Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Single and Searching (Calling All Men Series)

Today I would like to welcome my online friend, Valerie Sisco. Valerie is a single lady looking for the one God has chosen just for her. I love it when I come across women who refuse to settle for less than God's best for them. Valerie is inspiring. She loves to travel, finds beauty in the ordinary around her and writes frequently at her blog, Grace with Silk. Please welcome Valerie to the blog!
I’m often asked why I’m still single and I never really have a good answer. 

Maybe I didn’t try hard enough during my years at a Christian college to snag a mate. Maybe I gave up on singles groups at church too easily. Maybe it’s because I’ve never gotten on board with online dating. Or maybe there’s just not enough single men for all the single women out there.

All I know is that I haven’t met a man I could imagine spending my life with. (Tweet That)

I know it wasn’t the man I came close to marrying just after college. Not the divorced youth pastor. Not the widower with two young children. Not the man I met at work who didn’t want to come to church, but on our third date invited me to see him performing a nude scene in a local play. Not the man friends fixed me up with who asked me on our first meeting if I’d be content to just hang around the house with him or did we actually have to go out on a date. 

Some of the men I’ve dated were Christians and some weren’t, but honestly I didn’t always see much of a difference between them.

When a man I’d gotten to know at church invited me to coffee after a service, I listened as he peppered his conversation with four-letter words that sounded out of place a few feet from the sanctuary. After months of sitting with him during worship, he ran into a friend one week who asked if I was the woman he was taking to Vegas on an upcoming trip. “No, this is just my church buddy,” he told him.

I wondered, where were the men who had a genuine desire to pursue God and seek holiness? (Tweet That

Were there men who wanted to partner with God, alongside a woman whose heart would join him in that purpose?

I have to admit getting married was never really a dream of mine. I didn’t spend much time thinking about a party of bridesmaids and designer gowns. Although I was raised in a Christian home by committed parents who just celebrated their fifty-second anniversary, I was a girl who loved books and was more interested in pursuing a writing career and decorating my own apartment than hitting the singles scene.

After several years of working office jobs, I finally landed a communications job in the corporate world. I bought a house, volunteered in the community and with my church, and was comfortably happy with my single life.

But something shifted for me. A few years ago God started rearranging the people, priorities and places in my life as I felt him alluring me. 

I felt him asking me to step beyond myself, out of my complacent and comfortable lifestyle to a spiritual journey that has deepened my faith. He’s challenged me to trust him when I can’t see his hand and invited me to wait for his answers.

Instead of filling up the spaces of my single life with more hobbies and activities, I made more space for God.

Sometimes I’ve felt if only I had that one thing — marriage — then I would finally arrive and my life would be complete. I wonder, if marriage is God’s plan for human beings from the beginning of creation, why isn’t that plan for me? But I might be living the life that God thinks is perfect for me. I enjoy freedom of time and space and I don’t have to consider anyone’s preferences in decisions about finances, travel and even meals.

But those are also the drawbacks of being single. 

I think marriage is a picture of our relationship with God. A husband and wife get to live a story that mirrors God’s love for us. (Tweet That)

I still have an unlikely desire to be married. Although it feels too late for me, I know it’s possible to find men who desire to know God. But it’s also possible that the desires God places in our hearts are meant to be satisfied in him alone.

Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you.  
-Ps. 73:25

Occasionally {more often than I’d imagine} my sister or a friend will tell me they’ve dreamed they were at my wedding. They describe the scene to me in detail — the food at the reception, the flowers, the setting. My sister even told me I was wearing a Vera Wang dress and described the cut, the neckline and the way I looked. I always ask, “Well, who was the groom? Did you see him?” 

And I guess that’s the answer I’m still waiting for.

About Valerie: Valerie Sisco lives in Orlando, Florida, and writes the blog Grace with Silk. Her day job is in corporate communications, but in the evenings you’ll find her dreaming of her next trip to Paris and Italy. You can also connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

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