I asked Krista to pen today’s letter. She came into my life, by way of a book launch team, as a 3D friend. You know, the one who laughed and didn’t know a stranger. The one who shared her story openly and stood in the wide open spaces of relationships. She is passionate about her job with the Austin Angels, her people, and community. Although she is single, her life is not confined to a status. That’s just one of the things I love about her.
Dear Single Gal,
Yesterday afternoon, I was driving home from my standing Sunday date with a laundromat. I felt hurried, but not for any particular reason. I didn’t need to get home to see my partner or kids or even pets because I don’t have any of those things. As I watched the heat radiating off the hot Austin pavement, I thought, “My life is nothing like I imagined it would be when I was 36 years old.”
When I was younger, in my teens and twenties, I was certain that I’d be married with babies by the time I was in my thirties. It’s just want women did, and it’s what most of my friends did in the years after we graduated high school. The years passed and I held on to that unwavering belief that it would be my turn soon… my turn to have parties to celebrate my engagement and wedding, my turn to create elaborate registries of things I’d need to start a life as a wife.
The years slipped away while I waited.
I finished college and grad school.
I began a career.
I found joy in the waiting season.
Instead of feeling sad and lonely, I got busy creating a lovely life. This is the part where lots of girls in our circumstances, single and surprised by it sometimes, would tell you how sad they are, how lonely they are, how much they wish that they were married, and I’m going to defy the norm here and tell you I feel those things maybe 1% of the time. The remaining 99% of the time, I marvel at the life around me, and the beauty of all that I have.
Sweet friend, you don’t need me to tell you the hard parts of being single. You are living them. Your feelings aren’t a secret from you. You also don’t need me to tell you things like, “Enjoy being single! You’ll miss it when it’s gone.” (Married friends, don’t be the person who says that. It’s so condescending, no matter how kindly and truthfully you try to say it.)
Instead, what I want to tell you is this: while you’re waiting, go and create a life that makes you cry at night from the sheer joy of it all.
There are lots of reasons why in this season and space in my life I’m able to find joy in my singleness: I can pour every ounce of my passion into a job I love, putting in long hours, early days, and late nights. I get to love my married friends’ kids like they’re my own babies (I mean, my buddy Levi is the president of the Krista Wilbur fan club, and I am here for it. He asked me the other day, “Krista Wilbur? So when WILL I see you again?!”). I have dozens of reasons to travel all over the map to visit people I love, making memories in places I might not have visited otherwise. The list could go on and on because there are lots of great things in this season of my life.
Of course it’s not a perfect life. No one’s life is perfect, wedding ring or not. Listen to me; some days it’s hard to be single. I won’t tell you not to feel that way, but your life isn’t small because you’re not married. Your life has just as much meaning and importance and value as your married friends’ lives if you let it. It’s not a spouse who gives our days significance; it’s how we choose to fill our hours that makes them meaningful.
And here’s the truth: a day has the same number of hours whether you’re single or not, and a year has the same number of days, and you can let those days be dominated by loneliness or you can fill them with a beautiful life you create. When the moments of sadness that I’m not married yet come, I give myself permission to feel them, but I also give myself permission to be grateful for all of the incredible pieces of my life.
My singleness, and yours, in no way diminishes our capacities to have exceptional lives. It just means the focus of our love is different. That’s the amazing thing about love. It’s not finite, and you get to choose where it goes. My dear girl, you don’t need to bottle it up just because you haven’t walked down the aisle yet. Give it away freely! It’s not meant to be trapped inside of you.
Maybe I’ll marry. (I hope I do!) Maybe I won’t. And if I don’t marry, I am certain of this: I don’t want to look back at the end of my life and wish I’d more fun. I don’t want to look back after I’ve lived ninety years and wish that I had spent more time making memories and less time wishing for a spouse. I want to look back and feel the depth of the years I was given, how full they were and how much I delighted in them. If I end up married, I want to have a life that is bursting at its seams that I fold my spouse into. I don’t want a life that begins only when I’m married because that’s not a life.
When I think about how I want to end this life, it’s easy to create the roadmap that will lead me there:
I want to be joyful in all circumstances.
I want to serve God.
I want to laugh often and hard.
I want to love others well.
I want to welcome.
I want to console.
I want to build up.
I want to count others dear.
I want to invest in people.
I want to adore my little friends.
I want to live my life on purpose.
I want to be the Krista God made me to be.
This is my wish for you, too, as you wait. May you wait with joy. May your days be filled with laughter. May the sweaty, sticky hands of your friends’ kids hold yours so tightly that you feel like they belong to you. May you sleep deeply at night after busy days. May you know that your love belongs to you and to the world, and may you know that you are exactly who God intended you to be: you are here on purpose, and nothing can change that.
Krista Wilbur is a Texan-by-way-of-California. She’s lived and loved in Austin since May 2018. The queso and big earrings drew her in, but the people are what made her stay. Krista is an author, writer, and extremely loud laugher, and she’s a firm believer in building bigger tables to make sure everyone has a seat. You can find her first book, a memoir called Four Letter Words, on Amazon, and you can read her sporadic blog posts at kristaonpurpose.com.