Tag Archives: Singleness

Everybody has a different story. (A guest post by Owie Burns)

I am almost embarrassed to admit that as I type this, I cannot remember how I first met today’s guest blogger, Owie Burns. But make no mistake, Owie is one of my favorite people, and one of my closest and dearest friends. In the last couple of years, we have seen each other through laughter and tears,  trials and victories, heartbreaks and joyful days…you get the point. :)

Owie and Kristo

When I thought of asking Owie to write a blog post, the topic to came to mind was exactly this one: Everybody has a different story. The reason behind this is that I felt that Owie’s life proved this statement to be true. As a single mom (to an adorable boy named Kristo) and a media missionary, she is no ordinary single woman. I’ll let her tell you her story:

Everybody has a different story.

I know, it isn’t rocket science and you’ve probably heard that line a gazillion times, but reality is – we always need to be reminded. Otherwise, we tend to look at other people’s stories and oh-so-wish that our story would be a like a fairy tale just like as theirs OR we tend to look at a list of the usual steps or procedures or formulas that most people say work – and we stick to them as if they were THE ultimate rules of life.

For instance, we try to put the whole dating process in a box, following step 1 through step 94 before we can really say it’s God’s will. We’ve gotten so used to formulas when it comes to relationships – even our relationship with the Lord! We see the lives of those who’ve walked ahead of us, and we so try our best (even if we don’t admit it) to follow the exact same path they’ve taken and we’ve dreamt for their stories to be our own.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against processes and formulas and steps and all that. I’m also not saying that you should just go for it, do whatever feels right, etc. It’s just that sometimes we’re too focused on getting from one point to another according to other peoples’ standards and rules and we don’t give God enough room to move anymore in our lives – because, well, we’ve put everything (even God) in a box.

One of the books I’ve recently read and thoroughly enjoyed is Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller. Now that’s a book that clearly shows you that everyone has a different story. Period.  Here’s one of the parts that struck me most:

Ravi Zacharias says that what the heart is really longing to do is worship, to stand in awe of a God we don’t understand and can’t explain.

It comforts me to think that if we are created beings, the thing that created us would have to be greater than us, so much greater, in fact, that we would not be able to understand it. It would have to be greater than the facts of our reality, and so it would seem to us, looking out from within our reality, that it would contradict reason. But reason itself would suggest it would have to be greater than reality, or it would not be reasonable.

When we worship God we worship a Being our life experience does not give us the tools with which to understand. If we could, God would not inspire awe.

If I may add to that, if our stories are so predictable, it robs us the chance of being in awe of God.

To explain my point, allow me to share a bit of my story.

I thought my story would be something like: I meet ‘the one’ and we become friends, we go out on a bunch of group dates, then when my friends have gotten to know him well enough, he’ll tell me he likes me, and we’ll finally go out exclusively. After some time he’ll propose, and then eventually we’ll get married and have our first kiss at the altar. It sounded so right, but…

…it isn’t my story.

My fairy tale didn’t turn out that way. I went to a gig and bumped into someone I’ve casually known for six years. We ended up talking all night and he said we should grab coffee some time the week after. Four days later we went out for dinner, and after dinner I just knew he was “the one”. And by the time we were having dessert he said it out of the blue, he said “This is it. You’re the one!” and just like that, we knew and we decided to commit to love each other according to the Bible’s standards.

My son who wasn’t at all open to me having a relationship instantly fell in love with my boyfriend! Eighteen days later he proposed and in about two months we’re getting married! So it’s nothing like what I thought it would be, but since the day we decided, God’s been confirming and reminding us both that these were those secret wishes we individually asked for. And when we talked about it, we realized that our story fits our personalities perfectly. Allowing God to move just left us and everyone around us in awe.

Everyone has a different story because we are all different. The one thing that remains constant is this: as long as God writes the story, you can expect it to be beautiful and full of surprises!

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Note from Liz: When Owie called me to say that she and Rommel were getting married, I was beyond thrilled! God had given her a good man who loves her and her son, and above all, loves God. Whenever I see them together, I marvel at this match that God had created. She’s so right…every story is different, but every story written by God is awesome indeed!

Owie Burns is a Media Missionary for The Edge Media, where she constantly bugs their volunteer graphic artists and writers about their deadlines for the youth devotional Word 4U Today. She is mom to ultra-inquisitive Kristo who’s 5 years old, and in a little over two months, she will be Mrs. Owie dela Cruz! She normally posts stories about her son at http://mommyowie.wordpress.com but since she got engaged, she’s also been posting on their love story-wedding site http://www.owiebarns.com.

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More for the singles!

Yesterday’s guest post from Sam Johnson was a huge hit, and for the singles who liked that, I’m pleased to announce that there’s more!

Today, I’m happy to share some insights from another one of my friends, Anna Moran. Anna is one of those women who I look up to because peace, joy, and faithfulness just flow out of her. She and her husband JA are proud parents to an adorable and talented little girl named Andi.

Here are Anna’s nuggets of wisdom for the singles:

1. Know who you are in God.
2. Aim for excellence.
3. Pursue your dreams.
4. Live out your purpose.
5. Have a vision of the future family that you desire to have.
6. Wait for God’s best for you.
7. Honor God in all that you do.

She talks about each point in detail on two blog posts which you can find here and here. Lots of inspiring and encouraging stuff in there! I especially liked this part that she wrote: “…everything is much, much, much more beautiful when the time is right.” While the titles say that the posts were meant for single ladies, I think that her list reflects principles that all singles–not just women, but also men–can and should live by.

Do check out Anna’s blog! She’s an excellent communicator, and she has great insights on faith, family, and life.

Did you notice that there are a lot of friends popping up on the blog this week? Stay tuned for some familiar faces on tomorrow’s Tell Me Thursday post! :)

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Things I wish I learned when I was single (A guest post by Samantha Johnson)

Is singleness a blessing or a curse?

A lot of single people think of singleness as a curse. I’m not even going to pretend that the thought never crossed my mind before. Just like a lot of the single people I know, I’ve battled with loneliness, disappointment, and frustration.

But as the years have gone by, I’ve come to realize that I am really grateful, because I’ve learned that every day that I’m single is a day that I’m learning and growing in ways that are molding me into the person God created me to be: someone who will be better prepared for deeper relationships and bigger responsibilities. And I’ll be the first to admit that I could always use the help!

One of the ways that I get to learn is through the married couples around me. Take Robert and Samantha Johnson, for example. Individually, Rob and Sam are two of the kindest and coolest people you’ll ever meet. Together, their awesomeness is magnified. Both of them add so much value to every person and every experience they encounter. I also love that they’re always more than happy to open up their lives to their single friends like me!

Sam is one of the women I look up to because of many reasons, but especially because of the way she exudes joy and hope. I  get to learn a lot from her, and I thought it would be great if other people who read this blog could learn from her too! So I asked her to share her insights by listing some things she wished she learned when she was single. I’m glad that she wholeheartedly agreed! Without further ado, here’s her list:

Things I Wish I Learned When I Was Single by Sam Johnson

1) It is okay not to do what every other “looking” single people do. Don’t get me wrong. If singles want to be seen where other single people mingle, I don’t have a problem with that choice. Except I clearly knew that it wasn’t my scene then and it never will be. But I felt I had to do it because I might miss out on meeting “the one.” Result? A lot of money wasted on drinks I couldn’t stand and a lot of meaningless conversation over really loud music. Today, I realize that it is absolutely OKAY to chill and stay at home and do the things I really find joy in.

2) You can’t “force” chemistry or a genuine connection with someone. I never really got the “I can LEARN to love him” kind of deal. A meaningful relationship with someone is easy, sincere, leaves you smiling all the time, no worries on what the next move should be because, yes, it is THAT easy. And the only time I felt that kind of ease is with my husband.

3) Be intentional about pursuing your passion, no matter how busy you are. I took on jobs that did not interest me at all, and sometimes that’s okay when you are starting out. But boy, how I wish I made time for the activities that I truly enjoyed and those that nurtured my soul.

4) Celebrate the moments of “loneliness.” Trust me, when you start having a serious and committed relationship, and you begin a family and take on other things on the side — that alone time can be a luxury.

5) Physical intimacy with someone who is not your husband is overrated. People have different takes on this but to me, there is just something so beautiful about a man who loves Jesus so much that he RESPECTS and GUARDS a woman’s body because it is the Holy Spirit’s temple and he would not do anything to taint her testimony. There is something so attractive about a man who knows his place when God entrusts a woman to him. A man who has this kind of leadership says a lot on how he will guard your home and your family. It also says a lot on his faithfulness to God and to you, as his wife.

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Thanks for the wise words, Sam! If you want to read more from Sam, check out her blog here. Her recent post features an interview with a friend of ours, Ali Smith, who recently released a book called Entrusting the Key: From Serial Dating to Joyful Waiting, which I’ll also be blogging about soon!

Are you single? What are you most grateful for in this season? Are you married? What do you wish you learned when you were single?

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