As many of you know, we have been taking much of this month to focus on our Titus 2 Single Sisters. Today I would like to introduce you to a lovely young lady from my church who is a blessing to the body of Christ! I hope Yvonne’s story will be a blessing to you…
My story isn’t one that’s extraordinary or so far removed than anyone else’s. I venture to guess that it’s a pretty common story and it’s an issue that many women face today. I haven’t arrived at all the answers. I’m still a work in progress and learning as I go. I still struggle at times, and I still stumble and fall.
But in the midst of it all, I have learned a lot about God’s mercy and His patience with us. I’ve learned a lot about His dealings with His people and how much He truly does loves us. My story is filled with many struggles and trials, but much joy and peace as well. It is a bittersweet journey and it is mine.
When I became a believer in my early twenties, I had all these plans about the future. I knew that I would get married and have a family one day. I longed to raise covenant children in the fear of the Lord. This was something that I had a great burden for, since I wasn’t raised in a home that feared the Lord. In particular, I wanted to raise lots of boys! Boys that would grow up to be honorable, godly men and a future generation of spiritual leaders. I knew that these were good and godly desires and that the Lord would bless me. I hoped that I would be married, have several children, and have a home by the time I was 30.
Yet to my surprise, things didn’t happen the way that I had expected! You see, I am a woman in my early thirties and still unmarried. All of my hopes and dreams for the future were never realized.
Over the years, I struggled to find peace in my singleness. At times, I made an idol out of marriage and having a family. I allowed bitterness to grow and fester within me. And to my shame, I resented the Lord for His dealings with me! It seemed like the Lord was withholding so many things from me. Here I was trying to live a pure and godly life. Here I was trying to obey God and yet I was the one that remained single. I sought to do things honorably and yet those that were not seeking godly spouses were getting married. Several of my friends even pursued unbelievers, and it seemed as though God was blessing them! I thought, “Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure.”
He was blessing everyone around me, but somehow had forgotten me in the midst of it. I watched my friends enter relationships and get to know one another. I watched them get engaged, and then get married. I watched them have their first baby, and then their second baby, and then their third. And so on it went!
Every time one of my friends announced their engagement, I felt my heart drop into the pit of my stomach! I would cry and cry! It was such a painful reminder that the Lord had forgotten me. It got to the point where I couldn’t go to weddings anymore or even baby showers. I would find any excuse to keep from going. It was so hard to watch others rejoice while I carried this burden inside of me. I grew hardened. I grew bitter.
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick….”- Proverbs 13:12
I started avoiding families and couples altogether, and surrounded myself with other single folks. I avoided children and had a hard time even holding someone else’s baby without weeping. I poured myself into my work and decided to fill my life with material things. I tried to fill that void inside of me. I tried to fill my life with distractions to help me pass the time.
My hope had been crushed so many times that I didn’t want to hope anymore. I just wanted to cut that desire out of my heart! So I begged God to remove it! I pleaded with Him to take away the desire for marriage and a family! It was too hard for me to bear anymore. I begged God many times! I even prayed and fasted and yet it seemed as though the desire grew deeper! Why was He doing this to me? Why did He torment me? Why did He give me these desires only to withhold? It made no sense to me. At the time.
I felt like I didn’t have a sense of purpose or a place where I belonged. All I had ever wanted was to be a wife and a mother. Yet, I didn’t have a family of my own, and my situation was even more particular because I didn’t come from a Christian family. I was truly on my own!
I felt disconnected from the church and left out most of the time. I tried to fellowship with people, but I didn’t always feel very welcomed. I often felt judged or less of a christian because I didn’t come from a covenant home or a certain background. And there were times I even felt as though people looked down on me for my singleness. “Why aren’t your married, don’t you know that the Lord desires that we marry and bear children?” As though I was intentionally doing things to delay marriage. If only they knew my heartache and how much I longed for a family! I was on the sidelines watching everyone else live while my life stood still. My life seemed to be on hold.
“Let not your longing slay your living.” ~Anonymous
This was a quote that a friend had sent me during a hard time, and it was a much needed word! I realized that up until then, I had been living for myself and for my own dreams. And it had robbed me of so much joy! I was so consumed with marriage that I had stopped living in many ways. I had grown so discontent.
And, I realized that the root of my discontentment lie in my disbelief and lack of trust.
I thought I knew better than God, what was best for my life.
I thought that I was being prepared for marriage and a family. My bitterness stemmed from my own pride and thinking that I had “arrived”.
I realized it was not very honoring to the Lord! Especially, if I am just trying to fill my life with distractions to pass the time, until I get to where I really want to be. I realized that I had wasted so much precious time! I was so consumed with marriage that I did not always serve the Lord where He had me.
I was so focused on my own desires that I let so many opportunities pass me by. Opportunities to help others who had far greater burdens than I did.
And when I finally realized that, it changed my life! God showed me that He made me with a purpose! He made me for Himself! To bring Him the glory and take joy in Him! He made me for this time, here and now.
He carved a little niche in the world specifically for me, where I do belong.
Stay tuned tomorrow for the rest of Yvonne’s story!
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