The season of singleness

Ring by spring. Oh the many times I have heard that. On my campus the joke is ring by spring your junior year. We are nicknamed Southwest Bridal College. We have two gazebos; the break up gazebo and the engagement gazebo. You could say that the talk of love is always in the air.

I am going into my junior year of college and I am single. I guess I won’t be receiving the most anticipated ring by spring and I am definitely okay with that.

Everyone seems to have this idea in their heads that by the time you graduate college you have to have your life together; you have to be good at this whole being an adult thing. You need the perfect job and the perfect person that you are going to spend your life with right after you walk across that stage.

Sometimes I think that people look at singleness as a negative thing. You’re supposed to be unhappy and lonely if you don’t have that one person that makes you complete.

This is bull crap.

Singleness is a gift.

Now don’t get me wrong. I am so excited for the day that I can walk down the aisle in a beautiful white dress, but for now I am using this time as a learning tool.

Singleness is the only time that you can be selfish and do what is best for yourself. It is a time of self-growth and discovery. This is the time that you can find what you are looking for in a partner. To make yourself worthy of this person. To better yourself.

Use this time to find yourself. What makes you, you. Your passion. Use this time to realize what you deserve and what you need.

Singleness shouldn’t be looked upon with negativity. This is a moment that should be used with gratitude not sadness.

Being single is only a season.

And it is a season worth the journey.

 

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Do all in love

Let all that you do be done in love.

What a powerful statement, yet I think as Christians many of us fail at this daily. Sometimes it is so hard to show love, especially when the person isn’t always the most desirable to be around or you’ve had a bad day.

But listen. Those are God’s words.

1 Corinthians 16:13 & 14 states, “Be on your guard; stand firm in your faith; be men of courage; be strong. Do everything in love.”

Do everything in love.

That doesn’t mean when it’s convenient for you or when you feel like it. It doesn’t mean with your friends or family. It means to everyone all of the time.

I often find myself struggling with this all the time. I like to think of myself as a genuinely nice person, but sometimes I lose sight of how I am supposed to treat people. It’s hard sometimes. I could give you at least ten different people’s names that just rub me the wrong way. This doesn’t just give me the right to treat them in an unloving manner. I need to show compassion and love.

God calls us to be Christ like (1 John 2:6 as well as many other places in the Bible). Obviously, there is never going to be a time that any of us are perfect like Christ was when he was on earth, but we definitely should do our best. Christ showed us grace and compassion, love and acceptance. We should be showing these things to everyone else.

 

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Joy

I have been struggling with this word lately. Like really struggling. Joy is something that I have always thought I had, but I have realized that I was wrong. Oh so wrong. I have been confusing joy and happiness this whole time. Happiness is situational. Happiness is here one minute and gone the next. Joy is the exact opposite. 

Joy is contentment. Contentment in any situation, good or bad.

Lately, as I am getting older, certain seasons of my life have been changing and others have been sticking around, whether I want them to or not. I have noticed that I am becoming less content with certain things and I have been a little frustrated. Often times this happens because I think that I can achieve joy on my own, in reality that is not even close to possible. 

Finding the joy in different circumstances is not always the easiest thing to do. I think that this is something that is really important to understand. The only way to find joy and to be joyful in any situation is through God. There is no way to do that on your own, no matter how hard you try.

He didn’t promise us happiness, he promised us joy.

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. James 1:2-3

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More love, less hate

Tolerance, acceptance, forgiveness, understanding. These are words that I have been using since I can remember, but oh man is it hard to display these easily understood syllables.

Why has it become this difficult?

I believe that we truly live in a day that people care more about themselves than others. Do I have enough? Am I satisfied? All we seem to notice is our needs.

My friends, this is very, very sad.

There is too much hate and unjust in this world to be like this. There have been too many devastating events happening around us to continue down this catastrophic road.

Just because someone is different, it doesn’t make them evil. Just because someone believes something different, it doesn’t make them a horrible person. Just because someone looks different, it doesn’t mean you can’t be friends.

We should be tolerant of differences. We should accept everyone. We should forgive. We should show understanding. We should do these things despite the differences.

Everyone deserves love.

Everyone should show love.

Why is hate such an easy thing to detour to? We need to stop taking the easy path and take the path less traveled.

I think we would all be happier.

We would be happier if we showed happiness.

And love.

Like a wise person once said, “Build bridges, not walls. Make love, not war. Spread positivity, not hate. Live life, be happy.”

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You are loved

God loves you.

I know you’ve heard this thousands and thousands of times, but have you really thought about it? Have you really taken the time to let it sink in that God loves you? Not only does He love you, but his love is unconditional and without limitations.

How cool is that?

“This is my son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased,” (Matthew 3:17).

Did you hear that?

Girls, look at that verse again. Cross out son and replace it with daughter. Cross out him and replace it with her.

This is my daughter, whom I love; with her I am well pleased.

You are loved.

Did you know that God loves you no matter what? No matter what your sin may be or have been, he will or has forgiven it and moved on. No matter if it was sex before marriage or that time you cheated on that really hard Calc test, he still loves you.

Sometimes I think that we let the sin take over our lives and we listen to Satan telling us that we are not good enough and we forget that love.

Look at it this way, in John, God sent his son to die for our sins. OUR sins. Not just her sins or his sins, our sins. Can you imagine being in God’s shoes and loving a group of people so much, that he gave up is one and only son? Imagine how hard that would be.

This just shows you how infinite and how much you are loved by God.

Even when we feel undeserving or unlovable, God is going to wrap you up and pour into you. When you don’t feel good enough or like you’ve done enough to earn his love, he is going to love you. God is a good, good Father*. He is going to love you unconditionally and even in your most unlovable, broken moments.

Repeat this after me: I am so loved by God.

 

*Good Good Father by Chris Tomlin

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