Sunday, July 24, 2011

On Singleness

First things first:

When this blog became more about my life than about my travels, I made it a point to not talk about specific boys/dates. Those stories are reserved for my journal and for those who know me best, not for the public blogosphere. (Especially because I never know who is reading my blog.) I also really don't go into great detail about what I'm feeling or my fears and insecurities. Because I don't think people want to read about my angst.

That being said, I'm breaking one of my rules. And it's not the first one. This post is not about any boys in particular. I am going to reveal one of my deepest insecurities, but only because I hope that what I've learned can help someone else somehow.

Yesterday when I was studying my scriptures, I felt like I needed help with something, but I couldn't put my finger on it. You know those days when there are a thousand problems buzzing in your head--nothing too serious, but they cloud your mind and make peace impossible? That's how I felt. I wanted Heavenly Father's help and advice, but I wanted to be specific--you get specific answers when you pray for specific things.

So, I pinpointed a stressor: boys and relationships. It's a common worry for girls my age, and I am no exception. In fact, I'd say relationships are a constant worry for almost all BYU students . . . especially the singletons. The pressure to date and get married is a bit overwhelming . . . and not because I don't want to date and get married, but precisely because I do. I want to be a wife and mother more than anything in the world. But it can be frustrating feeling like you're doing all you can do, and still nothing. I'm not saying that I want to get married right away. I'm not saying that at all. All things in good time and all good things to those who wait . . . marriage is not something I want to rush. I also know that marriage is not a "fix-it-all." Ohhhhhh, goodness no.

Still, it would be nice to feel noticed, or at least have your love returned a few times. It can be difficult waiting for the promised blessings of relationships and marriage. I think most single BYU students would agree with me.

Anyway. I decide to focus on relationships and asked Heavenly Father to give me advice/help/comfort on the subject. I felt impressed to turn to the Index in my Triple Combination (the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price). I opened up to the "Think" entry, I believe. And I was going to turn to Moroni 7:45, which talks about charity, but then I felt like I should turn the pages over just one more time. I looked at the page I was on, and chuckled when I saw the bolded words:


Oh yes, I thought. God has a sense of humor. 

But then I looked at the words right next to the entry:

"See also Diligence"

I stopped. I had never thought of it like that before. I looked at the tidbits of scripture listed under "SINGLE, SINGLENESS":

3 Nephi 13:22 (cf. Matt. 6:22)--if thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light;
D&C 4:5--eye single to glory of God qualifies man for the work;
D&C 82:19--do all things with eye single to glory of God;
D&C 88:68--sanctify yourselves that your minds become single to God.

My mind started whirling with realization.

Isn't it interesting that the word "single" has no negative implications in the Index or the Topical Guide? Unlike the word "worry," which generally points to scriptural stories of those who lack faith (yes, I've looked up the word "worry," too . . . but it was a different scripture study session), the word "single" brings up scriptures that imply mountains of faith. It's hard aligning your will to God's.

It's hard to be single. It takes patience. It takes faith. It can be so hard to keep faith in blessings yet to be when another lonely Friday night rolls around--whether you're on the girl's end, just hoping for the phone to ring; or whether you're a guy, feeling miserable because you've been rejected again. It takes patience to go to family reunion after family reunion and have people ask you over and over again, "Where's your boy/girlfriend?" "Why aren't you married yet?" It's hard to have hope when you're crying over another unrequited love or devastating break-up. It takes faith to move on and keep on moving.

But it's vital to keep on moving.

It's vital to be diligently single.

While I'm single, I need to be diligent in keeping God's commandments. I need to be diligent in dedicating my life to Him; in serving Him and others--truly having an eye single to His glory. 

The single years are not a time to wallow in misery and self-pity. They are a time for joy, really--to solidify your relationship with God and touch lives in ways you couldn't otherwise. There's so much for me to do while I'm single. It's not a time to mope or wish away my problems--or dwell on dreams of the future and forget to live. God has a specific plan for me. And right now, I'm supposed to be single. I can have faith in His plan, even if it isn't comfortable for me or exactly what I want. Because guess what? I would like a boyfriend. Not gonna lie about that. 

But instead of worrying about not having a boyfriend, I can be diligently single. I can diligently seek out the good in the world, others, and myself. I can be diligently single by touching one life at a time. I can be diligently single by seeking to align my will with God's. I can be diligently single by developing my talents. I can be diligently single by learning how to commune with God.  

I don't know when I'll get engaged, married . . . I don't even know when my next date will be. In the wide spectrum of things, I could have a "Marius and Cosette" type of meeting with my beloved tomorrow and he'll be singing love songs at my window and we'll be married within a fortnight. Or, maybe I'll be single forever. I just don't know what the future holds. I'm not supposed to.

But my scripture study last night certainly changed my perspective on singleness.

There are lives to touch. There are people to change.

There is more to life than a changed relationship status on Facebook.  

Yay! Pretty picture to reward you for getting this far!

. . . anyway, I hope that was helpful somehow to someone. I felt like I should post this, so I did. And I hope I was coherent. If you got this far, thanks for reading. :)


  1. amen :) This post really helped solidify and extend a lot of the realizations I've been having lately, too. You are a gem!

  2. It's very true - there's sooo much for us to do in these vital, single years before we become unsingle for the rest of eternity. It reminds me of a quote from YW about how the pre-dating years are essential and shouldn't just be wished away. Even though it's a different time of life than our current pre-marriage state, I feel like the principles are still the same and go along with what you're saying:
    'I see the pre-(marriage) years as a time when the “becoming process” blossoms. Girls should have equal satisfaction in the “becoming process” as they have in arriving at a goal. There are so many things for girls to do instead of just waiting [to get married]. Girls can reach out, recognize where they are now and enjoy today instead of just waiting for tomorrow to happen’ --Ruth H. Funk

    Anyway, sorry that was really long. To make a long story short, you're so right! Good insight! Thanks. (Also . . . if you get married within a fortnight, I'm going to be sorely displeased with you, no matter how well he sings. You have been warned.)

  3. I really appreciate your insights.... thanks Megan!! I feel like a lot of girls feel rushed to get married around here. I'm the opposite... I DO want to get married but I feel like I have so much to become before that happens! But its true, there is nothing wrong at all with being single! (....Except not having someone to make out with, dang.... hahaha)

  4. Megan, you're such a wonderful example, thanks for sharing!