by Tiffany S.
from Virtuous Daughters, August 2016~Volume 16, Number 5
When I was a little girl, I had a big imagination. Being the first-born, I was usually successful in convincing my younger brother to join me in make-believe games. One of our favorites was “Grown Up Today,” where we pretended to be grown and married with families of our own. Not content to settle for mediocre, we established a church in the forest, organized a sophisticated home school support group, and founded a delicious restaurant in our family kitchen. Every day we were living our picture-perfect future, and it was exhilarating. (Justin had twenty children. I only had twelve, but that was quite understandable, since my dozen consisted of six sets of twins.) One of our creative ideas was to compile a home school directory complete with family names and children’s birthdays. When I find these childhood memories in boxes in the attic, I laugh...how much fun we had together! But sometimes I sigh...this home school directory shows that my oldest children were born three years ago! (And at the time when I’d figured those dates, that was a “safe” estimation!)
Here I am, hardly able to believe that I, the girl who always considered late twenties “sooo old to be unmarried,” have actually joined the club. And yet I can honestly say as I look back on the past years, I wouldn’t trade any of them. Each day I rest confidently that I am in the center of God’s will for my life and nothing can be sweeter than that assurance. I still hope and pray fervently that the Lord will provide marriage and motherhood in His timing...I still prepare for that and look forward to it very much! And yet, my ultimate desire is to live the life He has ordained for me. It is only there that I have true joy, fulfillment, and sustenance. Proverbs 28:6 says, “Better is the poor that walketh in his uprightness, than he that is perverse in his ways, though he be rich.” I have personalized this in my journal: “Better to be single and within God’s will than married but unfaithful to my Lord.” (Though that isn’t to say marriage is the “rich life” and singleness “is poverty”! :) ) As single girls waiting on the Lord, there are moments when we struggle...but ultimately, we could not be more fulfilled anywhere else, if this is what God has ordained for us right now.
As I reflect on my single years thus-far, I am filled with gratitude to the Lord for His faithfulness and His mercies that are new every morning. I rejoice that He has provided outlets to actively serve Him, avenues to learn of Him, and a loving family who are my best friends. In this article, I’d like to share a few of the key elements the Lord has impressed upon me to help me keep my eyes on Him as I wait on Him.
Giving My Life to the Lord
The Lord saved me when I was six years old, but every day I have a choice to make: will I live this day for myself or for the One Who loved me first? Jesus said in Luke 9:23, “If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” One day when I’d been seeking the Lord’s guidance for some upcoming plans, I impulsively told Him, “What I really want is to be raising my own family. I want it more than anything else.” I said this with hot tears stinging my eyes. Ever so tenderly, I felt His gentle conviction: “Do you want that more than you want My will?” I knew in my heart the answer was no. My all-consuming desire is not actually to be married as much as it is to glorify God with the life He has given me. To embrace His will for my life. To offer my vapor on this earth to Him each day through joyful service. But you see, we must daily remind ourselves of these truths; otherwise, in the desperation of a difficult moment, we will begin speaking deception to our heart and mind.
Dear sisters, we must understand God’s purpose for our lives. He is worthy to receive glory, honor, and power; we were created for His pleasure (Revelation 4:11)! Marriage is not our true goal; it is to glorify God and fulfill the purpose for which He created us. Typically, God’s design for women does include marriage and raising a family...but if His plan for us is different than “normal,” we should embrace wholeheartedly whatever way He has ordained for us to glorify Him on this earth. We live for Him first.
I find that having a definite purpose invigorates me. Once while at our property, I decided to take the day off, rather than seeking out tasks if none were currently assigned. I felt so depressed by the end of the day!! This reminded me how truly critical it is to understand our purpose. Where do we fit into God’s plan...in our family, our church, our community? We should be actively serving the Lord each day. So many girls fritter away these precious single years waiting for life to start at marriage. But the truth is, as one mother told me, “Life is what happens while you’re waiting for life to start.” Life is happening right now. One day we will look back on our single years; will we smile in gratitude at all the Lord accomplished through our willing hearts and eager hands? Or will we sigh at the remembrance of wasted years? First Corinthians 7 is very clear that as unmarried women, we are entrusted with a privilege to serve the Lord in unique ways. How seriously are we taking this opportunity?
As the Lord began revealing to me eternal purposes for my single years, I became motivated and encouraged. There are opportunities to encourage my brothers as they seek to be godly men in a wayward culture...to walk alongside my sister as she grows into womanhood...to support and serve my parents...to disciple younger girls...to invest in God’s eternal kingdom through ministry. One evening I went to Walgreens to pick up a prescription for my dad. Because the store was under-staffed, I waited in line for forty-five minutes and had the opportunity to interact with several people. One girl in particular was having a difficult day, and the Lord put it on my heart to give her some words of encouragement. When I left that night, I thought, “I’m so glad I’m single! If I were married, I wouldn’t be picking up Daddy’s prescription, and I couldn’t have encouraged that girl!” :) Of course, God gives us divine appointments in every season of life, but the point is that we should rejoice in His purposes for us as singles right now.
Along with understanding our purpose comes the idea of having an others-focus. Have we taken the mind of Christ (Philippians 2), focusing on the things of others? When I detect thoughts of self-pity or self-centeredness, I ask the Lord to purge me of these sins. My Lord gave His life to me, and I ought to lay down my life each day for others (1 John 3:16).
As unmarried women, this is very important. Not only will cultivating habits of selflessness be excellent preparation for marriage (since a wife and mother’s entire life is about others!), but it will also greatly affect our lives right now. It begins with our minds. We must be faithful to take captive any selfish thoughts. As my mother reminds me, thoughts lead to attitudes; attitudes lead to actions. Once when I was feeling particularly discouraged, my parents offered wise counsel (as they always do!). They said that my feelings were normal, but I couldn’t afford to “stay there.” I needed to speak truth to myself, because I was beginning to develop the wrong attitude. I knew they were right; the prospect of entering the “attitude stage” frightened me. But as I asked the Lord to renew my mind with His Word and to shift my focus off of myself, He was so faithful to answer that prayer.
A heart that is fixed on Christ and on others is supremely happy (and attractive, too!). Instead of pitying ourselves when a friend ten years younger announces her courtship, we will be genuinely happy for her. We will be grateful for opportunities to invest in the next generation, not grumble that we are not raising our own children. Rather than taking our sister’s remark as criticism, we will wisely consider it. While talking with a prospective young man, we’ll focus on encouraging him in the Lord, not trying to favorably impress him.
Another wonderful byproduct of understanding God’s purpose for our lives is that we realize His plans for each of His children are different. The Lord has shown me that for each of us, there is tremendous rejoicing in His plan for our lives. It is unique to us. It is a gift. We are to “abide in our calling with God”; in His presence is fullness of joy! (See 1 Corinthians 7:24 and Psalm 16:11.) The details of God’s will are different for me than they are for you...but for each of us, they comprise the most beautiful and fulfilling place to be.
Isn’t it comforting to know that God never gives us more than we can handle? He promises victory and supplies grace. I used to wonder why God would bless one girl with marriage at age 20, and for another, His timing was much later. One day I noticed Exodus 13:17: “And it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God led them not through the way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, Lest peradventure the people repent when they see war, and they return to Egypt...” The Israelites were not spiritually prepared for the route through the Philistines. Because the Lord knew this would cause them to grow weary and give up, He protected them from the temptation. When I first read that, I thought, “Wow! So God knows which girls can’t handle prolonged singleness.” (I felt a bit privileged to be counted among those who could, until He showed me the flip-side to this principle: He knows which girls are not ready for marriage and motherhood...which apparently included me!) All laughing aside, the Lord truly is working in our lives to sanctify us and to bring glory to Himself. He places us in whatever circumstances will facilitate this most effectively. Just as a young child does not know what foods his body needs for proper growth and development, we rest confidently that our heavenly Father knows exactly what is needed in our lives to fulfill His plans for us. Neither marriage nor singleness is in itself an end (thankfully! J). Both are means to an end; they are tools God uses for our sanctification and His exaltation.
The Power of Praise
During the time our family worked on our house before drywall, I would see the Scriptures that had been signed on our unfinished walls. First Thessalonians 5:18 always struck me in a special way: “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” What a practical way to embrace God’s will! This treasure of truth from God’s Word encouraged me that I was at that very moment in the center of God’s will and to give thanks in it. (How often do we agonize over “What is God’s will for my life?” when it’s right in front of us?!)
The Lord expanded this truth in the months that followed. Amidst a particular trying time, His Word admonished me to give thanks...as I praised Him, I found tremendous joy and gratitude welling up in my heart. It was truly a beautiful thing. The phrase “sacrifice of praise” took on personal meaning; it served as the best antidote against discouragement or disillusion. “By Him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His name”—Hebrews 13:15 I found that even in circumstances beyond my comprehension, my heart abounded with reasons to thank my Lord. When tempted to inwardly grumble, I could re-direct my focus by simply praising the Lord.
One of my favorite passages of Scripture is Psalm 92:1-5: “It is a good thing to give thanks unto the LORD, and to sing praises unto Thy name, O most High: to show forth Thy lovingkindness in the morning, and Thy faithfulness every night...For Thou, LORD, hast made me glad through Thy work: I will triumph in the works of Thy hands. O LORD, how great are Thy works! and Thy thoughts are very deep.” Do you see the practical application here? When we wake up, let’s praise the Lord for His lovingkindness! “Thank You, Father, for the gift of a new day. Thank You for Your tender mercies, by which I am saved. Thank You that Your mercies are new every morning. (Lamentations 3:22-23.) Thank You for another day in which I can breathe and serve You.” When we go to bed, let’s praise Him for His faithfulness! “Thank You, dear precious Lord, for Your faithfulness today...for comforting me when I became anxious, for granting me wisdom when someone sought my counsel, for providing opportunities to serve You, for that precious nugget of truth from Your Word...Thank You for being my constant stay and Friend.” The Bible tells us that it is good to sing praises to God (Psalm 147:1 and Psalm 92:1) and that those who offer praise glorify Him (Psalm 50:23). Do we wonder how we can go about doing good and bringing glory to the Father? Praising Him (privately and publicly) should be at the top of our list!
Another Scripture written on the wall of our home was Psalm 33:1: “Rejoice in the LORD, O ye righteous: for praise is comely for the upright.” Praise transforms us. Why? I believe 2 Corinthians 3:18 contains the answer: “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” As we seek His face (Psalm 27:8, Psalm 16:8), we are conformed to His image. Praising God is a form of worship; its effects are far-reaching.
Practical ways the Lord has given me to praise Him include thanking Him throughout the day in silent prayer, writing out “gratitude lists” (especially during moments when I’m more prone to complain), sharing testimonies of His faithfulness with others, and singing to Him. I am grateful for the Lord’s mercies in teaching me the power of praise, and strongly urge my sisters in Christ to consider its impact on our lives as single young women—as well as its impact on the kingdom of God.
The Power of Prayer
To the believer, Jeremiah 23:23-24 is a source of great comfort: “Am I a God at hand, saith the LORD, and not a God afar off? Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the LORD. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the LORD.” Our God is near; He is not “afar off.” He fills the entire heaven and earth...we could not be hidden from Him (neither can our future husband!), even if we tried. His eyes are upon the faithful of the land (Psalm 101:6). He knows those who trust in Him (Nahum 1:7, Psalm 9:10).
And this, my dear sisters, is the God to Whom we pray! The loving heavenly Father Who delights in our prayers (Proverbs 15:8) and acts upon them. The God Who withholds no good thing from those who walk uprightly (Psalm 84:11). The God Whose Word promises: “Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass.”—Psalm 37:5
These truths have encouraged my heart time and time again as I have “cast my burden upon the Lord,” watching Him sustain me (Psalm 55:22). How many times have you, as a single girl waiting on the Lord, faced a situation beyond your control? Maybe it was an upcoming meeting with a family that had an eligible son whose character you admired, and you hoped “something” (what a loaded word!) would come of it. Maybe it was a pivotal discussion with your parents regarding a decision you faced. Maybe it was past poor choices, and—though you’d made restitution—it was impossible to retract the consequences and regret. Or maybe it was a very personal request.
In all of my difficult or humanly impossible situations, I have found prayer to be such comfort! I’ve learned the truth that I can cast my burdens on the Lord, commit my way to Him, and trust Him to bring to pass in my life His perfect will. There is such indescribable peace in taking a situation to the Lord and committing it to Him, the Righteous Judge Who does all things well. There is tremendous freedom in saying, “Lord, here is my desire or my predicament or my impossible situation. This is how I feel about it. But I leave all of it in Your hands and accept whatever You clearly send as Your will. I will say like Eli, ‘It is the LORD: let Him do what seemeth Him good.’” Essentially, this is “acknowledging” the Lord “in all our ways” (Proverbs 3:6) so that He can direct our steps.
Committing these things to the Lord is a form of waiting upon Him and not having unrealistic expectations. “My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation: He is my defence; I shall not be moved. In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God. Trust in Him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before Him: God is a refuge for us. Selah.”—Psalm 62:5-8 As women, our hearts are the place we tend to store our deepest desires, sweetest memories, and most serious concerns. And yet our Lord tells us to pour out our heart before Him and He will be our refuge! He is our Rock, our Defense, our Comfort, our Strength. He satisfies our longing soul and fills our hungry soul with goodness (Psalm 107:9).
Philippians 4:6-7 should be a normal practice for Christian women waiting on the Lord: “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Applying this Scripture (and others, such as Isaiah 26:3-4) will eliminate our tendency to worry, stress, grasp for control, or wonder unnecessarily. Instead, we can take that situation or desire or whatever it is, share it with the Lord, commit it to His keeping, thank Him, and then rejoice that our hearts are kept by such a wonderful, powerful Savior!
The Power of God's Word
One afternoon on a beautiful outdoor walk, I was thinking. I was thinking about a girl spending hours on the phone and in person with her “special someone.” And I was thinking about how I didn’t have that in my life. I felt a tad lonely, until...God put the words of 1 Peter 1:8 in my mind: “Whom having not seen, ye love; in Whom, though now ye see Him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:” Throughout the remainder of that walk, my smile could testify to my joy. God loved me with an everlasting and unconditional love. I could not see Him--yet. But I believed in Him, and His tender love filled me with unspeakable joy that was full of glory! Right now I saw Him through a glass, darkly; but someday I would meet Him face to face...on that day I would look at the nail prints in His hands and the piercing in His side and know that He died for my redemption. And we would be together for all eternity!
Dear sisters, that is just a small sampling of the many, many times God has used His Word to comfort, encourage, convict, and teach me. I could never over-emphasize the importance of saturating our minds in His Word. In whatever trial or victory I have faced, the Lord has been faithful and His Word has been living and real to me. Hebrews 4:12 describes God’s Word as “quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” This is precisely what I have experienced. The Holy Spirit has pricked my conscience with its powerful words, the Lord Jesus has comforted my heart with its promises, God has used its truth to ward off the enemy’s fiery darts.
It doesn’t matter what I have been going through—however large or small the trial or joy—the Lord has provided His Word as my solid foundation. This “Sword of the Spirit” is such an essential part of the armor of God. I have literally opened my Bible and tears have spilled on its pages, as I praised God for Scriptures that I never knew even existed, but could not have seemed more fitting for me at that particular moment.
During this season of waiting on the Lord to provide godly marriage, trusting Him can be a common struggle. But Hebrews 11 says that without faith, it is impossible to please our Lord! How, then, can we grow in faith in Him? One way is to ask Him to increase it, as the disciples did (Luke 17:5). Another is to simply immerse ourselves in the Word of God. Romans 10:17 explains, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” This has been my greatest asset as I endeavor to place my hope in the Lord.
One year for Valentine’s Day, the Lord put it on my heart to design feminine Scripture cards (with some of the verses He has used to “strengthen my heart” as I wait on Him—Psalm 27:14!) for a few single friends. This was an encouragement to them, but I also know that the verses I remember most are the ones God has given to me personally. It will be the same for you. So I encourage you to get into the Word of God for yourself and watch it literally change your life. Being in God’s Word is one of the greatest practical ways to witness that God’s mercies truly are new every morning, because He will bring it to mind throughout the day and in times of weakness or temptation.
One thing I have enjoyed doing is keeping a list in my calendar of all the Scripture references God used to encourage me that month. This is an excellent way to reflect on what truths the Lord was speaking to me throughout the year. It is a blessing to see His hand of loving faithfulness; it’s a faith-builder!
Cherishing Each Moment
This might sound a bit juvenile, but for me it’s been huge: have FUN! Between the ages of 12-15, I think I was one of the world’s worst fuddy-duds. I had determined that I was now a young lady, and as such should no longer participate in fun or games. Consequently, my poor brother Justin lost his favorite playmate and would mope around the house while I worked on the computer or read books. And I missed out on so much! As I became an adult, I realized how immature that really was, and began to re-instate myself into the great times I had once avoided. It was as if “I became a kid again when I grew up.” I remember Brittany saying, “You actually have become more fun as you’ve gotten older!” I reclaimed my youthful, adventurous spirit and laughed a lot more.
Although we definitely need to be mature, godly young women, we also need to learn to simply enjoy life. David Livingstone said, “Let the head grow wise, but keep the heart always young and playful.” Learn to laugh with your family. Cherish the moment of racing your little brother to the front door, playing an outdoor game (even if you lose pathetically), and taking time for relaxing fun or games. Really find joy in each moment.
I remember a family party with many older singles present. As I watched them play freeze tag, I thought, “This is a bit amusing! Girls and guys in their upper twenties/early thirties/even forties playing children’s games.” But why not? Why not stay youthful and energetic? Why not embrace and enjoy every moment the Lord gives us? We probably won’t be able to do some of these things when we have little children tugging on our skirt!
Psalm 40:8 talks about delighting in the will of God. Singleness is God’s will for our lives today...are we really delighting in it? Right now we are creating tomorrow’s memories. Especially through our family’s house building project, I have learned a lot about attitudes. Our bricklayers were one of the happiest group of guys I ever saw. While toting a large crate of bricks, they accidentally dropped the entire load. How did they respond? They laughed! Yes, they literally laughed and began stooping down to pick up those bricks one by one. This was a visual picture to me of how we can learn to enjoy every minute. Work shouldn’t be drudgery; it should be delight. And all the little things that come up each day can be exciting too.
Delighting in God’s will can include laughing with your siblings when someone pours milk in your lap instead of your cup, telling your friend about that terribly embarrassing moment at the bank, planning a surprise for your parents, and taking a moment to chat with the clerk at the grocery store.
Form close relationships with your family (they’ll be in your life forever), and also be friends with like-minded godly women. Sometimes it is helpful to just take time out to do something unique—plan a group Bible study, girls’ road trip, siblings breakfast, etc. My dear friends, we only have a small window of time as single girls at home...let’s cherish these days and make the most of them! Walking with the Lord is serious business, no doubt; but at the same time, we should find joy and delight in doing His will as we look to Him and express gratitude for what He gives us. Our perspective is powerful!!
Walking by Faith, Not Sight
“Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh....Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience. Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.”—James 5:7-11
Did you catch that? We have seen the end of the Lord; He is very pitiful and of tender mercy. Each of His suffering saints who remained faithful were richly repaid. Notice the conclusion of Job’s life: “So the LORD blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning...” (Job 42:12) I think for some of us, God is using a longer period of singleness to test us. As the years keep ticking by, what is truly in our hearts is manifested. God wants to strengthen and increase our faith, but to do so, that faith must be tested. Any trial of our faith is more precious than gold...by His grace, may it be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ. Let’s not be ones who turn aside when things become difficult. Rather, let us remain faithful to our Lord through joys and trials; He will sustain us for the journey.
The truth is, many of us could probably be married right now if we did things the world’s way. But where is the joy in that? Where is the reward of our Father’s pleasure? Where is the fulfillment and eternal purpose? With God’s many out-poured blessings (especially the love of my amazing family), I’ve never felt that I could truly describe being single as a “trial.” But I know that many consider it to be so; and there are times when I feel that I could agree with them. Yet here is an opportunity to rejoice that we have been counted worthy to sacrifice for His sake. What a privilege when we can offer to the Lord something that actually costs us! Every day as we choose a Christ-like attitude, we are telling our Lord that we gratefully accept His perfect plan.
When I begin to walk by sight, like Peter, I start to falter. But when I place my hope and faith in the omnipotent Lord God, claiming the truths of His Word, I am filled with joy and gratitude. Do you ever have thoughts like, “How will anyone ever notice me? How will anyone even know I exist?!” When I hear those schemes of the enemy, I remember, “Oh, no, I serve a God Whose voice is powerful. His eyes are on the righteous and His ears are open to their prayers. He sees and plans all my ways. And besides, my desire is to have my heart so hidden in Christ, that a man will have to seek Him first to find me!” (Definitely counter-cultural! J)
Who of us would really want to try doing things our way? If we did, we’d get human results. Any striving not of faith is an utter failure—and quite temporal. On the other hand, Ecclesiastes 3:14 boldly declares, “I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before Him.” These are the kind of marriages we desire—permanent and God-honoring!
For many of us “older single girls,” marriage to a godly man might look impossible. But what a praise that we serve the God Who only does wondrous things (Psalm 72:18)! He says that nothing is impossible for Him (Luke 1:37). In fact, those who doubt His power are the ones who should be concerned, because what He purposes, He promises to fulfill in His perfect timing (Luke 1:20, Isaiah 46:11).
Incidentally, aren’t the biblical accounts of God’s faithfulness such an encouragement?! I find it interesting that Zachariah and Elisabeth had prayed for years for a child, and it was as they were contentedly serving the Lord, that He miraculously provided. The book of Esther contains a treasure too! Mordecai had protected the king, but his good deed went unnoticed. When he heard that the Jews would be destroyed would seem like an appropriate time to publicize his past kindness. (I, at least, would have considered it a convenient idea!) But he didn’t. He waited on the Lord. And God waited until His perfect timing to reveal Mordecai’s deeds to the king. He did not need Mordecai’s help. Our Lord has a wonderful way of working. God definitely waited until an unlikely time to manifest Mordecai’s faithfulness, but it was not too late. Our Lord keeps scrupulous records of everything we do—even bringing a cup of cold water—in His name. This should be a tremendous motivation to trust Him to reward our service to Him in His perfect way and timing. God honors those who honor Him.
One of the most effective ways I have been able to retain a joyful outlook on days when I would otherwise be discouraged, is to simply not focus on what I cannot understand. In the past, I felt guilty doing this, fearful that it was a wimpy way to overcome my struggles. But then I began to realize that it was completely scriptural! Proverbs 3:5-7 commands us to trust in the Lord with all our heart, not leaning on our own understanding. It says to not be wise in our own eyes. We cannot trust in the Lord with all our heart if we are trying to understand with our own finite mind at the same time. Recently, I heard a pastor say, “God never told us to understand. He only said to trust Him and obey Him.”
Most of us believe the Lord has called us to be wives and mothers in the future, to raise the next generation for God’s glory. In all likelihood, that is in His plan for us. But as we pray toward this, we should also close our plea with, “Nevertheless, not my will, but Thine be done.” Then we need to jump into the day and focus on serving our Lord right now! Opportunities to work for His kingdom abound, starting in our own home. We have the time and energy to build up others in their godly marriages, spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ, invest in our younger siblings, serve our parents, cultivate a closer relationship with Christ, and glorify God in ways that we are not even fully aware of, simply by choosing to embrace God’s will for our lives today.
God is exceeding able to do abundantly above all we ask or think (Ephesians 3:20). We should continue preparing for our future family. I attended a refreshing single ladies’ retreat, and one of the veteran moms told me, “I sat in on the first session, thinking, ‘If it doesn’t apply to me, I’ll walk out.’ But guess what? Every session has applied to me. When you’re married, you’ll be learning these same lessons, just in a different way.” Why? Because God is working out every aspect of our lives for our sanctification and His glorification. Everything the Lord is teaching us right now is preparation for our future marriages and families; no lesson is wasted or in vain!
Yes, we will fail at times. But when we do, we can go to our Lord, confess our sin, seek His grace and forgiveness, and continue pressing toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:14). One of my friends shared, “God will not say, ‘Well done, thou good and perfect servant.’ He’ll say, ‘Well done, thou good and faithful servant.’” One time when I felt that I was failing miserably, a friend told me, “You may not be able to see it, but through this trial, the image of Christ is being stamped all over your life.” I didn’t see it at all during that particular moment. But I continued to go to Him with my struggles, thankful that at least my weakness was driving me to Him (even though it was usually for help!). By God’s grace, months later when I reflected on this time, I did see how He had transformed my heart and conformed me closer to the image of His Son. Be encouraged; keep looking to Jesus. You are taking on His likeness, and it’s beautiful.
God says that those who wait on Him will never be ashamed. (See Psalm 25:3, Isaiah 45:17, Psalm 31:1, Psalm 34:5, and Romans 5:5.). The world may gawk and mock, but we have the Lord on our side. If God be for us, who can be against us (Romans 8:31)?
For those younger girls who look at older girls like me and think “I hope I’m not single at twenty-seven! That sounds sooo old to be unmarried!” Do not fear! It is a truly delightful journey! The Lord’s mercies are new every morning and His compassion never fails. Great is His faithfulness. He gives grace and victory and strength, and there is joy and fulfillment in His plan for every season of our lives.
As I sat down to write, I felt truly overwhelmed. Overwhelmed intensely by the mercies and love of God. He has been so gracious and lonsguffering. He has definitely taught me, a sinner, in His beautiful ways. Every time I fall or stray, I have not been utterly cast down because my Savior has strengthened and redeemed me and set me in His good ways again. My notebooks, journals, and heart are full as they attest to the faithfulness of God the past nine years since high school graduation in this season known as “singleness.” I have to stop and ponder the word. Am I a “single” after all? I am never alone! Between the Lord’s constant presence and my family’s tremendous love, I can hardly place myself under the “single” heading. God has been good and He is faithful. How I long that my life could be an overflow of His love!
As I conclude this testimony, I feel as if I’ve omitted so much—and I have! The Lord has done mighty things that I would love to share, but for the sake of space am unable to. I am grateful for how He has worked and look forward to His continued work in my future. May each of us keep our eyes on Jesus; He is the Author and Finisher of our faith! May His name be glorified!
The Article Library
This "Library" contains articles that were published in previous issues of Virtuous Daughters. It will keep growing as we continue to upload articles from the 20 years of printing. We pray they are an encouragement to you!