I was extremely excited when Amanda agreed to write a guest post, because I couldn't wait to hear from the perspective of another single single lady! She definitely went above and beyond, and I especially relate to cringing at the idea of being good at being single. This post is so packed full of goodness, you just might have to read it a few times... which is totally what I did too!
Alright, here is the God’s honest truth: whenever I’m asked to write, or speak, or I feel God calling me to talk about the single life I cringe a little. Sometimes, I cringe a lot. Why is He calling me to write about this or speak about it? Does He think I’m an expert at it? I don’t want to be an expert on the single life! If I somehow became an expert on the single life or got really good at being single, there would be a very real danger of me wanting to stay single and happy forever. Besides, why would I want to change my way of life if I became an expert at being single? God calls us to relationship, both romantic and non-romantic in nature. Does that mean you are a failure if you aren’t in a romantic relationship? Not for a second. It means that God is preparing your heart for the exact purpose He created you for.
Suffice it to say that I get it. Being single isn’t always easy. Some days (especially around the holidays) it can be difficult, lonely, and tiring. More than once I’ve found myself asking God why I’m single and why He has called me here. I can clearly remember asking God that question when I was in college. The conversation between me and God went something like this…
Me: God. I’m in the prime of my youth. I’m in college. I’m even at a Catholic college. Where are all the good guys? Why am I not dating anyone? Why won’t you send me a boyfriend? I want someone to love. I demand someone to love and someone who will love me. Get on it.Sounds like a pretty one-sided conversation, right? I wish I could say that I gave God a chance to answer. I did, for about five seconds, but when His answer was anything different than what I was asking for (which it was) then I stopped listening. When I stopped listening, I started trying to make things happen for myself. I went out. I partied. I hung out with the not-so-Catholic-boys (and I do mean boys). In the end, I was nowhere near where I wanted to be. I was settling for cheap imitations of love, and deep, deep, deep down, I knew it.
Eventually, I turned back to God and opened my ears and my heart to hear His answer, “Not yet my child, not yet.”
Did that answer break my heart? Not at all. I knew I wasn’t ready.
Since then I’ve been in exactly two serious relationships. Neither of them was perfect and they both ended in heartbreak. With the last relationship, I became so convinced that we were going to get married that I stopped praying about it. I stopped praying about the relationship, instead I only ever prayed for the relationship. There is a difference, and that is a lesson I’ve taken to heart. Since that relationship ended I’ve learned to pray both for and about a relationship before I enter into and once I’m in it. If I feel that He isn’t calling me somewhere then I don’t go there, period. I know that it only leads to heartache.
Today, His answer is still the same, “Not yet my child, not yet.” His answer isn’t a flat-out no, it is a simple but loving “not yet.” I’ve learned to wait on Him, to wait for His lead. By learning to wait for Him, I’m learning to love Him more deeply. By loving Him, who is Love, I learn how to love. I’ve also committed myself to a few things:
Prayer. This takes many different forms. I’ve committed myself to being a prayer warrior for my future husband. I offer up Rosaries for him, Mass for him, and my daily struggles. Whenever I feel lonely or wish he would just show up already, I offer a prayer for him. I write to him. I pray for him specifically and intentionally. I pray for his purity, for his heart, for his openness to the Lord, I pray for him to imitate Jesus and St. Joseph. I can’t tell you how strong I feel as a woman to be able to pray for my future husband now.
More prayer. When my last serious relationship ended I decided that I had to stop being lazy in my spiritual life. I had to stop waiting on a man to be the spiritual leader in my life because the truth is that I already have a Man in my life who is the greatest spiritual leader I could hope for. I decided to go to daily Mass twice a week. Then it was three times a week. Then four. Then five. For months now I’ve been going to Mass every day of the week, with the occasional exception of Saturdays. It keeps me close to His heart, close to Love, grounded and focused on my purpose in life: to serve Him, receive His love and share it with the world.
I find comfort and strength in Jesus. It sounds cheesy and cliché, but it couldn’t be truer. I do my best to fall more deeply in love with Him, and in so doing, I pray that He would soften my heart and teach me to love as He loves: unconditionally and without reserve, regardless of whether I’m single or not.
“Let the root of love be within, of this root can nothing spring but what is good.” – St. Augustine
Amanda is a single, Catholic woman who lives out in Denver, CO. She works as a youth minister, blogs over at worthy of Agape, writes for Ignitum Today and The Papist, oh, and she wrote a book (which she should hear about any day now...)! If she manages to find any free time, she likes to hike, explore the mountains, play golf, and plan out her Sunday attire so she can show the world what she wore on Sunday! She also wants to come clean with everyone, and admit that she doesn't eat green foods except cucumbers, pickles, honeydew, and kiwi. Someone brought green jello to the party? Nope, she will not be having any of that! (Don't worry, I'll bit the bullet and eat the green jello...) Can't get enough of Amanda? Check out her other writings, and come back for more guest posts coming soon!