About the Author

Annie F. Downs is a bestselling author and nationally known speaker based in Nashville, Tennessee. Her most recent books include 100 Days to Brave, Looking for Lovely and Let’s All Be Brave. Read more at anniefdowns.com and follow her at @anniefdowns.

Recent Posts

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. I was married, but now I am single after leaving an abusive marriage of 23 years. I wish someone would have told me that it was okay to leave after the first time he hit me, that God did not expect me to endure that all those years. Finally, some wonderful friends provided a way to escape, opening up their home to myself and my sons, and sharing that we could stay for however long we needed to. I needed to hear that!

    • Annie, Grace; Thank you for your encouragement ! My heart aches for what you (all) have endured. For me, becoming a “virtuous woman” as in Proverbs 31 seems almost impossible right now. My husband is and has been mentally/emotionally abusive for 25 years. ( I rationalized staying for our daughter, who is in college !) I believe our Awesome Kinsman Redeemer Jesus, is also our Beloved Bridegroom~ Husband ! My father, brother and spouse are all believers, but not walking closely with God at all ! I grew up a tomboy , and have had the blessing of close male friends through out my life, yet I am convinced that constant intercessory prayer for them is crucial, and as we lift them up to the Throne of Grace, we can press on in faith as “worship warriors” for our Savior, restoration and reconciliation are His gifts, BUT please; God does NOT want anyone to be abused ever, and if that is happening ~God will make a safe way out for you and your children !!! ~ Love, Lee from Philadelphia

    • Oh Grace, my heart aches for you. I rejoice that you are out and had such wonderful friends. I too wish someone had told you that sooner. I’m a survivor of domestic abuse, too. I’m grateful I had a soft place to land and that you do, too.

      • Lisa, It does make us stronger, doesn’t it. As we depend on God, see Him supply, our faith if strengthened! Thank you for your encouraging words! Many blessings as you continue in this journey.

  2. I am single. I long to hear come, join our family. I need to hear we love you, we are for you and we need you to be for us

  3. Annie,
    I’ve been married, and I’ve been single (divorced). After 25 years of verbal and emotional abuse, I need to hear “You are worthy”. God tells me in His word that I am worthy, but sometimes we just need that reassurance from those close to us. I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t need to be reminded that they are worthy of love…
    Blessings,
    Bev

  4. I long to hear someone say that they are praying on a regular basis for my future husband and for me through this long, long life of singleness. I’m sure there are a few friends who occasionally pray for me about that, but knowing people are truly sharing this concern would mean so much.

    I missed being part and enjoying family life. The Lord was so gracious to allow me to be part of a friend’s life and her large family. I now feel like an honorary aunt. It’s certainly good to have a new “family” who wants me to be around and tells me that on a regular basis.

    • Sweet sweet Kristi, I may have not prayed your name across my lips but God’s ear as heard it as I am on my knees praying for my only sweet single daughter. I look in her eyes everyday and see both the pain of not yet seeing her dream of family come and the confusion of how she is function in the waiting time. I would tell you God has a plan in your singleness but you know that. I would tell you that you have so much to offer while you are single that us marrieds cant but you know that. So the one thing I can assure you of that you do not already know is there are moms that are praying for you. It may be the mom of your future husband who has been praying for a daughter in law or the mom of a younger girl pray for a ‘big sister’ to train up her girl. And going forward I, too, will be praying for you. By name.

  5. I have been single for 10 years, after my husband gave up on wanting the “old Joyce” to return after the death of my only child. He and I had only been married a few months before her death, so he really did not grasp the bond she and I had after 18 years of being “Just the 2 of us”.

    I wish someone would say, “I want to grow older (I am 67) with you and try to understand the pain of child loss that you still feel each day.”

    That is my prayer.

    • I’m so sorry, Joyce. Thank you for sharing your story here. It’s such a gift when people walk along side us during those dark days, and so hard to be alone there. I hear you. Praying much grace for your journey.

  6. Marriage can be a lonely place because life is flat-out lonely. Sometimes it seems more reasonable to be by yourself and alone than beside someone and alone. Broken is broken and we all are……

    “I needed to hear that I wasn’t alone in my joys and my sorrows.” We all want to sit at the table and be known.

    Thank you for opening this discussion.

    • You are right Marcy marriage can be lonely can’t it? You aren’t alone and I love that I have found community here in this place to remind me of that!! So glad you are here today! 🙂

    • I agree with you Marcy. Even good marriages can be very lonely at times, I think especially so for the women. I’ve been struggling with this very issue for a while now. I feel stuck at this strange point in my life. My youngest child just left for college, my oldest child is in prison right now. Now life is wide open ahead of us, and it feels…..strange. I feel very bored with life, things seem so difficult, and nothing is exciting and new. And things feel very empty. I can’t explain it.
      I long for someone to say to me – “Things will get better, this is just a strange phase, there is excitement ahead !”

      • Sue:

        “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven…a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance…He has made everything beautiful in its time” (Ecclesiastes 3)

        Your season of laughter and dancing will come.

  7. With my group of friends in college, I was the “always single” one and then a few years after college, very suddenly met the right guy and now we are married. For me, I still wanted to be included when my friends were with their significant others. I have tried to make that effort with my friends now that the shoe is on the other foot.

    I do need to make the effort to tell people that I am praying for them. Even if I am, it is so important to “speak” that to them.

  8. “It’s not your fault that your boyfriend cheated on you. It is not a reflection of your worth.” My head knows it, but my heart struggles with it at times.

    • Oh how I am feeling this right now. My heart also knows I did all the right things and it’s not my fault he chose to cheat. But my head continues to beat me up with the “what is wrong with me?” “why am I not good enough?” A dear friend spoke words of love to me this morning when she told me I was the gift God gave to him and he is the one who will miss out on all that we could have been. I think at 47 and never married my dreams of a family of my own are gone. I am in a mourning season. I guess at this point in time I need to hear that God still has a plan for my life and that it will be bigger than any dream I have ever had for myself. To be reminded to hang on to my hope in the midst of the darkness and pain I feel right now.

    • Praying for you Ken, and that you know the Great I AM surrounds you and covers you. Praying He would send someone your way to be there for you.
      Psalm 121
      I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
      where does my help come from?
      2 My help comes from the Lord,
      the Maker of heaven and earth.
      3 He will not let your foot slip—
      he who watches over you will not slumber;
      4 indeed, he who watches over Israel
      will neither slumber nor sleep.
      5 The Lord watches over you—
      the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
      6 the sun will not harm you by day,
      nor the moon by night.
      7 The Lord will keep you from all harm—
      he will watch over your life;
      8 the Lord will watch over your coming and going
      both now and forevermore.

  9. I need to hear that people are praying for me in my singleness and that they acknowledge even though I’m 48 and never married doesn’t mean i don’t still desire it.

  10. I was at a party the other day and people right near me were saying how in our bigger circle of friends, everyone is married, engaged or dating and they didn’t know any single women at all and I’m like…HELLO??? I AM SITTING RIGHT NEAR YOU, AM I INVISIBLE??? It made me feel like my status as a person didn’t exist until I had a guy in my life, which I would love but it’s just not happening right now.

    I need to hear, that I’m not forgotten, that I’m not alone, that it’s ok for me to cry when I’m hurting becauase a relationship didn’t take off the way I wanted it to, that it’s ok to still have hope and to not give up, that I am worthy of being loved AND that I am already loved by those around me. Even though I KNOW fully well that God loves me, that I am worthy in his eyes, that I don’t need anyone else to complete me, blah blah blah. Yeah I know all that. But sometimes I just want and need to actually hear it as well.

    • You are not forgotten or alone!! It’s ok to cry, yell, whatever you need to do to get thru the hurt. It’s important to keep hope. You are worthy and loved!!

    • Hey Debb 🙂 ! You are beautiful, you are special, there is nothing wrong with you!
      You know what? It is ok to sometimes feel sad and cry your eyes out, it is ok if sometimes you feel angry because honestly the wait feels like too long, it is ok if sometimes you just want to forget about the whole “future husband thing” and decide to enjoy your current single status. It is ok if sometimes you just want to watch your favorite chick flick or K-drama and eat a bucket of ice cream.

      Truth is you are not alone, there are many single girls like you and me out there and we stand together. Don’t lose hope, don’t give up! I send you a huge hug! Cheer up!

  11. For me I want to hear that my family/friends/church community accept that I’m okay with being single right now and that they accept me in my single state rather than making me feel like something is wrong with me for not being married. When I get comments such as “You’re so good-looking/smart/financially secure, etc., why don’t you have a man?” it makes me feel like they think I am not whole if I don’t have a man in my life. I think they think it’s a compliment, but it really isn’t. See me for who God made me. I trust that He will send a life partner if He desires it to be. I also trust that He will provide all that I need should He choose for me to remain single. Should we not celebrate the fact that I am generally content with my place in life? Should we not thank God for this blessing?

    • Heather,
      I am right there with you. Not everyone prays for marriage. My prayer is for God to give me that desire if it’s what I am supposed to have. I wonder sometimes if I am selfish for not pursuing it. Or is the truth that we have wounds that created walls over time, and masked that desire?
      I think there are a group of women who need to hear that it’s okay to have a full life as a single person.

    • I think your contentment is a blessing and that many women, single or married, would desire that very thing! Think of Paul’s exhortation to be content in all circumstances. I had a full, fulfilling life when I was single and while I wanted to marry someday, it was never an all-consuming focus of mine. I think Jennifer is right; there are probably more women who feel that way and need to hear that it’s okay to have a full life as a single person – they just haven’t heard anyone else say it and so feel like they are the only ones.

    • Totally with you, Heather! I also often wonder/wish the same. I think it’s more than ok to have a full life as a single – it’s excellent! The key is, as you’ve figured out, contentment. Discontent can happen in both single/married states.

  12. Great thoughts Annie….so appreciate your voice in our community. Reading through the comments, I find myself nodding “Yes” at so many. I wish I wasn’t defined by my relationship status (which is seemingly, never-endingly single) but that seems to be the case so often.

    I need to hear non-patronizing truth with hope. Not “you’ll find the right guy when you’ve fixed xyz about yourself or are fully complete in your reliance on God.” But “you are a capable, smart, beautiful, lovely, worthy, valuable woman-child of the King. No, a relationship with your {future} husband won’t complete you, but I understand how you want that spice and flavor added to your life and I will pray with you for the day it comes, knowing that the day might not come. But praying with hope and trusting in the promises of God with you for the desires of your heart to be fulfilled.”

  13. I need to hear that I am not any less of a person because I am still single, even though all of my friends are now married.

  14. That I am going to make something of myself. That I have hope and I have purpose. That I am not alone. That it’s okay that I don’t party and have a guy in my life. That it’s okay that I am broken and in a million pieces. That I’m not dumb. That the mess is not my fault. That someone is going to walk this road with me.

  15. Things I’d sometimes like to hear:
    -It’s right that you said “No” to those proposals. Those men were not right for you, any of them. You weren’t being “too picky”. You were trusting that inner knowing, placed there by Him.
    -Discernment is a good thing.
    -No husband, IS better than the wrong husband.
    -God had a different picture in mind for you, and it’s no less good.
    -It’s OK to be single.
    -It’s OK to rejoice in being single AND be sad about it, at the same time.
    -Ya never know who’ll you meet down the road. And, if that door is forever closed, it’s OK.

  16. “I’m praying for you” would be wonderful to hear. My mother died eight years ago, she always prayed for me. To have someone who would love me enough to actually bring me before the Father would be encouraging!

    • Etta, I just want you to know that I am praying for you today. I am blessed that my praying mother is still alive, and I was touched by what you wrote. Although I don’t know you, God has placed a love and concern for you on my heart as my sister in Christ, and I will continue to pray for you in the days ahead. Consider yourself hugged!

    • Ty, your four words grabbed my heart and filled it with an aching for you. God strongly impressed on my heart to tell you, “You still matter.” You more than “matter”–you are deeply loved and treasured by our Father. You are his gem, a pearl of high price, paid for by a Love–Jesus dying on the cross–that we can’t even begin to fathom. I pray God’s words of love and caring will echo all day in your heart and mind today–and forever: I will never leave you or forsake you. Ty, you are God’s beloved child, and I pray that even today you will see his gestures of love to you.

    • YOU DO MATTER TY, YOU ARE CHERISHED, YOU ARE BLESSED AND YOU ARE LOVED. GOD LOVES YOU AND I LOVE YOU. It takes strength and courage to reach out when it feels like noone is reaching in to you I have felt that way but please know that you are valuable and you do matter to me and to the world for those who don’t acknowledge your value and worth they don’t deserve to be in your presence. ” Lord please touch Ty right now and reveal your presence and love to overflow and fill each and every pain and hurt and release healing and wholeness and peace in Jesus name.” Ty you matter and you are a blessing to this world. Believe it.

      • Thank you Michelle and Judy for responding..your responses alone showed me that I still mattered. God just winked at me. Thank you ladies for being vessels willing to be used by him. 🙂

  17. As a single girl I need to hear that I am accepted in the church and normal. That my life will not begin when I get married… Or, even just a date ;). And, that it is okay for me to embrace this singleness-season. I feel that God is wanting His daughter all to Himself @ the moment :)… And it’s nice!

    • Aisha. You are accepted and normal!! Your life will not begin when you get married – your life began the day God decided to make you!! Embrace the singleness for this is the season God has called you to!!

  18. That it’s ok to ask God for a husband, and that they are praying for him, too!!! And that I’m significant, worthy and have a beautiful purpose, right now, just as I am, I make a difference and bring joy. I need to know that I’m not invisible.

    • Nina you are seen and I am so glad you are here today! I think it is ok to ask God for the desires of our heart!! He doesn’t always answer in our time – but I know he hears and that gives me comfort!!

  19. My husband died recently. We were best friends and did everything together. The retirement years that we planned are not going to happen. I’m looking for an answer to “Now what?”

    • Cindy, I hear you asking, “Now what?” I’ve asked it myself hundreds of times over the 10 months since my husband of 44 years died. We had just moved to a part of the country I am unfamiliar with, into a fixer-upper. Now I have no one to help me ‘fix-up’ and no friends to ask for advise! Like the guy in “Sleepless in Seattle”, I just keep breathing—and waiting on the Lord. I know I am not complete yet and that He will continue His work in me and thru me. (He is giving me sisters-in Christ thru the local church and thru this website.)
      Both of us have lost a dream–have had to give up a dream–but God has more in store for us. This ‘alone-life’ that we didn’t really want can (and, I trust, WILL) be better than what we can even think or imagine.
      “Now what?”—whatever the Lord has!

      • Candy you are already blessed. Many young women in this day will never see 44 years married!!! Wow what a blessing. I pray you can begin to mentor young wives on how to stay married that long. I believe you have some wisdom to share. Good luck in your new place.:)

  20. Being married for 22 years I’ve never been asked the question “What do you want your single friends to speak to you?” I guess what I really want to hear is “I’ve still got your back. For the days when you need just me and IceCream and chick flicks or just to rant, I’ve got your back. Being married doesn’t change that.” And your last line? “Speak love and watch as things in her come to life.” That is so much AMEN for all the women in our lives!!!

    PS: Thrilled to be your “neighbour” today Annie.

    • Tonya, This resonates with me as well. I married very young and had kids right away and it was lonely to have my single friends be so distant in my life. I would have loved to have the support and encouragement of those girlfriends during that time. And now I realize I crave the friendships of all ages and stages of women. Can we just be women together? 🙂

  21. For those who asked, though I don’t know you personally… I pray for you now, that you would know God’s peace in each situation, each relationship, each moment you feel lonely or unworthy. I pray you would each see His hand as you move through your day, and as you travel through the journey He has for you. I pray He would give grace in difficult circumstances, joy in delightful circumstances, and the wisdom to seek His face through all… In Jesus’ name 🙂

  22. Annie, thank you I am glad I read this! Married at 41, I was in your shoes until then (which was just a year and a half ago!). I get it! and I feel your struggle and pain, which I knew all too well. Like you wrote though, I can say that truly, truly God sees you, He cares, and He is even sad, I think, for you. We all forget sometimes that He, that God, Jesus, wept, too, in the sorrow of this life. I am not sure if this is true for you, but for me, in other current circumstances in my life, this comforts me as I weep, knowing Our Savior wept too.

    Shifting gears… My thoughts now go to this for you… It is so cliche and I hate repeating a cliche, but there is a lot of truth in the “celebrate where you are now as best you can” because life is completely “un-single” on the other side of marriage. No more ‘eat what you want when you want’ evenings, no more ‘leave the house freely to do anything all the time you need or want to’ life. So please try and be brave to celebrate and be free. I used to hate hearing that but yet there is truth in it. Although I am extremely, happily, gladly, ecstatically married now, to a wonderful, amazing man, it isn’t, and can’t be, “perfect”. Possibly and partly because I spent so many years single as my ‘own’ person, that working out love and togetherness with my “other” can be very challenging at times, like “iron sharpens iron” kind of way. I believe it is God sharpening for His higher ways and purpose, but I sometimes have thought in the sharpening process of just a year and a half, “gosh wouldn’t it be nice to be single again in “this moment” in “this fight'” kind of thing.

    I am not sure if any of these words are resonating, but I hear you Annie, and pray our Jesus hold you so close, believing He is Good and His ways are sure. Standing with you.

  23. Make quality time for us, without US always having to ask to schedule time. I am in my early 30’s and virtually all of my best girlfriends have their first new babies (6 friends in the last 12 months). I watch them (via social media) have “play-dates” together (well, the babies lay on their mats and the mommies talk), and while I understand why it makes complete and natural sense to spend lots of time with other mommies, it’s easy to feel like I got dropped from their lives. I want to snuggle their babies, but mostly to still feel important to the people who are still most important to me.

    • Kelsey, I know it feels like you have lost something as they have gained. They need you more than you know….more than they know. There will be times when they feel like they have lost who they are in being a wife and mother. They will need you to come and have coffee, to laugh with them, and be a grown up for them to talk with again.

      You are important. You are needed.

  24. As a mother who is doing this parenting thing on my own, your words pierced my heart. “The dreams you thought would come true in a certain time frame never did. You saw a life for yourself that you will never have. You can mourn that loss.”

    I live that truth on the daily. And the mourning is put on hold because caring for little ones & wiping noses & paying bills comes first. Those “how did I get here?” moments come all to often.

    What do I wish someone would say to me? You are a good mother. You are a good example of strength for this little girl watching you. The man you loved wasn’t the man you thought he was, but that doesn’t mean you are less of a woman for having loved him.

    • Hi Jessica,
      I was a single parent almost from the day my son was born. His father was there, but not present, not accepting and not involved. He was far too self-absorbed to be the kind of Dad that our little boy needed, despite my attempts to try and make it all work. I eventually left him after the first two years, and cut all ties a year later. I struggled with so many feelings of inadequacy, of trying to raise a little boy who so desperately missed his Dad and couldn’t understand why he couldn’t see him. The emotional toll took a very long time to ebb from his heart, and I cried alone in my bed many nights in the fear of trying to do this alone. I had so many of those ‘how did I get here?’ moments, and every one was acutely painful.

      You ARE strength, you ARE the fortitude to take your life in another direction. You ARE strong. You ARE a good mother because you saw that the situation in front of you was NOT what the you and your little girl needed and you stepped away from it to make it better. You ARE a good example to her, and you WILL teach her to be strong, like you.

      Jessica, you ARE a good mother. Every day, for years on end I would mentally beat myself up for falling in love with someone so irresponsible, then I would look at my darling little boy and think that he wouldn’t have existed if it weren’t for that man. He wasn’t at all who you thought he was, but he gave you the gift of your precious girl, and you are no less an amazing woman for that. Lift your head up, and stay strong.

      Kate

      • Thank you, Kate, for taking the time to share with me. Your words truly mean a lot. I pray God continues to pour blessings into your and your family. xxoo

  25. What I would like to hear is “I want to spend time with you.” Whether or not is actually happens, to know that someone desires my company would improve my outlook.

    • Oh Candy –
      I completely hear you. I’m married, and I still hear you! My husband and I have just been married a few years. We’re both older when we married, so kids of our own won’t be happening. I feel that same feeling I imagine you feeling from our married friends with families. I’ve blogged about similar thoughts as well. Understand you are not alone with your hopes, and know I’m praying for you today too.

  26. “You’re not waiting.”

    That’s what I’ve needed my friends and family to say to me all these years.

    “You’re not waiting for your life to start — your life is happening right now, right in front of you. You’re in the thick of it. You’re making it, you’re not waiting for a relationship to make it for you. I don’t need you to be married to see you’re living a full, fulfilling, meaningful life that is exactly what it should be. I’m not waiting for you to get married so I can feel better about your life. I don’t need you to be married to feel like, ‘Ah. NOW she’s got it all and is going to be fine.'”

    I may end up married. I may end up with kids. I’d love to. But in the meantime, I’m not waiting.

    I finally learned to say it to myself.

    • You are so right!! Your life is right now, not tomorrow or 10 days from now. Not when you are married, have kids, retire, own the house of your dreams. Nope it’s right now! Good that you have learned to say it to yourself, but I’m cheering you on! You are complete by yourself (and with God)!

    • That’s great – I love that Abby!! You are so right…regardless if you are married or not, waiting for children or your big break, that book contract or big promotion…we have to find ways to live in the now and be happy with all God has given us. So often I focus on the “what I don’t have” instead of all that I do – great reminder!!

  27. I am blessed by this community of faith filled women each time I read a story and this story really hit me. What would I like to hear as a single mom raising my son alone. That I am proud of you. You are a great mom and you are doing a great job in spite of the fact that his dad is not present in his life. I would love to hear you deserve to be happy and not just because of a man but because God wants the best for you and he cares for you. To know that someone truly understands that I want to married one day but I am not miserable because I am not married yet at 43 years old. When the time is right God will send me a husband the best that he has for me.

    • Sounds like you have a great perspective Michelle and that is a beautiful example for your son. You are a great mother!! I believe God does want the best for us – you included!! Thanks for sharing your heart today!

  28. I have been single for 13 years after a marriage of 20. My ex-husbands favorite saying that I heard oh so often was, “If you cannot use it? Lose it!” It took me 20 years to realize that he was giving me a very big message.

    So I quit letting him use me and he was gone in a few months. Needless to say it was heart-wrenching to go through but it was the right thing to do.

    I am single, I do not date. I have no men in my life except my son. I realized the other day that the only ones that cherish me (what I sooooo need) is my children and God.

    When you say the things that we need to hear? Please remember to touch us in a small way. Reach out and hold our hand, put your hand on our shoulder or give us a quick hug. I get one touch, one hug, when my son visits me. Usually once a month. He was here just yesterday and I got my hug and I am all aglow today 🙂

    I find, now that I am walking closer to God that there are many things said on blogs, or in my devotionals, or in my (in)courage group… things that I needed to hear. I am so blessed!

    Thank you for this post, dear one!

    Love,
    Patty
    PS I do realize that God touches me everyday. That was not what I was trying to say though. We need human contact almost as much as we need our Lord.

    • Patty, I am so, so sorry for the loss you suffered and the awful message left in its wake.

      You have opened my eyes to something I haven’t thought of before. Of course we all need to be cared for through human touch! I will certainly keep your wise words in mind for my single sisters. Thank you, thank you.

      And please consider this comment a small but heartfelt hug to you across the miles and through the screens. You are so loved. xo

      • I so agree, Patty. As a single woman, one of the hardest things for me (especially since I move a lot) is a lack of touch.

  29. I’m 21 years old, and I’ve never dated. Never kissed a guy. Never been asked out on a date, nor have I asked anyone out.

    I want someone to ask me why that is. I want someone that’ll help me break the barriers around my heart down, so that I can let people- romantic or otherwise- in my heart and my life.

    I want someone to tell me that it’s OK to not date, but I want someone to just talk to me about it! I go to a Christian school where dating and engagements happen more often than in a Jane Austen novel. We hear about dating and people getting engaged all the time- but nothing about the single people. I’d love to just sit and talk to someone about the struggles I’ve been through that have hindered me from dating… if someone would just do that, maybe it’d make the prospect of dating (or not dating) easier on my heart.

    Thank you for this! 🙂

      • Jordon, I’m sorry it is maybe not where you want to be. It seems admirable to me, though I don’t want to deny what you feel. I hear you about communication, though. I have felt out of step about other issues in life, and just sometimes want to say….can we talk about the elephant in the room?

    • Jordan, my daughter, who is 23, made the same comment about Bible college. Everyone was either dating or getting married. She wanted none of it. I appreciated her maturity in not jumping into anything impulsively. She dates but still is not in a serious relationship and still wants to wait to get married. I’m not sure why no one wants to talk about it, but reading your post made me wonder.. There has to be others in your school and community who feel the same and are afraid to talk about it or feel there is no one to talk about it. Perhaps you could start that conversation? Whether it’s in a small group situation or something else.

      I think you as well are taking a mature route in waiting. It is okay not to date.

    • Jordan:
      I’m 25. I’ve never dated. I went to a Christian college as well- saw many people date, engage, marry. I’m blessed to have found and walked life with 8 wonderful Christian friends there. We still keep in touch. Only one of us is married. And one just recently got engaged. The rest of us, still single- and not currently dating. AND IT’S OKAY.

      It’s okay to be single. There is nothing “wrong” with you. With me. With my friends. Don’t change yourself to find a man. Our life is meant to bring glory to the King. Whether we be married or single, that is our purpose in life. I don’t know your struggles, but I do know that being single is difficult. It’s hard to keep from hearing these voices: “Why haven’t I found a man yet?” “Why am I still single?” “Why won’t the men come talk to me?” etc. But try to replace those thoughts with these: “I am a child of the King.” “I am single because God has a plan. Because God needs my full attention to fulfill His plan right now.” “I am beautifully and wonderfully made in God’s image.”

      Struggling with you and Joining you in prayer,
      Alissa

  30. Holy moly. This post was a gift from God. I needed this. Yesterday was a rough day for me. Typically, I’m that super awesome single girl who everyone KNOWS has been single for a while, but I don’t usually show it, or talk about it, or wallow in it.

    Yesterday was different.

    My heart was broken for a life I didn’t have. A life, that by 28 (in two weeks, 29) I thought I’d have. I would have been married for a few years now. Maybe starting to talk about kids. But instead, I’m single, haven’t had a boyfriend in 6 years. A date in a year and a half.

    I often pray for my husband, I pray to meet him. I pray that God will prepare my heart for him and his for me. I pray that God will guide my steps to him. I pray that I can be a mother. Maybe not right away, but I want to be a good mother, and raise God loving, kind, adventurous, wonderful children.

    Even know as I type this, I fight back tears, because I don’t know what to do, or where to go, or how to be.

    So what I’d like to hear. I don’t even know. I’d like to know people are praying for me. Praying for those same things I pray for. That it’s okay to be sad sometimes, but to continue to have trust and hope in God to hear my cries. But also, not to pity me. Or remind me of my age, or relationship status. But to appreciate me for what I do for the kingdom, with or without a man by my side.

    • Praying peace over you Hillary and so grateful that you were willing and able to share your heart here. Your transparency that it isn’t always sunshine and roses is something that people have a hard time being honest about. It is easier to say “I’m fine”. But I don’t believe God expects us to always be “fine”. You are seeking Him in this and that is worthy of praise!

  31. I need to hear that marriage (for Christians) does last. That not all husbands look at porn on their computer. Or look at every pair of legs that walk by. That they don’t leave once things get “ordinary”, or you start to show signs of aging. That LOVE really does go the distance. And that the wife isn’t always the one expected to do all the compromising. I really need to hear that there’s hope of meeting someone special at age 50, who loves God and knows how to treat a woman. Yes, I definitely need to hear that.

    • Kathy, it’s true. But it’s a tag-team effort, and both parties need to jump in to the ring together.

      I was married at 38, 11 years ago. I had been in a relationship that produced my son, but wasn’t married to him, which in hindsight was a huge blessing. I found my husband after several years of surrendering to whatever God’s will was for me, sitting back and staying out of my own way. I knew I could trust him, but this walk, in God’s hands, has been one of the hardest things either of us has ever done. It’s far too easy to give up, to let go of trying, to step back and think ‘I don’t have to do anything to this relationship.’ but it takes WORK to go that distance. It takes WORK, love, compromise, prayer, grace, and humility. It takes admitting fault and shortcoming, it takes swallowing pride and selfishness and petty behavior.

      It takes WORK, but it does work. I’m now almost 50, my husband is 52, and 11 years have taken the toll on us both, but we are more deeply in love now that we were on the day we exchanged our vows. It DOES work. Love goes the distance as long as both of us are willing to keep running.

      You will find the love you seek. Be mindful, be open and love God with all your might.

    • Kathy, marriage DOES last – I was married at 28, a mother the same year, and 27 years later (someone do the MATH!), we are still married, still in love, and still stealing time away to be alone/together. Yes, there are struggles – he has not been tempted by porno; one of his biggest goals in life is to be able to say that he was never unfaithful. BUT, we struggle financially every day of every year.

      These struggles are frustrating, but hey- that’s life! As I say to my friends/kids bemoaning another birthday, it sure beats the alternative! I’d rather struggle here on earth, than miss the beauty that is heaven.

      So hang in there; God is faithful. And as I can attest every single payday, His timing is always perfect!

  32. It doesn’t matter…words don’t help for me. You can tell me I’m loved, that nothing is wrong with me, ect ect. If it were not for knowing God is my provision I would never make it. I’m struggling with friendships and I think this is why. I try and make them fill voids and give me a reason to feel important.

    • Melanie, I have had that very struggle! Especially since I had a close friendship that turned cold on me. Oh…the hurt. I have found much comfort in Ps. 62:5 and in immersing myself in Bible studies and worship. Healing comes and God makes Himself more real than ever for us!

  33. Sometimes as a single, I just need to hear “come hang with me and my husband” or to be included when it’s “just marrieds” (intentional or not). Because as a single (and one of few), you need fellowship with the marrieds just as much as you need the fellowship of the singles. While I love the women in my life (single or married), sometimes as a woman, I need to see a Godly husband and wife interacting together.

  34. It would be nice to hear that I am needed. loved and belong here. it would be nice get a nice big hearty hug of encouragement knowing I’m still valued, needed and have worth and a purpose for being here. I feel like there must be something wrong with me and that I must be so unlovable and unattractive and don’t deserve to have someone to share my life with. It gets very lonely and discouraging.

    • Oh Christine, I hear these things so clearly, since I have listened to them in my head as well. I do wish I could hug you. And twirl you around and then sit down so you could pour your heart out. I would not ever judge a word, but I would nod and shed tears and laugh because you are fun and funny and beautiful.

      Remember this with me? The enemy is the one who says those things to us and Jesus is ever wanting you and I to see ourselves as He sees us. The lonely and discouraging part is just so hard. Thank you for your honesty. Thank you for being beautifully brave and vulnerable. You do belong here. I’m so glad that you are here.

  35. How timely as waves of loneliness wash over me just as I thought I was floating the “as is” with some grace. I need to hear,’ I claim you. I want our lives to include each other. You are unique in all the world to me” –even I, at 62, and forty plus years single– and yearn for me to say the same words to them.

    • Pamela, I love your name. I picture your beautiful soul as I say it. And I see you brave and strong. I so wish we could sit over a cup of warmth and you could share your world with me. Your dreams and pain. How it was that you came to be single. I think of Anna in the New Testament who was faithful so many years. You are indeed a unique holy wonder. I’m praying for you right now.

  36. I’m married, and I try to make sure my single friends know that I take their singleness seriously. I want to hear about it. Being married for 5 years doesn’t mean I’m no longer interested.
    It’s a hard balance to strike –
    on one hand, I do remember what it was like to be single.
    on the other hand, I got married at 25. I wasn’t single after that.
    And I try to respectfully acknowledge that I DON’T understand it all.
    But I want to hear it.

    I also married someone older, and having his experience, as someone who got married at 34, is something I really value. I love hearing HIM talk to my single friends about being single longer than expected.

  37. Oh, Annie, this is so good! I can distinctly remember times when both married and single friends spoke truth to me in this arena.

    The mourning was a key one. Another dear friend said that to me too. I think it’s true for everyone. Life isn’t the way most people though it would be.

    One spring years ago, I was beating myself up for feeling two-faced. I was wrestling with being both content yet still praying the Lord would have marriage for me. How could both be true? A truth-speaking friend pointed out to me that Paul was content. Yet Paul wanted to go to Spain. He never go there. Yet he prayed to that end and also spoke/wrote on being content. Not two-faced! Just honest before the Lord. I don’t think I’ll ever remember this concept. It helps me to keep praying in so many circumstances – praying God’s will and praying for things I desire for myself and others.

    • I forgot a “bio”. Single and 42 with a desire to be a wife and mom since age 12. Usually content but the desire hasn’t subsided one ounce in those 30 years.

      • You are so stunning Kristin. And I am glad that your desire hasn’t been snuffed out by time. It is part of what makes you so vibrant. I was a single person after the death of my first husband and I remember the emotions of wanting to be satisfied with where I was, yet that deep desire to be a wife. I love how you said, “The mourning was a key one. and Life isn’t the way most people though it would be.” This is truth. I know many women who suffer in difficult marriages who had dreams that life would be different for them.

        Thank you for sharing your heart here.

  38. I’m a single mom of 2 and have been for 4 years. I’ve had horrible dating luck. My heart hurts from wanting to find love so bad. I didn’t want my marriage to end but it was abusive and my kids couldn’t be raised in that environment. It’s been 6 years since a man told me he loved me. That hurts!!! I have lived my life to be a good person and do things the right way. I have never understood why I can’t find my soulmate. I desire it so much! 🙁

    I want to be told….

    “It’s okay to cry! It’s okay to hurt! Hit something if you need to!”

    I’m tired of hearing….

    “God’s got someone special just for you. It’s in His timing, not yours. Your time will come, just be patient.” (Though I know all these are true, I hate hearing them!)

    • It is ok to cry and to hurt and the grieve the loss you feel! Divorce is still a “death” a death of a life, dreams and with that comes grief!! Hit something, break something, it’s ok to hurt and to work your way thru it! Look thru the Psalms, David poured out all the “uglies” to God and you can too!

    • I too hate that line…there is a man out there for you. So much in that statement that people do not understand. Just hearing that hurts somedays. I am thinking of you.

    • Monica – so go hit something, already! I’m assuming that you have a bed? With pillows? Get in there & whale away at a pillow! It will release some stress, won’t hurt the pillow at all, and is really kind of fun! I’m a psychologist; I have some experience with this! If you want to yell & scream, just warn the kids that you’re having a tantrum, & scream into a pillow.

      Trust me – it helps. And it’s ok to want to do that. Your feelings are valid, human, and not sinful.

  39. Hi there thanks for the encouragement of this i am a single christian man of nearly 12 years i havent had much luck in realtionships in my life and my last girlfriend only lasted for about 3 months which really hurt me but god kept saying to me to follow him and that i would find someone in his time.
    Its now 2013 and i am still single and days go by where i wonder whats happened ive been to so many weddings of good friends that its not always easy and my best friend gets married next year sometimes my friends who are in relationships or married say to me that i have it easy and that i can do anything i want and that i shouldnt let things worry then i have church friends and family members who think there is something wrong with me as i am nearly 40 and still am not married with kids and also they think that as i am single i have plenty of time to volunteer for every group thats on in the church as because i am single i have plenty of time i wish sometimes that people would see that just because you are single we too go thru a lot of things and its not always easy and helpful when they give advice or when they feel sorry for you.
    Anyway i know that i just have to keep my focus on god and in his time something might happen when i least expect it i love my life at the moment and when it comes along i will be grateful but if it never happens i will know its gods will and he has more for me in other areas thanks again for this God bless

  40. This couldn’t have come on a better week. Struggled through many memories and tears. I am a single (divorced) mother of two amazing kids. What I long to hear…That I am wanted, that I am enough, that I am loved, that I am desired for who I am.

    Those statements are ever present as I work, pay bills, buy groceries, make meals and try to be a good mom! It gets extremely lonely. The moments you want to share with someone often there is NO one. God is there…but feels so far away.

    Finding girlfriends is hard. And in all honesty I have kind of just given up on finding that special someone. The thought of being hurt again just feels like too much. I don’t know if I can take another experience of loss. I feel broken.

    I read several post about touch. Yes hugs, touch on the shoulder or grasping a hand can mean more than you will ever know.

    Thank you for sharing this. It has touched my heart. Through tears it showed me I’m not alone.

    • Brenda, I can’t imagine what it would be like to be single from a divorce with children. I can only imagine how difficult it is to make a living, raise children, carry so much responsibility, and also get those personal emotional needs met. God sees you. Just as He saw Hagar and her son after she ran away from Abraham and Sarah because of the abuse. God sees you and He thinks you are outstanding just the way you are. You are doing a great job! You aren’t alone. God is there with you. In those rare and precious quiet moments, just whisper Jesus’ name and let Him lavish you with His presence. I’ve been single my entire life and don’t have any children. I understand how lonely it can get–even in a room full of people. I’ll be praying that the Lord will bring another woman into your life who can provide companionship and encouragement in this in-between time. And I will pray that God will bring a man into your life who deserves you. Blessings.

  41. As a new mom with a 4 month old I’m now newly single too… I wish someone had told me how painful divorce is. To find someone who agrees 110% that divorce isn’t an option.

    I need someone to look at me and say: sweet girl, you did ALL that you could. You fought for your marriage more than anyone I’ve seen and you were courageous. You were obedient to The Lord and all He called you to do. You will be loved, you will find someone who will cherish you someday. And if you don’t, If those dreams of finding a man who loves The Lord don’t come true then Jeaus will be enough. You are not a burden, you are not too overwhelming. Your life isn’t too much for your friends and family to bear. You are loved and be gracious with yourself during this heartbreaking but exciting season.

    • I was divorced and left to raise a 3 year old daughter on my own when my husband walked out. When one party in the marriage wants out there is very little you can do to make them stay. Believe me, I know because I tried! The world tries to make divorce sound like an escape hatch – if you’re not happy, you can just get a divorce. In reality it’s like the example of two pieces of paper glued together – you can’t separate them without ripping them up. I consider divorce a kind of death, because it’s the death of the future you thought you were going to have. God saw fit to send me a man who was better than anything I had imagined, and we have been married for 17 years now. Kristen, it WILL get better. Maybe not tomorrow, or next week, or even next year, but one day you will be able to look back at this time in your life and it won’t hurt as much. You are courageous and brave and you are not a burden. You have the joy of shepherding a child and training him or her up in the way he or she should go. You may or may not meet a man who is worthy to be in your life and your child’s life, but either way you’re going to be OK. I’m praying for you tonight.

  42. Kristen, it will be OK. Married/not married, God loves you, and it will be OK. “Everything will be all right in the end, and if it’s not all right, it’s not the end!”

    Hang in there – you’re in the middle of the most painful part – it does get better.

  43. Thanks for your vulnerability, Annie. I think single people need to hear the same things married people do. I love you. I’m here for you. You matter to me. You are OK. You wanna get a chocolate sundae? 🙂

  44. I’m not single but I can so relate to what your counselor said.

    I wrote about it on my blog today

    Praying got all of you hurting women today.

  45. Hi, my name is Jessica and I am single, hahaha! I think we need a support group!

    As a 32 years old single girl I have to be honest and say that I have been through seasons where I get tired of waiting (but I still wait) and tired of praying to God about that subject too. So there are times when I just let it go and I don’t bring the subject for months, but the hope, the longing is still there. Truth is that I was going through that phase again, and then on Saturday I heard these kind and unexpected words from a male friend way younger than I am and made my day: “You are way to pretty and way to special, I guess that’s why God is taking so long in bringing you together, the guy you marry is going to be a very lucky man” , wow! his words made my day. What he said encouraged me to talk to God, no edited prayers just what I was feeling exactly, being pretty honest about what is in my heart.

    So yes, we Christian Single Girls know God loves us and that we’ve value in Him, but sometimes we need to hear that we are special from others.

    • Jessica, what a blessing from the Lord that comment was for you! An unsolicited comment like that is a precious gift. I too have been single much longer than I would have ever thought or planned. People often tell me they are puzzled by the fact that I haven’t met and married that special guy yet. Like you, I have also gotten weary in the wait. I’ll stop asking God for a while and basically give up. Sometimes that’s okay and sometimes we should be fervent in our prayers. The Lord will guide you about when to pray, and yes, He wants us to be very honest with our thoughts and feelings. I try to remember that God’s plan is always the best and trust Him. I pray that you will be able to rest in that fact until that lucky man and you finally get together. Bless you.

      • Dear Kristi,

        Thank you for sharing and for your encouraging words 🙂 ! It’s comforting to know that we are in this together (as single christian women) and also that our Heavenly Father is always by our side. God bless you! Let’s not give up!

        Hugs!

  46. Precious Single Sistes, you are loved beyond comparison by a great big God who holds you in the palm of your hand. I pray that tonight these words from Ephesians bring you peace, comfort and much MUCH love. i am kneeling tonight before Him to share in your struggles, cries and prayers.

    Ephesians 3:
    For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family[a] in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

    Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

  47. I LOVE this: “Annie, I pray for your husband every day. I am so frustrated. I have no idea why God hasn’t done this for you yet. Sometimes I just get so mad about it.”

    I would love to hear someone care that much. How validating.

  48. I am 57 & never married. Sometimes I’m lonely. I very much need community & I find it hard to reach out to people. Sometimes I feel unworthy.

  49. Love this, Annie. I am firmly in a season of grieving dreams that are apparently not meant to be…depending on the day I am incredibly sad, unbelievably filled with anger, or just disappointed and resolved to the reality of it. Don’t know that there is specifically anything to say that makes it “better”…but anything that makes me feel less invisible is good. At a certain age (I’m 39 and definitely there!) people don’t seem to know what to do with the girl who is single with no kids…

  50. Wow. This is a great topic. I’m 43, never married and rarely date. The last guy I went out with seriously brke things off because I am so independent. Well I have had to be being on my own. My single status and age have led to what I perceive as descrimination in my former home church. I felt like everyone looked at me as if I had an eye or something in the middle of my forehead. All the Sunday school classed were for married couples in my age brackets. Yes there were singles classes but they were for college students or senior citizens. I was expected to teach, but felt I needed to be taught. I finally left my family church for one with small groups that the only requirement was which night you could meet. I too have felt behind by friends once they got married or had children. I never got a wedding shower, I had to furnish my whole house by myself. I feel badly when I have resentment for buying people wedding gifts or baby gifts knowing I will never be on the receiving end myself. I have given up on ever wearing a wedding dress because no one at my age wears one of those. I’ve given up on being a mother to children of my own. I have learned to cope. I “vacation” by taking continuing education classes because I have no one to travel with. I watch TV or play on this iPad while eating to stimulate my mind. But I haven’t given up on finding someone to spend my life with. As for children, my nephew put me in my place when he he told me I wasn’t an adult I was a “Mommy” and I told him I wasn’t because I didn’t have kids, quickly informed my that I did when he said “you have Me!”
    I don’t want to hear “you have to love yourself before you can be loved”. What I need to hear occasionally is that I am normal. That there is nothing wrong with me and that it is OK to still be single, never married and straight at 40! (I really am not a depressed bitter person even though it sounds that way. I have come to realize that God really did know what he was doing when he didn’t give me kids of my own as I sometimes forget to feed the cats!)

  51. As someone who has gone through a divorce (which was less painful than the marriage) and has remarried, I would say that it is much preferable to be single than to be married to the wrong man. I am blessed that my second husband is a loving, Christian man. I guess I would say to my young, single self, “Why the urgency? Enjoy yourself, indulge, travel. Sleep in on weekends. Being without a man does not define you. When you are content with yourself, love has a way of finding you. Put God first and the rest will follow.” I get that it’s easy for me now to say this, but I wish someone had told me this before I lowered my standards and settled for the wrong guy. Yes, I’m happy now, but life was harder than it needed to be.

  52. After being married for 33 years, I painfully divorced, not by choice, but for my survival. I was so traumatized by events, and many chose to not speak to me. I know they were uncomfortable, but I needed someone to say ” are you ok?” ” do you want to talk about it?”. So many later said they didn’t know what to say, so when I am asked this question- “what do you wish people would say?” — I say THIS. “Say SOMETHING. Just say something. Don’t ignore me or think it will hurt too much to talk”.. I needed to talk and talk and talk, and I felt so alone. It’s been 2 1/2 years, and I can’t even begin to think about dating—I am 56— and I now think I am ok being single. Certainly not “the plan” but definitely ok.

    • Suzanne,
      I don’t even try to explain my situation….. anymore. I’m touched when anyone hugs me, asks about my life and then listens. Broken pieces of my story just spill out, disconnected… with tears. Always tears. I KNOW I am not alone. I KNOW Jesus is with me and I am so thankful. Usually my biggest blessings come from reaching out to someone else in need. My prayer is to keep my eyes, ears and heart open to see who needs me. So I hear you.

  53. Single women need to hear that they are loved, wanted and in some cases useful to God.

    I would tell a single person that she is pretty, smart and that God and I love her. Perhaps for college aged and maybe older adults one could invite them over to their house for dinner. It is important to be a part of a community–especially at holidays.

    We all need each other. soft landing places, love and kinds words spoken in love!@

    • Every word that you said here is true. There a widowed friend of mine at church that has asked me to come and see her, and I’ve been sidetracked for far too long. I’m going to call her tomorrow and set up a day and time to go visit. Thank you!

  54. Sometimes friends just need to be “Skin on Jesus” to us singles on occasion. Jesus and I have had this conversation before, so He knows that by my “Skin on Jesus” phrase, I do not mean anything tawdry or disrespectful. I mean that singles can go months (or even much, much longer) without a single meaningful touch from another human, especially if we don’t live near or have good relations with family and/or don’t have children either. A friendly hug, a simple hand grasp/hold, or a pat on the shoulder/back may be a very special act of “Skin on Jesus” Grace to someone who goes without any human touch for long periods of time.

    Please know that as a single myself I am extremely social and outgoing and am definitely not a hygienically-challenged hermit. I am quick to be friendly, and I do extend hugs to close friends myself, but even as social as I am, the majority of my days go without a single human touch.

    Your “Skin on Jesus” would be a nice “touch” on occasion. 8)

    Note: Obviously, each person is different, and offering or receiving a hug or a hand-hold may not be everyone’s “cup’o’tea,” but I think most people would be amazed to know how “touch-starved” (platonically, of course) the majority of our culture actually is. Your hand or pat may be the “only Jesus that someone feels.”

    • Jennifer, thank you so much for sharing that! That’s a piece of information that we marrieds need to hear and it breaks my heart to think that some people might go a whole day without a single human touch. I’m not usually a hugger but I notice the older I get the more hugs I initiate, so don’t take this the wrong way, but please consider yourself hugged. 🙂

  55. Oh, where do I even start tonight?

    I’m single, disabled (though not really visibly so) and living at home (still).

    For me it’s:

    I’m praying for you. It’s ok to cry if you need to. You’re different, so what? You’re not like your sister, mom etc., and that’s ok. You’re disabled, but you’re not defined by your disability. And the biggie: I love you (and mean it).

    • Chantal, it is absolutely OK to cry. God made us with tear ducts, after all. 🙂 You are a unique individual, unlike anyone else in the world who is or has been, and that’s all by our Creator’s grand design. It’s more than OK that you are different – it’s wonderful! Your disability doesn’t define you any more than your shoe size defines you. It’s just one piece of a marvelous whole that was planned long before your Mom’s positive pregnancy test. I don’t know you, Chantal, but as your sister in Christ, I already love you. As my daughter says, “Love you, mean it.” And I am praying for you.

      • Thank you, Kim!!! I’ve just been having a rough evening after a little chew-out by my mom. Trouble is, at least according to my parents and sister here (I have a sister in the States), crying signifies weakness so really I can’t cry around them. I know my family loves me, but it seems like they have a brick wall around their emotions, and they just can’t show it.

  56. As a single mom (never married), I dated a man for 7 years that had bought a ring and asked my dad to marry me. He seemed willing to accept my kids and my past and then after a final lie (many over the years) on his part, I knew that in obedience to God’s will I had to end it. Fast forward to him being almost engaged to a girl LITERALLY HALF my age (I’m 34…feel free to gasp once you do the math) and my son’s father (physically and emotionally abusive) getting married last week. I need to hear that God is in control, that obedience has a reward, that eventually the dull ache in my heart that used to be hope for a future with my ex will subside as God unveils something infinitely more worthy for His child. That like you said, Annie, I can grieve the dreams lost and mourn the future that never was to be. I need to hear from my married friends that they are praying for me. I need to hear that God is still faithful, even when it seems the bad guy “wins”. I need to hear the hard truth that maybe being married won’t be God’s will for me. And then pray that my heart changes to be in agreement with whatever God has for me.

    • Hi Carrie! I’m picking myself up off the floor (17?? Really??) to say that yes, God is indeed in control and He is faithful. During a dark time in my life after my divorce, I was mourning the loss of a relationship that I thought was going the be The One but ended up being a dud. A friend who loved me told me that as perfect as I thought that guy was for me, if it wasn’t meant to be, God had someone else in mind that was even better than I could imagine. That did turn out to be true in my case, but it’s also true that there are some people for whom God chooses the single life. That’s hard to hear when you want more than anything to have a life companion, someone you can count on for the rest of your life. As one who has been through this struggle and lived to tell the tale, I can promise you that the ache WILL dull and the day will come when you can look back at this time in your life and see how God was working, even in the most bleak days. I AM praying for you, Carrie, and one of the things I’m praying is that God will give you peace, whatever His plan for your life. ((Hugs))

  57. I needed to read this and see that so many older single women have the same thoughts, feelings, and questions that I do. I want to hear that I am important to my married friends. It is so hard to feel like I have to “fit” into their lives.
    Mostly what I need to hear though is encouragement to have the courage to pray that God does have a husband for me. Somehow I have put up walls and believed lies and allowed myself to be deceived. I want to believe that my desire for marriage is good and will be fulfilled but it is so hard sometimes to be in my 30s and have very little dating experience. The lies whispered early on run deep.

    • God Himself designed marriage and made it good, and we ourselves are built for relationship with each other. I’m praying for you, Liz, that God will send the right man to you at the exact right time, and that He will protect your heart from being deceived.

    • Liz, praying that God encourages you this week! I’m in my 30s, too, and have only been in one serious relationship which ended in a broken engagement earlier this year, so I understand where you’re coming from. I hear the lies too-praying that God reminds you how much you are loved.

  58. Singleness is the same-unmarried, divorced, widowed! God’s love is able to, can, and will fill the void. I’ve learned (am learning) to trust Him! He really loves us- wherever we are!

  59. My sister at the age of 23 is getting married this weekend. I’m am happy for her and the husband that she will have in her life. He is a great guy.
    I am 21 and have never dated or been out on a date. I have never had a man express interest in me. If I’m being honest with you, having that love is something that I want. I will long for it this weekend. That day will come and I will be happy for my sister.
    I may cry myself to sleep Saturday night, but I also know that Jesus will be there with me in my sadness. I am in love with Jesus who knows exactly what I am going through and still cry’s with me.
    I want someone to tell me that I am loved in my brokenness.

    • Oh Tessa, yes you are loved! It’s OK to long for that covenant love – God made you to desire that relationship, and He will send the right man into your life when His time is right. It is perfectly fine to be happy for your sister and sad for yourself at the same time – they don’t cancel each other out. 🙂

  60. I have been married for 23 years and now I separated for almost two. My husband decided that I wasn’t worth fighting for…so he found an easy and younger way out.
    Many times I need to hear, you are beautiful, you are valuable, you are worth fighting for….
    A hug, a touch… I miss that.
    It is so hard.
    For so long I have let him define me. I want to hear God, like himself, audibly in my heart, saying I am here, you are worthy. I see you, it’s gonna be ok.

  61. I posted not far above (“Skin on Jesus” – Comment #129), but after seeing 135 comments (as of this moment) on this topic and knowing recent conversations that I have had with friends, I have a question that I have posed to God too:

    Why are there so VERY many phenomenal single Christian women of all ages who seem to either not be meeting quality Christian men or who are wrestling with giving up on the hope altogether?

    Statistically, single women outnumber the men 3 to 1 (our society and the church), so from a purely data-driven and earthly perspective, numbers and odds are not stacked in favor of the ladies.

    Obviously, God is not limited by numbers. Far be it from me to say that God cannot make a meal for 5000 men (with women and children added in, more like 12,000) out of a little boy’s 2 cracker-size loaves and 2 sardine-sized fish, but I have sought the Lord on why there is such an enormous discrepancy in terms of gender and singleness in our country and the Church collectively.

    I don’t have the totality of my answer yet, but it hurts me to see so-very-many mighty women of God hurting, longing, heart-sick, and sad/disillusioned from a lack of meeting any single men at all or meeting ones who claim to be Christians but are using the term as a dating calling-card but are deceptive or nominal in their walks with Christ. All of us women can look at these women and realize that they would be amazing help-mates, intercessors, and life-partners to someone, but the men are either not present at all or are not seeing the same thing we’re all seeing in our Sisters in Christ. I’m preaching to my own choir as a single 42-year-old woman with no children myself.

    I think I need to pray for God to either (1) multiply Godly men or (2) give the existing ones better eyes to see the true harvest in so many utterly-amazing Christian women. 8)

    What are your thoughts?

  62. Its been year since my husband left. He didn’t live me for another women, or abandon me or depart to join the heavens. He left one morning, kiss us and said See you next week. Then he never came back. He got arrested. Yes one day he was here and the next deprived of his liberty and so where we of his presence. He work abroad so he would travel every week. I would count the days and the hours every week until his return on thursday afternoon when our family was complete again. Sometimes I couldn’t sleep. My peace depended on him, on his presence. And now its already a year. Its has been tough but God has kept me going with a love that surpass all understanding. He has given me grace. He has showed me what inner peace really is even in the eye of the storm. He has carry me trough this and has never left. But Here I’am I’m still waiting for my husband. Waiting for him to come back home. Waiting for him to change, to be a new man, to give himself to God completely and truthfully. Waiting for him to feel God’s love so deep that you could never feel unloved again, waiting for him to feel God presence so close he could never feel lonely again, waiting for him to hear God’s whisper in his ear so loud and clear that he couldn’t possible hear the lies the enemy scream in his mind every day. And so I’m here waiting. I’m still waiting here for him. But today just today I’m waiting for someone to say, You are being a great wife. You are being the wife and mother God always wanted you to be. You are doing the right thing. And so I just needed to hear that.

  63. A kind word, a touch, a hug. We sometimes can go weeks without even being touched by another human. We may appear strong and capable but we are not super hero’s. There may be areas that we are very capable at taking care of but there are bound to be areas we have not skill or training or idea about. Ask you husband to check over a single woman’s car, Get it ready for winter, Check the tires and oil. Ask them to check her home for leaks, caulk windows, put on weather strip. Offer advice or have a group on finances and budgets. Include children of single parents in your family outings. Let them see how intact families function. Take on a bit of the role of the missing parent. Men, be examples of Godly fathers. Women, be examples of Godly mothers. Understand that a single woman has no one at home waiting for her to return from work. No one to talk to about her day. No one to say good night to as she lays her head on her pillow. Think about all the times you interact with your spouse in even the smallest ways and remember that a single woman does not have this. Do not pitty, but try to understand. There are so many things I was not taught because my parents assumed I would be married. After I was divorced no one expected I would be alone for as long as I have been.

  64. Thanks Annie. I needed to hear that, it was amazing how God’s timing worked with your post.

    Sometimes as a single person you just need to hear that it is ok to struggle in your singleness, but also it is ok to enjoy where you are in your relationship with Christ, without feeling as if you have been left behind as friends got married or started dating. That just because you are have not dated or met the right someone does not mean that you are less important, that your life has not started yet. You need to hear that someone is praying for you, and that they care.

  65. Wow. Thank you Annie, for sharing these things that people in your life said that blessed you. I’m needing that. Oh so much. I need people (marrieds) in my life that will acknowledge that being single is hard, that they don’t understand it fully if they weren’t single as long as I’ve been single (and living alone, independent), that it’s not “easier” than being married/having a family. People who will say it’s ok to grieve for the things hoped for that haven’t happened for me (husband, children) that so many others take for granted in their own lives. People that will be truly inclusive and welcoming…inviting me into relationship with their family or just invitations to do something together. People that don’t imply they think something’s wrong with me because of my relationship status. People that say it’s ok to hurt when constantly bombarded with pics & statuses on social media celebrating “my partner, best friend that I get to call mine, spend my life with, etc”.

  66. Normally I don’t comment but I was forced into an abusive relationship when i was only 15, i was kept and escaped five years later with my two children and I want so badly for the man that God has created for me to appear in my life and tell me I am not broken, or damaged because I have children and I am not married. I want someone to say “i love you” and it be unconditional the way our Father has taught us to love!

    • Marisa I completely understand what you are saying. I too have children but was not married and I was in an abusive relationship for 11 years. I am also waiting for the man God has for me. Hang in there and don’t give up!! God loves us and only wants what is best for us.

  67. Most people nowadays seem to think that you’re only complete once you have a partner, whether it be a boyfriend/husband, whatever. I battle with this concept as I’ve always believed that I am complete in Christ, and that He is the only One who can fill me. I know this is true…. but I sometimes wish that others could realize this too, and understand that singleness is as much a gift as marriage, and that we can choose to bring honour and glory to God in both seasons of life. I wish I could hear from someone else that I am complete in Christ and loved by Him, whether I am single or not.

    • I’m with you, Sarah! I think sometimes people struggle with how to treat singles (women particularly) because in their worldview everyone is/will be paired up. I want that, too, but right now I’m single. It’s just a season (that will end in marriage or death), but that’s where I am. And in this season, I want to glorify Him.

  68. To Lu Wings,
    Your statements demonstrate a great deal of maturity. You did good not settling for any man except the one God picked out for you! I don’t know why we wait, all of us are waiting for something God promises us, but I can assure you that waiting is best! Not resignation but hopeful waiting, expectant waiting, and when we are tired of waiting we pour out our feelings to Him. I pray that you stay the course and that you enjoy each day to the fullest wherever you find yourself! God loves you and you are worthy because He said so.

  69. Marisa,
    I survived an abusive relationship from 14 to 19 also. May I share with you that you are loved immensely by the Creator of the Universe! That He deems you worthy, precious, lovable, His princess!? God does love you unconditionally and there is no need to fear Him or to perform to get His approval? It took me awhile to realize that He loves me unconditionally, to relax, to stop walking on eggshells, to not duck when someone raises their hand, to understand that His glory is best shown in broken vessels. I was broken, but found that Jesus fills in the cracks and I am able to look at people without wanting to hide.
    Father God, bless Marisa and I ask that you make Yourself known to her in a very real and personal way. Heal her children and free her from guilt about the past. Free her from the lies that was told her by a selfish man. Free her from the hopeless thinking that her children are damaged for life. You Oh God can change in one supernatural second all damage than years and years of counseling. Be a father to her children and guide her to people who can support her and be Your hands to her. Amen.

  70. I want to thank you, ladies, each of you, for the courage you have had to share your stories. You have brought encouragement to my soul,, that I am not alone, that there are others who have walked this road and survived. May God bless you all! As I read each comment, I have whispered prayers on your behalf. May God bless you, strong and brave daughters of God!

  71. The one thing that I need most to hear is that I am not still single because something is “wrong” with me. I often wonder why I just can’t seem to find someone who wants to love me, and it makes it feel like there must been some sign over my head that says “unloveable” or “broken” or “unworthy”.

    I used to be so content with being single. I have been waiting for God to send me a husband. Now I am starting to feel the longing of wanting someone to spend the rest of my life with, but I don’t want to get so impatient that I make the mistake of not waiting.

    I was in an abusive relationship myself for 11 years. It does something to your feeling of self worth.

  72. As a single woman, what I *don’t* want to hear is anything like “I’m sure the right one’s out there.” Unless God is telling you something (that he’s not telling me!), you don’t know that. Please encourage me to hope in God (as I should encourage you), not in what might be.

  73. This is so what I needed to hear. Not all the cliche things like you’ll find him when you stop looking. I need to hear that it’s ok to mourn what will never be. That it’s ok when I am with friends who I dearly love that it is ok to be sad that their life is what I thought mine would be by now. I know that there is so much I have done because I am single and maybe if I wasn’t I would mourn my current life, but this is my reality. To hear friends say that they are praying for me, that they can’t wait until I am a wife and a mother. I think we all need to hear that people who we love support us right where we are, not the constant questions of when are you going to get married or is there anyone special in your life. One of the best things I’ve heard recently after people asked me this questions was my great aunts response, when there is something to tell Abby will tell us. That is what I need to hear!

  74. I am 30 and single. I need to hear it is ok to be sad and have moments of doubt. I need to hear that God knows my hearts desires even when it hurts to express them.

  75. for me one thing I value hearing is “you’re enough” with Jesus you are whole, lovely wonderful etc. That there is nothing wrong with me because I haven’t connected with the right person yet.

    Sometimes not hearing it will happen one day is what I need to hear. Yes I believe that it will happen one day and certainly I hope that it does but sometimes its nice not to be reminded that everyone knows you are single all the time.

    Thanks for writing this Annie!

  76. I think the biggest thing I need to hear is affirmation from God that He hears, and that I’m not forgotten. Being single has led to plenty of questions of self-worth and sometimes even the well intended statements of others end up stinging more than they lift up. From others, I think the biggest thing I need to hear is that I’m with you in this, no matter what “this” looks like.

  77. Leslie, i’m single and can tell you i will be praying for God to work in your life according to what would give you joy. God sees and hears. Your every tear is in a bottle and our prayers are in a bowl ever before Him like incense. He loves you dearly.

  78. Oh I so want to say all the right things to singles out there. But as of a year ago I am no longer one of you… and that changes things… sometimes singles feel it’s easy for me to say this and that.

    But I want to encourage and I want you to believe me… it can happen and for most of you it will happen. But for some reason God has you wait. It just doesn’t mean it is not going to happen. So many times, so many instances, so many weeks/months/years I just couldn’t believe it would happen for me. i was 39 and I just didn’t see it happen. But it did. God did it. And now… now it makes sense why God waited this long. My husband wasn’t ready for me, I probably wasn’t ready for him earlier either. And let me tell you something singles… once you meet your companion, you forget about the wait, you forget about the hurt. All of a sudden it was worth the wait, my husband was worth the wait. When you have longed and longed, once it comes, it is the most beautiful ‘thing’ ever. Last week we celebrated our one year anniversary and still everyday I am filled with gratefulness. I think I am more grateful for my husband than others just because he was a wait away. So continue your life, keep moving, keep hoping and keep hanging out with dear ones who believe with you and for you when you can’t anymore.

    And as far as what I would like to hear… I’d say married people need to hear from singles you need us. That life is hard alone and just ask to come sit at our table when you are not seen or you feel forgotten. Just remind us, give us responsibility. We lead a marriage group now and I do remind the married couples in our group that many around us are hurting because they do not have what we have. We need to reach out. But please remind those who have no clue.

    My heart goes out to you singles. I understand! But your life may get changed in a moment… God is good!! He loves you, He knows what He is doing, He IS faithful to your heart. I promise!!

  79. I haven’t read all 103 comments! But I read Ruth’s. As a single person of 40 years (still waiting on God for that one guy he wants me to be with) and with family I long way away the “come and be part of our family” would be great to hear. But there as so many in the churches yet most of my single friends say the same….”Sundays after church is the worst when everyone is going good to a family dinner and afternoon and we go home alone! Every Sunday I hope someone will invite me for lunch. The same person has done so twice but what about the rest. I’m so lonely. No husband. No kids. No-one to share my home with, to make lovely things for and my parents a long way away and the move to bring them closer stalled. I soo needed to hear its ok to grieve for things lost. My parents being here for my 40th birthday for one! So please, please remember us singles and think what it would be like to be in our place. Imagine not feeling 40 but being single and feeling old. For 20 years where I haven’t been managing a home for my husband and kids, for not understanding why God has made me wait and how I’m s.al and an Nov even sure I have the energy for a family but desperately yearning for someone to help me out. Simple like make a bus of tea, a meal, do the washing up or hoovering…just once in a while. I hope you look around you and see the desperate slight of the singles in your church. Think of me and do for them what you would do for me. Thanks for the post. Sorry to have ranted but it has been a problem for me for over 15 years. Thanks again, Teri things for

    • Teri, please keep believing it can happen!! It really can. I met my husband at age 39 and got married a year ago. A friend from church just got married, age 42. It really does happen. I know you hurt and reading all the comments here today made me go back to the years where I longed. I remembered it today like it was yesterday. So I hurt for you… hang in there, keep longing and looking!!

  80. To be honest, all the encouragement in the world from my female friends is appreciated, but what I need to hear are certain things from a man. My last date was my senior prom, 15 years ago! I’m 33 now, long for a husband and have been praying, almost daily, for 11 years. What I need is to be chosen, loved, and to be beautiful to someone…to a man. To the man God has for me. Lately, the lack of physical touch and lack of being desirable has left me feeling overlooked and brokenhearted. I don’t understand why. I will wait as long as necessary and will not compromise my purity or beliefs, but it hurts.

  81. I need to hear that it is okay – normal, even – for the fear of never finding someone who loves me completely to be in my prayers and thoughts daily. I respectfully disagree when people tell me to “stop thinking about it” — no single lady should feel as if it is shameful, or bad, to think/pray about their future love.

  82. I needed to hear that! I’ve had a prayer in my heart today to know how to care for a friend who is getting divorced. Your words are an answer to prayers! Thank you!

  83. That it’s ok to want to have someone else around that worries about whether you’ve changed your oil. That having someone to process your day with matters. And that you’ll help her out somehow at her house – either empty her gutters, mow her front yard, or fix her broken dryer.

  84. That it was not a crime to be single. That someone would let me serve in the church without “being married” and “having a family.” That God wants to use me for more than just being in the nursery at church….that in the real world singles DO exist in the church, not just two groups: marrieds and old folks…haha…that “no matter what happens, I am NOT second-rate just because I don’t have a husband…that God’s love is not limited to my relationship status, and that I have amazing potential to be used by Him during this season of my life…that in the end, we all stand before God to account for what we did with the lives He gave us, and we WON’T have our husbands or anyone else to answer for us…”

  85. I need to hear from some of my married friends (and there are a few who can say this to me), “I know you. I see you and know who you are. And I love you in spite of it and because of it.”