I turned 30 last year. The “Big 3-0.” I certainly don't consider myself old, but when I think of my good friends and their life stages and accomplishments, I sometimes feel as though I've been left behind.
Don’t get me wrong, I cherish celebrating the milestones of life with brothers and sisters. I truly love standing next to a bride as a witness to her marriage covenant, praying for the Godhead to endure as the focal point. I truly love holding newborns and toddlers, praying that the Lord would call them to Himself soon. Over the past decade, I’ve witnessed numerous births, celebrations, anniversaries, and graduations. Each milestone is momentous and incredibly beautiful, but honestly, as my birthday approached, I was envious.
I began to wonder: If my circumstances were different, would I be able to enjoy this birthday like I had every other? Would I still be dreading 30? As I threw myself a birthday pity party, I soon realized my selfishness and foolishness. Why was my demeanor dependent upon my circumstances? If my circumstances were altered just slightly, would my outlook on life really change?
We all desire to be significant, to be valued, and as a woman, I desire to someday be a wife and a mother. But I have come to realize that until God chooses to give me those things, Jesus Christ is not only enough now but He is enough until the end of my days. I have come to realize that my satisfaction is not dependent upon my circumstances, interactions with others, possessions, or achievements. True satisfaction is only to be found in Christ. Not only has God made us in His image and declared us “good,” He desires to work powerfully through us! But when ingratitude blinds us to our blessings, we miss opportunities to join Him.
By God’s grace, my heart began to change. I became grateful, and I realized that, by the power of His Spirit, God was using my singleness for His glory. Because of my singleness, I see more of my need for Him. Because of my singleness, I’m blessed to have a constant reminder of my completeness in Him. Because of my singleness, I’m more aware of my need to utterly depend upon Him. Because of my singleness, I desire to know Him more intimately. And because of my singleness, I’m better able to counsel and come alongside other singles as together we serve the Kingdom with contentment.
It took me a while to figure all this out, but God saw past my shortcomings and fleeting desires. In spite of our limited vision, He still loves us and longs to show us more of Himself, to reveal more of His plan, which will always be grander than ours. There are many gifted singles who have so much to say, so much to teach, so much to share because of the Lord’s hand in their lives, but some have been handicapped out of disdain for their life circumstances. May we learn to see singleness as God sees singleness. May we be a church marked by true contentment, knowing that faithfulness has little to do with having gifts and everything to do with using gifts.
Honestly, 31 has been the best year of my life. The Lord has challenged me, worked in me, and given me opportunities to lead, serve, and be used by Him in wonderful ways. He has used my Neighborhood Parish, my roommates, and my community to shape me. He has used me to shape them. He has humbled me and shown me grace.
Are there days when I desire a husband? Of course. But it's not consuming. I can trust in God, because satisfaction is not to be found in my circumstances. Satisfaction is available now and always in Christ. And God desires to use me in carrying out His plan. It doesn’t get better than that! So as I continue life into my thirties, I have ample reason to be grateful because of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus. He has become the One for whom my heart longs. He is enough.