Day 28 :: Single

on October 28, 2011 in 31 Days of Courage, TOP 5 FRIDAY with 22 comments by

As most of you know, we like to do Top 5 Fridays around here… where we talk about one topic and list five of our favorite things. And so we shall today, this our last Friday in October.

Newsflash: I’m single. And I’m 31.

But those two facts don’t scare me. They are what they are- truth for today. But they won’t be true forever. I can’t help but turn 32 in 2012 and I hope and pray and think I’ll be married someday.

I believe that God’s telling a story with my life that I hope includes a cool husband and kids and we’ll be a family that makes waves for the Kingdom. For some reason, part of that story involves me being single SIGNIFICANTLY LONGER THAN I EVER PLANNED.

Ahem.

Of all the things going on in my life, this takes the most courage: believing God for my future, trusting God’s heart for me, and walking daily in the joy of my current relationship status.

. . . . .

So for today’s Top 5 Friday, let’s talk about five ways to be courageously single.

1. Have fun.

Listen. I get it. It isn’t always easy to be single. Whether you are 14 or 41, it can feel hard. But there are tons of advantages to being single- financially, time commitment-wise, even laundry-wise. :) So have fun! Enjoy this time. Go somewhere new. Spend your money [wisely] on things you care about. Have a great time with your friends. I am sure marriage is fun- I don’t doubt that- but we singlets are a bit more carefree and limitless. Revel in that while you can.

2. Be thankful.

Well done, you. You are single because you are waiting for the right human to come alongside you. Be thankful for every regret you don’t have and be thankful for the forgiveness given for the rest of it. Be thankful that God knows what is going on and you are never far from His thoughts. Be thankful for every selfish day you get to live. 

[Example: I hate olives. I don't have to eat them or cook with them. My husband may love them. I will compromise... maybe. But for now, I don't have to touch the suckers. And I am grateful.]

Life is far more enjoyable if you will focus, and be grateful for, the good things you DO have instead of focusing on the things you DON’T have. Brave people are thankful people.

3. Work on you.

I know it is a bit cliche, but I don’t care. It is important that you become the kind of person that you want to marry. You see, I want to marry someone who is brave, a man who is willing to take God-spoken risks for the sake of the Gospel. I want to marry someone who is generous with his time and money. I want to marry someone who is committed to personal growth and maturity. So I pursue those things as well.

Do you want a spouse who is courageous? Then grow in courage.

4. Pray.

If God could get tired of a person praying about a particular situation, then my single self would have exhausted Him by now. But He doesn’t. But sometimes I get insecure that He does. And then I’m reminded that Hebrews 4 says I can approach the throne of grace with confidence [as often as I want]. It takes courage to ask for something over and over again. It’s vulnerable every time.

SO DO IT.

[See? It's growing your prayer life AND making you brave. Like a combo meal, if you will. :)]

5. Live

The worst thing we can do, as singles, is decide to to sit at home and wait to live exciting lives once we are married. There are a few things that should wait for marriage [don't make me say it], but LIVING isn’t one of them. Go. Do. Be. LIVE. You don’t want a spouse who has sat around for years doing nothing… so don’t be that guy either. Be brave. Make brave choices. Love your life. You only get to live today one time.

You know what brave people do? Brave people look at the situation they are in and figure out how to get the most out of it.

So do that.

. . . . .

YOUR TURN!

What tips would give for those trying to live courageously single?

zv7qrnb

22 comments

  1. posted on Oct 28, 2011 at 5:54 AM  |  reply

    As someone who married her high school sweetheart at 17, I don’t have any idea what it’s like to be single. I do know this. You have an opportunity to do so much for the Kingdom while you are single. It goes along with #1 and #5 up there. I love being married, but I can see where those who are single have the chance to really get out there for Him.

    You’re almost there!

  2. Katie
    posted on Oct 28, 2011 at 8:30 AM  |  reply

    “You know what brave people do? Brave people look at the situation they are in and figure out how to get the most out of it.”

    LOVE this! And it goes for EVERYONE not just those of us who are currently single. :-)

  3. Michael Mozley
    posted on Oct 28, 2011 at 8:33 AM  |  reply

    Dont think I don’t remember that prayer/prophecy at Adam’s funeral! I’m standing, believing!

  4. posted on Oct 28, 2011 at 8:35 AM  |  reply

    Wow….you hit it right on the nose! These are all the things that I have been preaching to myself for several years now.

    I love reading your blog. I feel like we are kindred spirits and I imagine reading your blog is like sitting down with a cup of coffee with you and us discussing life!

    You inspire me!

  5. posted on Oct 28, 2011 at 8:35 AM  |  reply

    My mom has always told my sister and I that she loved the fact that we were/are single longer than our early twenties. She married at an early age and now sees that she missed out on a different life. Not that she would trade the life she had, she’s just thankful we have/had it. My younger sister got married last year. It’s always tough when a younger sibling does something you’ve ALWAYS wanted to do before you, but as always it’s a good God-teaching/growing moment and for that I am thankful! Plus I got a REALLY COOL brother!!!

    I’ve had a lot of married friends tell me to: 1. SAVE as much money as possible. And to 2. Get Rid of DEBT. Not that I’m that great with either of those, but I’m working on them and that’s what counts. (Thank Jesus for Dave Ramsey!)

    Anne, I really love your heart in this. Every time I hear someone mention Courage it always brings me back to your blog posts and what I’m learning from them. Thank you friend!

  6. posted on Oct 28, 2011 at 9:30 AM  |  reply

    Hi Annie! I love this post! I am doing my 31 Days series on singleness, and as a woman who was also single longer than I wanted to be or expected I am so happy that you are writing on this topic. There needs to be more writing and support for single women! I am going to refer my readers to this post! You have a lot of great wisdom! Thank you!!
    Brenda

    • Amy
      posted on Oct 28, 2011 at 2:31 PM  |  reply

      @Brenda @TripleBraided, And I am loving reading all YOUR posts this month, Brenda, that I discovered through Annie’s blog! :)

  7. posted on Oct 28, 2011 at 9:36 AM  |  reply

    Good stuff. Under #3, I would say develop healthy habits — especially exercise. Try different types of exercise and see what works for you/what you like. Who knows – you could meet someone in a running group, etc…

    I would say also, if you want to go to grad school, this is the perfect time. It requires a lot of energy and focus, and it’s hard to invest in relationships when you have that going on.

  8. posted on Oct 28, 2011 at 9:51 AM  |  reply

    Well, hun I’m right there in the same boat with you…31 and single too. In fact I’ll be 32 in a few short months. :)
    I’m not sure I have 5 to add on to what you have but I do want to add this one.

    6. Trust. Trust that God has a plan in all of his great wisdom for your life. That he knows when the right time for you to marry is. And that he has his reasons for you not being married yet.
    It may not be you…your future husband may not be ready yet. Ya never know.

    7. (okay so I thought of another) Don’t whine…from what I have experienced it’s really unattractive to all. Yes you may have your I wish I was married times but focus on 2,3 & 5 to really get the full extent of how to overcome this one.

    GREAT post Annie!!! Love it!

  9. posted on Oct 28, 2011 at 10:19 AM  |  reply

    What a solid and practical list!

    During my mid-twenties I began realizing that most of my friends were also singles. I began taking steps to surround myself with married female friends of all ages so that I could learn from their unique season of life. SO my suggestion would be to…

    6. Soak up wisdom by watching and learning from families you admire.

    AND

    7. Give your expectations and and list-making to God – trusting that He has what’s best for you in His time.

    Thanks again for your vulnerability!

  10. posted on Oct 28, 2011 at 11:21 AM  |  reply

    As a fellow single 31 year old, I’d add:
    -Invest in others (intentional friendships, volunteer, etc)
    -Travel and explore
    -Take on new challenges

  11. KR
    posted on Oct 28, 2011 at 11:59 AM  |  reply

    I married when I was 21 to a man I thought was a christian. He up and left out of the blue when I was 26. There I was, a “larger than life” if you will divorcee. I can’t tell you how many times I was tempted to think, great, I’m fat & divorced. What christian man in his right mind will ever be interested in me? Okay I DID think that a lot, but from the very 1st moments after Husband #1 left, literally moments, I could just feel myself being literally surrounded & hugged by God. I knew He had a perfect plan for me and somehow it involved this man’s sin–he used that man’s sin to get me out of a bad situation that I would not have ever left. God used that time, where I thought I would never be, to show me His goodness and satisfaction in Him alone. He grew me tremendously. Although I longed to be loved (by a mortal) and be a mom, I knew He had plans to prosper me and not to harm me whatever that meant. When I stopped striving to find Mr. Right on my own, in my 30s, He just plopped him right into my life. His timing is perfect. Had it not been for #1 leaving, rocking my world, I would never have been able to meet God’s Mr. Right for me. I would never have been blessed with these 3 children we now have. His timing is perfect, He is the God of (what seems to be the) impossible, and He loves us more than we know. I know I emailed this but for the sake of your readers….remember that God made Eve while Adam was ASLEEP!!! Adam didn’t have to do ANYTHING but rest in the Lord (and the whole lose a rib thing) and poof, there was his wife. So I would say let God truly be the satisfaction of your soul, seek Him first, and all these things will be added to you. Thanks Annie.

  12. posted on Oct 28, 2011 at 12:27 PM  |  reply

    I try so hard to be brave about being single. But it’s so hard. ALL of my friends (literally ALL) are married or engaged. I will a bridesmaid in my 7th wedding in December, my 8th in February, my 9th next October, and could be asked to be in a 10th soon. I love my friends so much but watching them all get married and go off and start new and different lives is just so hard.

    I pray and I try, but I don’t date very much, I live alone with my cat, and find myself worrying about my future and if I’m ever going to have children, which I so desperately want.

    I don’t know what God wants from me. I don’t hear Him calling me to do something great or go someplace new. I don’t know what to do because you can only be brave for so long.

    • Amy
      posted on Oct 28, 2011 at 2:35 PM  |  reply

      @Elizabeth L., Bless your heart, Elizabeth. I do know how you feel, although thankfully, I haven’t been in as many weddings as you have! One thing that has really helped me this month is reading Brenda’s “31 Days of Peaceful Singleness”-see her website above in the comments. Praying for you right now-don’t give up hope-I haven’t! :)

  13. Hollie
    posted on Oct 28, 2011 at 12:37 PM  |  reply

    Annie, you’re awesome! A great post and a timely word as I start year number 33 on Sunday as a single.

  14. posted on Oct 28, 2011 at 2:01 PM  |  reply

    I always say I feel like I’m the last single one of all my friends. Maybe it’s because I grew up in a small town, so even at 25 the friends I graduated high school with have been married 7 years. Or that I went to a small Christian college in the Midwest, where most of the student body is married by 22. But I’ve found recently that it’s simply not true. I think we just notice those in relationships more than those who are single, because who of us who is single walks around announcing it? (that wasn’t a jab at couples by any means!)

    I think something I’ve learned is that you have to live the life you dream of NOW. STOP WAITING TO LIVE LIFE UNTIL YOU’RE MARRIED. I have so many friends who say, “Well, when I meet the right guy we’ll do this or that together and it will be awesome.” Sure it will.
    But what if you don’t meet him for years?
    Do you really want to have foregone those experiences, those adventures, those risks, those relationships, because “someday, maybe?”
    I always assumed I’d meet The One in college and get married after. When that didn’t happen, I was pretty bummed. But now, looking back, I’m grateful. I’d never have been successful in a relationship while in law school the past 3 years, and I probably wouldn’t have gone to law school if I had been in one.

    Now to find a man who wants to take me on, student loans and all ha! ;)

  15. posted on Oct 28, 2011 at 8:08 PM  |  reply

    And So It Goes, Billy Joel, be willing to sing it. Vulnerability takes courage.

  16. posted on Oct 29, 2011 at 10:40 AM  |  reply

    “It takes courage to ask for something over and over again. It’s vulnerable every time.”

    Now that line hit me! I definitely get weary of asking of the same things over and over. I feel like I’m on repeat and it’s like okay God how many times do you want to hear me ask for Africa, a husband, and babies. And it is so vulnerable every.single.time. But I definitely hadn’t thought of the courage aspect of it and well I guess I like to say that I’d rather try to be the persistent widow than to never ask.

    Thanks for the encouragement and the list!

  17. Andrea
    posted on Oct 29, 2011 at 10:40 PM  |  reply

    I love having and sharing great resources for my single friends. I promise I wouldn’t recommend anything hokey. My two favorites are:

    1) Boundless.org
    -webzine and podcast for Christian single adults

    2) The Good Women Project (goodwomenproject.com)
    -great resource for Single women. Each month they conquer a topic…this month it’s dating.

  18. Emily
    posted on Oct 30, 2011 at 3:16 PM  |  reply

    I’ve loved every courage post, but this is definitely a favorite so far. Thank you for sharing.

  19. posted on Nov 03, 2011 at 12:22 PM  |  reply

    [...] Single by Annie Downs. She shares 5 ways to be courageously single. Love it! [...]

  20. posted on Dec 29, 2011 at 2:43 PM  |  reply

    You are BRAVE!

    Thanks for being courageous and honest in your sharing for this post on singleness.

    You are so right about how when a person is single there ARE benefits! It’s great not having to budget with people other than yourself in mind. But it’s worth it once you meet the one person God made for you and start a family BUT until then, it’s great to be able to spend (and save) money the way you want!

    Again, thanks for your bravery and honesty!

    God bless you!

Join the discussion

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Get a sneak peek of Annie’s latest book! Click the link to download two free chapters of Let’s All Be Brave.