If you didn’t know, I am a big fan of musicals. There’s just something about when the ensemble cast breaks into song that always gives me the chills. This past New Year’s Eve, my sister and I got the chance to see the show Dear Evan Hansen and it was amazing. The show explores the angst of high school and the loneliness that many teens (and even adults) often feel. While not explicitly about the loneliness associated with being single, the message about feeling alone (especially in our overconnected world) still resonated with me in a more powerful way than I had expected. There was one song, in particular, that really spoke to me and I’ve been listening to it repeatedly since I saw the show over a month ago.
The song “Waving Through a Window” describes how the main character feels like the whole world is passing him by and he feels like he is standing outside waving through a window at everyone inside having fun. The worst part is that he senses that nobody is waving back because they don’t notice that he’s even there. In a world that thrives on relationships and sex appeal, it often feels like you’re waving through a window at all of the beautiful and coupled/married people inside, while you’re stuck on the outside waiting for someone to notice you and invite you in. In our churches, the culture is so intensely focused on fostering Godly marriages and raising a family, that the single Christians are often left to feel as though church isn’t meant for them.
The message single Christians get is that, the church spends most of their resources fostering marriage retreats, children’s ministry programs, small groups and events for parents and married couples, so the spiritual needs of Christians is not as important. Like a social outcast who is stuck outside of the party, waiting desperately to be invited inside to join the exclusive club.
I really connected with this particular song, in part because I felt that way as a teenager, but also because I realized that a part of me still feels this way, even though my high school days have long since passed. It’s sometimes difficult to move on and truly accept my “adultness” when I have never actually experienced one of the most adult things that you can experience… having a relationship and eventually entering into a marriage. I often feel like an immature teenager who’s never really experienced life because there are actual teenagers with far more dating experience. I’m not by any means saying that random dating in high school is a good or bad thing, it’s simply a usual right of passage that most people experience. So by the time you reach your 30’s, it’s almost expected that you have at some point in your life been in a relationship and experienced what it’s like to really date and possibly even love someone.
I’m well aware that not everyone has experienced these things, but I’m also aware that most people have by this stage in life. I have friends who are around my age who have been married for over 10 years, or are on their 2nd or even 3rd marriage. Again, I’m not saying that I wish I were on a 2nd marriage, but it just shows you the amount of time that has lapsed since many of my friends have not only dated, married, been in a marriage, divorced, dated AGAIN, and found someone else that they are hoping to spend their lives with. In the meantime, I went on my first date as an adult last year. And it ended in nothing more than a good friendship. So it’s difficult to not feel a little bit left behind at this point.
The danger in this is that I can often be tempted to blame God or my circumstances for my misfortune. It’s hard to not let those influences that often stem from the deepest insecurities that you can have (whether or not you are “lovable”) have an effect on your heart and your mind. It’s hard to silence the lies that the enemy feeds you when you’re lying alone in your bed late at night, thinking about how the world has passed you by while you stood on the outside of the building waving through the window. The lie that God loves your married friends more than He loves you. The lie that the church values marriage and families more than your spiritual guidance and growth. The lie that you are unlovable and will never be enough for marriage.
On the other hand, the beauty is that in these moments we have a hope in the form of God’s promises in His honest and true word. Jesus is our gift from an ever loving heavenly Father who has carefully orchestrated everything about us. He knows how many hairs are on your head, every tear you’ve ever cried, every desire of your heart. He sent Jesus to give you a new hope that you could cast away your old, bitter, angry, entitled self and be adopted as an heir into His heavenly kingdom. In those desperate, late night moments when the enemy is trying to ensnare you in his sticky web of lies, God is there to remind you that you are worthy, you are fierce, you are precious, and you are loved. You are worth fighting for.
While I can’t answer whether you will ever find a spouse, I can tell you that God has equipped you to fight against the advances of the enemy that always seem to latch on to your innermost insecurities. Whether those insecurities be your failures, your appearance, your relationship status, or something else entirely, God is available to remind you of who you really are and that His view is the only one that actually matters. The lies the devil feeds you are not based on God’s truth, my single friend, they are merely negative illusions carefully arranged to plant a seed of doubt inside of your tired mind.
So what will you do? Will you allow the devil’s seed of lies to take root in your heart and mind? Or will you rip out the negative flood of influence from the enemy to overcome it all and be a light for God’s kingdom?
Will you spend the rest of your life waving through a window from the outside with the devil on our back, whispering how unworthy you are to join in on your own inheritance? Or will you throw him off into the gutter and strut inside as a confident child of God to take your rightful place at His table?