I do not formally recognize today as anything other than the fourteenth day of February.
A friend once introduced me to the concept of today being Singles Awareness Day. The common sense side of me kicked in and thought it was stupid to choose to mope simply because I didn’t have a significant other. And months later, the spiritual side of me kicked in and said I shouldn’t be focusing on having a valentine on Valentine’s Day, but that I should be appreciating my years of being single.
Please don’t misunderstand. I ache for a boyfriend so much sometimes, I can hardly stand it. The waiting for a God-written story is worth it, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy.
This post, written by another college girl, says much of what I’m about to say in the next paragraph. It is much easier to write this down. It is much easier to tell my friends what they should do when they ask me for advice. It is so much harder to live it out myself. I tell my friends to wait, urge them to wait, maybe even beg them to wait (and y’all know how I am about begging–I don’t do it).
Well, for all the patience I’m exhibiting, I might as well be asking God to put a divine bent on my timing so that I can have my story now instead of waiting.
“I charge you… do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.”
I’ll be honest. I like the King James version better. (This is partially because I was raised with it, and partially because it sounds more poetic. And we all know I’m a sucker for well-crafted rhetoric, in prose or poetry.) It reads, “I charge you, O ye daughters of Jerusalem… that ye not stir up, nor awake my love, till he please.”
I’m not a Bible student. Nor have I really read Song of Solomon, ever. So I have no idea who the “he” might be. However, I am an English major, plus I’m not stupid, so I can infer to whom the “he” refers.
Here was my first guess. God. (Um, duh.) Who else is in charge of your life? Who else can write you the most beautiful love story you’ve ever heard (and already has)? Who has been watching over the human race with utmost care since its creation? Exactly. God. And I think that here, the woman in Song of Solomon is charging the Israelite daughters not to jump ahead of their God-crafted love stories. After all, romance is a serious business, and was in Israelite times, too. I read here that in ancient Israel you weren’t even allowed to read Song of Solomon unless you were married or over the age of thirty.
Now here’s guess number two, which in my literary opinion fits better: the woman’s lover. Or, more generically, the lover of any of the women she’s charging to not arouse love before the appropriate time. Because, after all, men were created to be the initiators of relationships. Jumping ahead of their timing isn’t right either.
Although in my opinion it still goes back to God, because if what you’re searching for is a man whose focus is on God, his timing will align with God’s, because he won’t be making any moves until God says he can.
So, yes, girls, we are bound to wait. But I believe there is something beautiful unfolding in the waiting, in each one of us. It is easy to say this. Much harder to believe it. But somehow I believe it. I have to. And I believe the something beautiful that’s unfolding will still be worth the wait even if the only thing I am ever waiting for is that something beautiful. Even if I never get married, the wait for whatever God’s doing in me will be worth it.
I don’t want to offer you any clichés on how we’re already in the greatest love story: that of the relationship between us and God. While it’s true, the fact that it’s cliché is not going to make you or I feel better. What helps me the most is the hope and knowledge I have as a result of that relationship: the hope that one day He will bring me the man of my dreams (or rather, the one better than I could have dreamt!), and the knowledge that whatever pain I endure now and however my story ends, He is fulfilling the work He began and is bound to complete in me, because He has promised.
So I propose a new name for today (because, let’s face it: Valentine’s Day is cheesy, Single Awareness Day is depressing, and February 14th attempts to shove the whole thing under the rug): Singleness Celebration Day.
Yes. I. Said. It.
Celebration, because God is doing something beautiful and mighty in each of us. And, because this may be your last Valentine’s being single, wouldn’t you rather remember it as something fun, even if the relationship status you claimed wasn’t your choice? I’m not really an optimist, but I still think I should be cheerful today. After all, if you reread that first sentence of the paragraph, I have a pretty good reason to celebrate. :]
Updated: as of Feb. 18, this is linked up to SUYL at Kelly’s Korner.