Almost 30 and Still Single

Yup! Single since birth.

I just attended the wedding of one of my closest friends this weekend. After the reception, I went to my room to rest early, but I ended up having this headache (maybe from dehydration) mixed with a flurry of thoughts about marriage and my singleness. I started counting the number of weddings I attended since I graduated from college (9 years ago) and I realized that last night was already wedding #20. I told myself “Wow, parang yung movie na “27 Dresses” lang ah. Always a bridesmaid, never a bride? Haha.” But despite the soft laugh I gave myself, I knew that my heart was silently asking the question “Why, Lord?”

 

THE STRUGGLE IS REAL

“Why am I still single, Lord? Is it because of my physical appearance? My personality? My friendships and relationships? Consequences of my past sins?” As I wondered about it and even entertained some lies in my mind, I noticed how my assumptions were all about me.

I realized that even my singleness IS NOT about me, what I have, or what I lack. It is still about God, His grace and faithfulness, and His good and perfect will.

The Lord has been speaking to my heart ever since I started dating years ago. I have had so many humbling lessons learned, rebukes, and gracious moments I’ve encountered with the Lord. Some recent ones were revealed through songwriting. Last year, I noticed that 7 out of the 17 songs I wrote were directly related to my heart’s struggle with my non-existent love life. Every time I play them, I remember both the ache and peace that I felt as I wrote them and opened my heart to the Lord.

I am sincerely happy for family and friends who transitioned into marriage and parenthood through the years. And by God’s grace, friends would tell me how they notice that I am still joyful despite not being in a relationship. But honestly, there would still be times when I would struggle in my mind and heart, despite knowing that Jesus remained single until death and yet His life gave glory to God. Sometimes, I would find myself crying as I drive through the traffic along C5 on the way home, just being quiet before the Lord. Other times, my heart would feel a slight sting when I catch a glimpse of couples holding hands or expressing their love and commitment to each other.

Moreover, when people would tell me that they are praying for my future husband, or hope that I will have one, or even insist that I WILL have a future husband in God’s perfect timing, I can’t help but wonder, “Yes, I do have the desire for marriage. But why does it seem like getting married is more favorable than being single? What if it isn’t His will for me to have a future husband? Because that IS a possibility.”

Recently, someone casually told me “Okay yan, at least hindi ka pa thirt—“. Then, she stopped when she realized she was walking on eggshells. I responded with “Why? What’s wrong with being 30 already?” She didn’t continue the conversation anymore. This 2020 will be my 30th year on Earth. A part of me is extremely grateful as I look back on the journey that God allowed me to go through with him in the past decades. But another part of me is whispering to myself, “Oh no. You are almost 30 and STILL single.”

 

THE CRY OF MY HEART

There are a few reasons why I am sharing these things on the blog. First, documenting my struggles and victories through writing helps me process my thoughts. Somehow, being able to express these in words makes the burden in my heart feel lighter. Second, in case there are others out there who also feel the same way or go through similar situations, I want to let you know that you are not alone in this. This topic is usually kept in secret as it may come off as a sensitive issue, but I realized how talking about this may help those who also struggle with it. And lastly, I do want to share the hope and joy that we have in Jesus, even as I am struggling with this.

Before writing this post, I was having an honest conversation with the Lord and I told Him that…

…my heart was breaking not just because of my singleness, but because I could see how my heart isn’t content in Him,

despite surrendering my life to Jesus and accepting Him as my personal Lord and Savior. I then recalled similar patterns of personal brokenness, impurity, insecurities, and idolatry in my past dating experiences and I asked for the Lord’s forgiveness.

Indeed, nothing or no one can ever fully satisfy the deepest longings of our souls and hearts. ONLY JESUS CAN. 

As I opened my heart to the Lord, He reminded me of His unending love and grace and of Psalm 73:25-26 specifically, which says: Whom have I in Heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” 

This is the cry of my heart — to long for Jesus and His Word more than anyone or anything else, all the days of my life. Should He desire for me to get married someday, I pray that my heart will respond in total surrender to His timing and will and that He alone would be glorified. But for now, I would like to humbly ask for your prayers, as I continue in this journey of singleness and battle discontentment by the power of the Holy Spirit. I pray that the work of my hands would be productive and that the words of my mouth and meditation of my heart will be pleasing to God (Psalm 19:14).

Sharing with you a draft recording of a song I wrote last June 2019, entitled “This Is Love”. This best expresses how I feel about this concern. Whatever season you may be at right now, whether you are 30, 40, 50, 60 years old and single, I hope this will also encourage your heart to desire and seek the Lord each day. He loves us so much. More than we can ever imagine.

The Secret to 30 Years of Marriage

My dad and mom were supposed to split up during their first year of marriage. Back then, my parents had opposite personalities and they came from different family backgrounds which triggered the tension, arguments, and emotional and physical hurt between them. But, by the grace of God, He used one of my dad’s best friends to share Jesus and the Bible to my parents and it turned their lives around! Last night, our family celebrated their 30th anniversary and we thanked God for His goodness and grace in their lives.

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During our family dinner, my siblings and I took turns in asking our parents about the memorable experiences they’ve had and the lessons they’ve learned since they got married. It was an encouraging time with the family because we got to know their hearts more as they opened up about their past. They shared about some of the mistakes they’ve done and how they were encouraged by God to keep on learning and improving for His glory. They also recalled how God changed their hearts and allowed them to grow in their relationship with Him, which greatly influenced the way they dealt with the hurdles and calamities that our family encountered these past years.

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However, if there was only one thing that I could take home from our celebration last night, it was our parents’ emphasis on the grace of God. It was because of God’s grace, that our parents were able to honor God and be faithful in their relationship throughout the years. After attending Bible studies and knowing Jesus more during their first year of marriage, they realized that they were just living their sinful lives for themselves. They understood that they needed our Savior, Jesus Christ, and by His grace, they placed their faith in Him and accepted Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior.

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It says in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

God desires that we spend an abundant life with Him for eternity because He loves us so much. However, because of our sins, we were separated from Him. In Romans 6:23, it even says that the penalty for our sins is death – and this death refers to us spending eternity in hell; being separated from God forever. But, the amazing thing about God and His Word is that we always have hope in Him. God already made a way for us to be reconciled and to spend eternity with Him in heaven by sending His one and only Son, Jesus, to die for us and to conquer death when he rose again after three days. It is only through Jesus that we can have eternal life.

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Three decades ago, my parents came to know Jesus and experienced Him in a personal way. This radically changed the way they lived ever since. Their desires for sin lessened and their love for the Lord grew. And because of the overflowing love and grace that they received from God, they were encouraged to share Jesus to each other and to others too, including us (children), relatives, and friends. Whenever they are tempted to sin, to be bitter towards each other, or to dwell on their mistakes, they would be reminded of God’s love, grace, and forgiveness and their hearts would be changed.

What was the secret to their 30 years of marriage? It was experiencing God’s grace and sharing it to others.

My dad and mom still have arguments and still get hurt by each other every now and then, but by God’s grace, they continue to trust in the Lord and choose to honor Him in their marriage.

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Dearest Dad and Mom,

I want to take this time to honor you and appreciate you both. Thank you for being faithful in your relationship with the Lord and with each other. It is inspiring to see you reach this milestone despite the many bumps you’ve experienced along the way. Indeed, it is only by His grace that you are still happily married and serving the Lord together. Hehehe. I pray that God would continue to touch your hearts and help you grow more in love with Him each day. Thank you for constantly sharing Jesus and His word to the people around you (e.g. during birthday parties, wake services, casual meals, vacation trips, and at different church activities). Thank you for encouraging us to always seek the Lord, spend time with His word, and honor Him by discipling others. Thank you also for giving us practical tips on how to manage the resources that God has blessed us with. May the Lord continue to use you to be a blessing to the people around you. I love you, guys! Happy 30th anniversary!

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Encouraging others one treat at a time. :)

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About Me

My name is Nicole Obligacion and I started this blog because I was inspired by Hebrews 10:24 and Hebrews 3:13. I love to eat, cook, bake, read the Bible, and encourage. :)

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