Monthly Archives: June 2016

My Single Brothers and Sisters (A Single’s Manifesto Pt.2)

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The beauty of living in community is seeing that I am not alone, and that there are many others like me. As I journey through the present as a single person, this is exactly what I see!

I believe, with all my heart, in the rewards of journeying with community! Still, we are all unique individuals, and these differences can be sources of tension. I believe though, that community is worth fighting for.

If you’re a single person reading this, please take note that while this manifesto, in some points may be specific to my own community, I hope you will think of ways to journeying well in your own community. And I hope you find some comfort knowing that I, too, am part of your community, albeit virtually. 🙂

If you’re a married person reading this, I hope you gain some insight from this and find ways to journey lovingly with the singles in your life.

This is the second part of my Single’s Manifesto. Read Part 1 here!

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ATTITUDE TO OTHER SINGLES

As a single person, I will seek and create opportunities to build healthy relationships with fellow singles in my community. My primary motive will be to foster sisterhood and brotherhood among us, knowing and understanding that first and foremost, we are all brothers and sisters in Christ.

While I am aware of the fact that some singles have paired up and found their spouses here in this community, or of the fact that some singles here are intent in looking for possible future lifetime partners (let me be clear: nothing wrong that!), I will not fall into the trap of constantly evaluating and relating with men based on what their potential relationship to me could be like. I will treat single men in the community with respect and accord them with honor, whether I find them attractive or not, or whether they find me attractive or not. 

ag in megamall

With three of my most favorite single lady friends in the planet.

I will seek to be a sister to my fellow single women, offering encouragement, support, love, and counsel. I will take their hand (literally and figuratively) and find mutual encouragement in the fact that the Maker of the Universe is sufficient to provide for all our needs. I will share my longings and heart stirrings to my sisters, but I will not whine, nor complain, but set an example of speaking words of life and hope for the present and the future.

I will be a source of affirmation both for my brothers and my sisters. I will be a “dream-releaser,” someone who can motivate my brothers and sisters to pursue and discover the passions God has placed in their hearts. And while it is true that this period of singleness may be temporary for most of the singles, I will help my fellow singles (as I hope they will do the same for me) see this period of singleness as a gift to be cherished, more than just a transitory phase to the married phase.

I will remind us that while marrieds are blessed in ways singles are not, we singles are also blessed in ways married people are not. We must see and appreciate these blessings as unique and even better, in a way.

sarah with thu

Here’s one way we’re blessed: We can travel! Whenever, wherever! That’s a huge win in my book.

I also commit to protect myself and my fellow brothers and sisters from insensitive remarks and teasing that may damage relationships. I will do this by not encouraging prolonged teasing within the group, nor from other people, especially from marrieds, no matter how well-meaning they may be.

I will look to the single people in this community, especially those more advanced in age, as people of a special kind of wisdom, and therefore I will seek their fellowship and counsel. And I will honor them for the way they have faithfully obeyed God.

Yes, God loves me.

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da nang

The Divine is reaching out to me.

There are those moments, when you are so desperately and acutely aware of your own hopelessness and inability to please God.

Why am I so love-starved? Why am I so forgetful?

You’d think that growing up in a Christian family, working in a missions org, and studying in a seminary where I read and study the Bible every day (something I never imagined I’d ever do, to be honest) would cause me to not forget the very basic, fundamental truth that God loves me no matter what.

Why am I so inclined to think that I am worthless, that the things I do are insignificant, that I do not have purpose? 

Have I (yet again) started believing lies?

It’s a self-destructive mindset, one that is a result of the fall — I know this much. This, I realize now more than ever, is one of the devastating results of sin. It hurts me too. My own sin hurts me.

And why do I almost always tend to believe that I have disappointed God? This is me right now: burning with the most miserable feeling of embarrassment at being a disappointment to God.

But then…

He reaches down and reminds me of nothing short of His… love.

He reached down last night, as I prayed and mulled over my shame and struggles.

He reached down this morning, in Theology class as we discussed and reflected on Propitiation and the Hypostatic Union of Jesus’ Two Natures (of all things!).

He reached down at Chapel Time today, when kuya Craig, one of the Professors, exhorted us, “We need to be reminded of this, and we need to hear this: ‘God loves you.'”

It is so simple, and so profound, and so true.

I may have failed people. It’s okay, God loves me.

I have hurt others. Still, God loves me.

I am not who I think I ought to be. It doesn’t matter, God loves me.

I believe I have disappointed God. That is not true, and God loves me.

The Divine is reaching out to me, and yes, He loves me.

craig thompson

Kuya Craig at Chapel Time.