By Miriam Drennan
Lord, all my desire is before You; And my sighing is not hidden from You. . . . My loved ones and my friends stand aloof . . . And my relatives stand afar off. – Psalm 38:9, 11
Manatees are plant-eating mammals with no known enemies. Their survival skills are quite impressive, and their gray-to-white brain matter proportion is even greater than humans. In recent years, they’ve garnered a lot of attention, primarily because they are an endangered species. Yet, they are solitary creatures.
While many single women may identify with the manatee, it is not their choice nor desire to be alone. And to add insult to injury, they may be shunned or ignored by friends, family, and, yes, even churches—ranging anywhere from social invitations, not fitting into a church’s programming, or even being relegated to the kids’ table at holidays, because, you know . . . “you’re single.”
Women get married for myriad reasons, and not always for love. And it’s true that marriage doesn’t solve problems; it can, in fact, create more (1 Corinthians 7:28). And of married women, plenty are lonely.
But these factors still do not resolve the yearning for those who want to be married.
Whether our desires haven’t aligned with God’s, or marriage is not in His timing yet (or at all), these feelings are very real and the void is very present—and therefore should not be discounted by anyone. You are whole. No other person can contribute to or take away from the completeness of God in you, so don’t give credence to those who try.
To ask that God take hold of our sense and sensibilities on this issue is a step in the right direction. Taking responsibility for our attitude and behavior, of course, is another.
So ask God to plant women in your life who can be a source of encouragement as you figure out this journey He has you traveling. Do you know anyone whom you consider a spiritual mentor? Someone who, married or single, lives a life that demonstrates wisdom and peace? Spend time developing those relationships to help bring balance to your life.
You may be single, but you’re not alone. And none of us are meant to live like the manatee. Whether you’re unmarried for a season or for a lifetime, relish the freedom and fullness that singleness offers, including the opportunity to choose for yourself a family of encouragers and supporters.
Lord, I have a special desire to meet someone with whom I can share this journey. I would love that someone to be my husband, one chosen by You, especially for me, if it is in Your will. In the meantime, help me find those who will encourage me to discover Your specific will for me, so that my desires align fully with Yours.
Excerpted from Devotions for the Beach by Miriam Drennan. Thomas Nelson ©2012. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson, Inc. www.thomasnelson.com.
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Miriam Drennan is a freelance writer and, by God's grace and providence, works in print, broadcast, and web. When she's not putting words together, you'll usually find her at the dog park with her pups, Sophie and Chance. Visit her at www.that-writer.com. Send Miriam your comments.
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