“You will never have more time than you do right now.”

The first time I heard someone say that I started making excuses about work and my schedule and how it wouldn’t always be the case. I tried to rationalize my way into believing that I would have more time in the future to do those things I wanted to do. After a while of living in the space of self-denial, I began to look around. I took a hard look at the people closest to me, most of whom are married, some with kids; only a few of my close friends are single. The more I thought about it, the more I came to realize that quote was absolutely true.

It’s nice, when you’re single, to think that when you find “the one” it’ll be great and fun and life’s problems will be solved (or at least diminished), but that’s not the way life works. I look at my friends who are married and they go from work straight home to spend time with their spouse and their kids. When I go home, I can write or paint or read or watch whatever show I want without having to battle over the remote. My married friends go home to companionship, sure, but they also go home to responsibilities; the work of my married friends doesn’t end when they leave the office.

If their work doesn’t end, why should mine?

If you will never have more time than you had today, shouldn’t we be spending our time of singleness doing something that matters? Don’t get me wrong, I’m writing this to myself. I spent most of my day today clearing clutter away from my computer and inbox and car and room so that I could better work in my living spaces, and I spent most of yesterday watching Netflix. While today has been focused on introspection, self-growth, and self-acceptance, I’m beginning to realize just how much I waste my time that isn’t spent working. What if we began to look at our singleness a little differently?

Single to Serve

There’s something freeing about serving another human being. Now, I’m going to be honest, I usually have to force myself to a volunteering opportunity (getting there is always the hardest part) but once I’m there I can’t get enough of it. I believe that saying “no” to the selfish part of our existence (a part of me that I’ve fed my entire life as a single person) and saying “yes” to the needs of others is one of the most powerful and life-changing decisions we can make. You might be asking, “where can I serve?”  Consider the following:

  • What are you passionate about?
  • Is there a particular people group your heart goes out to?
  • What makes you tick?
  • What makes you ticked?

Did a particular thing spring to your mind? If so, pursue that. If you’re passionate about kids, volunteer at an after school mentoring program or in your church’s kids ministry. If you’re passionate about the poor, volunteer at a soup kitchen or a shelter. If you’re passionate about literacy, then go to a library or teach a kid how to read. The list is endless: no matter what your passion is, find a way to use it to help someone else. It could be as simple as treating a friend to a cup of coffee and having a meaningful conversation. Use the time you have to serve someone else and see how you’ll grow in the process.

Single to Skyrocket (or Sprout if that’s more your speed)

I’ve talked with other young ladies my age who are desperately searching for a husband. I once had a conversation with a friend who was sharing her list of traits she wanted in a man. The interesting thing about her list was that Jesus wouldn’t have made the cut. She described physical features and hobbies and instruments he would play, without focusing on this mystery man’s character—the most important part.

Over the years I’ve learned what character traits I’m attracted to, generosity and honor being two of the most important. I have written down a full list of traits I’m looking for, it’s hiding somewhere amongst my possessions, but more and more I’m realizing that I need to fit that list first. How could I be looking for this amazing man when I’m not an appropriate counterpart or helpmate for him? How could I be looking for someone generous when I’m stingy or someone who honors others when I gossip behind their backs? That would be a serious mismatch. I know I’m imperfect and he will be too, but if my life is not marked consistently by a passionate pursuit of the Lord, then how will I react to a man trying to lead me in that way?

What if, in this season of singleness, we were intentional to grow closer to God? What if we worked to become the woman the man we’re looking for is looking for? I think that we will sprout over time as we sit in church services, read the Word, and talk with and serve other believers, but if we were to intentionally work on ourselves, I believe we could skyrocket. If you want an amazing man and an amazing marriage, some things need to be worked out first in your own self.

Being single isn’t a waste of your “good years” or a death-sentence, it’s an amazing opportunity. I hope and pray that we don’t squander these precious moments we have, and instead use them to skyrocket as we serve those around us. I hope, at the end of your singleness, you are able to say “I’ve had the time of my life”, as you start a new life with a man who loves you immensely.

If you’re single, how can you be intentional today about using your time to grow instead of just waiting? And if you’re married, how can you pour into your single friends so that they are able to pursue growth?

Sarah Callen

Sarah was raised in Tucson, Arizona, but now lives in Dallas, Texas. Currently working a 9 to 5 job, in her spare time she loves to be with friends and do anything creative that her hands find to do. She believes every number has a name, every name has a story, and every story is worthy of being shared.

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