Balance is a beautiful dance. When I was little I used to love when my mother used to take me to see the ballerinas. I always marveled at the skills they had and their ability to dance on pointe. My mother was a talented singer and was hired to do work with a wonderful ballet school called the St. Joseph Ballet Company. One day I remember sneaking backstage and asking one of the dancers if I could try on her ballet shoes. It didn't take her much time to say NO! In fact, the no was accompanied with a rather disturbing look. I apologized to her. I certainly didn't want to offend her I just wanted to be a ballerina. As she walked away, the instructor said something pretty cool. She said, "In ballet, it is not as simple as trying on someone else's shoes, they have to fit and fit YOU." There are so many ways that statement could be translated and so many areas of life where it would be applicable but for the purposes of this discussion let's just apply it to dance. Did you know that ballerina's have major components that they must possess to be successful? They need commitment, maturity, technique, health and of course, physique. It's dance but it is also very structured and all of those traits are required so that the dancer is able to maintain a certain balance.
Ask yourself this. How are you keeping it all together? How are you dancing through your different seasons of life? I have to be completely transparent and tell you that I struggle with balance daily. I have always wanted to be superwoman! I always saw myself as everything. I wanted to be a mom and a wife, business mogul, preacher, singer, songwriter, author and a partridge in a pear tree. But Lord! How do I balance all of this? How much time do I give to you? How much time to my child? How much time goes to my business before I am classified a workaholic? Oh, and I still have to spend time with my friends and at some point sleeping would be nice.. Whew! That is a lot, and if I am honest I wasn't doing very well at keeping up with it all. My life was just so hectic and I had to have the maturity to face where I was and ask how I got there.
Let's go back to when I was newly single. I was very hurt and looking for a way to cope. Sitting in my house everyday was agonizing, I was ashamed and didn't want to face the world. So, I saw this Youtube video (because all I did back then was watch Youtube videos) and the lady who created it suggested that as you begin to serve others you will forget your problems. It sounded like a great idea and it was definitely more appealing than sitting around and rehashing why my marriage failed, so I decided to give it a try. Nobody was busier than I was. I volunteered, I cooked, I cleaned, I fed the homeless I did EVERYTHING to keep myself completely busy 24 hours a day! It felt so rewarding and my problems began to feel like a distant memory.
Singleness started to awaken dreams that I never realized I had before and for the first time in my life I could do whatever I wanted... and I did! I did everything! You name it, I did it. I wanted a career change...so I changed it, I wanted to walk in my calling with God...so I went to seminary, I wanted to finish my education... I think you get the idea and life was good. I was full of purpose, walking in the things of God and you know what? I was tired as ...well ..you know! I was overcommitted and in my fatigue I started to notice that in my prioritizing my dreams, I was not making time with God paramount. I loved him and I served him but my personal devotional time was becoming more and more scarce. To add insult to injury, I was beginning to feel guilty about pursuing my dreams. My bucket list started to feel like a weight around my neck and to be honest, I was drowning... You see, as much as I felt free to do whatever I wanted to do, I noticed that this feeling of panic began to set in. I suddenly felt like I was way behind other people, I was not excelling fast enough and I knew I was working harder than I ever had. I was striving; but in my own strength and I was so overwhelmed.
In a moment of desperation I sought the Lord. Isn't it sad that the only time we intentionally seek God is when we are desperate? I asked him "God why do I feel so guilty about pursuing my dreams? I have never been able to just do whatever I want to do in my life. My life has always been on someone else's agenda, now that I am single, I am prioritizing my dreams and I feel guilty about it! Why?" God simply said in a still small voice..."It is ok for you to enjoy your life, and it's ok for you to desire success and to make a difference in this world but your peace, favor and contentment must rest in me and I must be first".
That resonated with me on a level I can't begin to explain. I was doing this all wrong. It does not matter how many endeavors you are working on, you can be the first to arrive at church and the last to leave, if you are not speaking to God on a daily basis and using HIS word to broaden your perspective, you will inevitably feel off balance.
I needed God to check me and let me know, I was out of control. He showed me the genesis of my way of thinking. You see, my whole life I was trained to serve. I was always at the church, sang in the choir, served on the usher board, was entrenched in the ministry and in all that I majored in the appearance of serving but failed horribly in actually seeking HIM. I just could not reconcile in my own mind that they were different functions. I thought all of my works counted somehow into the cultivation of my relationship with God... Not so... In fact, I would venture to say that I serve better now because of my heart for him and my genuine desire to seek his will whereas, before I was just...busy... that's right ... I was busy looking busy. I had to put first things first and now I approach serving in a completely different way.
As a single, you have to realize the gift you have. This is the prime opportunity to build your life. You can take this time and become whatever you desire as long as it falls in line with the will of God. Learn from my mistakes, for so long I focused on my failures and hid those hurts under a shroud of busyness so that I did not have to deal with them. Of course, when God has his time with you, he wants you to know the fullness of his love and you can't know that if you are deceived. So He uncovers everything you want to hide so that you can deal with it and become what He has purposed you to be.
If I have any advice to give it would be take advantage of this season! Get your balance and build your life. This is the perfect time to be busy, but if you are going to be busy, be busy and in balance. Ask yourself if you have taken on too much. Are you so busy that you are having a hard time making time to spend with God? Are you working out or eat healthy? What things do you need to do for you that you can't do because of your hectic schedule? Know that you are God's first priority! Make him yours, and he will bear the weight of the journey ahead. Trust me, if you have a hard time prioritizing when you are single it will be unbearable when you are married.
Study Scriptures: Ecc 3:1-8 Matt 6:33-36 Proverbs 11:1 2 Peter 3:17