I am always overwhelmed when I have a chance to gather together at the biennial national conference of The Impact Movement. If you aren’t familiar with this organization, you need to be. It’s a spin off of Campus Crusade For Christ and has chapters on most university campuses. Impact is a ministry designed specifically to reach African American students and call them into a deeper relationship with God.
In 1991, I attended my first Impact Movement conference and was stunned. I was blown away at the eager students who were hungry for God’s Word and intimacy with Him. To say the least, I was marked forever. Which is why, when they called to see if I’d attend as a speaker, I jumped at the chance.
This past week marked the third time that I’ve attended as a presenter and I’m still so blessed by the enthusiasm of the students who are attending. And frankly, I’m blessed to see so many young people of color come together to encourage each other in their gifts and their walk with the Lord.
I spoke three times over the course of the conference, but the highlight for me was the “All Women” session. While Gospel singer (and incredible preacher) Kirk Franklin addressed the men on being faithful to carry the baton of integrity that God has given them to hand off to the next generation, I gathered the girls. The conference room filled up with women sitting on the edges of their seats to hear what was on my heart to share. And while the crux of my message was bent on encouraging them to be fully engaged in the season of life they are in and not rushing through it, I took a detour to share my testimony.
I’m pretty sure they were fairly attentive throughout our entire hour together (despite the “after lunch lull”) but I really saw them perk up when the issue of relationships was on the table. I told them about my season of singleness – the highs and the lows – and how I walked through it and what lessons I’ve learned looking back. I’m certainly no relationship expert, but I’ve learned a couple lessons the hard way.
You see, there was one relationship that left me a bit wounded. He wasn’t a bad guy by any means. In fact, now that I mention it, I’m realizing that I may not have made that really clear during the session. He was, and still is, a great Christian guy who was trying his best to live a life pleasing to the Lord while navigating his early twenties just like I was. And while we made mistakes and caused each other a bit of hurt, looking back I can clearly admit that much of what transpired was my own fault, not just his.
I wasn’t fully engaged and contented in the season of singleness.
I wasn’t secure enough in my identity in Christ not to based my sense of worth on another’s acceptance (or rejection) of me.
I didn’t decide what my limits were (in more areas than one) before it was too late to notice I’d passed them.
I wasn’t willing to let go of something/someone that obviously wasn’t for me.
I was in bondage to fear that if I did let go, the Lord couldn’t/wouldn’t send the right person. I didn’t guard my heart but instead allowed it to be intertwined too deeply with the heart of another who I’d not made a lifetime commitment to in marriage.
I allowed someone to take the place of admiration that should be reserved only for the Lord.
At the time, I thought the problem was HIM: his choices, his decisions, his treatment of me. But many years ago, I realized that, while he certainly wasn’t perfect, the bottom line is that had I had my own life in order much of it would have never transpired.So, I ask you – single women – do you have yourself in order?
Have you decided what your limits and standards will be?
Have you squared your sense of self not on whether or not he wants you but on the fact that, according to the Scriptures, HE has already chosen you?
Are you in bondage to the fear that you’ll “never meet another guy as great as this one” that you’re refusing to let go of something that should already be long gone?
You don’t have to experience massive heartbreak before settling down with God’s best for you. You could choose rather to just wait, enjoy the season, expect God’s best and believe that at the right time, he will send it.If you were in the women’s session at The Impact Conference what did you walk away with from our time together?
If you weren’t there but are single, what are you dealing with right now?
Married? What lessons have you learned looking back?Bless you today,Priscilla
PS . . .we’ve had some other good conversations around here about singleness, and a few good interviews with single men too. If you want to catch up, just click here and you’ll find all the rest of the links!