I graduated from college a little early, two years early to be exact. With that I was tossed into the world to participate as an adult among adults. What does that mean? It means I constantly feel like I’m infiltrating the secret world of grown ups. It means that women who taught me when I was in school are now my co-workers. It means they want me to defy all my years of home training and call them by their first names. It means that ‘children’ 2 years younger than I are made to call me Ms. Marts. But, hey, there are some perks, too. I actually have a place to wear all my “What-Not-to-Wear” inspired fashions instead of glamming it up just for a trip to Super Target. Additionally, I get to hear all sorts of conversations I was never privy to because of my status as a student. One such conversation went something like this:
Teacher A: “Yeah, I took my daughter shopping the other day for a dress to wear to the formal. I held up the one she picked and said, ‘Do you realize I haven’t bought anything that costs this much for myself in at least 10 years?’”
Teacher B: “Kids are expensive. When I budget annually, I count the cost of new clothes, school, events, birthdays, etc. All of that goes into my budget. When I was married with no kids, my husband and I had tons of extra money.”
My wheels were turning. I was thinking about my lush closet back home and all the lovely pieces I plan to add to my collection. Their comments struck me. There will be some inherent, tangible lifestyle changes upon starting a family. Amid my flurry of mental calculations, I heard the Lord say, ‘Yup, don’t rush this.”
Then came the next blow. Heather Lindsey (godly blog here) posted the above picture via instagram that read, “A man isn’t a cookie for good Christian behavior. God has purpose in mind when He brings two people together…” This was absolutely revolutionary to me. It’s not that I’ve never thought about the idea before but I began to consider its implications for singleness.
So if marriage and singleness are both gifts and states that someone could find themselves in, the former concept must apply to singleness as much as marriage. God has purpose intended for your singleness. The statement made says that God brings two people together for His purpose, which means He draws them together when they have come to a place where they will now be able to accomplish more as a couple than on their own.
That then implies that there is some accomplishing being done as a single. Proverbs 31: says, “She tastes and sees that her gain from work [with and for God] is good…” The woman in this chapter is often referred to as the Proverbs 31 Woman- not the Proverbs 31 Wife or Mother though she does operate in those capacities. But we can be sure that this verse applies to all women, especially in their singleness.
I ask you, what work are you doing for and with God in your singleness? How are you stewarding what’s in your hand? I think of the Parable of the Talents in Matthew 25. Their master gave them portions and returned expecting that they had increased the amount that was left to them. Jesus has left you with this season of time, flexibility, and abilities. What are you doing to multiply them? To make the most of them? Your flexibility and capability are fleeting and season-sensitive.
When I think of the word ‘maximize’, I think of maxing out a credit card. You got all you could for your line of credit. You sucked it dry. You pushed it to the limit. Likewise, max out your singleness.
Discover what you’re capable of. This is the time to develop personally as well as spiritually. Who are you? Explore. Build. Create. I have never considered myself a crafty person but I have been itching to try a DIY refurbishing project. I want to discover my limits and capabilities instead of just assuming something is not ‘me’. Life is too short. Wear the red lipstick, go to a shooting range, learn how to drive a stick shift, go [back] to school, start the business or nonprofit, learn a new dance, or join an athletic league. Discover your likes, dislikes, and tastes. Unearth your creativity, your calling, and your style. Set goals. Do you want to live a healthier lifestyle? Read more books? Write a book? Jump in it!
Like tea leaves steeping in water, this is the time to develop. Let patience have her perfect work. Become a whole person- spirit, soul, and body. Cultivate a life. Be a person with passions and experiences. Explore yourself. Be someone who has lived! Do all that God has placed in your heart to do. Enjoy your fabulous wardrobe. Sop up all the flexibility. Try new things and restaurants. Stumble into that shop you’ve always driven by. Get on that thing the Lord has been telling you to do. Travel. See. Do. Max it out and get all you can get.