Monday, 15 April 2013

Called To Be Single?

It feels like I'm taking a huge risk in writing this, but then again what's there to lose? It's not like I'm pouring my heart out to hundreds of people across the world. I had an interesting conversation yesterday that has sparked these thoughts. I was talking to a christian lady about being single; she had a very compelling story to tell. She has taken temporary vows to be single. Now, I have never heard of this before, so after enquiring she told me that it was an intermediate vow you took to committing to be single, before you made the final vow later; this is to give you time to test and make sure you have been called by God to be single. I guess you could liken it to the difference between getting engaged and getting married. 

She told me how when she was younger she desperately wanted to be married but nothing seemed to happen. Eventually she got to a point when she started to re-evaluate the concept of answered prayer. God always answers prayer; the answer is always yes, no or later. Often we only think that God has answered our prayer when the answer is yes. But maybe we would subject ourselves to significantly less grief if we accepted the answers of  no or later. Eventually she got to the point where she could ask the question "Has God called me to be single?" and now she is in the process of seriously testing this call.

There were a few things in her story that resonated with my and quite a lot that just put fear into my heart. I don't want to remain single and the thought of it scares me. I remember a few years ago, genuinely saying to God that if He wanted me to be single for the rest of my life then so be it. After I had given that over to God I felt a sense of joy. I look back at that event and kick myself; what if God actually does take me up on that offer, what have I done! But when I reflect on that event further I remember that my motivation and subsequent joy arose from my desire of wanting to submit everything in my life to God; even the most important things to me. I have often prayed to God that if He would call me to a life of singleness that He would give me peace about it and enable me to follow that path. I have not received that peace and so I have always taken this to mean that the answer is later. But then, maybe I am just trying to find a loophole,  maybe what happened all those years ago was a glimpse of what is to come. Only time will tell.

I do often try to figure out why I am single and I know that many of my single female friends have the same thoughts. The first thought is that is there something wrong with me. The next thought is am I being too fussy? After that, my mind wanders and thinks do I need to go somewhere where I am more likely to meet someone? The final thought that goes through my head is am I supposed to be single? I normally counteract all these thoughts by telling myself that what will happen will happen according to God's will; but it does feel like a bit of a cop out.

There is a possibility that I'm refusing to listen to an answer of no, but I don't feel I'm called to be single. I do desire to be a wife and a mother but the hope of that coming to pass is fading especially given my current circumstance. People say to me that I will get out of hospital and this will be over eventually but do I really know that for sure? I don't know what lies around the corner; I don't know how long I'm going to be in hospital for. I used to think that at least I will get a couple of weeks out between cycles but given the recent infection, I'm likely to miss my window out. But even when I do get out, I find it almost impossible to have a proper deep and meaningful conversation with anyone because there are so many people I want to talk to.

Singleness is often despised and mocked, but the truth is that being single is no less meaningful than being married. Taking a vow of singleness is just as binding as a vow of marriage. I don't know if the answer to my question is no or later but I can only pray for the courage to ask the question and be ready to accept the answer. It's not going to happen overnight, but I trust God to handle me with care and give me the faith and peace that I need for whatever lies ahead.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please leave your comments and questions here. Some people have had problems with this box so it might be worth saving your comment on a Word document first before you publish it in case it deletes it. Alternative ways to contact me are through Facebook and email on