February 14th—a day to celebrate a significant relationship, romance, and love—is soon to be here. If you’re reading this and don’t have a significant other but wish differently, please accept my empathy and compassion but also encouragement. I, too, have a current understanding of what you are going through; yet, life is so good!

The reality of no boyfriend, fiancé, or husband can for many women be a source of discouragement, insecurity, and inactivity, whereas other single ladies seem to rest with contentment and live life joyfully.

Whatever the case, I want to encourage you that God is sovereign and still has your best in mind. Jeremiah 29:11 hasn’t become outdated and neither has His promise in Romans 8:28. In each area of life and every season we go through, God is doing more than we think He is, and He has a deeper reality beyond what we may see! We can embrace our current stage of life and ask for Him to reveal Himself in unique ways.

In my own life, I often find it helpful to take a step back and analyze my feelings for a comparison with truth. Many businesses use the Six Sigma DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control) categories for helping to improve their processes. During the Analyze step, they might use the “5 Whys” approach that promotes subsequent questions of “Why?” to determine a root cause of an issue. I like to consider a similar methodology in helping to understand the root causes of feelings.

Concerning the negative emotions of singleness, what is the root issue at hand, and how can that issue be understood, overcome, or used for good? If I determine that my disappointment with singleness is actually based on insecurity, I can then seek out Truth from God, Scripture, and wise council to understand how to grow in self-confidence and security. (If I can share a tip, learning to delight in God as in Psalm 37:4 was a huge step in me realizing the abundance of life that Jesus offers in John 10:10, regardless of being single.)

What about Valentine’s Day, though? The fact of not having a significant other is a literal reality and doesn’t take the place of being “alone.” In a sense this is true, however, in what way can we take our reality and use it to encourage another person? How many other women do you know who are in the same stage of life and without someone to intentionally love them? An indicator might be the bare ice cream shelves at the grocery store this week. What if we see Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to be the hands and feet of Jesus and write someone a card, buy a friend flowers, plan a group outing for several single women, or have a date-night with Jesus?

If I may share a few verses: The final statement of “The Love Chapter” in 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 says, “But now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” Also, in John 15:10-11 Jesus said, “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments, and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.”

Whether we are single, dating, or married, we ought to do everything we do in faith, continue to hope in the goodness of God and His plans for our lives, and to love others, which is also cause for a joy-filled Valentine’s Day and life!

Kristen Ostrem

Author Kristen Ostrem

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