Single on Valentine’s Day…AGAIN.

FullSizeRender (1)

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.

FullSizeRender (3)

Happy Valentine’s Day! xoxo

 

Advertisements

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

I’ve sponsored a child with the charity Compassion

Over the last 15 years, my mom and step dad have undertaken one of the most sacrificial but rewarding roles as parents to children that have been neglected, abused and abandoned.

When I was 18 years old, my mom started fostering a 13-year-old girl who actually lived in the community that I grew up in. I knew her to walk past in the street but I never imagined that just a few years later this girl would become part of our family.  As I’m sure you can imagine that was quite a surreal time for me.  Of course, my mom spoke to me about it and I thought it was a great idea. Besides, if I’m honest, I wasn’t really that bothered because as *Laura was moving in I was preparing to move away to go to university; that was in the summer/fall of 1998.

Since then my parents have welcomed into their home babies, toddlers, children and teenagers both on a short and long-term basis, who have experienced some of the worst and horrific abuse that no child should ever have to experience. I have seen the tears, teenage tantrums, fights between these kids and my parents as well as the stress this process has had on my parent’s marriage. Yet, the desire to see these children experience love, a happy home, support, security and dare I say it, discipline, has not wavered their conviction. The fact that 15 years later some of these children (that are now adults), still call my parents ‘mom’ and ‘dad’ and show up every year for Christmas, simply speaks volumes of their resolve, consistency and never give up attitude. I could not be more proud.

Having seen, first hand, the impact that abuse and neglect has on children and then also seeing how love can truly transform a person, I know that I will at some point either foster, adopt or do both. For now I have decided to sponsor an 11-year-old girl from the Dominican Republic. Why? Because it’s what I can do, right now. Can I afford it? Not really, but I can re-arrange my budget to do so and maybe cut out the three Starbucks I have once a month lol. Like I said, I will definitely foster/adopt a child (ren) from the UK at some point but if you have read my previous blog: Fatherless Child, Fatherless Woman, you will understand why it is important to me that my future children have a constant father figure in their life.  For now this is something I can do by myself.

I’m not perfect and I’ve realised a character flaw about myself which is this: If I don’t want to do something I’ll make excuses as to why I can’t so that people won’t think badly or judge me. It’s really easy to make excuses as to why we can’t do certain things: lack of money, lack of time, lack of training etc and they might all be valid reasons.  However, for the most part the real reason is because we just don’t want to do it and we ought to simply be honest and say ‘I just don’t want to give my time or money to that thing/person or it’s not a priority for me right now’ (I’ve started to do this more).  I truly believe if we really want to do something we will find a way to do it!

One day this girl is going to grow up to be a woman and I’m sure she already has dreams and desires of her own.  If you have read my About Me page, one of my passions is to see women know how valuable and loved they are and this little girl can start to know that now, in a real and practical way.  I can do my part to make that a reality for her.  As a single woman, I have taken the ‘G’ in that word to stand for a core value I want to live by, generous. Therefore, because generosity is a value, I don’t need to THINK about being generous I just need to be who God created me to be.

I know I am not the only one who is sponsoring a child from another country and this post isn’t to blow my own trumpet; but it is to challenge us to look at own lives and see where we can really put our ‘money where our mouth is’ and ‘practice what we preach’.  I heard Joyce Meyer say once, talking about Christian’s that: ‘We are educated beyond our level of obedience.’  The Leancia Donaldson translation: ‘Frankly, I don’t care what you know, what you say or how nice you say it.  Until people actually see it worked out practically or at least attempted to be worked out, in our lives, it really has no weight or result.  I want my faith and belief to look like something.

photo (3)

I am very excited to meet Esteisi one day very soon (maybe my next mission trip lol), until then like my mom and Jesus, I will pray, love, encourage and support her until I am needed.  A special thanks to Compassion and Rejuvenate Worldwide (who I am going to Uganda with next month), in the amazing work they are doing in helping to release children from poverty and provide an education. I am more than honoured to partner with you.

*Not her real name

Leancia x

32, Christian and Single

32, Christian and Single

Yep, this is me, this isn’t the core of who I am, but it’s a huge part that describes my current reality. Do I like this reality? Sometimes, but for the most part no, to be totally honest for the most part I hate my current status (except the Christian part of course).  However, it is my reality and one that I am learning to manage. Let’s get something clear from the get go, yes, I want to be married and no, I haven’t been intentionally looking… ‘Well how do you expect to find a husband then?’  I don’t expect to find anything. The Bible says ‘He that finds a wife finds a good thing and receives favour from the Lord’…I am the prize; it is not my responsibility to search.  This doesn’t mean that I’m just chilling at home twiddling my thumbs, or that I’m not aware of who’s around me; I am very aware of my surroundings, I just refuse to act thirsty – that is not attractive.  I truly believe that if a man is interested in you he will do whatever it takes to make his intentions CLEAR and pursue. I might look 10 years younger than I am (Black don’t crack), but I am too old for games and at this point in my life I know exactly who I want to find me and no I will not be sharing that info in this blog 🙂

I hope that my journey helps you to make some positive decisions, take your focus off yourself and realise that as great as marriage is, it’s not the be all and end all of you.  I will not be giving any tips on what YOU should do, I will not patronise you or your capability to find out what works for you, but I will say be honest with yourself. I am not speaking on behalf of all Christian, single women; I can only share what has worked and is working for me.  I really don’t think you need another 10 step process on how to cope with being single; I am not an expert on this subject I am only an expert on my singleness.

At the age of 32 I didn’t think that I would be where I am now, my ten year plan didn’t look like this, by now I should be married with two children, a house in the Caribbean and my own business. One year I was certain that God told me I would meet my husband that particular year. Now I’m not one of those Christians who throw around the ‘God said…’ cliché flippantly…but I was so sure.  It never happened and I began to question whether I heard God at all. Maybe I wanted it so badly that I imagined it? Or maybe God changed his mind? All of these questions and more played through my mind and I started to believe that I was the problem, what was wrong with me? There was/is nothing wrong with me or you! I’ve learnt that singleness is not a curse unless you let it be.

I used to pray: “Lord if it’s not your desire for me to be married, fine, then please take away the desire so I can focus on serving you wholeheartedly’. What a great, spiritual prayer right? Although sincere it was bogus! This was my attempt to find an escape route from the pain; I just didn’t want to be lonely or single anymore. Now, I know the Bible scriptures that talk about ‘two is better than one’ and ‘it is not good for man to be alone’; I am 32, Christian and single not 32, illiterate and single; I would guess that many Christian, single women know these scriptures and agree, that’s why we want to be married!  I am not looking for a boyfriend, I am ‘actively waiting’ on God for my husband by living and loving life while learning and deepening my relationship with God and myself.

This is how I manage myself now, although this is not an exhaustive list:

I am ruthlessly honest with God about how I feel;

I protect my time and I’m intentional about what I do with it and where I go, I do things that I love often;

I focus on my passions: Missions and women, and anything else that fuels those passions;

I spend time with both my single and married friends as often as possible (or as often as married friends allow);

I pray for my husband;

I dress for where I’m going; I am preparing myself now for where I want to be, asking myself questions like: what have I got to offer to a marriage?

I’m not saying that because I do these things I never feel lonely or that the desire to be married suddenly disappears, I’m saying that we have to be intentional with our lives as we wait.

To all my single ladies and guys enjoy, embrace and be content with where you are. Being single is not a death sentence it can be an awesome adventure if you WANT it to be. Change your mind, change your life!

Happy Valentine’s Day!