single

Behind The Veil: Hidden In Singleness

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I’ve been single for a little over three years and sometimes I feel like I’m in hiding. Not on purpose or by choice. I just don’t get approached my men who are looking for relationships. I’m not going to lie; singleness can be lonely and even frustrating. I have experienced a roller coaster of emotions. The highest point is when I was Miss Independent. You know the kind. The type of woman who claims she doesn’t need a man. She’s good on her own. Then at my lowest point when I was feeling down, insecure and believing the enemies lies that I was unlovable. Then I’d have months of coasting going through the days of singleness trying to “cope.” I’d sometimes pray for my future husband to appear the next day as if God was a genie in a bottle.

In a women’s Christian conference I attended called Pinky Promise, one of the speakers, Allyson Rowe, did a sermon about singleness. One thing she said that hit me was that “there is a spiritual attack on the identity of a single women.” Society may look at single women as if we are defeated or pity singles for the lack of a companion.

This causes discontentment and I sometimes find myself trying to fix myself as if I am defected. In an attempt to “fix” myself, I signed up for an online dating site. I knew the minute I finished my online dating profile and went “live” that I was working outside of God’s will. It was solely my flesh and my discontentment that got me to this website to begin with. My flesh convinced me that I was missing out and I needed to put myself out there. The first night I got so many likes, messages, and views. For me, someone who was in hiding for three years, this was an overwhelming experience. My spirit was unsettled and I was not really at peace, but I decided to test it out a little longer.

I got messages from men who were not looking for anything serious, just a good time. Heather Lindsey would call these men – randoms. These are men who were set in my path to cause distraction and to get me off track with God. I had my profile up for two weeks before I deleted it.

Then I realized God did not just hide me from these randoms, He was protecting me from the enemy’s distractions, lies, discontentment, lustful desires, sexual immorality, fornication and ungodly dating. He was covering me from all the spiritual turmoil that comes in an unequally yoked relationship (2 Corinthians 6:14). These experiences also made me think of 1 Corinthians 10:23:

“‘All things are lawful,’ but not all things are helpful. ‘All things are lawful,’ but not all things build up.”

This made me think of a wedding veil. It hides the brides face during the wedding until her husband lifts it up to seal the vows with a kiss. Just like that veil, God is covering me until my future husband finds me. Until then, I will trust and wait patiently for my Mr. Right.

XO,

Patrice
patrice@areyoushe.com

Check out Allyson Rowe’s YouTube Video on singleness-


Pic credit- Unsplashed

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Courting vs. Dating: What’s the Difference?

I regularly get asked, “Why are you still single?” or “Are you dating someone? ” Summer time is the time for barbeques, parties and group outings –the perfect time to show off your significant other. When I go to these fun events, I’m there enjoying my barbeque alone. I know my family and friends that ask these questions are just concerned. They don’t want me to grow old and live alone. The end of June marked my two years of complete singleness. That means two whole years of no (serious) dating and no sex. I’m not going to lie– I sometimes get discouraged. But I know God has me here for a reason and doesn’t want me to settle.

Yeah, I know what your thinking “What 2 years!?!? That’s a long time!” I agree with you. Sometimes it feels like forever, but I have to remind myself I am worth the wait. And quick disclaimer: I don’t sit in my house all day. I’m actually very social. However, when I’m out, guys don’t approach me. This use to really bother me. I would question my appearance and my character. I used to think I was unattractive and not girlfriend material. But then I realized it was the devil tempting me, trying to make me discontent in my singleness. I had to rebuke that thinking and go to God. Then God told me He was protecting me. Protecting me from all the other Joes out there. He knew I deserved better and I have to believe that too. Thank God I was able to hear His voice!
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Last month, I talked to a few “friends” about dating. My “friends” encouraged me to sign up on Ok Cupid, Black People Meet and yes, even Tinder.
They told me these online dating sites aren’t just for hooking up. They assured me they know someone that knows someone that found their significant other on an online dating site. Then they’d say if I don’t find someone serious it’s ok to “just date and have fun”. Does this sound familiar to anyone? No shade to online dating. I do believe these can be useful outlets to finding a spouse. I’m talking about the people on those sites with the mindset to “just have fun.”

So what is “just have fun”? This means serial dating. Going out on dates with different men every so many days. Let them wine or dine you, then depending on how the night goes maybe you’ll see them again. If my only standard was they had to be a male and willing to take me out on a date, that would open the door for every man who walked by! Men and women who serial date are trying to fill the void of being lonely that only God can fulfill.

The more and more I take advice from these “friends”, I become discontent in my single season. But to just date around doesn’t seem like something God would want me to do. So as I seek God on this topic I studied His word, Christian articles and books to shed some light on dating and courting. Here is what I found.

Courting- Courting is dating with a purpose, with the intent to get married.

Courting is ideal in any godly relationship. Some people call it dating with the same preference as courting. This is a time where the two really get to know each other. They both can see marriage in their future and they usually spend a lot of time together. They do this while still keeping God at the center. The bible doesn’t talk about courting, but it does say, “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness” 2 Corinthians 6:14. This scripture encourages believers to date believers and marry believers.

Here are a few books I read related to courting:

Dating- Dating is going out with multiple men with no real intention of marriage.

This is what people call “just having fun”. I know we’ve all done this at some point. This type of dating can also be considered “Just Talking.” Women, who do this to just have fun, typically are not in it for the long haul. They are in it for the temporary satisfaction of male attention. It can be fun for the girl but what about that man spending his money and trying to impress. They probably want something in return and if you’re not that type of girl, then you honestly just wasted their time. You may say “So what! He’ll get over it.” These actions are manipulative. Don’t string men along if your not interested. Don’t waste their time for attention, use that time and spend it with the Lord. Only God can make you whole in your emptiness.

Psalms 37 highlights two good points related to this topic-

Psalms 37:4 “ Take delight in the Lord and he will give you your hearts desires.”

 Psalms 37: 7 “ Be still in the presence of the Lord and wait patiently from him to act…”

 To all my single Sisters in Christ out there- If you desire a spouse it will happen, be patient and know God is at work.

 

Patrice McKenzie
Patrice@areyoushe.com
photo: huffingtonpost.com

 

Me, Jesus & The Wilderness In Philly

I thought many of my relationships were heading towards love but God quickly showed me they were based on lust after the dudes would run away after a month. I had never been in a “serious” and “committed” relationship until I met my man. No joke, after a few sleepovers and some pseudo dates, they in some way or another would dump me. It got to the point the cycle would numb me. I accepted the fact that once I started dating a man, they wouldn’t be around for long.

But the biggest problem wasn’t them –it was me. I was trying to get with men jsad-womanust for the sake of not being lonely. It wasn’t like I was intentional about them, seeking the LORD to see what He thinks. Those questions would arise after a few makeout sessions and a date. I would ramble on to the LORD for days, trying to convince Him why (insert name here) would be a good fit for me. But I was so blind I couldn’t see; Jesus didn’t want me to settle for someone who wasn’t the one for me.

At times I was bitter and pissed off, wondering why no prospects would ever turn into anything for me. But that’s what happens when you take a vow of purity. Even though I told God I was going to wait for the one He had set aside for me, I was still doing things that were opposite of that reality.

I’d date dudes I met on the streets and at the bars. Sometimes the fling would bloom after a random rendezvous. But no matter how picturesque things seemed to be, it would never amount to anything. It seemed as if God told the men to run away and hide from me.

It was a hard reality but I am so grateful for His grace and mercy. Looking back, the men I dated were great people with so much potential but the problem is, a lot of them didn’t share my faith. So badly, I wanted to make it work, thinking somewhere down the line dating evangelism would make them change their mind, causing them to give their lives to Christ. But that’s out of order. A man is supposed to lead and coercing him to believe what I believe really isn’t love anyway.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned, God ways aren’t our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts. Even though you may be getting dumped and ditched left and right, know there’s a plan to prosper you in sight. God doesn’t want you settling just because of your insatiable yearning for a man burning in your heart.

During my season of singleness, it’s in those moments I drew even closer to Christ. The moments He would turn those men away, I in turn became even closer to Him. When I was living in Philadelphia, walking through my own spiritual wilderness, Jesus and I would spend many nights together where I’d search through my bible and just cry. I loved those moments when it was just the King and I. I wouldn’t trade those moments for anything — they’re the fabric of my life.

When I was 23, there’d be days I would walk alone on the streets of Center City, listening to Trip Lee or sometimes Sia, watching the Spirit fill the atmosphere. After my long nights working as a hostess at a restaurant and taking the 23 bus up through North Philly, despite the darkness around me, I knew God was with me.

This was one of the scriptures I would meditate on almost every single day:

“Therefore, behold, I will allure her, 
Will bring her into the wilderness,
And speak comfort to her. 
I will give her vineyards from there,
And the Valley of Achor (trouble) as a door of hope;
She shall sing there, as in the days of her youth,” Hosea 2:14

Whether I’d sit on a bench in Rittenhouse Square, under an oak tree along the Schuykill River or walked along the trails in Wissahickon Park, I carried that verse on my heart. As I read it over and over again, I could feel the presence of God all around me.

During a class I recently took in Pittsburgh, one of the leaders brought up that verse so near and dear to my heart. As the leader talked about how God uses that scripture to lead us into our destinies, I started to cry. As I became so overcome with emotion, the spirit within me would not allow me to stay silent. So I shared with the rest of the class about my time in the wilderness while I was living in Philly. Then God spoke to me, saying everything was coming full circle. His words reminded me of the verse in Romans 8:28 that says, “all things work together”. 

Those sacred moments in Philadelphia are what kept me. It’s where God showed me how to love me. 

Sydni Grant
sydni@areyoushe.com

Photo: craziebeautiful.com

Single for a Season or Single for a Reason

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by Patrice McKenzie

“Single for a Season or Single for a Reason”

Go to:http://subspla.sh/1fxYtJu

In this podcast series, Marian Jordan Ellis teaches on singleness; that it is both for an intended season and for a specific season. I really like that Marian Jordan Ellis uses her life as an example. All of us have been though this season of signless. It can be discouraging at times. But realize that this season is not forever. It is temporary. Appreciate your signless, develop in your God given gifts and focus on being women of God.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

A Time for Everything

3 For everything there is a season,
a time for every activity under heaven.
2 A time to be born and a time to die.
A time to plant and a time to harvest.
3 A time to kill and a time to heal.
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
4 A time to cry and a time to laugh.
A time to grieve and a time to dance.
5 A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.
A time to embrace and a time to turn away.
6 A time to search and a time to quit searching.
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
7 A time to tear and a time to mend.
A time to be quiet and a time to speak.
8 A time to love and a time to hate.
A time for war and a time for peace.

Enjoy!