My boyfriend and I broke up in September. We had only been dating for three months, but I flew out to meet his parents in Mississippi the month before, so for me it was real.
He broke up with me over the phone.
“Can’t you come to my apartment and talk to me?” I cried over the phone.
“No, I have a softball game.”
“But can’t you skip it?” I answered back without trying to hide my desperation.
“I’m not going to skip it. I’m not coming!” he said back to me.
Later that week he did come to my apartment. I lived in a gated apartment community in the city. I had given him a key card to get in the gate so that he didn’t have to call me and let me buzz him in each time he came over. He came that day to return the key card.
You know, dumped girls get excited when there’s stuff that needs to be returned after a break-up. It’s like our last chance to win him over. Maybe, just maybe, he’ll change his mind. That’s what this dumped girl thought, anyway.
I remember him walking up the stairs. “Chasing Cars” by Snow Patrol was playing on the radio. He set the key card down on the kitchen counter. I full on sobbed.
I don’t remember what he said. I don’t remember what I said. But I do remember him walking back down the stairs and out the door. And I remember me running after him. Bawling my eyes out, beside myself with grief, begging him to stay.
A few days later I sat in my living room humiliated. I was a 30-year-old woman begging a man to choose me. I was at my breaking point. Something had to change.
In that moment I cried out to God. I told Him I was sorry. Sorry for making men and marriage idols. Sorry for chasing guys instead of chasing Him. I told Him I was surrendering my singleness. I was done chasing my desires. I was ready to chase His desires for me. And if that included me being single for the rest of my life, so be it. My only request was for God to use my life for something that mattered.
And He did just that.
As time went on, I matured past my need to be chosen, and I realized that I am already chosen. Chosen by God to do His work with the life He’s given me even if that means doing it without a husband.
I did get married, but not because I surrendered myself to God. Marriage wasn’t a reward for my obedience, and surrender wasn’t a light switch where one day I woke up healed. No, I was still learning how to surrender while my husband and I were dating. After the wedding, I quickly learned that marriage doesn’t change anything. If you’re looking for acceptance outside of God before marriage, you’ll do the same after marriage.
Having been both single and married, my past seemed to become clear. My heart began to break for single women, like I once was, who chase men and marriage believing they will give them worth, security, and ultimately happiness. I mourned over the time I wasted as a single woman – time that I could have been living instead of pining over what I didn’t have. I wondered why God didn’t bless me with strong, Christian mentors who could have redirected my paths and saved me from so much heartache.
There was nothing I could do about my past. However, God set in my heart to do something about other women’s futures. He gave me the life verse, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives” (Genesis 50:20), and He gave me a ministry to mentor young women like I once was. I took the lessons I learned as a single woman turned married woman, and I started an online and in-real-life ministry to mentor single women.
What is the take-away for you?
Pray for a mentor. Every single woman needs a mentor. You can’t do singleness well alone.
And then, become a mentor to a younger woman. God wants to use your story in the lives of other young women. There is no need to wait until you’re married to make a difference in someone else’s life.
If you know someone who is a mentor (or who should be!), will you email them this post to encourage them?