Expectantly Waiting

This is the weekly post/reminder that we are fasting and praying for God
to bring redemption to men, for God to work change in us, and for God
to give the gift of marriage to those of us who desire it- and to those who
should desire it!

This week we wanted to share an email sent in by one of the group. We
hope it will encourage you. Amy, thanks for sharing!

–Anne

I joined the fast.pray list back in January 2008 after I had been
given…[Revelations of a Single Woman] book by a coworker. I was in
a job that I enjoyed but wasn’t going anywhere, I was involved in a great
church but without any real young adults ministry, and I had a great
roommate but was definitely completely very single. These facts were first
surprising and then depressing. I figured that moving to “the big city” as I
had in 2007 would magically make a fabulous life (complete with spouse!
) appear, but God had other plans. [Connally’s] book was a vital part of
reshaping my thinking about what I was expecting from my single season,
no matter how short or long it would be.

Three years later, a few things have changed: I’m now in graduate school,
I’m involved in a church with a fabulous young adults ministry, I’ve joined
and quit eHarmony multiple times, I’ve attended lots of friends’ weddings,
I’ve had many more conversations with my parents and friends about
being single, and shed more tears than I’d care to admit. And, yes, I’m still
single.

But, by God’s grace, I am not the same woman I was in when I joined the
list in 2008. I often describe my singleness as the prism by which God
has focused His work in my heart — it wasn’t the singleness itself that was
painful, but it shone light on deep expectations and thoughts and desires
that I couldn’t and didn’t want to face. Some of the desires were good
and some were downright ugly, but that’s where God starts working. I’m
not even sure when it happened — but through Scripture, through godly
friendships with other women, through faithful preaching at good churches,
through the fast.pray list and far too many Boundless articles to note, God
helped me see what had been true about Him the entire time:
He loves me. Not conceptually or theoretically or sometimes, but
actually and tangibly and forever.
He has this under control. I have nothing to fear from singleness or
marriage. He isn’t surprised by any turn of events, and He isn’t
thwarted from pursuing His purposes. He is not boxed in by cultural
trends or my circumstances or statistics.
• Waiting with expectant hope is part of His plan. As single women,
we know this reality far too well and sometimes think we are the only
ones waiting. But as Christians, we are all waiting — even creation
is waiting with us — for the ultimate freeing and “setting right” that will
only happen when Jesus returns. If singleness is His tool to teach
me to wait more patiently, graciously and expectantly, than so be it.
Needless to say, that is enough to make any heart sing — but especially
one that used to secretly fear it would never really be loved! When I am
already loved so deeply, I don’t need to grasp for every snippet of earthly
love to make up the gap in my heart. When I don’t have to be afraid of the
future, I don’t have to try to control it. The truth of His grace and seeing my
purpose as a woman who reflects His glory is so freeing! I am motivated
to bring out the “glory-reflectors” of those around me, both in single men
who I think are particularly disenfranchised from their true identities by the
broken relational realities of our culture, and in single women, who often
feel powerless, confused and alone in their singleness.

So — all that background to say — my friend Jenny and I have planned
a little retreat in the middle of March to bring together about a dozen
fabulous single Christian women (who don’t know each other yet!), to
share their stories, to laugh together, and to pray boldly about our hearts
and His purposes. This retreat would have never happened had it not
been for reading [Revelations of a Single Woman], and although I don’t
know what sort of plans God in store for the weekend, I know He is
surprising and expectation-defying.

I am excited to see where He is taking [fast.pray]– as individuals and as a
whole group!

Amy

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4 Responses to Expectantly Waiting

  1. Maria says:

    My women’s group and I (who all find ourselves single at this time, though we didn’t start out with that as our focus) actually had a retreat last weekend and devoted one evening to talking about men and various components of the things that have been posted on this site. Reading this post the next day was such a confirmation of what God is doing in us and a reminder that His plan is so much bigger than us! Thanks for being a blessing.

  2. Laura says:

    Amen!

  3. batemanaj1 says:

    Thanks for the perspective and encouragement, Amy. There is nothing more exciting than realizing the love and plans of God for us. He’s the One who molds and shapes us and gives us His grace for the process.

  4. Aimee says:

    Can relate to this story quite a bit, Amy! This esp. struck a cord with me, “… sometimes think we are the only ones waiting. But as Christians, we are all waiting — even creation is waiting with us — for the ultimate freeing and “setting right” that will only happen when Jesus returns. If singleness is His tool to teach
    me to wait more patiently, graciously and expectantly, than so be it.”

    I’m curious about the retreat- what a great idea! Wouldn’t it be wonderful if more of these small retreats for single women were available…? Most “women’s conferences” would not have this focus and are too large for story sharing and this type of prayer.. a time to encourage one another and not feel like the odd one out with no spouse or children, yet it wouldn’t be a “bitter-fest” either. It is difficult at times in those other settings when few people can relate to your current “state” in life..Anyone else agree? Start a trend? Small retreats across the nation for single women! Ha! Those of you in the DC area are probably already doing this or Connally hosts things (talks, retreats, etc.) the rest of us just read about.. I’m curious are there retreats like Amy described going on elsewhere?

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