Thanks to Wendy Widder and Kregel Publications for including me in the blog tour for Wendy’s newly re-released book—Living Whole without a Better Half, which is available on eBook for $2.99, TODAY ONLY.
Also, I will be giving away several FREE books (ebooks and hard copy). To enter your name in the drawing (to keep or give to a friend),comment or ‘like’ this post on Facebook, or send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org). SHARE on facebook, or let me know that you sent a friend a link, and your name will be entered 3x!
First off, let me say,
Being single can hurt.
- Eternal dating relationships that never progress to the ring-giving state.
- Breakups that make no sense to anyone but Jesus.
- Breakups that make sense to everybody but you.
- Being invited to every wedding but your own.
- No responses to an eHarmony ad.
- No response from anyone at all!
Singleness can be a hard row to hoe, as my Aunt Alice would say.
A while back, I had four different conversations with four different single women, who were each struggling with some aspect of single-ness. Then, I got an email asking me for a recommendation for a book on singleness–all within a short period of time.
Obviously, the Lord was drawing my attention.
I thought of my friend, Wendy Widder, who wrote Living Whole Without a Better Half.
Wendy and I first met back when we taught together in Milwaukee. I taught 4th grade, then passed the kids off to Wendy down the hall for 5th grade. We were also in the same singles group at church, and even back then, she was writing things that were interesting, funny, and Christ centered.
I knew Wendy’s book would be incredibly helpful both for me, and several of my friends, so I sent Wendy a message. She wrote back, telling me I was in luck! The book was just about to be re-released, and she invited me to be part of her blog tour.
So here I am! On tour with Wendy.
Since Wendy is my friend (and her doctorate along with multiple books authored don’t scare me), I decided to do an interview. And since I love talking to Wendy, our interview was more like a conversation—meaning it was quite long. To spare you endless scrolling, I’m breaking this into three parts.
I could muster up oodles of questions on the struggles of marriage than singleness, but for this topic, I reached out to some of my single friends for help compiling questions.
Thanks to Wendy and my friends for helping with this!
Interview with Wendy Widder, Part 1
How do I reconcile the deep longing for marriage with God’s obvious closing of that door—at least for now?
We’ve all experienced a deep longing for something else. And it’s because the world is broken. Married and single people have desires and dreams that won’t ever come to pass. But we can still trust that God is good, and He’s doing what is good for us, even though it might not feel good.
God closes doors and there’s not a thing you can do about that–except keep knocking. Sometimes though, I think we become preoccupied with knocking on the doors. We become so focused on getting the gifts we want that we ignore the Giver.
There was a time that I was totally preoccupied with ‘knocking on the door’ of a new job. I was dissatisfied with where I was, and so I spent an exorbitant amount of time job searching. I found the perfect opportunity, and went through the interview process. Then, just before Ash Wednesday I found out that the job was not to be mine. It was devastating.
So that year for Lent, I gave up looking for a new job. I realized that I just needed to live in the present and focus on the blessings and gifts that God had given me. I needed to remember that if I’m not satisfied in Him, I won’t be satisfied in anything.
I don’t intend for that to be a trite-sounding answer! I know that it’s true, but I don’t always feel like it.
I have a single friend who is in her seventies and who has never been married. She has heard some of my woes of singleness over past years, and her advice is this: “Wendy, take the time that you apparently have J, to focus on your relationship with God.” And again, that sounds trite; it’s something I should know. And yet, being reminded of it has been valuable.
Sometimes I’m so focused on looking for something or someone else to satisfy me.
I inwardly complain, I don’t have anyone to share my funny stories with. Well, why don’t I go for a walk and tell them to God? Well, he already knows, I tell myself. Yea, but maybe what’s important is just the exercise of telling the funny story, knowing that Somebody is actually listening!
So, how do you reconcile your deep longing? I don’t know that you do
reconcile it. You just recognize that the world is broken, and all of our desires will not be fulfilled in life. And you refocus on God–not as a one-time decision, where you say, “I’m going to turn to God and everything will be fine.” It’s something that you do over and over, every day.
Otherwise, you will lose your focus and you will become preoccupied with what you think you need and want. When what you really need and want is Him.
I’m considering breaking up with a guy who has some glaring inadequacies. How can I discern whether I’m being ‘too picky’ or employing wisdom? I have flaws, to…
Ask some trusted friends for some counsel. I don’t know you and I don’t know the guy, but your friends do. Hopefully you have some married friends who can provide some perspective—who can say, “Here’s what drove me nuts about a guy I dated, and here’s why I’m glad I didn’t marry him.”
For me personally, if my parents thought there were red flags, I hope I would run.
Once upon a time, I was dating someone that I really liked, but my brother-in-law, Peter, didn’t like him. And I thought, “Oh, you’re just being grumpy, Peter.” But Peter was right. He saw something I didn’t see. In retrospect, it’s all very clear.
I would place the opinion of my family—if they’re believers, and good, solid, trustworthy people—above my own perspective. I would hope I would go with what my family says.
Wendy Widder has a PhD in Near Eastern Studies from the University of the Free State (South Africa) and currently works for Logos Bible Software. In her spare time, she is writing two commentaries on Daniel, sort of blogging, and keeping up with friends and family.