I used to think I had to wait for my own nuclear family to experience true intimacy, but the beauty of God’s community is that intimacy takes on so many different forms. Yes, the nuclear family is beautiful, but so is the chosen family. God's love transcends familial bonds―and if we extend ourselves and choose to find people to walk with through life, something really beautiful can happen. We become aware of the struggles others face and realize the grass is not always greener. It is easy to stay in our respective corners, but I have learned so much about being content in my current season from my friends who are in different life stages. Don’t get me wrong, I love my girls’ nights, but I also love my evenings playing with my friends’ kids in their backyards and sitting down for long chats with their parents. The diversity of interactions makes life feel so full and beautiful.
So these days, I celebrate this family just as I would a nuclear family. When people start talking about their kids, I share what’s happening with my niece, nephews, and the other beautiful children in my life. When the conversation turns to spouses, I talk about my amazing relationships―and sometimes even share about my not-so-amazing first dates! The stories of single people matter and we have to believe our community matters just as much as a married person’s community does. We are called to be a part of this beautifully diverse body of Christ, and that means showing up and engaging fully in the season of life in which God has called us.
I do not claim to have all of the answers, but one thing I have learned through my chosen family is that seasons of life are temporary. I believe we have to savor each season―and all that comes with it. Singleness can be a challenging season and for all the scenarios I have navigated, there are still days where I struggle. Nevertheless, when all else fails, we can rest in the truth that we are fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God. Regardless of the season we are in, our loving Creator looks down on each of us and says, “You are enough.”
Chi Chi Okwu is a Senior Church Advisor at World Vision and a former associate pastor. This article has been excerpted from our new resource, Navigating Singleness in Ministry.