Carolyn McCulley over at SoloFemininity had another stellar post this week. Carolyn assists her single readers in preparing for the holidays (that would be me, front and center) and those inevitable conversations like this one...

Married Woman: "So you never got married, did you?"
Single Woman: "Uh, no, I didn't." And you never learned how to be tactful, did you??
Married Woman: "Wow...well, whatever happened to that guy you were dating for a long time? You all broke up, right? Didn't he go on to marry someone else?"
Single Woman: [Stunned silence.] "That's right, he did."
Married Woman: "Well, did you ever want to get married?"
Single Woman: About as passionately as I want you to go away now. "Yes, of course."'
Married Woman: "Well, that's. . . too bad."

Carolyn writes,

"As the holidays approach, it's time to prepare our hearts for many similar year-end conversations. I've been thinking about this conversation a lot lately, and about why it's so hard to have it. And I think it comes down to this: We can't boast. We can't boast in a ring. Or boast in a faithful husband. Or--for most of us--boast in our offspring. Others may have "braggin' rights," but we have to endure awkward, too-personal questions."

A couple of things stick out to me after reading this.

One - This is so true! My pride wants to boast! Primarily so that others will accept me and think highly of me. But as God is teaching me, we're all the same.

As Carolyn writes about a sermon given by CJ Mahaney at Covenant Life church last weekend,

"We all compare ourselves to each other and measure ourselves by each other. But that's pride at work. Whatever we've received is all of grace. That perspective is what C.J. taught us so well on Sunday. His two sermon points were that grace produces humility and grace prepares us for suffering. As I've said before, prolonged, unwanted singleness is a form of suffering. But here's the good news: The sanctifying grace that is at work in our singleness prepares us for this suffering and it produces the humility not to react in pride (self-pity, defensiveness, sarcastic responses) to unthinking conversations like the one above."

Two - I love how Carolyn gets to our hearts instead of the hearts of those asking those awkward questions. As someone gave me wise counsel when preparing for these types of questions, I need to be thinking about what my heart is doing, not the other person's. I also need to remember to have charitable judgments toward them and think that their questions, no matter how they come out, are really an evidence of their care for me. Maybe they are asking me if I'm single so that they can introduce me to a single guy at one of their holiday parties? (hint, hint!)

So go ahead, read Carolyn's post, listen to CJ's message and prepare your hearts for the holidays!


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