For the the majority of my 38 years I have been single and it has been a love/hate relationship with myself to say the least. Fresh out of high school I enrolled in a Christian college and found myself expecting to find the man of my dreams along with a ring on my finger by graduation. Looking back I realize that I wasted valuable time and energy chasing, yes I admit it CHASING, after boys in hopes of fulfilling my desire for a happily ever after story book romance. For all my efforts I was left in my mid-twenties in a place of loneliness and disappointment. While residing in this dark place, I attempted to find community within the church, in hopes that I would find something to fill the void that was this status of single. I bounced around from church to church always hoping to find that one place where their would be others like me or people who would embrace me just as I was, single.
As I began to approach a new decade in life, I found myself back in community with a church that welcomed me. My restlessness began to fade. I wasn't searching for a place to belong. I was no longer just the single girl. I was Susan. The ironic part is that this church was the very same community of believers that had embraced me as a teenager, it was home. Within this church I not only found community but identity. I became a friend and a sister, a teacher and a leader. I shared life with them and they shared life with me. I also finally allowed the saving grace of God to change me and I began to finally see my worth in His eyes and not in my status, whatever that was to be.
Recently I read a blog by Karina Kreminski (You can read it Here). Karina talked about ways in which we need to be more "inclusive of singles" and how we need to rethink the conversation of singleness within the church. I found myself nodding in agreement the whole time I was reading and wanted to shout Amen a few times. From families needing singles as much as singles needing families to the DNA stamp of community on all our lives, Karina nailed it.
The church needs to wake up and realize that the single girl in her twenties or the thirty something man in the pew next to the family of four, are equally vital to the life of the church. From the new born to the elderly adult, the church is the people not a building or a program. We are community, the body of Christ. I love cuddling a new born, hearing and seeing pictures from teens about their latest life experience and listening to the wisdom of those who have walked this faith journey far longer than me. I believe we all personally and spiritually thrive on sharing life together.
Singleness is not a curse or something to be fixed, it is a blessing. Let those in your church who are in a season or a lifetime of singleness know that they are a blessing to you and you will find that you are a blessing to them.
"They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer." ~ Acts 2:42 (NASB)
photo credit: Entrance to a crypt via photopin (license)