Kimberly N. Alleyne
The Harvest Magazine, Publisher and Editor
We know God is always with us. Even during those times when we feel most alone, He is there. He has to be there because He cannot contradict Himself. Admittedly, there are instances where it is easier to feel His presence — when we have hope in spades and faith like the Shunamite woman (II Kings 4:1-36); when we’re floating in joy and confident about tomorrow.
When we have what we want, we feel Him.
Other times, when we are saddled in shame, in doubt, in fear, in grief, in trials, in failures, His presence eludes us. His fragrance evaporates, his voice mutes and, He just seems away … gone … at least that’s what we say to ourselves.
There is nothing wrong with being alone; it’s the feelings of loneliness we have to balance, especially single believers. If we’re not careful, we can delude ourselves into thinking that marriage is the panacea to loneliness and all else that ails us.
Don’t misunderstand me: marriage is beautiful. God ordained marriage and a union of two souls bound by God’s love and anointing really is a splendid thing. So if you want to be married, you desire a great thing. The caution is to not become obsessed with that desire. And perhaps most important is to accept God’s timing, and His answers.
In my relationship with the Lord I’ve matured to understand He works in seasons, and His seasons go deeper than a page on a calendar. Some seasons are warm and gentle. Some are unbearably hot and oppressive. Some are cold and void of growth. Some seem to have no ending.
I want to be married. I want to be a wife to a good man, to the right man—who will be more than good, he’ll be great. This is one desire that has eluded me for far longer than I planned or wanted or envision. Single in the city in my 40s is not what’s on my vision boards. This is not what I ordered. Sure, I have other desires and dreams that have not materialized yet, but this marriage one has been much harder to swallow.
I arrived at a place in my spirit, where I just had to spill my heart to God and to find out once and for all what the hold is. It is hard to hear “not now” or “a little longer,” especially when we’re already thirsty out of breath from the wait. Nonetheless there is a reason why you’re still single, and if you want to know you gotta ask.
Here is what you might hear when you do ask why you’re single:
1. God is preparing you for your spouse.
Maybe you need deep healing or perhaps there are areas where you need to mature before you make a lifetime commitment.
2. God is preparing your spouse for you.
It could be that you are ready for marriage, but the mate God has for you is not.
3. Your motives are wrong.
If you want to marry because you’re lonely, because all of your friends are married or because you want to get over a heart break, you’re impure motives will stymie, if not suffocate, your aims. And even if you get what you want, misery will be your frequent companion.
4. God has work for you to do.
It could be that God has a special work to do in this season. It could be anything, ministry has many faces. Whatever He is calling you to do, be open and be obedient. Ignoring His call only causes frustration and unnecessary difficulty.
5. Yes, but not yet.
Remember God operates in seasons. Maybe God wrote marriage in your life plan, but it simply is not your season to marry. Yes, just not right now.
Enjoy the season you’re in, whatever it is. There is beauty in every season, sometimes it’s not as easy to see but it’s always there. Look with your eyes and heart open.
You can’t rush the ending or modify the life of a season; it’s beginning and end are in God’s hands. There’s no “seed offering” or “offering of sacrifice” that can change that. God does not need your manipulation money or incentives or barters for righteousness. Trust Him, He wrote every dot point of your life. He drew the map, so trust Him and follow it. He knows where He is taking you, and it really is a place of where you’ll ride on the heights of the land, and eat the fruit of the fields.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
Every detail of your story is for God’s glory! Don’t snatch His pen. Find ways for Him to use you. I know that’s well-worn statement, but I write it with utmost sincerity and seriousness. Let God use you for Him — that’s all of this, our journey, our time here in our temporary home, is all about anyway. Study. Pray. Take a praise break. Serve. Encourage someone. Help someone. Learn a new hobby. Exercise. Travel. Read. Write for The Harvest Magazine. Learn a new recipe. Go on a mission trip (and you don’t have to travel globally to get on the mission field!). Whatever you do, don’t lose the season, whatever it is, to stagnation. Move.
There is a set time for every season to end. Enjoy the beauty and savor the lesson of each one.