For Day 8 of my 10 Days of Thankfulness, I want to share about how much I appreciate my time as a single person. Now, I’m not saying that being single is better than being married, nor am I saying that I don’t ever want to get married. I’m just saying that I’m content with being single right now, and until I meet Mr. Right, I want to value, appreciate and make the most of my time as a single person.
I think the biggest gift that single people possess is their time. No matter how many times in my life I’ve thought that my life was so busy, I know it’s been no where near as busy as someone who is married or has a family. Again, I absolutely look forward to the day I get to be a wife and a mother, but I don’t want to take for granted the gift of time I have right now. More than once, I’ve taken inventory of my life and asked myself, “What do I have time to do now that I might not be able to do when I’m married and have kids? How can I really capitalize on my time right now and spend it in the best way possible?”
Once you start asking questions about how to spend your time, you realize you’re really asking yourself the question “What is my purpose?” For me, being single has been a great time to discover that. I feel like I was floundering for so many years of my life, working jobs I disliked or only kind of liked simply for the purpose of paying my bills, or just to be doing something.
Sometime in my mid-twenties, someone suggested that I make a list of things I enjoy doing – whether it was something I really enjoyed doing a lot, or only a little bit – in an effort to discover what the heck I really wanted to do with my life (i.e. purpose). I wrote the list and began to work my way through it. I was determined to give everything on my list a good shot. I’ve always enjoyed singing, so I took piano and voice lessons for 3 months. I’ve also always loved dance, so I took ballet and hip hop classes for several years (and even performed in a few recitals).
On my list, I also wrote that I loved travel/missions trips. It wasn’t until 2010 that I began to tackle this item on my “purpose list.” I was living in Denver, CO at the time, and on one particular Sunday at church, I ran into a missionary I once worked with in Thailand.
She was excited to see me and the first thing she said to me was, “Mel! Are you married?”
Me: “No, Marlene, I’m not married,” I replied, while trying my best to refrain from displaying the look of disdain most single women naturally display when they are asked if they are married.
Marlene: “You need to do missions for a year!”
Me: “I don’t know, Marlene. I would really love to, but….” (thinking of all the reasons why it’s not “possible”)
Marlene: “Just pray about it! Promise me you’ll pray about it! I dare you!”
Me: “Okay, Marlene, I promise.”
Later the following week…
Me: “Lord, please tell me if you want me to do missions work for a year. In Jesus name, amen.” (and…promise kept.)
After I prayed that nonchalant, two-second prayer, all the reasons I had for not being able to undertake this venture of doing missions work for a year began to quickly diminish. And before the week was over, I began the process of not only doing missions work for a year, but for doing missions work indefinitely. And the rest, as you know, is history.
I’m grateful to have discovered my purpose as a single person – a purpose, which I also intend to carry on with in the future as a wife and a mother :)