A (somewhat) honest look at what it's like to be a single, Christian woman in her mid 30s in Sydney who wants to remain true to the life that God has planned for her but doesn't want to let go of her dream of being in a relationship again and eventually being a wife and mother

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

-255 Encouragement?

Image by Steven Depolo

I've been pondering this for the past few weeks. Who do you go to for encouragement or feedback whether it be to share an achievement or to get some positive words about something you've created or written? Do you have just one or two people that you can go to or do you spread yourself out thinly so not to become a 'needy single' burden on others?

I've noticed a big shift with my close friends lately in the encouragement department and I'm not sure what to make of it or how to compensate for it.

As I've shared previously Bestest Bud and I have been friends for more than 12 years and The Princess & The Crazy Med Student for just over 10. I really value our friendship and have appreciated in the past the fact that we've been able to go for a few months without catching up and then when we do get together we just talk for hours about everything that's important. Over the past few years, with the introduction of Facebook and Skype we've chatted a lot more frequently and thus hung out a fair bit more.

But now all of them are married and most have kids. Their focus, rightly, is elsewhere. There have been a couple of times lately I've shared something I've written ( from another blog that I write for Church ) or something else and while I have received great encouragement from other people, my closest friends have remained silent.

Now it's not like any of them are verbally encouraging people to start with. I did try to give them the heads up though on our holiday over New Years when we were talking about love languages and it came up that mine was 'Words of Affirmation' not 'Gifts' like at least one of them seem to think. I mean gifts are nice and all and just because I give thoughtful gifts to my friends doesn't mean that that's what I need...anyway....

But they used to be a lot better about making sure we encouraged each other and made each other feel valued and special.

I'm wonder if the decline in this is because they are married and seek that encouragement from their husbands now and don't feel they need to seek it from their friends anymore for the most part? Perhaps then 'forgetting' that their lone single friend in this group doesn't have this immediate support living in the same house and is still needing some encouragement every now and then.....I know it's an easy out to 'blame' this on the fact they are married, I mean I could be very likely be annoying the you know what out of them at the moment and they don't wish to comment on my blog post where I kinda opened myself up to world about being single......

Anyway, I am still pondering this one. I'm not losing sleep over it. I think I would like my own 'in house encourager' ( which I know comes with a free set of 'Kick me up the butt sometimes steak knives' ) - lol - but I don't care!

Will have to also write a blog post on hanging out with The Non Bachelor in the next couple of days too. I just don't know how to process it just yet. I'm not sure what God is doing. Restoration I think. But not in that way. In a new way.

Sometimes just writing this blog and getting some feedback in my comments of you all is 'in house' enough - for now ;)



  1. My mom. That's who I go to for encouragement. But since talking to her about spiritual issues is virtually impossible, even what I can disclose to her is extremely limited.

    My best friend from church is the same way. Whenever I try to talk to her about God and spiritual issues in an e-mail, she ignores it. We use to hang out together after church quite often, but within the past year, she has forsaken church and friends for the pursuit of finding a man. Now that "hunt" dominates her life and yet she keeps asking me "where our friendship went." I want so badly to tell her that I'M not the one who vanished, she is.

    I think that the lack of verbal support that you're receiving is not just due to people being preoccupied with family, but them not making fellowshipping with (single) friends a priority. ALL relationships take effort to maintain and sometimes folks just aren't willing to invest the time. I've encountered married people who are extremely good at responding and single people who are extremely horrible at it. I think it all depends on how wrapped up the individual is in their own world. After all, dropping someone a line only takes a couple of minutes. However, if all a person can see is "me, my, and mine," then the lives of others outside of that bubble will be inevitably and incredibly obscured.

    I'll pray that the Lord will bless us both with genuine, caring and compassionate Christian friends.

  2. I would have to agree with Ms. Blase. I have some married friends who are absolutely fantastic at encouraging me and still wanting to visit or see how I'm doing. I have other married friends who will only talk to me if either the life seems to be falling apart, or if their husbands are out for an evening. I wish I had a good answer for this; if I did then maybe I would not feel the effects of the lack of communication as much as I do!

    I will be praying about this for you too!

  3. Thanks for your comments Ms. Blasé and Chronicler. I agree with both you with regards to some of my other friends, but with these three in particular they are still good at doing the catch up and seeing how things are going. We still hang out without the husbands and sometimes with. It's just that they are not great at encouraging me ( boy that reads selfish! ) on more than a congratulatory or "Hurrah" level anymore. And I seriously think it's because when we were at the single portions of our lives together we used to kick each others butts, look deeper into why we made certain choices, asked for feedback about more decisions and made sure we built each other up on more than just the big achievements. I really do think they've forgotten that I might still need that because they get that now from their spouses.

  4. I agree with you Miss365. When your gal pals get married the relationship between you changes. Suddenly she does have someone who not only does, but should, help with all life decisions, encourage on a daily basis and share secrets with.

    The dynamics change also in the secret telling. I tell younger ladies that when your bf gets married you shouldn't tell her anything you don't want her hubby to know. Whether she tells him or not is irrelevant, but you should not be asking her to keep secrets from him.

    Sometimes, when your friend's life takes them away from you it's time to add new friends to your life. Some friendships are for life and some are for a season. It's ok to have either or both.

    On the other hand, I have to keep working on reminding my friends and family to offer me words encouragement. They don't do it often enough but at least a couple now write more than "Happy Birthday" in my annual card :)

  5. I have to agree with a few posters that marriage changes everything. A married person's time is now taken over with family. Their priorities change. I do have another single friend whom I speak with at least 1x weekly. That where we share encouragement and talk about our daily stress. Hang in there, I understand it's not easy being single.



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