Tagged single

*sips tea*

Are You Really Single?

DSCF1542 (2)A few weeks ago, I was listening to a minister out of Miami, Florida giving a Motivational Monday to singles entitled “Single, Saved and Serving.” In his exposition of the subject, he gave definitions for these three terms, many of which I’d heard before. This time, however, his definition of single gave me pause.

In I Corinthians 7, a very familiar passage to Christian singles, Paul is talking about how he would like for us to be free from distractions. The married person, he insists, has to be concerned with pleasing another in a way a single person doesn’t have to be. A single person is able to serve the Lord without distraction.

This caused me to wonder: am I really single?

I’m single in the sense that I’m not married, yes, but do I have a singular focus trained on Christ, free from distractions? I found I couldn’t say that I did. I’m often distracted by things at work I need to do, things around my apartment to take care of, the issues of family and friends, being in a relationship and considering marriage. So many things pull on my attention that sometimes I feel as if I’ve been split into so many pieces to deal with so many things that I’ll never come back together.

Yet this is the time when I’m supposed to be able to FOCUS. I’m supposed to be getting my priorities in order so that when I am married, I will not forget about God. When I do own a house, have children, get involved with various ministries, or rise up the corporate ladder, God will still come first. But some days it fills like I’m losing the battle to keep my attention on the Lord.

I needed to repent. I needed to go before the Lord in prayer and confess that I hadn’t been as single as I should have been, that I hadn’t been as devoted to Him as I should have been. Then I had to sit down with my list of things to do and adjust it until what was really important was at the top. I’m still tweaking things and making adjustments, but I”m trying to make my primary focus that of seeking the Lord and allowing Him to add everything else to me. That means some things have fallen further down the list, and some days I fail to get to them at all (like this blog–sorry). But unlike before, it’s not the soul salvation and sanity securing things anymore.

So, I want you to ask yourself this question, as you are waiting for God to give you more, better, different in your life–Are you truly single? Have you really devoted yourself to pleasing Him? Are you able to handle what you already have with grace and mercy or are you already being pulled and prodded in every direction except the one that leads to Him?

It’s time to get serious about who we’re really living to please. That’s my two cents, anyway. Leave yours in the comments section.

XOXO,

REALLY

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Erica

007

A Season of Engagement

I mentioned in ‘Tis the Season that Thanksgiving marks the official beginning of what retailers have labeled the engagement season. Many theories have been posited as to why Thanksgiving through Valentine’s Day is considered to be engagement season. Despite the reasons, many singles struggle throughout the holiday season.

One reason many struggle is because the holidays are geared towards families. This season highlights things many may feel they are missing out on if they don’t have those close family connections. This is the time of year we really need to pray for and remember those who have suffered the loss of close family members, specifically widows and orphans. It is also a time where we as singles really need to guard our hearts against depression and bitterness.

Now that all the leftover turkey has eaten and everyone has returned to their own homes for a couple weeks, I wanted to share a few tips and tricks for surviving the remainder of the holiday season. Here’s #1

Guard your heart. We hear this so often that we begin to roll our eyes when someone says it, but it’s really important to guard your heart. Our hearts determine the course of our lives (Prov. 4:23). We are what we think (Prov. 23:7). We know that death and life is in the power of the tongue (Prov. 18:21), but did you also know that we speak from the abundance of our hearts (Luke 6:45 Matt 12:34)? We are taught to guard our hearts by casting down wicked thoughts (II Cor 10:5), but how exactly do we do that?

Throughout the next month, you will be bombarded with images that can cause you to be discontent or unhappy with where you are in life. There will be songs on the radio about spending Christmas with the one you love; movies promoting Christmas magic and falling in love with a big dose of happily ever after; commercials galore that showcase people getting engaged or getting gifts from that special someone; and plenty of social media images and statuses showcasing people getting fabulous gifts, getting engaged, visiting family, and otherwise happy in this season. It can be really tough not to want a little bit of that Christmas magic to rub off on your life.

Maybe your mom passed away and seeing your Facebook friends’ posts about cooking with their mom depresses you. Maybe you can’t endure another sentimental commercial about someone making it home in time for Christmas because you can’t afford to go home this year. Maybe exposing yourself to all of these things brings out your inner Scrooge.

It’s time to guard your heart against these things. Exercise more control over what you allow to take up valuable space in your brain. Whether you need to fast from certain social media or entertainment media, or set aside more time to study scripture or volunteer to help the less fortunate, give yourself something to think about other than what you perceive as lack in your life.

Trust me, I know it’s hard. I know it’s impossible to block every avenue through which feelings of disappointment, depression, frustration, and longing can infiltrate your heart, but being intentional about what you spend your time focused on works wonders.

Beyond being intentional about what you see, hear and do, develop a strategy for dealing with negative thoughts and emotions before you are confronted with them. When a family member starts pressing you about why you’re STILL single, what are you going to say? When someone mentions that you must really miss your dad this time of the year, how will you respond? When you think to yourself “this holiday season is never going to end. Everyone is going around happy and healthy and I’m never going to get to a point where I can feel that way,” how are you going to capture that thought?

Have scripture ready to combat these situations. The word of God is likened to a sword; let it be something you fight back with instead of the sharp edge of your tongue. When someone is quick to remind you of what you don’t have, combat the accompanying longing with a recitation of everything you do have that you can express gratitude for. Take your requests to God in prayer. He’s the only one that can give you the desires of your heart, anyway.

But if you’re going to ask Him for something, know that:

a)if it’s not according to His will, it won’t happen, and

b) you should be seeking His will for your life. Don’t expect His blessings if you can’t accept His correction.

Even if you don’t feel like social media, TV/Movies, commercials and etc. have an immediate effect on how you feel, know that the things that we see and experience often shape our perception. It may not seem like it affected you when you saw it, but watch how much shorter your temper gets with people, how you start to get impatient with the holidays and want them to be over, and how you question people’s sincerity. You can see the footprints of what we allow into our hearts in more ways than one. So step one to surviving and thriving this engagement season is to guard your heart, for out of it flows the issues of life.

 

Be blessed,

007

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Erica