People like to give well-meaning advice to single people. They think their nugget of wisdom is going to be THE nugget of wisdom that gets you a mate. There’s this idea that if you try this thing or that thing, that all of a sudden (like a heavenly magical trick) the man or woman of your dreams is going to show up. That’s always the hope, isn’t it? If I just do this one thing or change this one thing, then that person will come.
One such piece of advice I’ve received is that I need to “make time” for a man. I’m just too busy they say.
“Holly, you need to slow down if you want to have a relationship. How could someone possibly keep up?”
For a long time, I worried that maybe my plate was too full and maybe that was the reason I’m still single. I’m involved in directing camps, planning young adult events, writing (amazing) articles, chaperoning youth mission trips, and the list goes on and on. I don’t do them just to fill up my time. The things I have chosen to do — to write, to serve, to give — have been purposeful choices to live my life for God and the purposes He has for me.
My heart is set on running this race with my eyes set on the prize. It’s not always easy to keep going when there are distractions on the sidelines not going anywhere. I’m not looking for a spectator. I need someone running their race too. Someone just as devoted and focused on the prize as I am. There have been times in the past where I allowed the possibility of a relationship take me off course. I’ve wasted enough time before. I won’t be making that mistake again.
Hear me now: If he can’t keep up with me, he’s only going to slow me down. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
I will not be sitting around pining for a man. My time, my life, is too valuable — as is yours! Sure, it can get lonely running this race without a partner. Believe me, I understand that. I do want a partner, but I believe God has someone for me who will run alongside me in this adventure. He won’t be holding me back from the calling of the Lord, but will be a part of pushing me on when I feel like giving up. My hope is to be an encouragement for him as well.
These things will help us run the race with consistency while single until it’s time to run with someone:
1. Serving in an area of your passion
What are you passionate about? For me, it’s working with children and teens and letting them know they are loved, cared for and accepted. (I’m also passionate about naps, beards and chocolate, lest you think I’m super spiritual.) For you, it may be exercise and getting fit or working with animals at the local shelter. My dad is passionate about the outdoors. That is where he spends his time recharging and refueling. He’ll spend hours working in his garden in the summer, hiking in the fall, hunting in the winter and boiling maple syrup in the spring. He’s got an outdoor hobby for every season.
We’ve all got passions. Our passions allow us to use our talents and skills to do something we enjoy. This is especially important if you don’t particularly like your 9-5 job because you need to give yourself opportunities to do things you love. You’re passionate about those things for a reason, and they are a part of what makes you YOU.
2. Doing life with amazing friends
Spending time with friends is important for your sanity. I’m talking from experience. If it’s been an entire week since I’ve seen my BFF, I start to get depressed and play my emo station on Pandora. Spending time with friends doesn’t always have to be a glamorous weekend trip to a beach; it could just be playing Settlers of Catan in your living room with the AC on. Doing life with your friends doesn’t mean planning events as much as it means being present. There will be weeks where doing life looks a lot like sitting in a hospital waiting room with your best friend while her mom has emergency surgery. Other weeks, life will be sitting around a campfire eating s’mores and telling stories.
Be willing to live through life’s ups and downs with your friends — from the exciting to the mundane. Friends are what make life a bit more bearable when times are hard and a bit more wonderful when there’s reason to celebrate. We were never meant to do this life alone.
3. Working toward a goal
Is there something you’d like to accomplish? Maybe you want to run a marathon or finish a 5K. Maybe you want to write a book or take a trip. Maybe you want to lose a few pounds or you want to learn how to cook. Whatever it is your hoping to do and no matter how big or how small, go ahead and start working on it. Find ways to take practical steps toward meeting that goal. Find an accountability partner who is willing to check in with you and encourage you. Link up with others trying to accomplish a similar goal. If there’s something you’ve been wanting to do … do it!
Don’t let anyone or anything slow you down from pursuing the things of the Lord. The things you are doing for the Kingdom are of eternal value. They won’t rust or depreciate, but they’ll be jewels in the crown of our King. Anything less, isn’t worth it.
Keep on running the good race, friends!