Discernment, Personal Growth, Self Care

What does God want from You in your Single Season?

what-does-god-want-from-you-in-your-single-season

Did you know that your single season is the most important season of your life? That how you live it has the potential to set you up for a future of hope, clarity, authenticity, courage, and excellence, or frustration, confusion, difficulty, depression, and hardship in every other season thereafter? Most singles seem to think that God’s primary plan for their current season involves figuring out their relationship status as quickly as possible, but this couldn’t be any more distracting from the truth. If you are spending your single season worrying about when, how, or if it will end, you are missing out on one of the most incredibly valuable sources of untapped potential in human existence.

Think I’m exaggerating??

Guess you’ll have to find out….

What is “your single season”?

If you are at all in doubt about what I mean when I say “single season”, let me just quickly define it… It is any period of your life where you are not in a committed/permanent romantic relationship, whether it be:

  • Natural ie. simply because you are young (we are all born single, you know)
  • Intentional – ie. your bachelor uncle “livin’ up the unencumbered life
  • Chronic – ie. you just can’t seem to find or maintain a relationship despite your best efforts
  • or Tragic, ie. abandonment, betrayal, divorce, death, etc…

Even if you are active in the “dating scene”, you are still in this incredibly valuable Single Season.

It is my hope, however, if you are currently in this single season, that you have the courage to let Him touch your heart, that you may realize Him as the Source of all the love you long for so that you can begin to value your Single-hood even more than your dating life and come to know peace in your season.

We all need a single season

Single and Desperate

So many singles look at their life and feel somehow “less than”? They spend their nights torturing themselves with questions and conjectures about how,

  • Maybe I am single because I am unlovable?
  • All my friends are in relationships, it’s not fair that I am so lonely!
  • God must not love me because He hasn’t blessed me with a significant other (like “everybody” else)
  • Is my work is “less valuable”, less motivating, less fulfilling, because I don’t have a family to do it for?
  • If I have no relationship I have no purpose…
  • {Insert worries here}

Don't wish away your single season

The Value of Your Single Season

Spending your days and nights needed and wanted of course has its perks, but don’t wish away your single state. You have one extremely valuable attribute that almost no one else has… and it’s not freedom/independence!

Do you know which one I’m thinking of??

Well, I am going to keep you in suspense just a second longer.

Maybe you have a question: What if your single season is unexpected? Unintentional? Does this mysterious attribute still apply then? Does it matter if your situation is tragic, unjust, or unwanted? What if your self-esteem is crushed and your mental and emotional health in a questionable state? Does this attribute apply if you are calloused, bitter or angry about your single-ness?

Yep!

That’s the good news!

The quality of the single state that we are talking about is objective and universal and applies regardless of whether your single status is unwitting or as natural as being single because you’re still young. It also does not rely on income, social status, or profession. It is universal, and absolutely PRICELESS!

It is TIME

If you are single, it’s straight up objective fact that you have more time to use as you please than a person with marital or familial duties. This is hands down the single most valuable attribute of your current state in life and yet so often its the thing we either hate or waste the most.

            Boredom

                       Loneliness

                                   Irresponsibility

                                                      Self-pity

Why do we continue to adopt time-sucks as if they were “positive” and “healthy” pursuits?

For example:

  • Mindless flirtation, constant daydreaming, and/or actively pursuing a significant other
  • Purposeless friendships and/or popularity contests
  • Excessive focus on what other people think of you / manipulating perceptions
  • Adopting pets
  • Binging on entertainment

Even the “responsible people” in your life (especially your friends in relationships tell you):

  • Do it now while you have time
  • YOLO” (or You Only Live Once)
  • Seize the day
  • ‘Enjoy life’ while you can.

Ever seen the T-shirt with the wedding emoji on it, and the words “GAME OVER” (in true video game style) underneath?

 Oh the sword that pierces my being when I see/hear these!!!

Dear sweet, single soul,

If you only knew what a treasure you possess. This is your moment. This IS your opportunity.

This is your moment!

God “not giving you” your significant other, isn’t because He doesn’t love you, but rather precisely because He so desperately loves you that He is using this time, these precise moments, to call you to Himself.

This is your chance to find out who you are, to press in and discover the God who made you and how He is pouring into your life. This is your time to learn how to be at peace in silence and stillness (when true obligations aren’t crying for your attention every 5 minutes). It’s your opportunity to learn how to take care of yourself, eat healthy and work out, learn how to dress and how to pray (because let’s face it, my friend, these are art forms that don’t necessarily come naturally.)

When a child is born it knows literally nothing, (except the sound of its Mother’s voice), which means that throughout its life it must learn literally everything.  Don’t get angry with yourself over not knowing things! Your mother was never angry with you for having to learn to walk or how to talk, or even how to breathe in those first moments of your life, in fact, watching you learn those things are the sweetest, most precious memories she has of you and with you.

So stop getting down on yourself for the things you do not know, this is your season to LEARN!!! THEN, once you have responsibilities that place truly urgent demands on your time, necessary skills like budgeting, cleaning, shopping, cooking, and meal planning won’t seem so entirely impossible. In fact, maybe they could even be so habitual that they will seem effortless. Trust me, you will need all the energy you can muster for dedication and focus in your next stage of life, no matter what it is.

If that’s not huge already, we have still barely even touched on the best part.

The literal, number one, biggest reason that time is your biggest asset in your single season is because you can make time for prayer.

The biggest excuse people give for not praying (besides not knowing how) is not having time.

This is your moment!

Whether you feel prepared or not. Whether your singleness is your choice or not, you are single right now and that means He is calling you, calling you to Himself!

 My sheep know my voice, He says (John 10:27)

Do we know the voice of the Lord? Do we recognize Him? Have we spent enough time with Him through His Word and through the Sacramental Life to let Him simply seep into our soul and become an inseparable art of who we are?

Likely not.

When we are single we often don’t feel the sense of urgency to prepare ourselves for the rest of our lives but this is exactly the purpose of the single season. Even if we are preparing ourselves to remain single forever, (which I’m not saying is going to happen) what better time to prepare than when we have the time?!?

God is using this season.

He has a purpose for every moment. He is using your loneliness to draw you to Himself so that you realize that He can, and will, and DOES truly fill you. When your soul is screaming for love, recognize it. Use it. Channel that powerful desire and run to Him. BEG Him to fill you, to show Himself to you, to teach you what you need to know and the path that He has set for you.

In this your most precious single season, I want to challenge you to seek only one thing:

Him.

Yes, live life. Do your studies. Excel, in fact! Go to work, provide for your needs, learn your trade, master your craft, hone your basic life skills. You need these, and all of these things bring you closer to Him.

So, how much time exactly?

I’m going to say something now that will likely scare you to death, but I beg you to hold on. Don’t close the screen and dismiss this as impossible, this is not impossible, this is aspirational.

Set as a goal in your mind, 3 hours.

Its not impossible, its Aspirational!

Three hours a day MINIMUM of intentional quiet time with God.

If you are in your single season, I promise, this is what you need.

This is serious, like a prescription. Take it like medicine. If you are looking for fulfillment, DON’T go looking for a relationship, prioritize God.

No, the 3 hours doesn’t need to be all in one sitting.

No, it doesn’t have to be doing the same thing the whole time. A portion of it should definitely be a scripture study and quiet contemplation, but other parts could be scripted prayers (for when you don’t know what to say), praying with others (communal prayer), journaling, walking in nature, simply repeating the name of Jesus, whatever! Any time spent truly lifting the mind and heart to God with the desire for and the intentional pursuit of a deeper intimacy, knowledge of and communion with the God who made you for Himself counts.

Then, my dear, you WILL begin to see visible change in your life. You WILL be happier and more fulfilled because your life will take on true meaning and purpose, deeper value and you will begin to catch glimpses of the peace you’ve always longed for.

A Disclaimer:

Maybe don’t try to do 3 hours overnight.

If you do, it might end up similar to trying a double black diamond the first time you ever put on skis. The last thing we are trying to do here is make you fear or hate prayer.

  • Start with 10 minutes (preferably early).

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. – Mark 1:35

Maybe it’s simply a matter of getting up on time and praying while you take a walk to get the oxygen flowing first thing in the morning. Be faithful to that for at LEAST A WEEK.

Then, don’t quit that, just add something else.

  • Communal prayer is always helpful to keep you motivated and teach you to pray.

Get yourself a group of fit friends. Aren’t friends in fitness the greatest? – Chalene Johnson 

Once you’ve picked your “thing” be faithful to it. Give it a chance to begin its holy work in you.

  • Then add 10 minutes every night.

You will notice that as you begin to improve in your prayer and quiet contemplation, you will begin to crave it.

  • Make time for Bible reading every day (especially the 4 gospels).

Set aside time that isn’t rushed and allow yourself to get lost in it.

Use your senses. Imagine. Picture. Hear. Smell. Taste. BE with Christ 2000 years ago in Palestine. Align your Bible reading passages with the Liturgical Year. Or, for fun, randomly open your Bible and study whichever passage your eye catches first. Compare translations and read trusted commentaries. Seek understanding. Begin to read and savor the Psalms and never forget that the God of the Old Testament is still God all through the New Testament, and still today. He never changes.

How does this knowledge affect your reading of scripture?

  • Remember, God is a person, do not come to Him with preconceived notions of who or how He must be, but rather ask Him to reveal Himself to you.

 No one knows the Son except the Father and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal Him – Matthew 11:27

The above ideas add up to almost 3 hours already!

  • Now you can make the morning and night prayers a couple minutes longer as you are able and add in 2-3 quiet rests throughout the day

Take advantage of a couple minute’s break at work, while driving, or the space between classes, where you strive to quiet your mind, not to empty yourself in a Buddist type way, but rather to practice listening. Silence is not about pursuing silence for its own sake but for the sake of being able to hear.

Pursue silence for the sake of listening

It is helpful to begin with prayer stating your intention to be still and listen and asking Him to speak into this quiet space you have made for Him. It will take a little time and practice but just like when you are learning any new skill, with a little dedication, you’ll be a pro before you know it!

You can do this

Using these suggestions, the recommended 3 hour minimum will feel more like 3 minutes and you will eventually wonder how you ever got through the day without prayer, you will likely even find yourself craving more and more. Don’t worry, this is good, totally natural in fact. You are finally tapping in to the purpose of your existence… you were quite literally MADE FOR THIS.

You were made for this

That’s why this is your moment. The single season is the only natural season of your life that you have this built in ability to develop the deep and close relationship with God that you were made for and that will sustain you for all the rest of your seasons.

Of course, it is possible to obtain this relationship in other seasons too but there is a reason we all have a single season… quite simply put, we need it!!!

Are you taking full advantage of yours???

How can I help? Please do let me know in the comments below or email me at carolyn@particularlycalled.com.

Always,

~ Carolyn ~

Carolyn Pereira