In Fall 2007, I entered the adult world as I left my parents’ home for the first time to live at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. There was a world of adventures and life changes in front of me, and I was almost one hundred percent sure that one of these life changes was going to be meeting my future husband. My mom had made the comment frequently as I went through high school that I would most likely meet the man that I would one day marry in college. So I arrived with the naïve assumption that everyone in college was happy and in a serious relationship; however, this assumption was quickly suppressed within my first semester as an undergrad.
I began to realize not only that most people in college were not happy but also that most people were not in relationships. Unfortunately, this realization did not prevent me from becoming discouraged. I had never been in a relationship, and I began to feel like there was nothing attractive or desirable in me.
Thankfully, God began to bring a few godly women into my life that began to teach me about being content in singleness and thinking of it as a gift from God. The Lord used these women in my life to reveal that I was searching for an earthly man to fill parts of my life that only God could fill. I was not fully depending on Him, and I certainly was not respecting Him as my Bridegroom. God began to slowly reveal to me through these women and other friendships that I was creating an impossible standard for man. As John and Stasi Eldridge wisely state in their book Captivated, “[We] are made for romance, and the only one who can offer it to [us] consistently and deeply is Jesus” (125, changed for emphasis).
God had been protecting my heart in more ways that I could have imagined, while I was seeking opportunities that would have potentially harmed my heart. He was giving me the gift of being intimate and personal with Him without the distraction of countless relationships.
Although I continued to struggle at times with my singleness, I began to live a life filled with love from my Heavenly Father and Divine Husband. Only after experiencing this love was I prepared to enter into a relationship with Israel, who is now my boyfriend. And guess what? I met him the day after I graduated college…Our God definitely has a sense of humor.
Now, I can see even more clearly and profoundly the love that God has for me through the love that Israel displays toward me. However, I know that this appreciation of the Father’s love would not have been possible if I had not found intimacy with Him first.
“I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, by the gazelles or the does of the field, not to stir up or awaken love until it pleases.” -Song of Solomon 2:7
Recommended Read: Paige Benton Brown wrote probably one of the best articles on God's purpose in singleness that I [Ashley Chesnut] have read thus far. It is entitled "Singled Out by God for Good." In it, she also discusses the warped theology related to comments that people often make regarding singleness.