See that picture? That's me up there. I'm single, and shocking as this might be, pretty happy with my life. I move in a lot of different circles, but mainly pretty conservative ones. Soooo, I get that title question more often than you might think. Unless you're single, then you know ;) But why? Why is it OK to assume that I am NOT OK on my own?
Before I get into this rant, ahem, discussion...let me start this post by telling you something I believe with all my heart. Being single IS a vocation.
This is the sort of thing that was often discussed at my little Catholic liberal arts college, between coffeehouse performances, Ultimate Frisbee tournaments, praise and worship, and FOCUS Bible studies. <-- Stereotypes hold a lot of truth people. The most common point I heard was this: No vows are made in order to be single, so it cannot possibly be a vocation. Therefore, singleness is a state of passing through until you reach your true "calling," aka, marriage or religious vows.
Well, I beg to differ. If you're Catholic, Vows have, in fact, been made. Baptism, First Communion, Confirmation...those are vows to holiness. And if you're not Catholic, you are still called to holiness. Every. Single. One. Of. Us. Above any call to a certain state in life, is the call to holiness.
I don't think I'm the only one who feels this way...but hey, either way I feel better getting this off my chest ;) Single people are made to seem somehow less than, like there is a milestone we just haven't quite reached yet. Being single isn't better than being married, or a part of a religious order. But it certainly isn't worse either! There are challenges, joys, perks and downfalls just like everyone else's state in life.
Perks, for instance...I work out when and where I feel like, for as long as I want. I can meet up with friends any night of the week. I basically spend my money on Chick fil a and whoever/whatever I want. On the flip side, I haven't had the chance to have a little one call me mama. I have to work a full time job and support myself fully, with no one to fall back on. I don't get to go to daily Mass because of my work schedule. The pros and cons list could go on and on...but you get the point.
If you are single, let me remind you, you are not here to fulfill someone's idea of what you should be. You are here to be holy. To serve others. To know, love and serve God, and someday be happy with him in Heaven (that piece of info courtesy of the Baltimore Catechism that my mom made me memorize when I was little. Some things never leave you. And then there is those six years of Latin. I got nothing.)
Remember this: Our vocation to holiness is the FIRST priority, and we are more than enough.
So how do we do this single life thing as a vocation?? Use this time wisely. We have the capacity to give our love and service to our families, friends and strangers in an unusual way. Volunteer. Plant a garden. Learn a new skill. Spend time traveling, or just at home doing what you love. Love your family. Be proactive.
Don't wait for life to give you that next important step, make RIGHT NOW an important step. Because it is. Because if there is one thing I know, it's that nothing in this world will ever be enough, if God is not.
I do want to be clear...this is not all as easy or peachy as it sounds. There is definitely pressure from more conservative circles to be married or religious, there is definitely pressure from the secular world to be a career woman, or a million other things, and there is pressure from ourselves to fit into any one to a thousand of these boxes.
Newsflash - I'm a very type A personality. I plan things, I expect them to go as planned, and goals are reached...I like to be in control. Fun fact, I am not in control. Ever. And thank goodness for that because I have no clue what I'm doing... #adulting. I challenge you, no matter what state in life you are, to fit into only one box. The box that God made PERSONALLY for us. Maybe you are single, and you don't want to be. That's OK too. But this life, it's a short one. Let's not waste it waiting around for that elusive something.
Ok, I promise I'm almost off my soap box here, but let me tell you a quick story...my great-aunt Catherine lived to be in her late 80's, and was single her whole life. She was one of the most self assured, confident, self sufficient, holiest and funniest women I've ever known. Plus, she always gave me chocolate when I visited so, double points for her. Anyway, as she grew older and got sick, she didn't want a lot of people to visit. She simply told us in her typical sassy way, that, "she didn't need a bunch of people crying over her, just stay home and pray instead." She had it right y'all. She knew that there was nothing to cry over, simply something to pray over.
So if you're single right now, or if you're single forever, be THAT with all your heart. Jesus loves you jealously, and hey, maybe He just doesn't want to have to share you ;)