Tonight I was invited to the most wonderful Valentine's dinner. The ambiance was perfect-- candlelight, roses, great food, chocolate, and wonderful company. It wasn't a traditional hot Valentine date, but I did have a wonderful evening with the ladies group of a local church. One of my friends (Auvrey S) was their guest speaker this evening on the subject of singleness. It was an extension of their ladies ministry, which has been using different spices as the monthly themes. This month's theme, on singleness, was bittersweet (as in chocolate).
When I heard that bittersweet was the "spice of singleness," I laughed, but it is really quite appropriate. I've been thinking about singleness a lot lately. When I was in Japan and Brazil it was kind of nice, because in those two cultures it would be quite strange for someone my age to be married. But coming back to the US, especially my unique little subculture of the US, I am feeling the stigma again. I think part of it truly is that in the Christian south people don't know what to do with people who don't fit into the pattern that seems pretty standard. College, marry, kids. But I will be very honest to admit that a lot of the stigmatism is self inflicted. I would love to find "the one" and settle down and live the life that my heart truly desires.
But I don't begrudge my singleness. Although I sure thought I was ready for marriage in college, looking back I am thankful for the opportunities that remaining single afforded me. I've lived some dreams that I would have given up otherwise. And that has been truly priceless. I shouldn't speak in the past tense, because clearly I'm still single. :) While you're living in exotic countries and things like that, it's easier to be contently single. :) But hearing my friend speak such Godly words of wisdom tonight reminded me that although I am not happy in my singleness now, I still have things to learn from this stage of life. I have to learn to depend on God and not others to fill me. I have to learn to use my energy and time wisely. I have to be able to see my own value and the value God's placed in me and not depend on others to make me feel worthy.
So whether in relationships or single, content or not, it's my prayer that we'll all find our completeness in God alone.
PS-- Funniest Valmumtimes Video EVER! :) (Copied from Dan)