Hey! I first want to thank you for reading this blog and special thank you to all of you who have encouraged me by telling me how much you appreciate my transparency and my ability to encourage and relate to you! We're all in this together, so remember that you are never alone.
Transparency Time This year, I had the opportunity to spend lots of time with a particular man that I really grew to like and admire. In fact, we spent a few months of time getting to know one another with the purpose of possibly exploring something more. After that time, I believe the Lord led us to a season of separation. It is that season that triggered the focus of this blog. Now, this season didn't come about because someone did something wrong or because it was an obvious mismatch because neither of those were the case. Things were very well and both parties felt they saw what they were looking for in the other person. Such a situation is quite tough, especially for a woman like me who likes definite answers, explanations and closure where needed. I got none of that but I knew in my heart that everything was happening the way that it should. During this time, I felt like I had nothing but my relationship with Jesus, and for some reason, in that moment, it didn't feel like enough. *gasps* Yes, at that moment, it just didn't FEEL like it was cutting it. Nonetheless, I prayed my heart out everyday regarding the situation and asked the Lord to deal with my heart and help me get control of my emotions and feelings. From my perspective, as far as I was concerned, things were gradually coming to an end with a man who I believed had a lot of potential to be found in my future. I asked God to remove anything in me that was not like Him and to mold me into who He wanted me to be. Even though I FELT like I had nothing but God, I knew God was all I really needed to get through that emotional struggle. It was during those mornings, days and nights of prayer and constant chatting with God that He brought to my attention the topic of self -worth.
In conversation with one of the beautiful sisters in my life, I was inspired to write this blog. In speaking with her, she explained to me that she was in a relationship with someone whom she was unsure of. She was unsure if she should stick around and see how it all panned out or if she should let him go and move on. This factor alone, led to a pretty lengthy discussion on the topic. I know that I've experienced this situation many times in my past, so I figured, why not write a blog about it for others who are experiencing similar feelings? So, let's get straight to it!
Q: How do I know if I should let him/her go? How do I know if I should move on? 1. If you have to ask that, then it may be an indication that you possibly already know the answer deep in your heart. A general rule of thumb for me personally is "When in doubt, leave him out." This works for ME because I've come to learn myself and over time, I've learned to be in-tune with my heart. One thing that I've noticed over years of experience getting to know people and exploring potential relationships is that I always knew in my heart, whether or not a particular person was worth my time. I always knew whether or not there was potential for things to progress into something serious. I remember looking back into the journals I keep and reading where I'd make comments like, "I know I have no business with him.", "I know I'm wasting my time with him.", "I don't really want to be with him but...". And when I looked back I'd think to myself, If I'd already known that, then why did I allow myself to waste time anyway?!So, follow your heart because often times, you already know.
As Valentine's Day approaches, I would like to encourage each single person who may be feeling lonely or unhappy or inadequate or jealous or whatever. Valentine's Day is not a reflection of who you are or how much you are valued and loved. I remember many years ago, I used to feel like having a valentine meant that you were special and loved and appreciated. However, over the years, I came to realize that a stuffed bear, bouquet of flowers and a box of chocolates are not indicators of my worth. As singles, we must keep in mind that our worth is determined by the fact that God sent His son Jesus to shed His blood and die on our behalf. That genuine act of love is an indicator of our worth! You are valuable, loved and irreplaceable.
I'm back! I felt like I just had to write something before this holiday season ended. I'm excited to share so please, keep reading!
Holiday Blues Since my last blog post in August, there have been some ups and downs. More ups than downs since I've been applying the things that we talked about in my last post. However, as I neared the holiday season I began to get more and more distracted. In fact, I'd even met a new guy and we were merely getting to know each other. I suppose getting to know someone brought awareness to the fact that I am still single. Normally, when I'm focused on Jesus and serving others I don't even realize it. Yet, during this season I was totally aware and honestly miserable with where I was at that moment. Particularly, another single Christmas getting to know someone that I had a feeling it wasn't going to work out with. Need I say, it didn't work out. Soon I'll have this down to a science. I've gotten awfully familiar with the clues, behaviors and vernacular of man who has the wrong intentions and secretly wants to see if he can use you for his selfish ambitions. Ladies, if you'd like to see a blog or a video on this topic please let me know.
I understand that being single during Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Year's Eve can be a challenge for many. Especially when you see couples out shopping and flirting and kissing and in love and totally soaking up the holiday season and all it entails. I've seen it this year myself and at that point, we have a choice. We can be depressed, throw a pity party and be mad at God and jealous of others and compromise and date people we have no business with just to fill a void. Or we can reflect on all the good things God has done for us and think about how blessed we are and enjoy what we DO have. So, as New Year's Eve floods in and you become aware of the hundreds of couples across the country kissing when the clock strikes 12 as the ball drops in New York, remember you have a choice. No, we may not yet have someone worthy to share a kiss with to bring in the New Year. No, we may not yet know the love of our lives to bring in the new year with but we as single people are more blessed than we realize and we get to bring in the New Year with Love Himself. When the clock strikes 12, let us be intentional about thanking God that we get to see another year!
I just had to write this blog because it's been on my heart for a while. This blog will be very transparent so brace yourself. Recently, I've had the opportunity to meet many new and wonderful people who are single and I've had conversations with them regarding the challenge of being a single individual, especially a Christian Single. As a current single myself, I am so passionate about reaching out to others who are in my boat who need encouragement. Trust me, I know, we need encouragement sometimes and on a bad day we need encouragement all the time. :) My Single Struggle I'm going to tell you this because I know someone out there needs to hear it. For some reason, I find that many people who are single don't want to talk about the challenges we face. This leads us to a place of feeling like we are alone, like we are the only ones struggling and we keep the struggle to ourselves. Or maybe that's just in my world. *shrugs* It seems like it's every (wo)man for themselves in the lonely streets of singleness. So for me, I recently had a solid period of time where I felt so low, unhappy, lonely and even depressed on days because of my single status. Yes, I am real enough to go there. It happens to all of us! I know what it's like to long for love. I know what it's like to feel like I'm the only one and that I will be single FOREVER. I've fretted once or twice at the idea of remaining single and by the time I get married I'll be so old that my libido is low and I won't be as good looking as I am now. ;-) I've wondered if I'd ever get married at all because after all, Jesus is coming back soon. It's real, I've had those thoughts! I've seen couples out there holding hands & kissing and being happy and in love while I'm sitting there with a blank stare. I've heard the love songs played in the store only to remember dryly that I still don't have anyone special in my life. I've been let go of by men that told me I was "the one" only to be left devastated and curled in a ball in my bed willing the world to end. I've had people constantly ask me if I was seeing someone yet. I've questioned God on what's taking so doggone long. I've watched all my childhood friends get married and have babies. I've been invited to weddings and I've been the bridesmaid and not yet a bride. And if you can relate to any of these, you are not alone!! I understand! So back to this season. This season of loneliness was a dark place in my life that lasted for about 28 days straight. It seemed that everyday I woke up was a rainy day, both figuratively and literally (I live in Florida lol) I prayed most days but honestly there were days where I couldn't pray. There were days where I had no words. There were days when I just sat before God, quiet, until the tears came and I sobbed in His presence. But I knew that would do nothing for me except make me feel a little better, so I willed myself to pray and get on my face before God and I asked Him for His help. I asked Him for strength because most of my single life I've felt like Superwoman. I was young, fly and enjoying my life. Singleness? I was doing the darn thing. But during that period of 28 days, I felt so far from that. And if you feel this way or have felt this way or will feel this way, please know that you are NOT alone, do not give up. Be encouraged. It is just a season and it will pass.
Lately, the topic of finding the "perfect" person has been on my heart so I believe it will help someone. First, I must admit that I grew up with a fantasy-like mentality. I believed that love was supposed to be as it was in all the Disney movies. After all, Cinderella, Pocahontas, Jasmine, Mulan and many others found their perfect match. Even though they are merely cartoons, their loves seemed to be so perfect and handsome and charming and flawless and made just for them. Imagine the impact that has on a little girl's perception! As we get older, we see the same exact thing in movies which depict a seemingly perfect character being played by an attractive and seemingly perfect actor or actress. They don't have any flaws and their personalities are so sweet and dreamy but that's not reality!
THINK YOU'LL BE SINGLE FOREVER? So as I was growing up, I developed a mentality of "I gotta find the perfect man." Needless to say, I was very hard on the guys in my past relationships, but rightfully so. Let me explain. I was hard on them because I kept seeing qualities and characteristics that I did not like at all. There were even times where it just didn't feel right and I knew in my heart that I'd met another one that wasn't "the one". I would end the relationship and they would get upset and a couple would tell me that I was looking for someone perfect and would be single forever because the man I wanted didn't exist. Geez! If that thought has ever crossed your mind, DON'T believe it because it is absolutely not true. You will not be single forever if God has promised you a spouse; so trust Him. There is someone waiting for you so keep your hope alive. Now stay with me because I'm about to add some balance to this.
I don't know about you, but I've been in multiple situations where I find myself thinking, "Is there something wrong with me?". Now of course, I know who I am in Christ and in Him I have confidence. However, there have been times where I've asked myself those questions because of a guy. Yup, I said it. All because of a M.A.N.
Over the years, I was always used to being pursued and getting the attention of guys I didn't want. Thus, I would turn them down and keep it moving. I knew my standards, I knew that I was looking for a man after God's heart. I knew all those things and I was not willing to settle or compromise. I also felt like the pickings were slim because I'm a woman after God's heart, a legit Christian who refuses to compromise, has been made new in Christ and happens to be an educated professional that plays no games when it comes to "love".
I remember the very first time I was rejected by a guy. We were talking and getting to know each other and I felt like he was a bit fickle but I was patient. One day, he text me and told me that he wanted to call it quits. This was back when I was in college and I was still being refined by God so my response wasn't the best. However, after that fiasco, I found myself wondering a plethora of questions. Amongst those questions were, "Is there something wrong with me?" and then, "Naw, naw. Maybe he's gay." Over the years, I found that neither of these options were true.
In Singleness Often times as singles we take advantage of the concept of being single- as we should. Singleness is a time when we can go where we'd like, choose to eat out every night or stay late at work. We may have more free time than others and can make many choices without having to consult another. We should use this time to serve God and advance His kingdom. We should take Paul's advice in 1 Corinthians 7:34 "...The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit:"
I know that for me, I believed years ago, that since I was single I could do whatever I wanted to do and date whoever I wanted to date. Of course, I loved God and I wasn't plotting to go out and have sex with anyone, but emotionally, I was free game. I found myself flirting with multiple guys a day because I was single. I would give of myself emotionally to undeserving men. There was a season in my life where I thought, Hey, I'm young. I'm fly. I'm wanted. I'm just gonna get into random relationships with random so called "Christian" men to have fun and to have someone in my life. So that's what I set out to do... until God convicted me.
I'd just ended an unfruitful relationship with a guy and I felt horrible emotionally. I remember thinking to myself, Is this even worth it? Getting in and out of relationships with a piece of my heart feeling affected or even missing? I realized how not so amazing I felt and God dealt with my heart. Why get emotionally or even physically involved with someone just because? In my case, I knew the guys that I was talking to were not worth my time and they were not the type of man I wanted to marry. So what's the point? As the Lord began to deal with me, He opened my eyes and I had a change of heart and actually promised Him that I would no longer waste time and get involved with men that I knew had no potential to be my husband.
Okay, But I'm Single
True. So first things first. Isaiah 54:5 says, "For thy Maker is thine husband..." If you are a believer then Christ should be your first love. Thus, over anything else, you should have a desire to please Him and make Him happy. You should seek to love Him, honor Him, serve Him and respect Him. Do our actions and behaviors as women show our Lord how much we truly love and revere Him? Are we respecting our first love when we are laying in bed with another man? Are we showing our love for Him when we are flirting dirty with someone who is not our husband? Are we honoring Him when we allow our hearts to be filled with lustful fantasies and images? These are things we should think about. How does our truest Love feel when we do and think those things? Is that respect?
Over the years, God began to help me realize that just because I didn't know my husband, did not mean that he did not exist. The fact is, God promised me marriage one day which means there is a man, right now who has been set apart and is being prepared by God to marry me in God's perfect timing. Thus, the Lord began to teach me to begin respecting my husband before I even met him. How do I do this? By not wasting time with men that I KNOW are not "the one". I find that with all men that have entered my life, I KNEW. I knew that they were not it and there were many days where I completely ignored that inward knowledge but that fact is that I always knew.
I don't know about you, but sometimes I find myself playing tug-of-war with God regarding my life. So many times we say things like, "God, I trust you" or "I give this situation to the Lord". Maybe it's just me, but I find that this is easier said than done. I find that my heart really does long to turn it all over to Him but if I'm not careful, my soul (mind, will and emotions) begins to scream at me and I get tempted to listen to it.
I imagine a situation like this: Me smiling at the Lord and totally surrendering something that we as humans hold dear like, say, my love life. I imagine the pure-hearted version of myself (my spirit) fully extending my arms to God with my love life in my hands, offering it to him, like a gift. Then, I see another version of myself (my flesh) looking at the pure version of myself incredulously. My fleshy self then snatches my love life out of the hands of the pure version of myself and shouts, "ARE YOU CRAZY?!". And often times, I believe that's exactly how it happens...at least for me.
Circumstances and situations that we go through and experience can often tempt us to feel as if God can't help us. Sometimes, for me, I find that I start out on top of the world in trusting God to bring me out of a situation. Then over time, the situation begins to grow each day that it's unresolved until one day I look up and panic because the situation has grown into this vicious monster that is bigger than me. And for some odd reason, I feel that just because it's a vicious monster in my eyes, then surely it is a vicious monster in God's eyes. It's not though!
So back to the little scenario above...My fleshy self snatches my love life out of the hands of the pure-hearted version of myself and shouts "ARE YOU CRAZY?!". I begin to coddle the situation, rocking it back in forth in my arms like a baby. I give it all my attention and try to take care of it myself (Although, I'm too incompetent for such a task) by taking matters into my own hands and without even realizing it, I'm nurturing this situation and it begins to grow. Thus, I see it has turned into a vicious monster that I cannot control because I messed it up. I was trying to take care of something that wasn't meant for me to take care of. Meanwhile, God is looking at me and watching me fumble around and try to figure this thing out. I imagine He is shaking His head at me like, "Seriously?" and once I've made a mess of everything and finally surrender, He's looks at me pathetically and says "Are you done yet?" and by that time, the situation is a big vicious monster mess and I hide behind God and timidly nod my head "yes".
We don't have to go through all that foolishness all the time! Here is what the Lord has been dealing with me about regarding the matter.