I’ve been single for a really long time and with another birthday coming up taking me deeper into my 30’s it is painfully apparent that another year has passed with my status remaining the same.

I’ve spent the last several years working on myself, trying to view every opportunity, even the painful ones, as a way to grow. After all God is the ultimate coach, guiding and pushing us. Sometimes the only way to strengthen your muscles is to push yourself through the pain.

A friend recently told me that as soon as she’s married she’ll be done and she won’t feel she needs anything else from God. “That’s a little dangerous,” I told her. “You’ll always need something from God even when you’re married!” As much as we want to have our marital relationship, He wants to have an ongoing relationship with you too!

Each time we pass a test or strengthen ourselves in a challenge or painful situation we actualize our internal potential and become an upgraded version of ourselves.

It’s not always so easy, that’s for sure. There have been many times I’ve had to work really hard to see the spiritual connection in the place of constriction. I’ve recently gone through one of my longest periods without a date and each time a dating suggestion comes up that falls through I’m faced with either being bitter or choosing to see the positive.

No, that suggestion didn’t materialize into anything, but God is saving me from going on bad dates. No, that guy isn’t my soul mate but I’m a great person and I know God has someone amazing out there for me because He loves me and always has my best interests at heart.

There is some reason why it didn’t work out. Each time I choose to view the situation positively it deepens my bond with God and helps elevate me to a stronger and more spiritually refined and positive place. That kind of attitude also changes what you’re attracting to yourself as well.

In the beginning of my single “career” I used to drive myself crazy with comparisons. “She’s getting married? I have so much more to offer! What’s going on here?” I realized I was really selling myself short. Life is not a race, it’s a personal marathon. When I shifted my perspective and started appreciating the gifts God was giving me in my life I developed a greater appreciation for how much He personally customizes everything in my life for my benefit. Yes all those other people might be getting married now and I’m not, but that is good for them now and this is good for me now. My experiences are not their experiences and my gifts are not their gifts. God gives me what I specifically need. When I embraced that realization, there was a level of freedom and relief which deepened my appreciation for the razor sharp guidance God gives us every moment of our lives.

The loneliness is real and palpable, but God is also real and palpable.

One of the biggest struggles I’ve found in being an older single is the loneliness. You do your best to keep productive and have a supportive social circle but people get busy, get married, have kids and life moves on. My personal answer has been prayer. Judaism refers to prayer as “avodah she b’lev” – service of the heart – because God wants our hearts. You want a relationship with deep, meaningful conversations and so does He. He wants to hear from us and deepen our relationship through our prayer. Each time I feel that pang of loneliness I channel it into my prayer and it helps strengthen that connection. In Hebrew the term for prayer, lehitpallel is reflexive, meaning we’re doing it to ourselves. Each time we pray we’re refining ourselves and changing ourselves through examining ourselves and conversing with God, thereby changing God’s decree.

The loneliness is real and palpable, but God is also real and palpable; He is here with us every second of every day to keep us company and talk it out.

Yes there is a tinge of sadness with each birthday that rolls around where I remain single, but this year I’m focusing on how far I’ve come and the added strength I’ve gained while my soul mate is out there somewhere having his own personal training session with God. After all, I’m not really single. I’ve got my relationship with God and that’s the ultimate relationship.

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