Single and Thankful

Thanksgiving is my favorite season. I love the idea of a holiday built around gratitude. I also appreciate that it’s not tied to excessive gift-giving or any weird tradition like the Easter Bunny, leprechauns, or Elf on the Shelf. Since most stores seem to glide directly from Halloween to Christmas, it even feels slightly subversive to celebrate Thanksgiving. I can get on board with that.

I Thessalonians 5:18 tells us we’re supposed to give thanks in all circumstances.

All circumstances.

Even singleness.

Being thankful for my single status doesn’t always come easily. There have been many times I’ve found myself prostrate on the bed, wailing, “Why me? This is too hard!” But in the spirit of Thanksgiving I started making a list of all the things I was thankful for in regards to singleness. I was surprised by how easily and quickly they came to me.

So today I want to look to God and say, “Thank you. Thank you for my gift of singleness, everything it’s taught me, and everything it’s allowed me to experience.”

  • It forces me to rely on God

There have been many times when it’s just me and God. I’ve had to turn to Him again and again, telling Him that I have no idea what to do or how I’m going to get through a certain situation. Singleness shows me that God is there for me when no one else is. He’s never let me down.

  • It lets me be the fun aunt

This is one of my favorite things about being single! Since I don’t have kids my nieces and nephews are extra-special to me. I relish the time I get to spend with them.

  • It gives me time on my own

This one is hard-fought. I often struggle to find meaningful ways to spend my time- sometimes I have so much of it! During the past few months of social distancing and quarantine, however, I’ve learned to appreciate quiet times of solitude in new ways.

  • It gives me time with others

The other side of the coin- I like time on my own, but I also value time with others. Right now I’m able to do three different Bible studies with friends, which has been wonderful. I’m also thankful for the time I can spend with my sisters and cousins.

  • It provides travel opportunities

Grateful. That’s the word that always comes to mind when I think about my travels. I’m so grateful for the experiences I’ve been given.

  • It lets me listen to whatever I want in the car

Maybe this sounds shallow, but I really am thankful for this one. When I take my niece home from school she insists on listening to the same Adventures in Odyssey episode over and over and over again. I’ll never take my listening preferences for granted again!

  • It gives me freedom

There’s so little to tie me down. I don’t have to cook, wash dishes, or help anyone with their homework in the evening. I’m free to exercise, read, write, socialize, sleep, or dance around as I want.

  • It gives me unlimited opportunities

Opportunities to…  volunteer, try new things, attempt different hobbies, go on mission trips, bake for others, participate in Bible studies, visit new restaurants, do that weird exercise class. Being single allows you to experience so much.

  • It shows me who I am

I am a deeply selfish person. Singleness acts as a mirror, reflecting my life in front of me. This mirror, though, shows the internal struggles. By nature, I think the role of wife and mother is deeply sacrificial. Being single, on the other hand, means my focus is mostly on myself.  I have to work hard to get my thoughts and actions off me, me, me.

  • It forces me out of my comfort zone

It’s a challenge to frequently do things on my own. If I don’t though, I would miss out on so much life. When you’re single you either spend a lot of time on the couch or you take a deep breath, open your front door, and step out by yourself.

  • It offers hope for the future

I can look at this two ways- First, God has walked with me through everything so far and I know I can count on Him for everything in the future. Second, the hope of marriage is still out there. I never know what’s around the corner and that’s exciting!

  • It strengthens and humbles me all at the same time

Whether or not I want it to, being single defines so much of who I am. I would be a very different woman if I was married. Singleness forces me solve problems on my own. It makes me be brave and independent. But it also humbles me, showing me where I’m weakest. There are times when I’m absolutely helpless and my only option is to cry out to God.

God, the giver of all good and perfect gifts, has never overlooked me. He’s not waiting for me to become more spiritual or preparing the perfect man for me…someday. He’s given me good things TODAY. He’s the one who gives my single life meaning and purpose.

And I’m so thankful for that.

This week, I’m thankful for my single life and (almost) every aspect of it. Together, let’s celebrate every SINGLE blessing!

P.S.- Many of these things first appeared on my post “My Ten Favorite Reasons to Celebrate Singleness.” If you missed it, you can read that post here.

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