Proverbs 1

Hi MRP friends!  MRP is back and we are kicking off our “post every day” October challenge Proverbs study!!!  I want to encourage you to follow along with us in our study and to grow in wisdom together!  We will be posting on each day’s corresponding numbered chapter.  Please join with us in posting responses (plus it’s good accountability!).  You can also volunteer to participate in writing posts by emailing modernruthproject@gmail.com!  I pray that God speaks to each one of us during this month!

coffee

Proverbs 1:23-Come and listen to my counsel. I’ll share my heart with you and make you wise.

I was 22 when I met Deb. A newly minted college graduate, I had landed my first full-time position and Deb was a popular supervisor in my department. During my first month on the job, I quickly saw why she was so liked.  She was warm and friendly. Whenever she’d make a comment or remark at our weekly staff meetings, the room would ripple with laughing agreement. She was friendly and cheerful. Her voice reminded me of bells, tingling with joy.

Her warm confidence was enviable to me since I felt grossly deficient in both categories. The dating drought I prayed for an end to while in college looked as if it would extend indefinitely.  At the time, I was preparing to serve as a bridesmaid in what would be the first of four bridal party stints.  My gaggle of friends were all happily taken, instant messaging me with random giddy thoughts about their beaus.  And here I was, entering the unfamiliar realm of single Christian women.  I didn’t know what to make of it or how to make it. All I knew was it felt bleak.

That is, until one morning.

I had arrived at work early, hoping to warm up for the work day with my favorite fuel: coffee. On my way to the communal kitchen to pour a cup, I passed what I thought would be an empty office…until I heard the click of a lamp.

“Well, good morning!” I could see Deb smile from her office, cocking her head to see me through her open doorway.  I smiled and returned her greeting while still moving toward the kitchen. There was coffee to be had.

But after retrieving my steaming cup, somehow I found myself sitting in Deb’s office for an hour, talking about our shared faith in Christ and our shared hope for marriage and love.  That single conversation led to me wandering into her office most mornings for a chat or more appropriately, a knowledge gleaning session. Deb was in her 40s, and also single. And while she had never been married, she had had relationships, an experience in which I was very naïve. She’d honestly and eagerly recount her heartthrobs, her heartbreaks, and her heart lessons, always urging me to learn from her mistakes so I wouldn’t have to make any of my own. She’d pray for my faith in the Lord to flourish and for my prayer for marriage to be answered. And she’d encourage me not to underestimate the value I had been given from God.

Looking back, there is no question that the Lord intersected Deb’s life with mine. At that crucial point in time, she shared her heart with me and made me strong, ready, and wise.

Traversing life as an older Christian single woman can make you feel weary, tiresome, and invisible. But there are younger women who are watching and see you as an encouragement.  Your role as she who is enduring, she who is walking by faith, and she who prays and doesn’t compromise is inspiring and can nourish the next generation.

Who can you share your journey of singleness with?  Join the conversation by posting a response below or share how else Proverbs 1 impacted you!

______________________________________________________________

Jennifer Jennifer Richardson

Hi, there! My name is Jennifer. I’m 31 and live in the D.C. area. I love Jesus, R & B music, and sugar in all its forms:-)In June 2016, I married my amazing husband, Calvin. I was completely single and waiting throughout my entire twenties. So I know the prayers, fears, and tears that come with prolonged singleness very well. I am excited to share my story and encourage single women who are waiting for God’s best!

Advertisements

6 thoughts on “Proverbs 1

  1. I love this post, Jennifer! I have definitely also seen people and moments that God has placed in my life to share encouragement with me! One of my best friends has walked the single path with me and I am absolutely certain that God gave us each other to build one another up.

    I also like how you stated that the sharing moment came in the midst of your doing something else and you were willing to stop to listen and open your heart to someone else. So often, I think this is my problem as a Type A introvert. I would have gotten my cup of coffee and gone right back to my desk, intent on “accomplishing” rather than taking the time to share with another’s heart. We need to open ourselves to these random opportunities and let the Lord work a new plan for us! Thanks for the encouragement and I am going to look for future opportunities!

    • Thanks, Joanna! Through Deb, the Lord led me to cross paths with other women my age who were also single and waiting. But she offered such a different and seasoned perspective on living single given her age. I learned so much from her and she was not one to mince words! lol. She gave me the sugar and the sour always.

      I am the quintessential introvert too (introverts unite!)! I think though because of that, God arranged this opportunity the way He did. Despite my turtle like instincts when it comes to social interactions, Deb had a very welcoming and just warm way about her. It didn’t feel awkward or stilted. It felt very natural. I think God knows how we are and may arrange opportunities that fit us so that the manner of the encounter is what sucks us in rather than the randomness pushing us away, if that makes sense 🙂

  2. That’s great post. Both as a remainder that we are to learn from “older women” and that we are them to “younger” ones. God sends people into our lives to teach us some things as well as to teach others through us. And it’s awesome, isn’t it.
    I don’t really have an older single woman in my life to look to for advice but I know that some younger friends seem much calmer and “more free” in their singleness seeing me single and (mostly) happy and satisfied, leading a full and interesting life, knowing they can wait for the right moment instead of rushing into anything that comes their way.

    And teaching moments? The most important and most effective, i think, come naturally ind the midst of other activities. If they are forced, they will be ineffective at best. The problem is we don’t usually see the effect immediately so for a long time it seems like it’s not working. Then you realize after months how profound those “coffe talks” (or whatever it was) were 🙂
    No moment is too small 🙂

    • Congrats to you for being an encouragement to others! I agree with you – I have not had the good fortune to have a steady Christian “mentor” in my life – but sometimes that can be a prompt for us to remember to be a mentor to others!

    • Thanks for your reply, Ania 🙂 That’s great that you are an encouragement to younger women! That, in turn, can be an encouragement to you. And you’re right, usually coffee chats or water runs or [insert your favorite beverage here :-)] moments, are small and singular. But collectively, they make a great impact.

  3. Thank God for people like Deb who encourage us on our walk! Sometimes it’s easy to forget that younger women are looking to us for encouragement. May we always be a positive source of encouragement in their lives.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s