Stacy Boggs graduated from the United States Air Force Academy and served 5 years on active duty. After she completed her active duty service she was hired by Stryker Communications and has held various management positions within manufacturing operations. Stacy is currently a Business Unit Manager responsible for the production of medical integration systems and $60M in annual shipments. She is also active in her community and church, helping serve the needs of others.
Stacy is my friend. Recently we were talking about a question she constantly gets asked. No it’s not “was the Air Force Academy difficult” or “where did you serve in the military?” Or even “how stressful was your day at work?” No the question she most often gets asked is, “Why are you still single?” This is how Stacy feels about that question.
If I had a dollar for every time I’ve been asked that question…well, I might not be a millionaire, but I would probably have enough money to go buy that piece of furniture I’ve been eyeing at World Market for over a year. The most frustrating thing about it is that I still wouldn’t have the answer!
I’ve felt for some time now that my community is unraveling. More often than not, my co-workers go home to their families instead of happy hour, my 30-something friends are lost among the church, and my long-time friends are busy managing their own work-life balance. Finding a buddy to hang out with on a Saturday night is not easy anymore. And dating? Well, it seems to be on everyone’s mind.
While reconnecting with a college friend, she asks, “Is there anyone special in your life?” Over the holidays, an uncle asks, “So, do you choose to be single?” The question isn’t all that unusual, and I know each person who asks is sincerely concerned for my happiness. Even the men who I have been on dates with ask the question, “Why are you still single?” Although, I suspect that sincerity is replaced with suspicion from those guys. I am not angry or irritated when a friend or relative (or even a stranger) asks me this question. Instead, my heart breaks a little because the something missing from my life is not the most important part of my life. On the contrary, I love when people ask about my job, my special needs ministry, my house, or my family. I love talking about the places where I serve and how God is moving in my life. The truth is, when I am serving, I am not thinking about my own unmet desires. My attention returns to my ultimate purpose: loving others well and glorifying God!
While listening to a sermon last week, I was gently (but not so subtly) reminded by the Holy Spirit that 1) having community means investing in that community; and 2) God has a purpose for me, and embracing my singleness will give me the freedom to fulfill it more joyfully. My mind drifted back to a conversation I had with my older brother ten years ago after my divorce. He read 1 Corinthians 7:32 to me and said, “Stacy, singleness is an opportunity to love others well.” I think my big brother will have a smile on his face when I say, “Amen! You were right.”
Last week, I found a treasure at the flea market that I loved even more than that piece of furniture I’ve been eyeing at World market. So I bought it. Sometimes there is something better than that thing you’ve been wanting so desperately, and you don’t know it until it surprises you. I believe that men and women together reflect God’s image, and that’s why we need each other. I hope and pray that God surprises me one day with the blessing of marriage. However, until He so chooses (or doesn’t) the answer to the question “why am I still single?” is this: so that His work may be demonstrated in my life. The bottom line is, I’ve got work to do.