August 1, 2017


Photo by Austin Schmid on Unsplash
Last August, I took a leap of faith and chose a year of intentional singleness. It was a fear and prayer-filled decision made after a break-up and came with a desperate desire for healing and change.

It's been a year. 365 days. 52 weeks. And from the outside, very little has changed in my life. I have the same job, same hope for marriage, and same hairstyle, too. But I know that my heart and soul have not only healed but aged about ten years in those twelve months. Quite honestly, it's been the best year of my life. They say you learn a lot about yourself in your twenties and I know for a fact that this year brought about the most learning and growth I've had to date.

With intentional singleness, my hope was to grow in my faith, cooking skills, confidence, and independence. At the time, I had no idea that these goals would also become my greatest challenges. Not only did I find myself learning and growing, but I found each goal to hold a challenge and lots of humbling moments, too.

Last August, I was terrified choosing singleness would cause me to lose interest in marriage altogether. I was worried that I'd remain single for the rest of my life--which, looking back, is a critical sign that singleness is what I needed most in that moment. I was afraid that I'd miss out on meeting my future husband and was also afraid to date again and open myself up to somebody. And I was worried that I wouldn't gain anything during this season of my life except for impatience and frustration.

But God had other plans in mind. Funny enough, I now feel the most content about my singleness than I have in my entire life. My desire for marriage is still there, but it's no longer an idol. I'm still single, but I no longer see it as the biggest identifier in my life. It may be a part of me, but I no longer let it define me. I'm more than just a relationship status.

I've gone make-up free and learned more about skincare (and my skin thanks me). I realized I was addicted to busyness and work and have been humbled as I learn more about self-care.  And I've found a newfound faith that I've always had, but didn't prioritize. God's placed words like redemption, freedom, confidence, and trust in my heart. And I've found myself living more (especially this past month) than I have in a long time.

But I've also cried numerous tears, prayed out of pain and loneliness and desperation, and doubted His goodness. I've thought about exes, worried about my future, and second-guessed past decisions. Just a few nights ago, I tearfully prayed, asking Him why I was still hung up on the past and what the future holds (newsflash: it's not for me to know). I realized I'm stubborn, scared of letting go, and fearful of the future. So yes, I've still got a lot of work left to do. This year has not been an easy one--but I still believe it's been a good one.

I say these things not to boast, but to remind myself (and you) that sometimes the hardest things, the greatest mountains, or the biggest challenges in our lives are worth it. That there's hope that comes with the rising of the sun. And that there's pain, but there's also healing. And that God's got bigger plans for you. Bigger and more perfect plans than you'll ever write up and hope for.

Singleness is not a waiting season. Singleness is not an identity. Singleness is not an excuse to pity someone. Singleness is not a bad thing. It's a hard thing, but the challenge in and of itself is not bad.

Singleness is, however, an opportunity and an adventure. It's the season that everyone tosses aside but that holds some of the greatest treasures if you take the time to discover them. It's the season worth savoring. And it's the season that I'm living in and want to continue growing in, too.

So with another year on the horizon, my goals for this upcoming year are to welcome rest with open arms, to pursue bigger dreams(!), continue to be humbled, and remain steadfast in Him.

I want to continue to grow and learn--because that's how you move forward.

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© IN ITS TIMEMaira Gall