I realize its been forever since I have blogged anything. but i felt like this was worth sharing in a space not dictated by number of characters….
I love it when someone so much more gifted in their way with words than I am, writes exactly what has been on my mind and heart for months. While I might have been able to say the same thing it would have quite possibly come across as snarky and outrageous while they come across as calm, gentle, and Godly. :) Since attending True Woman ‘12 this year for the first time ever Mary Kassian quickly became one of my favorite speakers and writers….it’s like she’s inside my head and she gets me. :) Seriously she gets this dichotomy between being single, being a professional, having a college degree (or 2), and what all of this means in the face of becoming a true woman of God. Something I still don’t understand or get most days but in the face of being a feminist I want to choose the true woman of God every day… she gets that!! Which is why she is gifted!! All of this to share this small thing she wrote recently that was exactly what I always meant to say…it just didn’t come out that way. :)
The post she has written is primarily about dealing with relatives over the holidays who just have 1 too many inquisitive questions about the state of your relationships…or lack thereof. And while thats not really an issue of mine… (maybe my relatives just know not to question my singleness…maybe they know I was made for something else) It doesn’t mean I don’t feel these questions and assumptions and so much more from other people year round…
- You aren’t getting any younger, sweetie.
- What are you doing with your life? I had three little boys by the time I was your age!
- One of my Bible Study ladies has a grandson about your age. Should I get his phone number for you?
- I’m sure you don’t want that dessert! You need to watch your figure so you can attract a man.
And while most of the time it doesn’t bother me all that much, and I find it easy to brush it off… sometimes it does bother me…. I have my moments too you…. :) Often I wish people could be as contented with my singleness as I am…. which is why I found the following part of the post the most helpful for me in understanding other people and why they might say and do the things they do.
“While your relatives’ comments may come across as intrusive or condescending, you are called to respond in love (1 Peter 3:9). Chances are, your family is operating under a common assumption that life should be a certain way. Christian girls get married. That’s just what they do. Then they have babies. It’s the other thing they do. And now you are grown, but you don’t have a husband or children, and they aren’t sure what to do with you, and they don’t know what to talk about. Your life doesn’t fit with their experience or assumptions.Perhaps this is the year to gently counter that assumption by pointing to 1 Corinthians 7 and explaining that you rejoice in God’s plan for your time of singleness. Paul said it first:
“Now as a concession, not a command, I say this. I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has his own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another. To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single as I am.” (1 Cor. 7:6-8)
Part of the assumption is that you must be miserable, because most people don’t view singleness as a good gift from God. While many singles aren’t happy with their singleness, often their families are even less happy. But it is important to remember that singles are single because God has determined it to be this way. He’s either not brought someone into their lives or He’s kept the relationship with that last boyfriend from working out. This is His plan! It is not a mistake. It is not a punishment. He is good, and His plan is good, and your time of singleness is also good (Ex. 33:19, Ps. 31:19; 107:1, Rom. 8:28–29, Matt. 7:11).”
All of this to say….. EXACTLY… this is what has been on my heart that I wish people could understand about me…
So I’m single…. so what… :) It doesn’t bother me… I rejoice in it… and I am content in it I wish the same for others. Does it mean I don’t want that relationship… I don’t want the guy and the kids…no it doesn’t. It just means for right here, right now, this is where God has placed me and I am exactly where I am supposed to be and I am content and happy in that… knowing God has a plan and a purpose for my future…with or without a relationship. Often I feel as though God has another plan for my life right now because He has kept me single. I have those opportunities Paul was talking about…my singleness is a a gift… I get to live day to day, moment to moment and do exactly what I am meant to do. And I am having a blast doing it…. :)
So my final words, my thoughts to others…. I am happy and content…. Be happy and content for me as well. Don’t wish something different for my life that God doesn’t intend. Most days it doesn’t bother me being single. I embrace it…. I wish you to embrace it as well. Don’t make it into something it’s not. (unhappy and not meant to be and weird, or whatever). Realize that your relationship and marriage doesn’t bother me (in fact I rejoice in it with you and for you) so why should my singleness bother you? And as I get older and more and more of my friends get married and build relationships and families, it has become a fact of life for me that I am the odd one out. And most of the time it doesn’t bother me. Don’t treat me different because I don’t share in that part of your life with you….embrace it, embrace the difference. You get experiences that I don’t…. I get experiences that you don’t…. It doesn’t make us better, or worse… it simply makes us different. Let’s learn and grow from each other. Don’t let your relationship or my lack thereof keep us from being friends and being together and having fun. Don’t let my singleness keep us from doing things together don’t hold back and treat me differently than your married friends. It doesn’t affect me… don’t let it affect you.
Know that God’s plan for my life might look different than your experience or assumptions and I am completely, 110% ok with that…. and I embrace our differences in lived experience because its in those differences that we can learn and grow the most!! God has a plan for each of us… embrace it, learn from it, grow in it, and rejoice in it!!!
Love you all….both single and married…whether it been 1 year or 20 I appreciate the difference and I am blessed to be able to learn from all different types of people!!!
It’s the coolest thing ever. When I was in Belize with @samaritans purse I hand delivered a shoebox to a sweet girl. Almost 7 years later I receive a letter and picture for the first time!!!!! God is awesome!!!! #shoebox #operationchristmaschild (Taken with Instagram)
This thought process is to long for a tweet or a status…so how about a post!!
Yesterday I was listening to the radio and they were talking about a study or an article or something that came out showing that boys have a higher tendency to “check out” of church due in part to the fact that many of our sunday school teachers are women and aren’t reaching out as well to boys- especially as they get older. Girls love sunday school…boys not so much…. And a lot of it has to do with the fact that women are more likely to step up and serve in that capacity than men. SO I had 3 or so thoughts on that concept…
1) Wow…it could be a staggering reality…and i wonder if this is part of the reason we are seeing boys remaining boys much longer and not becoming men, particularly men of God. This made me incredibly grateful for the men in my church who do step up and serve. As in since I have been teaching the last several weeks I have noticed that often my sister and I are the only girls down that hallway!! Thats a good thing and its a time when i am ok with being the only girl!!!
2) I don’t think saying that we need more men to teach negates the need for women as well. For me, teaching has become my own growing journey and I definitely feel Gods hand in it. He calls all of us, not based on gender but on the gifts He has given. So now we need to find the balance…and trust God with it…
3) For me this was a powerful thought because just yesterday morning I taught a class of 20 or so 4 through kindergarten age kids….and I remember being amazed by how many boys there were… as in 15 or so boys… loud, rambunctious boys. And honestly i love every minute of it!!
4) What does all of this mean for me? I am very aware of the fact that its me, the girl teaching all these boys…. :) With the grace of God, I must acknowledge them as boys and find ways to continually present the Gospel in such a way that they think it is only for girls but for them as well. And through all of this its just one more way that God is showing me to trust Him with it, and He will work it out!! In the end, I will say only by His grace….
So bring on the boys…and the creative teaching methods….and the energy….I AM READY to see what GOD is going to do!!!!
Donning that cap, tassel, gown, hood and professional social work pin tomorrow!!! Bittersweet, but happy ending!!!! (Taken with instagram)