Jen Jeffrey: What I Have Been Waiting For

Monday, December 31, 2012 - by Jen Jeffrey
Jen Jeffrey
Jen Jeffrey

Everyone is hopeful at the beginning of a new year that it will be better than the last. We make resolutions that we either keep or don’t. I have my moments of putting a date or an event out there where I will hope something in my life changes by that time, but I get better results when I do the Nike thing and ‘just do it’. 

I could list many things that I would like to see come about this year - losing those 20 pounds, taking a weekend trip – or even a day trip, growing a garden for the first time, achieving a better fitness level … some of the things I would like to see happen. I can begin at any time, but there are a few things in life that we just have to wait for.

I have never grown anything in my life (my fear of worms could have something to do with that), but Mama has always had a garden. I hope that I will learn the basic things I need to know this year. I may decide that I don’t like gardening, but I want to try it.

When I see God making certain changes or doing something in my life there are times I wait and there are times I ‘go ye therefore’. Sometimes I don’t want to do something I feel led to do either because I don’t feel qualified or I am not sure it is God telling me.

When God told Moses to lead the people out of Egypt, Moses questioned God before acting on it. When Jonah was to go to Nineveh to tell the people to repent, he rebelled. Whatever reason we have for waiting, we know that God’s timing is best.

I have been waiting on something for a while now because it had not been fully revealed to me. When I first went through my divorce, God allowed me to become broken so that I was totally useable. He cannot use someone who has been wronged, harbors hurts or judgments. Where many things were obvious that were done ‘to me’, I had to see what God saw.

I not only gave up the tangible, I gave up “me”. That was hard to do. I didn’t think I was the one who was wrong or that I was a bad person; why would I have to be the one who suffered pain and hardships and to go through attacks? It was because God needed a pure, white canvas to begin his masterpiece. He wanted a lump of clay. I don’t think I had ever been as lumpy in my life as I was back then!

After my healing and growing came about, I began feeling like that diamond that is pressured, cut and polished. I saw the brilliance of my life as God had full control. Some people have asked me, “How do you know when you are in God’s will?” Or how do you know that God is directing you?” I am not a Bible scholar, but from my experiences I know I am in His will by confirmation or by a verse that is read or spoken to me or a person who shares something that is in line with what I am praying about. Things will just fit together.

For four years, I have had women reach out to me who ask for advice or they just want to share with me because they identify with the things I talk about or because of a similar situation.

I knew what God had shown me in my own life and I want to share it with others. He put these people in my path and He also gave me a platform in which to share – whether it was at the gym where I worked at parttime or on Facebook – or when I started writing and heard from readers – God was doing something.

As He revealed small things, I knew it was leading to more, but that He was putting things in place - either outwardly or getting me in the place where He needed me inwardly.

I have been praying about this for a while as, not only women shared with me but men began sharing. I even learned a few things that God was teaching me with ‘practice runs’ as I attempted dating and I also knew when He wanted me to pull back, step outside of myself and look at the big picture of what He was teaching me.

Now I see more of where He has been leading. I have learned so much about relationships and being single. I have seen the games, I have felt the pain and I have seen the inward struggles of other singles.

Being single is not a disease or a lacking in one’s life. It is a time to ‘do’. Not a time to wait. I am no longer waiting for God to ‘bring me the person He would one day have for me’. I am content where He has me right now and my eyes are open to what He is doing in my life and in the lives of those around me.

It isn’t about ‘me’. It isn’t about my loneliness or what I hope for in my future. It isn’t about what I need. God has always met my needs no matter if I agreed with how He did it or not. I don’t have to be concerned with my own life. My concern is what I need to be doing for Him. God doesn’t need me to complete His work, but oh how wonderful to be a part of it! What an honor to say, “Here am I Lord, send me.”

As readers would write in each time I spoke of being single or even just about insights in life that I have learned, I knew that God had His hand in it. He was confirming what He was already doing and preparing me to do.

I have been praying about coordinating a singles group. Not a place for singles to meet each other in hopes to find their soul mate, but a place for singles to learn how to be single – and that it’s okay to be single. Even if deep in their heart, they hope to have a special someone, it needs to start from within before they meet that person.

The group will not be about hooking up or meeting someone. I found that when you eliminate the pressure of attracting someone they are more honest. When a man would try to date me he was so busy trying to make our interests fit or to see how I would fit in his life or where he would fit in my life that he would fall into ‘playing the game’ - even unknowingly, and we learn to put up barriers to protect ourselves. If our goal is to attract someone or to see them as a potential significant other, we wear masks even if we don’t mean to.

I am about as honest as they come. I tell it like it is and I don’t hold back, but I, too, found that when I talked with a man and did not have an interest in dating him I could be more honest with my feelings because I was not afraid of ‘scaring him away’. If singles could come together and learn things about themselves and the opposite sex, without it being about meeting another person, we could all talk honestly and discuss the real truths that keep us from having our desires of meeting that special someone.

I have heard the stories. People have confided in me about online dating, about dating at work and dating at church. People have shared the loneliness they have felt, the uncertainties and the barriers as well as their hopes. I have gathered so much information through personal experiences and through others sharing that I believe it’s time. As I have prayed over the past four years for God to reveal to me what He wanted me to do, I believe now that He is ready for me to ‘do’.

I still don’t know the ‘when, where and who’ but that will come. I had thought of talking with my pastor and seeing what is available for a meeting place and/or someone to lead it. I had thought of another pastor at a different church, who is single himself. I have thought of a friend’s house and also a friend’s place of business. I know God will bring it together and He may not choose any of these possibilities, but have something else in mind.

I would like to lead the ladies and for someone to lead the males and the group as a whole - where we will have a ladies’ class and a men’s class but then come together as a large group to discuss what we have talked about personally in our small groups.

It will not be about hooking up. It won’t be ‘the misfit club’ where we just want to have activities to do with other singles. This will be a group that is serious about searching their own hearts for the truth God wants them to know before they would meet someone for their life.

I learned from the mistakes I was making and that my friends were making. I learned about what I truly want and don’t want and how God uses that. I have seen what others are doing and have heard them voice their frustrations. Being single is not as confusing as we make it and that is what I want to share. People don’t have to share my same faith to join in. I learn from and love to share with everyone.

I am now enjoying being single and seeing what blessings abound every day. I have always been a joyful, positive person who sees the good in things, but now I feel complete. I am not lacking. This will be the year I step out and venture in what God has been preparing me for.

I hope everyone has a Happy New Year and you step out in all that is in store for you!

jen@jenjeffrey.com

 


Chickamauga And Chattanooga National Military Park To Host Historical Moccasin Bend Hike

Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park invites the public to participate in a 90-minute historical hike to the Union defenses along Stringer’s Ridge at Moccasin Bend National Archeological District on Saturday, March 14 at 2 pm. Participants should  take the Manufacturer’s Road exit off Highway 27 and drive west, following the “Special Event” signs to the South ... (click for more)

New Animals At The Chattanooga Zoo

The Chattanooga Zoo announced the birth of two fennec fox kits at the Zoo’s Wild at Heart event on Friday, Feb, 13. Event guests were the first to hear the great news and catch a glimpse of the newest additions to the Zoo. Zoo residents, Barkley and Sophie, are proud new parents to two adorable fennec fox kits; one male and one female. The kits were born at the Zoo on Jan. 23, ... (click for more)

1 Arrested, 1 Sought In Shooting On Rawlings Street

One man is in custody and another is being sought in the shooting of a man in the 2000 block of Rawlings Street on Sunday morning. The Chattanooga Police Department responded to a local hospital on reports of a man suffering from a non-life threatening gunshot wound he received during a verbal altercation with two other individuals. Police said 29-year-old Kenneth Dixon ... (click for more)

Woman Stabbed By Husband In Dalton Dies From Her Wounds

A woman who Dalton Police say was stabbed Thursday by her husband has died of her injuries.   Glenda Dyer had been transported to Hamilton Medical Center. She initially was listed in stable condition.   The incident happened at the couple's home at 1603 Elaine Way.   Police said a murder charge will be added to the counts already facing ... (click for more)

Net Neutrality: The Beginning Of The End Or Just A New Beginning?

“The Internet is simply too important to be left without rules and without a referee on the field,” says Tom Wheeler, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, “Today’s order is more powerful and more expansive than any previously suggested.”  The FCC’s vote for so-called Net Neutrality purports to allow the agency to regulate the Internet as a public utility.  ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My Garden On March 1

As I try to do at the beginning of each month, I stroll through my garden to see the good and the bad. This morning there is still a solid covering of snow but, as usual, there is still a lot to see. March is historically known for “coming in like a lion and leaving like a lamb” so let’s see who gets what: A LAMB to the fact 90-year-old Floyd Hartwig of Easton, Calif., and his ... (click for more)