On Mondays at lunch, we fast and pray – for men to become godly leaders at church and at home; for soft hearts that are responsive to the Lord; and for strong, Christ-centered marriages for those who desire them.
Ever go to the grocery store for a simple purchase and get lost in a sea of choices? I mean how many different kinds of toilet paper options does one need to choose from? Don’t get me wrong I’m thankful for 100 various flavors of ice cream to choose from and don’t even get me started on the bread options. Yum! I’m just struck lately with the myriad of choices available to me in ‘Merica.
You see to distract myself from my recent milestone birthday and more importantly, do something to impact the clean water crisis in the world, a friend and I decided to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro to raise funds for a well for a community in Tanzania without access to clean water. This trip was over a year in the making and involved a leap of faith on my part and God doing what He does best… making it all come together! It hasn’t even been a week since I’ve returned from this grand adventure and I’m still trying to wrap my head around all that we saw, tasted, and did. What an amazing team of people I got to experience this journey with, truly God orchestrated!
After the whole mountain climbing thing, we went to visit several of the communities with Compassion International centers and the site of the well project. It was considered an honor for several of the families from each of the centers we visited to invite us into their homes and share their life stories with us. For me, these visits were not only an honor, but humbling and eye-opening to the unique situation I find myself living as a single woman in the western world.
In all of my travels to the developing world, I have yet to meet a never-married woman over 30 years old. Widows – yes, never married – no. I’m sure there might be one or two that exist, as I haven’t talked with everyone in those countries, I’ve just never met anyone. What struck me as I’ve been reflecting on this… Choices!
I didn’t have to marry someone to leave my father’s house, because I had options. I can choose to remain single and still provide shelter, food, and clothing for myself. I also have the choice to be selective with whom I marry, again because I don’t need to be dependent on a man to survive outside of my father’s house. I would venture a guess that a woman from one of the Tanzanian communities I visited is not evaluating a relationship with a man with the same checklist I’m using, if she even has a checklist at all.
On one side of the world, we have more choices than we know what to do with, while on the other side, choices appear to be quite limited. Yet, if we believe Psalms 37:23, our steps are ordered by God no matter how many choices are available for us to make. So today I’m going to choose to be thankful…
- For being single and not living in my father’s house!
- For the ability be earn a living as a single female which affords me the opportunity to have food, shelter, clothing, and travel.
- For clean water.
- For choices.
- For ice cream, and all its many flavors!
- For knowing God, experiencing His grace, and for hope that the road ahead is in His hands and not mine!
So much to be grateful for these days!