Single on Valentine’s Day…AGAIN.

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So it’s that time of year again, the Christmas buzz is over, the New Year hype has fizzled out and it’s on to the next money making holiday, Valentine’s Day.  Now don’t get it twisted I’m not one of those bitter, single women that hates this particular holiday because I just happen to be single (I know a shocker right, I so should’ve been snapped up by now lol), I actually love the idea of celebrating love, love more than anything else should be celebrated. However, I do despise the fact that couples spend stupid amounts of money to express their love on one day. (Dang my future Mr better pull out the stops for me everyday…just kidding.) Seriously though, I think love is something that should be celebrated all the time. When I do get into a relationship I really don’t want to be showered with gifts on one day and then question on all the other 364 days of the year whether my Mr actually gives a damn.  Yes, I get that Valentine’s Day is a day to focus on your love and that’s fine, beautiful and wonderful but don’t break the bank (like you did at Christmas) to express your love. What a waste to wait for one day, tomorrow isn’t guaranteed people.

If you’ve been following me for a while now you’ll have read the post I wrote last year around this same time, if you haven’t you can read it here.  Not much has really changed, except my age of course but I am still single and still very much a Christian.  In that post I shared how I deal with my singlehood at this stage in life, like I said nothing much has changed, what I’m doing is still working and helping me on this journey.  However, more of my friends have either recently just got engaged or are having their first or second baby.  I can now confirm that I am able to count on one hand how many close, non married girlfriends I have and it’s not five.  Because I said I would always be honest in my posts, I have to admit that it does bother me SOMETIMES, especially at this time of year.  It’s like man, I’m here again, sometimes I feel like the world is literally moving all around me and I am stuck in the same place, in this particular area of my life anyway. Don’t get me wrong, I am ecstatic for my friends; I love them and I have walked the singlehood journey with a few of them so my joy at their news is the same as if it were me.

In this post I just wanted to encourage my single sisters out there who hate this time of year, who get pangs of jealousy when flowers arrive at the office for their co-worker, who hate that they are staying in eating a microwave dinner (take this time to learn to cook) when the world is eating out at Marco Pierre Whites, or who are fed up of going to a bed IMG_4029alone. I want to say I understand.  That’s it. I feel your frustration and I can relate to your loneliness, but never forget your value and worth is not determined by whether you receive diamonds, flowers or chocolates on one day of the year. Those things don’t equate to how special you are, you are special because you are YOU!

If you never receive a rose in your life does that mean you aren’t loved? Of course not! Also within 24 to 48 hours the shops will start preparing for Easter, I can survive 48 hours of seeing my friend’s posts on Facebook and Instagram of the plethora of gifts they have received lol. However, if it really bothers you go and buy yourself something nice; why are you waiting on a guy to treat you like the queen and awesome woman that you are?  You deserve it, you’re worth it and most importantly you’re loved by you. Regardless as to whether you have a faith or not, you need to accept and love you first before anyone else can come and love you.  I saw this video after I finished writing this post, it is so good I had to share.  Guys, this is for you too :).

So, whatever you are doing this Valentine’s Day, let’s take the opportunity to simply spread love to the people around us. Whether you have a significant other or not there is always someone that needs to know they are loved, valued and special.

For me I know it’s only a matter of time but as I actively wait, I’m enjoying being showered with love by the best man that ever came into my life, Jesus. He exemplifies what true and unconditional love is so my love tank is always full, although a Mr would be nice to share that love tank with…just saying.

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Happy Valentine’s Day! xoxo

 

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The ‘M’ word

Thursday 3rd April was your average, wet morning in Manchester until I received an unexpected and slightly concerning text message requiring me to call or wait for a call from the sender. Due to the content of the text I made the decision to make the call straight away. Because I want to protect the identity of my friend some of the information I share will be vague, however, I will share this information so you understand the context. The sender of the text message is a female friend in her 20’s, she is a passionate Bible believing Christian filled with the Holy Spirit. For the sake of this blog I will call her Susan.

So, Susan went on to relay to me that since being a teenager she has had a very high sex drive. She continued to say that in spite of this she has never had sexual intercourse and didn’t plan on doing so until she was married. What she said next stopped me in my tracks, but only briefly. It was not that I was necessarily shocked if anything, I was more surprised by my lack of reaction—after all, none of my Christian friends have ever told me about this issue before.

In short, Susan said that she had masturbated on more than one occasion, and she was starting to get fearful that it was becoming an addiction. I didn’t say anything, but instead, I let her talk until she was finished. One thing I have learnt when people share private and vulnerable information is to keep my mouth shut. Sometimes we can feel like we have to solve other people’s problems instead of simply listening, at times Christians can be the worst for doing this. Just because we have the Holy Spirit and we read our Bibles, does not mean we cannot exercise self control and discernment now and then (Galatians 5:2). If we are too quick to give advice or a solution, people will not want to talk, and we could ultimately miss what the underlying issue is.

As she was talking I was literally praying and asking the Holy Spirit to give me wisdom. I am not an expert on this topic and every person is different, but for Susan these three things were the real problems, her masturbating was simply the symptom:

Lack of Conviction
Although the Bible does not directly say that masturbation is a sin, masturbation is linked to self gratification and lust which is a sin. Susan knew what little the Bible said about this, (although somewhat vague), but due to the lack of solid teaching about the topic to solidify what she already believed, her conviction wasn’t strong. I reminded her that any teaching we receive or hear should only confirm or help us understand what we already know the Bible say’s is true. If we believe that the Bible is true, then that is it; the truth is the truth. Part of the problem was that she wasn’t entirely convicted that what she was doing was a sin. I asked her whether she believed without a shadow of a doubt that murder was a sin she did, and as a result she said she would never do that. I said to her the same conviction she has about murder; she also had to have about masturbation. Here is something else that I suppose I knew already but realised more: it is not my responsibility to convict, that’s what the Holy Spirit is here for.

Loneliness
Susan is also single and very much wants to be married; she recognises that loneliness is the major trigger that increases her desire to masturbate. I can totally relate to her struggle of trying to find ways to manage her loneliness; but then she has to also deal with managing her high sex drive and sexual urges that cannot be met by a husband right now. How is a single, Christian woman supposed to manage all this? In my blog ’32, Christian and single,’ I share some practical ways about how I manage myself as a Christian woman; I encourage every woman to find what works for them.

Lack of Teaching
This brings us to the key issue of why this subject is not talked about in the church. I totally believe the church needs to wake up and get real, let me say this to leaders of churches, do not be deceived to think or believe that the people that sit in your chairs every Sunday are not dealing with issues such as masturbation, yes, including WOMEN. That they are not dealing with the feelings of guilt and shame connected to abortion, pornography and promiscuity, it is real and it is happening in your churches. With that established, why on earth is the church not talking about it? I appreciate that there is a time and a place, but we often use that as an excuse not to address an issue and as a result the ‘time and place’ never seems to come. In the meantime people like Susan suffer because the church have no idea how to appropriately deal with these topics or very few are courageous enough to talk about it. As a result people like Susan feel ashamed and embarrassed because as Spirit filled Christians they know they shouldn’t be doing it, but aren’t fully convinced as to why not.

I was able to have an open, honest and vulnerable conversation with my friend and I am so honoured that she felt she could talk to me about it. This experience reminded me that before we are Christians we are human; I am reminded of the Bible scripture that says, referring to Jesus that he: “…made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.” – Philippians 2:7. Jesus was first and foremost God but he was also fully human in every way (Hebrews 2:17). Therefore, just because we are Christian’s that doesn’t mean we don’t struggle with the very things that any normal human being struggles with; like Jesus did but he didn’t sin. This should humble all of us especially us Christians who say ‘I would never do that,’ instead of saying: ‘by the grace of God I would never do that.’

I should say that Susan has read this post and has given her consent for me to share it. She wanted to add the following points below in the hope that it will help others that might be going through the same thing:

1. Be honest with yourself about what you are doing and where you’re heads at – often we pretend we want to give it up when really we are enjoying it…there’s no way you are going to move forward if you are lying to yourself;
2. If you decide that you do want to resist, realise you can’t fight on your own – talk to a trusted GODLY person who will pray with you and help you practically;
3. Take it a day at a time asking for the Holy Spirit’s help;
4. Forgive yourself quickly and don’t let guilt seep in;
5. Learn to trace the desire to the root and deal with it there – is it feelings of rejection? Is it loneliness? Is it just plain horniness? Then you know where its coming from and that might help you address the right thing.

Ultimately it’s not about what you can or can’t do but about what Jesus has already done; it is our responsibility to live that truth out with the love, help and encouragement of the Holy Spirit.

Leancia x