Racing against a deadline

“Achi, di be diap lak he lo.” 

In the recent months, my mom has been reminding me of what is obvious – the scales are tipping out of my favor. If there were an imaginary scale, 25 years old would be the balancing point, and when you hit 26, the scale has tipped over to the other side irreversibly. Suddenly, I no longer belong to the “early 20s” group.

I heard Mark Driscoll in his podcast a few days ago talk about singleness. In the previous generation, he says, the marrying age for American women was 23 and 26 for men. Today, the average marrying age for women is 27 and 29 for men. Following this statistic, I have exactly two years to enter courtship, have a bridal shower and get married.

If you get pregnant at 30 years old or more, pregnancy becomes increasingly difficult and dangerous both for the mom and the child. But whenever this thought crosses my mind, I am reminded that a healthy delivery is not based on statistics or age, it is God who decides these things. What about the eggs we girls have that expire at around 45 years old? My friend and I have an idea of what to do with them if we become spinsters, sell our eggs for $8000 and use the money to travel the world. Lol.

You see, singleness isn’t a choice I’ve made. It’s not that I decided to have my heart broken. But I know that God is sovereign and good, broken hearted and all.

The past years have been a constant fight between contentment and discontentment. There are days when I am so glad and content in life, and there are days when I just want to be with my future husband already (if it is God’s will for me to get married). Darn emotions. Sometimes I ask myself, “Will I still serve God even if I reach 50 and remain unmarried?”, and I would always answer yes, of course. Life is surely more than making money, career, marrying or building a family. These things are good – for this lifetime. But this lifetime is like a drop in the Pacific Ocean, seemingly nothing compared to eternity.

As my discipler said, “If God wants you single, He will make sure you are single.

There are many things I’ve done for the Lord in the past year simply by obeying Him and focusing all my energy in making Him known instead of knowing someone else.

I’ve learned many things in this journey, one of which is leadership. I used to regard leadership as being able to get people to work together with power concentrated and exercised by one person. In my list of non negotiables, leadership is the top quality. But my idea of leadership was a man who planned things and is not a pushover. Now, leadership is also about serving. There is nothing more attractive than seeing a man serving people greater and lesser than him in all the ways that he can and remaining humble. Leadership is constantly outserving other people. Leadership is meeting the needs of people and taking that initiative, even without being told to do so.

The next thing I learned about is humility and love. I used to not care about how people would feel as long as I am doing what is right. But I’ve learned that not only is this selfish, but very unloving. A friend kept reminding me how important love is (Now remain my love. John 15:9). A Sunday service message reminded me that without love, even doing all these wonderful things, would make me sound like a clanging cymbal (1 Corinthians 13:1) – extremely annoying.

I’ve learned about the importance of unity. In studying Ephesians, I’ve discovered how much God values the unity in the church. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace (Ephesians 4:2-3). It says to make every effort, to pour out every sweat to live in unity. And so I try to apologize and go beyond what is required to reverse the hurt I’ve done to others.

On accountability, a brother told me, “Know this sis, I have your best interest at heart when I choose something. I’ll be accountable to God for my actions, but on your end, you’ll be accountable to God for your reaction towards me.” Those seemingly little actions fall into one place at the end of the day – we are all responsible to God. It is also a blessing to be surrounded by people, especially my disciplers who are accountable to God for me. That means these people live to please only one Person. And now that I am discipling girls too, I am constantly praying that I model Jesus accurately to them too.

On grace, the more I serve God, the more I know I cannot turn my back from Him or stop serving Him. I fear that one day i don’t finish the good fight, and my foot slips. So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! (1 Corinthians 10:12). Will his grace be enough to catch me? Caedmon’s Call song reminds me that yes, my faith is like shifting stand so I stand on grace.

“Achi, di be diap lak he lo.” Achi, you are turning twenty-six.

I said, matanda na ba ang 26? My mom said, hindi pero kung wala kang bf oo.

Mang Alfred, matanda na ba ang 26? I asked our driver. Medyo, 26 ako nag asawa e.

Maybe they are from the ancient generation that’s why they married young 😂. Or maybe, because they didn’t know Jesus when they were single, they don’t know that being single allows you to focus on Jesus, and that this duty is more important than actually finding a spouse. Maybe for them marriage is starting a family and having kids before the wife hits 30. But marriage for me is about being a helpmeet to my husband. To ease his burdens, to show grace, love, humility, unity and demonstrate leadership by serving each other.

To turn 26 is a scary thought, if you are trying to look for your God’s best and racing against a deadline. But learn to trust God in the journey and serve Him in whatever season of life you are in. Married or unmarried. 

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