Single in the City Series, Singleness

Position Yourself

If you have trouble viewing the video, click here:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cmKKLwulwxA

Dear Daddy, 

Help us to seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. (Mat 6:33 KJV)  Help us to surrender every area of our lives to You including our singlehood, dating lives, and desires.  Help us to trust You and to be patient as You heal our wounds, purify our hearts, and prepare us for our husbands, who will have hearts after Your very own heart and Your approval.  Help us to position ourselves and to use Your wisdom in doing so, doing nothing to violate Your word or taint our witness or temples. Help us to not fall for the counterfeits and help us to not rush You.  Daddy, help us to also be content during our singlehood and help us to take the time to pursue You greater than we have pursued anything or anyone in our lives.  Help us to rest in You, remembering that You are our First Love.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Single Ladies, I EMPOWER you to trust God, seek Him first and be patient with Him!  While you are doing all that, I EMPOWER you to position yourselves.  Mama always said “no guy is going to just drop down on the couch.”   

What are your thoughts on positioning yourself?  Has being saved and single been a challenge for you?

Miscellaneous, Singleness

Alone

June is Black Music Month! To celebrate, each of our EmpowerMoments will be based on Black music for the entire month. This includes Black songwriters, producers or performers. Stay tuned as we use various genres of Black music to tell our stories and exemplify the beauty of God’s love! He can be found virtually anywhere if we earnestly look for Him and listen intently! Happy Black Music Month! Dance as if no one is watching!

The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” Genesis 2:18 NIV

Ladies, are you afraid of being ALONE? I don’t mean alone in your house, but alone because you lack companionship from the opposite sex.

Recently, I was reflecting on some of my previous relationships. I use the term “relationship” loosely because the common theme in all of these relationships is that we were never official. You know, we were just “talking” and/or “fooling around.” In many instances these pseudo relationships almost felt real, but they lacked commitment and I wasn’t forcing the issue. I was afraid that if I did force the issue, I would end up “alone.” Who really wants that? Having “someone” was better than no one…right? Wrong! I was giving pieces of my heart away on a hope and a dream, and their actions were only validating my feelings that although I was “with” someone, I was still “alone.”

Please tell me what, what you wanna do
My heart belongs to you and I don’t know what to do
You say that you still love me
It’s not in your actions so what’s the distraction?

We’re falling, falling apart
Feels like our ending, it’s not like the start
Please won’t you tell me the truth
Instead of always just leaving me here alone

As I am reminded of Ledisi’s ballad “Alone,” I know that I have felt this way, earnestly. Even when I was told that I was loved, the lack of real commitment left me feeling alone. I opened up my mind, my heart and my body because I thought that I would no longer feel “alone.”

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. (Proverbs 4:23 NIV)

Because I opened my heart to people who really weren’t ready for it, I allowed my emotions to make my decisions. Those decisions were often not in my best interest and the actions of those pseudo companions left me feeling dejected.

It has taken quite some time, but I am finally reaching a place where being “alone” is less an issue if it means that I am able to reject relationships that aren’t fruitful. What’s the point if we aren’t going anywhere? This EmpowerMoment doesn’t seek to minimize my desire for companionship or preach the “I’m married to Jesus” message because I recognize that the desire that I have is natural. Many of my friends have encouraged me to “go online” and while I’ve been that route before and have nothing against it, it’s not the space I am in right now. I’ve never been a serial dater and don’t want to deal with the momentary satisfaction. In the midst of my yearning for true companionship, I must avoid situations that only fill temporary voids. In the meantime, I am also learning to pray differently about my future mate so that I won’t make the mistakes of the past. I am learning to be satisfied while “alone.”

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for teaching me that I can’t hold anyone responsible for the matters of my heart because You instructed me to guard my heart. I am grateful that You continue to make me more mature in my spirit concerning relationships. Give me a spirit of discernment to recognize those who would abuse my heart and courage to move on and away from them. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to reevaluate your relationships. Are you and someone still lingering around because you are afraid of being ALONE? Let it go! Be confident, courageous and make a decision knowing that being “alone” is sometimes the best time you can spend with yourself.

Please enjoy this ballad by Ledisi entitled: Alone

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Ms. Chancee` Lundy lives in Washington, DC and is an entrepreneur as she is the co-owner of Nspiregreen, LLC, an environmental consulting firm. She is also a dedicated daughter, sister, friend and community servant. She has used her gift of public speaking to lead workshops across the globe speaking to crowds as large as 10,000 people. Her guiding scriptures this week are Philippians 4:11-13 “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengthened me.”

Patience, Single in the City Series, Singleness

Single in the City 11: Is It My Time Yet?

Last month I celebrated my birthday and there was nothing anyone could do to steal my joy.  I was ecstatic to be able to say that I made it 27 years and despite the many detrimental attacks from the enemy I was still standing!  I was so excited to be an overcomer that I made it my business to party all 30 days of September.  I went on a couple of “mini-vacays”, hung out with girls, and showed the city what it means to be “Single in the City.” In short, I really enjoyed myself until I realized that my overly positive attitude was nothing more than a mere ACT!!!

Examining the events that transpired last month a little closer, I made the following discoveries — Labor Day weekend my bestie was eager to cut our road trip short to get back to her new beau.  On my birthday it seemed as if all my friends had someone of the opposite sex to text or call except for me.  That Saturday we went out and everyone was turning down advances from men all night, but as “fly” as I looked it was as if I was invisible.  That next weekend I attended a wedding and we all know how that turned out judging from part 3 of this series.  And finally, during the conclusion of the month’s festivities, my roommate’s GREAT new guy friend came to visit.  Again, as I reflected on the things that took place I was able to clearly see that all of my girls have crossed over and I have been left asking, “Is it my time yet?”

Now ladies before you call me out on my many sermons about being in relationship with God and Him being “my man,” just know that I do get lonely in life. Let’s keep it real; God is omnipresent, but I miss a man’s presence. My relationship with God is unwavering and so is His love, but heaven I need a hug! However, it may just NOT be my time.  So I ask, what is a girl to do when times get rough?

“And I will give them singleness of heart and put a new spirit within them. I will take away their stony, stubborn heart and give them a tender, responsive heart…” (Ezekiel 11:19 ESV)

Judging from the above Bible verse I was equipped, anointed, and strategically hand-picked for this position.  No matter how things may look my Daddy has once again shown me how I am right where He needs me to be.  On that note, the answer to my question is simple: Yes, it is my time to continue allowing the Father to remove things that are holding me back and replacing them with what I need to make it in “Love Land.”

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for thinking so highly of me that You are taking Your time to mold me into the woman You need me to be.  Allow me to remain focused on the future and by-pass the right now.  It may not be my time for a mate just yet, but I trust the plan You have for my life.  No matter who he is and whenever we meet I know that You will make sure that I am ready without a doubt.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Single girls around the world, I EMPOWER you to continue to wait for your time.  The game of LIFE is different for everyone and at this time we are simply waiting for the next move from God.  He will only move when He knows we are totally prepared so allow Him to do what needs to be done.  Have a blessed weekend ladies! 🙂

How are you staying content in your waiting period of singleness?

Please click here to vote for EmpowerMoments in the 2012 BlackWeBlog Awards!

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Ms. Latasha Sampson is an accomplished writer who is currently pursuing her Masters Degree in Human Resources Management.  She resides in Nashville, Tennessee where she is a faithful member of Mt. Zion Baptist Church. She serves tirelessly with the Evangelism Team there.  Latasha also works at Mt. Zion as a member of the Administrative Support Staff. Her favorite scripture is “No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment you shall condemn.” Isaiah 54:17

Relationships, Singleness

Throwback Thursday: Let HIM Drive

It’s Throwback Thursday! This EmpowerMoment was originally published on May 4, 2011. Enjoy this blast from the past!

I absolutely love having relationship conversations with men. They give you so much insight into the way they view things versus the narrow view from our own lens.  A guy once told me that if a woman could learn a different way to say what needs to be said to a man, she would not meet so much resistance. In other words, it’s not what you say; it’s how you say it.

A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict, but the one who is patient calms a quarrel. (Proverbs 15:18 NIV)

Well I had something to say! I was frustrated about the way things were going in the relationship. As I contemplated how to approach this needed conversation without causing a ruckus, someone told me that I should to stop trying to drive all of the time.  And there was my word…

“Some time ago, you asked me to go on a trip with you. Although only you know the final destination, I willingly accepted my place in the passenger’s seat. Along this journey, I expected a few challenges and a couple of obstacles but nothing that was impassable. To ensure optimal vehicle performance and a comfortable ride, there would have to be some investments in maintenance and at the very least we would have to continue to fuel up along the ride. Knowing these things, I gladly came along for the ride; however, somewhere along the way, I hopped out of the passenger’s seat and began to drive. You never asked me to but for whatever reason I took over the trip. Maybe I didn’t see us headed in the right direction or any direction. Maybe we weren’t getting there fast enough. Maybe I became anxious and didn’t trust you so I began to take control. Maybe I thought you were asleep at the wheel and knew I needed to drive to get us safely to our destination. Whatever my reason for driving, I have realized the error of my ways. I am getting out of the driver’s seat and taking my rightful place as a passenger. I will be here to help keep you awake and help you navigate tough terrain, but I am going to let you drive. If at any time I feel as though I am not safe in this car or that you came ill prepared for the trip, I am getting out of the car.” He gently replied, “I understand.”

2 And Ruth the Moabite said to Naomi, “Let me go to the fields and pick up the leftover grain behind anyone in whose eyes I find favor…. 8 So Boaz said to Ruth, “My daughter, listen to me. Don’t go and glean in another field and don’t go away from here. Stay here with the women who work for me. 9 … I have told the men not to lay a hand on you. And whenever you are thirsty, go and get a drink from the water jars the men have filled.” 14 At mealtime Boaz said to her, “Come over here. Have some bread and dip it in the wine vinegar.” When she sat down with the harvesters, he offered her some roasted grain. She ate all she wanted and had some left over. 15 As she got up to glean, Boaz gave orders to his men, “Let her gather among the sheaves and don’t reprimand her. 16 Even pull out some stalks for her from the bundles and leave them for her to pick up, and don’t rebuke her.” (Ruth 2: 2, 8-9, 14-16 NIV) 

The story of Ruth is often used to illustrate how a woman should prepare herself to find a husband and put herself out there; however, in this text we see that prior to Ruth getting all perfumed up and lying at Boaz’s feet on the threshing floor, he had already jumped in the driver’s seat and began to act upon his interest in her. He showed Ruth that he was able to provide for her and was ready to drive. Ladies, in this follow-up to Heartbreak Hotel, I want to ask if you have ever found yourself mentally and physically drained because you decided to drive when you really were supposed to be a passenger? Learn to be a good passenger because you need to know that the person you are with is FULLY capable of driving. Sometimes our yearning for companionship and impatient nature turns into subtle manipulation, control, and recurring frustration and sometimes we drive because we are trying to prevent the inevitable. We don’t mean any harm. We just want the trip to go smoothly; however, taking leadership when you should be following can be dangerous in a relationship.  This is true not only in relationships with men, but also in our relationships with God.  Who better to trust in this journey called life than someone who knows the end before the beginning?

If you find that you have gotten in the wrong car with the wrong person and are going on the wrong trip, by all means find another method of transportation; however, if your only issues stem from the fact that you are a card carrying member of Control Freaks Anonymous – sit back, keep the driver awake, take a deep breath and enjoy the scenery and the ride.

Dear Daddy, 

Teach me the duties of a great passenger so that I can let the driver do the driving. Help me to recognize when the driver has fallen asleep at the wheel or they are headed in the wrong direction. Give me the words to say that will encourage the driver and if it be Your will Lord, give me the courage to get out of the car if I’m in the wrong car with the wrong driver. God, help me to realize when I am driving in areas of my life where I definitely need to be the passenger in YOUR car. Thanks in advance for helping me with this very important stage in my development. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, EMPOWER yourselves and evaluate your own life. Are you driving when you really should be riding? EMPOWER yourself to be a great passenger and assistant to the driver. If you have wandered into the car with the wrong driver, EMPOWER yourself to GET OUT!

Are you guilty of  ‘driving’ the man around, when you should be riding? Share your story below.

Read a related EmpowerMoment: You Can’t Be the Man!

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Ms. Chancee` Lundy lives in Atlanta, Georgia and is an entrepreneur as she is the co-owner ofNspiregreen, LLC, an environmental consulting firm. She is also a dedicated daughter, sister, friend and community servant. She has used her gift of public speaking to lead workshops across the globe speaking to crowds as large as 10,000 people. Her guiding scriptures this week are Philippians 4:11-13 “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

Patience, Singleness

Get Out Where?

I have been single for some time now.  It’s been four whole years since my boys’ father died and it’s still just me and my two boys.  I have went on a few ‘dates’ here and there, had I guess what you’d call a ‘summertime fling’, and also a few phone number exchanges but my interest is often gone before I get the random text message or phone call.  I am just…well, single.

My friends and family are wondering what is taking so long.  Everyone asks in his or her own little way, “Are you dating?”  “Do you have a special someone?”  “Are you still not over him?”  “When are you going to bring somebody around?”  “Do you have a secret boyfriend?”

Inevitably, the conversations always end with ‘You gotta GET OUT THERE!’

OUT WHERE?!

It’s not like I’m a hermit.  I work, belong to a gym, go to church, take the boys to their million and one activities, and I am a very sociable person (I think).

So where exactly is ‘Out There?’

I want to be in a relationship with someone as much as (if not more than) everyone else wants me to be.  However, I have learned over the past few years that I can be single and happy!  I recognize that God does not want me to live my life in misery because I am not married, engaged, or seriously dating someone.  It is His intention that we are content through every season of our lives while faithful and patient that what He has in the works will be even better!

I would like you to be free from concern.  An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs —how he can please the Lord.  But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife— and his interests are divided.  An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit.  But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband. I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord.  (1 Corinthians 7:32-35 NIV)

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for blessing with the time that I have as a single lady.  Please continue to prepare me for the man that will be my husband if or when You see fit.   Thank You for blessing me with the patience to allow Your Will to be done in my life.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Single Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to embrace your ‘ringless’ finger, knowing that all things happen according to God’s timing and plan!  Take the time that God has given you to become as intimate with Him as possible, so that when your husband is presented to you, you can be ready, complete and the wife that God wants you to be!

Are you too embracing the season of being single?  Please share your testimony.

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Ms. Tiffany Huff is the devoted mother of two boys, a blogger, lover of food and travel, and aspiring entrepreneur with a passion for helping others live out their purposes. She is looking forward to growing in her walk and honoring God through sharing her EmpowerMoments. One of her meditation scriptures is Romans 12:2: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

Forgiveness, Gentleness, Growth/Maturity, Humility, Single in the City Series, Singleness

Single in the City 10: A Gentleman with a Future and a Past

A while ago, I was subtly approached by a male who I have a strictly professional relationship with. He expressed to me that his feelings were more than just office-related, but rather he felt that we had a real connection. Immediately I felt he was simply “running game”, so I decided not to entertain it much until I realized that he was not giving up. When I finally decided to give him a chance, our relationship progressed to nothing more than random texts and sporadic phone calls. I started to think that I had missed my opportunity until one day he chose to make his move.

Our first date was AWESOME! He proved to me that chivalry was indeed alive as he held the door open, pulled out my chair, and asked several times if I was alright. At dinner we talked, or better yet I talked and he listened intensely asking questions about ME along the way. I was utterly shocked that I was amidst a true gentleman.

After our meal we went to a spot in the park that overlooked the entire city to finish our conversation. It was then that I found out about his life before he learned to love the Lord. Long story short, the things of his past were not pretty as it involved a lot of violence, crime and imprisonment. Truthfully, a piece of me was turned off at the thought that this man had done everything under the sun until I had a flashback of my life and realized that many situations were quite similar.

“The righteous will move onward and forward, and those with pure hearts will be stronger and stronger.” (Job 17:9 NLT)

Ladies, being in the presence of this man was a reality check in that I had to understand that we all have a past, but more importantly we have a future! As he vividly described the events of his past, he was sure to let me know that all along he was crying out to Jesus but didn’t want to leave what he thought was the “life.” Since he surrendered to God, he has been abundantly blessed while serving the Lord wholeheartedly. As the above scripture implies, once we decide to live a life pleasing to God our past is behind us and our new clean and pure heart will become stronger as we press on. (I am not sure where this relationship will go from here but I am certain that this guy has changed my perspective about men who have endured more than the surface will ever show.)

Dear Daddy,

I praise Your name for continuing to love me despite my past. Thank You for trusting me enough to lead me to my future no matter what I did before accepting You as my Lord and Savior. Help me to stay focused on my not yet opposed to the back then. You have delivered me from it and I receive the blessings that You have for my life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Single gals, I EMPOWER you to learn as much as you can while you are in the dating arena. There are many profitable single Christian men if only we can stop focusing on their past and believe in their futures. Have a BLESSED week!! ☺

Ladies, what advice do you have to offer our saved, single ladies in the dating arena? We would like to hear your responses below.

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Ms. Latasha Sampson is an accomplished writer who is currently pursuing her Masters Degree in Human Resources Management. She resides in Nashville, Tennessee where she is a faithful member of Mt. Zion Baptist Church. She serves tirelessly with the Evangelism Team there. Latasha also works at Mt. Zion as a member of the Administrative Support Staff. Her favorite scripture is “No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment you shall condemn.” Isaiah 54:17

Attitude, Complaining, Goals & Dreams, God's Promises, God's Provisons, Growth/Maturity, Marriage, Obedience, Patience, Purpose, Restoration, Singleness, Stress, Trusting God

Living in the Microwave Age

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. (Philippians 4:6 NLT)

I heard an author last week speak about how this is the ‘Microwave Age’ because everybody wants everything to happen quickly. I thought about life and how God has worked on my anxiety. I was a right now person; if I saw something I wanted in a store, I bought it; if I wanted to say something, I said it; if I was feeling a certain way, I reacted; if I wanted to lose weight, I took plenty of weight loss medicine. I know that was a reckless way to live life. Even my prayer life had turned microwavable. Every time I would really need God to do something I would pray, get up and wonder why He didn’t answer my prayer.

I started to question when was I going to get my blessing? When was I going to get a promotion? When was my marriage going to be the marriage I pray for? When was I going to lose weight and have the physique that I want? When? When? When? When?

How long, O Lord, must I call for help? But you do not listen! “Violence is everywhere!” I cry, but you do not come to save. Must I forever see these evil deeds? Why must I watch all this misery? Wherever I look, I see destruction and violence. I am surrounded by people who love to argue and fight.The law has become paralyzed, and there is no justice in the courts. The wicked far outnumber the righteous, so that justice has become perverted. (Habakkuk 1:1-4 NLT)

The prophet Habakkuk sounds just like me! I found myself saying, “Why is God not answering me? Is He not listening to me? Why don’t I have the promotion? Why am I still overweight? Why is my marriage still not thriving? Talk to me God!”

The Lord replied, “Look around at the nations; look and be amazed! For I am doing something in your own day, something you wouldn’t believe even if someone told you about it.I am raising up the Babylonians, a cruel and violent people. They will march across the world and conquer other lands.” (Habakkuk 1:5-6 NLT)

The Lord spoke to me and told me He is working my situation out for my good. He is building up relationships and even things I thought were not repairable, He is repairing them. He has placed me in a new job that requires that I step up and become a leader very quickly- promotion. He is teaching me discipline when it comes to food and that in order to live a healthy life in Him and on earth I need to exercise. As of today I have lost 30 pounds with many more to go. As for my marriage that God joined together, we are under construction and He is molding us into the people of God that He wants us to be. God told Keviyona I am about to blow your mind!

I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved. And the Lord answered me, and said, write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry. (Habakkuk 2:1-3 KJV)

I decided that the microwave way of doing things wasn’t what God wanted for my life. I decided to wait and even though it seems like an eternity to me, it is not a long time in God’s eyes. I did not give up waiting for the Lord. And He turned to me and heard my cry.  (Psalms 40:1 NLV)

Dear Daddy,

I want to thank You for teaching me that fast and quick is not always what is best for my life. Thank You for teaching meBut they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31 KJV) God I am being patient and waiting on You to lead and direct my path because I am nothing without You. God I want You to continue to teach me that patience is a virtue. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, I EMPOWER you to pray and ask God for the desires of your heart and wait. If you wait and lean not to your own understanding, God will show up and show out. I dare you to be patient on your job, in your home, with your marriage, with your family and friends, with your prayer request and watch God do the work. I EMPOWER you to unplug the microwave in your mind, relax and let God work it out. I know we live in a fast paced society but God works in His time and His time is always the best!

Take a moment to share how waiting on God has blessed you.

Read a related EmpowerMoment: Confessions From An Impatient Christian

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Mrs. Keviyona Ray is an ordained minister and co-pastor of The Christ For All People International Church. She is passionate about sharing the word of God with everyone she encounters. As a professional, Keviyona is a teacher for Chicago Public Schools. She loves her ministry of teaching and changing children’s lives. She is a devoted wife and mother of a wonderful daughter. Two of her favorite scriptures are Jeremiah 1:5: “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations” and Proverbs 29:18: “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.”