Richelle served with me on the welcome ministry at church. She always had a cool and calm spirit, despite having two young boys to raise! I looked forward to serving with her every time. She has such a spirit of wisdom, clearly from a life of walking with the Lord. Here is her story!
1. What age were you when you got married?
2. How did you make use of the time that you were single?
youth ministry. I am an accountant so i did a lot of free financial counseling and taxes for single woman with children, mission trips, served as treasurer on church boards, I traveled a lot. I took up ball room dancing!
3. What was your biggest struggle as a single person?
Feeling lonely and hopeless, feeling like there were no good men with faith strong in the Lord, feeling like all the dreams that I had of being a wife and mother would never happen. The older I got, the more I had to face that reality and begin to accept that God may want to use me in a different way
4. What helped you wait on the Lord?
Prayer, strong will to break our family’s cycle – that was not to repeat divorce and remarriages, satisfaction and enjoyment in how I was serving single woman and being a youth leader. I just started doing both without even knowing where this would lead me. My heart breaks for single woman with children, children with multiple fathers. I knew that as hopeless as I felt, that they felt more hopeless. I knew through their experiences that I needed to trust that if God would have me share my life with someone, it would not be that way, I felt it in my heart
5. What were the top five qualities that you were looking for in a husband?
Openness. I really only had one. I did not know what I wanted for sure other than this fantasy of sharing my life with someone. I have to be honest about that. I wanted to be with a man who liked things that I liked so that we could share and agree on our life experiences…simple example, I like sports and to travel and to dance – I found a fanatic in all three of those areas! MAINLY I like and always have opened my home and myself to those in need, without a thought. Literally I remember after we were married my husband was working with a man who was thrown out of his house by his wife and my husband brought him home, without even calling or telling me, he just brought him home to stay with us. I knew then we would be great companions! If there is someone in need, we need to be there for them and trust that God will take care of that person and us through them
6. Tell us a little about the journey from meeting to marriage.
I met my husband in a social setting, through ballroom dancing. There was a social dance group that met at various clubs throughout the city. My husband attended many of those clubs. It was old school ‘courting’ if you will. We just talked on the phone and met at parks or clubs to dance. He witnessed to me several times which I did not find common with other men. He told his story and how God had saved his life and how thankful he was. He shared his mistakes in life and how he wanted to change some things. It was powerful! We learned that we were both children of divorced parents. I learned that he had half brothers and sisters and there were issues in their household with each having different fathers.
7. How did you know that he was the man that you were to marry?
How we dated. We wanted to impress each other, but we came together as we were. There was no effort or pressure in trying to be someone we were not. There was no sexual pressure even though we were older adults and one would expect that would be a path to explore before marriage. It was so Leave it to Beaver dating, just seems unheard of in today’s society, but it is still possible! You come as you are in the Lord and great things happen
8. Now that you are married, what do you think are the most important qualities to look for in a husband?
Honesty. strong will. openness. the openness was there, but i did not have honesty at the top of my list. never crossed my mind and i think i always felt that god would provide the qualities necessary to balance me. i find that honesty and openness, as difficult as it is at times, has been helpful in our marriage. he does not hold back his words & i want to knock him out sometimes, but i can trust what he says and that’s a great feeling to have in a relationship.
9. Looking back, what did God develop in you during your time in singleness that has blessed you in marriage?
Being open, being able to compromise, being flexible, wanting to share my life, not make him live as I live, but share with each other. More important for me is God developed in me the strength to not feel alone, to be able and willing to take care of myself and others as needed. I was prepared and ready to live my life as a single woman without loneliness and fear in my heart.
10. What advice would you give to ladies who are single later in life?
Keep serving, walk like Jesus, be open, hold strong to your values, and ladies, please don’t think that you will find the perfect guy in your church! Companionship can be found at any age and in any place!