A milestone happened in the Warren family in February! My youngest daughter, Danielle, turned thirty. That’s right, folks—thirty. (It’s official, I’m ancient—but I wear it well). Anyway, she’s been thinking about the demise of her twenties and this particular birthday, and she wanted to share some thoughts about thirty and the gauntlet of being single. So she wrote them down and posted the article on social media. It always thrills my heart when I see the wisdom and maturity that God has given my girls. I asked my daughter if she would let me share her article with you and she graciously agreed. If this article encourages you who are single (at any age really), I’m glad. Feel free to share it with your friends.
Here I am, 30 and single! I’m happy being 30! And I’m happy being single! I have a heavy desire to spend this decade of my life finding contentment with where God has placed me and seeking Him. Finding contentment has, I believe, been the absolute hardest part of my 20s. Especially since my life hasn’t fit into the typical cookie-cutter mold people expect for someone in their 20s.
Did I go to college? No. Is there a man in my life? No. Do I have kids? Nope. Are you living on your own? No. Do you have a career you’re striving towards? No. Then the “why?”s come.
“Don’t worry, you’ll find someone.” Maybe I don’t want to be with someone.
“Kids are a handful, but it’s different if they’re yours.” Maybe I don’t want to have children.
“Well, you’re a millennial.” Not every millennial is a part of the stereotype upon which many look down their noses.
“You can still go to college, it’s not too late!” I don’t have to go at all—and don’t want to until I know where God is leading me.
A lot of people say these things and I know they mean well, but after hearing it for ten years, my heart sinks deeper and deeper from not being where others feel I should be. I remember once not very long ago someone said to me, “You need to move out, find someone, and have kids. Don’t you want your parents to be happy?” That cut my heart so deep, and I remember collapsing into my dad’s arms and sobbing when we got home. As if I’m destroying their happiness by not reaching these points in my life? And if I’m not careful, I start to feel like I need these things in my life, I start to resent where I am and I feel worthless.
First off, you have absolutely no say in what I’m doing with my life and second, you have no idea why I am where I am.
I still have my days where these things come to my mind and I hurt. And I get angry at myself, at those who say things like that, at God for “leaving me behind.”
And then there are days where I see how independent I’ve become, how mature I’m trying to be, all the hard work I’m doing in several areas of my life.
I don’t have time for a relationship, nor a desire for one at this point in my life. I truly do not want children, but I also understand that if God gives me children that I will be thrilled. But I’m not there yet. I have a decent job. I don’t make a lot, but I’m surrounded by people who love and appreciate me – and that is priceless to me. I don’t know where God is leading me, but He’s given me a role in planting a church and I am humbly honored that He sees fit to include me in such a task. And who knows, I may not have been able to partake in this work had I had a family of my own, or lived miles away, or had a different-scheduled job.
Many mean well, I understand that. But when you see someone who is single and older than the typical “single period” of life, please think about your response. Questions can be okay, but acceptance and understanding of where they are is appreciated more than you’ll ever know.
As a single woman, I don’t want to hear, “You’ll find someone.” I want to hear, “You’re so independent and strong.”
I don’t want to hear, “It’s different if they’re yours.” I want to hear, “That’s okay, you don’t have to have children to be fulfilled in the life God set for you.”
I don’t want to hear, “Housing isn’t that expensive for just one person….” I want to hear, “It’s very kind of your parents to make sure you have a home until you’ve saved enough to get your own place.” And it is very kind of them! They are absolutely amazing – I’m SO blessed!
Paul says in 1 Corinthians 7:6-9
“I say this as a concession, not as a command. I wish that all of you were as I am. But each of you has your own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that. Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do. But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.”
I’m looking at my thirties with hope that God will give me peace and contentment with wherever He’s leading me. I know it will be filled with more opportunities to depend on Him, and that will bring me closer to Him. I may not understand now why I am where I am, but it’s where He has me, and that’s enough.
My daughter asked me to share this song with you. It’s a little different, but the lyrics are true and powerful, and it has come to mean a great deal to Danielle. So give it a listen and in the meantime, God bless and keep you all!