out to God for a son. She sobbed as she whispered her prayer aloud. God, if you give me a son, I promise I’ll give him back to You all the days of his life! she whispered.
Pastor Frank pointed out that as soon as Hannah’s motives matched God’s motives, God moved. As soon as Hannah prayed her prayer and offered her burden to the Lord, He gave her a son, whom she did give back to the Lord like she promised.
That part of the message encouraged me so much. If I could just remember to daily surrender my heart and my capabilities and my troubles and worries to God and ask Him to help my motives match His, things will be so much greater. It doesn’t mean God’s going to give me a guy as soon as I do it, but I will be more patient and understanding as I wait for God’s timing. Who knows how long it will take. For Leah it was 34 years. And she’s happier than she’s ever been now. So, daily praying that my motives will match God’s motives is a great big step I need to take.
And, of course, encouraging conversations with my friends has helped me sort out my feelings and thoughts through this struggle for contentment.
I’ve been to Starbucks three times this week haha. Can’t get enough java chip frapps and venti iced coffees! (^^) And so many encouraging things have been told to me as we’ve sat at corners in Starbucks and also after dates at Starbucks.
One of my friends made me realize that yes, there are good things about relationships, but there are also frustrations and struggles that go along with it. After hearing what she had to say about the problems that occurred in relationships occasionally, I was inspired to really start praying for people in relationships. Yes, I can be envious of those people because they have something that I don’t have. But they go through different issues even in having a significant other, and it’s hard, as I’ve been told. The focus shifted from me and how sad and lonely it is to be single to those who are in relationships and have good and bad moments. My ungratefulness got in the way of me praying for those who struggle in relationships. It’s good to have my eyes opened to that and to really strive to care for and be happy for those people, despite my jealous heart sometimes.
Another friend of mine reminded me that our time and God’s time are on opposite sides of the spectrum. Our time requires the here and now; we want what we want HERE AND NOW. God, on the other hand, has a specific and perfect plan, and He knows exactly when, where, and who will come along in our lives. He doesn’t think, “On June 6th, 2013, at 4:21pm, Mishy will bump into this guy at the Walmart parking lot by accident…” although He does know if that is the scenario in which I will meet my future husband.
My friend told me that He thinks of it more like, “In this particular moment in the span of this person’s life is when this will happen.”
It just brings me so much joy in remembering that God has something great for me in the future. My jealous and ungrateful heart do get in the way of me remembering that He knows all and that the only reason I have hope is because of Him.
I’ve had great times being single. So much joy, peace, and comfort in all of my moments. There are, however, still those moments of loneliness, jealousy, and hopelessness sprinkled throughout. But after learning so many things about relationships (the good, the bad, and the ugly); being encouraged by my friends and pastor; and just reminding myself that I need to daily pray for people in relationships, surrender my heart and mind and, well, EVERYTHING to God, and dwell on how good He is, and how good His will and plan for my life are as well.
Please pray as I strive for a content heart in this single life I’m living right now. Yes, I’ll be praying for people in relationships, but I’ll also be praying for those who are struggling just as I am to be content with what we have and who we have. Let us all lift one another up in this time of our lives, and also strive to have our motives match God’s motives.
The weekend is practically HERE! I hope and pray that God will give you a restful weekend! I’ve got 4 days of classes left and FINAL EXAMS START NEXT FRIDAY. So crazy!
Hugs to all! (>^^)> Y’all are loved so much!!!!
*~.Mishy.~* (^^) ❤