Thursday, August 4, 2016

Single In Your 30's

Single in your 30's.  What do you do?  How do you deal with it?  What are the challenges?  Yeah, those are all the type of questions that are likely in your head.  I was recently doing a Google search lately on this topic just seeing what was out there.  Sadly, there wasn't a lot that I could find.  I read several great articles but it wasn't a topic that I found a lot of information on. So, I thought I would write something on this very topic cause, hey, I'm single in my 30's.  LOL.  I should also point out that I am speaking this from a single never married perspective. So, maybe you'll find some encouraging and relatable things in this article.

Single in your 30's is an odd and awkward time.  No way around it.  It can be the best of awkward and then it can be just completely awkward, awkward.  More than likely you're around groups of people that are married and married with kids.  The numbers just aren't in your favor at times as far as common ground.  Statistics show and, better yet, life shows that the number of singles in their 30's is going to put you in the minority numbers compared to the majority that are married.  However, I see so many studies lately that say that there are more single people than married people now in this country.  More power to that study but it isn't that way in my life.  LOL.

So, God has you in this season of waiting.  What do you do with it?  First thing to say, serve Him.  That has been something that has helped bear fruit in my season.  The apostle, Paul, talks about it in the Bible about how he prefers singleness. He says that when you are single that you have your thoughts more focused on God instead of on the world.  1 Corinthians 7:32-33 "He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord: But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife." I see a lot of truth in that cause I'm excited and thankful that there are things that I can get done for the church or serve others because I might have the time that someone else may not have.  That is a blessing.  Yet, on the flip side, I'll think how much more awesome it would be to have that partner beside me to serve as a team.  Wouldn't it be awesome to be able to team up and serve together?  That is often my thought but yet it hasn't come together yet. That thinking brings us to 1 Corinthians 7:9 "But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn." So, Paul acknowledges that he prefers serving as a single but if your heart desires for marriage, you should marry.

So, what do you do when your heart is set on finding that other person to bring into your life?  This is where this is going to read like every other article you've already read.  Patience. Waiting. Trusting. Praying constantly. That is really the answer.  God knows your heart.  He knows your desires.  What is the delay?  What is the hold up?  None of us that desire this know this.  Only God knows this.  And remember that God sees the whole path.  We can only see so far down the path. Our judgment is blurred cause of only what we can see.  He knows what is going on down the line.

It seems like most of the wedding happenings of your friends occur in your 20's.  That has been my experience anyway.  Most of my friends all married in our 20's and their lives changed.  Probably a lot of you have been bridesmaids, groomsmen, best men, maid of honors, etc.  Some of you might have been in more than you can even count.  You've probably felt the feeling of watching your group number dropping meaning your single status in the group is getting to be smaller and smaller. Everyone else is pairing up.  They're moving to the next stage while you're still back at the same stage.  Then, they move to the next stage beyond that.  You're still at the same stage.  Suddenly, you don't have as much in common as you used to.  You might not hang out as much and then might not hang out at all.  That's true just with anything in life cause life changes and people grow apart.  Normal.  What do you do when you're still stuck back in that other stage?  Continue to grow. Make more friends. Search out more social groups. One thing I would really like to encourage on is going out and doing things for yourself.  Find things you enjoy.  Concerts, walk in the park, running, and any activities or hobbies that you enjoy.  Many just don't find much fun in doing things by themselves.  I totally get that but I also learned in my 20's that if I don't start doing things on my own, there is going to be a lot of sitting around.  You might have something that you are so excited to do......but.....everyone around you is busy with no time.  That can happen with anything or anyone. So, I learned to just go and do things and there are so many things I would have missed out on if I had said, ok, I don't want to go by myself.  Yet, as I get further along, I'm also getting into the stage more of ok, I'm ready to have someone to do life with.  In your single in your 30's, you are going to run into MANY times where you just don't feel like you fit in cause you're around a lot of young marrieds and parents. It's that feeling where you don't feel like you have a lot in common or can relate. Topics drift to where they are in life and you feel like you have zero to add.  LOL. All you have seen of it is from the outside of it.

Social media can be such a burden on you in this season if you allow it to be that.  You log on everyday and your news feed is filled with things you want in your life.  Engagement announcements.  Wedding announcements.  Baby announcements.  Families on vacation together.  And, wait for it, kids of your friends making announcements as well.  That one will slap you right across the forehead really quick.  LOL.  Wait, how did this happen?????  You're seeing all these you are still waiting.  You may have things in your life that you want to do but feel like your life is on hold.  I wish I had the answer for all of you reading this but I'm very much like you.  Trying to figure it out one day at a time.  You just keep going.  You keep trusting.  You keep praying.  Believing that God has a plan for you.  In his perfect timing, you'll look back and see how it all lined up.  Yet, you still have to get through the now and the wait time in the waiting room.  That waiting room of life where it is like you are waiting for your name to get called.  You're watched the TV in the waiting room.  You've read every magazine in there....twice.....nope, five times.  And the room is getting smaller and smaller with people getting their names called.  It can be really deflating. You just trust that God has this.  Period.  And God is honored by our trust in Him.  He loves that.  Yet, he understands the struggles in all of our lives. How much do you think God loves you with the fact that you are trusting him so much with something that could be such a struggle for you?  He's going to come through for you.

My pleas to the marrieds that have singles among them on how maybe you can encourage them. Every single is different with what they need for encouragement so that is tricky.  And I say that as a single cause what encourages me might make another single do an eye roll.  LOL. All I can say is just be there for them. They are in an awkward stage of life.  Support them.  Love them.  Be positive to them.  Just like with anything, don't discourage people with comments. With discouragement, you may be saying something jokingly or unknowingly that is already in their head negatively floating around.  Your joking about it or something similar could put that thought on full blast in their head and make them stir on.

It seems like every decade of age offers different sorts of challenges for singles.  The things I thought were difficult with being single in my 20's really don't seem that bad looking back from my singleness in my 30's.  Likewise, I'm sure there are 40's and 50's that look at the 30's and say, yeah, what's your problem?  LOL.  I guess that is the point of it all.  Everyone has their different troubles with singleness no matter what age you are.  Don't forget too that it isn't just the ages but what kind of singles there are.  Single never marrieds.  Divorced.  Single parents. Everyone is at a different stage not only with age but in their singleness. The point of this article was to just put out thoughts that maybe someone will say I soooooo relate to that or I've felt that.  Some of it is things I have experienced or things I have watched others experience.  Keep walking.  Keep trusting. God has a plan. Our job all around in life regardless of any status is to just keep walking and trusting God with that plan.

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