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    Singled Out for Him Sister: Kate

    Tuesday, November 13, 2018

    Prepare yourself to receive Truth and encouragement from my sweet singled out sister currently serving Jesus overseas.

    Have you ever felt like all the information/encouragement available about thriving as a single is written by people who are no longer single?
    I have.
    Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always loved to hear others’ stories and experiences. Wisdom is a treasure. It’s just that when it comes to this particular topic, it sometimes feels like salt being rubbed in a wound that I didn’t know was there.
    For a while the general platitudes were comforting:

    “Man, I just don’t understand why you aren’t snatched up yet.”
    “Make sure you use this season to really lean into your relationship with Jesus. It will prepare you for marriage.”  
    But after a while, hearing those over and over, well-intentioned as they were, planted doubt in my heart. If I was leaning into Jesus at just the right level of leaning would he bring me a husband? If I am so awesome why wasn’t he interested in me?
    Last year I stumbled upon this blog and it rocked my world in a season of prepping to move overseas. I said "Yes" to a call God had long been beckoning to me, knowing that it wouldn’t make my singleness any easier. In fact, it made it look more difficult to me.
    Last summer during a worship time with others while we were preparing to go to different corners of the globe, we read Romans 12:1-2 and individually asked God what he wanted us to lay down on the altar.
    I wanted to throw up.

    I had been reading through Leviticus about the different types of sacrifices—yearly, continual, etc—and God was hammering in His point: He was asking me to lay down my desire for family and marriage.

    Can I be honest with you? I remember that moment vividly. I remember my heart beating so hard there’s no way my friends couldn’t hear it. How was I supposed to share that with a room full of people? Most of them married with kids!
    Marriage, just a shadow reflection of Christ and His bride in comparison, had taken the throne on my heart. Removing the crown and dragging that idol to the altar was one of the hardest things I’ve done . . . and still have to do.
    Until that moment, each time I tried to lay it down I was hardening a little toward God.
    “I’ll give this to you God, but if you don’t give back to me for being obedient I don’t know if I can trust you with my heart here. You can have the rest, but this is mine.”
    But this time was different.
    I didn’t know how many lies I had believed about me or God just because of something I hadn’t ever been promised. I didn’t know how much He had wanted me to lay it down so He could show me something far better.
    Sound cheesy? Well, I hope you aren’t dairy sensitive because all the cheese is up in here.
    Here’s the thing: as soon as my focus shifted off what I didn’t have, I was able to start seeing the wild things He was doing in and around me. For years I had unknowingly bought into the lie that if you aren’t married you don’t count for as much. Doomed to be the babysitter forever. The third wheel. Natural leader? Forget that, because if you aren’t married there isn’t a place for you to lead in the church.
    The thing is, Jesus never said or modeled any of that. He modeled family and fellowship. In the body of Christ we are FAMILY. Neither singles nor marrieds are more elevated, more worthy, more equipped; rather each has his/her own gifts and limitations that display our sweet Jesus uniquely from person to person. And we NEED the gifts each of us has to offer.

    Living in a patriarchal society has challenges that I could not face as a single alone. I need my married friends. I need to be Auntie to their kids. They need me. Some days I can’t get enough kiddo giggles and baby snuggles, and other days I’m just indescribably grateful that I don’t have to share my food with someone who just picked his nose. Balance. Some days God opens doors for incredible spiritual conversation with my neighbors because of my singleness and others I want to scream because this culture doesn’t have a box for why I’m not married before my younger sister. Balance.
    We were made image bearers of the Almighty God, put here on Earth to know Him and be known by Him, sent out to share this Good News with people who haven’t heard it so they can know Him and be known by Him too. Married, single, or somewhere else entirely, the goal is Jesus.
    We could meet the man of our dreams tomorrow and almost forget the longing.
    We could never desire marriage.
    We could trudge up the hill of sacrifice dragging our desires kicking and screaming to the altar every day for the rest of our lives.
    My prayer though, for me and you, for married couples, for the body of Christ, is that we would not be so concerned with this label/season/etc. that we lose sight of the goal; that we give ourselves the grace we’ve received on the days when we just feel tired of waiting; that the joy of the Lord would really be our strength and not a "christianese" dismissal of our sorrow; and that as a body we’d really love each other and bear each other’s burdens. We need each other.   
    You, no matter where you find yourself on this life spectrum, are an integral part of God’s plan to bring His sheep home.


    Kate is currently learning (quite literally) how to live Jeremiah 29:7 and how to avoid being hit by a bus. In her free time away from language classes, she spends time sharing sorrow and Hope with other exiles. If you'd like to hear more about what she's doing and how to be a part of it, click the envelope in the menu bar so I can connect you.

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