Caravan Sonnet: The Single Journey: When Everyone You Know is Getting Engaged

7/3/17

The Single Journey: When Everyone You Know is Getting Engaged

"Rejoice with those who rejoice..."
-Romans 12:15-

There seems to be certain seasons where social media is flooded with news that people are getting engaged. It happens throughout the year of course, but it seems like there are certain times and seasons where there is an overwhelming flood of beautiful pictures of a guy down on one knee asking his beloved to spend the rest of their lives with him. It can seem like everyone that we know from co-workers, family members, friends, roommates, to the woman at the post office sharing her good news with strangers all have an exciting engagement story to share. 

It is wonderful. I rejoice in all that the Lord is doing and how He is carefully scripting a new season and story for each person... and yet... it can be overwhelming and heart-wrenching to hear "one more engagement story". 

I often feel a deep kinship with Hannah (from the book of I Samuel) as it seems that everyone I know is getting what I so deeply long for. I come to the Lord often behind closed doors in "deep anguish, weeping bitterly" (I Samuel 1:10). "I am a woman deeply troubled... and I am pouring out my soul to the Lord." (I Samuel 1:15) As engagement news continues to pour fourth let us continue to go to the Lord in our anguish and grief. Our anguish of longing (not jealousy, but longing for the Lord to give us our hearts desire) and surrender our grief to Him. I know that I have been told before not to weep over singleness, but I do. I weep deeply, grieve the losses, and the trust God as I embrace this beautiful life that He has given me.

One of my favorite quotes by John Piper sums this up perfectly:

"Occasionally weep deeply over the life you hoped would be. Grieve the losses. Then wash your face. Trust God. And embrace the life you have."

So let us weep and grieve and then embrace the beautiful lives that the Lord has given us and what He has given us right now. Let us trust and ask the Lord for courage to know that His timing is flawless and that He is directing our steps and each detail of our lives. We may long to be engaged and have a relationship right now, but for today, He has given us this gift of being single. Let us embrace it fully, not wasting it longing or wishing for a different season. For today we are given this gift. Tomorrow it may change. But we only have this day in front of us.

Living in the full trust of the Lord allows us to fully rejoice with those who are rejoicing (Romans 12:15). Not out of duty or drudgery, but out of love and trust, knowing that the Lord is guiding and directing each of our paths. For as we rejoice sweet friends, we are mostly rejoicing in the Lord. We rejoice in the way that we see the Lord at work and that gives us hope which in turn gives us joy. "The Hope of the righteous is joy" (Proverbs 10:28) and that is where we will find our joy completely. In the Lord, rejoicing in the timing and the stories that He writes each and every day.

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