As a Christian single, what does abundant life mean to you? Is it the music video with fur coats, cars, and mansions? Is it the reality show where ministers and pastors of mega-churches have all of those things? Is it the dream job, the handsome husband/beautiful wife, and the adorable kids? Do you believe the abundant life is the life you’re living right now?
The Bible clearly states that Jesus came to give us an abundant life. In one translation, the verse says “…more and better life than they dreamed”.
So God, where are You? Where’s my mansion, my mate, and my dream job? (I’d take any one of those three.) As seasons change, why am I always struggling, searching, and unfulfilled in different areas of my life?
Have these thoughts ever crossed your mind? They’ve certainly crossed mine.
Last week, I discussed my online dating experiences with you as a Christian single. I surrendered to His will and I put my future in His hands. I’ve had so many joyous, indescribable, peaceful days since closing my profile. I’ve drawn closer to God now that my heart and my attention isn’t scattered in a million places. I have time to see girlfriends and delve deeper into ministry, and I’ve spent time exploring and trying new things. As awesome as that all is, I find I’m dealing with withdrawals. Mostly, withdrawals from attention. What’s ironic is, I never realized how much I depended on it. I am a strong woman of faith who depends on God for her worth.
How shocking it was for me to realize how big my ego was when I stopped receiving text messages. How difficult it is to finally let go of men who played an unhealthy role in my life for years. What a struggle it is to decline calls and invitations.
I found myself asking, “Can my life really be full when I start to empty out the people I’ve clung to for so long?”
The thing about being lonely is it’s an emotion that’s difficult to discuss with others. People can’t handle that one. It’s like trying to hold a hot biscuit that just came out the oven. Folks want to grab it, but they’re afraid to grasp it too tightly. Especially those that are in a relationship.
Do you ever find that married folks can talk about a bad patch in a marriage and people will react with hope and words of encouragement, but when a single person talks about their rough patch, people get nervous and you’re suddenly on suicide watch? Marital problems pass, but being lonely seems to go hand in hand with being single. Or someone will say: “God, just hasn’t brought that person yet” – as if your future spouse is the “forever cure” for being lonely. This isn’t true, so stop telling people it is. It’s actually kind of funny.
Is There Abundance Without Marriage?
I think we feel this way because we’ve been conditioned to believe that marriage is that abundant life. I mean the Bible says he who finds a wife, finds a good thing, but is finding a mate everything?
Many of you read that and probably thought “Yes, yes it is!” I know this because I thought it too. But truly there are so many verses that disprove this notion.
Mentally create the most perfect mate you can imagine. All of the qualities and physical qualifications you know you want. I’ve got news for you – even if that person exists, s/he’s not the key that unlocks the “Abundant Life” door.
Jesus is the key. The abundant life is full of happy days and blessings beyond belief, but it’s also being able to say “God, you’re in control, I still trust you” on the worst days.
Jesus is the therapist, the best friend, the healer, the provider, and the life partner we’ve been searching for. He fills the voids that we so desperately try to fill with earthly possessions, degrees, titles, trips, and people. All of those are wonderful things, and I hope you get them, but just know that “high” you feel when you have them won’t last forever.
There’s no need to backpack across Europe with the intention to find your identity. Your identity lies in Him. When the doctor calls with a bad report, you can’t cling to the newest thing you just bought. When the people who your world revolves around leave you, Jesus is still there.
Jesus Is Everything
Discard all the podcasts, self-help books and other materials telling you how to endure singlehood. Live this season of your life out loud. No matter how long you’ve been marking that “(S)Single” checkbox, enjoy this season.
Find your joy in the things of God. Be open to spur of the moment plans. Make new Christian friends and explore your local cities together. Take a fun workout class. Decorate your living space, make a home. Turn the TV off and go outside. Join a book club. Mend relationships with family members. Find a hobby. Try to learn new things about yourself. Open your home for a dinner party. Join a ministry or pray about starting a new one. Open a small business online. Do something you’ve convinced yourself you could never do alone. Try something you told yourself you’re too old to do.
There is LIFE in THIS season; don’t wait any longer, move forward. There will be hard days and you may feel lonely, but the great days will far outnumber the bad ones. And most importantly, get to know your Heavenly Father in a way that He is more real to you than an earthly best friend.
So, what’s the play call?
Live ABUNDANTLY. This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us REJOICE and BE GLAD in it.