Being single in a coupled church

God Colours)

It’s been about 5 years since I first entered what is now my home church, on a cold December Saturday evening. I’d been exploring my faith again after many, many years of being away from the Christian church. But still always searching with the restlessness of one knowing there is a pursuant that he/she senses, yet turns to things of this world to satisfy.

For some that have shared their stories with me, it has been addictions in forms such as alcohol, legal and illegal drugs, and food to satisfy.

For me those things, those worldly ways to fill my always unsatisfied ego included the attention of men, the temporary satisfaction of being desired.

I was the perfect example of the ol’ saying: Looking for love in all the wrong places. 

I look back to a moment, divorced 12 years , driving on a rural highway. Broken, tears flowing from another bad decision, another chosen path of satisfying in the wrong place, when I hear Him. 

“Just let Me love you, Lynn. Just let ME love you.”

I remember pulling over to the shoulder, my tears too many to continue along my route, and the path my broken self had chosen to endure.

I was 45 years old when I entered that church that cold December Saturday evening. Once seated, looking around me I saw so many couples. So many happy couples. Do I belong here? A divorcee of many years and a failure? Taking a breath in, I opened my bible that I had planted on my trembling knees.

Couple (35 of 1)

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has gone, the new has come.” 2 Cor. 5:17

I let myself take in His word, who He says I am.

Later, at the welcome booth in the foyer, I purchased one ticket for the Women’s Christmas dinner that had been announced during the service. The woman who sold me the ticket graciously offered an invitation to sit with her and her friends at the event. I accepted, however understood that not always what is offered is given. Yet, just days before the event, she called me to confirm that I would be sitting at her table.

That invitation led to a friendship with a woman who became a mentor to me, as well as a landing place as her and her husband expected me to sit with them each Sunday service.

Not only was God pursuing, beginning a healing in me, but He was also softening my heart through His love shown by  married couples that embraced me in the church.

That one step  from me, pushing myself out of my comfort zone to buy a ticket to a church event where I anticipated I would know no one, to a mentoring friendship with a married couple, began a building of confidence within me. Since then I have attended and led bible studies, created an annual fall prayer walk,  been a volunteer at several different church events, and received my certification to be a Christian Life Coach.

It started with a step out of my comfort zone.

And continued with an invitation from a married woman.

This healing journey.

It hasn’t always been easy. Schemes of the enemy have tried to pull me back to my old ways. But there has been MORE of His healing, grace, and mercy.

And most importantly, love.

His love shining through the acceptance from my church community full of couples, no matter my status as a divorced single.

What then, brothers? When you come together, each one has a hymn,a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up. 1 Corinthians 14:26 ESV

table study )

If your single and looking to connect to your church community, how about taking a small step out of your comfort zone and join a study, attend a church event, or maybe even introduce yourself to a pastor? You have so much to offer….

If you are a married couple and would like to friend a single in your church, how about inviting him/her out for coffee, or for lunch after a church service one Sunday? A new friend in Christ is such a blessing….

 “Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16 The Message

Let’s go God-coloring the world! Click to Tweet

I recommend a visit to Linda Stoll where, in a two part series, are thoughts from dynamic Christian single woman on being single in the church.

Love to get to know you better at Inspiring Hope on Facebook!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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23 thoughts on “Being single in a coupled church

  1. Lynn, so loved hearing how God pursued you, how He saw your yearning and moved to enter it. If I’m honest, I still struggle with going to church alone with my girls. I almost always sit alone, except on days I spot people who are also alone and go sit beside them. I’m active in our Mummies group at church, but on Sundays they all sit with their husbands and close friends (I’m quite new compared to the rest, who’ve been there for years). And I must admit that it aches some days. Recently, I felt God encourage me to express that ache to Him: to admit just how badly it hurt.

    I’m hopeful that in time things will change and I’m continuing to pray and believe that one day I’ll be worshipping with my husband on Sunday.

    So, thank you for sharing so vulnerably what you’ve gone through: it encourages me that God sees us and hears our heart.

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    1. Thank you for sharing your heart Anna. Spotting those others that are sitting alone at church and joining them is a blessing to them as well as to you. It shows you are, again, compassionate to others and what they will be needing to see God’s love in their world. May you continue to express your heart to God and know that He always provides all that we need!

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  2. Hi Lynn,
    What a great post! I’m single {never been married} and what truth you offer when we step out of our comfort zones, it’s not always easy, but God meets us or gives us the courage to keep taking steps in a direction! I loved reading about your story and the wonderful yet difficult journey you took to make changes in your life — I always enjoy reading your words!

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    1. Always encouraging and inspiring to meet other singles! And so agree that God gives us courage to take those steps. I read recently that the route of ‘cor’ means heart. Courage is a matter of the heart. And God is always about transforming our heart to reflect His.

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  3. Love what God is doing in the lives of my single friends, Lynn. Thanks for bringing your friends over to the party this week. We sure are gleaning alot as we talk back and forth. I so appreciate that you’ve brought your gentle grace and wisdom to the table there .. and here!

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    1. Thank you for reaching out and giving voice to the singles Linda. I’m meeting women I never knew were single, and find it very encouraging and inspiring! God is using you for us to grow closer in community, always His intention.

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  4. One step out of a comfort zone can change so much! Thank you Lynn for letting us see who you are. I will be especially looking for singles in our church with whom I/we can connect.

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    1. Your such a joy to around Joy! And embrace others. I know singles would be blessed by your gracious, and welcoming ways. I think it would also fall under being ‘safely dangerous,’ connecting with someone new and single in your church. I keep reading over and over that the bottom line is we all want connection, no matter our status.

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  5. Hi Lynn! As I was reading this, I wondered if you had seen Linda’s series. But of course you have, you are featured!
    I have read about this problem, and how off-putting we can be without even knowing it. It’s good to have a circle of friends, but it has to be an open one. Being closed off to anyone is so bad, so un-Jesus. I’m so happy that you were sold that ticket by someone who cared, really cared. But of course, that was God working, don’t you think? How he wanted you!

    Thank you for encouraging others to reach out to singles, and for singles to keep trying. It takes courage from both ends, but SO worth seeing Christ in another.
    Blessings!
    Ceil

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    1. Yes, it was definitely a God thing, being prompted and invited. And it also was those ladies using their God-given gifts of hospitality and connecting others. And, yes it takes courage on both ends. As a single we need to see the couples in the church of wanting to engage and create relationships too.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. First of all, Lynn, I’m so sorry you had to deal with the pain of divorce. What a blessing that you were welcomed and mentored by that couple! You are so brave to take a step out of your comfort zone. Thank you for your encouragement to singles here, also to married couples to remember singles. I love how the Message puts this part of that verse – “You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world.” May we be God-colorers! Blessings and hugs to you!

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    1. Trudy, I also love the way The Message put this verse. I have used this verse as part of meditative prayer gatherings, and can see now how having multiple translations can be so valuable. It is all God’s word, allowing us ways to hear His message more deeper and clearer.

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  7. Lynn, this post really choked me up with tears! Thank you for your vulnerability, it’s such a doorway for others who have gone through similar..although I didn’t have the divorce, I once a long time ago looked for love in all the wrong places –and like you it was later in life that Jesus came..then a mentor from church who changed my life too..I love the couple who took you under their wing, and how you now can go on to encourage other single people! Beautiful post! thank you for your words, you blessed my day. I will reach out even more so to single friends!! Blessings!

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    1. Thank you J. It is always a comfort to know we are not alone in our struggles and know people who have come out the other side, to healing, redemption, and restoration. Sometimes it is the smallest invitation, gesture that can change a life. You bless me too!

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  8. Oh Lynn! First of all, I adore your honest transparency here. SO many women understand this all too well, and I was ONE OF THEM for years before I got married. I get it. Oh, how I get it.

    The story of your courageous steps going into that church and signing up for that event are amazing. YOU are amazing. What strength that must have taken and oh, how I love that God provided exactly what you needed in that brave step forward. Bless you, my friend. I’m so grateful God took care of you- despite the hardships and downfalls. I’m incredibly familiar with those too.

    I pray your story inspires and challenges women to take those first bold steps toward God- into church doors. But I pray even more that those churches have their arms stretched wide to welcome them in- no matter from where they came.

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  9. This is such an important message that the church needs to be talking about more. You may have felt alone when you entered church, but so many others feel exactly like you. I love the way you feel God invited you personally to be just let Him love you… and the way that He followed through! Lovely message.

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  10. I had an open-heart moment in church, too, that transformed my faith in ways I’d never have imagined before. When we take those seemingly small steps to reach out or accept an invitation, it blooms into something that could only be God-driven. Love this post. Thank you for sharing this part of yourself with us. xo

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  11. Lynn, I love reading stories of God’s transforming lives and hearts. Yours is a beautiful story. I have no doubt He’s used you in amazing ways to minister to other women. God is always so good to honor our small steps of obedience to Him. How wonderful that He brought a friend and mentor into your life when He did!

    I so appreciate your transparency and for learning more about you. Thank you for sharing. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I loved reading your words over at Linda’s and was so glad we were part of the same series. I love hearing how God has worked in the lives of others but was especially intrigued at hearing your story of being a single in the church. I have gotten involved at church but my story has not evolved to where yours has yet. I belong to a very big church and find that being a couple seems to be more accepted than being single. I am not being singled out in any way it is just my feeling. I am blessed that I have God who loves me dearly and has chosen me as His child many years ago. I am praying that things change at my church and I feel as if I am a valued member with much to give. Thank you for sharing these words here and there!

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    1. I will pray this for you too Mary! I know for me there was a pastor and a admin staff member, both married, that were big encouragers and supporters for me. That pastor is now gone so I have felt a bit disconnected since she left. But maybe it is s time to grow stronger in God’s acceptance and love rather than lean on others to fill that space, something I hear so much strength in already within you!

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  13. “God-colors”

    I like this!

    Looking for love in all the wrong places. Such a common trap. So common someone wrote a song about it! But God intervenes. I once was lost, but now I am found. Someone wrote a song about that too.

    Liked by 1 person

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