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The Gift of Singleness

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The Gift of Singleness: Bloom Where You Are Planted

Go, and bloom where you are planted.

There's only one problem I have when it comes to being single: the apathy. 

It often seems like the topic of being single is overlooked or bypassed, like we are just supposed to slide right through this season of our lives. And sadly, this is the apathetic response from those around us that seems to make us single people less passionate about our current season.

I get that we (most of us) are called to be married and we are called to do greater things with our helpmate (whoever we marry). So I get why pastors, leaders and older married couples in the church talk about marriage and praying for your future spouse. But, what I have a problem with is when that’s all we (us singles) hear. PSA: We don’t always want to talk about dating “the Christian way”, praying for our future spouse, preparing ourselves while were single" etc.

What I want to know is what else am I supposed to do when I’m single? How do I find the courage and the patience to walk out this season of my life; right here, right now? Is there something I am supposed to be doing in conjunction with preparation for marriage?

I once read somewhere that often times when were still single yet to be married, there is something – a specific assignment – that God has us on. This is an assignment that needs to be and can only be fulfilled in our season of being single. Imagine what blessings we block when we “bypass” this season and never complete that assignment because we were too focused on meeting our future spouse.

Each person should remain in the situation they were in when God called them.
— 1 Corinthians 7:20

What I’ve learned in being single is that this is not a place we want to detour from, but to really soak up in this season. Take up space in this journey to find out who you are, live out your identity as a whole, complete person (a part from your future spouse) and complete the task God called you to do. Being single, yes has a lot of challenges and many lonely days, but it also holds so much value, purpose and quite frankly, can be a lot of fun.

Being single has also taught me more about strength and dignity in being a human simply found and loved by God; period. This is the kind of strength I want to bring to my future husband and the kind of strength my future children can learn from. Not in being a woman, waiting to find herself in her future man. Honestly, I don’t think this kind of character can be developed when a woman is unsure of herself. The last thing you want to do is rush yourself into any kind of relationship by thinking that when you finally marry this person you will find the confidence and security you’ve been hoping for.

Imagine a beautiful flower, the most beautiful one you've ever seen. Now imagine YOU are that flower, except you have only half bloomed. Do you know what happens to a flower when they are uprooted from their soil a little too soon? They become damaged and parts can be broken. Yes, an uprooted plant can be replanted, healed and brought to life again. But, what is that process worth if we can just let that flower bloom where it is planted before removing it out of the soil it thrives on. 

My goodness, there have been far too many times that I allowed myself to be uprooted prematurely only to find myself repeatedly broken hearted, praying so desperately for God to bring me back to life all over again. If I can share one solid piece of advice with you, it would be not to rush this time of your life nor take a moment for granted. You are right where you need to be in order to blossom and live a beautiful life. Your helpmate will come in God's perfect timing; I promise. Although I have not met mine yet, I know this is true because we serve a good Father and whatever our heart truly desires He does not withhold.

Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
— Psalm 37:4

If being single has been hard for you, I encourage you to pause for a moment, put your gear in park and remap the path you’ve been trying to speed through. Singleness is one of the most beautiful gifts to be had and for the majority of us, it won’t last forever. Ask God to give you direction and purpose during this season so that you are no longer just passing on through. Ask Him to fill you up with His goodness so that you begin to find joy and peace where you once felt lonely and insecure.

Do the things that you dream of doing NOW. Do the things that scare you. Find the beauty in singleness. Don’t skip over it. Embrace every part – the difficulties, the joy, the thrill. Give yourself time to grow and learn in new ways (I mean seriously, imagine the kind of awesome stories you’ll be able to tell your future partner when the singleness is all over). Be adventurous. Be brave. Create the best kind of memories with your friends and be selfish with your just-me-and-Jesus time.

We don't have to forget about our preparation for marriage, but for heaven’s sake dear friend, right here, right now, go and bloom where you are planted!

All my love,

L

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The Gift of Singleness: Give Room For God by Jenae Kaanehe

Give Room for God

Oh, so you're single?!

Congratulations! What an exciting, pivotal time in your life! Despite what the world will try to tell you, there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with you. You are loved, valued and well taken care of by our heavenly Father! You are of no lesser value than your best friend or even peers around you that may be in a relationship or married. If you have recently gotten out of a relationship, it may seem like you're at the end of the rope right now, that your life has come to a halt...but let me challenge that thinking by saying it has only just begun! 

Let me be honest for a second, I didn't always have this mindset of being single. Since I was in 8th grade, for about 10 years I was in a relationship. I dated my first boyfriend for about 8 years. We made it through attending 2 separate high schools, being long-distance for a couple years living in 2 different states, and made it through my college years. All very big milestones in life. I thought he was the "one". We lived together for a few years and eventually broke up. Right after that, I immediately found myself in another relationship. This one was not so much rainbows and butterflies, but more like headaches and heartaches. After a few months things ended. I was devastated, crushed and confused. But it was in this time that I had such a powerful encounter with God and began to truly grow into the woman he intended me to be. 

I began digging in scriptures to find healing and honestly, to get rid of the bitterness I had in my heart. I asked the Lord to surround me with women of God who would encourage, love and support me through this process. And that's exactly what He did. I would say this was a big part of my healing. The biggest mistake you can do after a breakup is isolate yourself and/or be around people who will cause you to dwell on the past. I also discovered the importance of self-care, something put on the back burner in the past. Since I was so focused on my boyfriend I didn't get to enjoy things for myself and ensure my needs were met. I had to repent for putting my past relationships above my relationship with God. I idolized them and in turn was where I had put all my hope and trust. As I continued seeking God to fill every void in my life I began to see Him as all sufficient. I realized the importance of putting Jesus firstin my life. As I grew in my personal relationship with Christ I discovered the importance and even how to submit my life to Him. I believe this is a foundational "pre-requisite" before entering a relationship with purpose. The bible clearly states as women, we are to submit to our husband. How could I possibly submit to my husband if I couldn't even submit to God? 

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.
— Ephesians 5:22

Being single for the past three years I have found so much confidence in who I am in Christ. I continuously pray for God to prune and strengthen me in every area of my life as He does the same for my future husband. Having a completely new perspective on dating and marriage than I did three years ago I truly honor the covenant of marriage. It is no longer something I want to rush into and I encourage you not to either. Yes, be expectant that whoever Jesus has for you is an amazing man that is perfectly fit to help you carry out God's will for you on earth. But give it all up to God. Think about why you want to be married someday. Is it for your own fleshly desires? Or is it so God will get the glory? I pray wherever you're at in your journey that you will continue to seek the Lord like never before. Give God the room He needs to work in your life. It's not up to us to know the how. Trust that He works all things together for the good of those who love Him. (Romans 8:28) Stand tall and be of good cheer as God uses this season to prepare, plant and produce some amazing things in your life! 

Jenae Kaanehe

Young Adults Ministry Leader

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The Gift of Singleness: First Love by Allison Frank

First Love

If you are struggling with singleness, I can relate.

I’ve been there… many times, and honestly I’m still there sometimes. I’ve learned that the deep longing desire to be loved and to have intimacy is something that will never go away, for it is an innate desire that God built in us to keep us close with him and always desiring intimacy with him.

Unfortunately the world is really good at taking the things God has given us and perverting them into something outside of their original intention. God’s original intention was for us to have relationship with him first and foremost, yet things like Disney movies and romantic comedies have tainted us to believe that our happily ever after will come once we meet our prince charming. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but as attractive as a prince charming might be, they will never be able to perfectly fill the deep intimacy and fulfillment that God offers. 

I believe that if you are struggling with being “single”, that you need to have a mindset shift… daily. The reason for this is because we need to shift our minds from the tainted culture of the world back to the perfect truth of God’s love.

And do not be conformed to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is good and acceptable and the perfect will of God.
— Romans 12:2

When God is not first in your life, everything else will be out of balance, especially your emotions and your desires. I believe that when you become so consumed in your relationship with him, you will no longer feel single as God’s love is all consuming. 

While many are longing for someone to call or cuddle with late at night, God is always there, longing for us 24 hours a day. The creator of love, intimacy, and romance is already in your life pursuing you, wanting to spend every waking moment with you. He longs for you to call him late at night and tell him about your day. He wants to share intimate moments with you and spend time together. Learning how to be in relationship with God, your first husband, is the best possible way to prepare for any other relationship you have in your life. Marriage is not meant to complete you; it should complement you. Before even considering a romantic relationship, I believe its important to know who you are and know how to have a romantic relationship with God. Let his love fill you. Let him take you on dates. No one can out love God. No one can out give God. Therefore if you are not fully satisfied with love from God alone and from his incredible gifts, no human will ever be able to compete.  

The best lesson I have learned as a single, is that when you are whole with God, you can have joy and be satisfied in ANY season, single or not. I’ve learned that God is literally all you need. If you are not satisfied first and foremost with the creator of romance, no bae and no amount of flowers will ever fill your desires. I would rather be single and in close relationship with God, than have someone in my life who would keep me from my first love. Instead I want someone who will complement the strong relationship I already have, not compete with it. There is no love greater than the love from God, your creator and your first love, so I encourage you reading this to pursue God with all you have and I promise you that singleness will no longer feel like a burden but instead a gift. 

For your Maker is your husband, the Lord of hosts is His name; And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel; He is called the God of the whole earth.
— Isaiah 54:5

Love,

Allison


Allison Frank

Young Adults Ministry Leader

 

 

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The Gift of Singleness: Finding True Satisfaction by Brooke Wilson

Finding True Satisfaction


Currently, I have been married for about a year and a half now, engaged for 8 months before that, and dating for about a year and a half before that. It’s been a little while since I have experienced singleness, but I still remember some of those single aches like it was yesterday.

There were days when all I could think about was having a guy who loved and cherished me and there were days when I told myself I didn’t need a guy and being single was so much fun.

Most of the time though, I thought I was pretty cool with not having a guy in my life. I’m a pretty independent girl and told myself a lot that I didn’t need a guy. I had big plans for myself and if a guy came along, great and if not I’d be fine. But deep down I didn’t really believe that. I think I only said that to myself out of fear. Fear that a guy wouldn’t come along and that my deepest longings wouldn’t be filled. I wanted to find “the guy”, I wanted to be loved & I wanted to live happily ever after. What girl doesn’t?!

My independence and self talk were merely blankets to prepare myself just in case my desire would never be met, but deep down there was a bigger issue that needed more than a blanket’s help.

I know all of this because “the guy” did come along, and he was tall, dark, and handsome. He loved Jesus, had a wonderful family, had dreams & ambition… just about everything I had ever dreamed of. He pursued me the old fashion way, he made me laugh, gave me butterflies, and told me I was beautiful. Straight from a movie– every girl’s dream. This was “the guy”!!! My deepest desires were fulfilled. My dreams were coming true. Eeep.  My life could now be complete! ….right?!

Wrong.

As time went on, I began to feel a little bit disappointed or maybe a better word would be restless. This is the guy of my dreams…everything I could have wanted (Literally. Greatest guy you will know!!!) We are getting married. We’re graduating college. Life is GREAT, exactly what I’ve hoped for…but I’m still not content? What’s the deal?

*cue major conviction and realization from the Holy Spirit*

Let me tell you the deal. I was finding, or at least trying to find, my contentment in everything else but God. Even though I wasn’t aware of it, I had placed my “satisfaction” & hope in finding a husband and getting married. When I was single, I truly think I believed that getting married was like the peak of my life or something? I would have never admitted that, even to myself… but I think I really did believe that. Then, when I got everything I had ever wanted, I was left feeling even more restless than before. It was still not enough. And it will never be enough.

Christ is the only thing that can ever satisfy my heart. Ever. I can search this world high and low and always come up empty. 

This is honestly the first thing I talk about when anyone asks me about singleness. It’s so important. I think that as women, we often look at marriage as the peak of our lives. If we can just get married…then everything will be settled. We can’t think like that. Single or married, Christ is the only thing that will EVER, EVER satisfy. I have gotten my dream guy and experienced first hand the empty ache and restlessness because I thought that marriage would satisfy my deepest longings.

So my few tips for singleness would be this:

1. When I would get the deep aches of singleness, I had a journal, specifically dedicated to prayers for my husband. I would sit down and write out a prayer for him or share with the Lord what was going on in my heart. This helped tremendously with laying the burden down before the Lord and moving on with my day.

2. Pray specific scripture over him. It’s fun to look back and see prayers that I prayed when I never knew my husband and how they have come to fruition years later.

3. Find your satisfaction in Christ alone. Be on your knees and in the word daily asking that you would really believe Christ is all you need.

4. Lastly, enjoy this season. I know a lot of people say that. But singleness really has many great blessings that come along with it. Do what you want to do, live where you want to live. Travel. Go see friends. Bloom where you’re planted.

Press on sister. Christ has you right where he wants you.

Brooke Wilson

Author and Owner of Living Unshackled

 

 

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The Gift of Singleness: Unwrapping the Gift by Zaharah McKinney

Unwrapping the Gift

 

The "Gift of Singleness" is one that  I never desired for my life.

God knows that if you would have told me that at 35, it'd be just me and Jesus, I would have intercepted that package in the mail. RETURN TO SENDER, BURN UPON ARRIVAL, leave it at TSA and yell BOMB! But God didn't fill me in on his perfect timing, He still hasn't informed me of when the husband-redeemer assigned to me will arrive. 

In my teens I looked at wedding gowns and chose styles that would accent my curves well. In my early twenties, I did the same and resolved that 24 was D day, then 26, 28 didn't look so bad. Flirty 30, a mature bride. Then the years flew by. In truth, I had never been single, I was always in a relationship, always wed to the "dream life" that I built in my head.

The various players in my fantasies were long-term boyfriends, summer loves, spring hopefuls and so on. There were a couple of men that I loved really deeply. Those relationships cost me the sacrifice of love. They taught me selflessness at times. They taught me how to prioritize another over myself. I grew, I was stretched. I practiced loving, honest and fun communication. I practiced my cooking and cleaning skills. I was betrothed in spirit. Those deep soul-ties controlled my emotion and shaped the thoughts of my future. 

I was stubbornly, "trying to make it work", time, after time, because being single, walking this earth alone, had been one of my greatest fears. I don't know where it began. The pressure to be coupled. I just know it has always been there. In my adulthood it became apparent that there wasn't a place in the church at large for those who didn't come in two's. Pulpit preaching celebrated marriage. There were no victories for those who walked alone. Single's ministry was really about hooking up the singles, or just occupying your time until Mr. Whoever showed up. My grandfather used to say "You don't want to be the last belle at the ball".

Well I waited and tried and flirted, and was kind, I was accommodating, I made room for foolishness. And in the end, God and my conscious stopped me from settling. God really, there are moments even now, when I just want the waiting to be over. Because celibacy is not a walk in the park, because people don't invite you to events, because women clutch their (non-attractive, unambitious, un-spiritual) husbands when I walk by, because people assume that if you are very attractive and single that you must be broken. I used to agree with that lie. It was the kind of lie that you won't even admit to yourself. But in his loving-kindness, one day God sent a preacher to talk about the curse of comparison. I searched my heart and found that I wasn't comparing myself to anyone- so I thought- another lie!

During that service the Holy Spirit whispered to me, "You think there's something wrong with you because you're not married, there's nothing wrong with you, I have purpose for you and you will be married when it's time." The assurance of love and acceptance freed me to know that God had heard me, my years of prayer, it caused me to hold my head higher that day. It made me stop shrinking down, boldly look people in the eye, and take up the space on the earth that God had ordained for me.

If you know me, you would never have imagined that I used to make room for other people's insecurities, in addition to my own. I would go out of my way not to have conversations AT ALL with married men. But that moment with God, the most loving force on earth validated me, in all of my power, with my beauty, intellect and abilities, as able to stand on my own. He showed me that I had purpose, independent of my marital status, that was planned before the foundation of the world. That the measure of the Holy Spirit in me was greater that ten thousand demons, if I just stood in his love; if I walked in my uniqueness. 

That day, that moment, I loosened my grip a bit on Cinderella dreams. I was a belle. I was at the father's ball. We were in intimate relationship and I was NOT ALONE. It has been a journey, ebbs and flows, lonely days, sometimes nights. Yet the last couple of years have taught me so much.

A few months ago the Holy Spirit had me open the bible and read the book of Ruth again. What was illuminated to me was LEGACY. Boaz stepped in as a husband redeemer, but he had to be qualified to do so. He had to have the right DNA. One day, I will become Mrs. X and together we will have children. But Mr. X will have to be able to stand in the place of Jesus in my life. His role will be the kind of sacrificial love that requires sacrifice, to the point of laying down his priorities to see my destiny come to pass. Now there will never be another boo like Jesus. That's #BAE. But There is a man whose legacy is connected to mine. There is a man who has been designed by the father, with the right combination of strengths, weaknesses and idiosyncrasies to help sharpen my own. Whose purpose and destiny is tied to mine, so that together, we can advance the Kingdom of God and have children, who will do the same. 

I am untying a bow, this box has contents whose worth will last through generations, my children will carry this gift. Singleness for me is not so much about the joys of being single. I honestly don't relish in this "status." This pill has been hard to swallow. But I would drink my medicine again to know that I will one day change nations, because I waited for the one who held the right DNA. Together we will be more effective on this earth as WHOLE individualsliving out our identity individually. Purpose doesn't come in pairs. Life and death doesn't come in pairs. 

The gift has been identity, purpose, strength and value that is not connected to anyone outside of the Trinity. I have had to learn how to have my own voice, stand as a business woman, be wise, compassionate, intelligent, witty, beautiful and comfortable in my own skin. I learned that I am valuable, more than the treasuries of this world, because Jesus died so that I could be free to be all that he created me to be.  So instead of simply pining companionship, I have learned to be filled by His presence. I have begun to treat each day as an opportunity to express all that is locked up within. 

Zaharah McKinney

Author at Zaharah Mckinney 

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The Gift of Singleness: Perspective vs. Purpose by Amber Burgos

Perspective versus purpose.

I pray that these words give a new perspective on the purpose in your season of singleness.

I believe perspective in any situation allows us to persevere with grace or it can cause us to struggle through with hardship. If there is anything that I would want you to know as you journey this season of life is: enjoy it! I am recently engaged and will soon be married, but before meeting my soon-to-be husband I went through a season of being single for three years after a four year, extremely unhealthy, relationship.

In those three years there was one thing I always held on to “I will never settle," but what did that truly mean? Whose standard was I measuring “settling” to? The world’s view or God’s view? So, I started praying. Asking, “Father what is it that you have for me? Who is it you desire me to be? Who do you desire FOR me?” God showed me that first I needed to find myself in who He says I am. You see, that extremely unhealthy past relationship I was in brought extreme identity issues and emotional turmoil. I knew who people wanted me to be, but I lost sight of who God created me to be.

In singleness allow yourself grace to search not only who you are but WHOSE you are. You are a daughter of the King, an heir to His Kingdom, loved, pursued, and full of purpose and passion. You will never have more time than you do now and trust me, it is okay to be a little selfish with self-care.

Next, be specific. As I journeyed through starting to truly know the Amber Burgos that was created by an eternal King, God started to move me into the next phase, praying for my future husband. I didn’t know where he was, what he would look like, or when I would meet him, but I knew God had him somewhere for me so I got down on my knees on his behalf. God’s word tells us “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for.” (Matthew 7:7) and I believe that His word is always true. Have you thought about what you want your husband to be like? What are your non-negotiables in a man? From my experience by setting these standards in place allows you to protect your heart in the process of singleness. There is less time wasted on the men that “could be a good choice.” I prayed my husband would first and foremost have a love for God above his love for me. That he would be a man of good character, respectful, a man that held family close to his heart and a man who is dedicated to his work. I challenge you to think of this. Take out a pen and paper and think of the man you believe will enrich your life and write each characteristic down then, pray! Pray over that list and for that man. When you know in your heart the man you are looking for, it is much easier to spot him when God brings him along.

Finally, savor this season. Singleness is a gift! Yes, marriage is a beautiful thing, the process of preparing for a marriage is heavenly but there is nothing like being a single woman. When you are single you get to completely focus on God. There is not a pull for your heart in other directions. As I get closer to my wedding date I find that my relationship with Christ must be kept even more intentional.In God’s eyes, the day we are brought into union by marriage, husband and wife are seen as one in Christ. There is no "him and her." It is we. My entire single season WE had been God and I, but now, I am biblically called to serve my husband but equally I am still to do this with my God. Selfishly, I miss that season, where WE was God and I.

To the beautiful women reading this I pray you find new perspective on this season you are in. I pray you find the purpose in the patient waiting. Search for yourself in Christ, be specific as you pray for your future husband, and savor this season of being selfish with God and you. 

Amber Burgos

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