Tag Archives: single christian

My Heart, Redeemed

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A couple of years ago, I made a declaration: I’m okay being single forever. I still believe that, by the way. I still believe that I have an ultimate, greater purpose than simply getting married.

One broken heart and a few jilted suitors later, I’ve come to learn several things. And since Valentine’s Day is approaching, I’ve decided to reflect on some of the lessons I’ve been taught.

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I can be Secure in my Singleness and Still long for Marriage

When I decided that I’m okay being single forever, the most common response I got from people in my community was, “So you don’t want to get married anymore?”

The question baffled me, because nowhere had I written, nor had I ever said, that I don’t want to get married anymore. What just happened was: whereas in the past I viewed singleness as a completely undesirable option, and that a life of perpetual singleness was an unbearable fate, I now realize that being single forever could be meaningful and joyful and completely wonderful!

It was the most liberating realization – it lifted a great deal of pressure and reoriented my thinking of the future. I celebrated it as a step of growth towards being more secure in my identity and God’s ultimate purpose for me.

But it got me thinking: Do people in my community really think that being okay with singleness means rejecting marriage? Because I’m not. In fact, I do long for it. I do think about, dream about it, wish for it. I am, however, secure in my singleness too, much more than in the past. Security and longing are not mutually exclusive concepts.

My Response to Men Partly Reflects what I Believe About My Own Identity

In the great, emotional turmoil that accompanied and followed my heartbreak, in one of my lowest points, I wallowed in great self-pity and insecurity. I’ll spare you the sordid details, but suffice it to say that he hurt me deeply. I hurt him deeply too, that much I know (and acknowledge) now.

Now, in the present, with my heart more healed, my head more level, and my eyes finally dry, I see now that the way I related and responded to him (and to other men in the past) came out of certain deeply-rooted beliefs about myself. I believed I could never measure up. I believed I was not enough. I believed I was not worthy to be pursued.

Lies, all lies. But I believed them, and I brought them into my relationship with him.

My Community Must be Part of My Love-life Journey

I know it now: one of the reasons why my relationship with him was toxic was because I hadn’t really been completely honest with my accountability group and certain trusted people from my community.

Proud person that I was, I believed the lie that I didn’t have to be transparent with them. It was one of the first things I repented of, and which I vowed never to repeat again. I failed to realize that these people have been put in my life to journey with me.

In the last several years, I desperately prayed for God to give me the grace to learn whatever He was teaching me. I didn’t want to waste all this pain and not gain anything from it. I wanted my heart redeemed. 

God has indeed been faithful in showing me kindness, and showing me things I had never seen before. He used my heartbreak, and other succeeding events, to show how proud, insecure and manipulative my own heart is. Truly, the heart is deceitful above all things.

And He used men to redeem my view of men! (I won’t lie – there was a period when I truly hated disliked men.) Truly, God is close to the broken-hearted, and He has been such a good Father to me.

As I grow and reflect in my identity in God, my prayer and desire is to image God in the way I relate to men and women around me.

What have YOU learned in your relationships? 

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To all of you who waited.

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“You’re lucky you got to know this stuff before having a boyfriend.”

I have wanted to write about this for a while now. More specifically, since that time when my dgroup planned and hosted a “Love Courtship and Marriage” dinner talk for singles. We prepared for over a month, and part of our prep included watching Andy Stanley’s video series: “The New Rules for Love, Sex and Dating”.

I love that series. Seriously. Andy is super hyper and engaging and so darn convincing, and his message very timely too. Very unforgettable. But not as unforgettable as the discussions we had following every message, nor what my dgroupmates told me after going through the entire series, which could basically be summed up into: “You’re lucky you got to know this stuff before having a boyfriend.”

Lucky Me! (So they say)

See, in a dgroup technically formed for singles, I was the only actual single member. As in unattached, not-in-an-exclusive-relationship, single member.

“You’re so lucky, Sarah.” So I am, I guess. The thing is, after hearing that, I couldn’t help but echo what Andy Stanley kept wondering in his messages: “Didn’t anybody tell them these things? Didn’t anybody ever set an example for them?”

And just as Andy arrived at the conclusion that “No, no one probably told them”, so did I arrive at the (for me, rather amazing) conclusion that perhaps, no one did actually tell them. No one actually set an example for them. No one guided them, told them the truth, warned them.

“So lucky, Sarah. You get to get it right when you finally get into a relationship,” is what they told me. And I thought to myself, yes, how lucky I am. But not just because I heard these messages by Andy. In fact, that was not the first time I’ve heard of these messages.

With ate Flor, one of my awesome "ate"s who modeled to me strength, conviction, and faith. Taken in 2011, at my graduation. She was my mentor for 4 years!

With ate Flor, one of my awesome “ate”s who modeled to me strength, conviction, and faith. Taken in 2011, at my graduation. She was my mentor for 4 years!

They Were that “Ate” to Me

I am so fortunate because I had older, mature people – single and married – who set examples for me. It’s a beautiful thing about our culture, I believe, that gives the older person the responsibility to set an example for the younger, for the panganay, the ate and the kuya to be models to the younger.

I had and have ates who showed me that a woman could be single, happy, dreamy and fulfilled. Ates whose identities are complete and full, even without a man.

Who waited and yes, had their dreams of marital felicity come true.

Who waited, and did not end up married, but still are fulfilled and happy beyond measure (and shows it!).

Who made mistakes, and owned up to their mistakes, finding their identity and meaning in the One.

And I had and have kuyas who showed and continue to show me that godly, wisdom-filled, faithful, gentlemanly, disciplined men do exist. (I was genuinely shocked when my dgroupmates told me emphatically that they had never met true, godly, gentlemen).

It tells a lot about our culture when we have all these messed up relationships and messed up people and no one warns the others. Or they do warn them, but in a poor, unconvincing, judgmental, myopic manner.

So to all of you who waited, thank you. To all the ates and kuyas who told me and who showed me, I am grateful. You inspire me, compel, remind and warn me to be that kind of “ate” too.

To all of you who are waiting

And of course, to all of you sisters and brothers who are in the process of waiting, I extend my (virtual) hand to you in solidarity and encouragement.

You have dreams, I know. Wishes and prayers seemingly endless, at times seemingly impossible. You are not alone.

Thank you for choosing this road. The world is in need of people who can show them that there is an alternative to what the world has to offer.

Again, thank you. 🙂