Saturday, February 07, 2009

In the Waiting -- Meditations for Christian Single Women

Isaiah 30:18 (ESV) 18Therefore the LORD waits to be gracious to you,and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the LORD is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him.

You are a Christian single woman. You value marriage and children and long to be a godly wife and mother. However, God has not yet fulfilled these desires in your life. Married or single, unfulfilled desire is a lifelong problem. Sometimes we desire things in opposition to God. Dealing with those types of sinful desires is hard, but it pales in comparison to the struggle of dealing with God-given desires that remain unfulfilled. Why would God impress on our hearts the value and worth of a God-centered marriage without also fulfilling that desire by giving us a God-honoring spouse? What should Christian singles do with this unfulfilled desire? What do you do in the waiting?

We are given MANY examples in Scripture of believers on whom God called to wait--Abraham, Sarah, Jacob, Joseph, and Hannah to name a few. Their time of waiting on God’s hand was an integral part of their walk with God. The Bible exhorts us repeatedly to wait patiently for the hand of the Lord to work in our lives. It is human nature to think of periods of waiting as holding patterns with no discernable value. Instead, Scripture teaches that there are great blessings to be had in the actual waiting period.

Isaiah 40:31 but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

Lamentations 3:25 The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.

Psalm 40:1 I waited patiently for the LORD; he inclined to me and heard my cry.

Psalm 37:7 Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices!

Waiting is not easy. Our nature is to fret and worry. Instead, God calls us to confidence and peace. Exactly how do we move from anxiety to peace during singleness? First, when you are tormented by loneliness, you need to review what you know to be true about God and then take your thoughts captive and make them submit to the truth.

2 Corinthians 10:5 (ESV) We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,

What do you know of the character of God? In a nutshell, God is sovereign, wise, and compassionate.

Isaiah 46:9-11 (ESV) 9remember the former things of old;for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, 10declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, 'My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,' 11calling a bird of prey from the east, the man of my counsel from a far country. I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass; I have purposed, and I will do it.

Romans 16:27 (ESV) to the only wise God be glory forevermore through Jesus Christ! Amen.

Psalm 103:13 (ESV) As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him.

God is in charge, He knows what He’s doing in your life, and you can trust that He has not lost control of your circumstances. Not only does God know what He’s doing, His plan for your life reflects both His all-surpassing wisdom and His fathomless love for you. His plan is good and right, and you can TRUST Him with the details of your life.

Secondly, you must avoid the pitfall of comparing yourself with your sisters in Christ who are dating, engaged, or happily married. They didn't get married because they have it all together, and God does not ask you to wait because you are unworthy to get married. The Bible says simply that such comparisons are NOT WISE. If you must compare yourself to someone, compare yourself to Christ. There is NO other standard of righteousness in our Christian lives. Of course, we thank God for women who are examples of godliness to us, but we do NOT use them as our standard of righteousness. They are not the standard to which we must measure. We measure ourselves by Christ’s standard of righteousness, to which we all fall short.

2 Corinthians 10:12 We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.

Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

Romans 8:29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.

1 Timothy 6:6-8 6But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.

Philippians 4:11-13 11Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 12I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

Paul is a funny one to talk on contentment because his life was a mess. Not only did Paul have no spouse, no children, no steady income, and no home, he was often imprisoned, beaten, and even shipwrecked. But, somehow, he had learned to overcome in "all circumstances." He was lonely, distressed, and oppressed, but never crushed or in despair. Paul always had hope, and that hope was NOT that God was going to change his circumstances on earth. Paul’s hope was that his relationship with Christ was secure, his inheritance in heaven was certain, and that, in between, God was trustworthy with the details of his life. Paul was able to be content in the hard circumstances as well as the times of plenty because he had great confidence in the power of Christ. Paul was consistent this way. In virtually every instruction Paul gives in his epistles—to husbands, to wives, to slaves, to the church in general—the backdrop is the gospel and our sufficiency in Christ. Jesus is the Vine and we are the branches (John 17). He is the Head and we are His Body (Ephesians 5, Colossians 2). He is the Bridegroom and we are His Bride (Ephesians 5). Your only hope for overcoming with joy in the circumstances surrounding singleness is finding your hope, your worth, and your identity in Jesus Christ. The good news is that this will also be your only hope for overcoming with joy in marriage, child rearing, times of plenty, times of want, and any future circumstance as well.

The mental battles we face when single are not specific to just single life. Many of your Christian sisters face similar emotional struggles with spouses, children, jobs, homes, cars, family relationships, and so forth. Even the struggle with loneliness will not be alleviated simply by a change in circumstances. Have you ever been in a relationship and still felt lonely? The godliest of spouses will not be able to satisfy the deep longing in your soul for relationship.

Psalms 73 25Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. 26My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

God is the only hope you have for satisfaction. Does your hope for contentment rest on any other desire than the desire to know God? What circumstance do you need God to change in order for you to be content? However you answer that question, you must examine that desire because it can quickly become or may already be an idol. God is quite jealous for His own glory and does not tolerate idolatry at any level. Thankfully, His jealousy is for our good as well as His glory, for when our affections are set first upon and satisfied fully in the Name of God, only then will we know true contentment, peace, and satisfaction.

If you are in this stage of life, I am so sorry for the loneliness you likely deal with most days of your life. Going to bed each evening and waking up each morning alone is a very hard thing. If you would like to leave your name and a bit of your story on the comment board, I will pray for you specifically as you wait on God with the Psalmist.

76 comments:

  1. I'm only 21, and about a year ago I felt God's call on my life to be a foreign missionary, and through that (it was difficult for me at the time) I finally surrendered everything in my life to him. I've realized that if I am going somewhere dangerous, which I might be, this may also be a call to singleness. I used to make marriage/family into an idol, but I've found that they are no longer the desires they used to be in my heart. I don't know what the future holds, but I do want to always remain content in my singleness for as long as God sees fit, especially as I get older and everyone in my life marries off.

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  2. Thanks for sharing that, Veronica.

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  3. I just finished reading the forward to Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood: http://is.gd/jbAC It's directed to single men and women, but as a married man I learned a lot from it too!

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  4. I have wanted to be married since I was 12. I even have my kids' names picked out! Thanks for this post...as I face the big 4-0 this year, my contentment is growing.

    Heidi

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  5. Thank you for writing this. My heart and desire for marriage and children is only recent (the last couple of years or so). God is really changing and shaping me to be in a closer relationship with him. I've struggled with loneliness most of my life in one form or another and it wasn't until I sought Jesus as my comfort and identity that I began to experience the peace and contentment in the season of singleness that God is calling me to live right now. Your article was a refreshing reminder of that call and peace. Thank you again.

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  6. I am not facing being single, God has given me my husband. But now I am stuck weary as I wait patiently on the Lord to bless us with a child. We lost a pregnancy 9 months ago when I was 4 months along. The verses shared here are really encouraging. I thank the author for sharing these with so many woman searching for strength when facing difficulties.

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  7. I am a 30 year old single christian virgin woman! I know that God has a very special plan for my life and can see the path he has me on already. I have always wanted to work with children who have been abused/neglected and with those who are oppressed...giving a voice to those who have none. It seems that so far, God has opened up so many opportunities to get involved in social justice, community action, and most recently learning therapy in Grad School. So,,,I feel like life is so full, I don't always even think about being in a relationship.
    Most of the time, I am content in the Lord. Of course, I do at times think it would be nice to share life and relationship with a strong Christian man. Lonliness comes and goes. God has and is blessing me in so many ways. I think if he provided a godly man in my life, it would only be an extra blessing.
    I have experienced relationships with men that didn't progress once the guy found out I wouldn't sleep with him or if I make myself available to get to know the other person...then once they realize I am interested, and the chase is over...they are gone! So common for many ....really. So, although it is not always easy, I guess I feel like I'm on an adventure called "Life" with God. I know that I am worth waiting for.

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  8. I am 23 and ready to be married. My boyfriend is not ready/unsure of God's will. I believe God wants us to be married. We are both Christian. it is very difficult and painful to wait for him but i am trying to trust in God

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  9. Here is a great link. An article about the 'elephant in the room'... I am now 46 and still waiting... the verses supplied on this site have been a comfort over the years as I watched all my friends marry and have families - but now they are less so. The bible also says "Hope deferred makes the heart sick"...

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    1. so have to agree. i never used deferred. hope simply makes the heart sick. what do you do then wehn the versus are no longer comforting. what is wrong with praying for the desire to simply go away and find rest somewhere else?

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  10. Guess the link would help...! :)

    http://www.djchuang.com/sex/singles/bpsingles.htm

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  11. As a Christian single, I found all of this sort of advice to be worthless in real life, and the daily struggle led me to see that the "promises" made in the Bible are complete bunk. I left the faith, pursued my natural sexual desires, and have never been happier.

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  12. That's too bad, Anonymous. We fault God because He promises unimaginable things on His timetable instead of providing predictable things on our timetable. We wait impatiently for God to provide less than what He intends to. We walk away because we want improvement when what He wants to give us is newness. There is a happier than the happy you have now. Yet it's not to be fully experienced apart from Him.

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    1. "We walk away because we want improvement when what He wants to give us is NEWNESS." Such a refreshing and profound statement. Being delivered from such previous thinking - I have now found that newness in the past 30 days. Our God is awesome and faithful. Thank you for your words Wendy. :)

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  13. At 29years old and having accomplished great academic success, I find myself battling loneliness and fear frequently. My Christian roots go deep because of the obedience my parents demonstrated when raising their family to acknowledge, accept, fear and love God outlined in the Bible. However, as of late, it has been difficult to call upon the Word hidden in my heart regarding God's promises for those that "walk upright before Him". I do have a strong desire for marriage and family-it seemed so easy attaining my educational degrees but this area of my life has proven very difficult and impossible at times. I have a great desire to allow God to "send me" His choice but at times I feel overlooked and thus want to take matters into my own hands. Recently, one of my older siblings, who is trying to lose weight, said some thing that caught my attention. She said, "Lord, I SURRENDER my appetite to you". This phrase reverberated throughout my spirit and thus I began to pray as such, "Lord, I SURRENDER my desire for marriage and family to you". Even though it is still hard on a daily basis, I am happy in the knowledge that I have given this part of my life over to God for Him to sort out; I feel a bit lifted from the weight of "getting it done" by myself. Thanks for the post above; I was very encouraged and surprised that someone was able to see into my heart and put it into words:-)

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  14. Charmayne, thank you for sharing your heart here. I pray that you sense God's good hand upholding you daily in the waiting.

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  15. Thank you for this post. I am 24, still young I know, but I have found myself worried. Today I was moved by a sermon by my pastor at my church, about finding contentment in our lives. I know I've pushed away good men because maybe my desires for marriage have been too strong, and obviously they can sense that. I also am aware of the fact that marriage will not make me happy. Therefore, I want to find happiness in my life now as it is and develop a strong relationship with Jesus before I am in a serious relationship with a man. All that I struggle with now, I know I will continue to struggle with, married or single, therefore it is best to face things now and learn to find content in joy no matter my circumstances. This skill will come in handy in married life as well I am pretty sure! God wants me to stay single for now. I don't know for how long. Sometimes it frightens me and sometimes I am okay with the idea. It's a roller coaster. I'd appreciate prayer that I hear God's calling and understand His will and find joy in it. Thank you again for this post. I am excited i ran into it! Looking forward to reading more! :)

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  16. Ten years ago this month (May) I got pregnant at the age of 15, a few weeks later I turned 16 and blindly opted for an abortion. The moment I woke up in the Recovery Room after the procedure, regret gripped me and I have lived with it since.
    I am single, infact very single....and I hate it. About 6 years ago I was in a relationship with a guy I was happy with. I was about 20, 21 then so wasn't really thinking about marriage right there and then but I had hoped to eventually become his wife and have him for my husband. I struggle today between blaming my once best friend for the part she played in destroying that relationship and the Sovereigthy of God. Today though not married, this guy has a partner and a child.
    I constantly look back and wonder whether I have missed my chance. Have a missed my opportunity for marriage, for motherhood? Its a constant struggle. Every few months with every new engagement announcment, pregnancy announcement, new baby news its a reminder of what I don't have.
    I have days where I am content. I am content to wait, to hope, to be patient but I become loneliar as more and more people are walking into new exciting phases of their lives (eg, marriage, motherhood) and I'm left behind and I become lonely in that now many of the women who once knew the heartache of waiting and unfulfilled desire no longer show support, infact their the ones whom I have received the most hurtful comments from whether intentionally or unintentionally.

    This post is encouraging.

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  17. Be careful not to trade Gold for stones. Giving up might seem best but you just might be giving up what could of been unimaginable. Dont think you dont deserve it either because you are an heir to God's promises!!!!

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  18. I'm 32. My boyfriend and I broke up a few months ago.... He was meant to be The One. I still struggle with the grief and the dream I lost. I still love him, and it hurts that he just didn't lovd me. God feels distant and do far away

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    1. Anonymous, I am so sorry for the loss of this relationship for you and the grief you are enduring. I KNOW God is good to those who wait, just as He says in His word. I trust that He will show His goodness to you in real ways in the coming days. May you feel His strong arms around you supporting you through this time.

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  19. I am glad that I came upon this page in my studies this morning. It is a blessing.

    Please pray for me in that I keep my eyes fixed towards The Lord and my relationship with him. I went through a time where nothing was more important that finding a mate. Then The Lord asked me: "Who is more important? Human love, fallible and imperfect.....or my love for you which is forever and unfailing?" I still struggle with feelings of feeling inadequate as a single woman. However, as I turn my life over to The Lord and his will, those feelings have become much less common. Praise God!

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  20. Wow.. This really blessed me! I am almost 37 years.. Single christian woman.. I have been waiting.. Hoping.. Believing the Lord will bless me with a godly husband.. However, just when i think its finally my time or my turn and that the Lord finally sent him to me, my hope and expectation is met with great disappointment... Plese keep me in your prayers.. - signed.. Sleepless in san Bernardino

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    1. I too am almost 37 years, single, christian and suffering from disappointment too. I totally relate to your experience and I will be praying for you too.

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    2. Funny, I'm also 37 years old (nearly 38) and am a single Christian women! I, too, can relate completely to your post! For me, the desire for marriage comes in waves. Last year, I felt a strong longing and ended up in a relationship that wasn't God-centered. Now, I am dedicated to enjoying me, spending time with me, and cultivating a deeper relationship with God. I read my Bible about this pretty regularly, and I'm hoping that in time, my spirit will align with what I know intellectually about my singlehood. I'll definitely include you in my prayers, and I hope you do the same for me. Blessing!

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    3. Funny I'm also 37 and waiting...whew even typing that number feels strange :-). What a blessing this was...sometimes it feels like its just you. 7000 in Elijah time never bowed to Baal :-). Be encouraged my sisters :-)!!

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    4. It's amazing how God shows you what you need to see, exactly when you need it. I will turn 37 this year and am trying to be patient as I wait. I know God knows my desires and most days I am content. But some days, the loneliness is hard to bear. I do find comfort in your words and appreciate knowing that I am not alone. Thanks for sharing!

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  21. I'm 20 years old and I've never had a boyfriend or my first kiss. I have been a Christian since I was 11. I feel like my relationship with God is growing... It's just hard to look around me and see all these people in college who have boyfriends. It's not that I want just a boyfriend, I want a guy who loves God. Going to a secular college.. That is like finding a needle in a haystack. I have been trying not to look. I just... I don't know why I want this so badly. One day I'll be completely content and the next day, it's like.. I just hate being single. I need practical ways to become happy being single. I know that i need to deepen my relationship with God more before I have a guy, but I often think.. How long am I going to wait? Maybe I won't ever get married and it's just so hard to be okay with that. Honestly, God isn't all I want right now. And I don't know how to fix that. I've been wanting to be married since the age of 14... which is silly I'm not even ready for it. I can't imagine how other people who are older than me feel...

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  22. Pray for me i need to wedd with a God fearing partner ,am in a raltionship now bt i dn see the qualities tht will make me happy in this man.Pray for me

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  23. Pleaseee Pray for me I'm 30 years old and still single. I really struggle being lonely and still hope for a God fearing husband. Please keep me in your pray, I'll really appreciated it :-)

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  24. I think it has gotten easier as I get older to be single. Leaving my 30s and entering my 40s was like coming out of a long dark low-ceilinged tunnel into the bright light of day again. I have more peace and quiet contentment in my life than ever before. And when I am afraid of my future and feeling overwhelmed, I go straight to my Daddy *my heavenly Daddy, that is*.
    There are many privileges of being a single woman that I expect I could not enjoy as a married wife- eating cookies for dinner and cold pizza for breakfast, hours spent relaxing and reading in a hot bath, peaceful early-morning hours spent in my tiny garden, with my coffee mug and the Bible, just talking with and listening to the Lord...
    Frankly, it will be hard to give up these things for the noisy chaos that seems to typify married life with children.

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  25. I desire prayer. I am in my 50's and have had dreams of a happy marriage since a little child. Oh how I long for the performance of God's promise for my God ordained mate. I believe the Lord has revealed who he is! Patiently waiting on God, I ask for grace each day!!!

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  26. I am 26 and my heart is exhausted. I have been in one bad relationship after another and finally wanted to let things happen as God wanted. I met a wonderful Christian guy who had all of the same morals and values as me. We went to the same college and had so many mutual friends, it was amazing we had never crossed paths. With him was the first time I had ever gone to church with a boyfriend. We prayed together and brought each other closer to God. I truly believe that this was the man God had wanted me to hold out for and that he had lead me to meet in His time. Recently though, this guy broke things off and I am heartbroken. He was everything I had ever prayed that God would lead me to in a partner. Please pray for me to not only get through this time of hurt and loneliness, but that I hear/understand Gods will for me. My deepest desire is to marry someone (just like my recent ex) of faith and to have a family. All of my friends are now married and I find myself looking at what they have and and wondering why not me?! Your article was great at reminding me what I need to keep my focus on. Prayers needed please!! Thanks!

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  27. This article is beautiful. Thank you for keeping the focus on Christ!

    I'm 22 and been struggling for many years turning down non-Christians and waiting for the right Christian man to come along. My heart is heavy and frankly, I'm emotionally exhausted. I need strength and prayer for God to meet the desires of my heart, while at the same time seeking to honor Him with all I do!

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  28. would value your prayers on this, at times agonising wait for my husband...needing Gods guidance..thanks so muchx

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  29. I'm glad i'm not the only 21/20 something year old that desires to be married and have children.Amanda, if you read this. I'm on the same page too, never been kissed at all. It really got to me last sunday, watching all my friends at church. there is about 6 of them all married and have children. it doesn't help my longing to feel that love they feel for their spouse and their own. Reading this, in the back of mine, I know I must wait for God's timing and trust in him, for the right man. but most importantly focus on him. At this time I draw closer to God and ask for comfort and ask for guidance and something else I can focus on. maybe career wise. I really feel I'm learning a lot about God's Grace and his love during this time of waiting. thank you.

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  31. I came across this article when googling 'strong christian single women'!
    It seems so easy in church to become consumed with the task of finding a husband, when we fail to see what we, as single women, have the ability to do and achieve by God's grace. How wonderful it would be if, amidst the waiting we all seem to be doing, we can also use this time, the time that builds and shapes us, to truly explore the possibilities of what we can achieve in Christ. I long for a day when a woman will step up and say, I am single, I am content, I am God's. I cannot say that yet!
    I know that God waits for me, a lot, and in return I am trying to learn patience and contentment.
    This is a fab article!

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  32. Almost 49, divorced six years, no real relationship.. i have low self esteem my hope is failing. i have been praying and fasting for at least three years and nothing.. i fell for a guy but now he has moved on with another girl after he told me he did not want a relationship. i am hurt so bad i cant even eat or sleep at times.. i want peace of mind and i want so desparately to be healed from all the hurts.. my ex husband cheated on my all the time i am so lonely.

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  33. I am 26...didnt have the best childhood..grew up in foster homes..and ended up in a very abusive relationship because of it. Its been 9 years..Ive been in and out of a relationship with him. Mostly because he has been able to control me with our kids and the law enforcement and courts on his side. I love my kids to pieces...I just pray for the day that everyone will see this man for what he is...the day that the police will arrest him for all the times he has hurt me . I hope and pray for a way out..and that someday...somewhere along the line...that God will bless me with a husband who has a Heart of gold and a love for God. A man that will never hurt me. I pray that I will continue to be strong in all of this..as the ever increasing pain makes me long even more for a Good Man in to walk into my life. Hopefully Someday: )

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  34. For a long time I desired being married and raising a family to the point where I sacrificed alot. You made an interesting point about being careful of your desires and idoltry. Although I still have this desire; I've seen woman who put alot of weight on marriage/others but deep down they are still unhappy. Alot of times they sacrifice more in effort to be fufilled with the Love only God can bring into ones Life.I thank God for loving me in such of way in not giving me what I thought I needed to be happy and showing me the Truth: True happiness lies in your faith and trust in Him in ALL things, having a relationship with Him. He is the One who knows every detail of your being yet loves you unconditionally. He is able to use your past, present and future to progress your soul and to reorient you to Him after being born into sin. His goal is for you to live eternally with Him and He knows the prescription to make it happen. At times I get anxious and jump ahead but that is usually when its time to take a mental bath in The Word of God afterwards all the dirt washes away. It's not easy we're at war and the enemy will do whatever to blind you from the Truth. The enemy knows your desires too, he will tell you lies that may come from within you or others. The key is to rebuke all things that are not good with the Word of God cuz you know it is not from Him but from the enemy who is the father of lies. Thank you for this blog it has blessed me and I hope this post blesses you and whoever else who mayb going through. God Bless

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  35. I am going to be 33 years old in June. I used to dream of being married and having children when I was younger. Lately, I have been trying to surrender this desire to God. I don't want to put anything above Him. Please pray for me, that I would find peace and contentment in Christ. Thank you for your encouraging words.

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  36. Wendy, I wanted to thank you for this wonderful article, biblically grounded. So well said and clear cut. to those who post it has been helpful to read so of the post. I am in my 30s and thought (often felt)I was one of the few if not the only single w/o children in my social group. It's difficult to identify w/ others that are/are not single because people seem so detached to the process/season one may go through, facing singlehood. One way or another I have felt not alone by reading on. Thanks again Wendy. It means alot the read article like this..God-led and inspired. Thanks, Anonymous

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  37. 36, single, never been married. In full-time ministry. My desire to get married only grows stronger. I so want to be serving the Lord with a husband. I feel like there is a whole part of this life and what we were created for that I can not relate too because I have never been in love. I want to love someone fully and be loved and serve God together. I struggle with knowing how to rest in the truth that I know about God and what He says in His word. I do trust God and His plan for my life. I also feel like I have truly expressed my deepest longings and desire to Him. This does not make the feelings go away. I am waiting. Please pray that I can glorify God through this struggle. He has blessed me in so many ways beyond what I could imagine. This one area though seems to outshadow everything else most of the time. Praying how to rest in His embrace and not waste this precious time now, single, that He has entrusted to me!

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  38. Hi Wendy, thanks for such an encouraging post! But to be honest, I have read of many similar articles and bought countless books for Christian singles. Each time I read such an article, I get refreshed and renewed. But as I go through the daily motions in life, facing the many happily attached couples around me, it burdens my heart and increases the longing I have for a life partner. It really doesn't help either that my church seem to lack in a ministry for women and specifically single women. I recognize that as singles, we have so much potential and free time to serve God in so many ways! Yet this is not being addressed commonly, especially in the Asian culture I'm in.

    On many occasions, I find myself wondering what can I do as a Christian single during my free time? And to be honest, it got to a point when I got really depressed and upset. I kept thinking to myself, I'm 24, single and have been spending my Saturdays at home doing practically nothing! I decided I needed to invest my time wisely and not let it go to waste! I have been spending my past Saturdays praying, scouring through the Internet for volunteer opportunities where I can serve the unreached community. I'm still in the midst of finding the right organisation to volunteer with so please keep me in prayer?

    Thanks!

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  39. I am almost 46.I made a decision 25 years ago to "wait" on God for a mate. I had no idea then, or I wouldn't have made that decision. I had become quite content in my singleness...very independant, served God and my church, started a great career as an artist. Then a past love showed up in my world feeding me stories of love of long ago...feelings carried over from years. This man was facing divorce. I had promises of a future and never being alone again. Then I find out 6 months later he never filed for divorce or was even considering it. He is now reconciling with his wife. He just didn't want to be alone during his difficulties.The deception, grief has been overwhelming. I don't know how to get back to where I once was now. Now all I want is that mate I thought I had found and waited for all these years. He opened my heart and now I don't know how to close it back. I am very sad, lonely, depressed and hurt. I still serve the Lord and will continue to, but I can't move forward. Those who read this please pray for me.

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    1. I'm praying for you. God hears you. Don't give up or give in. Don't close your heart...God will heal it for you. I am so sorry you went through this. God has healing for your heart. I hope you have found a way to move forward. Ihad 10 years in with a guy that left me as well. It took years to stop crying and I still hurt from time to time. I am 33 and single, never married and no kids. It's very challenging. I feel that guy stole my youth in a way. God will provide! Your best half can be the latter half of your life! Trust and believe! God hears your prayers and your cries- HE will not leave you. Praying for you, sister!

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  40. I am 24 years old. I was in a six year relationship and a one year relationship. Both were centered around emotional abuse and I was able to get out of both. However, eveyrone in my family is coupled except me. I feel like the outcast. All I want is for someone to see how wonderful, beautiful, intelligent, and great I am. I want to be with my best friend. I feel so alone in a swarm of couples and I just need prayer that god will fill this loneliness or hear my prayer for a spouse that will treat me the way I should be treated.

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  41. I am 30 years old and divorced. As I go through this journey I'm learning the more I focus on what's wrong or what I consider is not right in my life the less I focus on what is right in my life. its like the more sin conscious you are the more susceptible you become to just the thing that you're trying not to do. God is very wise in His dealings with us. The question is what are we focusing on?I I may not always be happy but I will always have joy.We have a responsibility in this. the Bible states "see not that your heart be troubled"and that's exactly what I intend to do. None of us are perfect and I just thank God that we have a savior because we need Him.Sisters stay strong Be confident in Him and His word and keep on keepin on!!!!!

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  42. Heavenly father i thank u for these words of encouragement. I surrender my desires for love in ur able hands. I pray for a systematic solution for the skewed ratio of men to women in the church. I know that you are in control. I pray that you will continually renew our faith and confidence in you lord. Comfort all the ladies that chance on this blog. Heal their longing hearts.

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  43. I'm turning 24 next week and I recently became single. It feels that everyone around me is either married, engaged, or in a relationship. It makes me want to beg for my ex back so that I don't have to experience this loneliness. Also, not wanting to waste that 10 months I spent getting to know my ex so that I can someday marry him. Anyways, as tough as it is, God had better plans for me. My past relationships haven't exactly been pleasing to Him and I know that he just wants better for me. This is why He took it away and allowed for a break up to happen. I know God has my future husband and is going to put him in my path when im ready. Ill also know that it will be pleasing to Him. Remember, rejection is Gods protection. Greater things are in store. He put that desire in my heart to get married and have a family for a reason. Just delight yourself in Him and He will give you the desires of your heart. I have to remind myself this every morning I wake up. Know that you already have the greatest love of all, Jesus.

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    1. I have been blessed by all of the replies, but I like yours most of all. "Rejection is God's protection". I have never thought of it that way.

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  44. Hi ladies! Im 28 years old and never been on a date. For a long time I was perfectly content waiting for God to send me someone but the longer u wait the more fearful I gey that my turn will never come. I am happy with my life but being in a relationship and becoming a wife is simply a desire I have. It feels like im being punished for doing this the right way. I wont lower my standards and date a non christian. So what am I supposed to do if a good christian man does not come along? I have met men that I am interested in but they dont seem to jotice me. This article and your comments have already encouraged me. We r not alone ladies!!!

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  45. Praying with all of you. It takes trully wonderful women like you to wait even when it is not easy.

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  46. I lived alone from age 19 to 27, got pregnant and married my daughter's father when she was four and I was 31. Stayed married to that wonderful man for 16 years, during which time we had two more daughters. Calamity struck. His daughter from his first marriage died. He fell into depression, quit his job and never re-couped. During this time I read the Bible in it's entirety and came to know the Lord. I am now 49, divorced and alone, but not lonely. I've been on both sides of the fence. Nothing compares to a wonderful marriage with kids and nothing compares with being alone. Most times, God wants us alone for a reason. Cherish your singleness! Though I loved being married and love my 3 daughters tremendously, kids and marriage are not all they're quacked up to be. I read a poll on MSN titled "Does having Kids Make You Happy"? The respondents gave a resounding "NO". If I knew waaaay back then what I know now, I'm not so sure if i'd sign up for the marriage/baby thing. The world is far too evil and expensive these days. Ladies, don't be disheartened in your quest for love, marriage and children. God bless you all.

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  47. Thank you for taking the time to post this comforting message. I will re-read and pray on the passages you have listed. I have a slightly different take on this. I was watching Joyce Meyer one sleepless night and she gave a talk about the fact that not everyone is meant to get married. (That doesn't mean that they are unworthy of love or a family or anything negative like that). I understood what she meant. It is better to walk alone than to be in a relationship with the wrong person. When my ex husband walked out with my good gal pal after less than a year of marriage (in our early 20s), I found out how it is sometimes worse to be in a marriage that is not blessed than to simply walk alone in that respect. After listening to Mrs. Meyers, I found that but she continued to state that we all need to trust in the Lord that He knows what is best for us. In other words, though this time is hard, it could be much much worse, so be thankful for what you have now: your independence, plenty of space in the bed, no snoopy in-laws, freedom, the bathroom to yourself in the morning, etc. whatever you can think of. That said, I find it very difficult to be a woman in my late 30s who is not married. I was quite ill during the prime dating years when most men who want to marry and have children do so. After trying online dating several times and ending up with 2 failed relationships with men who said they wanted marriage and family, but in fact did not, I pray for happiness whether or not I marry and do not consider it a holding pattern. And as the clock ticks down on my physical ability to have my own children, I find myself asking the Lord to help me figure out why I am to be alone when all I want is to share my joy and love. It would be easier if we knew His reasons. Of course, we don't and that is where faith is crucial. Honestly, it is hard to see people who take love or family for granted when it is something I want so badly though. If you can say a prayer for all of us who are single, a prayer for serenity and hope, and if it is meant to be, a husband and children, I would certainly appreciate it. Thanks again for the post. It was thoughtful and did not treat those of us who are single with pity or the trite answer, "there is someone out there for everyone." while still giving comfort. I, forone, appreciate that.=

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  48. Thank you so much for this encouragement. I am 28 & I have never had a real boyfriend. I kind of went out with one guy in high school & he's the only guy I've ever kissed. And even that was only once. I have felt the desire to be a wife & mom since I was little. When I was extremely frustrated after I finished my BSN and I still was no where near getting married, God told me that I wouldn't get married until after I finished my Masters. I finished my Masters degree in Aug. 2011 & since then I've gotten no closer to getting married. I don't know where to meet guys. I live in a small town and go to a small church. It's nice to know that I'm not alone!

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  49. I am 29 years old and my struggle with singleness seems to get worse the older I get. I have not always wanted to get married and have children but somewhere along my walk, I have felt God plant this desire in me. There was a time I was engaged (twice to the same guy) and could not bring myself to marry him because I felt something in my spirit telling me not to. Now he has married someone else and so many others around me seem to be getting married left and right and I feel completely alone (although I know this isn't so) but it's how I feel.

    I have been celibate for many years because I felt this is what God wanted me to do, I have practiced discernment in the men that I have dated or considered, I have prayed, and prayed some more, I have sought Godly counsel, and done any and everything else that I felt was right to do in preparing myself and making myself available when God sees fit to send him my way... and even though I know God's timing is perfect I still can't help but to battle with discouragement. Especially as I see so many people who seem to come by this so easily. It almost feels like God has shut me out (although I know this is highly unlikely).

    I guess I'm just not sure what to do with these emotions... I read one of the comments that asked what are you supposed to do when the scriptures aren't helping as much anymore? I know that God is with me, that He has a plan for me but while this knowledge is keeping my actions in check, it sure isn't helping my emotions. They feel so overwhelming at times.

    I am so very blessed and this makes me feel worse because I feel guilty for these emotions knowing that I am blessed and should not want for anything more! I have been blessed beyond measure already and I almost feel like a spoiled brat for even feeling this way. Anyway, I guess I'm ranting at this point because I'm sure you get my drift. I'm thankful for so many who shared because I know that I'm not the only one who struggles with this. Prayer would be nice. God's blessings.

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  50. my name is mercy,i just finished reading your writeup...it has been so encouraging and pls i will want to you to pray for me. i am 32 yrs old and still not married.i still believe and hope in God for His visitation.My prayer has been God shld satisfy me early. Thank you.

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  51. I'm 30 and still a virgin, I have never had a boyfriend which at times I feel embarrassed by.

    I have had seasons where I have been content and just getting on with God's work but others times I have struggled with loneliness.

    So I have recently been in this season that I have been praying for a husband and now at work there seems to be this guy who I get along well with and am atrracted to and likewise but he is not a christian, I know you are not to date a non christian etc but it makes me sad as I feel what is Gods intent that I'm single forever, I know I have to change my mindset but I feel I have waited for so long and dont get why it has to be a non christian that is attracted to me.

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  52. Wow! All these comments have blessed my heart and soul. I too struggle with singleness but after reading this post I'm recommitting myself to the Lord and focusing on him as my husband and when the right guy comes along I'll know it will be from the Lord. It won't be easy as emotions tend to take over my thought patterns but Focusing 100% on God will help me be content in my loneliness until God blesses me to be married.

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  53. I struggle with lonliness. I have begun my walk with God, but the hard part is...God is not in the physical realm. I need to feel someone. I need to hold someone and to be held. I'm asking God to talk to me, because being with a partner helps to give me reassurance. God rarely responds back. I work to be patient and to exercise patience...but this is one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. I'm 46 years old and the only thing I've really wanted was to be loved. To have a partner. This keeps alluding me and I'm not sure why. I came pretty close with my last relationship to getting what I wanted, but then I was abandoned. God didn't have to let this happen and I'm working hard to understand and accept it.

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  54. I am 49 and never married, and have been celibate for almost my entire life. I have stumbled upon occasion in my celibacy, always with regrets. The last time was ten years ago. Before that, ten more years. Recently I thought I wanted to date, and went through a Christian dating service. It initially made me encouraged to hear the stories of faith these men told, to hear such love for God so freely professed. But then, to actually get to know some of these men was discouraging. Most were divorced, and I could almost hear Paul's words out loud regarding the differences between the married and unmarried. While these men were married, and have previously had wives...I was practicing celibacy. Where these men came from failed marriages, I had not. And I tried not to be judgemental, but they were judgemental with me telling me how
    I ought to live and telling me how to live spiritually, right down to criticizing my very gifts from God. I found myself so spiritually conflicted in wanting a husband or wanting to remain faithful to God alone...and as soon as I gave up the idea of dating, and decided to let go...I found peace. I find I have enough faith to know God has always provided for me and put people in my path as was needed. And if there's someone I am supposed to marry, He will put that person in my life. I also remember that God's time table is better than ours, and age doesn't mean the same thing to Him as it does to us. Besides, I prefer the peace of God to the recent conflict from fellow Christian brothers I experienced. Two of which I can not speak to again, because their spiritual beliefs of what is in my best interest is so amiss. God bless those women who have been faithful to God and came hear seeking wisdom and comfort! God will always reward you!

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  55. There are some of us who have loved God for a very long time but deal with the hurt of being alone. We dont want idols but we are human and companionship is good for us. God said He would withold no good thing from His children. I want a full family life...more than that I want someone who has compassion for the pain I have been through in life. I believe that God wants this good thing for me. I want this husband to have compassion for my children. I want dont to be the Christian that always loses. I want a top shelf BLESSING and am willing to be one. I BELIEVE my father will help me even though I am hurt.

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  56. It was great to read this article and all of the comments. To know that I am not alone in this struggle with being single and wanting to find love. So many of the things you have touched on, the desires, the comparisons to other women, wondering of my worth, i have dealt with. I am 32 years old and have always had a desire for marriage. But in reading this article I realized how I have let that desire become an Idol in my life. I have always prayed for the right person to come along. But the desire that I have and the loneliness I have felt has overwhelmed and consumed me! I mean to the point where I cant focus at times because its all I think about. I understand that we should find contentment in the Lord and this is a mission that I am on. But I have also often prayed for the Lord to just take this desire away. I've reasoned to myself that God created this desire in me. So if he chooses to not meet this desire why not remove it so that the heartache goes away? Its a struggle. Its also disheartening to read of women in their 40's and 50's still dealing with this struggle. If I believe that these women have been faithful to God and have prayed to him the desires of their heart still with no answer what is their to hope for in regards to finding a mate? So many questions lol. Even as I try to be strong and prayerful about this loneliness and desire, I still find it very hard to cope with and hope is dwindling.

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    1. I can relate to you that it's REALLY dishartening to hear about women who are even older than you, who have prayed for a companion even longer than you, and who still have not been provided with a mate. I'm 41 and have been waiting for a husband since I got baptized at 23. But I can tell you, in many ways it gets easier as you get older! Of course the sex drive does not diminish. The Lord made us women this way that our sex drive reaches its peak performance between the age of 30 and 35; and then it stays about the same until menopause. Of course, it must be wonderful if you always have a husband by your side during this time in your life. You know, at some point, I was really concerned that I would ever be able to enjoy the pleasures of marital sex. I even asked a doctor whether a woman after menopause would still be able to enjoy sex. He replied that a woman in that age group would often enjoy sexual relations even more, because she didn't have these pressures anymore of getting pregnant respectively not getting pregnant. Well, this consoled me!

      And yes, I have also asked myself why God first of all instills this great, unquenchable desire for a husband in me, and then he lets me wait year after year, experiencing one buried affection after another, and being tempted over and over again to resort to self-pleasure. Well, I don't have an answer to these questions. There are just issues in life we will not be able to answer while we are still on this earth. We may only find out on the new earth - or during the 1000 years before that when we will reign in Heaven with our Lord and Saviour.

      I like to claim Psalms 31:15 - "My times are in your hands."

      As it was said here before: "God's time table is better than ours, and age doesn't mean the same thing to Him as it does to us." (quote from Anonymous 28 September 10:17)

      He really knows better what's best for me and when; so I can safely rest in His arms and enjoy the moments for what He has in there for me!

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  57. I am a Christian woman who over the past few years has struggled with loneliness and fear of what the future holds. I am currently struggling to figure out what God's will for my life is. Please keep me in your prayers.

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  58. I am 40, turning 41 in Feb 2014, committed my life to Christ at 15, expected I'd be married by 24 And that I would have finished having my 3 children by 30. Still waiting, and worse, in the last 10 years only 3 men expressed an interest, but they were all not suitable. One turned out to be gay, and in denial at the time, the other 2 wanted sex which I could not agree to. I am coming to a place of surrender to God, trusting Him with my life, and committing all over again to live by his standards whether He brings a man my way or not, but to live a holy life because He is God, and believing that there is no safer place to be than in His hands.

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  59. I'm 27 and I've recently been heartbroken. This is not the first time I experience lonliness but this is the first time I'm doing it with God. It's hard being alone but I believe in God and trust him

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  60. I'm 41 and still alone. I don't know to deal with it with God.

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  61. Thanks for the Article Wendy and all your comments. All of your stories of your pain and struggles only renew my hope and inspring me to stay strong in my faith and trust God. He Died so we no longer should live in despair and walk this world alone. It is my Prayer for myself and all of you that we Keep God in the Center of our hearts and minds that we No longer seek the will of the world

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  62. I came across this blog when I was sharing my struggle with singleness with my women's group. Thank you Wendy for the Bible-centred blog and everyone's honest sharing. My desire for a mate stems from two main areas. First, I'm not the best at making friends and don't mingle too well in social situations unless it's one-to-one, so a mate is sort of like a best friend I can love at the same time. Second, I was sexually abused as a child, and that experience has warped the way I perceive relationships and sexual desire, and confuses personal boundaries with others, particularly men. Song of Songs tells virgins to not awaken desire until it is due time, so sometimes I feel it's unfair my sexual desire has already been awakened, and I have no choice in the matter. There have been periods where my sexual passions burned so hot, I thought I'd go crazy if I didn't somehow release or satisfy it.

    I am thankful to say that I am in a better place than before and have gained better control over my physical desires. But I only learned my lesson for good after I had a sexual encounter with a stranger. That really broke me, and I don't know if I'll ever be the same since.

    I am familiar with a number of the Bible verses you mentioned, Wendy, and yes, waiting is a big part of our Christian lives. Whether men or women, desiring for marriage or something else, we will all be waiting until Jesus takes us home to heaven. In this time of waiting, we need fellowship with other Christian women (and men) to stay strong. One of my favourite passages about waiting is Psalm 27:13-14. "I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord." God will show His goodness in one way or another in our life on earth, whether it includes a boyfriend/husband or not.

    God works in mysterious ways. The point of waiting is not so we are guaranteed what we want. James 1:2-3 tells us that the testing of our faith develops perseverance, so waiting on God for something, though it does not come true in this lifetime, is not in vain.

    My favourite biblical narrative about a woman is Hannah (see 1 Samuel 1:1-2:11; 2:19-21). Though she had a loving husband, he could not satisfy her longing [for a child]. Hannah went to the temple; there she wept and prayed to the Lord in her heart. The residing priest misjudged her as being drunk when she moved her mouth without hearing her voice. Hannah was finally able to leave in peace (her face was no longer downcast) after she met with God.

    So there are things loving husbands can't satisfy. And even godly Christians can end up misjudging you intentionally or unintentionally. I am working through "The Pursuit of Holiness" by Jerry Bridges and am seeking to put my focus more on God. Wendy, you are so right about battling our mindsets as stated in 2 Corinthians 10:3-5, taking every thought captive to obey Christ. I've been reflecting on a collection of Bible verses on the bus, trying deliberately to stop evil thoughts in its tracks, which before I've just let them run loose. Of course, we can't fight against the forces of evil alone, but with help from Jesus through the Holy Spirit (I can do all things through him who strengthens me. , Philippians 4:13).

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  63. Dear Wendy,
    thank you so much for the sharing!
    It is exactly what I'm going through now.. I'm 21 and well, yeah, waiting for the one but trying to become one for somebody out there (just God knows).
    Thank you for all links to the Scripture, for all supporting words. It really helps!
    God is giving me so much blessing every day, therefore evil is just looking for a things to use and this is my weakness, but I'm trying to fight.
    Just yesterday, cycling back home, I was thinking about my day and how I was reacting in different situations.. I was just complaining! So I decided to be more grateful. And I think that this will also drive me from this lonely thoughts.
    Thank you again! Such a encouragement!
    With love,
    Barbora

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  64. hello. I was encouraged reading this post. I landed in this page while searching for some article on similar subject. Thanks especially for these lines you wrote above :
    "God is in charge, He knows what He’s doing in your life, and you can trust that He has not lost control of your circumstances. Not only does God know what He’s doing, His plan for your life reflects both His all-surpassing wisdom and His fathomless love for you. His plan is good and right, and you can TRUST Him with the details of your life. "

    iam in mid-30s but still single waiting on the Lord to bless me with a born again believer husband. I come from a non-christian country & culture where girls are married when they are around 21+. Girls in most cases do not have the freedom here to choose - its the parents who looks for the suitable life-partners for their children when they become of marriage-able age. Singless in our culture is almost considered like some curse & quite an unimaginable situation in family. Also this is not a Christian country, and its difficult to find Born Again believer guys. Having come from a non-christian background myself & being Saved by the Lord about 12yrs back, it is God who has taught me through His Word that i have to marry a man who is also a born again believer. God has blessed me with parents who have not forced their way as per our culture, instead have also known the Lord as their personal Saviour and hence has encouraged me to wait upon the Lord for my marriage. Its very difficult to find genuine believer who loves the Lord in our culture/country. The percentage of Christians on the whole itself is less than 5% in our country - and among that to find a Born again believer is very difficult. Moreover being a girl we do not "go" searching for guys - we strongly believe it is the guy who has to search and reach out, in the matters of finding the life-partners. There is no avenues or process for girls to search for suitable men all by ourselves. So in all the ways , God has called me to just wait upon Him as He will bring the person He has prepared for me into my life. I do not know how, i do not know when. All iam asked to do is wait & be still to see God at work. The Word of God has encouraged continuously to wait upon the Lord - for Him to provide the life-partner. God has confirmed to my heart that the desire to be married is put by Him and during this waiting period i have learnt more of Him like never before. Trusting in His plans and timing. Its very difficult to wait and many a times it takes you to level of being broken into tears. Also facing questions from people is very difficult. But we have a God who understands and we can pour out our hearts to Him. We can do nothing without God enabling and strengthening us. Even to wait - it is a strength & courage that only He provides. HE will equip & enable us to wait for whatever He has called us for.

    It was good reading your site and thanks for sharing.

    - Your sister In Christ.

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  65. I'm 27, and even though I've dated before, none of them have been successful. I'm currently wrapping up a fast for a husband that I initiated (and invited my single girlfriends to join). Please keep me in prayer - I want a happy, healthy, holy marriage, and I'm working on getting to a place where I won't feel sheepish or shallow or hopeless about asking God plainly for it.

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  66. I am 39 and still not married!! I lost my job, due to difficult circumstances, and my ex, whom I thought was Gods gift and blessing to me left me at New year.I am still unemployed, and facing a possible diagnosis of cancer. I have prayed every day for my ex, and for Gods will to be done. I even prayed for my ex to get in touch, as I needed her more than ever with my health situation, and she did! What an answer to prayer, I am waiting on what happens next..as she admitted being confused again, even though she is now in a new relationship. Please pray...

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