I was a member of Lift Church back in its early days of formation. I valued it so much because people, Adrienne Paulsen/Martens in particular, were so intentional about making you feel welcome and wanted. I know that this is still one of the great aspects at Lift Church today. Robin and I went out to Kelsey’s after service and spoke about Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well. That was the beginning of a great friendship. 🙂
Shortly after graduating, I spent some time traveling in Southeast Asia and then moved out to Calgary. I’ve been here for the past 4 years (wow how time flies) and am working as a Mechanical Engineer for an oil and gas company. The experience has been good and it’s been rewarding for me to start a life and lifestyle out in the mountains. I didn’t know anyone when first moving out here and it’s taken a long time to build a community here as it does anywhere you go. It’s a different life and culture here than in Ontario and has taken some time to adapt to the subtleties of it, but all in all good. Nevertheless, my closest friendships still remain with those from Ontario. I don’t know why but the friendships I made with the people in university (maybe because of common values, time of life, or just the caliber of people I met at Mac) remain my closest friendships to this day. The early stages of moving to Calgary were lonely but helped me to appreciate the people who know and understand me better than the rest.
It was actually this year, while out on a camping trip, that I gained a new understanding of singleness and what a life of intentionality looks like. Until then, I was developing a community and exploring the adventures that Western Canada had to offer – camping, climbing, skiing, hiking in the mountains, etc…they’ve all been good experiences, but what have they amounted to? Sure, its fun and is good for the Instagram account, but we were made to be relational people. Most of the bucket list items people have (I’m speaking mostly about me, but I’m sure it applies to others too) include going skydiving, scuba diving, getting a tattoo, go to Machu Picchu… but these are not relational accomplishments. They’re cool things to do, but they don’t inherently amount to anything and are in a sense is just a way to fill the time. For me, I’ve realized that this was a form of living selfishly and not what Godly singleness looks like.
I’m coming to realize that my life has to change in some significant way; I’m still figuring out the details of what that looks like. Most people in university think that marriage is an eventuality and for most it is. I’ve realized that life is not nearly as linear or straightforward as first thought to be and that I may remain single the rest of my life. If so, I can’t just fill the time doing bucket list things; it has to be a life that is intentional at being involved in other people’s lives, serving them and helping them carry the weight of their struggles and walking along with them.
If I meet someone to share life with, great! There are great things that life has to offer along that path, but that path is not entirely in my control and one that might never happen for me. I’m simply coming to a new understanding of what it looks like to live and be single.
New opportunities are in front of me to move to Australia for work and I’m in the midst of discerning whether this is the right path for me – there’s a whole other discussion about Gods plan for one’s life to be had with that topic. Whether it is or isn’t, the decision remains grounded in a focus to live intentionally, invest in relationships, and serve others, wherever that may be.