what’s wrong with me?!?

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I was having a conversation with one of my sister-friends, and I was talking about how someone I met had so much potential, but then he just fell off the radar. I was disappointed because I liked a lot of the qualities he had and we had several things in common. For the life of me though, I couldn’t figure out why I was having to guess whether he was interested. His actions and his words were polar opposites!

So in our girl’s talk I continued with, “I can’t help but think, what’s wrong with me?!? But I know there isn’t anything THAT wrong, I’m not crazy. I have a lot to offer!”

After we talked a little about it and got off the phone, I had to encourage myself just a little more, and I did so in four steps!

Step 1: 

There is nothing wrong with you because you’re single!!!

Singleness is not a curse!

The longer we think of singleness as being a curse, the longer we will focus on a desire that God has chosen not to fulfill yet. God tells us, He knows the plans He has for us (Jeremiah 29:11), just because we don’t know every step of His plan does not mean that our desires have gone unnoticed.

Step 2:

“A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.”

Are y’all ready? I’m calling this step the “Ruby Principle”

Just because someone takes a ruby to the pawn shop because they needed something the ruby wasn’t providing at that moment, doesn’t mean the ruby is any less valuable.

It means the person who owned the ruby didn’t see the long-term value in what they had. They needed something quick. They couldn’t see the value of the gem because they were focused on what it didn’t give them at that very moment.

Your worth will not diminish simply because someone doesn’t see it. 

Step 3:

What is your purpose?

We are each on this journey to fulfill the purpose (or as I tell the kids at church, the job) that God has given us. That should be our number one priority. In that process, we are going to impact lives, save souls for Christ, show love to those who are feeling unloved, and be Christ’s hands and feet! Some of us have put our whole lives on hold waiting to “do” life with a mate. When that wasn’t God’s intention for us. He never said, “Women, you can’t live up to your purpose without a husband.” Or “Men, you’ll definitely need your helpmate to fulfill your calling, so don’t even try until you find her.”

Are you occupying yourself in the Lord?

‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭7:32-34 says, “An unmarried man is concerned about the Lordʼs affairs—how he can please the Lord… An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lordʼs affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit.”

I don’t know about you, but my purpose has me really busy right now… that’s not including my girls and what they have going on, do I really even have the time to entertain someone?

Step 4:

Scripture. 

Reading God’s promises to us. His word that never changes. 

If you think you’ve never gotten a sweet note from an admirer, you’re wrong, the Bible is the sweetest letter you’ll ever read. And although it was transcribed by people, it is from God himself, and unlike man, God will never let you down. 

Here are some scriptures I went to for encouragement:

“But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” 2 Peter‬ ‭3:8-9‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun.” ‭‭Psalm‬ ‭37:3-6‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs‬ ‭3:5-6‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord…” ‭‭Jeremiah‬ ‭29:11-14‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Just to name a few. 

God knows what He’s doing. For those who desire to be married, singleness is a situation where trusting Him and His plan are of the utmost importance. Especially considering “desperate times call for desperate measures.” You’re not desperate because you’re single, that leads to acting in ways that you normally wouldn’t to get attention, or get someone to stay. This goes back to the “Ruby Principle.” It just takes being reminded some times, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that!

Be strong. Be focused and as always,

Be encouraged.

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How I Knew He Wasn’t “The One”

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For some women, dating is this awkward period of time where we are constantly questioning whether the man we are presented with is “the one.” I’ve experienced this myself with practically every man I’ve dated. The routine is the same:

1. Meet

2. Ask if he’s single

3. Begin talking on a consistent basis

4. Find qualities you like about him

5. Find out if he has a desire to be married

6. Then exclusive dating

7. If everything has run pretty smooth up until now, you ask yourself and God, “Is he the one?”

8. Either God responds immediately saying “No,” or things begin to fall apart between the two of you OR God doesn’t respond right away, and you take matters into your own hands.

It seems to go this way every time, without actually thinking about it. It just happens.

Well I am here to help you out a little bit.

Three times I knew he wasn’t the one.

One: We had been dating for a good length of time. Longer than I had dated anyone up to that point. We were sexually active. God was really trying to do a work in me, but I wasn’t yielding my whole life to Him, so it wasn’t coming to pass. I knew the battle I was facing, and I explained it to “the one.” I told him we needed to be celibate because God is not pleased with us. Even though  what we’re doing in life is flourishing, He wants so much more from me. He argued that removing the sex from our relationship would change our dynamic. I argued that sex was a bonus, and if it’s that important to him, and he knows he wants to be with me then we needed to get married. He wasn’t ready. He understood my points, he even respected my reasoning, but he didn’t agree that we needed to be celibate.

Why wasn’t he the one?

As Believers, we ought to strive to walk like Christ walked (see 1 John 2:6.) Christ was without sin. And we were deliberately sinning. I could appreciate that he respected my decision, but he didn’t agree. So if things got steamy, he wouldn’t stop and say “we shouldn’t be doing this.” Or if I said “Stop, we shouldn’t be doing this,” he wouldn’t be upset. He wasn’t willing to set up those necessary boundaries to prevent falling into temptation, but he also wasn’t willing to marry and have the approval of God to keep doing what we were doing.

Two: Handsome, “Man of God,” (I said that in quotes because that’s how he introduced himself to me.) We hadn’t known each other too long, but we hit it off. The conversation was great, we had similar interests, and we could literally talk about God on a regular basis without it being odd or “preachy.” Then temptations became known, and took over. We fell. Afterwards we said it wouldn’t happen again because it should have never happened. We individually went into our prayer closets, asked for forgiveness and set boundaries so that it couldn’t happen again. While hanging out a little too late, temptation came on the scene again. I said, “No” he said, “C’mon!” In my mind I justified it, and we fell again. As time went on that became our relationship, until he moved away.

Why wasn’t he the one?

Regardless of the fact that he moved, he wasn’t honest about his intentions with me. In a conversation I had later down the line, it was apparent that his intentions weren’t to properly court me, propose and then marry me. His intentions were to sleep with me, and leave. But he lured me in with his “Man of God” persona. For some of us who are struggling to wait on God in this pool of single-emotionally available-working-heterosexual men who love God, that feels extremely shallow, we become anxious and jump at the first opportunity that presents itself, instead of waiting for God’s green light to proceed. Then the next thing we’re cooking for and taking care of him as though he’s our husband because we want him to stay. When we never received confirmation that God wants us to be where we are. Philippians 4:6 says “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (NIV). He knows the desires of your heart. He sees your obedience, if both of those areas are in check, He’s got you covered (see Psalm 84:11.)

Three: Dating lead to sex (again, yes I know – I’ll talk about underlying issues later.) God grabs a hold of me and says, “Come back to Me!” So I told  “the one”, “Look, I have work to do, and I can’t get it done while sinning. We need to stop.” He’s upset and wondering why. I told him how I felt. “I love you,” and proceeded to tell him that I not only cared about him while he’s here, but also his salvation was very important to me. We’re not pleasing God in what we’re doing, and I know this hurts, but I have to step away.

Why wasn’t he the one?

In all that I was saying relating to his salvation, my salvation, our individual relationships with God. His only rebuttal was that’s not what he wanted. It’s like he wasn’t even understanding what I was telling him. All of that “God stuff” wasn’t as important as his desires. The bible tells us the man is the spiritual covering/ head of his household (see 1 Corinthians 11:3.) I don’t know about you, but I don’t want a husband who is not willing to acknowledge that God’s will should come before our desires.

It is awfully hard to expect someone to act in a way that you don’t act yourself, and for that I cannot fault any of these men that were not for me, but like the popular quote, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” If you both have a strong desire to please God in your life and relationship, you will both be diligent about ensuring it gets accomplished. Had I waited on God instead of jumping because the response wasn’t coming quick enough for me, these men would have naturally shown themselves to me, and I would have backed away knowing he’s not what God had planned for my life. I know it’s hard waiting. But that’s where faith comes in. Faith in knowing that God hears you, He sees you, and He knows His daughter’s desires. And by doing His will, your thoughts will align with His thoughts and you will find peace in knowing He has you in His hands. He will carry you. He will see you through the difficult times just like He did with David, Moses, Abraham and so many more!

Be encouraged.

Open House

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Recently I felt a strong urge to get closure in a relationship that ended, but didn’t have the typical “I hope I never have to see him again” ending.

I reached out to him and expressed what I was looking for, and he gladly decided to help me out.

Now, mind you, he has moved on. Although at one point there was a possibility that we could have reconciled. It just didn’t happen.

After speaking with him, and getting a few things out in the open, as well as learning a few things about my actions in our relationship I felt relief, but at the same time, it felt like my heart was broken all over again!

How weird is that? I wanted to feel better, not worse, right?

After the discussion, I felt horrible about myself!

Am I not wife material? Am I not pretty enough? Smart enough? It’s the fact that I’m a single mother, right? Or is it because I’m not as financially stable as a man would want his future wife? What does she (or they – as in other women who have similar stories to mine) have that I don’t?

All of these thoughts just rushed into my head and I couldn’t control all of the emotions that I was presented with.

I prayed.

Cried.

Prayed some more.

Cried some more… you know how that goes…

Then, when asked how I was doing, I responded with “I’ve been better.”

After being asked (although I really didn’t want to talk about it because just the mention would make my eyes well up with tears), I briefly summarized, and I got this amazingly encouraging response (yes I got permission before I shared it)

“If you want new furniture in your house you have to remove the old furniture. Or it all won’t fit. It doesn’t diminish the value of the home, it’s just meant to enhance the comfort of the home and be a reflection of the owner. Even with a house, there is a time when the land is cleared, the foundation set, the frames, windows, walls and paint are put in place. Then there’s a time when the house is shown to potential buyers. The buyers are allowed to visit, but not stay to imagine what living in the house would be like. They evaluate if the home is suitable for their life plans. This process can take time and the house can be empty for years. But when the right buyer comes along, the house will be filled with items, memories. It will be a shelter, comfort, a landmark for the family. It will grow, change and maybe even have some unplanned additions. This is the house becoming a home.”

Being honest, I had to read the whole thing before I connected my situation to the analogy sent to me, because I am not a house… but one day I would love to be a home.

That amazing analogy was followed up by this:

“People are just like the house becoming a home process. There is no need to judge the empty house for what it is. You look at the potential for what the home could be, and if that home is what you need. Our emotions make us feel out of control, but we are ALWAYS in control. The devil just takes the opportunity to create confusion to challenge you and give you struggle. This is the process of growth. ‘All things work for the Kingdom.’…”

It was then personalized for little ol’ me:

“It seems you are a great house and many see the value, but it looks like you’ve had some squatters occupying your property. And as long as that was happening, you could not find a family to make it a home. It also sounds like the eviction process was painful. But now when you look at the value of the property (you) and the house (the woman you are), all of a sudden your stock rises. A vacant sign (single) is out and you have an amazing broker (God). Before you know it your experience will be used to keep your home together for the family that lives in it.”

WOW! Can you say the nail was hit directly on the head!!

Now, this is coming from someone who doesn’t know the full extent of the relationship or my feelings.

When I thanked him, he said he’s just the messenger.

LOOK AT GOD!

My mind was so distracted with emotions that I wasn’t listening to what my Father wanted me to know.

As I’ve mentioned before, breakups are hard. They take time to get over, and you can’t rush the recovery process.

After a season of harvest, in order to make sure the land can nourish another harvest, farmers have to let the land just sit. They don’t plant anything, it’s just an empty field, that way when it’s time to plant, their product will be healthy and plentiful.

We are just like that!

We need that time to rest, recuperate, and review. Everything in life is a lesson, and unless you’re taking time to review the material, you’re going to end up in the same situation once again.

Those words touched me so much today (and yes I got teary eyed – don’t judge me it was much needed).

So on top of telling you that just because you’re no longer in that particular relationship that you are still valuable and there’s a better fit for you, I also want to encourage you to encourage someone else.

If the Lord has put something on your heart to share with someone, be obedient. You never know exactly what they are going through and how your words can deliver them from what they are going through.

Be encouraged.

A Man is NOT a Financial Plan

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Being a mother is tough! Any mother will tell you that.
Being a single mother is even more tough! Especially if you’re not getting financial assistance from your child(ren)’s father.

That struggle in itself can make you feel a little desperate…
Now get out of your feelings Sis!

I used to think the only way things would get easier for me was to get married. You know, a two-income household is stronger than one. He’s a man. He’ll work hard to take care of his family because that’s what he’s supposed to do according to the bible, right? I would be able to be a stay at home mother and only work if I wanted to, no pressure though.

Then I had to check myself… I was about to settle for a man who had the financially stability I wanted,

BUT…

His spirituality was lacking significantly.

Unless I was on his back about reading, studying, going to church, paying tithes, he wouldn’t do it…

Wait! Doesn’t the bible say the man is to lead the household to God?!
Why am I doing that?

Yea, he wasn’t my Adam, but I was so set on his financial stability I was willing to allow the spiritual inconsistencies to take a back seat to his bank account.

Now the bible tells us “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:21.
So if I treasure his bank account, over his relationship with God, I love his wallet more.

The thing about loving your (or someone else’s) wallet more than God is: wallets get lost, stolen, taken away. People get fired, laid off, demoted.

ANYTHING that’s not God can change! So if you’re valuing something other than his love for God and his ability to lead you and your children/ future children to God, then you’re already starting off on the wrong foot.

Marriage is for a lifetime.
What would happen if:
You got married to this financially stable, yet spiritually inconsistent man, and he lost his job?

The reason you decided to marry him is no longer there, do you divorce him because he’s no longer able to provide? Or are you no longer attracted to him?

Well God also doesn’t like divorce, so what do you do?

Resent your husband? Talk bad about him to your friends? Hold out on intimacy? Cheat?
See, that escalated pretty quickly. But it happens.

If your marriage has a foundation of God and nothing more; rain, hail, sleet, snow, tornado, hurricane, earthquake, whatever will not tear your marriage apart because you’re bound by the ONLY unchanging force. God.

Yes it’s tough being alone (not lonely for God is ALWAYS with you), but imagine introducing your child(ren) to a man, only to have to explain to them what divorce is. Or have them see you unhappily married…

God knows your needs. He provides you with what you need. Make sure you’re being a good steward over those things (often times we think we are, and we’re not).

Don’t become desperate because things are tough or you’re tired of doing things on your own. Stay patient and in expectation of God’s best, because we know God won’t hold out on His best for the righteous.

Allow God to lead your every step and He will not steer you wrong. Yes it may take some time,
“But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord, one day is a thousand years and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us” 2 Peter 3:8,9 NKJV.

Don’t allow this so called “biological clock” to overrule the Author of Time Himself.

Be encouraged.

Single Ladies: Stay In Your Lane

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Ok, this is going to be short, but exciting…
 
Is it just me, or does it feel like when you’re single EVERYONE is in a relationship, getting engaged or getting married?
 
To be honest, my flesh makes sure to become full of discontentment because I’m single.
 
BUT…
 
We are all created with an individual purpose. God has already decided what we are to do while on earth. It’s up to us to listen to His instructions and fulfill that plan. Who am I to say what season someone else is in? 
I am not God.
I have no idea what He is instructing them to do.
I do not know if they’re being obedient to His instruction or not.
I can’t be jealous or upset.
 
By getting upset, I’m not showing that I’m upset with people for being in love. I’m showing that I’m upset with God because He hasn’t given me a companion.
How can we be upset with God when He has done SO MUCH for us?…
After all, if you’re reading this, He woke you up, you’re breathing, your eyes can see, and you know how to read! There’s no reason to be upset! We are so blessed!
 
Our youth minister said “There are a lot of us that would be further in life than we are, had we not entertained a certain someone we had no business entertaining…”
 
Ain’t that the truth!!
I can definitely attest to that!
 
Our disobedience is what has caused these long, uncomfortable seasons… That’s not God’s fault!
 
Then, we watched this spoken word.
 
 
Let’s just say… I will wait!
 
In the meantime:
I am focused on becoming the Ruth for my Boaz, the Rachel for my Jacob, the Eve for my Adam, the Proverbs 31 woman.
 
Ladies, we CANNOT expect to attract a wonderful Godly man, if we are not a wonderful Godly woman! Just as we aren’t able to change a man (like I’m sure we have all tried to at one point in life and failed miserably) a man cannot change a woman either. We have to be open and willing to submit ourselves to God, FIRST and allow Him to change us. If we cannot submit to God, we will not submit to our husbands – which goes against God’s instructions for families (Ephesians 5:21-24).
Do you see what will happen?
By settling for any man, instead of waiting for YOUR man, you are making a vow before God to submit to him. If he’s not worth submitting to, then you have a real problem on your hands… By not submitting to your husband and allowing Him to lead you, you’re back in that unnecessary season that could have been avoided with obedience. 
 
Don’t focus on what you don’t have, focus on what you strive to become – Believe me! Like the popular saying, “Stay in your lane” – if you’re busy working on your relationship with Christ and improving yourself, you won’t even notice what’s going on around you. 
 
Be encouraged.

Hidden.

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This is an interesting way of starting off my blogging history… A blog about being hidden?

Yes.

One of the hardest things to cope with in my singleness so far is being hidden.
What do I mean by hidden?
Simple, not visible.

I don’t know about other women, but it has always made me feel good, beautiful, even desired when I would get hit on by random guys. Whether they were attractive to me or not. Ballin’ or the lack thereof. Just getting a male’s attention was invigorating! It could have only been the lust in his eyes watching my butt as I walked through the store, but I LOVED it!

I felt wanted!

Even after breaking up, when my ex would tell me I was beautiful, how attracted he was to me and how he would “do this, that and the other” if he was in my presence, I was in pure bliss.

Then it all stops!

You don’t even get a glance from the skater boy as you walk in the grocery store. The guy with the sagging pants doesn’t yell at you “Hey momma! How you?!” NOTHING! Why is this happening? Have I lost my sex appeal? Is light-skinned no longer in and I didn’t get the memo?! I must be clearly missing something. The curves that were once irresistible are still there, more defined than once before, but that makes them better right?!

No.

None of that is the case.
That attention you once had was lust, but you’re worth more than that. Those men boys only wanted you sexually (maybe because of your tight revealing clothes, or that your bra/ panties were visible through your clothing), but you’re better than that.

You dress with MODESTY. You walk with your head HIGH. You have a GODLY aura surrounding you. And those random boys that yelled at you from across the parking lot before see that, and know you wouldn’t stoop to their level of immaturity so they keep quiet when you pass.

The Lord is hiding you. You’re HIDDEN!

He’s hiding you from any unnecessary hurt you may not be aware is out there. He is hiding you from any distractions that may get between the relationship that you are developing with Him. He is jealous for you! He wants to comfort you, heal you, repair you, and rebuild you to be the best disciple for His kingdom.

You’ve cried out to Him, that you desire to love Him more than anything. So He is helping you.

Too many times we “relationship-hop” out of one and jump right into another. That’s unhealthy for so many reasons, we haven’t healed from the past hurt regardless of being the breaker or the breakee – breakups are not fun! He is making sure you don’t have any opportunities to jump into another lake with a hole still in your boat…

For us women, He wants you to feel beautiful because you are His daughter. You’re ROYALTY! Not because some saggy-pants wearing, no job having male thinks your body resembles that of a porn star, or some sex toy. He wants you to not validate yourself by a male’s reaction to the way you walk, but validate yourself by the blood that was shed for you!

There’s no need to feel unwanted, unattractive, unloved – simply because you’re not in a relationship (and it seems like EVERYONE around you is). Instead, enjoy this season in your life. Love God for who He is, not just because you want something from Him. There comes a time when you have to ask yourself “Do I love the Lord because I am expecting Him to bless me in a certain way, or do I love Him for what He has already done?”

You’re not missing anything worth having, otherwise you would have it…

“For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
The Lord will give grace and glory;
No good thing will He withhold
From those who walk uprightly.
O Lord of hosts,
Blessed is the man who trusts in You!”
Psalms 84:11-12 NKJV

Be encouraged.