From a Single Christian Woman’s Perspective

Recently, one of my Facebook friends hosted a FB Live session to speak about singleness. He’s a young, unmarried man (in his late 20’s) who is also a licensed minister at his local church. His concerns about the struggles that singles face, and how much being single may have affected his position in ministry were palpable.

On the following day I reflected on his video, and recorded my companion video(s) in response. Check out Part 1 here. Part 2 starts here.

Here are some thoughts from my video(s), in no particular order:

  1. Singleness seems to be a bigger challenge when you are in church leadership (I’m a minister), since you are held to higher standards. This is especially true for me as a mom, because I want to set the right example for my son.
  2. Divorcees are treated like the “black sheep” of the family in many churches. I think widows/widowers are treated better, since their spouses died. Overall, being single again sometimes feels like being ostracized.
  3. Once a young person in the church hits puberty, they are typically chased around about staying pure (i.e. no sex) and focusing on God until they graduate from college. Then, in many cases, they are dropped off to manage the single arena alone without support or guidance. Many singles then feel lost once they get to that stage.
  4. Churches and church leaders seem afraid to discuss topics that apply to their local singles. They seem hesitant to help us navigate the world of singleness. I believe it could be because they cannot relate to our struggles, since most church leaders are married.
  5. Spiritualizing everything that singles are feeling and handling doesn’t work, nor is it necessary.
  6. We may need to come up with our own solutions to help us manage the frustrations in being single.

Several of us expressed interest in following up on this important discussion. My Facebook friend suggested focus groups, but the participants must be willing to be transparent for them to be effective.

I will share updates to this discussion as soon as they are available.

 

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My Surprise Discovery in Relationships

I’ve been single (again) for a while; in fact, I’m approaching 10 years of separation and almost 9 years of being divorced. This journey has been by far the most rewarding aspect of my life, because the level of personal growth has amazed me. I must emphasize though that it isn’t “fun” being a divorcee or being the participant in a failed marriage. That feeling intensifies when I look at my now towering son, wishing things were otherwise. (Thankfully, he and his dad have a good relationship.)

So, I’ve recently made a startling discovery as I begin the journey to “not be single” – and that discovery is buried pain. Because I came from an emotionally abusive situation, I realized I needed to have a way (or two) to let the pain out and to begin the journey to heal. I signed up for counseling and went religiously for a few years. I started to blog (which is why this blog exists). I started sharing some of my lessons learned in convos with family members and friends.

As time went on, I had the strength to get back out and become active again; I started singing in the choir, teaching Sunday School, volunteering on the dental van for the company I used to work for, traveling, and so on. I even signed up the lil guy for sports. I felt I was doing well.

Now, as I’ve opened up my heart to someone new, some of the pain that I thought was resolved started rearing its ugly head. Things that I thought I’d never see again, reappeared. I was not ready for that, and wondered what happened to all the time of counseling, journaling, praying, crying, fasting and so on.

I think I know what happened: I am still on a journey towards healing, but without being in that situation, you won’t know how complete the healing is.

Think of someone playing a sport and spraining or breaking an ankle. They are carried off the field or court and to the ER. X-rays find the extent of the damage; they receive a cast or a wrap, and they are given instructions on how to manage the injury. They may also receive pain meds to take the edge off. In about 6 weeks they return to remove the cast. X-rays show that the bone or ligament is mended. The X-rays may show this fact (the healing), but the true test occurs when that athlete goes back out there and attempts to run, jump, kick or whatever they need to do. Pain may occur. Does it mean that the X-rays were telling lies? Was the machine faulty in what it displayed to the doctor or X-ray technician? No! Healing did take place, but now the ankle needs to be strengthened and conditioned to get it back to where it was (or stronger)! So the next step needs to be some type of physical therapy, and strengthening exercises. Once the athlete has completed required conditioning for their ankle, they will be able to run, kick, jump and do whatever else they need to do, and probably even better than before.

So here’s my heart; I have gone through the process of healing. My spirit is no longer hostile towards my ex-spouse. I can honestly say that I care what happens to him as the father of our son. So these feelings that resurfaced may just mean that my heart needs some conditioning and possibly more therapy as I adjust to changes.

I can also say this: anyone who has been through a traumatic situation must consider the importance of continued counseling. Get things off your mind, heart and spirit so that you can grow and become all that you need to be. Also, if you are dating seriously, talk through your fears or issues with that person so they can begin to understand your response to things. Here is another important point: Do not neglect or ignore pre-marital counseling. In fact, I highly recommend pre-engagement counseling as well so you are assured that you are heading in the right direction with your intended. This is highly recommended for people who want to marry again.

So that’s all, until next time!

My Journey Continues: How I’m Continuing to Heal from Divorce

I am on a journey as I continue to heal from my divorce that took place several years ago.

Here is one thing I did:

1. I made a conscious decision to LIVE. At first it was a difficult decision because I loved my ex and I did not want to be a single mother. But as time went by, I was determined to keep my son alive and minimized the effects of single parenting as much as I was able.

To read more from my latest BMWK post, click here!

 

 

Another Black and Married with Kids Article!

Here is my newest post on Black and Married with Kids.com. I pray it encourages all who read it. http://www.blackandmarriedwithkids.com/2013/08/the-pain-was-unbearable-my-journey-to-healing-after-divorce/

The Journey Begins, One Step At A Time (Oct 2009)

I started on a new journey 4 years exactly, almost to the date. I remember my nervousness as I packed my things and those of my son and made a quick exit on a rainy fall night. I was nervous because it seemed crazy to those who were outsiders looking in that I would leave what seemed like a perfect situation. But those who lived inside knew that it was only a facade. Very little was real aside from the fact that we were human beings using our correct (“government”) names.

Continue reading “The Journey Begins, One Step At A Time (Oct 2009)”