Ola Nubi writes that being a Christian single can be enjoyable and fun, as individuals have time to explore the world, follow their passion and learn about their God-given purpose
When I was asked to come up with a few words on the issue of singleness, I tried to think of something fresh to bring to this subject and decided, after much deliberating, why not just share a bit about my journey as a single woman?
I guess you will probably think, ‘Hey, I couldn’t bear to read another sob story about a single woman waiting for Mr Right to show up’ and you are right, so I won’t even go there. That’s not to say I don’t believe that it will happen. I just want to talk about other things.
When I hit forty, it was a time of reflection. Years of dodging questions from relatives and well-meaning friends about my prolonged single status had equipped me with a tough skin. Mr Right hadn’t shown up; there had been a few disappointments in love – and some near misses – and it was time to move on and learn from my mistakes.
I stopped taking myself too seriously; learned to laugh at myself and the funny things in life, and appreciate a good book or play. I took holidays to savour the beauty of the English countryside, the sunny islands of Tuscany, and Table Mountain in Johannesburg.
I realised I had spent a lot of time trying to please people, by doing the things I had done for years that were now becoming routine, and I wasn’t feeling fulfilled.
I had spent decades nursing a lot of unfulfilled dreams, and I realised that a person who is out there, fulfilling their destiny, is more attractive to a person praying for a life partner than someone who sits at home, buried in self-pity. Surely, I needed to have a vision before I could see where I fitted into someone else’s life and destiny? I should be pursuing my purpose and passion, and not waiting to be pursued. Knowing your purpose helps you realise that if you really want to fulfil God’s plan for your life, you can’t get hitched to just anyone.
When an individual has spent years of being alone, watching friends get married and having families, it is very tempting to want to settle for ‘Mr Average’, ‘Mr Romeo’, or ‘Mr I-have-a-lot-of-serious-problems-but-love-conquers-all’, but you need to see how your destiny links up. You are carrying destiny, and need someone to make the baby leap inside of you, not terminate the promise.
Let’s look at the facts. Our biological clocks are clanging; he looks good, talks good, spends good, and is the first person to ask you out in 10 years. Yes, it does happen. Neither of these reasons is good enough to make a permanent decision to link your destiny and life to another human being for 30, 40 years, or more if Jesus tarries. If your relationship isn’t going to lead to a partnership that has purpose – what is the point?
In pursuing my passion, I decided to take a creative writing class, where I was encouraged to take my writing more seriously and go back to University and study for a Masters. Initially, I was a bit worried about returning to University after years of being out of formal education for so long, but this had been my dream since I could string words into sentences and then into little stories. I knew I had to go for it. Three years later, I have won two writing competitions; had a book accepted for publication, and am in the process of writing my second novel.
I have found that being more fulfilled doesn’t always banish the longing for love – and maybe that’s a good thing, because one must always have hope.
If I could talk to the 20-year-old Ola, I would tell her to learn a new hobby or language; write a book; travel, even if it’s to the next town; smile at someone on the train, and share Christ with her boss. To do something – anything – but sit around waiting for someone to show up.
Nowadays with technology there is so much more that singles can do. Start a page of a social network, and gather people around who have the same interests. Join a meet-up group – there are lots of Christian and secular ones. Make life happen for yourself and someone else, and you will become a better friend, employee, church member and – who knows – maybe potential wife or husband some day, in the not-too-distant future.
Ola Nubi is an aspiring writer. Read more of Ola’s work at www.olaawonubi.com, http://easytowrite.wordpress.com and check out her blog, The Diary of a Reluctant Single on http://amberandgold.wordpress.com