I heard author, Shauna Niequist, speak at Lipscomb University recently. She is one of my favorite authors and I was excited for the chance to hear her in person. You can follow Shauna’s blog here and you should check out her books! Cold Tangerines is one of my favorite books ever. She has a way of writing about life, friendships, faith and hospitality that just makes sense and she’s great at sharing stories. Anyway…this isn’t about how much I love her, but seriously, check her out.
One thing she shared while she was speaking was this, “I want you to know and remember that just because you don’t have a significant other does not mean you are not significant.” It was refreshing to hear her say this and to know that her main audience of college students were hearing someone speak this truth over them.
I think this happens too much in the life of a young person. I know I have been made to feel like I’m not enough because I don’t have a significant other or I don’t have some “plan in place” for when I’ll have a significant other. It’s like my life hasn’t quite made it because I’m single, like my life isn’t quite as significant, like I’m in the waiting room for my life to finally be where it should be. I have been made to feel not enough or lacking.
Another wise woman in my life, my cousin Kendi, and she may not even remember saying this when we were together over Christmas, but we were talking about relationships and she said something like, “I don’t know why people act like having a “significant other” is the only significant relationship in someone else’s life.” My soul breathed a sigh of relief and shouted Amen!
Because that's the other side of the coin, why do we treat other relationships as not quite as significant as a boyfriend/girlfriend, husband/wife? Now, I know I’m speaking from someone who is lacking in both of those departments and I am in no way minimizing the importance of those relationships, but I think we need to get out of our box and realize we have a lot of significant relationships. In some ways, if someone were to ask me if I had a significant other I would say, yes, lots! (and then have a lot of explaining to do probably) :) But there are so many people in my life that I consider significant and who bring significance to my life. Beautiful friends who pour into my life and meet me where I am and show me that it doesn’t just take blood to be considered family, a beautiful community who shows me what it’s like to be there for each other, to enter into each other’s happy and not so happy places and a beautiful blood-related family who from my earliest of days have shown me acceptance, love and joy. These people are my significant others.
So friends, please know that you are significant, with or without that “significant other”, know that you are enough just because you are you, know that just because you don’t have a boyfriend/girlfriend or husband/wife you are not lacking as a person or lacking of significant relationships. Pour into the people around you, love the people around you, make room for the people around you and you will find there are lots of people with significance in your life.