A Letter From Brianna

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Brianna is who we have here.

I’ve been thinking about a conversation I had a week ago with my friend, Brianna Wilcox. We stood outside in a parking lot, marveling at the sight of a husband and wife with their FOUR little boys. Basically, the whole thing got us talking about the fact that even though no one wants to be alone forever, the single life definitely has advantages!

After we talked a while longer, Brianna said an interesting thing about mental experiences single women may face. Then, a couple of days passed before I realized I wanted her to write her ideas in a letter for the blog. The letter appears below. See what you think.

Joshua

—————————————–

Dear Single Ladies,
I have had an interesting year – and by interesting, I mean turning 30…alone. In our twenties we ask ourselves and the Lord the question, “When?” When will it be my turn for marital bliss and popping out little bundles of…me? This is what we were made for right?!

Growing up in a traditional Christian home, it’s almost as if this was the culmination of life itself. Once the ring hit your finger, YOU HAD ARRIVED! In my hometown, they arrived quick, fulfilling their divine duty to be fruitful and multiply. My dad told me for years, “Bri, the most important decision you can make is to be sold out for Christ and the second is choosing your mate.”

Imagine a line of girls at a school dance waiting awkwardly as the next song starts. This is the guys’ choice, so thumbs start twiddling and eyes begin darting around. One by one, each girl lets loose the breath she didn’t know she was holding as a young man asks for her hand. For 10 years, I have been holding my breath.

A close guy friend (not Joshua) was recently complaining about a crazy, early 30’s girl who won’t stop texting him after 1 date. “Crazy”. “Desperate”. “Needy”. These words have all been used by several men I cherish to describe my age group (including relational status). One of those men finally asked why I was different. “I’m not,” I replied. I went on to explain that a girl in her twenties wonders when her deepest longing will come to pass, the joyful job she was created to do. As 30 approaches the “when” begins to fearfully evolve into an “if”. This was never part of the plan! What if my dream of being a wife and a mother is only a dream. Surely the Lord wouldn’t do this to me…would He?

There are two options for a 30-year-old single girl. The first option is to act on the natural, insane desire to MAKE your dreams come true (even if he is not so dreamy), and the second is to run — no, sprint into the arms of loving Abba Father. The second, I warn you, requires a death, burial, and mourning of what you thought would be, but the pay off is something love songs are written about!

I remember making a statement to the Lord that went something like this:
“If my life never changes from this point on, You are still in control, and You are more than good. I long for Your best, Lord.” Only by the power of the Holy Spirit can I say this daily and actually mean it. The days I forget are just a friendly reminder that I need mercy…sweet, fabulous, loving mercy! Feels good to breathe, and breathe deep.P.S. I do, however, ask the Lord for my husband…then I pray for strength from the Holy Spirit to walk in grace and peace, whatever His answer and timing may be!

Love,
Bri

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4 thoughts on “A Letter From Brianna

    Shannon Meairs (@shannonmeairs) said:
    12/17/2011 at 5:39 pm

    Bri, thanks for your candid thoughts and I 100% agree with you. I just turned 34 last week and I never expected to be single this far into my 30’s. My freakout moment came at 33…that was apparently the age where it hit me and the question stopped being “When” and started being “If”. I definitely went through a crisis of faith last year…I couldn’t reconcile God’s goodness with the fact that something so dear to me was being withheld. I felt barren. And not for lack of trying…I go on dates…have spent 2 years on eHarmony…and I’m always open to meeting new people. I have lots of friends, a great social life, a wonderful family, a strong faith, I’m building a company and I wouldn’t describe myself as unattractive. My guy friends tell me I’m the gold standard by which they measure all women and that I’m a prime catch…and yet…here I am.

    I was lucky in that my friends and I all journeyed through our 20’s together as single women…laughing about miserable dates…postulating about our lives and how we’d meet our future husbands and when we’d “know”. While Facebook showed me, by the minute, that I was one of the only single women from my group of friends in high school, and my sorority pledge class, and the kid’s I babysat…I felt so blessed the Lord gave me a group of quality women that knew exactly what I was going through. Well…a lot of them got engaged and married last year. And I went through a tough period…wondering why God would do this to me…at such a vulnerable time? It’s one thing to be single in your 20’s…it’s a whole other thing to be single from 30-34…fewer people like me remain and I can’t help but wonder…”What the hell is wrong with me?” Was I absent the day God handed out husbands? It’s not easy being a single, 30something woman in church. There’s really no place for us. Most of the women my age are mom’s or doing couple stuff with other couples. Most of the singles are 24-28…and that was sooooo a decade ago. I didn’t even hang out with 25 year olds when I was 25. The “singles” groups seem to attract the most random collection of misfits I’ve ever met…and I would always leave thinking, “God, is this what it’s come down to?”

    Throughout my 20’s and early 30’s, I would hear from people, “You are different, set apart, meant for something more…you’re not like all those other girls who have settled down, gotten married and schlep kids to soccer practice.” And all I could think was, “Schlepping kids to soccer practice sounds kind of nice.” Now that I’m 34, I wonder what I’m going to hear. There’s always the proverbial “It happens when you least expect it” and BS to that…when you’ve reached your 30’s and it hasn’t happened…you’re expecting it to happen any moment…and when it does, I will praise the Lord with everything in me, but I highly doubt I will say I wasn’t expecting it. Maybe I won’t be expecting a certain location or setting…like in line at Costco or a guy on my plane…but I’m expecting it, because I have hope and faith and faith is being sure of what you hope for and certain of what you do not see. But I am most definitely expectant. I’m waiting in holy, surrendered expectation.

    I have reached a place where I can praise God regardless of my circumstances. Though they may not look like what I want and may even feel like the polar opposite of what I desire, I do believe He is good and works out everything for the good. Though I do not understand His timing or His purpose in keeping me single, my faith tells me God is good and this is for my good. I won’t lie, it’s painful. I feel like I’m missing someone I haven’t even met yet. On the painful days…I run to God…His strength is made perfect in my weakness. I know He’s preparing me. I know this season is critical…and even more critical is my attitude. I can’t get through my days without dwelling in His presence…He sustains me.

    My prayers are with you….and all the other single women out there. 🙂

    Shannon

      briannawilcox said:
      12/17/2011 at 9:27 pm

      Thank you for sharing your story, Shannon! Whoa, not only do I get you, but I must also humbly admit you have dealt with 4 more years of this blessed ‘blah’ than I! I constantly tell the Lord, “I am ready for love, but obviously You are doing something so mind blowing that You have reserved me solely for You. What do You need to accomplish in and through me right now?” If I do not practice contentment now, it will most definitely not bite me on the butt when I get ‘all I want’! Jesus, be merciful with me!
      I have married off most of my girls (as we are Southern;-) but have found that the Lord continues to bring new single ladies in my life as I pray for them. Many are younger, as you said, so I must be intentional to grow in age appropriate maturity on my own and with mentors. I have just a few married girls who let me live life with them (so important) and I do WHATEVER I can to simply be in their space. You are so right that this season is so critical!!! One of the hardest things to remember is that we are not forgotten, sweet girl! I am for you and behind you.
      Bri

    Kyla Cofer said:
    12/05/2011 at 9:54 am

    You suggest that the only options for a single woman are to 1) be crazy or 2) sit back and trust God. I’d like to suggest that a third option exists (this goes for men as well, but your post is written to women).

    First, let me say that we should absolutely trust that God loves us, knows what’s best for us, and has great plans for us. However, I don’t think that means we passively sit back and wait for Mr. Right to literally come knocking at our door, because God called him on the phone and said “hey, this woman’s waiting around for you, here’s her address”. I’d be more creeped out than starry-eyed if that happened. I don’t think the alternative is wise, either. If we’re desperately flaunting ourselves at men, they’re going to run as fast as they can (and they should).

    However, what if a single person actually put in some effort to make herself available, to go on dates, to show men that she’s interested, and to be the kind of woman that a man would want to date? Relationships take a lot of risk, work, and practice. If single people have a great desire to not be single, but they’re not doing any kind of work towards that goal, then that actually tells the opposite sex that the person is just fine with being single! And if that person is just fine with being single, then dating/marriage probably isn’t a goal of theirs.

    So the 3rd option? Trust God to teach you what it means to be a healthy, whole person, and to guide your decisions – WHILE – you work hard to place yourself in situations that point you towards the goal you desire.

      briannawilcox said:
      12/17/2011 at 9:28 pm

      The ‘running to the arms of Abba Father’ involves intense intimacy with Him. From intimacy I pray we will walk in obedience. From obedience He will direct our steps to move when He says, say yes when He wills, and take chances! The action you speak of comes naturally and joyfully when you align yourself with the second option.
      Also, to add one more nugget, I ask the Lord and my mentors from time to time to help me with what I call a ‘Heart Meter’. This is where I let them give me an honest assessment of my heart to make sure I am walking healthily in accountability, ready to love well. We pray and ask the Lord to reveal blind spots that might hinder. My single life is lived in community with wiser folks shedding light!!

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