I live in Michigan, the Land of Dramatic Seasons. Winter usually has snow, ice, and cold that can last for months. As spring approaches, I’m often reminded of the great thaw C.S. Lewis writes of in The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe as snow melts, grass turns green, and flowers begin to show their heads. Summer tends to be hot, humid, and sunny, and as fall approaches the weather turns crisp as leaves fall from the trees.
Just as the seasons change, I think there are seasons of life as well—such as spiritual seasons and seasons of singleness. For weeks or even months I can be mostly content with being single, reveling in the reasons being single rocks. Then, in other seasons, sometimes brought on by a specific event such as a holiday or wedding, and sometimes coming seemingly out of nowhere, all I can see are the reasons being single sucks. When it’s especially bad, I start down the trail of questioning God, pointing to all the people around me who are in relationships, comparing myself and asking why I can’t be.
These seasons of singleness can easily become factors in spiritual seasons. When I’m already feeling lonely, I can begin to feel like maybe God has forgotten about me, and other areas of my faith can begin to waver as well. If God hasn’t answered my prayers for a relationship, maybe he’s not listening to any of them. And if he’s not listening to my prayers, maybe he’s not all that interested in me. Maybe he doesn’t even like me anymore.
I think spiritual seasons are a natural part of faith. While the hope is that we would continually be on an overall trajectory of being more like Christ, there will certainly be sidesteps, leaps ahead, trips and falls, and times of standing still. I’ve often found that my relationships or the lack thereof can have a profound effect on my relationship with God, or even my desire to work on my relationships with God. A season of feeling especially single can make me glare at my Bible and ignore the idea of praying because it all feels a bit pointless.
Alternatively, if I let them, seasons of feeling especially single can become seasons in which I turn to God—not out of anger, but out of comfort in the knowledge that he is the God who sits with me in my sadness as well as my joy. And, even though I might complain about the heat or the cold of Michigan while we’re in the midst of it, I know that the season will eventually change. It’s not that every change will immediately be good and knowing the season will change doesn’t make the snow less cold or the summer less humid. God might seem to drift farther away instead of closer or more people may get engaged while we remain single. Eventually though those seasons too will change.
As someone who doesn’t do all that well with changes in life, it’s an odd thing to be clinging to—that things will change. But as much as it often scares me, it can also give me a reason to hope.
Do you see seasons of singleness in your own life? In what way? Share your thoughts in the comments below.