How mature single ladies can wait well and have fun, too
Waiting a long time for a life partner can be hard. After many years of working with women, I have seen many (including myself) become resentful towards God. At times, resentment can also be directed at those who seem to have been in the ‘single queue’ for only five minutes before announcing they are getting married (sigh…I’m being real), when others have been in the queue for a decade or two (one lady, nearly 30 years)!
One such lady I spoke to responded: “I can’t be bothered anymore.” There was a time when I could relate to hope being deferred and the heart being sick (Proverbs 13:12).
So, how can one remain sane and confident whilst waiting?
No lectures or sermons, please!
Now, before you give me the ‘Just-trust-God’ speech, the ‘Sarah-waited-for-25-years’ sermon, or the ‘You’re-being-too-picky’ advice (Lord, have mercy!), take a moment to consider what life looks like for someone waiting, preparing and trusting for so long. I think I speak for many by saying what would be appreciated is a huge dollop of sensitivity, compassion and support. We don’t need the well-meaning sermons and lectures, but rather a simple: “I am standing/praying with you. I’m here if you need me.” Selah!
Now that is out of my system, let me dive into some tips for my mature, single sisters, which have kept me sane, sanctified and sassy.
Live intentionally and maximise every moment
After taking a well-deserved, get-my-groove-back sabbatical a while ago, I came up with some new rules for my life: to continue, joyfully, with my life journey and purpose, and live it to the max – regardless of whether ‘Mr Grace’ (that’s what I call my man) was on the scene or not. At some point, he would catch up with me. But for now, I’m living my promised John 10:10 life.
In my year off, I learnt new hobbies, travelled, ate well and took care of myself. I read and wrote books, and started avidly cycling. I discovered more about myself and learnt to be myself. There was no moping around or loneliness, as I widened my circle of friends (including my cycling buddies). For the first time in decades, I was enjoying my life; it was no longer just about work, church, etc. I even shed weight – physically (size 14 to 10!) and emotionally.
I tell you, that year off saved my life. While taking a year off may not be an option for you, I highly recommend creating new rules for a John 10:10 life.
Prepare, but NOT ‘just as you know it’
Marriage preparation takes many forms, but there was one I’d overlooked over the years.
One day, during prayer, I felt Father nudge me to consider preparing for the wedding day itself, rather than just focusing on married life.
Now, if I’m honest, I’d roll my eyes at single sisters who were trying on dresses; had a wedding Pinterest account; knew exactly the kind of day they wanted… To me, that was taking it too far. Or so I thought.
I finally agreed to my first Bridal Show. OMG! It was somewhat overwhelming, but exciting too. The advancement in wedding trends was astounding. Plus, I had to lean on the Holy Spirit to guide my responses as eager vendors asked: “So when are you getting married?” or “How did you meet?” I wasn’t going to lie.
Overall, the whole experience stirred up excitement and hope. Plus, it was fun. And yes, I got myself a Pinterest account, some brochures, and have some ideas now.
On reflection, I thought: ‘Why should brides-to-be be the only ones to have fun? After all, aren’t we all brides-to-be?’ The only difference is, I don’t have a specific date in my diary (thankfully, God does) and, of course, ‘Mr Grace’ is yet to show up too. But isn’t faith the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen? (Hebrews 11:1). So nothing keeps me from preparing too, right?
In closing: Wise or foolish virgin? You choose!
Like in the Parable of the Ten Virgins (Matthew 25:1-13), we are waiting for our bridegroom. But waiting doesn’t mean you do nothing. Furthermore, I believe the oil, in the parable, is symbolic. It is representative of what keeps our fires burning, strengthened and uplifted while we wait.
So you need to get some ‘oil’ in your life to help you wait well, prepare yourself, and keep you going through those tough times. And, by all means, give yourself permission to add a dollop of fun while waiting. Every little bit helps!
Written by Grace Gladys Famoriyo – Speaker and Author of: One Minute Tonic for the Heart; Bounce Back!; Quit Hiding, Start Living!; Healing A Discouraged Heart; and Overcoming Emotional Baggage. www.gladysf.com