Joining up with Allison K. Flexer on her Truth, Lies, and the Single Woman Blog Tour today! I am thrilled to be invited along!
Let me present to you a brief, yet captivating, timeline of my life:
19something: I was born. And the world was never the same.
1998, sometime in November: I finally, FINALLY became a Christian. My mom had been praying for 28 years. She could relax. Jesus take the wheel! Woohoo!
1998, sometime in November the next day: I was pretty sure my sweet Lord would now be bringing me my husband like, tomorrow.
1999: Nope, not yet.
2000: Well, not yet. But no Y2K so that was good.
2001: Yea, not yet.
2002: Hello, God? This is Dana. I don’t mean to pester but I’ve been good. Is there an extra bible study I need to do?
2003: *humming tune from Jeopardy*
2004: Ok, really, I get it. Patience. Got it. Lord, I am thirty-four years old. That’s like, Sarah and Abraham old. I won’t be able to walk down the aisle without a cane.
2005: I AM STILL WAITING. WHAT THE WHAT.
2006: Met Brian. THANK YOU. I AM EXHAUSTED.*
2007: You know, the rest doesn’t even matter. I’m married! All done!
Allison K. Flexer’s book, Truth, Lies, and the Single Woman, is a book that I really wish I could have gotten my marriage-hungry hands on back in 1998. She tells her story with humor and vulnerability, and gives practical advice to help women who struggle with the “I’m single and I’m waiting” mantle. When I was single, I felt like I had a huge flashing sign over my head, a gigantic arrow in lights, flashing I’M HERE. RIGHT HERE. HELLO, OVER HERE! All the while, so focused on finding the “one.” It was distracting, and painful.
Here are a few things that really made me rather tense when I was a single:
1. I hated being called “a single.” People don’t go around and say, “Hi, I’m a married. And you?”
2. People telling me that I was married to Jesus and that is enough just made me want to cry a bit.
3. Christian singles events and gatherings can be just awful. You can cut the desperation, accompanied by a lot of Chris Tomlin, with a knife.
4. Sometimes dating is just hilarious. I once dated a fellow, very nice, who kept speaking in different accents during our date. It was awesome. We never dated again, incidentally.
Allison Flexer gets the tension. She understands the heartache and the waiting and the questions that can be asked when, repeatedly, you keep checking “single” on your tax return each year.
But the best part is how her book debunks many myths and lies that we tend to believe when we are “a single.”
Some of her chapters are entitled:
Because no one has chosen me, I’m not valuable.
I’m not beautiful.
- Getting Married will Solve All My Problems. (This one is paired with a loud guffaw from all the married peeps reading right now. Can you hear it? It’s DEAFENING.)
Today, I would like to focus on Allison’s chapter called:
THE LIE: IT’S TOO LATE FOR ME, SO I SHOULD SETTLE
It is 2002. I am at a Barnes and Noble, on a date, with a very nice fellow named Roberto. (Ok, I changed his name. I always wanted to go on a date with someone named Roberto.) We are drinking coffee prepared by a surly barista. It’s very hip. The music is hip. My leather boots are hip. The books we were talking about were hip.
The date, however, was not hip. It was a total disaster.
All conversation felt like it was being pulled out of us, like some dentist had set us up in chairs and was extracting sentences, painfully, for an hour. It was so bad that I had to pull the, “I have to get up for work early tomorrow,” card and leave early. It was 5 PM. I think I left him with the impression that I had to get up at 2 am or something.
That date should have had a copay. It was that awful.
Anyhow. The point here is that I really, really wanted to like Roberto. He was the my list:
Nice shoes (savvy)
Good teeth (clean)
Reads things (smart)
Had a dog (sensitive) but not a cat (weird cat guy)
Owned a house (J.O.B. need I say more)
Loved Jesus (Ok, this should be first on the list. I always check the shoes first; it’s a weakness)
He TRIED. I TRIED.
And as I walked to my car, at the late hour of 5:13 pm, in defeat, I just gritted my teeth and prayed, “God, REALLY? He’s fine. Why can’t I like him? Why can’t I just relax? Why can’t you send me someone that when we talk it doesn’t feel like I need to get a shot of Novocaine first?”
Allison Flexer’s book would have told me the answer. And here it is, nice and simple:
“The loneliest place is being stuck in a bad marriage.”
Boom. That about sums it up.
Flexer’s chapters all end with a series of lies that follow the chapter heading. She then trounces all those lies with scripture and a lot of honesty. This is not a “let me just tell you Romans 8:28 until I’m blue in the face and we’re good” kind of writing. (And yes, I know, Romans 8:28 is like the Superman of verses and it has its place!) This is gutsy, real, and really helpful stuff.
Truth: You can trust God with your life.
“You’re completely safe in His arms. You can trust him, remain close to him, and abide in him. Relying on God is the key to achieving peace in our dating lives and preventing us from settling.”
I would venture to add, He will prevent us from settling in any capacity. Married or single or young or old. Whatever walk we are on – He wants the Best for us.
I read Allison’s book thinking of my single friends who are looking, looking for that peace that marriage brings. I found her book spoke to me, right now, an old married lady with two kids.
Funny how that works, huh? Every time I review a book for this Beacon Hill Press gang, it ends up just trouncing me. In a good way. A God bounce. Thank you, Allison.
To sum up: God knows what’s best. I believe, Lord, help me in my unbelief.
If you are interested in ordering Allison’s book, click here.
If you’d like to meet her at her blog, Anointed with Grace, click here! You will be glad you did!
*I would like to add, for the record, that marrying my sweetie was the best choice I have ever made. However, it has NOT been a cakewalk, people. He is my knight and I am his princess, true. But our castle is kinda wonky and we argue over things like forks in the dishwasher sometimes. Camelot is a song in a musical, y’all. Marriage is TOUGH.