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Karly’s Story: Relying on the Holy Spirit in Her Singleness

By Kary Petrella

Hey, I’m Karly.

  • Lover of Jesus
  • Extreme extrovert
  • Obnoxious laughter
  • Single since ’91

That last description is a label I’ve never been proud of, nor a label I’ve been comfortable in sharing with others. As a result, I turned my years of singleness into a joke so that people wouldn’t know, that in reality, my singleness was no laughing matter to me.

As a result, I’ve let my singleness creep in to the depths of my heart and make me question my worth.

I’ve let lies sneak in:

  • there’s something wrong with me
  • I’m not pretty enough
  • I’m not approachable
  • I need to put myself out there and look available
  • I intimidate guys
  • I’m not good enough

All of these lies have distorted my good, God-honoring desire for a relationship.

“I feel like crap,” I said to my friends. “I’m annoyed that I can’t just be satisfied in Christ. I’m annoyed that I want attention and affection from a guy to feel worth. Why can’t I just be content in Christ and be content in my singleness?”

However, two of my dear friends spoke truth to me about the beauty of relationships in God’s eyes:

“Karly, wanting a relationship isn’t something you need to feel guilty about. That’s not wrong. You were created to desire relationship. This doesn’t mean you’re not following the Lord or you’re not satisfied in you relationship with Him.”

In Genesis, God creates all things in His perfection. He creates the first man, Adam, in His image. Adam was created out of perfection of the Trinity. Being created in the image of God means Adam, we, are created in and for relationship. Picture Adam in the garden, in perfection, and in unmarred creation.

And even so, Adam was lonely.

Was Adam sinning in not being satisfied in God alone? Was there something wrong with Adam’s fellowship with God that he was lonely, that he needed a companion? Of course not, sin didn’t even exist yet. Then what is my problem?

As I have been walking with the Lord, loving Him, growing in my relationship with Him and serving Him full-time, I have been attracted to guys who are also

  • loving Jesus
  • serving Him
  • growing in their relationship with his Creator
  • loving others well

These are all great qualities. These are all attributes I should be desiring in a relationship. So again, what’s my problem? What am I doing wrong?


“…Do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit.” -Ephesians 5:18

Ephesians isn’t telling us not to drink necessarily, but is warning against letting anything other than the Holy Spirit, such as alcohol, to have control over us.

My desire for relationship, my feelings for different guys in my life are not the problem.

My issue arises when I:

  • attempt to take control of the situation.
  • manipulate situations so I can get closer to a guy
  • initiate things when it’s not my place
  • pursue things the Lord has not given me (and the guy hasn’t communicated what he wants).

Ultimately, my problem, and maybe your problem too is that I cease to rely on the power of the Holy Spirit. I cease to let the Holy Spirit have control when I think I know better by stepping back on the control seat of my life and telling the Lord I don’t trust Him. I tell the Spirit to step down as I take control.

Friends, being single is not something to be ashamed nor joke about to hide who you are in Christ. It does not speak to your worth. Desiring a relationship is not something to feel guilt over, this comes from who you are as a child of God and does not mean that you’re not satisfied in Christ.

Trust the Lord. Walk in the power of the Holy Spirit. Don’t take control.

God is good, He is for us, and He is our provider.


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