Karly’s Story: Single, yet in a relationship

By Karly Petrella

I sit and consider a list of wants (and still want) that the Lord has not given me. There are hundreds, countless tears. My hand aches from writing out angry, bitter prayers to the Lord in the honesty of my heart.

I often think I know best.

My heart has been broken from a lack of a romantic relationship. Like Ashley, I’ve been single since ‘91.

I have presented my request for a romantic relationship to the Lord for years. There have been seasons of begging, seasons of thinking I deserve it, seasons where I put a specific name in my prayer. Over and over presenting my requests to the Lord to have someone to love and serve and to have someone to love and serve me. Over and over I have told my sweet Savior I want:

  • A coffee date with him
  • A guy to notice me
  • Someone to laugh with
  • To feel beautiful
  • Someone to bring home to meet my family
  • Someone to do ministry with
  • A dance partner
  • Someone to cook with and for
  • Someone to take my hand and ask about my day
  • A boyfriend
  • A marriage

The list goes on and on of the things I’ve wanted. I thought I would have been in a relationship by age 22, then by 24, and certainly before 26. I have never even been on a date.  

This has not been a choice of mine necessarily, but as I’ve wrestled with my singleness for years, and even more after college, I’ve come to see the beauty of my singleness as well. I stare at my list of wants and am blind to what I have been given and provided. My loving Father has given me all I need and more. 

I already have a relationship with someone, and that’s with Jesus Christ.

You see, I was made to be in relationship. The ultimate goal is relationship, and I have the perfect relationship in Christ. This is the relationship I was made for, already freely given to me. And living out of this relationship with Jesus has given and will give me far more fulfillment than any man will ever be able to give.

And while I haven’t had those prayers listed above answered, God continues to provide for me in so many other countless ways.

For example, I live with five other girls in a house by the lake. And in our basement, I listen to one of the students lead a weekly sophomore Bible study and hear her talk about the joy of living out scripture and the pain that comes with giving in to culture and the flesh.

These students I have the privilege to live with see me when I’m failing, upset, tired and weak. And in the midst of it all, they see me run toward hope and rely on Jesus.

Because I am single, I am able to share my life on a deeper level with my students. The gift of living with students and watching them follow Jesus is just one glimpse of the provisions the Lord has given me. 

My singleness allows me to see and experience Jesus differently in this season, and I don’t want to wish this away.  I want to soak up his plans and trust in His timing. My list of wants and desires is far less valuable than what God has done in and through me because of my singleness.

Friends, God is good and a relationship with Jesus is fully satisfying. Live in that truth and joy. If you ignore it, you might miss the gifts and opportunities God has planned for you if you just sit around and wait to live in romantic relationship rather than fully live in a relationship with Jesus.