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July 23, 2020

Cupid is a Procrastinator: Making Sense of the Unexpected Single Life

I’ve never met Kate Hurley, but if I did I’d like to think we’d become fast friends. We seem to have a lot in common. We both like dark chocolate. We both quote Henri Nouwen. And we’ve both been single longer than either of us ever anticipated.

Kate Hurley is the author of Cupid is a Procrastinator (Harvest House Publishers). She’s also a singer-songwriter who tours and teaches at women’s retreats and other events. Kate has been in thirty-three (yes, 33) weddings throughout her life. At one of those weddings, she had a reflective moment while finishing off the last few bites of the wedding cake on her plate:

“This is not the life I imagined.”

In her book, Kate shares stories about her single life and provides insight and inspiration. Instead of a “here’s what you do” charge, she allows us to peer into her seasons of dating—and not dating. With wit, warmth, and a large dollop of humor she invites us into her adventures and how she handles them.

Like many singles, she has often wondered, “Where’s my love story?” She is open and authentic, often saying distinctly what most of us try to conceal. Kate was feeling particularly single among all of the dancing couples at one wedding, and wistfully shared these thoughts:

I don’t want my singleness to be hard for me. I want to be satisfied in who I am as a single woman. But when I look at those pairs dancing, no matter how hard I try to fight it…I feel alone.

I try to remember that I have a wonderful life, as single lives go. I also try to realize that I have it better than almost any single older woman in any other moment in history had it. If I lived as a single woman in another country or in another time, I would be less worried about being a loser and more worried about being alive…I know that marriage is not the fairytale our culture makes it out to be, but I still want it. (Page 18)

For singles who feel that dating, love, or marriage has been a dream deferred, this book brings positive and biblical encouragement. In Cupid is a Procrastinator, Kate shares with refreshing candor her love struggles and offers hope, challenging us to confront our expectations of what love and marriage—“life in covenant”—truly looks like despite what our culture tries to put on us. Here is one example:

If you are like me and have watched 1,246 chick flicks, you have started to think that the boy-meets-girl formula is the answer you’ve been looking for since you were a child. You have believed that the loneliness will be gone when you fall in love and get married, just like it was for Harry and Sally, with their wedding cake that has chocolate sauce on the side. With every story you hear, you have built up more expectation for what your own love story will look like. (Page 61)

We may love watching romantic comedies. But we have to be cautious about what we’re taking away from them and manage our expectations about love and marriage so they are not unrealistic. We don’t have to buy into the viewpoint that happiness is found solely in a spouse and wait for someday to be happy. We can take a cue from Kate and “start living in my happy today.”

I like what Jesus says about expectations. The author points us to Matthew 6:25-34 where Jesus says, “Do not worry about tomorrow.” Instead of worrying, author Kate encourages us with these words:

Jesus tells us to be present today, grateful for the people in your life at this moment, holding them closely and with love but holding them with open hands.

Okay, so maybe the single life has been a bit unexpected. And, for some of us, love has been on the slow train. Nevertheless, we can find true joy in all of life’s seasons no matter what our marital status.

“Trust God with your future,” says Kate, “without expecting your future to look a certain way.”

You know what I think? Cupid may be a procrastinator, but God is always on time. Whatever the good Lord has for your future and mine, we can trust Him.