Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. – 1 Thessalonians 5.18
I’m thankful for…
- A Changed Perspective I’m thankful that I can say I’m thankful for this season of being single. Just a few years ago, if someone had asked me why I was thankful for being single, I would have had a few snarky, selfish remarks but no real reasons. So I’m thankful that in this season God has changed my perception of him, of myself, of singleness, of men, of marriage, and so many other things.
- Family I’m thankful for the extended personal time I’ve had with my parents. That would have looked much different if I had married earlier. I’m happy to be available to them, confide in them, and benefit from their wisdom and counsel. And for now, it’s nice not to worry about them being alone at Thanksgiving or Christmas while I’m at the in-laws’.
- Ministry Time is a resource singles seem to have more of than their married and parenting peers. My time outside of work is definitely more flexible to serve God and the church. It brings so much joy and fulfillment, and if I had married early, I wouldn’t have had the blessing of writing for Our Single Purpose!
- Growth God has brought spiritual growth in this single season. Not that growth doesn’t happen in marriage, but it manifests in different ways and comes through different trials and triumphs. God has taught me so much about himself, especially that he is all-sufficient, loves me with a steadfast, everlasting love, and has a plan that is bigger than I am and is supremely better than anything I have mapped out for myself.
- Travel It may seem cliché, but I have had the opportunity to travel to distant places and see so much of God’s earth and a variety of cultures that I wouldn’t have been able to do – or may have been financially burdensome – with a spouse or children. In the last ten years I have… traipsed along the Freedom Trail in Boston with girl friends, gone horseback riding in Georgia, gotten a henna tattoo in New York, learned from great teachers in Louisville, accidentally driven across the San Francisco bridge, listened to bagpipes in Scotland, had high tea in England, put my feet in the Sea of Galilee, been to a rodeo in Ft. Worth with my best friend, relaxed in Savannah with my mom, hiked mountain trails with my dad, strengthened relationships with old friends, built relationships with new friends, and more. I know traveling with a spouse and children holds its own charms, but spontaneous or frequent travel seems to be a perk for singles with fewer schedules to manage.
I’m sure my married friends could – and should – be able to list their own reasons they are thankful to be married and wouldn’t trade it for a long single season. God is good and perfect in his timing and plan for each of his children. It’s easy to focus on what is frustrating or disappointing about the season we find ourselves living out. As Thanksgiving comes around in a couple of weeks, I hope you can focus on God’s blessings and providence in your life and trust your desires to him. Happy Thanksgiving!