This post is the first of many I hope to share under the new category of “Titus2 Mentoring“. Pastor’s wives, mothers, grandmas, single women, daughters… I hope this new focus here at the blog will be an encouragement to you!
I married at twenty-one.
At the time, I felt like I’d been “single” and waiting for my prince charming to show up for ages!
Over the last thirteen years, my perspective has changed a lot regarding singleness, the “right” age to marry, and how courtship should work.
My biggest paradigm shift has come through the blessing of a close friendship with my sister, Julie.
Julie is beautiful, thirty, and unmarried.
Her life as a Christian, single woman has challenged my preconceived ideas about unmarried women and gave me a glimpse at the real life issues these ladies face.
I know Julie’s story is not unique. Our cultural trends are leaving many women in their twenties, thirties, and upward, still “waiting” for their Mr. Right to make an appearance.
This post isn’t about what’s wrong with the men in our culture, and why so many are choosing to not pursue marriage (although, sometimes I do wonder!).
Today I want to share a peek into the world of an intentional, outward-focused single young woman…
It all started when Julie approached me early in 2013 about “doing something special” for her single girl friends as a ministry outreach.
“I want to call it Girls’ Day Out, and it’s just going to be a day for us to get together to eat, talk, and encourage each other.”
I knew Julie’s heart for single women. Her life experience as one who feels like she “doesn’t fit the mold”, her broken engagement, and her passion for encouraging other women in the “waiting” years spills out into every facet of her life.
“I think it’s a great idea.” I told her. “Go for it!”
And she did.
We decided to make Julie’s Girls’ Day Out an extension of our Titus2 Ladies’ Retreats, and to host the day in February, near Valentine’s Day.
Julie brought in a speaker, rounded up her local, unmarried girl friends, and hosted her first Girls’ Day Out in February 2013.
The next year, we expanded the event to include several speakers and a special class just for girls ages six through twelve years old.
Last weekend was our third annual Girls’ Day Out event, and we were so blessed to host 30 to 35 single women, teenagers, and little girls at our church.
Julie’s theme this year was “Reach”, and each of the three workshop speakers challenged their classes to move beyond their comfort zones and limitations and let God use them to reach out.
We enjoyed a lot of fun games, a silly skit, a trail mix buffet, a time of worship and age-appropriate workshops before we wrapped up the morning with lunch at a local Mexican restaurant.
As the hosting pastor’s wife, I can’t tell you how rewarding it was to see my sister and the ladies in our church working together to make Valentine’s Day unforgettable for these girls and women! Girls’ Day Out was a lot of work, but we had a great team of helpers… and it was totally worth it!
Our friend, Sarah, stayed with Julie over the weekend, and by Sunday we had a trio of single girls at our home for lunch.
Oh my! I enjoyed the energy and life these girls brought to our dinner table.
(I forgot how silly and giggly girls can be!)
Not only are these ladies my very dear friends, but I am so thankful for the beautiful example of Biblical womanhood they role model for my two daughters.
Thank you, Julie, Sarah, and Lynley! I love you all a bunch!
I know life as a single woman is tough.
I realize that these precious ladies struggle with expectations, discouragement, loneliness, unfulfilled desires and many intimate battles I will never know about.
If you’re single, or even in a difficult marriage that feels hopeless, I’m not sharing this to add more discouragement to your life.
Maybe Valentine’s Day was just another painful reminder of what you’ve lost… or have never had.
What I hope to do is give you a glimpse at how ordinary, imperfect, just-like-you-people are reaching out to make a difference in their little corner of the world.
You don’t have to host a Girls’ Day Out, but you can still make a difference.
We all have a sphere of influence.
We all have something to give that counts in the bigger picture.
We all have an eternal purpose for living.
We can all impact someone in a huge way.
I can do it.
Julie can do it.
You can do it.
So whether you’re married, single, twenty-one or fifty-one…
Embrace your life as God’s gift to you, then purposefully share it with others. You were created to make a difference!