How to go from 'Miserable' to 'Joyful' in a season of singleness - Part 1
Updated: Jun 23, 2022
There are too many miserable single women out there.
In fact, the world often portrays singleness as a season marked by misery and discontentment. The subliminal message we unconsciously consume is that when you reach adulthood, this is a state in life that you should avoid at all costs.
Being single can be seen as some sort of ‘failure’ in your adult life. When people ask about your relationship status and you say ‘single’ you are often looked at with pity and awkwardness as if you said you had a rare incurable disease.
It may seem radical, but regardless of what the world and those around you say it is possible to have true joy in this season.
In this blog series, I’m going to outline the six main killers of true joy in a season of singleness and how to combat them.
1. Ingratitude and the discontented heart
As far back as original sin, ingratitude has been a part of our human existence.
'When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.'
Eve fell for the temptation of the devil to eat one fruit in particular-the fruit that was forbidden. There were so many delicious fruits in the garden but she wanted the one fruit God told her not to eat.
The devil tempted her to believe that the fruit which was forbidden by God was the best fruit and that God didn't want her and Adam to receive the best.
In order to fall for this temptation, Eve had to experience a lack of contentment for what she already had and a desire for that which she couldn't have.
By eating the fruit, she demonstrated a lack of trust in God and a belief that what God had already given her was not enough.
The same temptation exists today for all of us.
We constantly look at our life through the lens of: ‘If only I had x, y, or z.. I would then be satisfied ’.
For the single woman, that lack of contentment in your season of life and the illusion of a better life- a life where you are no longer single is all too common.
The only way to combat ingratitude is gratitude.
In a season of singleness, there is so much to be grateful for!
I for one am grateful that I can go to sleep when I want without the risk of someone waking me up in the middle of the night!
What else can you thank God for in this season?
Here are some ideas:
Greater freedom to go on trips or travel whenever you want
More time for prayer, mass, and adoration
Mental and physical space to discover your talents and explore new skills
Opportunities to heal from emotional wounds and trauma
And the list goes on and on...
If you're struggling with ingratitude make a list of ten (10) things you are grateful for every day. You'll definitely start to feel more joyful in no time!
If there was one thing I could tell my younger self it would be to stop wasting her time on expectations.
Expectations are the hidden tactic of the enemy to steal your joy in every season, not just singleness, and it is purely based on the sin of pride.
The unfortunate thing is that most times we aren't aware of the expectations we’re holding on to until we taste that familiar taste of bitterness and disappointment of something not going the way we had planned.
Expectations sound a bit like, ‘I thought I’d be married by 30 ’ or ‘I thought I’d have kids by now’ etc.
When you feel disappointment and discouragement in any season of life, it’s time to unmask the expectation hiding behind those emotions and bring it to the Lord in prayer.
The only way to combat expectation is through prayer and journaling.
Unmask and identify the expectation, write it down and bring it to our Lord to heal it.
Sometimes the process of healing takes a while, as expectations are a form of attachment to a particular outcome in life.
Chances are your attachment to your expectations may be so deeply engraved that the process of letting go of them can be painful and lengthy.
It's painful realizing that your 'little girl' dreams of how you wanted your life to be are not your reality.
Take the time to deal with any concealed resentment toward yourself and others, and even if you may not want to admit it, toward God Himself.
Take some time to grieve the loss of that fake life in your head so that you can step into the life you're living right now, fully and joyfully!
Wondering what the difference is between expectation and hope?- check out this blog post.
3. Lack of faith
It goes without saying that in order to have joy, you need to have faith.
Life is filled with curve balls and uncertainties.
The only way to get through it is to have a firm belief in the personal and infinite love of God for you specifically.
This is the basis of the Christian faith and like every state in life, it is more than applicable in your singleness!
When you have this firm belief you do not fall into the trap of being defined by your relationship status or anything else for that matter.
You hold fast in joyful anticipation that the God who loves you and made you has a great plan for your life!
Faith is a gift we must pray for and continue to cultivate through frequent participation in the sacraments and the reading of God's word.
Struggling with faith? - Start reading the Bible frequently (ALOUD) and ask God to give you this gift anew!
I for one love these verses when I'm struggling with faith:
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
All things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.