Sharing Your Story, one of the components of Wisdom and Kindness, provides a place for women to anonymously share their stories. This category was developed with the ultimate intent of emphasizing God’s faithfulness, even in the difficulties and struggles of life. Each story is true. Each story is anonymously written. Each story is written to proclaim the hope that is found in The Lord! May The Lord bless!
Vanessa’s Story – God’s Faithfulness to the Single Woman
Being single in a world where couples are “the norm” is not very easy and can present challenges in life. It seems that everywhere you look there are couples or pairs in some form or fashion. There are couples sitting together in restaurants, church services, ballgames, or other events. Then there are the challenges that continually remind you that you are doing something by yourself. For example, there is the waitress who asks: Table for just one? There are hotel rate packages based on double-occupancy. And there are actually increased rates or up-charges for a single person going on a cruise alone! Add this to the well-meaning people who are not satisfied that you have not married yet. It takes a cultivated strength to keep a smile on your face when you are asked many times over: So when are you going to get married? Are you seeing anyone? It is easy to feel left out, like the “odd-ball” or that you are swimming upstream.
But, there is the upside! I love the freedom I have to be impulsive and make plans at the spur of a moment. My time is my own. There is no coordination of schedules before accepting invitations to attend various events. There is no one with whom to compromise on what I should cook for dinner or what color the house should be painted. There is no one to get aggravated at me if I choose not to clean the house but rather spend the day visiting friends or family. Yes, there are definite advantages that I certainly enjoy being single.
I love good food, trying new restaurants, and traveling. Many people would never eat at a restaurant, tour a museum, or take a vacation alone. They would choose to stay home. But I had determined a long time ago that I would never let my single state prevent me from doing something that I really wanted to do. I want to live life and not miss great opportunities because I feel funny doing things by myself or because I can’t find someone to go with me. So, with a good book in hand, I’ll eat at a restaurant and enjoy a great meal. With a prayer for protection, I’ll visit sites, museums and open air memorials in places like Washington DC, Paris, Monterey and others! Over time, a certain independence, strength, and confidence is built within. Not an independence from God, but a healthy independence and confidence that was given by God.
So, have I ever felt lonely, or like an “odd-ball”, or confused and pained about being single? My answer is ABSOLUTELY. Singleness is not something I expected or desired. There are not many days that my single state does not come to mind. Sometimes it is as a fleeting thought, but other times it is more than that. Often I review my life to figure out where I went wrong. Was it always intended for me to be single? Did the wrong decisions I made earlier in life lead me to this place? Or does God have someone in mind for me? Occasionally it has been a weight sitting on my chest making me feel that I am being smothered.
And then there is Satan. My enemy has used this vulnerability to drag me into a pit of depression that I’ve stayed in for weeks at a time. These are dark days of deep pain. The thoughts he has spoken to my mind have been vicious, demeaning, and have ultimately caused me to question the goodness of my God. It has brought me to the edge of resentfulness and bitterness. It has caused me to consider quitting the Christian journey of walking in obedience to Christ. But deep down, I have a reverential fear of taking my life into my own hands and choosing my own way. Proverbs 14:12 says: There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. I do not want to put myself outside the umbrella of God’s favor, blessing, and protection. With that in mind, I reach deep and by faith alone start climbing out of the pit. That is where God’s Word comes in. What a precious Book! Never has the Word of God been so real to me than when I am hurting and searching for relief. God has been so faithful to me through His Word by healing me, nourishing me, and defending me against this enemy. It has been my salvation and stronghold in times of discouragement, confusion, and pain. Once I recognized the attacks of Satan in my life, I began using the weapon of the Word against Him. James 4:7 says for us to …resist the devil and he will flee from you. Second Corinthians10:4 says: casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God. First Peter 5:9 says: whom resist steadfast in the faith. I used these scriptures to resist the attacks that would come upon my mind and emotions. It worked. The Word of God works.
So, how has God been faithful to me in practical, everyday matters? Well, He has blessed me with a great job with which I am able to support myself very well. Finances can be a challenge for a single woman. From the earliest days of my career, God has opened doors of opportunity, promoted me, given me favor with my superiors, and granted me the knowledge and understanding to do a job well. Any time I start to get bored, a new project would be assigned to me. I have also been able to travel, meet people, and make friends in new locations. He alone has done this – not me. I truly marvel at His blessing to me in this area. I tell people that God handed me this job on a silver platter. Many women have a husband with a good job. But in my case, God has provided me with a good job.
Many may think that you have to live a sub-standard life as a single woman, but that is not so. God has always given me “the best”, it seems, in many facets of my life. I love Psalm 32:19 which says: O how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee. One of the words for “goodness” in the Hebrew language is “the best”. The word “laid up” in this verse means “to hide, hoard, or reserve.” What a great picture! I can just see God reserving all of these wonderful blessings specifically for me. An example of this is the opportunity to build a house. Several options were considered, such as renting an apartment or buying an existing home, but things never seemed to work out. God put it in my heart to buy land and build a house and that is what I did. This was “the best” that God was giving me. Although I was very intimidated taking on such a major investment on my own, I foraged ahead asking for God’s continued help and guidance throughout the whole process. I was able to select flooring, countertops, and paint color without considering anyone else’s opinion!
I have a great family that loves me and accepts me as single. I have wonderful friends, both single and married, with whom I can fellowship. These friends are ones who make me feel valued for who I am at this point in time, not ones that try to “fix me” because something is “wrong” with me. These people are a great blessing and I thank God for each one.
Lastly, and most importantly, is the opportunity to serve the true and living God. Being single does provide the advantage of being able to spend time in the Word of God and in prayer to receive instruction, guidance, and knowledge. He has put a hunger in me to learn more about Him. God has been faithful to use me in His Kingdom’s work by providing me the opportunity to study and teach others. I’ve been able to encourage others on an individual basis, counsel them, and point them to the Word of God. I’ve been able to sow seeds in the lives of unbelievers. To Him alone be the glory.
I realize there are many views about being single. Some believe it is a dreaded curse and fear it. Others wished they were single again. Although I do not understand the why’s and wherefore’s of remaining single, my desire is to make the most of it and please Him. Psalm 37:4 says: Delight thyself also in the Lord and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart. The word “delight” actually means to be “soft” or “pliable.” My encouragement for single women is to be soft and pliable under the hand of God. Surrender yourself to God and ask Him to put HIS desires in your heart. He will fulfill the desires He puts there when we surrender to Him.