In 1952, a Catholic bishop named Fulton Sheen won an Emmy Award for “Most Outstanding Television Personality.” His show appealed to as many as 10 million viewers each week. The title was simple, yet profound: Life is Worth Living. Through all sufferings, through all the impossibilities and fears which live rent-free in our mind, your life is worth living. This has always struck me, but recently, I’ve been encouraged to hear the phrase in a new context. Single life is worth living.
We are all made for a vocation in which we will make a total gift of self. Sometimes in a state of singlehood, however, we feel stuck on a stepping stone, wishing to just be on the other end of that journey already. What is the meaning? What is the purpose? Where is my call? Who, who, who?? Today I’m here to convince you of one thing: single life is not purposeless; it places a great call on our hearts to receive a new depth of intimacy.
Single life: a time for FRIENDSHIP
We are not made to be alone. But… Single ≠ lonely!! However you find yourself—newly single after a break-up, always been single, single by choice, or it’s just been a while—you need others, and they need you. All that aches in your heart to invest in another is not meant to lie dormant until the next boyfriend or girlfriend or vocational calling. Continue to pour into the eternal souls entrusted to you this season you’re currently in, and develop those friendships to last through every season (single or otherwise). Single also ≠ unlovable, so surround yourself with friends who remind you of how truly loved you are. Intimacy in friendships keep life beautiful.
Single life: a time for JOY
A friend once said, “All of the fun things I used to do were with my ex! I never feel like I explore anymore without going on dates.” Oh man, let’s change that!! Personal growth and play are essential elements to our wholeness as human beings, and those things should be cultivated and prioritized in singlehood. Growing in self-awareness is such a gift, helping you to grow in intimacy with the heart God gave you. In fact, it’s often easier to find your favorite go-to spots and fun hobbies when you’re not in a relationship. So, figure out which things are life-giving for you now, and share them with your friends! Then one day, you could be called to share them with a significant other or community. Until then, steal back your joy. Don’t let the enemy tell you that you’re not worthy of the goodness and happiness you desire.
Single life: a time for HOLINESS
The best opportunity presented to us in singlehood is the ability to pursue holiness in a radical way. We all have the universal call of a walk towards holiness, yet when we are single, we can choose to run very quickly towards Him who loves us most. We need to build our days around growing in virtue and consistency. Having a daily rhythm that helps you to be the best version of yourself will create a space for God to speak and you to listen. There are certain sacrifices of time and energy that you must make for others within a permanent vocation, but when you’re single, you have an abundance of time to cultivate your relationship with Jesus who is alive. What is the Lord calling you to eliminate from your life? Who or what is draining you most? What is keeping you from thriving and being the saint you’re called to be? This present moment is a gift from God, and He’s given you this time of singlehood for a reason, too.
May we ask for eyes to see. Eyes to see Him, in the here and now. Eyes to see where He’s wishing to prune so we can abide in Him and Him in us. Eyes to see the joys, great and small, that are unending. And eyes to see those we can love, especially after receiving His most perfect love. Exactly where we are, and exactly as who we are.