You know how little girls dream about their weddings? I was one of those little girls. Dresses, flowers a massive cake, the whole thing.
As I grew up, this desire to be in a relationship became stronger. Especially when I saw my friends around me starting relationships. But when I was one of the few remaining singles, I started to doubt myself. Was it because I wasn’t pretty or smart enough? Did I need to be more outgoing or funnier? I started to think that my prince charming (or as we say in Dutch: prince on the white horse) must have gotten lost somewhere, wandering around aimlessly, unable to find me. As I got older and started to think about God’s plan for my life, I always had the feeling that my future wouldn’t be complete without being married and having a family. It stood in the way of me living my life to the full, as what Jesus meant for us all. Part of it had to do with how I felt, having society put pressure on me to have a ‘normal life’. But I definitely also felt sorry for myself and decided to stay in that place of self-pity. I continued to live my life, became a nurse, did volunteer work in South Africa, moved to Australia and did many great things, but I was still waiting for that one person to come along to complete my life.
If you’re hoping to read about a dramatic change, I must disappoint you. It was God speaking quietly to me, actually through reading a blog about being single. God said to me that life with Him was living life to the full, and that there is nothing better than that. He is the One that completes my life. Since that moment I started to see that putting God in the centre of my life filled me with purpose and acceptance like nothing (or no one) else could. It’s not always as easy as that though. There are moments where I deliberately need to choose God to be my first love and set aside my own self.
Right now, I am at a point where I believe that nothing is better than living my life fully for God. What a change! I often even think that it must be a pretty amazing guy to come along, for me to ‘give up’ my life as it is now. Being single has so many positives! It doesn’t mean that the desire of being married isn’t there anymore. Confession: I still have a Pinterest board filled with wedding dresses ;). It simply means that it doesn’t take up first place in my life anymore. That place is only reserved for God and will never be taken by another person. If God decides to send that prince on the white horse along, I’ll happily hop on the back of the horse. If not, it’s completely okay too. Your worth doesn’t come from being in a relationship, or what other people think your life should look like. Start choosing God first.
Have a read of Matthew 6:25-34 in the Message translation. He sees you and knows the desires of your heart. ‘’Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow’’. (vs 34)
Anna Van Winden
Anna joined our staff team in January 2017 and is very passionate about working on the ship/ helping with health care in Papua New Guinea. She loves seeing people from all over the world come together to volunteer on the ship. Anna enjoys baking, good coffee and early mornings!