Sooooo I’ve entered into an ever lively conversation about singleness. Now, I must admit I used to be the person who has always been in a relationship. If I were not in a relationship, I was talking to someone until I got into one. However, things changed drastically after I got out of along term relationship last year. Granted, at first my cycle picked up again: I went looking for someone to occupy my time (i.e waste my time). Eventually I got tired of having my time wasted because I desperately wanted to be in a relationship. However, needless to say, that didn’t happen and I wasted much of my 2015 in tears.
So, in 2016 I decided to stop allowing others to waste my time and start to adamantly wait on God to send a relationship when he saw fit. This is no walk in the park, especially for someone accustomed to steering her life. However, it has saved me a lot of tears thus far and has also given me a clearer perspective on life and my worth.
Here are some things that I’ve been doing to stay productively busy while waiting:
- First and foremost waiting is not a passive act. In fact it is very much an active act. Waiting does not mean that you sit by and look out the window singing the sun will come out tomorrow. No, you have to do work! Work starts with you. Take inspection of your life. Examine the actions that have gotten you to this point and work to change them. For me, I grew up in a family of dominant black single mothers. Naturally, I can be outspoken and controlling. My task has been to practice relinquishing control as well as maintaining my mouth. Because the women in my family have fierce words, I have some of the same traits. Proverbs 14:1 says that a wise woman builds her house, but a foolish woman tears it down with her own hands. Well my own hands would be my mouth.
- Financial freedom. Now this might not be everyone’s struggle but it is definitely one of mines. I generally like to shop and my tastes aren’t very cheap. Ultimately, overtime I’ve accrued some debt that is unnecessary. So, take this time to get out of debt because it can be embarrassing. Also, think about it: when you’re married, your debt becomes your spouses debt, right? So, do you really want to share that you are financially irresponsible? I mean I wouldn’t. Especially if you have debt from student loans. Romans 13:8 says let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another. So lets go ahead and do what we have to do. Now, if you aren’t in debt maybe you can start to save money towards your future or start investing.
- Live healthy. So, in my singleness I’ve started to workout about 4-6times a week. At first the gym was such a chore but overtime it has become a necessity. In addition to gym time I also try to cook more. Now, I know the 21st century women are adamant about being career oriented and I’m not saying you should be Betty Crocker but you do need to know how to survive. Eating is such a necessity and cooking is a stress reliever, it helps you become more creative, and it’s just a good skill to have. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 tells us that our body is a temple of the Holy Spirit. Don’t you want your temple in good shape?
- Educate yourself. Now if you’re like me and in school, education is a task within itself. Sometimes it is tiresome. However, if you’ve finished school or just don’t have time, you can self-educate. There are plenty books out there for you! You don’t have to sit in a classroom to learn, you learn everyday.The bible reminds us in Ecclesiastics 7:12 that the protection of wisdom is like the protection of money, and the advantage of knowledge is that wisdom preserves the life of him who has it. There’s nothing wrong with picking up a book and reading.
- Speaking of reading and knowledge, this is a great time to delve deeper into the word of God. In Psalm 119:105 is says that the word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. How will you know which direction to take, which mate to choose, which position to take if you don’t read the word? Now, when I first started reading the bible I would fall asleep on it because it was boring. However, I soon found out that the bible is better than reality tv, literally. Seriously though, if you want to live a life leasing to God, you have to know how, and it guidelines are in the book. In the past, my friends and I would comment that there’s no rule book to relationships, however we were sadly mistaken. The reason we felt this way was because we disqualified the bible…it is THEE rule book.
- Develop your prayer life. Now, sometimes my prayer life consists of venting about things I feel are unfair then I would get up. However, I learned that prayer is not a monologue but a dialogue. So instead of unloading on God and getting up, I would wait for him to answer. And, if I were focused enough he would answer clearly, speaking in a still voice that only I were aware of. This drastically changed my prayer life honestly. I didn’t have to wait for an intercessor to pray, nor wait days for a response, generally I get it right on the spot. The bible says in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 to pray without ceasing. Now this doesn’t mean every second of the day, but to include God. Sometimes I pick up in a dialogue with God about something that crossed my mind and keep going about my day. While others may think that I am talking to myself, I am talking to my father.
- Learn a hobby. So, this is something fairly new for me. I bought a guitar in January and started to teach myself to play slowly. However, it is definitely a task. While I don’t have a scripture for it, I believe it is a great thing to do. So, when I get bored with my time and start to get down about not having a companion, I’ll commit my time to my guitar.
- Volunteer. In a world consumed with attention to the self, it is good to help other people. Honestly, I was appalled that they came out with a selfie stick because it reiterated the selfishness of our hearts. Needless to say, I refuse to buy one. How many times have you been in a relationship with a selfie stick mentality, seeking what someone could do for you? Philippians 2:4 tells us to look not only to our own interests but the interests of others. SO many relationships are destroyed due to selfishness. We cannot be so consumed with ourselves, thinking we are God’s gift to the world. Sisters we are called to be helpmeets, meaning you have to learn how to help. So, get out of you feelings, feeling some type of way, and add value to someone else.
- Validate. Now, this seems to be an easy one. However, it’s not. And, many people who do it generally do it falsely. For instance, if I just got out of a relationship and I see my ex-boo with some one else, I’ll probably be petty. I’ll try to critique her based on my attributes, I’ll draw attention to everything she is not but secretly I’m just hating. When you’re hurting, it’s easy to camouflage pain with confidence. You’re not confident you’re salty! Validation means sitting in your truth, acknowledging you’re broken and doing the necessary steps to recover. In essence, during this time, you are validating yourself to yourself. Knowing that you are enough and not having to broadcast it. I love Colossians 3:10 which says put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. When you know whose you are, you will know who you are. You are fearfully and wonderfully made!
- Travel. Ok, so because I’m a Phd student I have to travel a lot for academic conferences, right. This summer I’m going to Amsterdam to conduct research. I didn’t have to consult anyone about my pursuits. Nor did I have to make provisions. I was able to go because I’m single. Being able to travel on a whim is great. However, we have such a negative mindset on singleness that we miss the beauty of its freedom. Now, don’t get me wrong, I do want a mate, but I also want to complete the tasks that God has for me now. If I rush to get into a relationship whose life am I devaluing my attempting to short-circuit my process? Go see the beauty go God’s creation and one way you’ll look up and your mate will be standing right in front of you, in God’s timing.
Remember, your trials are not all about you boo, they are actually about someone else and God is using you to one day save them. How many people are you risking by trying to satisfy our selfish desires. Be content with your portion and you will be trusted with more.
Peace and love sistahs!