By Allison Antram, Managing Editor
Several weekends ago, I scrolled through my social media to find three engagements and two weddings, all happening on one fall Saturday. And I watched this happen to some of my dearest friends with overwhelming joy and support. But at the end of the day, here I am, still single, watching the senior class pair up as we are about to leave. It’s a little overwhelming, and occasionally, terrifying.
With deep embarrassment I will admit that coming into Asbury, finding a boyfriend was incredibly important to me. Being perpetually single, I was excited to not only be in a new place, but to be in a place with the potential for a relationship. And that was a major goal for high school me and freshman year me. But, nearly four years later, I have gone my entire Asbury life without dating anyone.
But as we ask these real and hard and painful questions, relationships become a cause-and-effect aspect of our faith and God becomes a vending machine – if I obey enough, I will grow. If I grow enough, I will be ready. And if I am ready, then God will provide a relationship. But this thought process then implies that we are entitled to a relationship, and if we aren’t getting one, something must be horribly wrong.
So as I come near the end of my senior year, I am in a place I didn’t think I would be — still single, and most likely about to go into the real world as what we would largely classify as “alone.” Does that make something about me, or my love life or my relationship with God, horribly wrong?
As we enter into an uncertain time of life, I (and I’m sure others) feel an overwhelming pressure as if a ship is sinking and I need to panic and grab anything that might help me stay above water. But I think we forget that our God will not let us drown; I think we forget that he fully intends for us to get to shore.
But in our own inadequacies, we fight and we struggle and we forget how precious we are to the God who calls us his. We forget that we are worth something outside of whether or not we have a significant other to tell us so. We forget that the most reliable thing we can put our hope in is not another person (though He blesses us with these things as a reflection of his love), but in the vastly loving God of the universe.
Our romantic relationships — their success or failure, their presence or absence — do not determine the legitimacy, maturity or worth of our faith.
Our romantic relationships — their success or failure, their presence or absence — do not determine the legitimacy, maturity or worth of our faith. In fact, without attachment to another person, we may find the greatest opportunity for personal growth. I have learned more than I could have imagined throughout my college experience, and learned who I am as a person – a growth which would have not happened or would have been stunted significantly if my attention was shifted to a relationship. And, as horrified as freshman year me would be to hear this, I can honestly say that I am grateful for my singleness throughout my college experience.
Above all, I have learned that my worth is not tied to another human being, but to the one who created, redeemed and pursues me every day of my life. Would we dare to believe that? Would we dare to believe that our jealous God loves us that much?
As we watch the beauty of “yes” and “I do” unfold, I encourage us to say the same to believing, genuinely, in our worth in the eyes of the Lord. And if we are able to choose that truth, even on our worst days, we will find a contentment that will overshadow our struggle and a love that will outweigh any relationship. I may not be the person freshman year me wanted me to be, but for that I am eternally grateful. I am becoming the person God intended me to be, and that has nothing to do with whether or not I get a ring by spring.