I would like to know what advice would you give me in terms of reconnecting to the Father, redeveloping that intimate relationship with Him, and remaining in faith and love as I wait for the promises of God to become real for me. Thank you, Gail, in advance.
I will leave you some very practical advice. There is a whole lot you can do while you are waiting for God’s promises to manifest in your life. While you are in this season, why not make the best of it? You might not choose to be single at this moment, but since you are, WORK IT! If you are unfulfilled in your personal life, don’t be unfulfilled in your professional life. Determine that you are going to know and live out your divine purpose. You should wake up every day knowing that you are using your unique gifts and talents to their fullest potential. If you can’t wake up to a man, you should at least wake up to meaningful and rewarding work.
Also, if you have to be single, there’s no point in being broke and single. One of my favorite videos about sex and Christian singles is Soulmate. As soon as you’ve finished reading this blog, order that DVD! Andrea Wiley has produced a must-see DVD for every African-American, Christian, single woman. One thing I noticed about those sisters in Soulmate is that, although they might be lonely, they were lonely in magnificent surroundings. Trust me, that has to help. I have a girlfriend who is a Suze Orman junkie, and her married friends with two incomes were a lot more stressed than she was when her company was talking layoffs (and because she is so good at what she does, guess who is one of the very few who still has her job?).
If you have to be single, you might as well look good doing it. If I were single, I would have a banging body. (I’m married with four kids, three of which were C-sections, and I’m still trying to have a banging body!) I would always appear polished in public. If you look great, you’ll feel better. And a great workout is one way to boost sagging spirits and sagging everything else. And if an eligible man did pass me up, I promise you, I’d make him think twice.
Will you have down days? The truth is we all do. So be prepared. When the down days come, pour out your heart to God and get to know Him as Jehovah Shamma: “The God Who Is There.” Allow God to be with you on the dark days and lonely nights. Let His presence envelop you. Although earlier in this 3-part series, I scoffed about Christian women who claim to be “married” to Jesus, there is a place in God where His presence fills your life, and He gives you the assurance that “it is well.” Find that place in Him. And those “attacks” – as my friend, Patricia Ashley, correctly identifies them – will be further and further apart. Practically speaking, be especially good to yourself on those “blue” days. I believe that spa days are mandatory for mental health. As I told a girlfriend, a massage is not a luxury, but a necessity. Take a walk, journal your prayers, celebrate you – and, if need be, ask for help from a trained counselor or therapist. Your feelings are real. Don’t minimize them and don’t magnify them.
Baby girl, this might not be the life you signed up for, but it is your life, so you might as well Live It! You only go around once. If you have to fly solo, then fly high. I have a single girlfriend who tries to begin and end the year in a new city. When I first met her, I asked how it felt to travel by herself. She said that she’s alone anyway, so she might as well be alone on the beach, or in the mountains, or on the islands. And why not? She deprives herself of nothing, whether it be art museums, the opera, plays, or salsa dancing. And, because she’s interested in life, her social calendar is full. She has a huge network of friends – married, single, male and female. She makes single life look so good that she has to remind her married friends of the perks of their lives. Does she get down sometimes? Of course, but with help of God and an indomitable spirit, she refuses to give in to despair.
Finally, don’t settle for less than you really deserve. The truth is that you aren’t single because you can’t get married. Just look around. It is obvious that anyone whose goal is to get married can marry someone, but that’s not what you want. Marriage, sex and having children is not your reason for being. Living out God’s will for your life is, and everything else springs from that. You are praying for the right man for you! I love being married, but I wouldn’t have gotten married unless my intended had passed some pretty stringent character tests. At the bare minimum, make sure that your future husband has an intense walk with the Lord, is passionate about his purpose in life, is well-thought of by others (and take a good look at who the “others” are), is head-over-heels-crazy-in-love-with-you, handles pressure well, and is a man’s man (this is where your guy friends/brothers/father come in), and that the two of you complement one another’s calling in life. These are minimum requirements, but I am saddened by how many sisters are willing to look beyond the most obvious flaws. Marriage is hard enough, and life is hard enough, without asking for misery.
One of my favorite scriptures is, “Why so downcast, Oh my soul? Put your hope in God.” Don’t give up! Reconnect with God. Find a good network of friends to encourage you. Meditate on scriptures that speak about the goodness and faithfulness of God. Read them out loud until they get deep into your spirit and you know that you know that you know that God is coming through for you. Then live out loud, with passion, with purpose, and with reckless abandon, and watch what God does in your life.