After the first time I saw it, about 6 years ago, I left just feeling a deep sense of shame. I didn't believe I was worthy of pursuit or attractive because of the basics of my personality. The fact that the girls I went with declared "you are so Gigi!" (one of the crazy ones...) didn't help much. I was mortified, embarrassed, and began to believe that my overly hopeful heart and ridiculous actions somehow had the power to dictate my love life, or lack thereof. I began to believe the lies that I had screwed up God's entire plan for me and that I was destined to be "stuck in singleness" (which, side note, is not a stick!) for the rest of my life. There are a lot of things (a few I've touched on here) that are wrong with that mentality, and I think they are things each one of us, as single women, are prone to. (Side note, as a word of encouragement, the Lord is faithful to sanctify and grow. As the years have passed, these thoughts and tendencies are less and less frequent and my joy in Him runs so deep and is truly overflowing. He is the greatest gift; nothing and no one comes close to comparing- press into Him and allow Him to do a work on your heart.)
1. We tend to forget Who actually does rule and reign. And it's not us.
We think of ourselves too highly- and too often. We allow our minds to wonder off into so many crazy places, believing that the things we say and the things we do determine the course of our lives. When we do this, we are essentially believing that we are the highest authority and we have the power to control not only our lives, but those around us. How terrifying would it be if this were actually true? God, in His incredible grace, does not allow humanity to take His place.
In these moments of weakness and sin, fear and doubt, it's good for me to remember the One who has always been and will always be. God was never created- He is the Alpha and Omega, beginning and end. He sees all things, knows all things, and is everywhere, all the time. That means I'm in His vision. He sees me. He is daily aware of me. Not only am I, and all the intricate details of my life, in His vision, but He's the author of my life. He is in control. Psalm 139 reminds me that before there were even any days of my life, He already knew them. Matthew 10 reminds me that the very hairs of my head are numbered. He sees when every sparrow falls, and how much more of a value am I than them? I, who am made in the image of the Creator, my Father, am incredibly and deeply valuable to Him. I am so valuable to Him that He will not give me the reigns of my life. He loves me too much to do that. And He, the God of all wisdom, knowledge, power, and might- wouldn't He know the right course of my life? And all of this...in spite of me... I can't mess it up. And He is after His greatest glory! And He is glorified through me, and through you! That's crazy.
O LORD, my heart is not lifted up; my eyes are not raised too high; I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me. But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me. O Israel, hope in the LORD from this time forth and forevermore.
No need to worry about the failures to be exposed today. They have all been covered by the blood of Jesus. No need to be discouraged by the "could haves" or "what ifs." All your "coulds" and "ifs" are controlled by your Sovereign Savior. No need to think for a moment that you're beyond hope. Your hope doesn't rest on your power, but on your Savior's amazing grace.
Rest assured, your sin, weakness, and failure do not have the power to thwart God's unstoppable redemptive plan.
2. Our actions do have consequences, but God never looks at our sin and choose to withhold because He's fed up with us. Nor does He sit around waiting for us to "get our act together" before He blesses us. His gifts are NOT dependent upon our actions, but His character.
Self-righteousness is not only the belief that our right actions should somehow merit His favor, but that our wrong actions should bring about His frustration and anger. He is kind, patient, and merciful. He disciplines out of His great love for us, not out of impatience or a desire to see us suffer. That is incredible. Praise God that by His grace He sanctifies us and leads us to true joy. There is nothing that I can do to make God love me any more or any less. It's because He is good that He loves me. At my "best", I am undeserving, yet He loves me. At my worst, I am undeserving, yet He loves me.
Just like that silly movie, there are actions that we partake in (as men and women, single and married) that have consequences. There are patterns that are unholy and ungodly- that are unattractive, unfeminine, unmasculine, and not what the Lord wants for us. But never once does He look at our sin and choose not to love us anymore. He doesn't regret saving us, even when we fail Him. Never once does He look at me and think "That Rebekah...wow. When will she get her act together? I'm just ready to give up on her. I'm fed up with her struggle, so those gifts I give my children- they're off the table!" - the enemy whispers these lies (call them what they are!) in my head, and as a daughter of the King, I renounce them. I choose to trust God's perfect plan, and I choose to rest in His love and in His promises, not on my ability or my charm. I choose to wait for the Savior's return with hope and expectation. I choose to know Him and commune with Him, knowing that joy and hope is ultimately found in Him. (not in a husband or children or health or the perfect job or a stout bank account)
If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.
When I understand that everything happening to me is to make me more Christlike, it resolves a great deal of anxiety.
3. You are never "stuck in" singleness, but intentionally and providentially placed there, for HIS glory and for your good.
If you're single, chances are you've been encouraged to view singleness as a "gift." That isn't an original concept, but one that Paul spoke of in 1 Corinthians 7. It's interesting if you do a word study on "gift." In Paul's writings, he referred to a "gift" as the ability to encourage and build others up. He is not speaking of the gift you open Christmas morning that entirely excites you and brings a great deal of ecstasy. Believe me, I don't wake up every morning bouncing off the walls because I slept alone or didn't have anyone to share coffee with in the morning. This "gift" is so much deeper than that. Tim Keller has some good things to say about this in his book Meaning of Marriage (this is a shameless plug- just go buy it!)
The "gift-ness" of being single for Paul lay in the freedom it gave him to concentrate on ministry in ways that a married man could not. Paul may very well, then, have experienced what we today would call an "emotional struggle" with singleness. He might have wanted to be married. He not only found an ability to live a life of service to God and others in that situation, he discovered (and capitalized on) the unique features of single life (such as time flexibility) to minister with very great effectiveness.
This life is so much bigger than us. We were created to live for God. We were created to know Him and make Him known. The glory of the gospel is that we get God- and that's good, that's profound, that's life. You were created in His image and in His likeness- for Him. The depth of your personality and your character is for Him. Whether you're extroverted or introverted- male or female - single or married- melancholy or sanguine- athletic or poetic- life of the party or the wall flower- you were created that way for His glory. Use it. Take your eyes off of yourself, learn to walk in humility, and grow to love others more than you love yourself. Use your singleness to bless others and to encourage the body of Christ. Use the uniqueness of your situation to further the Kingdom of God. Use your femininity and your masculinity for His glory.
He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward Him and find Him. Yet He is actually not far from each one of us.
You were created to live for something vastly bigger than you and only grace can make you willing and able. You were hardwired to live for God, so even though you may not be aware of it, every good or bad thing you do today has verticality to it. Remember that every physical, situational, relational glory you'll experience today is meant to point you to the glory of God.
4. His perfect love truly does cast away all fear.
Read the following Scripture, and rest. Let your heart be at ease and sit - peacefully - under His love and in His care. He knows you in a deep way that is too profound to put into words. Rest.
I sought the LORD, and He answered me and delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to Him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed.
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes I will help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.
Nevertheless, I am continually with you. You hold my right hand. You guide me with Your counsel and afterward You will receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is nothing on earth I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but You, O LORD, are the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love because He first loved us.
1 John 4:18-19
It is the LORD who goes before you. He will be with you; He will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.
For You have been my help, and in the shadow of Your wings I will sing for joy. My soul clings to You; Your right hand upholds me.