…all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. // Psalm 139:16
God is the ultimate Author—the most romantic and creative. He is also the ultimate planner: precise, detailed, and organized.
God is behind everything truly beautiful that causes us to marvel. The unexpected shooting star, the cliffs of Moher, the elderly married couple slow dancing at their 50th wedding anniversary. When we see something truly good and beautiful we know that the Lord has orchestrated it.
Trusting in a Good Plan
It’s in the moments of suffering where we tend to forget where beauty comes from and are left to wonder if God’s plan is actually good for us.
More practically, this is often the case for single Christians who desire authentic love but only see a world that marvels at sin.
I’ve seen it time and time again: Christians begin to doubt, hearing the whispers of society: “It’s just not practical in this day and age to be chaste… Men only want sex, and if you can’t give it to them they will find it from someone else… loosen up don’t be a prude.”
We start to question. Maybe they’re right?
Wrangling to Write Our Own Story
This is when the devil waltzes in, as he did with Eve in the Garden.
Suddenly the lies of the world seem slightly more manageable and a life of faith a little far-fetched.
As a response—if our faith isn’t strong enough—we fall into desperation and attempt to “take the pen.”
As God is writing our story according to His divine will and plan for our lives, we are anxiously tempted to rip the pen out of His hand and manically try to write our own story on our own terms and timeline. Forgetting God and prayer, we try to take matters into our own hands. We decide on shortcuts instead of following the path God sets for us.
Instead of entrusting ourselves to God in our singleness, instead of looking for a compatible partner who is faithful and virtuous, we take the pen and grasp for any relationship. In our pursuit of love, we lower our standards and allow others to treat us badly. Then we continually allow the people who have hurt us to re-enter our lives with no consequences, all because we are afraid to be alone.
We subtly start to justify our sins and our changes in character. We begin to live with a dreaded, pitted feeling in our gut. Something within us tells us, “This isn’t right, this isn’t what God wants.” But we learn how to brush off the feeling through another act of self-sabotage.
There is No Fear in Love
This process of taking the pen is slow and hard to realize. It’s a series of one small compromise after another as we teach ourselves how to believe our own lies. This is not the will of God.
We forget is that when we run from the will of God we run from ourselves. We are running from our heart’s true desires and running from eternal life with Christ.
We grasp for the pen like Eve grasped for the fruit.
Maybe Eve let herself believe that her taking matters into her own hands was an act of independence, but it was really an act of fear.
And there is no fear in love (see 1 John 4:18).
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Ways to Increase Trust in the Author
What if we lived fearlessly in our singleness instead of settling for the standards of the world or settling for the wrong person? What if we learned to trust that God is currently doing something beautiful with our lives?
How does this work? How do we live in God’s grace and get what we want from life?
1. Accept Your Individual Story
First, we have to accept that our story is going to be unique and incomparable to anyone else. We have to stop falling into the sinkholes of comparison. What are the obstacles that cause your foot to slip? Have you seen one too many Instagram proposal posts? Are you finding yourself comparing your timeline to your siblings or friends?
Be vigilant about these feelings. Don’t brush them off like they mean nothing. Listen to your longings, but remind yourself that God hasn’t stopped working.
2. Watch the Company You Keep
Second, don’t entertain bad company. When we feel desperate, our defenses let down and our fortress is left vulnerable. Your heart is that fortress. Bad company can comprise of:
- the “friends” who make those not-so-subtle snide remarks
- those who are fun to be around but don’t support your path to Christ
- the date that made you second guess yourself and your values
- the date who has you on a roster as if you’re not a person, but a number.
Bad company and a vulnerable disposition can confuse you into thinking you deserve nothing but the worse.
3. Draw Close to Him
Finally, pray more. This can be one of the points we want to brush off. I’m not suggesting that if you pray more rosaries your spouse will show up sooner.
When we pray, we are close to the Lord, when we are close to the Lord we receive grace. We can’t see grace, we can’t touch it, we can’t measure it, but grace is the fuel of our faith. God especially gives His grace when we are at our lowest so we can overcome the hurdles of this life. This grace gives us patience in our singleness, discernment in confusion, joy in the present, trust in the Lord’s process, and, finally, peace in whatever comes out of your story.
Have have you learned to let God remain the Author of your life throughout your single years?
Madeleine Hamm was born and raised in Northern Virginia. After leaving home to become a missionary in Rome, she spent six years living in several countries throughout Europe. The experience fostered a deep love for culture, language, and storytelling. Madeleine is also the kind of girl who is not afraid to express her undying love for pop culture, her rescue puppy, Dorothy, and Taylor Swift.
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