In part 1, I told you I would be sharing how I came to a place where I can be positive in my singleness. Unfortunately, there is no special formula that magically made me feel confident in the place God has me. I can’t even tell you that I’m 100% ok with this singleness right now. Some days are really hard and comparison gets the better of me. The difference is that in the past 4 months, the days of feeling hopeless and sad are fewer than the days where I feel incredibly lucky to be living the life I have now.

It’s been a slow process of studying God’s Word, investing in relationships, actually living instead of waiting, and learning from those around me. Here are a few resources that have helped me this past year:

  1. The Heart of Dating Podcast – Kait has experienced so many different kinds of relationships and I have learned SO much from her! She has an amazing podcast where she addresses so many different struggles in the dating life of Christians. I’d HIGHLY suggest the episode with Bianca Olthoff. It BLEW my mind. Kait also does a Single Ladies Challenge that has pushed me way out of my comfort zone!
  2. It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way by Lysa TerKeurst – This book is incredible. That’s all I have to say.
  3. A Love Letter Life by Audrey and Jeremy Roloff – Because I’m very unexperienced in relationships, I’ve found that learning from other relationships is a great way to gain “experience.” Audrey and Jeremy do relationships/marriage right. You won’t be disappointed.
  4. Relationship Goals : a sermon series by Paster Mike Todd – The first two sermons in this series have DRAMATICALLY made an impact on how I view my single life. The rest of the series addresses dating and marriage which I also learned SO much from!

Along with the incredible resources I listed above, another thing that’s helped me be confident in this season is just living. I’m to the point where if I want to do something, I’m going to do it. To me, this is just taking advantage of this season of life. I’m lucky to have a family that loves to travel and friends that are always up for an adventure! Because I’ve been single, I haven’t had to ask anyone for permission to go to a Jonas Brothers concert or buy a plane ticket to Europe. 😉 I’ve been having a BLAST. Here’s a quick list of things I’ve been able to say yes to and just GO:

  • 3 week trip to the Netherlands/Belgium
  • 2 photography workshops
  • Kansas City weekend with friends
  • multiple trips to Charleston (alone and with my family)
  • NYC for Easter
  • lots of musicals
  • visiting my sister and her husband in North Carolina
  • photographing senior pictures all over the state of Iowa
  • Jonas Brothers concert x 2
  • THREE trips to Chicago with friends/family to see Hamilton

You know what the best thing is? I’m not done with the adventures. I have some SUPER fun things planned for 2020. These adventures are great but can also be incredibly exhausting. There are times when I crave “home” and someone to share that with. But for right now, this is my life and I’m thankful God has allowed me to experience so many amazing people and places!

The last thing I’ve had to realize and work through is this hard truth: God may not have marriage in my plan.

It’s the truth. God has never promised me a husband. I do have a desire to be married and have a family, but I have to be careful that those desires are aligning with what God has planned for me and that they are not selfish desires I have for myself. I often pray for God to take away those desires if it’s not in His ultimate plan. I believe God does give us the desires of our hearts but that phrase is often thrown around without much meaning. Check your heart. Make sure that you are aligning your life with Jesus and searching to know Him more each day. I think that is when our true desires will align with God’s plan.

I want to leave you with three thoughts:

  1. You are worthy of an amazing, loving, God-honoring relationship. Don’t settle for less. Know your worth.
  2. Don’t wait for someone to come along to start living your life. Buy the ticket. Plan the next adventure. There is SO much goodness in this season of life. Don’t miss it because you think you need a spouse at your side.
  3. Know God and know what your calling is. I’m still working on this but I feel closer to this goal everyday. Be confident in the person God has called you to be. You are complete in Christ by YOURSELF. There isn’t anyone on this planet that can make you whole. So instead of “looking for your other half,” search to know God deeper. He’s the only one that can fill you up. 💕

I’m just scratching the surface of truths I’ve learned in these past few months. There is an idea that once you’re “right” with Jesus, THEN the right person will come along. I don’t think that’s true. I’m choosing to use my time now to pursue Jesus so that if there is a great guy around the corner, I’ll be confident in myself and have a solid foundation in Christ. 😊

Again, I’m here for you. I’m here if you want to share a similar experience. Or maybe you’re frustrated with this season of life. I’d love to chat! Maybe you’re confused about how you’re supposed to date in this crazy culture as a Christian. DANG. I get it. I’m here and you’re not alone. Shoot me a message on FB or in the Comments if you want to chat. 👇🏻 💕

~ Lauren McDonald

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash