Every once in awhile a piece means something a little bit more than others. This would be one of those pieces.
Shannan Martin is a writer I have admired (and Twitter-stalked) for years – which all started because my BFF texted me one afternoon and was like, “I found a blog I love. You’ll love it too. Get to reading!” (Or something like that. She likes to boss me around like that when it comes to things that are good for me.) And Jesse was, of course, right. Shannan’s words have been invaluable to me. So, when Shannan emailed and invited me to write for her about what it has meant to me to be a single woman in church, I enthusiastically accepted.
I can’t tell the story of my singleness without telling the story of how my friends have loved me. (I can’t tell most stories without telling of how my friends have loved me.) Because that is where I see God most clearly.
I’m grateful to Shannan for the chance to tell this particular story. I hope you’ll join me in her space.
After I was fired at the beginning of last year, I went home to Maryland for a couple of weeks. I needed to hug my mom, pray with the ladies from my Bible study, and eat at my best friend’s table.
Years before, when I was in my last year of graduate school, finishing classes and interning, my best friend, Jesse, worried about me. I had mentioned offhandedly that my days were so busy I didn’t even have time to eat a sandwich, and she immediately bought protein bars for me to keep in my desk and insisted on making dinner Tuesday nights before we went to Bible study. I didn’t have to do anything, she told me, I just had to show up and be okay eating whatever she was making.
Because of this invitation to simply come, their table became for me a place of sanctuary. It was a respite from the craziness of that busy season. I was allowed to come stressed. I was allowed to be tired. I was allowed to talk about work or school, or I was allowed to not talk about work and school. I had all permission in the world to just come; to not take care of anyone, and instead let my friends take care of me…
To read the rest of it, you’re gonna have to jump over to Shannan’s site. Then stay there awhile. Shannan’s words are life-giving.