Dear single person,
What a gift you are to our community! You probably don’t hear that enough, but it’s true. As a single person, you bring value and joy to our world, and we acknowledge the courage it takes for you to live in your present season. Your heart is welcomed to the table with every other stage of life, and we desire to understand your heart more.
As you live in community with the world around you, there are some things that I would like to encourage from you when it comes to topic of marriage and singleness. While I am someone who is also in a season of singleness, there are some things that I think all of us in this stage of life could benefit from.
Summing it all up: learn contentment, keep your heart open, start celebrating your season, build your confidence, and lean into your faith. Go after the opportunities that lay before you for community, personal growth, and intimacy with the Lord. What a beautiful season you find yourself in. Go make the best of it.
Your single friend
Dear married person,
What a gift you are to our community! We probably don’t say that enough, but you are truly a treasure to us. We admire the courage you have in order to live in your present season, and we glean from your example.
As we live in community with you, there are some things that we would like to encourage from you when it comes to topic of marriage and singleness. Are you willing to hear us speak honestly? Well, here goes.
Summing it all up: we want to be known, we want to be celebrated, we want to be asked, and we want space at the table with you. Thank you for listening, for being there for us, and for learning to love us well. We look forward to hearing how we can know and understand YOU better.
Your single friends.
There is a huge culture shift happening in our generation. Have you noticed? I sure have. I need not look farther than my own friend circle to see the obvious (and sometimes awkward) cultural shift at work. Half of my young adult friends (in their twenties and thirties) are single while the other half are married. My generation of young adults are caught right in the middle of this cultural phenomena known as emerging adulthood.
The median age for marriage is climbing higher with each passing decade which also means the amount of single young adults has climbed and is climbing still. Being single in your twenties and thirties is no longer a rare occurrence. Instead, it is becoming a norm. My immediate community reflects this growing trend. Not to mention, I have firsthand watched a subtle divide develop in my community. I have had countless conversations with my married friends and my single friends who experience frustration with those in the reverse romantic situation.
While I am not here to speculate or deconstruct the causes of the emerging adulthood phenomena, I am wanting to start an open dialogue for marrieds and singles in an effort to bring a greater level of empathy and understanding.
Welcome to The Mediation.
The purpose of the next few blog posts is not to deepen the wedge that already exists between most singles and married people, but rather bring us together.
Since I am single myself, I will primarily be speaking from my perspective as a single person. However, I have reached out to several married people to gain a wider perspective.
Now for the hard questions.
Can we have some honest conversations? Can we address the vulnerable conversation about extended singleness with grace and transparency? Can we dive into some empathy and understanding for each other and drop our assumptions? And are you willing to make some adjustments in how you interact with others?
If you answered yes to these questions, I’m excited to explore and celebrate this space with you over the next few weeks! Check back in this Monday and Wednesday for more on this topic.
“Instead of the thorn bush will grow the juniper, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow. This will be for the LORD's renown, for an everlasting sign, that will endure forever."
I have probably read this verse half a dozen times or so throughout my lifetime. But this week I decided to meditate on it and dig in for a deeper understanding. The word MYRTLE stuck out to me with a big question mark hanging in the air. “What in the world is myrtle?”. Wastelands and thorn bushes I understand, but what is the significance of myrtle?
Here’s what I found: Myrtle is a strong-smelling shrub found in the Middle East that is covered with white flowers and dark berries. It is the plant that is used to form our allspice. Myrtle illustrates life and fertility and the leaves cluster so densely that you can’t even see the branches. In the Bible specifically, myrtle isn’t mentioned until the time of Israel’s captivity where this plant is used to represent a recovery and establishment of God’s promises.
Once dead, useless briers are now becoming fragrant and fruitful myrtle. In the once empty places of life, a new garden grows so packed with promise and blessing that you can’t even see the roots. In the most unlikely of places, God’s promises can be recovered and established. This is what God does. This is who He is. This is what He spoke to Israel and this is what He speaks to us.
I grow tired of waiting for God’s promises, and I admit that the more time passes the more impossible it seems for those promises to be pulled off. Yet, as I run into scriptures like Isaiah 55:13, I know the Lord is sovereignly speaking, making the words that have grown stale in my heart become fresh again. So, I choose to hope today. Though every miracle seems miles away, I choose to believe He can work even here in the wasteland of my waiting.
What is the myrtle miracle God has placed on your heart for this season? What promise is God stirring up again that seems so far off, yet the one that you desperately long for?
Recall the promise. Dust off the dream.
Get your hopes up.
Jen is a pastor, worship leader, writer, and songwriter living in Napa, California.