I recently came to the realization that I am single. After nearly 18 years of marriage, this was not a reality that was easy to accept. It’s no wonder it took me almost a year after my divorce to identify as a single woman. After all, I was 19 years old when I went on my first date with my former husband. And 41 when the divorce was finalized. Even though I knew I was unmarried, in my heart and mind I still felt as if I were married.
The significance of the revelation isn’t a desire to “get out there” or anything like that. The significance comes in reading 1 Corinthians 7:
I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord. But the married man is anxious about worldy things, how to please his wife, and his interest is divided. And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit. But the married woman is anxious about worldy things, how to please her husband. I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord (vs. 32-35).
Even though I no longer have a husband to please, my devotion to the Lord was still divided. It was divided out of a 20-year habit. It was also divided as I grieved not only the loss of my marriage but the desire to be married. But I’m coming to realize that, for the first time in more than 20 years, my focus and attention can be totally on the Father.
This epiphany didn’t come with a magical transformation that caused big changes to happen overnight. It will be a process. But I’m learning to embrace this season of singleness, not as a consolation prize but as an opportunity to really seek after God.
I don’t know what the future holds or how long I will be in this season. But I am choosing to live to the fullest and accept all the blessings and challenges of singleness. I’m choosing to reorient my heart and be intentional about keeping God first.
“And he said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind,'” Matthew 22:37.