In My Chambers: Welcome to In My Chambers Trisha. I’m excited to share your “How We Met” story with my readers. But, before we do can you tell us what your season of waiting was like and how you stay encouraged?
Trisha: Before meeting Daniel, I had been single for many years. I went through a season in my early 20s, where finding that special someone was not a priority for me. When I did start to desire marriage, I continually prayed for God’s will to be accomplished in this area of my life. On those days when I felt discouraged, the Holy Spirit would remind me of His faithfulness in all areas of my life. I was reminded that God cares about every aspect of my life, including my desire for marriage. I constantly prayed for God’s grace to surrender this desire to Him, rather than picking it up and trying to take control through worrying.
IMC: Some people believe if you’re not dating your chances of meeting a prospective mate is close to impossible. What do you think about this statement?
Trisha: I think that there is value in allowing yourself the opportunity to grow in friendship – getting to know someone in a purely platonic manner. Afterwards, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit one can start a relationship with purpose and intentionality. If you define dating as “being in a relationship with someone”, dating multiple people in order to find your mate can be problematic. Over the years I’ve tried to be open to building friendships with new people that I meet.
IMC: While many avoid single ministry events like the plague you didn’t. You came out a few times to Equipped Singles ministry at Rhema Christian Ministries. What made you decide to attend and how was your experience?
Trisha: I think that it’s a positive decision to “get out there” and to meet new people. I ensured that when going to new events, that my goal wasn’t simply to meet men, but that I had a genuine interest in the event itself. What I gained most from these events was hearing the other experiences of singles and taking away nuggets of wisdom from the conversation that transpired. Beyond that, it’s always fun to try a new activity with new people!
IMC: Then you met him thanks to a special friend’s obedience. Can you tell us more about that?
Trisha: A lady at my church had been at her job and noticed Daniel one day. She told me that she got the impression that this young man seemed to be Christian. Being the thoughtful woman of God that she is, she started to think about who this young man might be a “good fit” for, and thought of me. My church sister eventually approached Daniel, boldly and confidently asking him a few questions. After she approved of Daniel’s responses, she reached out to me about this young man, and the rest is history. I thank God for my friend’s boldness and obedience. What one act of obedience can do!
IMC: You read the single ready and waiting book how did it help you ?
Trisha: The book “Single Ready and Waiting” gave me godly guidance on how to conduct myself in a friendship through to the courtship stage of a relationship. This book really taught me about the importance of relying on the Holy Spirit’s guidance, in realizing signs that could lead me to continue, slow down or to stop in the friendship/courtship stage. This book has really changed my views on Christian relationships, for the best!
IMC: It didn’t take long before you both realized there was something more happening between you. How did you go from friendship to courtship?
Trisha: I knew that there was something different about Daniel, from the first conversation on the phone that we had together. We had a really good connection, and could talk hours upon hours seamlessly with each other. During the friendship stage, Daniel and I made our intentions very clear to each other. I never had to spend time wondering about how Daniel felt or thought about me, because he was always so transparent. Daniel and I decided to take the time to know each other, so that we weren’t rushing into anything. When Daniel asked me to enter into a courtship with him, I felt confident in knowing that we would be continuing on a path of getting to know each other, while putting God first.
IMC: Did you have any concerns about your relationship? If so what were they and how did you get peace about them?
Trisha: I did have concerns in my relationship like every other relationship. During our friendship phase, we had great communication between each other, which was one of the numerous things I loved about Daniel. Soon after, Daniel and I realized that there were some gaps in our communication. Thankfully, we have both identified these gaps and continue to prayerfully work it out through reading books on communication in relationships, and praying for patience with one another. To the glory of God, we have greatly improved and we will continue to support each other in this area.
IMC: Who did you tell about your relationship and why did you feel it was important for them to know?
Trisha: I shared news about my friendship and later relationship with Daniel, with my close family, friends and church leaders. I value the opinions and guidance of these people in my life, and was happy to be able to let them in on this exciting time in my life. Daniel was also very intentionally in doing the same with his family, friends and church leaders. We both discussed the importance of accountability and drawing from the wisdom of these individuals in our lives.
IMC: How did he propose?
Trisha: Daniel “tricked” me into believing that we were going out for a dinner. Due to an “emergency” I was led to his home, where I was shocked to see our family and friends gathered together for our proposal, as I opened the front door. Daniel wrote up several cards, which outlined our journey together. Each of these cards were given to me by a special person in my life, with a rose. At the end of my family and friends, Daniel awaited me, recited a poem that he wrote and popped the question…thoughtful and romantic indeed he is.
IMC: What advice do you have for women who are actively looking for the right man?
Trisha: I once heard from a conference speaker who was discussing singleness, that she learned to just “live her life”. My encouragement to those who are single would be to do just that. You are so much more than your relationship status. As the Word says, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” – Matthew 6:33. God knows the plans that He has for us. If I could have done it all over again, I would have placed more of my energy on seeking after the things of God, rather than worrying about my future.
IMC: Well said Trisha. Much blessings to you and your fiance as you plan your Big Day!
Well friends, like I always say “God Has A Master Plan With Your Name On It!”
Stay tuned for another In My Chambers blog interview. ©
Tanika Chambers, Author of the book Single, Ready & Waiting: Your Guide to Courtship
In October many celebrate that “scary” time of year again: Halloween (ooooh). Kids dress up in costumes to say “Trick or treat! “on neighbors’ doors to load up on sugar (candy). Many of your friends have Halloween parties where you and some your friends go all the way out to dress witches and monsters, with special effects like a missing eyeball or an axe stuck in your head with blood gushing out. However, some singles have had enough real life “horror” dating experiences to celebrate Halloween most of the year! There are a few similarities between singleness and Halloween that can be scary for some single folks.
One similarity is that people play tricks during Halloween. A lot of singles play tricks, where you are expecting one thing and something totally different pops up. You meet someone and the two of you hit it off well in the beginning. The two of you begin going out and you think there’s a chance to get to know this person better and potential for a relationship. But after a few weeks, the other person starts acting differently. Both of you started out talking on the phone often, but now the other person justs texts you. In other instances, you meet someone who expresses an interest in you and wants to go out with you. But he’s all talk and no action. He rarely follows through with his plans with you. You wonder why the other person is wasting your time knowing that he’s really not that into you. Or the person you are dating says all the romantic things you want to hear and does all the right things to win your affection. Unfortunately you find out in the end, they were only using you for sex or other selfish motives. You’re tired of the games. As part of a saying in a cereal commercial for Lucky Charms cereal, tricks are for kids!
Also Halloween includes your main characters—the monsters, witches, and psychos. In horror movies, these characters rise up in the still of night and spread terror in the neighborhood. They scare people off because they feel they can. In the world of dating we have met people much like these characters. It was an ex boyfriend or ex girlfriend. It may have been a person that you were not interested in, and that person just could not accept no for an answer. They kept calling you or stalking you. They may have scared off a new person you were going out with, because that new person did not want any part of that craziness. They just would not go away unless you recited a chant or poured some water on them so they can melt away. They did just about everything but spin their heads at 360 degrees and spit out venom! Eventually those persons got the hint, and the nightmare was over.
These experiences are usually temporary. We learn from them and accept it as part of the dating process. But there are deeper issues within single people that make them scared and fearful:
Some singles are scared of being alone. This reminds me of the movie “Home Alone,” when a young boy named Kevin was accidentally left behind by his family who went away on a Christmas trip. The family packed everything packed and was on the plane. That is when the mother realized she forgot one very important thing, her son and she shouted “Kevin!” Kevin was a little scared, but had no choice take care of him until his family got back. Many singles feel “home alone.” Some singles were happily married. But things quickly change after a divorce or the death of that spouse. The spouse is now alone and has to start over, learning to readjust without the other person in his or her life. That can be scary as well because you wonder if and how you can make it on your own. There are singles who are in dead end relationships because they fear being alone. They know the chemistry is no longer there or that their partner is not the one for them. Like spoiled milk, the relationship is past its expiration date. Nevertheless, they decide it is better to have somebody in their lives than no one at all.
Singles are scared of dealing with themselves. A single person who is alone is left to take personal inventory of him, where his life is going, and the changes he needs to make. That includes looking deeper into those things we do not like about ourselves, such as our weaknesses and past mistakes. This is a primary reason why some singles jump relationship with another. This does not mean you should stop dating people. It means that once you have a better understanding of who you are, you can make better choices of who you get involved with, especially if you desire to get married.
But you have now decided that you are fed up with the tricks and games played in dating. But the treat of being single is that time is on your side. Time is your friend because as long as God keeps life in your body, He gives you time to grow and be the person He has called you to be. Singles have time for personal development and preparation. Married people have the opportunity to grow as well; however, a married person does not have the luxury of being by himself as much as he wants to, because he has to meet the needs of his spouse also. A single person has a lot of solitude to get himself together and can choose to enter a relationship when he feels he is ready.
As a single person you have time to learn the lessons from your past experiences, mistakes, and relationships. As you mature and continue living you realize life is too precious and short to keep making the same mistakes. All of us have a past, have done things that make us wonder, “What was I thinking?” or realized we could have handled certain situations differently. But God has a plan for each of us, and He uses our negative experiences to bring about something positive and wonderful in our lives.
Do you know there are some married people who would give their right arm to be single as you are right now? Some have gotten married to cure loneliness, only to find out that they are still lonely with a spouse. Singleness can feel scary at times, because we fear the worst. The worst for many of us is not finding that special someone and being alone. But being alone is not nearly as scary as being married …to the wrong person. So take your time, enjoy this season and relax!
While many will be promoting scary images of Halloween, your season of singleness is not a season to be afraid of. Embrace this time with a positive outlook. Yes, a lot of us have had some crazy dating and relationship experiences to make a horror movie that would become #1 at the box office. We’ve come across a few psychos that would make Freddy Krueger and that demon possessed doll Chucky look like angels. But don’t let those experiences haunt you. Leave the “ghosts” of your past behind. Take off the masks of fear and let others see and love the real you. In time, you will receive that wonderful treat of the man or woman of your dreams that was tailor made for you!
Kristi Goines is a freelance writer and blogger in Atlanta, Georgia. She worked at CNN as a video journalist and production assistant, and is a Southern belle from Louisiana who loves seafood. You can follow Kristi Goines on Facebook (www.facebook.com/msknoel), and twitter (@mskdmples76).
Are you one who GULPS at the thought of receiving a “single serving” this thanksgiving? Well maybe these truths can shift your focus.
1. Thanksgiving is not about being in a relationship, it’s about the attitude of one’s heart.
Are you familiar with the story where Jesus healed ten men with leprosy – but only one returned to give him thanks? This story is worth reading because it serves as a reminder of what God desires from us; a GRATEFUL HEART. Read: Luke 17: 11-19)
When we haven’t yet received something we really want, it could cause us to lose sight of what God has done or is DOING in our life.
At this time of year and every single day, we should do a self-check on how we are doing in our season of waiting.
2. A grateful and thankful attitude will NOT go unnoticed.
There is something that can be said about having a grateful and thankful attitude about life as a single.
Did you know that a person who has a grateful and thankful attitude can be introduced to a potential mate more often than an individual who doesn’t posses these qualities? Think about it..would you introduce a male friend of yours to a woman who is sad and depressed about her singleness? or would you think about that friend who is working her purpose and living a happy and content life?
Don’t ruin your chances of someone thinking of you as a potential mate, give it a BOOST instead.
3. Single does not mean failure!
Do you see your single status as a weakness? As if you failed? Do you feel as though you can’t make it without a spouse?
You can’t see a bright future on a single income?
These are just a few fears that some singles have. But, today let me remind you of this fact, YOU are making it!
This makes you great and not a failure!
As you patiently wait for your status to change, know that God is carrying you and making you ready for the future man/woman who will be deserving of you. Until then, enjoy your ‘single serving’ and resist the urge to murmur and complain. Instead, thank God for the gifts, talent, skills and abilities that He has blessed you with and use them wisely. Who knows, this could be where your wealth lies.
Happy Thanksgiving and remember “GOD HAS A MASTER PLAN WITH YOUR NAME ON IT!”“ – Tanika Chambers, Author of Single Ready and Waiting, Your Guide to Courtship.
My grace is sufficient for you.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
Dear Mothers who are Single, Ready & Waiting,
These simple but powerful declarations can change your life.
Read them out loud when you have some free time.
1. Having children does not disqualify me from meeting and marrying the man of my dreams.
2. Because I love myself and my children I will wait for God’s best.
3. I may feel lonely at times but I know that I am never alone. God is just a prayer away and I have friends and family who love me.
4. Because I am HIS, He supplies all my needs and the needs of my children.
5. I am WHOLE through the finished work on the cross and the love of Christ
6. I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus to do good works
7. I am wanted, desired, and worthy of LOVE.
Repeat as many times as you need to.
You are blessed!