Mel Ignacio Tempongko
I’m 35 years old and I have been married for little over a year now but I decided to write about embracing the gift of singleness. Why? Because when I was single, there were times when I got so caught up with myself and what I didn’t have – a boyfriend.
Yet, despite these moments of self-pity, in the midst of struggling with my state of life, God still chose to reveal such wonderful joys about my singleness.
I’m sure you have heard these questions – “Are you dating anyone interesting?” “Want me to set you up?” “Who are you seeing now?” “What are your plans?”
We have been accustomed to believe that being single is something to dread; something to stress about. People spend years trying to deal with it; obsessing about it and dwelling on this so called “curse” of singleness.
As a single person, what occupies or preoccupies your time? What preoccupies your thoughts?
I have a good friend who I admire. She shared her struggles with me about being single. She takes time to talk to God about her state of life. She tells God her struggles and expresses her feelings of sadness, exasperation and confusion. As she poured her heart out to God one evening, she could feel the presence of Mother Mary asking and trying to put in a good word for her. She felt Mother Mary’s presence asking the Lord to grant her her hearts desires. After that night of honesty and humility, of acceptance and realization, I saw a change in her. She’s still single to this day but I see a peace within her. I see hope in her eyes; a confident assurance that God is taking care of her. I realize that the Lord has shielded her from her fear of being single.
Our soul waits for the Lord, He is our help and shield.
Let they steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in thee.
– PSALM 33: 20 and 22
There are women who actually remain single by choice. Others are single due to reasons beyond their control. Others seem to accept their singleness but deep down are lonely and confused. There are those who choose to ignore it in the hope that this feeling of longing will go away.
Do you believe in your heart of hearts that tremendous good can come out of being single? That being single is not a burden but a gift? Not a curse but a blessing? There are 2 joys I want to share about being single. Freedom and opportunity.
St. Paul wrote to the people of Corinth – “I should like you to have your minds free from worry. The unmarried man gives his mind to the Lord’s affairs and to how he can please the Lord, but the man who is married gives his hand to the affairs of this world and to how he can please his wife, and he is divided in mind.” (1 Corinthians 7:32-35)
The undivided attention that you as a single woman can give to each experience and encounter is a gift. When I was still single, God led me to spend time with my Grandfather (Lolo). I was able to care for him and be with him in his twilight years. I got to know him as a friend and we shared stories and jokes. He was one of the best story tellers I ever met. I cherish those moments with him. I also volunteered at the nearby parish and was part of the ministry of the word. I gave my time to community and youth camp activities. My attention was not divided. I offered myself wholeheartedly.
I am grateful for that time of singleness. Today, as a wife, I am called to nurture my relationship with God, my husband and one day my kids. As a single woman, your commitment is to nurture your relationship with God.
Being single is having this freedom to decide how you will use your time without having to worry about how you will divide your time. How are you choosing to spend your “free” time?
My Lord and my God, take from me everything that distances me from you.
My Lord and my God, give me everything that brings me closer to You.
My Lord and my God, detach me from myself to give my all to You.
-St. Nicholas of Flue
Being single gives you opportunity to know yourself better and opportunity to better serve the Lord.
Having a deeper knowledge of oneself is attained by taking time to search your heart. Self-discovery in prayer and taking time to read scripture is where God will reveal hidden treasures and self-realizations.
“Enter the room of self-knowledge first. This is the path”
“Praised be the Lord, who has redeemed me from myself.”
– St. Teresa of Avila
What kind of experiences have you been through? God will use these experiences for His glory. He will turn it into something beautiful. All your life experiences, wonderful or fearful, joyful or painful, belong to you. It is what you have.
What else do you possess? You possess talents, certain strengths, specific traits that are uniquely yours. Someone once said, you cannot give what you do not have.
How are you spending your time, talents and treasures?
God calls us to better serve Him in our singleness by using all that we have (experienced) and all that we are to help others. Offer that to Him. Lift it up to Him.
Seize the day my single friends! God is calling you to embrace singleness. It is truly a gift.
Live a life worthy of this vocation to which you have been called.