I have been contemplating on expressing my thoughts on this particular topic for a long time but never got round to actually putting all the thoughts together as I was not quite sure if I would do a good job of it. Today, as I pondered upon it my final thought was, what the heck, let’s do it!
Let me give you the facts first — I am a single career woman, unattached, have never been married and had a few failed relationships in the past (blessings in disguise and I’m shameless to say that!). And yes, I do get asked by all the aunties when I attend cousins’ weddings when my turn would be or whether I would be the next in line to get married. During Chinese New Year when they give out angpaus (red packets with money for children and unmarried young people) they will say “this is your last angpau”! I have been told by unabashed friends that the reason that I am left on the shelf is because I am too choosy/have too high of an expectation in finding a partner/too snobbish/there is something wrong with me! Other times people just generally avoid saying anything relating to our single status especially when you are beyond the age of 35. The reason being in their opinion and being considerate, which I know they genuinely are, they are afraid that by saying anything remotely related to the topic they would risk getting us upset and/or hurting our tender feelings. We sometimes are totally misunderstood!
This is my take on being single…
Being someone who is single, there are times I really wish apart from the companionship and affection, I had a better half who would do the little things that most married women take for granted for, such as giving me a lift in the heavy rain, getting me a glass of water when I am too sick to get out of bed, helping me with the housework and the bags of shopping, taking the rubbish out, making me dinner, giving me a hand with the zip of my dress or making decisions for trivial little things instead of me taking charge all of the time.
On the other hand, being single has given me the opportunity to be independent, learn to look after myself, manage my own finances better and learn the basic “survival skills” like how to change the fuse in a plug, unclog the pipe of the washbasin and change a punctured tyre just to name a few. Being single also means I am flexible with my time and I am free to pack my bags and go travelling any time I want to when my work permits, or answer a last minute call to go for a coffee or a meal and stay out for as long as I like.
Accepting one’s single status including the possibility that one might never find that significant other requires only a shift of paradigm. I also once dreamed of a white wedding, settling down with the one I love and having a bunch of kids but as time goes by and the chance of that happening seems to gradually diminish, I have come to accept my gift of singleness gracefully.
My life is more exciting now than ever before as I see how things are slowly unfolding before my eyes with me being more sure-footed on my faith journey in recent years. As I learn to surrender and bend to God’s will and let Him guide me, He draws me closer and reveals to me bit by bit of His marvellous plans for me. What comes with the open doors to various fields that I get to serve the Lord, which primarily involves my writing and sharing is the strengthening of my faith. I really cannot wait to see where God leads me to serve Him better not just in the months to come but far, far beyond. I lead a happy, positive and contended life being single (all my friends can vouch for that!) and I want to live out that life to honour and glorify God!
To my single friends out there, let me tell you that your life does not start only when you have a partner or when you are married. Your joy is not dependent on someone else’s attention or a relationship. If I could be so bold to encourage you that it is not at all that scary to learn to embrace your freedom. Use that God-given freedom for Him and make the most of the time while you are single and free. Just remember that God uses people in any and every season of their lives!
When we obey and trust God, we can walk in confidence that He has the perfect plans for us whether He brings us a life companion or not. God’s ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts than our thoughts. We could be truly happy, despite of being alone and all it takes is a change of perspective. Life is too short to cry over something that we think we are entitled to but do not get. When God says no to what we ask for, you can be sure that He has something better for us! In any season we are in, it is not about waiting for the storm to pass but learning to dance in the rain, and at the same time waiting with full anticipation for the appearance of a beautiful rainbow. We choose to be better, not bitter!
Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.