By: Maryn Thomas

I’ve been talking with many young women lately about the season of singleness. For each of us, that season is a different amount of time and stems from different life circumstances.

In December, I shared quite a bit about my story at the Women’s Christmas Dessert. In case you missed it, let me share a bit with you here. I came to Eugene to attend the University of Oregon in 2006. By the end of my freshman year, I was in my very first relationship. I had never had a boyfriend and was totally lost when it came to healthy relationships. As so many of us do, I became too invested too quickly.

After a few short months, I was totally convinced that we would get married. When he broke up with me, I was devastated and completely thrown off track. After all, I had put all my weight in this. I was “sure” of the future and yet it didn’t work out how I planned. It took me a long time to recover from that, mostly because my identity was placed in that relationship. I dated off and on throughout college and once I graduated, I entered the era that I refer to as the “unplanned era.” According to my life plan, I would go to school, graduate, get married, and then have kids (go ahead and thrown a mini-van, a puppy, and a white fence into that plan). So when I graduated college with no prospect of marriage, I was disappointed and terrified. I didn’t know what to expect for this season. And I didn’t know how long it would last.

It would be four years before I met my husband.

For many women, their season of singleness is much longer than mine. Yet, God taught me incredible lessons throughout that season and I wouldn’t change it for the world. What he taught me during those four years set the foundation for how I would be as a wife, a mom, and servant of God.

I had a moment a few years ago where I felt God prompting me to choose to be content, no matter how long my season of singleness lasted! I promised God that I would make the most of it, and though I had moments of panic, I really tried to use that season to grow. We will always be tempted to look toward the future and think that things will be so much better once we have something more. But God calls us to contentment now.

Our purpose as women does not depend on our relationship status. Sometimes, we make the mistake of thinking our life will really start once we get married. For me, in order to best use that time of singleness, I had to find other purpose!

I spent time serving at the church. I asked God to show me what my gifts were and then found opportunities to use them. I think once we focus on the needs around us, our heart quickly changes. If you love to cook, start cooking for those around you. Take meals to families in need or have some college girls over for dinner. If you love kids, serve in our Kids classes or offer to babysit for your friends with kids. If you’re creative, use that gift to create inspiring, beautiful art for those around you. You have great purpose in your life and the Lord calls us to use those things through serving Him. Remember that it is a JOY that we get to serve Him!

There may still be moments that are hard for some as they look toward the future and long to be married. For others, their singleness has been brought about because of hurt or broken relationships. In all cases, we get to cling to the fact that we serve a good and sovereign God. In Joshua 1:5, God reminds us that He will “not leave you or forsake you.” He has not forgotten about you, but rather, He has a great plan for your life!

“Your eyes saw my unformed substance;

in your book were written, every one of them,

the days that were formed for me,

when as yet there was none of them” Psalm 139:16

He loves us with a love unmatchable by human love. His love is a steadfast love that never fails.

“But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.” Psalm 86:15