August 14, 2017 / 22:23 PM
If you’re reading this as a single man or woman who feels strongly about a relationship – even marriage – you’re not the only one. I’ve been single for as long as I can remember. Most days, I don’t mind the wait, but as much as I love learning about the Lord on my own, I eagerly wait for the day when I can grow in faith with my partner.
Friend, I want to affirm you and let you know it’s okay to be faith-filled..and still be lonely. When my lonely gets too loud, I tell myself it’s alright. This is human – as human as anyone can get. If people invalidate your desire and say you lack faith because “you are not satisfied in the Lord,” talk to someone else. Your desire is God-designed – God created Eve for Adam as a helpmate – in the same way that others have the equally blessed gift of singleness. But then, this isn’t an excuse to waste this fulfilling albeit tiring season. You eventually get to a point when you understand its purpose. This is exactly when you allow His faithful plans to unfold.
Read: Single, Faithful, and Not Waiting
- Make peace with your past.
The most liberating feeling is knowing your shortcomings, asking atonement for them, and making way for God to renew you. I’m pretty sure we all have had (almost) relationships and “cheap” imitations of love we want to keep in the farthest corners of our minds – or even pray into non-existence – but wounds often arise when these aren’t properly dealt with. Before you can genuinely be content with the season you’re in, make peace with the people you’ve hurt, make peace with God, and make peace with yourself. God can trace away all the murky, sad parts of you you’re afraid to show others – if you let Him. Let these chains (of hurt and self-loathing) be broken.
You will no longer remember the shame of your youth. (Isaiah 54:4)
Guard your heart, you’ve probably heard that – and if you’re in a Christian environment, endless amount of times. But, do you guard your contentment? The simple act of binge-watching Koreanovelas or romantic comedies makes any woman want the fairytale-type-of-love fast. Personally, I watch vlogs from itsjudyslife every single day. When I get really lonely, I cry myself to sleep because I don’t have what they have. (I’m not exaggerating.) I’m not telling you to stop watching these shows, I have no intention of doing so too, but take caution in what holds your heart and mind captive.
Months ago, I deleted a playlist with sad love songs I listened to when I wanted to indulge in my sadness. Rather, I pray and redirect my thoughts to higher things. Stop romanticizing your sadness, and know what triggers it.
- Learn from your relationships.
And no, not from romantic ones. How do you treat those you have nothing to gain from? Are you creating new relationships and nurturing old ones? Are you plugged in a solid community that helps you grow or are you too busy engaging in futile acts like gossip to belong to one? How you treat those around you will eventually be how you treat your partner.
For women, do you affirm the men around you? Do you push them towards Christlikeness? For men, do you treat women with respect and protect them? Do you let their unique femininity radiate? Regardless of your “intentions,” kindness doesn’t go unnoticed.
- Passively wait, actively serve.
Are you pursuing your best, the Lord? Do you make time for Him? Are you delighting in Him and His precepts, or do you simply make Him an afterthought? There is so much that God can boldly use us for – to reach out and mentor someone younger than us, to be part of any ministry in Church, and to let people know about God in whatever way we can. This season is a great gift; may we offer our waiting to the Lord.
An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world – how she can please her husband. I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord. (1 Corinthians 7:34-35)
Being in a relationship is a beautiful, life-giving thing but honor your singleness, and make peace with it. Don’t make a (romantic) relationship your goal. Be open to possibilities, and allow this season to bear glorious things within you. If you’re single, good, it means you have uninterrupted time to learn about life without compromising your plans – because you have another person in the equation. It is a wonderfully grave responsibility, after all. Do the things you’re afraid of – trek a mountain, learn a new language, go on your first solo trip – and love life without anticipating that someone falls in love with you in the process.
Work on your person, and continue to fall in love with your kind of beautiful. Let time transform you. Lay down your expectations on the feet of Christ. I tell you, every day you wait on God’s plan is a gift to your spouse.
July 23, 2017 / 00:27 AM
In Dua Lipa’s New Rules MV, you see a group of beautiful women – with mascara-dripped faces and blinding highlight – “supporting” one another (emotionally) in a singsong, theatrical production. As of writing, it has 33M views – pretty sure because many can relate. Let me tell you something, it’s everything I want to tell my friends who settle.
Now, don’t get me wrong…I’ve been there, and my closest friends can attest to that (with my desperate text messages at 3AM all in CAPS LOCK – because FEELINGS). Having said that, I’ve also met and comforted way too many heartbroken women who have felt abandoned. Sometimes, we persist to stay in situations that don’t benefit us but we’re too caught up in the person, in the feeling that we need to be reminded that, really, we don’t need to. This may be a part of life but that’s it; don’t let it become your life. Let this be your salvation: love doesn’t need to be complicated. If you’re trying too hard, there may be something wrong.
- Ladies, you are not just somebody’s “afterthought.”
You are not a chance lost *cough Jollibee TVC cough,* you are, first and foremost, a choice. Stay away from boys who only seek your presence when it’s convenient. Never compromise your standards to fit someone in the picture. If you have different beliefs, if you’re running towards opposite directions, it’s time to be firm and stand your ground.
- Never act on your emotions when you’re lonely.
I’ve been there. 12AM messages left “seen” you immediately regret until the wee hours of the morning. (Girl, sayang ‘yung skin care mo, itulog mo na lang ‘yan – ikagaganda mo pa!) It’s okay to be lonely, but how do you respond to it? If you think you’ll find a good man on some hook-up app or in a bar, please reconsider. I know the attention is so enthralling, and you hunger for it, but there is so much on the line. I say this all the time but lead your heart before it leads you.
- Handle your expectations.
Correct me if I’m wrong but so many of our deepest hurts come from unmet expectations. Before we put the “blame” on the other party…kayo ba talaga or is it just a M(alabong) U(sapan)? If a guy can’t bravely put himself to lay it out then you have every right to ask for clarity.
- You don’t have to work for anybody’s attention.
A good man won’t stop at anything if he really likes you. You are worth pursuing. Call me old-fashioned but it is the man’s job to initiate.Take this (and everything else I say, really) with a grain of salt. If you end up second-guessing your words and actions again and again – almost to the point of crippling self-doubt and self-loathing – it’s time to stop and evaluate your circumstances.
“A woman in her glory, a woman of beauty, is a woman who is not striving to become beautiful or worthy or enough. She knows in her quiet center where God dwells that He finds her beautiful, has deemed her worthy, and in Him, she is enough. In fact, the only thing getting in the way of our being fully captivating and enjoyed is our striving. This is why we must keep asking. Ask Jesus to show you your beauty. Ask Him what He thinks of you as a woman. His words to us let us rest and unveil our beauty.”
(Stasi and John Eldredge, Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of A Woman’s Soul)
Bottom line, if you’re settling for cheap imitations of love, you are doing yourself a disservice. Honor your heart, and give yourself the respect you deserve. Simple lang ‘yan, if you can’t give your best friend the “love” you have now, then why would you allow yourself to be in that situation? Ipaglaban mo naman ang sarili mo.
The road to love, the real and God kind, is filled with detours but trust that taking the road less travelled – to wait and make honorable decisions you can be proud of – frees you from unnecessary hurt and drama. Give your energy to something more worth your time. Surround yourself with people who you can be accountable to and who could lovingly rebuke you when you’re making problematic decisions.
From one struggling woman to another, you are beautiful and so is your heart. Guard it for everything you do flows from it (Proverbs 4:23). Believe me when I say there is glorious love stored up for you that won’t make you doubt yourself. It is unrelenting and true. Don’t settle for anything else.
Read: Maximizing Your Season of Singleness
If you had the opportunity to talk to a younger you, what would you tell her about love? Leave your answers in the comments below! ❤️
January 05, 2017 / 22:38 PM
If you were to tell my younger self that at 24, I would still be single with no manliligaw nor a prospect whatsoever, I’d think you’re crazy.
At 19, I thought I was *gasp* ready for a relationship. How difficult would it be? (At 15, I had a manliligaw who called me every day on our red telephone. I thought this was love – the extent, the brevity of it – because it was all I had, it was all I knew.) I was surrounded by wonderful people, growing my craft, active in ministry, seeking the Lord…but completely misunderstood it. Love meant overanalyzing unanswered chat boxes, rereading unsent letters, listening to sad songs, crying myself to sleep, and a lot of waiting. I suffered these delusions, these cheap imitations of love, because I wanted so badly for it to come, to be it. More than that, my praiseworthy behavior was fueled by the idea that if I kept up this performance, I would deserve it – as if love were to be earned, to be won.
I mean, isn’t that it? Wasn’t this all God wanted from me? But I was cheating my all-knowing, omnipotent King. My pursuit of Christ – may it be intentional or not – was desperately tethered to a lesser pursuit of someone else.
For years, shame followed me and made a home in my heart. I put the idea of a relationship so high up in a pedestal that I found it difficult to be alone. My self-worth heavily depended on the presence of a companion and his ability to return my love. At some point, my weary heart gave up, wrapped itself in apathy disguised as courage – when it is anything but that. I even questioned this God-given desire for a healthy and life-giving relationship. I thought I was meant to be single for the rest of my life yet I know I was born to be somebody’s wife.
During those years of steadying my heart and learning my God, I discovered that life does not begin when I find security in another person; humans err and disappoint. I needed to learn how to be alone. I needed to wade in my solitude and learn the mercy of knowing my parts and reveling in both the beautiful and the messy.
“When I get lonely these days, I think: So be lonely. Learn your way around loneliness. Make a map of it. Sit with it, for once in your life. Welcome to the human experience. But never again use another person’s body or emotions as a scratching post for your own unfulfilled yearnings.”
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
(Romantic) love is only a part of my life, it is not the entirety. I do not live to be loved nor do I love to start living. There will be days when my loneliness gets too loud – that is what it means to be human – but I need to teach my heart to surrender to something greater than myself (and my passing emotions). My life then becomes an act of worship, of eternal abandon to ways that are greater than my own.
Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4)
My love will come some day but ’til then, Love moves in and through me – and this is the best kind of love I can ever receive.