Seeking The Abundant Single Life

Some wise saint one time said: “The glory of God is the human person fully alive. And the glory of the human person is living for God.”

What does it mean to be “fully alive?” Particularly in the context of the apparently perpetually unwanted single life, which seems by definition to be something less than “fully alive”, this is a question worth wrestling with.

Let’s start with this. God wants you to be “fully alive”. Indeed, one of his promises is that he came to give life—and life in abundance. But you feel like you will never know the fullness of life if you don’t find someone to share your life with.  So this is a tension point between you and God.

Let’s have a little check in our spirit on this point. Jesus promised abundant life. But, still being single, you are not feeling it.  Is there any reconciliation between these truth claims?

YOU: “I can’t be fully alive unless I meet the right person.”

JESUS: “Nope. I can give you abundant life, even if the ‘right person’ eludes you…”

What might that look like?

One Fateful Night, I Prayed a Daring Prayer

One Fateful Night, I Prayed a Daring Prayer

Here’s what it looked like for me. There came a night, sometime in my mid-30s when it dawned on me that it just might not happen. I might not meet Mr. Right, I might never have children. Intense grief had been breaking my heart for months, and on this night it came to a head. What was my life about, then? How could I ever forgive God for letting this happen to me?

That same night, I did something unusual. I knelt down beside my bed, and I prayed. Kneeling is a desperate act, in my case. In my quiet desperation, I knelt, and I said something like, “Lord, it looks like marriage might not happen. I don’t understand my life at all. I’m not sure why I’m here. I don’t know how I will ever forgive you for allowing this, but I have nowhere else to go, so…What should I do?”

As I placed the question of my life before the Lord, the quiet thought came to me: “Suppose, theoretically……..nothing set in stone here, but just……..suppose maybe… ……I’m not calling you to be married. Is there anything else you’d like to do?” And just for a moment, I let myself imagine my way into that question.

And, in fact, there were some interesting “other things” that drew upon my heart. For one thing, I wanted to live overseas. And entertaining that question led me onto an entirely new road for a season, and a wonderful new chapter that I would never have been able to enter into had I not entertained the question.

Changing History with God

Changing History with God

Funny enough, down that road, I met my friend Liz. Liz was, like me, unhappily single—and hating her career. I suggested she pray about the same question. What would you do if you knew the Lord was theoretically NOT calling you to be married?

Her answer was this: I would be a full-time missionary. The next time I turned around, she was making plans to be a full-time missionary in Africa. Off she went. She met a fella in the mission field. I ended up being a bridesmaid in their wedding.

The apparent irony of it has many layers. If I had not prayed into the question “what if…?”, I would not have met her. If I hadn’t met her, I wouldn’t have challenged her to consider the question of “what if…”? If she wouldn’t have considered that question, she wouldn’t have met her husband, and a little girl who exists today would never have existed at all.

The Lord used that question to move me to a new place, and in that new place I helped change the future of the world. I’m still not married, but that’s pretty cool.

Not Gonna Be a Netflix Zombie?

Not Gonna Be a Netflix Zombie?

“The Glory of God is the human person, fully alive.” Yet, how many of us, unhappily single, remain in boring jobs, dead-end relationships, or spend our weekends with Netflix and a bottle of wine while we wait for the right person to come along?

What if God wants you to stop waiting and get moving, because he wants to change history with you? What would you do, if tentatively, you entertained the possibility that God might have some ideas of his own about how to get there?

A friend of mine often says, it’s easier to steer a car that’s moving than one that’s sitting still. So if you were going to make a move towards something that would make you more fully alive (besides a relationship), what might that be?

And just for fun, let’s say you might be more likely to meet someone with whom you are compatible if you are doing what you love. There are no guarantees, of course. But, it’s not too far-fetched to think that they just might show up in the same place because they love the same thing.

So go on: give God some glory. Be fully alive. Dare great things.