Carolyn McCulley, Media Specialist for Sovereign Grace Ministries, and author of Did I Kiss Marriage Good-bye?, will be leading a workshop on singleness at True Woman ’08. Let’s ask her a couple of questions:
Carolyn, what’s the greatest challenge you face as a single woman?
I think my greatest challenge is the same as every other Christian: persevering in trusting God as He uses circumstances, blessings, and trials to conform me to the image of His Son. My circumstances may be different than those of my married friends, but we all battle indwelling sin, our spiritual Enemy, and the influence of the world.
Do you ever struggle with loneliness?
Oh, yes. I think loneliness is endemic to the human experience. It’s the residue of sin—the legacy of broken fellowship. I’m often tempted to self-pity and loneliness in a crowd, when everyone else seems connected to others and I am hugging the fringes trying to look cheerful. In those particular situations, I often ask the Lord to show me someone I can serve or encourage. I find my loneliness dissipates when I am focused outside of myself.
What about the fear of growing old alone?
I have to admit there are times when I’ve looked at the future with dismay. However, I don’t think this is a temptation just for women who are currently single. Statistically, most women—married or not—will be alone in the last years of our lives. Yet throughout Scripture we find God’s tender and specific care for widows, so we know our Lord is mindful of that season.
Because of that, I know I can count on His sustaining grace to carry me through my whole life. I’ve received a portion of that sustaining grace already: I’ve found that being never-married in my 40s isn’t as dreadful as I once assumed it would be.
What about you (or your single friends)? What’s the greatest challenge you face? How do you combat loneliness? What are your greatest fears?
(Click here for Part Two to hear what Carolyn would say to women who long to be wives and mothers, but have not seen God fulfill this desire. She will also talk about what role the church can play in the lives of single adults who have a desire for marriage and family.)