It was a Wednesday night and I’d just returned home from teaching my Girl’s Ministry Class. Checking my computer, I could not have been more thrilled to receive an invitation from the director to promote our ministry. Seriously, I was ecstatic! I couldn’t wait to pack up our materials, hit the road, and tell lots of women that we’d never met before about our resource. Anyone who would have seen me so excited would have thought I’d won a million dollars. I was psyched!
Over the next few days this excitement continued to grow as we planned the trip and God miraculously had someone donate all of the funds to cover the cost. (You thought I was doing a happy dance before---you should have seen me when that check came!) I was counting the days until the event!
Then another email arrived that put a damper on the party.
Don’t get me wrong. It was a nice email.
It was from a college friend, who saw my name on the list when she was helping to prepare the convention. Even though the email said, “Looking forward to seeing you,” my heart sank when it arrived.
Immediately, my mind started imagining the conversation.
We’d say, “Hi”, hug, tell each other that we don’t look like we’ve aged at all), and then she’d ask the question, “So are you married…have any kids?”
And then I’d shrink.
Even if she didn’t say a negative word or give me one pitiful look, I’d feel ashamed---like I’d done something wrong.
I didn’t fit into the mold or meet the expectations of other people.
I was embarrassed to be single---as if it was a failure---a statement that I wasn’t good enough. For me it was a tremendous source of embarrassment and shame. For the next few days I seriously struggled as to whether or not to come to the conference or stay home. Sadly, my shame of being single almost kept me from going to the conference and walking through the door that God had opened for our ministry.
I recently heard shame defined as “a sense deep inside that there is something fundamentally wrong with you.”
That’s exactly what I was dealing with in my life---a deep sense that there must be something fundamentally wrong with me that I was not married.
I must not be pretty enough, smart enough, submissive enough. My personality must be too strong, I must be too difficult, and the list went on and on as I mentally tore myself apart trying to figure out how I could change so that someone would want to marry me and I could shake off the shame of being single.
Thankfully, the Holy Spirit saw what I could not see. He knew that the problems in my life had nothing to do with how I was created or who I was, but that the root of my shame and rejection came from some false ideas in my mind. These beliefs and lies were at the root of my shame and they---not being single---were what were holding me back from experiencing the full, abundant life that Jesus had for me.
The Holy Spirit knew that the answer to my problems wasn’t finding a husband or getting married, but dealing with the lies that were controlling my heart and mind and setting me free.
On that day in late October 2012, He used the invitation to the conference to start doing a change inside of my heart.
He started by pointing out the lies that were controlling my heart and mind.
Then He showed me where they came from---He got to the root of the problem.
Once the root was pulled out, He was able to replace them with God’s truth
Without a doubt, God’s truth changed my life and radically set me free.
Over the course of the next few weeks, we’re going to take a look at some of the truths that helped me to shake off the shackles that were holding me down and set me free to soar as a single, as a woman, and as a daughter of God.
I hope that you will join me on this journey---because if there is one thing that I know is true it’s this:
It is God’s will for EVERY woman to soar. He has a plan and purpose for each of our lives and His greatest desire is for us to walk in His purposes.
Unfortunately, many of us has barriers standing in our way----lies, shame, pain from our past---that want to keep us tied to the ground.
Thankfully, God has given us the truth of His Word to set us free, deliver us from all that is holding us back, and give us the boost that we need to soar.
It all starts as we replace the lies that are controlling our lives with God’s truth. As it says in John 8:32 &36:
“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free….
…If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”