I read somewhere recently that in your spiritual life, even if you aren’t in the mood or the right frame of heart, that you should just “fake it ‘til you make it.” It’s not a new concept but it was one that I’d never equated to my spiritual life and one that I never really considered as an effective tool when my spiritual walk was, well, somewhat in the dumps.
But the reality of this season—one where I’m readjusting to working more from home and on my own schedule and am struggling with structure, discipline and the like—is that faking it ’til I make it is really all I can do at this point.
Recently I experienced distinct disappointment in the dating world. It was an experience that required risk and one that I don’t regret. But it was also an experience that left me wanting and wondering, “When is it finally going to happen?” I know it’s a question all singletons ask and one that always brings the ever-annoying (yet harshly accurate), “in God’s timing.”
Yeah, yeah, I’ve heard that more times than I care to remember. And as true as it is, it doesn’t fail to frustrate and sometimes even infuriate me. Being single is not something I want to be anymore. Plain as that. But clearly I’m not willing to settle, and I have a strong desire to follow God’s will for my life…
So, I wait. And wait. And wait.
The question I pose to God and to myself during this season of waiting is this: “What the heck do I do with all this time?” I confess that at times I even go a step beyond to say to God, “This is a complete waste of time that could be spent serving my husband, building a household, and caring for children.”
His answer to me is the ever humbling, “Fake it ’til you make it.”
I honestly have to laugh because that’s just God. Here I am writing this post from my backyard in Southern California complaining about all this free time I have while asking God where the heck my husband is. I mean, can I sound even more like a spoiled, entitled brat?
His “fake it ’til you make it” response is so fitting because, in essence, He’s putting me in my place. He’s reminding me that I am living a good life, and that a life with a husband and kids is going to bring distraction and stress and a lot less time to sit in the backyard and write blog posts in the sun. But more than that, He’s communicating to me that if I want this life so badly, that I should just start living it now in the most realistic way possible.
What do I mean by that? Well, obviously I don’t have a husband and I don’t have kids, but I have a roommate who often leaves messes around the house and I have clients that need my full attention, frequently in the middle of the night. I have bills that need to be paid and responsibilities that need to be taken care of. Don’t get me wrong—I haven’t been neglecting these things, but I have been complaining about them or resenting them.
Last week I caught myself getting unrelentingly annoyed by the fact that my roommate hadn’t emptied the dishwasher once in 2 weeks. We’re adults, we take turns, but for 2 weeks, I did it. In addition to cleaning the stove, the kitchen counters, the bathroom, the living room, & the dining room. And in that annoyance I forgot my roommate has a 9-5 job, a family in crisis, and a big licensing exam to study for.
So when I say that God is telling me to live the life I so badly want, He’s telling me to clean up the freaking mess and stop being so annoyed by it. Because kids are sure as heck going to make more of a mess than my roommate, and who’s going to be in charge of cleaning it up? Yep, me.
And when I say that God is telling me to live the life I so badly want, I mean that He’s telling me to create more discipline in my day so I have balance—balance enough to get a 30 minute cardio session in, balance enough to pay the bills on time, balance enough to be emotionally and physically available to my clients (and in the future, my husband and children) at any hour of the day. Because when kids need something, they need it now. They’re not too good at the whole being patient thing, and who’s the one that is going to be providing for their needs? Right, me.
I fear that what I’m writing here may come across as sounding like I’m trying to perfect myself before I meet my husband or that I believe God wants something like that from me. To be clear, I do not believe that. However, I do believe it’s helpful and even wise to get things in order before taking the leap into covenant and parenthood. One of my mentors, Shellie R. Warren taught me that, and as much as I resist it, I know it’s true.
So faking it ‘til you make it, as frustrating and as humbling as it is, can actually be quite a game changer. Because by implementing this discipline, this structure, and this intention of heart and mind before I get married and have children, I’m creating more space for the good stuff. And a cherry on top of the sundae is I’m creating a vision of the life that I want, the life that with expectant hope I’m waiting on God to provide.
God is present in the waiting; there’s no doubt about that. His comical, all-knowing self is walking beside me in this season, reminding me of what I have and keeping me grounded is His truth. He’s preparing me for the time when my helpmate does arrive and for that I truly am grateful. Because the reality is, I can be a hot mess and the more I have in order now, the better.
In examining your single life, are there areas where you think God is calling you to get things in order? Without falling into a trap of believing He’s withholding marriage from you until you reach perfection, how do you think you can begin living the life you want now instead of waiting until marriage?
If you know someone who is struggling with singleness, will you email him/her this post?
Photo credit: Maxwell GS