A lot has been happening in my life and I am so blessed to tell you that the Lord has been working in amazing ways!
- I’ve stepped up into leadership in the youth ministry I serve in: I am now a VIP team leader (which means I am a leader in the welcoming new students area of ministry). I am also a FUSE group grade level for 8th grade (which means I pour into the women leading 8th grade girl FUSE groups).
- I lead an amazing FUSE group made up of 10th and 11th grade girls. We are growing in numbers and faith every week and I am so incredibly excited that I get to be apart of their lives!
- I am continuing to trust the Lord with my worship leading on Sundays at small group and am excited to be used by Him in this way.
- I have found immense purpose in being single and love taking advantage of all the opportunities to be apart of His ministry and serve. I’ve grown so much in this season and cannot imagine anywhere else to be!
Now that you’ve been updated, I’d love to share with you something else that has been on my heart for quite some time. As you may know, I’ve been on a journey in finding peace and purpose during my season of singleness. The Lord has freed me and redeemed me in so many ways! But I can’t help but keep wondering if there is something else I am meant to do. Every time I fall into a spell of sadness or impatience, I feel like my friend pool is limited when it comes to expressing these feelings about being single. I have so many friends in relationships and marriages (which is a wonderful blessing for them), but it can be quite upsetting in those moments when I need encouragement from another single friend. I love my community, this is not to say they aren’t pouring into me or loving me well. My small group and fellow youth ministry friends are wonderful and I thank God for them everyday. But my point is that sometimes, you need a fellow single friend instead of a non-single friend to tell you it’ll be alright. It’s all about perspective: when I get encouragement from non-single friends, they share truth and wisdom, but it seems to come from a place that comes across as “I was where you are but now I’m in a wonderful relationship! You can get there too and everything will work out.” It’s not ever done to be condescending it’s just that it implies that being single is a state you don’t want to be in or that singleness is a time to “work through”. Marriage is not the final destination, Heaven is! God is incredibly intentional when it comes to being single and we all too often go about life as if marriage and parenthood are the ultimate goals in life. If there’s anything I’ve learned (and am still learning) is that you should never wish away a season of life God has called you to. Be in the moment and use your life to further His kingdom with every fiber of your being.
All of this got me thinking about singles ministry in general. For so long, I’ve never felt like I’ve been encouraged or pursued in ministry as a single woman. Yes, there are many sermons and books and conferences telling single women “Become God’s best while waiting on God’s best for you” or “Wait & when you least expect it, God will send your future husband to you” and/or very dangerously telling singles “you will be so fulfilled when marriage comes but until that time, serve the Lord with all your heart” as if to say you aren’t fulfilled where you are now. To set the record straight, just because someone is married DOES NOT make them more fulfilled or spiritually mature than their single counterparts. And while the other messages are somewhat encouraging, they aren’t sharing practical ways to work through the hard parts about this season we are in. It always comes down to “join a group, serve the Lord, go to church, pray, read Scripture and you’ll be fine”. But my spirit keeps telling me there more to it than that. And when I say this, I mean that there seems to be a lack of resources and/or teaching practical steps for when you feel lonely or jealous of friends in relationships, when you’re bitter & cynical about relationships, how to conquer the desires for physical intimacy, how to effectively pray for and discern feelings for someone that enters your life, and growing in closeness with the Lord during this time when you need understanding, patience, and help in your unbelief.
I love my church and they absolutely have been a major factor in my health emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. As stated above, I have joined a small group, I do serve every week, I go to church every Sunday, I am in Scripture daily and am always working on improving my prayer life. Doing all of these things have greatly affected how I approach those difficult parts in life about singleness in a positive way! But I’m still human and struggle with having hope and being patient, waiting on God’s timing. I occasionally need encouragement and someone to talk to when I feel that happiness in having a partner to do life with is super far away. And unfortunately, there are many other singles who haven’t gotten to where I am in finding peace and purpose being single. So today in my quiet time with the Lord, I asked Him,
“God, how do I use this to further Your ministry? What can I do to encourage other singles, women in particular, who may be feeling the way that I am? There are so many women who don’t know how to practically approach life as a single. They don’t feel celebrated or encouraged while in this place. And so many feel like life is hopeless until they meet the one You have been saving for them. Whatever it is, show me what to do and I’ll do it.”
I still don’t know exactly what my next steps are but I will not ignore this nudging from the Holy Spirit. Being involved in singles ministry could look like many different things but I feel that for now, it may simply mean starting a group for single women. I will keep praying and pursuing the Lord in this endeavor but this could be what I need to help stay encouraged AND be a resource for other singles in the church.
Surrendering this area of your life to the Lord does not mean giving up on or forgetting the longings of your heart. It means placing your heart’s longings at the Father’s feet and knowing there’s hope in having confidence that God will deliver on His promises to you.
A passage from Psalm 37 was presented to me as encouragement from the Lord. Verses 4-9 says:
“Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun. Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil. For those who are evil will be destroyed, but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land” (NKJV)
You will always have to wait for something in life but it’s how you act in the wait that determines everything. God says “no” and “not yet” because He cares and lovingly wants to discipline us in various aspects of our lives. These verses gave my heart so much joy! God hears you in your sadness; He is pursuing you always and won’t ever stop. He promises to send messages of joy and comfort when you need it, all you need to do is ask. God is good and His timing absolutely perfect. He has plans for you and it’s not to tease you, torment you, or make you feel less than. God is saving you from so much pain and hurt that comes with pursuing someone that is wrong for you. He will always have your best interest at heart and He won’t ever let you down.