Unless you’ve been living in a cave in the wilderness or jetting through the galaxy trying to find Luke Skywalker on a remote island hideaway, you’ve probably heard of the musical Hamilton. I know what you’re thinking, “What does a Tony Award-winning hip hop musical about Alexander Hamilton have to do with being single?” I’m going to “set the scene” and then I will get to my point, I promise.
I had the privilege to see Hamilton this past weekend and I enjoyed it. If you don’t know much about it, Hamilton is a worldwide musical phenomenon about the life of Alexander Hamilton, one of America’s most tireless Founding Fathers. I am a fan of musical theater because there’s something magical about hearing a well-performed song live. In combination with lighting, costumes, make-up, and the raw talent of the performers, a great musical just speaks to your soul.
Anyway, let me get back to my point about how this relates to our single lives. As I spent countless hours listening to the soundtrack, the song that stood out to me most was “Wait For It.” In the show, Aaron Burr sings this song at a pivotal moment of reflection about how he has handled life and how he plans to proceed going forward (at least that was my interpretation). The song talks about how he’s waited for lucky chances in life, but is willing to wait for something better, and therein, will wait for his turn to be in the spotlight (despite being somewhat jealous of how charismatic and outspoken his rival, Hamilton, is). He also sings about how he is the only thing in life that is within his control and how he’s not “falling behind” everyone else. He’s simply lying in wait for an opportune moment.
Now, on to my point. As singles, we can often feel like we are in an endless waiting game. Waiting until we find “the one” and reach that mystical end goal of marriage. Or perhaps you’re waiting for the day when your family and friends accept that you are actually happy with your situation in life and that you don’t want them to set you up with their co-worker’s sister’s step-son who just happens to be single too. We wait to find love. We wait to find happiness. We wait to find peace. We wait to find contentment until we think that we’ve found what will make us feel loved, happy, and peaceful.
The thing that we often forget is that God is there in His own waiting experience. He’s waiting for US to realize that He is the only one who can fulfill all of those needs in our lives. God is there to guide us, love us, and support us because in the end, we are the only things in this world over which we have any semblance of control and we need to give up everything else to God.
As much as I might like to have a relationship, I’ve come to discover that there is just no way to control how another person feels about you. When I was in college, I remember desperately trying to make the guy that I had feelings for like me back. As you can guess, my plan didn’t work because no matter how much you might want it, no matter how much effort you might put into your appearance or changing your interests, values, and beliefs to line up with someone that you may to pursue a relationship with, you CANNOT control how they feel about you. You can only control yourself, and I’d always recommend consulting with God on how you should proceed in big areas, like your love life.
Philippians 4:6-7 states, “Do not worry about anything, but pray and ask God for everything you need, always giving thanks. And God’s peace, which is so great we cannot understand it, will keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” God is ultimately in control of everything, so we should always bring our requests, questions, and concerns to Him first. God provides what He knows we need in His own time. Even if you’ve asked God 1,001 times for a boyfriend/girlfriend over the past 14 years, that doesn’t mean that He’s going to deliver it to you until He knows it’s the right time.
The second part of “Wait for It” that spoke to me is when Burr mentions that he’s not “standing still or running late” because he’s actually “lying in wait.” This gives the visual that he’s not passively sitting behind everyone waiting because he showed up late to the party. It means that he’s actively planning out and waiting for the opportune moment to act.
While our stories are, hopefully, very different from the history of Aaron Burr, we can learn from the idea of this message. Just because you are single doesn’t mean that you are some how running late in life. I used to think that I was somehow “broken” because nobody wanted to date me. As I grew older, I began to think, “Ok, now I’m just running late, behind everyone else who is already married and on their second kid and I’ve never even had a boyfriend.” But I’ve discovered that this is untrue.
Looking back over my younger life (hindsight is always 20/20), I realize now that it’s been somewhat of a blessing to be single, even though I loathed every minute of it up until a couple of years ago. God knew what I needed at the time better than I did. He knew that if I’d had a boyfriend in high school, I might not have moved away from the small town where I lived. I might not have gone off to college, made new friends, explored new places. I certainly would not have traveled as much as I have. I might not have gone to grad school and I might not have wanted to move to the beautiful city that I live in now, which I love. I would also have been far more distracted through it all and might never have turned to God for the support that I needed when I felt alone and lonely and desperate for romantic love.
Yes, if I’d had a relationship during those times I probably wouldn’t have known any different. However, if you can look back and see how God helped to shape you into who you are by making you wait on His timing and be in sync with His plan rather than your own, you will be better able to grow in your relationship with Him and better embrace your single status. Once you begin to embrace your singleness, you can begin to see it as a gift that God has given you. Being single is not a disease that needs to be cured. You’re not destined to a life of endless waiting or the feeling that you’re running late while everyone else is having fun at the party. God plans things out according to His time, not ours, and God doesn’t run late. God is always in control. Even when it seems like the world is a chaotic mess, God is in control of our lives if we can be truly willing to give ourselves to Him. So give your cares, give your life, and give your all to God. Allow Him to use you for His plan and wait on His timing because, like the song says, “If there’s a reason I’m still alive when so many have died, then I’m willing to wait for it.”