Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Living as a Single Christian Woman - Guest Post by Ann

For the next 9 weeks I have asked three friends to write guest posts each Wednesday. When considering a topic for them to write about this month "Living as a Single Christian Woman" came to mind. I am excited to see what God has laid on their hearts. For the first week, please join me in welcoming Ann to Stephanie's Mommy Brain!

As a pre-teen, I began praying God would protect me for my future husband and him for me.

I also daydreamed. Not about finding a boyfriend, but about the man I would marry one day and the children we would raise. I couldn’t wait to meet him!

Then, as I prepared to go to college I knew for sure that the man of my dreams was waiting for me there. And I expected my wedding to follow shortly on the heels of graduation. I planned for it. I depended on it. But it was not to be.

I remember my tears, my frustration, my loneliness, and my discouragement.

I spent four years in college without so much as a date. I remember sitting on the floor of the religion department during my senior year crying tears of frustration while two male friends I admired, respected, and trusted comforted me and tried to encourage me as I asked them what was wrong with me. Why did no one want me?

Even then, though, I knew the answer.

I knew God was answering my own prayers. He was protecting me. And so I graduated from college with no husband in sight.

Singleness is rarely something that we choose for ourselves. For many women, it lasts much longer than it did for me. Whether long or short, it’s still hard.

It’s easy for me to look back now and see how God has used my time of singleness to give me credibility to minister to many of the women He has placed in my path – women who need to know what it takes to become a godly woman and, possibly at some point, a godly wife.

If you are a young woman burdened by the loneliness of singleness or even the pressure of a dating relationship, I encourage you to do several things.

First, Pray.

* Pray for protection from wrong decisions.
* Pray for protection from the wrong spouse.
* Pray for that spouse to become the man God wants him to be, the perfect man for you!
* Pray for God’s timing and peace in the meantime, despite the discouragement.
* Pray for the willingness to be joyful in singleness, even if it is permanent. I can’t attest to the experience of remaining single permanently, but I can attest to the joy of surrendering to that possibility and being at peace with it.

Secondly, learn.

* Learn who God has created you to be.
* Learn what He expects from a godly woman.
* Learn what He expects a godly wife to be.
* Learn what your passions are, even if there is no outlet for them right now.

Finally, live!

* Don't submit to feeling incomplete or inadequate.
* Submit to God. He is equipping you for the here and now.
* Be available for God to use you. Usefulness doesn't depend on a spouse or a marriage. Even if the fullness of your calling may not come until marriage, He can use you now.

God prepared me for marriage through my years of singleness.

He taught me lessons I could never have learned had I been in a relationship, even in a relationship with this wonderful man I call my husband. He gave me passions long before He gave me a husband, and because I was beginning to grow those passions on my own before my marriage, I’ve been able to accept my husband’s encouragement in them in our marriage.

I can honestly say right now that I don’t regret one day of singleness.

God’s timing was not mine, but it was truly perfect. I can still feel the pain of those difficult years, but I am proud of that time and of all I learned from it. I wouldn’t trade it for anything, not even for the privilege of being able to date my husband through my college years.

God answered my youthful prayers for protection and for my marriage, and I am so thankful.
When not writing or blogging, Ann spends her time homeschooling and mothering her 3 children and supporting her husband in his role as pastor. You can read more posts by Ann at Ann's Thoughts.


Carrie said...

What a beautiful and encouraging post, Ann!

And GREAT idea, Stephanie! I look forward to the upcoming posts!

Alicia said...

Steph, such a great idea! This was a wonderfully, hopeful post. I look forward to being a part of this series (both writing and reading!)

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