Stephanie has a journey of getting to this point after many years of being single and frankly possible growing a bit weary in singleness. Her sole mission for the last few years has been to help men and women navigate their season of singleness and their most important seasons.
So today we dive into WHY are we single and how do we avoid growing tired, discouraged and weary in our singleness?
How can we conquer being weary in singleness?
- Stephanie opens up about her own personal story that was challenging and weary. Through this though, she really learned SO much and happily spends her days encouraging other single women.
Why are we single in the first place?
“We are focusing on marriage so much that we are crushing our relationships by putting too much pressure on them.”
- Steph says the main place to start is to talk about why we are NOT single.
- We are not single because: we are not good enough or because God is punishing us, or because we are too much or unloveable. Those lies are SO hard to combat when we are single.
- Steph details out 3 main reasons why we are single
- 1. This is where God has us right now. Matt Chandler says “I am not single because I am too spiritually unstable to deserve a husband or too spiritually mature to need one. I am single because God is good and this is His best for me.” There is something truly to be gained in this season.
- 2. We are not looking for SOMEONE, we are looking for the RIGHT one. There are a lot of reasons to celebrate being single, such as… not marrying someone who didn’t treat us well! We should look to celebrate this season as MUCH as possible.
- 3. Sometimes there are mindsets holding us BACK from getting into relationships. Focus on Jesus without distractions. In the end, we should be more worried about the status of our SOULS than our relationships.
How can we WAIT WELL and steward this time WELL?
- We have to admit that we cannot have “hungry eyes” for everyone we see. Marriage is NOT the end goal.
- We don’t know the timeline of our lives.
- Steph brings up that a HUGE component of this is TRUST. She describes the feeling on a roller coaster.
- When you get on a roller coaster, and you are sure you are getting to the end, you will have your hands in the air and enjoy the entire ride. If you are NOT sure you are going to make it to the end of the ride, you will probably be gripping on for dear life, screaming, NOT enjoying the process.
- Are we death gripping our single life and not enjoying it?
- We get one wild and precious life, let’s have our hands up and our eyes open and trust that God really has us!
- Waiting well is LIVING well!
How do we practically wait well and LIVE well?
- Cultivate a daily practice of spending time with him.
- Actually READING the bible! We need to get back to the basics. God is the expert at living and loving well.
- Getting involved in church and joining a small group.
- Friendship is SO important in this time. We need to be inspired and support by people that love and care for us. Invest in truly connect with a community of believers.
- Cultivating your community is like gardening. You have to keep going back and investing in it and making it a priority.
- Get uncomfortable outside of your comfort zone and SERVE in this time. Getting involved and partnering with GOD to serve.
How can we get excited about marriage WITHOUT making it an idol?
“Marriage is not a magic pill cure for everything in your life.”
- Sometimes we need to look at our lives like a house with a our own lawn. If you start looking at other people’s lawns and how lush and green their is, you will star focusing on getting the lawn over the fence.
- Once you arrive at a new season, you just want the next, newest, freshest lawn. This is like how it is in singleness if our end goal is SOLELY marriage. These things are NOT meant to fulfill us.
- Stephanie says to “Water the grass UNDER your feet.” Find contentment and joy and purpose right where you are.
- Tend to YOUR garden, your single life, be interesting and doing incredible things for the Kingdom. AND, be sure to find someone else who has been doing the same.
How have you personally struggled with comparison either in your singleness or even now in Marriage?
“I unfollowed all of these people. Anyone who made me feel small or that I was falling behind or that my timeline was off.”
- Steph brings up during her dating’ season when she actually waited quite some time for engagement to happen for them. During this time, so many of HER friends got engaged and she cut not help but continue to watch all of them get engaged and start wondering.. when that might happen for her.
- During this time she was following so many marriage accounts on Instagram or planning on Pinterest and started questioning “Is this making it easier or harder?” She made the BOLD decision to unfollow anything who made her feel small or like she was falling behind on on a weird timeline.
- It was literally RIGHT after this that she got engaged!
- Remember “our stories is unfolding exactly as it should for US. Someone else getting engaged does not make it less likely that you will.”
- God has an abundance for US. He fed the 5,000 from 5 loaves an 2 fish. He can do a LOT from a little. He has an abundance of riches FOR US.
- Social media truly is just HALF THE STORY.
How much does shame affect us?
- Shame ISOLATES us completely.
- Unfortunately sometimes we can actually feel shame from the church about being single.
- Singleness is SUCH a unique brand of hard being a Christian.
- As we watch our single friends get married, we sometimes are left to feel like we are the only ones left and that there must be SOMETHING wrong with us.
- The antidote to shame in our singleness is being real with what is going on in our lives and in our hearts…and finding out that you are NOT alone.
- Talk to someone and trusted people about where you are at. You are NOT alone.
What is your final nugget of dating advice?
- “Take the pressure off of dating. Go on more dates and ENJOY it!“