Sundays With Rae

a blog for women by a woman who is trying to get her life together while still loving Jesus

Doing Single Well

Since becoming engaged, a friend of mine asked me for advice about navigating the world of dating/romance from a faith-based lens. I’ve told my fiancé more than once that since being in a relationship, I feel like I know even less about relationships than I did before getting into one. That sounds terrible but in this short time I have learned that every relationship is unique and it should be. But being single? I know that well. Of course, everyone’s single journey is different but as someone who boldly considered themselves chronically single, I’m not going to lie, I feel a bit like an expert.

I can’t tell you how to get a man. I got mine, so just be happy for me but I can share how to live happily single. I did it for quite some time and some moments were better than others but when I was out here living my best single life, I kept the following in mind:

My relationship status won’t determine the quality of my life.

Single, dating, divorced, engaged, married, whatever your relationship status is, good things are happening in your life and they are still going to happen. My mom always says, “one monkey don’t stop no show!” As a single woman, I still had goals to crush. I still had places to see. I still had friends to love and celebrate with and be celebrated by. I had songs to sing loudly and badly to in the car and in the shower. I had shows to watch. I had family to laugh with. I had a goddaughter who thought I was the best thing since sliced bread. I had a job that didn’t make me crazy (most days). I had a God to glorify. These are the things that made/make me happy and give quality to my life.

“My name is ____________ and I’m so very, fly oh my, it’s a little bit scary.”

That song was my anthem for a while (Pretty Girl Rock – Keri Hilson). Long ago one of my friends asked me if I thought I looked better than Beyonce. I hesitated to respond because I figured “no” was the “right answer,” but I knew it wasn’t my truth. I can’t remember what I said but understand, I certainly don’t think I look worse (interpret that as you will). Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and I hope whatever you behold in the mirror, you see as beautiful. After all, if you don’t, why should anyone else? You won’t be everyone’s cup of tea and they won’t be yours (people tend to forget that part), and that’s okay. Some days you’ll feel yourself a bit more than others but deep down, you have to believe you are more than pretty enough. And not only that, you have a wonderful personality to go with what people see (hopefully). Looks may not be everything but you are a looker! You wear confidence well. Walk in that truth.

I am who I am.

And I’m wonderful. I’m a Christian. I’m independent. I laugh a lot. I like country music. I’m a giver. I’m an introvert. I’m constantly becoming the best version of myself. I am who I am and I embrace that person. I know for a fact there was more than one guy who passed me by because who I was didn’t align with what they were looking for. If I had been a little less independent, been more outgoing, didn’t love Jesus as much, we probably could of have something (at least for a few more weeks). But if it cost me myself, it was far too expensive. Don’t get me wrong, I tried to force certain situations and got my feelings hurt along the way, but when I finally tallied up the expense of it all, it was never worth it. I had/have so many flaws, but I was/am unwilling to negate all the amazing qualities I bring to any relationship I find myself in. In my singleness, I perfected being me; I truly learned to love her.

Sometimes we shame people for wanting to be in a relationship and wanting to be married and wanting to have kids. We tell them to just enjoy where they are because the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. I’ve never wanted to be that person because I remember the countless prayers I prayed to God and moments when it felt like He didn’t hear me. I remember friends having to remind me I’m the prize. I remember joking with my friends that “this would be my year,” while hoping deep down inside it really would be. Two things can be true at the same time; you can be happily single and still desire to be in a relationship. You can catch flights and swipe right. You can look up first date questions and look up the home buying process. You can write a list of qualities you’re looking for in a spouse and write a list of ingredients you’ll need for a recipe you’re excited to make for yourself. Being single was beautiful and being engaged is beautiful. It’s not about the grass being greener but tending to whatever grass I find myself in.

While I believe God will give us the desires of our hearts, I also believe He intends for us to enjoy where we are.

Philippians 4:11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

Ecclesiastes 5:18 Behold that which I have seen: it is good and comely for one to eat and to drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labour that he taketh under the sun all the days of his life, which God giveth him: for it is his portion.

May 2021

Not All Dates Are Good…

Have you ever been on a date so terrible, it made you consider being a nun? Okay, this date wasn’t that bad but it wasn’t good, like, at all. My name is Jocee, and this is my story.

He was almost seven feet tall, caramel complexion, muscular build, with a few dreadlocks on the top of his head that were brown at the tips. They had been freshly re-twisted which sounds like a good thing but it wasn’t. He had on a muscle shirt with joggers that were tighter than my jeans and if I had the courage, I would have walked out of the lobby of that movie theater then but I told myself I needed to be open minded and just because I didn’t like how the gift was wrapped, didn’t mean it wasn’t a gift. After all, he had drove over an hour to go to the movies with me which sounds sweet but was a red flag. None of our conversations had been very in depth, so he really didn’t know me well enough for such a sacrifice to be considered sweet. But again, I’m trying to be open minded, maybe the Lord told him something that He didn’t tell me.

As soon as we sit down in our seats, I could already see what kind of afternoon it was going to be. Some people enjoy talking throughout a movie. I’m not necessarily opposed to this if I know you and we can laugh about things together. This was not one of those situations. He commented on the commercial before the movie regarding his car being better than the car that was in the advertisement. He commented on the commercial about tipping the waitress (dine in movie). He commented about putting his phone on silent. This was all before the actual movie came on! I’m sure he was nervous like I was, and perhaps this was his way of trying to loosen things up but it was not working. The movies is not a good first date, especially if you’re not doing dinner too, and to add insult to injury he asked what I enjoyed doing and the movies was not on my list (although I do enjoy the movies), so a part of me thinks he just wanted to see this movie. Once the movie got started, things didn’t get any better.

At some point he alluded to us being in a relationship and him protecting me from bad guys… Sir, I don’t even know if I would want to be your friend. He asked what I would do if he was as short as one of the characters in the movie, which to me felt like he thought he was better than because he was over six feet tall. Little did he know, I would have much rather been sitting next to a guy who was five feet and would let me enjoy the movie in peace.

All of this was annoying if nothing else, but the worst part of this whole date was when I realized he was using the same balled up tissue to repeatedly wipe his nose. I’m not sure if it was allergies or a cold, but I know it was unattractive. This was pre-pandemic, so I wasn’t nervous about COVID-19, but I wanted no parts of any other germs he had. Y’all, I’m not talking about one or two wipes; he had to wipe multiple times. I have really bad allergies year around so I know what a struggle it can be, but that balled up tissue was attempting to kill me softly. Then he looked over at me and I’m pretty certain he was trying to figure out how he was going to put his arm around me. Let me tell you, God was with me that day because I don’t know how I would have reacted if he had figured it out. Maybe slide down in the seat or act like I had to go to the bathroom, pretend I got a phone call, and maybe even holler, I just don’t know. But I do know, there was no way he was touching me.

Soon enough the movie was over and I was praying he didn’t want to go anywhere else. It would have made sense considering he drove that distance and we really didn’t get a chance to talk (well, he talked), but the Lord smiled on me again, and we said our goodbyes. I honestly would have agreed to go sit in a coffee shop or go get ice cream, hoping it would make up for the movie but I’m grateful I didn’t have to. We texted a few more days after that but eventually I had to tell him I wasn’t interested. I did feel kind of bad but I’m too old to waste my time or somebody else’s. He wasn’t a terrible person, he just wasn’t my person. So that was my not so good date. What’s yours?

*Certain details have been changed out of respect to the other party involved 

Wasted outfit

Why Am I Single?

I know it’s the question that’s been burning on the hearts and minds of everyone lol. But in all actuality, I get a variation of this question more often than one would think. It’s usually masked as “we have to find you someone” or “so, there’s no one? Like, nobody?” Usually when friends ask I respond by saying, “because you’re not praying hard enough.” I’m (mostly) kidding, but in these moments my friends seem more distraught about my single status than I am. And honestly, I’m not bothered by people questioning my singleness. It’s not a curse or a shame I carry around with me, hoping no one notices. It’s the season I’m in and just like people ask basketball players how their season is going, people may ask how the single life is going. There are some people who ask excessively or try to diagnosis you with a mental health disorder because you’re single, but thankfully my friends and family aren’t those people.

So why am I single?

  1. Because I’m not ready. We often think because someone has a certain level of education, a career, certain material things, they have it together and are equipped to be in a relationship. Y’all, I’m a mess. And I know there may be people who are “more” of a mess and they manage to be in a relationship, but maybe they should follow my lead, and be alone too. And I know when I meet that special someone, I’ll get ready. But no one has came along to inspire me to be ready, so no, I’m not ready.
  2. Because I can’t settle. I tried, God wouldn’t let me. He allowed the man to disappear, like literally vanish out of my life. And now I’ve grown to the point where I won’t let me settle. I don’t have time to lower my standards to fit someone into a role they were never meant to play. This is not the community league where everyone gets playing time. Only the best get in the game.
  3. Because God said so. I got tired of talking back to God. “But God, he’s nice.” “But God, he’s cute.” “But God, he has a good job.” “But God, he goes to church sometimes.” God’s “because I said so,” became good enough for me. The more comfortable I became with “because I said so,” the less singleness felt like a plague. Marriage is a goal but it’s not THE goal. So until God says otherwise, single is what I will be.

I know I’ll eventually meet someone great but I’m in no rush. Perhaps if I’m 35 and still single, I may be singing a different tune but today I’m 27 and I’m okay. I get it though. As young children you are taught, you grow up, you get married, and have kids. A 5 year old told me I was weird because I didn’t have a husband or children and it was so funny to me because I kind of agreed. The older I get, and less single friends I have, the more I realize it may be a little weird. I can do weird though. I can’t do lonely, less than, ugly, desperate, unapproachable, or unlovable because I’m none of those. My single status is not the result of an inherent flaw within myself, it’s my season. And one of the things I love about seasons, they do change.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven

Seasons change.

Tip Tuesday: 4 Tips for Single Christians Considering Dating

Thanksgiving (2014)

Thanksgiving (2014)

A friend and I went ice skating last winter and my friend being who she is (friendly), ended up in conversation with this guy. Long story short, this guy and his brother ended up helping us tighten our skates and walking out with our numbers. Often times I end up in these situations because I ask myself the question, “why not,” when I should be asking myself “why.” How do I believe this person will add to my life? What purpose will they serve in the long term? It’s easy to do things just for fun, but if we are serious about being found (women) and finding (men), as Christians there are certain things we must consider before handing out our number all willy nilly. Here are some tips for single Christians who think they may be interested in someone:

1. Pray (Proverbs 3:6)

For some reason when it comes to dating and being attracted to people, we leave God out of it. The minister who runs my church’s noonday prayer said it best, “God is interested in EVERY area of our lives.” If we think we might be interested in someone, pray about it, and see what God says.

2. Do not be unequally yoked (2 Corinthians 6:14)

I’ve heard it 1000 times, you’ve heard it 1000 times and we’ve heard it 1000 times because it matters. It was very recently that I started to understand the true importance of this scripture. I told my father figure countless times, it would not be a huge deal if my boyfriend wasn’t saved or didn’t go to church; as long as he believed in Jesus, it was okay (which is interesting because I actually entertained the attention of an agnostic guy for a minute lol). I spend a lot of time involved in church activities, which would mean less time I was spending with him and could become less time I would spend at church if I started spending more time with him. I want to be with someone who I can pray with and who can pray with me, not just when times are rough, but as a part of our daily routines. I don’t want church to be “my thing,” I want Christ to be our life. My partner being saved is a non-negotiable. (Full transparency: that last sentence was really hard to write lol. It feels like I’m cutting out 99% of my possibilities (and I probably am), but I remind myself there is only one that’s suppose to find me so I can do without the others)

3a. Christian men are men too (1 Corinthians 13:11)

Don’t be afraid to be aggressive. Don’t allow the fact that you’re a Christian man allow you to forget that you’re still a man. This does not mean pursue a woman the same way an ungodly man would, but it does mean you should be the one doing the pursuing. Text her first. Give her a call. Ask her to join you for dinner. Pick up the check. Tell her she’s beautiful. Don’t make her have to guess whether or not you’re interested, show her. So many times guys get a bad rap because they talk to multiple women (sometimes at the same time), I’m saying choose one and go for it (after you have prayed and God gave you the green light). And don’t just go for the girl with the nice body or who will look good sitting on the front row as your first lady. Ask yourself is she the woman described in Proverbs 31? Does she have the potential to be that woman? Is that the woman she aspires to be? If the answer is yes, don’t miss an opportunity to show a Godly woman what a Godly man looks like.

3b. Know Your Worth (Proverbs 31:10)

“Ladies, you determine your worth. Don’t allow a man to treat you like a fast food restaurant he can drive through every time he gets the munchies. Demand that he invests his time, energy, and money in getting to know you because you are no man’s cheeseburger.” These sentiments come from a Godly man and I couldn’t agree more. I freely admit, as a Christian woman, sometimes we get desperate. In our minds (and I think it’s reality lol) there is a shortage of Godly men, so if one finds us, we put up with whatever. And in many cases even if he is not a Godly man, we still put up with whatever because we just want to feel like we’re being wanted. We do all the calling and texting. We organize (and often times pay) for all the dates, and all we require is that the guy shows up. But we (I have to remind myself) deserve more. You deserve to be texted good morning first. You deserve to be taken out on a nice date you have no idea about. You deserve to have your meal paid for (disclaimer: I’m not saying men should pay all the time but they should pay most of the time especially in the beginning 🙂 ). You are worth it, but he won’t believe it if you don’t believe it. You will have to say no A LOT, but trust that God has a yes better than all those no’s put together.

4. You don’t have to go out with every “nice girl” or every “nice guy” (Ecclesiastes 3:1)

It’s okay if you don’t like everyone who likes you. Just because you’re a saved girl and he’s a saved guy, doesn’t mean you all are meant to be. Being in a Godly relationship requires more than two Godly people living for Christ. It requires two people who are mutually attracted to each other, who enjoy spending time together, and they can be their complete self with each other (not just the person everyone sees at church). Talking about church is great, but at some point you’re going to want to talk about other things, so you have to have other common interests. A friend of mine told me when he meets girls, he puts them into three categories: short term friend, long term friend, and wife potential, and behaves accordingly with each category. Men if you don’t like a girl who likes you, don’t text her every day, stop inviting her to dinner all the time, stop telling her how beautiful she is. These are things men do if they like a woman. Women if you don’t like a guy who likes you, don’t text him every day, stop agreeing to dinner every time, stop the flirty hand on his shoulder. These are things women do if they like a man. I understand that some of us are friendlier than others, which may give off the wrong impression, but make the effort to make boundaries clear.

Next week I’ll give tips on being in a Godly relationship before marriage!