Hardship Series: Navigating a Prolonged Season of Singleness


A few months back, our team decided that we wanted to engage some hard conversations... not because hard conversations are fun... but because we know they're necessary. Specifically, we wanted to talk about hardships and how we are all going to experience different levels and phases.

So, at the request of one of our listeners today, we decided to jump into another pretty prevalent topic: singleness. For this episode, we hosted a conversation with Chesed Dent, a woman of faith, educator, global soul, and woman on a mission to tell others about God's big story.

Chesed transparently shared her journey with singleness until she was 38, when she got married. She described several key challenges in singleness, from the that ever-present sense of "not knowing," to her life looking drastically different than she envisioned, to the often overwhelming process of decision-making alone.

"The way that the church has interacted singleness has also not been helpful," she said, "A lot of times, I often felt like singleness was treated as waiting room."

However, as she continued to pray and read Scripture, especially 1 Samuel, she began to sense God calling her to be different than the people around her.

"My goal is not to be everybody else. My goal is to be like Christ." 

Chesed shared how she learned to let God write her story and to not let cultural expectations, or even her own desire, to write her story. "I had to learn that God was the better author... and that I was not necessarily supposed to be like other people," she said.

While the Enemy had redefined God's character as someone who was withholding from her, she slowly began to to trust that God's withholding was out of his good pleasure and bounty for her. His heart towards her was good and kind.

In closing, she shared a beautiful story about God's invitation to "fill her table." While her home and table were often empty because she lived alone, she sensed God calling her to fill these spaces with other women. She leaned into discipleship, building community around her and investing in the lives of others. 

"I filled my table through discipleship."

Chesed shared how she learned that the mandate to make disciples is perhaps one of the most beautiful answers to singleness. 

As a final encouragement to anyone in a similar season, Chesed said, "It's okay to lament. It's okay to grieve. If you don't lament these things and give them to God, you don't have space for hope." But in your longing, don't stop living. 

"As you long, live."

We only get one life. And this life can be beautiful when we walk with Jesus in every season.  

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