Since I’ve been doing videos more, I haven’t been writing as much but I decided to write this one out instead of doing a video, so can we talk? Can we have a heart to heart? Alright, let’s chit chat…
Have you ever been in a place where it just feels like you’re by yourself? It’s beyond the point of a season of loneliness because it’s not really a time where God is stripping things from you but it’s like there’s not even anything for God to take away…because you’re by yourself. You have all these different things going on and you want to talk to someone about it but you don’t really have anyone to talk to. I mean you could talk to this or that person but you don’t know how they would receive your crazy…or you don’t want a pity party. You don’t want it to seem like you’re complaining or you just feel like the person that you would normally talk to can’t relate so you just keep it to yourself. You internalize all of these things to the point that you can feel them slowly brewing on the inside of you. It seems like no one sees, no one cares, and you just kinda feel stuck. You feel by yourself.
It’s a weird season to be in; it’s an awkward place to be when you are known as being the one who encourages, inspires, pulls it together in hard times, remains calm, keeps the peace, is slow to anger…it feels as though you always have to be this way. It feels like you have to say something encouraging, positive, and uplifting all the time. In other words you always have to be “on” even when you’re feeling off. So you get used to pretending; it is so exhausting pretending. You smile, you respond to emails, you post encouragement and scriptures all while you are dealing with things that are rocking your foundation to its core. You question God, you doubt your calling, and you ask why this is your portion and you deal with all of this by yourself. You want to talk about it, you need to talk about it, but you don’t…because you feel like you’re by yourself. It’s almost like you want someone to realize that you’re not okay without you having to walk around with a sign on your forehead that says “yoo-hoo, hey over here! I’m not okay.” You want someone to genuinely check in on you without you having to say something first.
If I can be honest, I’ve experienced all of these thoughts/feelings at some point throughout this year. I’ve been experiencing an interesting season and the reason why I say it’s interesting is because it’s a season that I’ve been in before. To be honest, I’m not quite sure why I am here but that’s okay. I initially didn’t feel the need to talk about it because I’ve done so many videos on it and I figured there wasn’t much more to say on the topic however, after watching videos/reading blogs by people that touched on this area I decided to talk about it.
It has been somewhat of an awkward season of transition for me. I’ve been in a place where literally everyone around me is either in a relationship, engaged, or getting married. It’s interesting because I don’t have the desire to be in that season right now, but it’s becoming more evident to me that they're pairs and I’m by myself. I don’t mean by myself in the sense of not being in a relationship but more so just figuring out where I fit in when it comes to pairs and groups. It's not coming from a place of jealousy, coveting, or comparison but just more so an evident reality of being just one amongst a bunch of pairs. Hopefully that makes sense. In addition to this, when I’ve been dealing with different things I’ve chosen not to talk to the people that I usually would for whatever reason which led me to internalize a lot of things. It got to a point where I was so angry about different things that was going on that this rage began brewing inside and eventually it poured out in different areas of my life. So this led me to do a soul detox (which I’ll be sharing later this month for the Changed Hearts: Kill My Will for August) to help me to see my heart and to let go of some things because I did not like the person that I was becoming. Throughout this time, God has revealed some things that I'm telling to myself while also sharing them with you.
A lot of times during a season of loneliness or when you’re just in a place where you feel like you’re by yourself it doesn’t seem like something that you would welcome. Trust me I know! But what if you looked at it as an opportunity versus a point of opposition in your life? James 1:2 tells us “when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy” (NLT). Now if you just stop reading right there you would be looking like uhm #ByeJames! Why would I take delight and joy when I’m facing things that are making me feel empty, broken, frustrated, busted, and disgusted??? Those are not happy words so come again! But when you keep on reading verse three says, “For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow” (NLT). Now I’m sure you’re like, Angel what does this have to do with me feeling by myself girl?!? When you’re in a place where you are by yourself it gives you an opportunity to really give your attention to God. The issue with this however, is that the enemy also realizes this so he will send different things your way to aggravate and irritate you so that you fall away from God instead of turning towards Him and allowing Him to grow you. You have to realize that when you are in a place where you are feeling alone and by yourself, God is oftentimes trying to get your attention.
A lot of times instead of giving God our attention we end up pulling further away from Him and we get in these moods and funks and we get irritated with ourselves because our attitudes have become so nasty. We have no patience, everything gets on our nerves, and we don’t feel like getting into our word or spending time with God because we’ve allowed all this gunk to get into our hearts. If we do attempt to spend time with God we feel so disconnected and it’s almost like we don’t even know where to begin. So now it appears that not only are we alone in the natural sense but it also feels like God has left us by ourselves. Can you say a test of faith?
The question isn’t really why are you in a season of loneliness or why do you feel like you’re by yourself but the real question is what are you going to do now that you’re in that place? Are you willing to press through the test? Are you even willing to take the test? I know that it can be difficult when you’re in a place where you feel like you’re by yourself and it would be so easy to sit here and say it’s only a season, seasons change, in due time, etc., but the reality is sometimes it might be awhile before your season changes or it may not even change. Very encouraging, I know…but it’s the reality. Another reality however, is that God never puts you in a place without a purpose in mind. So what if that purpose is to grow your faith in Him and give you the strength that you need to endure? You don't want to miss out on that opportunity simply because you got frustrated and distracted in the midst of the test. Know that God is for you even when it seems like you're by yourself, you have no one around, things aren't going in the manner that you would like, and whatever else. Sometimes when you're in that place of feeling by yourself it is easy to forget that God is for you. Don't lose sight of that and don't allow your current place to make you forfeit the destination that He has for you. Stay encouraged.
Sometimes you have those days where you just don't feel good. It's not just a matter of you not feeling well physically but you also feel spiritually empty and tired. Tired...almost like you have nothing left to give yet you know that you can't tap out. You try so hard to keep on going but you don't want to keep going on like this. Pretending. Hurting. Angry. Frustrated. Empty...
"You've brought me to the end of myself and this has been the longest road. Just when my hallelujah was tired, You gave me a new song."
You're tired. You're so tired of hitting that hard brick wall every single time that you try to go forward. You're tired of the setbacks, tired of the fall throughs, tired of trying and feeling like it's not good enough. You just want it to be different this time. You want to let go and fully let go this time yet it always seems to remain clenched so tightly in your hand.
"Now I'm letting go. I'm letting go. I'm letting go. I'm falling in to You."
You feel as though you don't know where to go from here. You want it to be different this time but deep down inside you're scared that it will only remain the same. That little voice inside tells you that you won't come out of this, you will continue to stumble, it will only last a week or so and then you'll go back to the same old same old. Those lies begin to get LOUDER than the word of God that says otherwise. You feel defeated. You believed for a moment that it would be easier to give up than to get through this. You considered throwing in the towel but something inside of you tells that there's still something worth fighting for. Something has told you, maybe even faintly, that you can't give up. I know this because you chose to read this.
"I confess I still get scared sometimes but perfect love comes rushing. And all the lies that screamed inside go silent the moment You begin."
I know that life can happen sometimes and the unexpectedness of it all can bring you to your knees. No matter how strong you are in your faith, you will face some days where the opportunity to give up will present itself in such a way that it almost convinces you that it would be easier than pushing forward. Can I be that soft whisper for you today? You can't give up friend and the reason you can't give up is because what is on the inside of you is worth fighting for. Please realize that if there was nothing in you or about you that was worth fighting for satan would not be working overtime to get you to break! He is fighting you so hard because he realizes that there is something so great on the inside of you that he does not want to come out.
"You remind me of things forgotten. You unwind me until I'm totally undone. And with Your arms around me fear was no match for Your love and now You've won me."
Can I remind you of something? Did you forget what 1 Corinthians 15:57-58 says? Well here’s a quick refresher: “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” Victory already belongs to you because of who you are in Christ. Have you forgotten this fact simply because you're facing things that are making you feel less than victorious right now? No one and nothing can take away the fact that you are victorious in Christ except for you. Don't you get it? Satan wants you to knock yourself out of a race that you've already won! He can't take victory from you because it's already yours through Christ Jesus, so instead he tries to get you to give it to him by giving up. Don't you dare give in and give up on what is rightfully yours.
While you are sitting here looking at the very things that are trying to take you out and thinking that it is so hard, the enemy is looking in the future and he is scared because he sees who God has predestined you to be! He sees you walking in boldness; he sees you whole in Christ; he sees the overcomer that was on the inside of you now walking boldly on the outside; he sees the less frustrated peaceful you; he sees the confident you; he sees the souled out for Christ you; he sees you walking in your anointing; he sees you impacting and changing people's lives; he sees you pleading the blood of Jesus and breaking generational curses; he sees the best part of you....that you can't even see in yourself right now and that's why he wants you to give up. Satan isn't attacking you because you're an easy target. He's not distracting you because he sees you don't have purpose or that you're going to be defeated. He's not fighting you because you're a lost cause. Quite the contrary! He knows that your current state is not your final destination. What he also knows is that if he can get you to believe the lies while you’re feeling defeated, feeling like you lack purpose, and feeling like a loss cause, that you will abandon the very thing that is on the inside of you. You will forfeit your purpose and Gods plans for your life. Satan wants you to focus on where you are and not where Gods will is for you to be. Don't allow your current circumstances and frustrations to lead you to make rash decisions that will impact your purpose and destination with God.
"If I lived a thousand lifetimes and wrote a song for everyday, still there would be no way to say how You have loved me."
You say “God I'm tired.” God says, My grace is sufficient for you. I will carry you through this. The enemy wants to steal what God has planted on the inside of you and the only way he can get it is if you give it to him. I hope and pray that you realize that even though you may feel tired, what is on the inside of you is still worth fighting for.
Have you ever been in a place where you felt as though you were striving to live for God; you weren’t perfect, but you were really trying. You were seeking after God and you were intentional about doing things the right way. You were really trying, yet you had this issue…this thorn in your flesh as apostle Paul called his, this thing that you just couldn’t seem to shake and with a heavy heart and tears in your eyes you asked God, “Why won’t You take this from me?” “Why won’t You heal me?” “Why won’t You help me to overcome this?” “God, why won’t You do this for me?” The thing is, you’re not coming from a place of anger or even pride, but it’s from a place of brokenness in your heart. You think to yourself God I’m not upset with You, I promise I’m not angry with You. I believe You to be God and I know that You can do this…I just don’t understand why You won’t God. I don’t expect You to fix it just because I’m living for You but I have faith that You can God and I just want to know that my faith isn’t in vain…God I trust You and I believe You to be who You say You are…God please take this from me…
Have you ever been in that place? It might be hard to admit that you have been but there’s a beauty in being real and honest with God. In our honesty with God, He reveals Himself to us and answers our questions in ways that we likely did not expect. I had a moment today where I asked God why won’t You do this for me. Why does this have to be my issue? Why does this have to be my thorn in my flesh? God…why won’t You do this for me? His response was in the form of a question as well; am I not still God even if I don’t? If I don’t do this for you am I not still God? Sometimes in the midst of our hurt, pain, frustrations, and everything else that our little emotions like to pull on, we forget that the fact that God has not done it for us is not equivalent to Him not being able to. We know that He can do all things but that's not really the question at hand. The real question is what are you going to do if He doesn’t do it? How are you going to respond even if He does not move on your behalf during what you feel is your time of need?
Let’s take a moment and look at apostle Paul as he talks about having a thorn in his flesh.
If I wanted to boast, I would be no fool in doing so, because I would be telling the truth. But I won’t do it, because I don’t want anyone to give me credit beyond what they can see in my life or hear in my message, 7 even though I have received such wonderful revelations from God. So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud.8 Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. 9 Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 10 That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong (2 Corinthians 12:6-10, NLT).
Apostle Paul begged the Lord, he pleaded with the Lord, to take this thorn away from him. God, why won’t You do this for me? Every time His response to Paul was “My grace is sufficient for you.” Each time that Paul asked God to take it away I can imagine God saying Paul, don’t you understand? Do you not get it? My strength is made perfect in your weakness Paul. I see what you’re going through Paul. I feel what you’re going through Paul. I know you’re uncomfortable Paul. I know you don’t understand why you have go through this Paul. I know you want Me to take it away from you Paul. But I want you to know that My grace is all you need Paul. Now put your name everywhere that you see Paul’s name…
God is asking us do we really believe that His grace is sufficient? Do we really believe that it is still enough as we go before God asking Him why He won’t do this for us? God needs us to realize that it’s enough. It is more than enough. In the moments of weakness, it’s enough. In the moments of pain and discomfort, it’s enough. In the moments of frustration and uncertainty, it’s enough. It is enough; His grace is enough; God is more than enough. Trust me when I say I know it can be difficult to be in a place where you feel like you keep running into a brick wall as you keep dealing with the same issue that it seems like it just won't go away or get better. But are we responding as though we believe that God's grace is sufficient and that it is made perfect in weakness? Just as we have faith that God can change the situation or make it better, we must also have faith in His response that His grace is sufficient. We must really believe that it is enough...even for our issue. Until God gives us a different response we must learn to rest in the truth that His grace is all that we need.
As people who are self sufficient it can be difficult to be in a situation that you have no control over. It can be beyond frustrating to have to face a situation that you cannot fix or make right yourself. God says My grace is sufficient. He wants you to know that you don’t have to carry this weight by yourself. Stop holding on to it and all the mess and emotions that come with it. Give it to God today and tell Him whether He does this for you or not He is still God and you trust that His grace is more than enough. For when we are weak, then we are strong…
As I stated during the Singles With Purpose online conference, I asked a couple of my fam in Christ if they could give singles some advice for their single season what would it be and this is the response that I got! This is the full list of responses that I got which is a little bit more than what I shared on during the conference. Hope this helps :)
1. Refuse to play the comparison game. Stop looking at all the people your age and what they're doing, whether they are married or just got engaged.
2. Take your eyes off people and fix your eyes of Christ.
3. Get involved in the Singles Ministry at your church. No Singles Ministry at your church, maybe God is calling you to start it.
4. Get busy for God. Stay Kingdom minded.
5. Don't waste this season, start that ministry God has pressed upon your heart, write that book, blog, go on that mission trip, etc.
6. Realize that marriage is not a prerequisite for purpose or ministry.
7. Make friends with other single Christians that live by Hebrews 10:24, "And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds."
8. Be mindful of boundaries between women and men. Set boundaries.
9. Fully grasp that fulfillment and completeness is found in an intimate relationship with God not a man/woman.
10. Say no to randoms. You know that man ain't your Boaz.
11. Don't settle. Wait on God's best for you.
12. Don't date just to date with no real purpose in mind.
13. If they don't recognize your worth, chuck up them deuces.
14. Recognize that you have purpose no matter what your relationship status is.
15. Spend crazy amounts of time with God. Get in His presence.
16. Go to a conference.
17. Don't be stagnant, make sure you are growing spiritually.
18. See this season for what it truly is...a gift.
19. Read books on the single season. Ladies I strongly recommend you read Lady in Waiting by Jackie Kendall and Debby Jones.
20. Do things that you wouldn't normally do like going to plays, ballets, etc. also
21. Working out and eating right because not only will that keep you healthy, you'll be more effective for the kingdom and you'll become confident.
22. Learn how to say "no" to suitors that you just know aren't God's best for you. It may get tempting to go out with them because they're a christian but if you know they aren't it then don't waste time.
23. Ask yourself "then, what?" Or find the "then what" moments in your mind...ex:you work for a six pack then what? You have a great body then what? Basically looking at contentment and desires.
24. Daily challenge your definition of or redefine success/fulfillment by your own standard and GOD'S. (No one else)
25. Try something like going to movies or lunches alone.
26. Travel; be spontaneous, try the things you always wanted to try.
27. Be around married people to see what it's really like.
28. Artistic expressions, reading- not just christian books but all types of books.
29. Find out what you like and don't like about yourself, about life, in others.
30. Take a cooking classes, finishing a degree or 2, start a business, take random classes at a local community college.
31. Run a marathon, join sports teams, get involved in other clubs or groups.
32. Get to know YOU. Fall in love with God and be selfish with your time. Do the things you've always wanted. Create a bucket list and knock those things down.
33. Seek God and get accountability.
34. Have date nights with Jesus and yourself.
35.Learn a new skill, volunteer with your favorite charities/organizations.
36. Ask God to show you His purpose and focus on growing your gifts.
37. Be content with your portion, have an accountability/prayer partner.
38. Pray & study the Word intentionally & continuously.
39. Find other single friends to hang out with.
40. Loving yourself is a big one, everyone says that they love themselves, but I mean like really embracing who you are, to be happy with yourself & be you despite what people say!
41. We all have a past & a lot of the singles haven't moved on from the past. It keeps us stuck, it didn't let us be who we're supposed to be, it makes the season we're in longer.
42. Not paying attention to society. Society says that men have no self control that they can't control their hormones! But that's not true! Guard your heart! Society says that women are emotional, I know that that's not true! All these things keep us from being happy and from experiencing real peace.
Watch the full Singles With Purpose conference here!: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JT6DVONydac