|| S I N G L E && A W E S O M E ||

A week ago, I had the opportunity to be apart of {Be}Loved conference. A conference that stemmed from the heart of a friend of mine, hoping to revamp what our idea of "women's conferences" has looked like thus far. I shared a poem with a group of high school, young adult and married women but then I also had the chance to engage in a breakout conversation about singleness. My breakout session was titled, "What happens when Adele doesn't have a song about us; Embracing Singleness.” Adele and recently Sam Smith, have become pivotal roles in my "single season." They have sung my aching heart lullabies and filled my room while I laid on my floor, in the dark feeling every.little.thing. I started the session off playing Adele and Sam Smith from the speakers provided in the classroom space. I introduced myself to the group of 10 or so ladies before me and then proceeded to tell them,

"I wish I could tell you that you're going to leave here and never think about your single state again. I wish I could tell you that you're never going to wonder what it would be like to hold someone's hand while you walk Santa Monica Pier at sunset. I want to tell you that your broken hearts up until this point will go away... But I can't promise any of that. I just hope that I can bring some peace and security that where you are right now is exactly where you're supposed to be."

I've shared in a poem once about my decision to stop wearing a purity ring. Mostly because I treated that ring as if it had more power than God and I treated God like a genie that was going to bring me my "one". I took off my purity ring because the ring itself was a consistent reminder that I was waiting, idle and twiddling my thumbs just wondering when "he" was going to come. I got tired of waiting, of being idle, of forgetting that I had a life to live and a good one.

In my breakout session, I had the chance to share my heart with girls and remind them that they are an entity outside of and without a relationship. For some reason as women we are constantly viewing our individual selves only in the realm of who we are to other people. Whether that is as daughters, sisters, friends, mothers or students. Our idea of ourselves is wrapped heavily around our idea of other people and that's how our society is too. I attended this conference once and had the chance to sit and have a conversation with two older ladies around their late sixties and they asked me what I did, what I was passionate about, my background and everything. I essentially told my life story to these two precious pudding-eating ladies and the final question they asked me was, "So you’re dating someone?" At the same conference I had a conversation with two pastors and they asked the same questions and again I essentially told them my life story and they too responded with, "Wow. You're such a solid girl with a good faith and everything but you don't have a boyfriend?" My reaction to both of these conversations was, Wait…why couldn’t I be single and awesome at the same time? Why is who I am as a person, my accomplishments and dreams considered almost nothing unless I have a man by my side while I do it? I’m sorry, but these two are in no way correlated, because this is about me, who I am as my own person and not who I am in relation to other people. That’s secondary not first but we’ve become so conditioned to believing it is first and that it is who we are and well, it’s not.

I tried desperately to communicate to these mostly high school girls that this isn’t just “a season of singleness” this is just life and currently you are living it as a single human being and how awesome is that? This space…not season this space was created for you to find out more about who you are, what you love and what creates Goosebumps and butterflies in your gut, it’s about drawing closer to the one who created you and contributing to the kingdom with all that HE has made YOU to be. This space is for you to remember that you don’t have to check in with anyone about getting in a car with friends and driving to make memories (except maybe their parents because they were so young). This space is for you, for us and we consistently fill it with other people and what we don’t have.

One of the girls came up to me after and said, “I just wanted to thank you, I really needed that. I’m only a sophomore in high school, but I really needed that.” I looked at her sweet little face and said, “But your friends have boyfriends and maybe every conversation you have is about who likes who and it’s okay to long… that’s not a bad thing.” Longing is not a bad thing, wanting to be loved and the desire to hold the hand of some boy (or girl) with pretty eyes and a dimple that makes you think, “Now I really know why God said it was good”, is not a bad thing. We’re wired to love and to be loved. However I do know that I once was so busy searching for someone else to love me because I didn’t know how to do it myself. I thought that I was just a wandering puzzle piece anxiously waiting to find my completion. NEWS FLASH. Y O U ’ R E A L R E A D Y C O M P L E T E. You are whole. You are your own galaxy who doesn’t NEED anyone else’s shooting stars for you to be captivating, you already are. Being in relationship with someone is not supposed to be about that person coming along and completing you that person comes along, already in awe of your galaxy and desires to contribute to it. That person comes along and shows you all the wonders you may not have even noticed hiding in your stardust. No person can complete you, when you are already a full entity on your own.

In this singleness space we have been given, we have a tendency to compare others love stories, attend weddings filled with excitement and joy for the newlyweds and leave bawling because we’re wondering and asking God, “WHERE’S MINE?!” I don’t even think it’s really that we want to be married right now, I sure don’t! I just want someone to be bold enough to ask me on a date but I digress… It’s the idea that we want our someone, our person. That teammate we know will (for the most part), always be in our corner…but you miss out on the fact that you already have so many people in your corner. That's your home team, that's the solid ground in the midst of chaos, your lighthouse and sometimes we forget about them because they don’t look like whoever it is we imagine being held by.

We are given this space, this time to explore our own galaxies, let ourselves be captivated with our own shooting stars and learn to hold ourselves closer and love ourselves even more.

It’s about the freedom of adventuring, of exploring ourselves, others, places and food that makes us dance. It’s about remembering that we were already loved from the very beginning, by the God who says I want you, all of you and I love you…my goodness do I LOVE YOU.

 

Here’s the thing,

You can be single and awesome because you’re just that… A W E S O M E.

You have dreams, passions, goals and you’re going to kick butt for the kingdom with the entirety of who you are and with the gifts He has given you. But first, you need to stop twiddling your thumbs, stop waiting in your towers or in your slumber for someone to come save you.

G E T U P and do something remarkable with this life you have and stop sulking around listening to Adele.

 

Like I said…. You’re not going to go from this point forward and never have a lonely night, or download OK Cupid again just to delete it in a week, or slip into an Adele coma or cry because of all of the feelings… but you can be certain that where you are right now is exactly where you’re supposed to be, whatever that means for you. Sink into it, live well in it and be awesome dear ones. Be A W E S O M E.

 

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