Singleness Isn’t a Burden

People say your 20s are for “finding yourself.” But I think what they really mean is, find out what you want to do in college, meet someone, and settle down by the time you’re 22. 24 at the latest. Longer than that and you’re labeled as restless, wild, or worse…single.

I took the entire width and breadth of my 20s to find myself. I didn’t marry out of college, and my career didn’t start for several years after either.

In college I found love, but he didn’t love me back. I still get a sick feeling in my stomach when I think about it. I think that’s the worst kind of love because it’s empty. It’s the kind that leaves you with questions, but no answers.

After that experience, I just left “love” or the thought of it out of my life. I went to school, hung out with friends, and to be transparent went to a lot of counseling to understand what a healthy relationship should look like.

The surprising thing is, I had a blast not dating — I really did. I loved being able to pick up and move when the wind changed. People called me a nomad and I wore the title like a badge of honor. Jess the Nomad. Jess the Wanderer. Jess, not tied down to anywhere or anyone.

But something began to change as I moved from my mid to later 20s. The phone calls to hang out seemed to come less and less. Nearly all my friends had married and were working full-time. They did exactly what we vowed never to do at 18…become a cog in the system. 40 hours at a job wouldn’t catch me. I wouldn’t let the Man get me down.

Can you see a pattern of running in my story? Tough relationship in college = running away from dating. Working full-time = running from responsibility, losing friends.

The more I ran, the more God chased me. The more He chased me, the harder it became for me to ignore Him. My life was like that arcade game whack-a-mole. Do you know it? The problem: I was the mole. The mole trying to find my own way, make my own path, and God was like, “BAM! You need to wake up. BAM! Understand I have a better plan.” Suffice it to say, we went a few rounds before I got the picture.

This year I chose the word plunge as my word of the year. I felt like God was calling me to plunge into life headfirst. Dive into all that he has for me right now. Right now, in my singleness. Right now, working at a full-time job that I can’t wait to go to each day.

I still love being a nomad. I love exploring, growing, and getting to know myself. I’m not afraid of eating at a restaurant alone. I like it. I’m not worried about what people think when I go to the movies and say, “One ticket for Mockingjay Part 2.” I’m owning this season of life — I’m plunging in, fully embracing it.

Why? Because God has chosen this season of life for me. He’s given me this time to know Him and to understand His ways. Do you see? Singleness is not a burden. It’s a gift! I’m not alone, I’m never alone. I’m learning about myself, about how God uniquely created me to love Him. How he created me to enjoy life, this earth, and to love others.

Thank You, God for this life of singleness. Thank You for every experience You bring my way. May I honor You with my life.

Originally published at