DEAR ALI: Single AND Joyful?
I want to live life to the fullest, single or married, and I am exploring possibilities of things I can do to make this a reality. Can you provide some insights into how you live life to the fullest regardless of your relationship ‘status’?
First of all, I think its great that you have a desire to live your life to the fullest, regardless of your relationship status. I have no doubt God will honor that request! I would love to share with you some insights into how I have and continue to go about living life to the fullest each day…
Time with God and in the Word. The world is constantly telling us what we are not and what we need to be more of – skinnier, richer, more successful…and the list goes on. And it’s easy to believe these things when we don’t have any other basis of Truth. I have noticed a tremendous difference in my mood, attitude and outlook when I am spending time alone with God each day and when I am not. I have realized that in order to live life to the fullest each day means giving the first hour of my day to God, to allow His thoughts, His perspectives, His love be the standard for everything else that comes along each day. The power of God’s Word is real!
Pursuing things I am passionate about. I used to think that ‘waiting’ on God was some sort of passive state, twiddling my thumbs until God dropped Mr. Right into my lap. But then I read something by Henri Nouwen about ‘Active Waiting’ and it totally changed my perspective. Waiting on God means pursuing after the things that are right in front of us. Whether it be a job, a ministry, a church community, hobbies or friendships…dive in! Get involved. Engage. Live. Love. And pursue your passions as if you won’t be living tomorrow. During these years of being single, I can truly say I LOVE life! I am pursuing my passion of serving and helping underprivileged kids in the Philippines…writing…traveling… running…and much more. What a shame if we allow our ‘single’ status to hold us back from living. We are called to be God’s children first and foremost, growing in His likeness. We can always put our hearts and minds to this, with or without a spouse!
Form Deep Friendships. I am no fool. Life is not a bed of roses. There are times that are challenging and difficult and uncomfortable. This is where the gift of friendship comes in. Friends–with whom we can share truly and deeply what’s going on–remind us that we are not alone. I am constantly having to tell myself this! The friendships in which I have invested the past few years are true blessings from above, allowing me to be vulnerable and ask for encouragement and prayer when I need it. So my advice is this: pray and ask God in whom he wants you to invest this year. Maybe its one or two friends, but make a commitment to go deeper with them. Get real. Be honest, courageous and consistent. And see the fruits of God’s love grow abundantly in and through your friendship. There’s is no better secret to living out the single years with joy and fulfillment!