“It takes three to make love, not two: you, your spouse, and God.” – Ven. Fulton J. Sheen
A LOVE LETTER TO YOU SWEET SINGLE HEARTS
As St. Valentine’s Day approaches, many of my single gal pals cringe with an eye roll or a wave of consternation about the once annual calendared celebration of love and a world of twos. Because my Valentine parents celebrate their wedding anniversary each year on February 14th, it’s always been a joyous celebration of love, family and the two who have been an exemplary witness of love and marriage. I actually really like Valentine’s Day, even though I’m waiting for my promised. I see it as a day of anticipation for future things and in current days to honor love, family and friendship.
Younger sister friends ask me more frequently than ever, “how can you be so single?” or “does it drive you crazy being alone?” and “how can you wait this long?” I know. I know. It sometimes seems like Jesus might come again first, and I assure you I’m not numb, but God in His economy has made promises to me that I know He will fulfill and thankfully the Body of Christ in all its blessed giftedness has graced me in ways that have fortified me for the epic wait for this Sacrament. I’ve always known that marriage would come later – that my path was different, set apart (Tobit 6:18) and that God wanted to use me for specific service to Him in the realm of work and evangelization, that had I been a younger mother and wife, those assignments would not have the attention, dedication and talent that God wanted applied with a singular focus. I also know God is preparing me for a specific type of man and my waiting now will apply to waiting or sacrifices later in the marriage.
A holy priest in my life told me a long time ago, “Alexis, you will be a mature bride…” For some that could feel like a sledgehammer coming across the head, but these words and others over the years became freedom for me because I knew (and know) that God has it all under control: the timing, the equally yoked mature and established man, the children and the shared mission that we will have together in partnership. There are no half open doors to push open and there is no wasting time with counterfeits. He’s coming for me.
The adventurer in me also considers it kind of electrifying in the days in which we live when marriage is sort of a bygone and distorted thing in our culture, knowing that the witness will be so much greater now. The longer you wait, the sweeter it is and the more of a story there will be. I asked God a long time ago to make my marriage a testimony. Big prayers require a little more baking and a lot of grace. I’m grateful every day that He’s provided for me in this way.
As we approach Saint Valentine’s Day, I want to pour a little grace into your waiting Valentine hearts, my sweet Galentines. Because if you don’t have the benefit of a praying community, if you have given up and maybe need to recalibrate under the mission of God’s plan for your life in this manner or just have a renewed hope while dodging the fiery darts of the secular peanut gallery, here’s some affirmative action you can take starting this V-Day as you prepare the way:
- BE HIS. Marriage is a sacrifice of love in imitation of God’s love for us, but your husband is not your savior or your all in all. If you are waiting for a guy to come rescue you, shift your focus. God is the savior. Use this time to waste all your love on Him. You will need to put Him even higher than the one God is sending you, so begin now by giving him every aspect of your life, your heart, your flaws, your wins, your highs, your lows, your work. Let Him love you and fill you so you can give what He’s given you to that man He is sending.
- WAIT WELL. You are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14) in His image and likeness. The man God is sending you will rejoice that you “waited well” for him… that you didn’t spend your emotions, time or body on another. (And for those of you who failed in this area, please know you can begin again). There is no greater gift to a spouse than knowing you preserved all for that person. Popular culture lies to women about this. Trust me, there is power in the sacrifice so wait well, my dear sisters and let this too be your offering for your future spouse and the family you will have. (Galatians 5:13-14)
- LIVE YOUR LIFE. It’s a deception to think that you can’t be joyful, have a bold impactful life as you wait for marriage and true love or that being single somehow equals being broken. It doesn’t. Live your life passionately to the full for the glory of God and see all of it as a one big adventure to soak up. Let the Holy Spirit lead you to places you may never traverse if you were already in a committed relationship. Serve others and spread love to those who don’t know the love of God. Sometimes God wants to unstick our feet to move us toward what He has for us. (#California)
- CUT SOUL TIES. If you have been in past relationships no matter how short lived, you need to do some spiritual work to cut those ties, whatever they may be so you can be free to enter into a permanent relationship in spiritual heath so you are not stuck. You may also have unhealthy friendships or family relationships that need to be re-assessed and right ordered to make room for a spouse. Know Who merits your time.
- FORGIVE EVERYONE. The person who hurt you the most. The kid in kindergarten who tripped you at recess causing you shame and embarrassment. The girl who dropped you on Facebook. Any family members who have hurt you. The jealous friends who lied or interfered in something good happening in your life. Whatever it is…Forgiveness turns the key and makes way for the Holy Spirit to move on your behalf. Take an inventory and think about who you need to forgive and who may need your forgiveness. (Ephesians 4:31-32)
- SPEAK LIFE AND CANCEL NEGATIVE WORDS. We’ve all had it… comments like “You are never getting married, you are too independent.” Or “Are you still single?” or “Any men?” and “Don’t get married, it sucks!” or “Trust me, stay single. ” This language is not of God and if you have friends and family who speak in this way around you, cancel those words out by the power of the Name of Jesus. If you have spoken negative words over yourself, repent for your lack of trust and choose now to speak life over your situation. “Thank you Jesus that you are bringing me my husband (or wife)” … “Thank you Jesus for the man you are preparing for me” …. “Thank you Jesus that He who finds a wife, finds a good thing and favor from the Lord” and “Thank you Lord for the blessing of marriage and I repent of any negative views, fear of marriage, hatred of single life or my impatience.” In the Bible it says Life and Death is in the tongue. (Proverbs 18:21) We can bring life or death by the words we speak. Be very careful with your words.
- DO NOT BE DESPERATE. If a guy is interested in you, you will know it and he will pursue you (Proverbs 18:22). It’s dangerous to settle for anything but God’s promise because it won’t serve Him. You are single, not dying. Be confident in who you are and the plans that God has for your life and wait for him to establish your future. To that end, you don’t need “experience” or to be a serial dater, that’s a lie from the culture.
- BE JOYFUL. Joy begets joy. Deep joy comes from communion with God and there is NO other time like single life where you will have this much time to store up grace for the next chapter in your life. Steal away to adoration, pray the extra Rosary, get your single you-know-what to daily Mass and be transformed into the best spiritual version of yourself, a Proverbs 31 woman, to attract what you seek in a man. (Romans 15:13)
- LAUGH AT THE DAYS TO COME. Proverbs 31 says, “She laughed at the days to come.” I liken that to radical TRUST. Trust He’s going to do it. And laugh. It will be better than you expect. Let Him be your matchmaker.
- PROTECT YOUR BLESSING. When God starts to pour His vision into your heart and move on your behalf, keep it close to the vest and only with those who align and agree in Jesus name for you. In case you haven’t noticed the devil hates marriage, and wants to delay, trap you, hinder you – so shut up and look up for your counsel.
- TAKE PROPHETIC ACTION. This is different for everyone. But a little prophetic action is like a trust walk with God. Show him you are preparing for that which you seek and not sitting back idle lest you be caught by surprise when the dominoes start to fall in your favor. Get ready!
Happy and blessed St. Valentine’s Day! Remember that He has loved you with an everlasting love. YOU ARE LOVED NOW. Saint Valentine, pray for us that we might come to a deeper knowledge and experience of God’s love.
Praying for you,