Contented Desire

Life is rarely either or, though most of us wish it was, as we prefer to live on one side of the road or the other. Maturity demands we walk the center-line, pulling elements from both sides of the road and wrestling them into balance.  And so it is with contentment and desire. Two elements I never thought could blend in the life of a single person – until I understood yada.

Several weeks ago I had the privilege of coordinating a wedding for some friends.  After the wedding I felt strange and realized I wasn’t experiencing the “wedding blues” (You know, the “how many weddings will I have to sit through before it’s my turn Lord? I hate coming to weddings alone… happy for them but trying to mask how depressed I feel” blues….). I was genuinely and completely happy for them with no all consuming/crushing longing on my part.

How did this happen?  Do I still want to get married? Absolutely! Do I still want a partner in life and ministry? More than ever.  But I’m content. I always thought that if you were “content in your singleness” it meant you were resigned to it and could no longer have the desire to be married, or you just plain didn’t care any more. But the Lord has been redefining singleness and contentment for me, showing me a different way.

The difference in how I see singleness came in part with learning about the Hebrew word “Yada”.  Yada in summary (I encourage you to study it out for yourself!) means to be known to the very core and essence of who you are. Whether it be physically (sexually), spiritually or emotionally – yada has the connotation of deep respect and value.  In many old Testament translations yada is translated to the word “know”. Used in verses such as “Adam knew his wife Eve and she conceived”(Gen 4:1) to “Oh Lord you have searched me and known me” (Psalm 139:1).

The verse that stopped me dead in my tracks and changed everything was Psalm 46:10 “Be still and know – Yada – I am God.” Wow.  The same desire I have to be known by some the Lord has to be known by me. God wants me to KNOW Him? Not just about it – but KNOW Him, His heart, what drives Him, how He sees life…  WOW.

The deep longing and drive every “single” person (every person for that matter!) has to be known, loved, respected and accepted for who they are is a God given need. But God also gives the means to fulfill that need in any stage of life.

As much as I want to be known, loved, and valued by a man -  the God of the universe already knows (yadas) and loves me perfectly in that way. And even more amazingly He wants ME to known Him as closely as He knows me. Pretty mind boggling when you think that He knows everything about us because He created us. Yet here He is offering us the pursuit. We will never know all there is to know about the Lord, but He offers us Himself anyway – so the journey never ends. You know the excitement and mystery when you’re first falling in love as you try to learn/know everything you can about the other person?  Well that’s exactly what the Lord gives to us. Because the Lord is meeting the needs in my life to be known and to know someone, the physical/sexual side of longing as a “single” is somehow more at peace.

I’m content where I am now in singleness.  That is why I can still have the desire to be married and can still be completely content. It’s a surrender of sorts. When you give your love life or lack thereof, to God, He is then free to use it and fill that spot in your life with Himself.

I fully believe if your “still single” than God has a purpose for it. That doesn’t include sitting around wishing you were in a different season of life. If you’re still single – why? What are you supposed to be doing with it?

When/if the Lord brings a man into my life I want to be found busy about my Father’s work. The more time I spend learning to “yada” the Lord and serving Him the less time there is for pity parties – till they're gone completely.

So if you’re single I challenge you to this – ask the Lord to show you Himself – ask him what it means to “yada” Him. Then ask Him how to use this gift of singleness He’s given you. (And yes it is a gift and no – It can’t be returned!  )
Funny thing is – I’m starting to really enjoy being single – I plan to FULLY enjoy being married so why not FULLY enjoy this season too? Laugh at yourself a little! For example this week I walked into my bedroom and started laughing  - there were books piled everywhere! And the thought that went through my head was “ Good thing you’re single Katie – cause what guy wants to share bed space with a big fat concordance?”.

So laugh, embrace the identity of being singly set apart by God for this time. Desire, but desire Him and His plan for you more. Use singleness to learn to yada Him. Be amazed at what He does in you and through it.

Contentment isn’t lack of desire, it’s surrendered desire. It’s the middle of the road.

6 comments:

Meg July 13, 2011 at 8:42 PM  

I fully agree, Katie! Being single is a gift and a special time, and God fully intended for you to enjoy this season just as much as a season of marriage. I have treasured my walk with him and love the closeness I have developed with him. I pray that you continue in your walk with him, fully embracing this time also. Blessings and love!

Belle July 14, 2011 at 12:07 AM  

I love what you wrote about knowing and being known by God. This is a wonderful post about being single and being at peace about it. Thanks!

Elizabeth Conner July 14, 2011 at 8:46 AM  

Keep on writing girl, God is using you in a powerful way!

nmetzler August 2, 2011 at 2:02 PM  

I love, love, love the revelation of "yada" and have used it many times in conversations since I read your first blog post on it.

Just so you know.

Also! I did not know that you wrote for YLCF! I got the print copies of that magazine back when I was a teenager and meander over to their site every now and then. I happened to flip through the "team" page today and saw your picture... which, of course, made me jump up and down and say, "That's Meghan's Katie!" (it's almost like being famous!)

Rachel December 2, 2011 at 10:01 PM  

Hopped on over after reading your interview on YLCF. :) God has also been teaching me a lot on this subject ~ thank you for sharing your perspective! I appreciated your thoughts, and though I'm not quite at the enjoying stage, am certainly learning to surrender and be content with and grateful for God alone ~ for is He not enough?!

NotUnredeemed December 3, 2011 at 2:51 AM  

Thank you Rachel! Yes He is enough!! Learning that was the beginning of the contentment for me - then enjoyment - it's sort of a continuing process! I'm definitely still learning what it means to have a contented desire almost daily it seems. I just read a quote the other day that puts it perfectly "Contentment is the equilibrium between enjoyment of life now and the anticipation of what is to come" - the Woman's Resolution, Patricia Shirer .Isn't that a great way of putting it?

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I'm a fun loving, people person, with a passion for ministry and the Lord. My greatest desire is to see people come to realize who they are in Christ and how that effects every area of their relationships and lives.I want to know Him more.