I introduced you all to Tammie when her Bible study was published last year in this post. So I am so grateful that Tammie was able to write you a note during this series on relationships. Tammie has held so many dear roles in my life: mentor, leader, friend, teacher, ...barista and stylist. Seriously, she loves Jesus so deeply and so genuinely. But she has also made me a coffee drinker (and now lover) and also showed me how to have to celebrity styled hair and eye make up. Let's be honest, that can affect my spiritual life too. Wink. I am so excited for you to get to be personally influenced by Tammie today too. Her words come from a heart that genuinely cares. There's not an ounce of pretension in her. She simply wants to best for other women. All women. But specifically she longs for twenty-something women to learn to live lives that delight in God. Knowing her has changed me. I hope you find encouragement, and even, change today too.
Precious Single Lady,
When Becky first asked me to write to you, insecurity seized me. I thought, “What would I have to say to a single girl? And why would she want to listen?” Honestly, I’ve never been single a day in my life. See?! I was married at eighteen; and had a baby days shy of nineteen.
However, the very fact that we are nearing twenty years of marriage is a MIRACLE.
And frankly, it’s been intensely hard work.
I have a dear friend who is waiting for Mr. Right and in her mid thirties. I pray for her constantly and, truthfully, wish God would hurry up. My patience even runs thin. I’ve also reminded Him plenty that HE was the One who gave her THIS desire in the first place.
All to say, I have a very tender place in my heart for you. I fully understand how enticing it is to look around at all you “don’t” have. I might not have done this with singleness, but I’ve certainly done it with thinness. It’s nothing but a downward spiral of dreadful darkness.
Beloved, have you spiraled there? Are you there now?
One thing I’ve discovered in walking with Jesus is that my desire for thinness isn’t really my problem. Pride is. A counselor once told me (in my own confusion) that pride has two faces: it’s both arrogant and insecure. This is why most of us find ourselves in an emotional flip-flop. One minute we’re high and the next minute low. It’s because pride inflates and deflates.
And we can do this with thinness, singleness, or whathaveyou.
Here’s the reason: Generally speaking, pride is being overly consumed with oneself.
It’s actually the ultimate form of selfishness.
I once heard a preacher say, “Singles, tear up your long list of expectations in a man because you’re both going to have to hurry up and die.” I believe healthy expectations are needed and necessary (I’m sure he did too!), but I also believe he was onto something I’ve had to learn the hard way: There comes a time, even in the best-case scenarios, when both parties involved must deal with their pride and die.
So the best advice I have for you as you wait for God’s man is this:
Get healing, and let God deal with your pride.
I can assure you from experience that an un-dealt with wound is the devil’s playground for pride. It’s completely natural because wounds naturally need immediate attention. So, taking time now --before your marriage --to let God have His way is altogether wise.
Wounds are multifaceted, but a few of them beckon pride to rage like a hungry wolf. I’m going to give you a short list that, I believe, requires some additional help through counseling. If they apply to you and you don’t know where to go, ask an older woman you admire to help you. If she doesn’t know, I assure you, she can figure it out. Women are resourceful souls!
OK, Precious One, here they are:
If you’ve been abused (walk through forgiveness and areas of shame).
If you’ve had sexual encounters (beseech God to supernaturally break those ties).
If you’ve lacked a loving family (ask God to love your heart to life).
If you’ve struggled with any kind of addiction (sexual, emotional, eating disorders, etc.).
I say this to you as sweetly as I know how: You will never regret getting healing. It’s painful, but oh so worth every bit of blood, sweat, and tears it takes to attain it. The sooner you surrender your wounds, the better. Nothing but a healthier heart, perspective, and, hopefully in your case (Come, Lord Jesus!), marriage await you.
And this, my precious Single Lady, is my most humble offering of advice for someone single.
After nearly 20 years of dying to live,
More about Tammie: I enjoy talking about Jesus Christ with anyone who is willing to listen. Whether from a platform, over coffee, in my weekly Sunday class, or in places like nail shops and hair salons, department stores, or in other countries. I long for people to know and experience the One who captured my own soul, the One who rescued me from a dysfunctional trashcan life. Oh, and I like to write. Now, I didn’t say I’m qualified. I just said I like it. Thanks to LifeWay Christian Resources, my Bible study,Duty or Delight: Knowing Where You Stand with God, was published in April 2011. Check out her website, like her & her ministry on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter. And if you live in Houston and are looking for a women's Sunday bible study, Tammie teaches regularly in Whole Hearted at Houston's First Baptist.
Check out some of the other 2012 relationship guest posts:
Erin DuBroc (Why things had to change:
& Part 2)
Becky Kiser/me (To the Virgins: Worth the Wait