My friend sat down, a bit nervously, and prefaced her offering by how she knows it can be weird when people suggest you read a book and you're left wondering why they had thought of you. I sat quietly smiling, trying to catch up on what she was saying and suddenly she handed me this book that she thought I might enjoy reading.
"Believing God for His Best: How to Marry Contentment and Singleness" by Bill Thrasher
I smiled, quickly praying that this wasn't anything like "I Kissed Dating Goodbye," as I listened to her explain a bit about the author, who had been a professor of hers at Moody Bible Institute. Based on what she shared, I was a bit intrigued and told her I'd probably start reading that afternoon.
This book charts the autobiographical story of how Bill and his wife met and how their relationship developed over six years before their wedding day. Intertwined in their story are the lessons that they have learned and the things they have counseled the singles who have come into their life.
All in all, it ended up being a very good. A short 129 pages, I read all but the last three chapters that afternoon before running out to my next activity. It was so good that I went onto Amazon yesterday and purchased 4 copies so that I can nervously sit down beside some of my friends to say "here, I think you should read this." It confirmed my own thoughts and how God has worked in my life, actually since high school days, but most specifically within the last year.
It can be hard to be content at time when you're single...when most of your friends find their Beloved get married and have kids...when holidays, such as today, or birthdays remind you that another year has gone by and your Beloved still isn't on your radar...when you think about the future and wonder how many weeks, months, or years you might be alone. But can you trust God to lovingly take care of you and to understand your tears for the next moment? For the next hour? For the rest of the day? Has He not proven Himself faithfully by your side over the last how many years? It is in this that contentment can bloom.
A trustworthy God in the past
A moment of trust for the present
Assured confidence for the future
And in the contentment that grows, comes the excited opportunities to serve God and know God with an undivided heart. And that is what I want.
(**This is not to say that there aren't still hard emotional lonely moments, even when you are mostly content in your singleness. But when you are mostly content, I am learning that even in those pain-filled moments, it is easier for me to still trust God, to look to Him, and pour out my pain, confident that He cares.)