Below are some thoughts that a dear friend of mine wrote on her struggle as a single woman. She remained single until her early thirties (please read “A Love Story”). These thoughts were such a blessing to me I had to share them with you!
I will speak about some of the things that God showed me in my struggle as a single woman;
Was it worth it? Yes!! Why? Because I learned about a God that I had not known before! And it was for Him that it was worth it! Did the struggles make me perfect…NOPE. 🙂 But it taught of a God who IS perfect and still loves me… In fact, in Psalms 37:23, 24 “The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way. THOUGH HE FALL, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with this hand”
LONELINESS IS OKAY – But do not let it make you bitter or draw you away from God but rather TO Him…
While being alone is different from loneliness… it is something that God has used throughout history and is common to all mankind! It works at the core of man to find fellowship in God…He is a jealous God and wants us to enter into an intimate relationship with Him.
While attending a study in which an elderly lady gave her testimony, my heart was instantly struck by her godly testimony. She had remained single for 39 years before God gave her a husband with whom she only had the privilege of being with for 10 years, at which point he died, and then she spent the rest of her days alone raising her children. This is a very short version of the many details that filled in the space but the essence of her testimony was the grace and joy with which she told it. To my curious and troubled soul at the present time, I was convinced that she would have had to experience some loneliness in her lifetime and so after the study had ended, I approached her and inquired regarding this matter. Her answer will remain in my heart until the end of time, “No. I can honestly say I have never experienced loneliness.” Rather in shock, I hardly knew what to ask next and she graciously continued saying, “I was saved young and I knew that God was with me.”
My heart was challenged and I thought to myself that if she can know that God is with her and have such contented peace regarding His presence with her, than I too can have such an understanding. If God is God, than surely this must be true!
Shortly after this, I was brought to attention to Elisabeth Elliot’s definition of loneliness. She astutely defines loneliness as something experienced when one desires something that one doesn’t have or when one has something they do not desire.
There are FEW people in the world OR the church that can handle people being single…BUT Christ can…He was single Himself. Yet…he was without the camp…despised… and so singleness is despised in some essence….
You appear ‘forsaken’ to some degree…undesirable, etc.
All the music is geared towards lovers, or breakups…couples….etc. To be alone is a frightening thing for most people
You can see by the world and the church that there is GREAT desire for relationship and for everyone to have this…is this wrong? – NO… because this is the desire that God put IN US to be drawn into union with HIM!! He desires that relationship and He is a jealous God… Will we give Him ourselves first?
So singleness is not really a threat but it is when you do not KNOW HIM… and so we begin to make plans, and use language that denotes marriage is the ‘only answer’ … i.e. “You will make a good wife”….”That baby looks good on you”… etc. No. The language should be such…”You must have such a sweet relationship with the LORD”… “God must be keeping you as a gem in His crown”… etc…
Run from temptations
DO NOT give it heed…it will suck you in….we are NOT strong enough to stand against them when we have already entertained the thought of them…or giving our heart to them… God knows we are ‘but flesh’ but do you?
In my particular experience there was not necessarily a shortage of ‘men’ so to speak but it was having the courage to realize that God was not in them and to say “No” even though it seemed in the looming horizons that there was never going to be the ‘perfect’ man of God for me.
TALKING ABOUT PROBLEMS
I realized that I need not talk about all my problems….that by doing so I was living the philosophy of humanism… saying, “I have a right to struggle and can you not see that I have more compassion than God…” and it gives permission for others to do the same…
Matthew 10:27: What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops. There is a difference between speaking IN darkness and speaking IN the light…
It does say to confess your faults and to allow others to mourn with you when you mourn…etc…BUT find a lady…an older lady who will PRAY for you…and I mean REALLY pray for you and tell them!!
Keep a journal… not of your sorrows but of what you have learned of God!!! It will encourage your soul.
Living Daily Life
THE COMMON drudgery of daily life can be a Divine Calling. We often speak of a young man as “being called to the Ministry”; but it is as fitting to speak of a carpenter being called to the bench, the blacksmith to the forge, and the shoemaker to his last. “Brethren,” said the Apostle, “let every man wherein he is called, therein abide with God.”
Remember that your life has been appointed by God’s wise providence. God as much sent Joseph to the drudgery and discipline of the prison as to the glory and responsibility of the palace. Nothing happens to us which is not included in His plan for us; and the incidents which seem most tiresome are often contrived to give us opportunities to become nobler, stronger characters.
We are called to be faithful in performing our assigned duties. Not brilliance, not success, not notoriety which attracts the world’s notice, but the regular, quiet, and careful performance of trivial and common duties; faithfulness in that which is least is as great an attainment in God’s sight as in the greatest.
Take up your work, then, you who seem to be the nobodies, the drudges, the maid-of-all-work, the clerk, or shop assistant. Do it with a brave heart, looking up to Him who for many “years toiled at the carpenter’s bench”. Amid the many scenes and actions of life, set the Lord always before your face. Do all as in His presence, and to win His smile; and be sure to cultivate a spirit of love to God and man. Look out for opportunities of cheering your fellow-workers. Do not murmur or grumble, but let your heart rise from your toil to God your Maker, Saviour, and Friend. So the lowliest service will glisten, as grass-blades do when sun and dewdrops garnish them.
I have a very stubborn nature and it seems that God has had to take me around the same struggles many times to teach me, but one of the things that has been so invaluable was simply remaining in God’s school. Dying to self is never easy… and sometimes I felt like giving up because I would become so horrified at my “self” and then discouraged because I figured I would just never learn, but by and by repentance became a gift and not a shame. I learned to fall on my Saviour even in the darkest moments and thereby learned to have a very sweet union with Him as I learned to give Him my ‘self’ and surrender my life in a true sense (not just figuratively). These have been some of the most valuable lessons for our marriage. (And would have been even if I had remained single for other areas in life.)
Prepare for the every day… get dressed, be clean, make your bed, be obedient to your authorities, work, sing in the light and in the night, be a blessing to someone other than yourself…being single can produce much selfishness but seek someone out to be a blessing to…it is needful for the single person to take their eyes off of themselves!