Not Unredeemed

… living the beautiful tension between what is, and what will be …


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Entrust + Singleness and the Church

Dear Readers – my Friends,

Today is the last day in my 31 Days series on Singleness and Living Fully Alive. Thank you for sticking with me through this month and for all of your encouragement. You bless me! This was a tough series to write because it’s not just theory, I’ve lived it. Cried through it, rejoiced in it, and wanted to un-publish few posts. Vulnerability is not always easy for me when I cannot see your face. To show you my heart has taken courage that has only come from Jesus. Danny Silk says that displaying trust is like ripping your heart open and allowing others to see in. Friends, in this series I ripped my heart open and let you look in. I did it first out of obedience to the Lord, and then out of love for you.  I wanted to show you things I wish a friend had come alongside and shown me. Thank you for letting me entrust you with parts of my heart. In 2 Tim 2.2 it says:

And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others. (NIV)

Entrust: to give over (something) to another for care, protection, or performance.

Friends, I’m asking you, relying on you, if you have learned something from this series, or been encouraged by it will you pass that knowledge on to someone else in your life? Who around you could use encouragement in living fully alive in the blessings the Lord has given them today? I know you can do it. I believe in you.

My prayer for you, and for me, is that we would not put God into a box when it comes to our  lives, and that we would see ourselves as He sees us.

Remember friend,31 DAYS OF (13)

You are chosen

loved

known

your value is not dependent on your relational status

You are not abandoned

left out

forgotten or alone

You are single, not sick

singleness is what you make of it.

If you make a go of it with the Lord, you will never regret it.

I promise you that.

As we close,  I’m discussing Singleness and the Church today over at Kindred Grace. Will you join me?

What if we saw church as an identity and not an event? The first step to belonging and addressing singleness in the Church is to recognize people as individuals and people, no matter their status in life. (click here to continue reading).

While this is the official end of the series, my brain and heart keep running, so if you can handle a few more posts, I’m hoping to share a little more over the next couple of weeks before we return to programming as usual :). In the mean time, go check out the Singleness and the Church post. You’ll like it… I think. 🙂

Blessings friends. So long for now.

Go live fully alive!

-Katie

“Entrust is a part of the “Today’s The Day: Being Single and Fully Alive” a 31 Days Series. To read more from this series please click here.

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Invite, Encourage, and Your Words

It was a sunny afternoon, I was trying to soak up some Vitamin D in rainy Seattle when my married brother, B, called. Recently our conversations had become more frequent and in-depth – ranging anywhere from his wife & kids, marriage, hockey, relationships, writing, and work. That afternoon the conversation quickly turned to relationships, or my lack of them – with one of the most intriguing questions I have been asked by a married person.

“What are things that I say as a married person that hurt you? And what are something’s I can do to help you in your single life”?

My mind went rampant with what seemed like hundreds of ways that married people hurt singles, but went blank on how B could help me. As the conversation kept going I was able to formulate some thoughts to both of his questions; without ranting.

Invite Them into Your Home and Life.

As for you, Titus…Teach the older men to exercise self-control, to be worthy of respect, and to live wisely… Similarly, teach the older women to live in a way that honors God…These older women must train the younger women…In the same way, encourage the young men to live wisely. And you yourself must be an example to them by doing good works of every kind…(Titus 2:1-8)

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3 Foundational Books Every Single Should Read

Before closing out this series at the end of the week, I wanted to share with you three books that have had a huge and helpful impact on my life regarding singleness and relationships.

Sacred Search –  what if it’s not about who you marry, by why? – Gary ThomasSacred Search

What if we treated our search for a spouse as sacred? What if we looked at the importance of finding a sole mate (someone to walk with), not just a soul mate?  Gary Thomas, in Sacred Search, explores what it would look like to seek first the Kingdom of God, in our search for a spouse. When we realize why want to get married, that will determine the who.  Practical and straight forward, this is a book is a gift I’ve given to many. (Click here)

If you look at the question of why you want to marry before you choose who to marry, you’re more likely to make a wiser choice about the who. It’s not a choice between either why or who. It’s that asking the why question first helps you choose the best who. (Thomas, p. 250)

 

Passion and Purity – brining your love life under Jesus Christ’s control. – Elisabeth Elliot

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Marriage – Not the Ultimate Purpose of Relationships

“How are you not cynical? I don’t see that in you.” I paused from cutting up a tomato and looked over at my roommate. I didn’t know how to answer that. To my surprise, I realized that no, I wasn’t cynical – she was right.

But how? Because in the past I certainty have been cynical about singleness and relationships. And I’ve had a lot of good reasons to be. I walked away from our conversation with joy – the Lord can redeem and heal the pain and fear that cynicism masks.

I flashed back:

 I said goodbye and let the relief and peace of closure flood over me. Thank you Jesus I breathed. Five years. It was hard to believe it had been over four years since I had seen him. Since we had broken up. Marriage and maturity looked good on him. It was an honor to meet his wife. I’d prayed for her too. (Read the back story here)

Despite the thankfulness for unexpected closure, I drove away with a mixture of emotions. The Lord had answered my prayers for him! And yet, the human part of me grieved… One week before this my heart had been broken for the second time. I lamented ‘Father, why? When will I ever see fruit from the relationships I’ve sown into?’ Continue reading


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Single, Not Alone

Singleness may mean that you don’t have one specific, physical person to walk out life with you, but it doesn’t mean you are alone. Jesus, the most intentional, fully alive single, had not one but twelve people He did life with. Community is vitally important to living life fully and healthily. I’m blessed by an incredible group of people who love me, put up with me, fight for me (some days with me!) and we do life together. Some live near by, others are a phone call away.

You may be an Adam without an Eve, or an Eve without an Adam, but the Lord’s opinion still stands “it’s not good for man to be alone”.  As singles its easy to read that and get bitter at the Lord for singleness. (I’ve used that verse in a ‘but then why Lord…’ question a few times 🙂 ) But the truth is we were made for relationship.That’s the long and short of it. And in every stage of life we need relationships, and these can extend beyond marriage and significant others. Relationships and community are the beauty of life. And sometimes in our quest for what we do not have, we miss what we do have. Continue reading


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Word Snacks and She Reads Truth

There are two little devotionals I’ve been wanting to share with you all for a while that have been a big encouragement to me. I’m taking a sabbath break from my normal content and have been waiting for a chance to share these with you. Enjoy!

The first is an other 31 Days Series by my friend Natasha Metzler. She is doing 31 Days of Word Snacks. They are short  devotionals and scriptures and this series has been a big blessing to me. Check them out here.

The second devotionals is on a website called ‘She Reads Truth’. It’s a community of women that are studying scripture together. The reading plans are simple, doable, and affordable. You can order a book if you want, but all of their reading plans are downloadable in their app. What I love about She Reads Truth, is that reading plans are short 2-3 week studies at a time, and they are easy to do with long distance friends! I just completed the Hosea plan, and it was perfect timing for my life as the Lord is showing me how much He pursues me. I will be starting their study on Hospitality in the next few days. Check them out here.

Truth when you only have a minute

Truth when you only have a minute.                www.natashametzler.com

Great prints and downloads from She Reads Truth, come with every study

Great prints and downloads from She Reads Truth, come with every study

 

 

 

 

 

She Reads Truth and Word Snacks” is a part of the “Today’s The Day: Being Single and Fully Alive” a 31 Days Series. To read more from this series please click here.

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What I love about being Single.

Ya’ll, I want to get married. A lot. But not to the point that my longing for it slays the appetite for the living of what I do have. (To paraphrase Jim Elliot). The full quote says:

There is a somewhat philosophical realization that actually I have lost nothing. We may imagine what it would be like to share a given event and feel loss at having to experience it alone. But let us not forget – that loss is imagined, not real. I imagine peaks of enjoyment when I think of doing things together, but let not the hoping for it dull the doing of it alone. What is, is actual – what might be is simply not, and I must not therefore query God as though He robbed me – of things that are not. Further the things that belong to us, they are good, God given, and enriched. Let not our longing slay the appetite of our living.” Jim Elliot

The things that are given to me are good, God given, and enriched. Sometimes I’m tempted to believe the lie that if I enjoy singleness, what God has given me, than He won’t ever give me marriage. Friends, whatever the Lord has for us IS GOOD. Singleness is not a punishment, and my enjoyment or misery in it, will not manipulate my Father to give or withhold good things from me. If I’m single, than this is a good thing and I can celebrate what I have!

I’m also not going to compare and contrast the joys of singleness with the responsibilities or joys in marriage. I know that there are things that are easier for singleness to do, and there are things that can be enjoyed only in marriage. To compare the two is futile. To each is a season, and we are called to live fully in the joy that each season provides, knowing that both are good gifts from the Father.

A lot of married folks have told me “you should enjoy singleness because once you are married……(fill in the blank happens)…..”. I want to reply, well yes, I do enjoy…blank…. but I would also enjoy this …blank… about marriage. But the truth is –Joy isn’t a comparison or a guilt trip, it’s a choice to be thankful for the good that we do have. Continue reading


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Teamwork

 

Teamwork

TEAMWORK – It’s the duty of a gentleman to provide covering fire while the lady reloads.

I have a confession to make – I’ve always secretly wanted my marriage someday to look like the teamwork in the picture. Cheesy? Maybe a little. 🙂  But my greatest heart’s desire for marriage is teamwork in ministry. I want to be in the battle trenches with my husband fighting for the Kingdom. And I don’t just want to load his gun from the sidelines, I want to be there firing my own. Fighting together for God’s glory.

Perhaps my greatest heartache over the years has been coming home to a quiet house and wanting to shout “look what God did today!” or coming home exhausted in tears, heartbroken over the pain I’ve encounter in others stories. It’s those nights I need to cry and be reminded that I am not their Savior.

It was one of those broken nights where the Lord reminded me that He was MY Savior. In the quietness of my lonely tears, longing for someone to share the burdens and victories with, the Spirit whispered that He was there. I could tell Him about the love and pain in my day. Continue reading


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Singleness and the Gospel

So what does the Gospel and Singleness look like? It looks like the Gospel. Jesus’s love doesn’t split His children into groups or categories. It unites them into one. I used to believe the lie that I was missing out on a part of the Lord’s love because I was not married. We rightly compare the church to marriage, or marriage to Christ’s love for the church. But marriage is a picture of that love. It isn’t that love. In the sense that the love that Christ has for His church isn’t reserved for just married couples to experience. As individual sons and daughters the Lord has intimacy and love for us – for you, for me. While sharing the love of the Lord with someone is beyond precious, we can only share it when it’s first precious  in us.

Marriage is also not the only way that we can experience a picture of Christ’s love for the Church. This is might be an

uncomfortable thought, but in our longings to be with those we love, we can in part taste the way the Lord longs for His Bride. How many times have we longed for someone, ready to love them but they went about and did their own thing? Continue reading


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Love Formulas

“Are you married?”

“No”

“Engaged?”

“No”

“Dating?”

“No” (Seriously, is this guy going to get it?!)

“Interested in anyone?”

“Not really…”

“So you are single?”

“Yep” (Would you like me to spell it out for you?)

Awkwardness paused as a gigantic “why”? hung silently in the air.

Without making excuses for my singleness, I smiled and gently excused myself to take care of more wedding details.  I actually chuckled as I walked away. How was I supposed to respond to situations like this?

In the past I would have tried to explain my singleness away, embarrassed and overcome by  feeling inadequate. I may have also walked away and had a good cry, or silently responded with sarcasm “I’m still single because I eat small children!”

This time as I walked away I was amazed by the fact that I was amused, unaffected and even more surprisingly, I did not feel the need to give this stranger a reason for my singleness.  (Yes, I’m a recovering people pleaser turned confidant, pre-approved woman in Christ!)

The last time a guy asked me a similar line of questioning, it was followed by an invitation to get a beer after his work shift was over. But in this instance the guy was in high-school. Now I guess he could be hitting on me, but more than likely he was just trying to wrap his mind around the fact that an intelligent, passingly beautiful woman was single, with a much younger sister getting married first. I think this was more the case because he was simply echoing the sentiment my own brother expressed earlier in the day when I came out in my bridesmaid’s dress:different script

“Dang girl! Why you still single? You’re smokin today. Are all the guys blind?”

Chuckles. “Well thank you bro, – you look like a stud muffin yourself.”

My brother’s compliment warmed me and again I smiled as I gave him a hug; choosing to not answer the question and see his heart and the compliment behind it.

 People’s opinions and genuine concerns of my love life (or lack thereof!) rarely bother me anymore (praise you Jesus!). This is because I have learned something vitally important – everyone’s story is unique, and there is not a hierarchy of “better -ness” in God’s plan for each of us.

Your story is and will be as unique as you are. We are so vastly different, with different needs, different personalities, love languages, passions, callings, and giftings. I love hearing people’s love stories. Love the way each story is different and yet the same. And the only thing that is the same about each story – is that there is a story. The script is different each time because our God never runs out of creativity.

Can we trust God enough to let Him be creative?

I used to feel guilty and confused when everyone would share with me the way they met and married their spouse. To me it always sounded like ‘If I just did this, or believed that, or had more standards, or less was picky, than I would get married.”

While all of their advice was good, legitimate, and even true, I finally realized that it rang true for their stories. It was what the Lord was doing in their life at the time. This is what made their stories so powerful, and also why it was so easy for them to be convinced that this was the answer for everyone else who was single and wanted to be married.

But what was God doing in MY life? With my story?

If you have listened to more than one person’s love story you will notice that they often contradict the next person’s

– “When I was finally content in my singleness, I met someone right away”

-“I prayed and prayed and prayed, and the Lord is good and gives us the desires of our hearts, He brought so and so to me”

-“I didn’t have high enough standards, and once I realized I was worth being treated right,_____ came out of the woodwork. They were there all along! You gotta look at what is in front of you.”

-“I was so stuck on what I wanted. I never would have looked at_____ but it’s because of her that I know the Lord. She took a risk in marring me. Thank you Lord”

-“I felt the Lord asking me to wait, so I did and then in the right time the Lord brought him along”

-“I realized I was waiting around hoping to meet someone and the Lord showed me I needed to start doing something about what I wanted … and then I met______”

The Lord is faithful to meet each of us where we are at, and to stretch and grow us in the areas that we as individuals need to trust Him. Friends, there is no one-sized-fits-all formula for love.

That’s terrifying.

That’s beautiful.

Trusting the Lord to write my story has been the biggest adventure I have ever embarked on and it’s not over yet – and neither is yours.  Let Him be creative with you. Your story is and will be just as precious as everyone else’s – because it’s yours. Written by Him – for you.

 Being single and fully alive is about learning to recognize what truth and goodness the Lord is weaving into your story. If you would like to read more about love formulas please check out a more extensive look at them in  “Spirit Led Relationships” .

Today's the Day: Being Single and Fully Alive “When You Say “I Do” You Get Me Too is a part of the “Today’s The Day: Being Single and Fully Alive” a 31 Days Series. To read more from this series please click here.

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