November 14, 2011

All The Single Ladies

I love worship. I love worship at my church. I love how God speaks during worship. I love how He inhabits our praises.

Recently I was worshipping during worship (btw, there are other things you can do during worship besides worship). I was completely focused on God, offering my heart and voice to the one who hears and sees me. When all of a sudden God interrupted my worship. He began a conversation with me about one of the worship leaders. She has an AMAZING voice. But that’s not what He was highlighting to me. He pointed out her age. He had me notice that she was in her thirties. Not only was she in her thirties she was single and in her thirties.

I wasn’t quite sure where He was headed with this information. I stopped singing. My ear was now tuned to the object of my praise. My emotions were suspended between sorrow for this girl and intrigue as to why God would interrupt my worship to point out her age. I was certain she knew she was single and no longer in her twenties. That’s when He said “Anne, there’s a bunch of girls out there just like her.” In my mind I saw a slew of single women walking around in their thirties with no prospect of marriage on the horizon. Women who have wondered why relationships keep slipping through their fingers. Women who long for marriage but are still searching for that special someone. Women who eat alone at night and struggle to find activities for the weekends only to fall asleep with their tears. I saw multitudes of good solid God fearing, Jesus loving, Holy Spirit walking 30 something women.

I was speechless. I had never given it any thought. At “approaching 50” that is not my world. Besides that, I was a bride at the tender age of 23. Before I could question the Lord about it, He questioned me: “Do you know why they are still single?”

“No, Lord. I don’t have a clue as to why your girls are still single.”

“I am using their single-hood for my purposes. Would you go tell them please?”

In an instant I was reminded of an old prayer journal I had found just that afternoon. It was written during a very difficult season in my thirties. I was raising four children alone most weeks. My knight in shining armor was traveling the world leaving me alone in my castle sometimes for weeks on end. It was a season of complete brokenness before the Lord. I realized I could either continue down a path of self pity or I could begin a 30-days of blessing list. Each day I made myself write down a blessing I had experienced. Many of those entries from that month said this, “Lord, thank you for so much alone time. I know I wouldn’t have grown in my relationship with you if I didn’t have so many nights free after putting the kids to bed.”

It was then that I understood 1 Corinthians 7:32-35 “I want you to live as free of complications as possible. When you’re unmarried, you’re free to concentrate on simply pleasing the Master. Marriage involves you in all the nuts and bolts of domestic life and in wanting to please your spouse, leading to so many more demands on your attention. The time and energy that married people spend on caring for and nurturing each other, the unmarried can spend in becoming whole and holy instruments of God. I’m trying to be helpful and make it as easy as possible for you, not make things harder. All I want is for you to be able to develop a way of life in which you can spend plenty of time together with the Master without a lot of distractions.” (The Message)

The reminder of my 30 days of blessings coupled with this Scripture caused me to reflect on my own stage in life. With two children far away at college and 2 rather self sufficient teenagers I am finding that I can spend more time concentrating simply on pleasing the Master. I can spend time pursuing The One I love to worship! I don’t have as many nuts and bolts of domestic life to manage. Honestly, there’s not as many dishes to wash, beds to make and laundry to fold. I can spend time writing a blog post to women in their thirties encouraging them with a message that I believe God wants them to know.

So here’s the message in a nice neat 30 second sound bite.

Precious single women:

1) Your singleness has a God given purpose.
2) Discover what God has called you to do then do it with all your heart.
3) Your singleness is a gift to YOU.
4) God IS accomplishing something in you and through you for His greater purpose.
5) This season of life is foundational.
6) HE sees your labor and it is not in vain.
7) Singleness will fulfill it’s purpose.
8) He is so proud of you.
9) You are investing The Kingdom into the current culture that surrounds you like no other group can.
10) You are also laying the foundation for the next generation.

So, to all the single ladies out there my charge to you is this: Rise up, link arms, and change the culture for Gods purposes! I may be too old, your married friends may be too busy, but you…you’ve got what it takes!

I stand and applaud you as I lean over to God and say, “I see what you mean. Those single girls are a powerful force!”