By Kayla Koslosky
Hi, I am a 32-year-old single Christian. I struggle with depression, loneliness, and anxiety. Everyone in my church is married or in a relationship. I did believe that I would get married eventually but now I see that I am losing my hope somehow and thinking I may never ever get married. I am not sure how to deal with this.
Hello, and thanks for reaching out with this question!
The conclusion you have reached is one I used to wonder about myself. So first, let me start by saying: you are not alone. Dreaming of having a family and partner to share your life with is normal. And, thinking you’re the only one who doesn’t have that can sometimes feel impossible. It’s not. You can get through this. Let’s look at four simple steps toward strength and hope:
1. Listen for God’s plan through prayer.
First, I want to recommend prayer to you. Have you talked to God about the desires of your heart? Have you asked him what his plan is for you? This step, which is seemingly simple, is incredibly important and often overlooked.
I was once told that if I am afraid that I am called to singleness, the likelihood is I am probably not. Now, of course, I cannot know if you are called to singleness, only you and God can, that is why it is imperative that you pray.
The best first step I can suggest to you is to lift up a heartfelt request to God. Seriously – and frequently if you so desire – ask God: “What is your will for me? Show me.” Once you have lifted this request up to God, listen in faith for the answer God has for you. Look for his presence.
2. Have faith in God’s will.
Instead of fearing that you are destined to be single, have faith that if it is God’s will, he will provide you with the right man in his perfect timing.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 says, “He has made everything beautiful in its time.”
I think it is really important to distinguish between being called to singleness and allowing unbelief to tell you that you are not going to get married. When you have a lack of trust and belief that God will give you a husband, your unbelief projects onto you and into your life and you may be tempted to listen to unbelief instead of God. In this way, we tend to block God’s will from being done in our lives.
In the gospel of Matthew, Jesus heals a boy who is possessed by a demon. Before Jesus healed him, however, his disciples tried and failed to rebuke the demon to the boy. When they asked Jesus why they could not rebuke the demon as he had, Jesus said, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
God responds to your faith, even if it is only as small as a mustard seed. If it is truly your calling on your life, you must have faith that God will provide a husband in his perfect timing.
If it is indeed the calling on your life to be single, I encourage you to remember being alone does not have to mean being lonely. Paul called singleness a gift, not a punishment.
Paul said, “Sometimes I wish everyone were single like me—a simpler life in many ways!” 1 Corinthians 7:7. In the next verse he says, “God gives the gift of the single life to some, the gift of the married life to others.”
3. Seek wise counsel and new experiences.
Again, I encourage you to search your heart and really hear what God has in store for you.
In regard to feeling depressed and anxious, I am a big proponent for Christian counseling. If this is something available to you, I strongly encourage you to speak with someone about how you are feeling. There is no shame in needing help.
We live in a broken world, and in fact we are all broken people, so talking to someone about your feelings really exemplifies how strong you are. If counseling is not an option, seek counsel from supportive members of your church and family.
To combat loneliness, try out a new activity, join a gym, become a regular at a coffee shop, even think about taking adult education classes like painting or cheese-making.
4. Lean into scriptural truths.
I want to leave you with some scripture verses that have lent me some clarity on this topic:
“May He give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.” Psalm 20:4
“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.” James 1:5-7
“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” Mark 11:24