I'm not twenty (in case you were wondering). My matches aren't twenty. Most of the profiles that I look at are of men who have been divorced and have children. One pitfall of this consumer-based approach to dating is that one can start to judge based on bald facts alone, with no knowledge of the nuances and specifics of that person's unique situation. I have been reminded over and over again by the Lord to reserve any judgement until I have met a person, and He has also gently taught me that all of us, every single one, have baggage. It just looks different. But, even that is not my main point.
As I was thinking about my particular baggage, I at first was focusing on all the bad stuff that I have carried with me in my large suitcase with the tag that says "Forty(ish) and never married". Some of the contents: Insecurity, worry, fear, frustration, impatience, and loneliness. As a Christian, the Lord wants me to lose that suitcase, and sometimes I do. However, even if (when) I am able to get rid of it forever, I will still remember what those things feel like, and I think that is a good thing.
In my musings yesterday, though, I felt like God was urging me to remember that, along with the baggage, come blessings. My relationship with the Lord would not be what it is without the frustrations of singleness driving me to Him. My increased awareness of the people who are on the fringe of the church is due to being in one of those (often) forgotten groups. My confidence in God's provision of my relational needs comes from seeing Him meet those needs over and over without using a husband to do it. More practically, my freedom to travel (which I love) hinges in large part in being single, and me being the only one relying on my income allows me to give to causes close to my heart. I have discovered that I can deal with mechanics and banks and loan officers and taxes. I can be happy in this single state that He has me in right now.
Though I sometimes hate the struggle of leaving behind the bad baggage, I am comforted to realize that, without the baggage, I would not experience the many blessings that come from "Forty and never married." Romans 8:28 promises that:
. . .for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.For me, for you, for all of us whom God has called to fulfill His purpose, He can and is and will redeem our baggage and transform it into blessing.