I don’t want to miss out on the time with friends: the encouraging conversation, the live-giving laughter, the sharing in prayer. It’s also the first week of a new Bible study we’re beginning, so I’d be missing out on the start of that, too.
FOMO is an acronym for fear of missing out. It describes anxiety or insecurity about not being included in something interesting or enjoyable that others are experiencing.
The above situation describes a mild case of FOMO. One area I’ve experienced FOMO in a greater, and more unpleasant, degree is in my singleness.
It’s more than a fear of missing out on marriage; it’s a fear of missing out on something better than what my life holds right now in singleness; it’s a fear that I’ve been left out of a happily ever after for my dreams; it’s a fear that God has at best overlooked me, and at worst is intentionally withholding goodness from me.
The danger of FOMO in singleness, is that we can end up setting up marriage as the ultimate good and degrading singleness to something less.
When I experience FOMO in my singleness, I usually find that at it’s core is some form of the lie that God isn’t completely, perfectly, constantly good.
God isn’t completely good: some part of Him is less-than-good, so maybe He’s been less-than-good to me as a single woman than He has been to those who are married.
God isn’t perfectly good: His goodness in more just good intentions, but doesn’t always result in actively working for my good, so my singleness may not really be a good gift that’s part of His plan, but more just a default of my being overlooked or forgotten.
God isn’t constantly good: His goodness can fluctuant day to day, depending on His mood toward me, which usually depends on my proving myself good enough to Him, so since I’m missing out on my dreams, it must mean I’m not good enough for Him to care about my dreams.
When I doubt God’s goodness, I doubt His goodness to me.
This fear of missing out on something more good can cause us to miss the good that is in our right now, single lives.
The complete, perfect, constant goodness of God to us.
The Lord is good to everyone. He showers compassion on all his creation. Psalm 145:9
Your single relationship status, your unfulfilled dreams, your looking on with longing as others get married and have kids, does not mean that God is less good to you. He doesn’t care about you less, or love you less, or take less interest in your life and hopes and dreams. He loves you infinitely, and He looks on and listens to you with care and delight.
I can’t say why some seem to get their dreams right away, while others wait, or even don’t see their dreams come true.
But because of God’s goodness, we are not missing out on something better in our singleness. There is joy, beauty, and purpose right here, right now. Let’s not overlook it.
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. Romans 8:28
When Scripture says that God is good, it’s not just talking about good intentions, positive vibes, or well-wishes. This isn’t a “it’s the thought that counts” kind of scenario.
God’s goodness is His love in action. It is His initiation and invitation. The initiation of seeking the lost, pursuing the wayward, drawing the broken to Himself. The invitation to engage in relationship with Him, participate in His plan, grow in our faith and knowledge of who He is.
Singleness is not a default of God not being interested or involved in your life, but a gift to be embraced and enjoyed as part of His invitation to you to deeper intimacy with Him.
You are good and do only good; teach me your decrees. Psalm 119:68
God’s goodness is not something you have to earn. It’s not something He withholds until you prove yourself good enough.
God constantly pours out His goodness to us to draw us to Himself.
Because single or married, that is the ultimate good, the greatest gift, the assured inheritance for those who put their trust in Him: ever closeness with our completely, perfectly, constantly good God.