Apr 21, 2021

Dear Single Sisters in Christ

 By Abby Leithart
 
Being a single Christian woman comes with many tensions. While many others around me are becoming engaged and having babies and more babies, I am desiring all of the above. Perhaps you, too, are single; you, too, desire to be married; you too have tried telling yourself being single is a blessing (not saying it is not); you too go back and forth between praying about it and wondering what the point of these petitions is. Does God even care about these desires?
 
And on top of all of these internal battles, everyone around you gives conflicting advice. In my experience, one of the least helpful pieces of advice concerning meeting a potential husband is, “You know when you know…” Thank you for pointing out the very thing I do not know.  *le sigh. Another example of disheartening words to a single woman is, “how are you still single?” *le sigh again…I egotistically ask myself the same question! So many women seem to have no trouble finding a suitable husband, why can’t I?
 
It is easy, at this point, to look inwardly and critically and think that surely there must be something wrong with me. It is easy to fall into the devil’s traps when you are wallowing in self-pity.

 

There have been other times when I have thought that the more I do my daily devotions and read God’s Word, the more He will bless me, give me the desires of my heart, and be merciful to my poor self in the ways that I see fit. But as my dear pastor, Pastor Christopher Esget, reminds me, that is far from the truth! Of course it is good and right to read the Word, do daily devotions, and pray; but just because we do these things does not mean God will instantly bless us with the desires we have been praying for.
 
John 16:24 tells us, “Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.” The key thing to remember here is that our joy rests in Jesus alone. Nothing in this life will fulfill our earthly and eternal needs as does the Lord. Yes, pray for the desires that you seek from God, but ultimately, pray for faith!
 
I have spoken with many single and married women, and each want something different. One was single and desired marriage, and the Lord fulfilled that prayer, but now, she wants a child. Another is married and blessed with a child, but hopes for a second. The Lord blesses another with five children, and now she just wants peace and quiet. . . well, can you blame her? My point is, we are always going to be searching for earthly wants. These desires may be good, but we cannot make them the center of our focus.
 
Although his story is not one focused on singleness, the events of Job still come to mind. Even in the midst of darkest despair, pain, and loss, He praised God. “Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” (Job 2:10). What a wonderful example of perseverance and faith. As a single woman desiring marriage, I look to my faith in these times of difficulty. In the years that seem like a never ending drought, the Lord comes with His Word and Sacrament bringing healing.
 
When I fall into excessive contemplation of my own feelings and lot in life, I ought to stop and remember my baptism, His promises, and how He has, and will always provide what I need. It is not easy to remember that His ways are better than my ways, but we pray over and over again that His will be done.
 
So, how then should we live? Certainly not in constant sadness and dare I say, anger. Yes, there will be times when you cry yourself to sleep at night because another man you have tried dating ended up not being your husband, or because you simply feel the pangs of loneliness.
 
Yet as Rebekah Curtis and Rose Adle say in the book Ladylike, “No person who pleads to God for a husband is called to loneliness, thought is is a fact of her life.” God’s immediate blessings of family, friendship, community, faith, and love can help turn the focus from ourselves and prevent us from making our greatest desires our idol. At times, it is difficult to accept where the Lord has placed us, but our lives right now are no mistake.
 
Resist falling into the devil’s temptations and lies of loneliness and despair. You are not alone, dear sister, the Lord is with you. Ask Him to show you and teach you patience. He will provide you with what you need, which may be different than your strongest desires. But He is faithful in His Word and Sacraments. He will be faithful to us until our last breath. Stay constant in prayer, repent, praise Him for saving us from this wretched world, and receive His grace and mercy.
 
***
 
Abby Leithart joined the Immanuel Lutheran School faculty located in Alexandria,Virginia in 2020 as Kindergarten Assistant Teacher. Miss Leithart brings to the classroom six years teaching and eleven years of professional dance company experience. She was a company member with The Dayton Contemporary Dance Company for five years before moving to Virginia and working with various companies in DC. She has taught youth and adult classes at City Dance Conservatory (Rockville, MD), Ballet Nova Center for Dance (Arlington, VA), Joy of Motion Dance Center (Washington, DC), and Born2Dance Studio (Vienna, VA). She continues to teach and choreograph outside of the Kindergarten classroom. 

Miss Leithart received her BFA in dance at Wright State University and has continued her training with additional summer intensives such as Hubbard Street Dance Company, Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, and NW Dance Project. She was recognized with the Regional Dance America's Northeast Josephine Schwartz Award for best emerging choreographer (RDA) in 2015, and has choreographed a variety of solos and group performances. She has performed around the world, including in Azerbaijan, Russia, England, Cuba, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, as well as locally at the Kennedy Center in DC.

An active member of Immanuel Lutheran Church, Miss Leithart enjoys serving the congregation through participation in the choir.

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