Owning Your Story

On Mondays, we pray and fast for lunch—asking God to raise up men to walk upright into marriage, for God to change our hearts and make us more like Christ, and to give the gift of marriage to those that desire it.

For sometime now, I’ve been meditating on what it means to be single in the kingdom of God, what our role as single women looks like as we live out in real-time the church waiting for her groom, and how as single women we can be a source of encouragement for our married brothers and sisters in Christ.

Amy wrote last week that our stories don’t really fit a stereotypical mold, and as we walk forward, it still might not make sense—but we’re called to trust God.

What does that macro-level trust look like?  If I really trust that God’s got control over the various chapters in my life, then I should have no trouble putting my name on it. I should have no trouble telling it. But, I do. I have huge issues when it comes to owning my story as it is now. I want to wait until it has some cool ending with a recognizable theme and maybe a song.  

I want my story to blend in, but maybe God wants it to stand out. He’s made your story different, and it’s time to own it.

Your life is radical. Sometimes, you might hear a sermon on how we’re all supposed to be living radical lives for Christ. My mind immediately jumps to shaving my head and twirling around in public in a long woven skirt shouting a psalm, but for obvious reasons, that makes me cringe inside. But here’s the truth. If you are living a (albeit imperfectly) celibate, purity-minded lifestyle, you are a radical for Christ. When given the opportunity to tell anyone that I’m celibate, I hide. Maybe, if I owned my radical status, God might use that off-chance conversation to spark spiritual interest in someone else.

Your wait is astonishing. If we hold fast to the Word (not letting Satan beat us with the shame-stick), your life of waiting both for an earthly spouse and for the wedding feast of the Lamb is paradigm-altering. Satan wants single women to be so consumed by our un-chosen, barren, same-name lives that we can’t boast with Paul about our weakness. Jesus wants you to remember and be proud that you’ve been fought for, filled, and given a new name that you can’t even explain.

Your hope is secure.  As unmarried women, we occupy a somewhat vulnerable position in the world both physically and financially. We have to be able to “take care of ourselves.” That idea freaks me out, and I’m really quite good at hiding it. But maybe, I’m not supposed to. Your radical and astonishing life walking between vulnerability and ultimate secure hope makes your story worth telling as is.

Your life and story are a profound encouragement and testimony of God’s grace and goodness—especially because “it doesn’t make sense.” God delights those stories because they have endings no one expected.

He owns your story. You should to.


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12 Responses to Owning Your Story

  1. Pingback: A Letter to My Younger, Single SelfSingle Matters Magazine

  2. Pingback: What Stage of Life Are You In?Single Matters Magazine

  3. Heather says:

    Well said Anna

  4. Lauren says:

    Anna you and Amy have hit me right where it hurts but in the best way! This post was fantastic and God-breathed we should walk in gratitude and hope instead of depression and fear. I will definitely work on owning my testimony and encouraging those that are single around me that we are never alone because God is always near!

    • fast. pray. says:

      Amen! I couldn’t write what I wasn’t wrestling with myself. God’s been convicting me of how ashamed I am of the direction he’s obviously taken my life. ❤ Anna

  5. amy says:

    such a good reminder — living unashamed regardless of circumstances!

  6. Becca says:

    So much of this post (and last week’s) struck a chord with me. The embarrassment surrounding my decision to remain celibate. The frustration over my story’s missing “happy ending.” The financial anxiety that seems to plague every single female I know. I am so blessed each week by the honesty and vulnerability here. I thank God for you ladies every week!

  7. Danielle says:

    Amen, amen, AMEN!!! I *love* how you so perfectly put that we need a renewing of our minds, no longer labeling our story so negatively as “un-chosen, barren, and same-name”, but rather positively as “radical, astonishing, and hope-secured.” Even though physically through my actions I’m serving and very active at church, work, and taking care of my aging mother, I’ve found that mentally my mind is not ‘serving’ God. I need to quit bemoaning my current life stage and give my defeating thoughts over to the Lord. How much more that God could use me (praying more for the needs of others and even my future husband) if I’d just own my story and stop the negative mental barrage. I’m going to stop letting the enemy win in that area of my life, cast down my negative view of my story, exalt His truth (2 Corinthians 10:5), and walk victoriously so my story can be used for His glory (which is His intention all along). Thank you, Anna, for your post!

  8. Susan says:

    Anna. . .my story has blemishes and valleys of loneliness and is not what I want it to be. . . .
    oh then I remember that it IS my story but at the end of it all it is NOT ABOUT ME!!
    Love Our Lord – Woo WEE!!

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