The Day I Realized My Biological Clock Was Broken

Another Mother’s Day has come and gone.

Another year of my 30’s without the title of “mommy,” passes by as I sit here trying to come up with a word for what I am feeling.

Society tells me I should feel sad. Society tells me I should yearn for the day children will lift their tiny arms to me as they mumble, “hold me.”

The word to describe how I feel… well, I’m not quite sure –but sadness it is not. You see, unlike most females who grow up playing mommy with their dolls and crossing off and re-writing potential baby names, I don’t long for the day I will hold the title “mommy.” I’m not sure if this is a product of being single, but if I’m honest, I can’t help but wonder if something is wrong with me.

Why isn’t my biological clock ticking? Why don’t I yearn to bear children? Am I broken?

To all the women who find themselves asking these same questions, I want to share with you what I have learned.

 

Deadlines create desperation.

“So, if I wanna have my kid when I’m 35, I don’t have to get pregnant until I’m 34. [That means] I don’t have to get married until I’m 33! That’s three years… — Oh, wait a minute though. I’ll need a year and a half to plan the wedding, and I’d like to know the guy for a year and a half before we get engaged…” – Rachel, FRIENDS

One thing I’ve come to realize in my 30’s is that deadlines can create desperation.

If we live our lives allowing the cultural and societal expectations to guide us, we can lose sight of the plan God has in store. Society doesn’t dictate your future, God does — and the timeline He operates within is eternal.

Just because your life isn’t lining up the way you think it should, doesn’t mean it isn’t lining up the way God mapped out. If you find yourself struggling with feeling like you must be hitting certain milestones, I hope you’ll take a minute to talk to Him and let Him remind you of what lies ahead.

 

There’s nothing wrong with you.

When I think about the excitement and eagerness I see in other women as they think about the prospect of motherhood, it’s hard not to think something is wrong with me. I can’t help but wonder why I don’t long for those same life events, but in those moments, God reminds me that He doesn’t want my focus to be on those things right now.

Instead, He wants my focus to be on the things He’s called me to do in my present season. Presently, He has called me to a season of preparation and projects. Presently, He has my attention and energy focused on other things. If I was longing for a husband and children, I may be distracted from the very thing He desires to be the center of my attention.

Be encouraged by the words Paul writes in 1 Corinthians, to experience fullness in your season of caring for the things of the Lord and to serve the Lord without distraction.

 

Women give birth to more than children.

In her article, Giving Birth to More Than Children, Sundi Jo shares a great reminder that children are not the only thing women give birth to. Women are nurturers, lovers and creators. Women imagine, envision and produce. Whether it is a project you are working on, a book you are writing, or a person you are mentoring, you are a playing an integral and God intended role in everything you are doing.

 

The Lord has called you to this season. Wherever you are, He wants your focus to be on what He has in store.

Embrace the silence of your biological clock and praise the Lord He has lowered the volume so that your focus can be on whatever He has that lies ahead.

Comparison — The Thief of Joy

Today is Valentine’s Day?

Really?

It’s kind of hard not to notice I’ve you’ve been on social media at all today. From photos of people flaunting their love and the gifts they’ve received from the ones who love them, to the sometimes bitter posts from singles trying to justify why they don’t need a mate, it’s kind of hard to miss. Everywhere you look, there’s a reminder that today is Valentine’s Day.

As I sit here in my favorite coffee shop in Korea Town, eating my sweet bread and reading my bible, I want to share a little of what I’ve read today. My hope is that single or committed, it will encourage you alike.

 

Ezra 3:11-13

“…Then all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid.

But many of the priests and Levites and heads of the fathers’ houses, old men who had seen the first temple, wept with a loud voice when the foundation of this temple was laid before their eyes. Yet many shouted aloud for joy, so that the people could not discern the noise of the shout of joy from the noise of the weeping of the people, for the people shouted with a loud shout, and the sound was heard afar off.”

At first, I couldn’t understand why God was parking my heart on these verses in the book of Ezra. The more I pondered, the more I could sense the devastation of those who were weeping. They had seen the first temple, they knew how grand the first temple was and they knew the second could not compare. This made their hearts sad. They had expectations of what the finished product would be because of what they had known before and they were disappointed.

 

Those who were filled with joy and shouted praises to the Lord however, had no idea how great the first had been. They had nothing to compare it to and as a result, they were filled with joy and happiness at the very sight of the house of the Lord that stood before them.

In Haggai chapter 2, the Lord spoke through the prophet Haggai and asked “Who is left among you who saw this temple in its former glory? And how do you see it now? In comparison with it, is this not in your eyes as nothing?”

It’s really easy to get caught up in the comparison game. Just as those who had seen the first temple, if we aren’t careful, we can allow comparison to steal our joy. Comparison can take moments in our life when we should be thankful and praising the Lord and cause us to weep in disappointment over what we don’t have.

I have good news though friends, God doesn’t want your heart to weep and be sad. He wants your heart to be filled with gladness– always. God knew the second temple could not compare to what first existed and He had a plan that had not yet been revealed. As you continue reading in Haggai chapter 2, you will find in verse 9, the Lord tells the people, “The glory of this latter temple shall be greater than the former…”

Whether you are single or in a relationship that is not currently bringing you joy, God sees where you are, he sees the disappointment you may be feeling and He has a plan. Take encouragement in knowing that He knows where you are and He wants you to know that He wants to fill your heart with joy. Don’t let comparison steal your joy this Valentine’s Day.

If you feel your heart straying that way, spend some quiet time with the one who loves you more than any human is capable of ever loving you. Trust me when I say if you come into His presence, He will shower you with more love than you could begin to hope for.

Happy Valentine’s Day all!

“Just Friends” — The Path to the Dreaded Friendationship

I could sense the intense level of confusion Sam was feeling as he uttered the words “I had no idea I was leading her on.”

A few days before, I asked Sam about a girl I had seen him spending time with. Sam shared she was “just a friend” and he wasn’t interested in her. I asked Sam if the girl knew that and he immediately responded with, “Well, she should, we’ve been friends for a while and I haven’t asked her out.” I shared with my sweet naïve friend that sometimes, that isn’t enough. I explained that sometimes when females have a close friendship with a man, they hold on to hope that the friendship will turn into something more. Sam adamantly said that wasn’t the case, then hesitantly, as if trying to convince himself, said “I’m sure I’ve made it clear I’m not interested.”

The desire to find a mate is obvious among singles. If two singles are spending a lot of time together, chances are, one of them wants more. So, how can you tell if you might be leading someone on? Here are some simple ways you can assess the situation:

  • If you are spending quality time alone together and have no intention of dating.
  • If you talk, text, or Facebook message the other person daily, or more than a couple times a week and have no intention of dating.
  • If you are continually being playful and flirtatious and have no intention of dating.
  • If you are keeping them around to fulfill your needs but secretly hope a better option comes along.
  • If you know the other person is interested in you and you are not establishing healthy boundaries to guard their heart.

Did you pick up on the common denominator there? “No intention of dating.”

One of the biggest reasons singles continue to find themselves in the predicament of entering into a friendationship is because their definition of friendship is not the same.

For women, friendship with the opposite sex is often defined as the foundation of a relationship. You’ve heard it before guys, we want to fall in love with our best friend. So, the way to do that is to become friends first. It should come as no surprise to you that she is sizing you up in friendship to see if you would be a good mate.

For men however, friendship with the opposite sex is defined very differently. Friendship with the opposite sex for a man usually means they have already put you in the friend zone. There are men who take their time to get to know a woman as a friend before making their intentions clear, but, as a wise friend of mine once said, “Men are horrible at hiding their interest.”

Alistair Begg says it best when he says “We should never assume that friendship is going to be more than friendship when it begins.” Unfortunately, I spent many years in a state of confusion and heartache because I didn’t quite understand this concept. You see, prior to hearing these words, I treated the opposite sex as “potential suitors,” instead of “brother’s in Christ.” I was lost, searching for love in all the wrong places and I hadn’t yet figured out that I needed to do some intense healing of my heart and abundant growth before my heart would be ready to receive a man’s love.

Somewhere along the path of searching for relational connections, we’ve skipped the part where God instructs us to love our neighbors as ourselves. We’ve fast forwarded through genuinely caring for people to the part where we size them up to see if they can meet our needs. I have news for you singles, God created the opposite sex for more than just eye candy and intimate relationships. He created us to serve one another, to love one another, and to learn from one another.

One of the growing problems with single’s today is that instead of treating men and women as brother’s and sister’s in Christ, we are treating the opposite sex as future spouses. It’s not until we have marked them off the list of potential suitors and put them in the friend zone that we begin to treat them the way God intended all along. I believe this backwards approach to relationship building is the foundation of much of the hurt and pain driving singles to stay single longer. We need to figure out how to do friendship in a more healthy way.

 

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So how can you tell if you are in a healthy friendship versus an unhealthy friendship?

A healthy friendship is one that edifies us and encourages us toward spiritual growth. Think of a guy or girl you are friends with who you know you would never date. Maybe it’s because you’re not attracted to them or maybe there’s just an area in which you do not align. Whatever the reason, think about your friendship with them. Think about the boundaries and rules you have knowingly or unknowingly placed in that friendship. How much time do you spend together? What types of things do you discuss when you do see each other? The way you interact with that person you know you would never date are the same boundaries you should have in place with anyone of the opposite sex. The bottom line is, they are your brother and sister-in-Christ and until they become your significant other, you need to honor and respect them as your brother and sister-in-Christ.

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Be careful not to allow your emotional needs to be met by friendships with the opposite sex. God desires for you to seek intimacy with Him. He wants you to lean into His presence when you are feeling lonely. He wants to show you He is there.

So stear of the path to the dreaded friendationship, and if you need a reminder in the future, remember the following;

  • Get out of the habit of spending one on one time alone with the opposite sex.
  • Approach the opposite sex as your brother/sister-in-Christ not your potential suitor.
  • Make your intentions clear
  • If you are friends with someone and you think they may have feelings for you, have a conversation. Let your yes be yes and your no be no.
  • If you have skid marks across your heart from where people have run over you in the past, it might be time to learn better boundaries.
  • Don’t let your heart run astray, guide it in the right direction.

What To Do When Your Family Is Pressuring You

Do you remember Bill Cosby’s show “Kids Say the Darndest Things”? Well, my niece Kylie might be one of the cutest little examples of the fun and crazy things children say. During her recent visit to Texas over Fourth of July weekend, we had a very interesting conversation.

Kylie: “Auntie Bran Bran, how come you’re the only one without a boyfriend?”

Me: “I don’t know, Kylie; do you think I should try to find one?”

Kylie: “Well, no. I think you should find a husband.”

Me: “What kind of husband should I find?”

Kylie: “One who’s smart and handsome and cool and loves God with all his heart and loves you and hasn’t been to jail too many times.”

Even though Kylie’s inquisitive nature was very much showcasing the fact that I, the 30-year-old, eldest daughter of 5, was the ONLY one in our family who didn’t have a mate—you can’t help but be tickled and laugh at her cuteness.

Sometimes, though, the reminders of our singleness aren’t wrapped in the humorous naiveté of a child.

I believe our friends and family mean well—I really do. There is no doubt in my mind that when my dad jokingly asked me to go on three dates before he returned from his deployment to Iraq, he thought one of the three would actually produce a lasting relationship. There is no doubt in my mind that when my sister insisted I bring a plus-one to her wedding, she was just hoping to make sure I didn’t feel lonely or without love. I know their hearts, and I am not at all offended by their comments. But sometimes, the reminders of our singleness from the ones we love can be hurtful, add pressure or make us feel like there is something wrong with us.

If you are finding yourself in a situation where the voices of the peanut gallery are extra loud, I hope you’ll find some encouragement in knowing you aren’t doing anything wrong. Your singleness is not something to be ashamed of, and you shouldn’t be in a rush.

This is an article I wrote for Single Matter’s Magazine, to view the entire article, follow this link – What To Do When Your Family Is Pressuring You

Longing For God’s Warm Embrace

I’m sure by now, most of you reading this have heard of Dr. Gary Chapman’s book The 5 Love Languages. It was all the rave 10 years ago and is still very popular today. Dr. Chapman’s book captivates the attention of readers because we seek to know the best way to love our partner, our children and our friends. We desire to know how we can serve and love them better, and The 5 Love Languages is an instrument that provides valuable insight into how to do that.

For those who aren’t familiar with Dr. Chapman’s book, he writes about the five primary ways people show and receive love: receiving gifts, acts of service, quality time, words of affirmation and physical touch.

As I was thinking about the five love languages, I realized that while the Lord is able to show us love through most of these ways, it can sometimes be difficult for those needing physical touch to feel God’s love.

In May of this year, I received news that a client I had been working with for three months made the choice to take his life. For three months I fought desperately to keep him out of the hospital, keep him off drugs and keep him alive. He was doing so well, and I had hope he would continue on the path to success. But sadly, that was not the case. He chose to end his life, and I was unexpectedly torn to pieces with grief over this loss. I wrestled with taking on the responsibility of his death and blaming myself. I cried myself to sleep for days in a row, not knowing how to deal with the emotions I was feeling.

In those moments of intense emotion, all I wanted was to lay in the arms of someone who loved me. To feel the warmth of their embrace. But as a single person whose family is more than three hours away, that just wasn’t an option for me.

This is an article I wrote for Single Matter’s Magazine, to view the entire article, follow this link – Longing For God’s Warm Embrace