This week I welcome Shelley Black as a #BeBoldGirl. If you, or a girlfriend, sister or daughter, are in a season of being single, Shelley’s story will give you strength and a fresh perspective.
Sometimes being bold is as simple as wearing a bright shade of red lipstick, with simple makeup and your hair pulled back. It’s wearing stilettos to an event fully knowing that you may not be able to walk by the end of it, or even for the next few days, but you stood out and looked darn good wearing them.
Sometimes being bold is much less obvious to the watching world but resounds much more significantly in the depths of your soul. This is the kind of boldness I now walk in, not even realizing it was the journey I was on.
I am thirty-four. Never married. No kids. And single.
These words alone don’t tell the whole story. I must also admit that I am perfectly content, truly happy and loving life. As wonderful as this life is, I understand that this doesn’t necessarily make me bold. I feel like I crossed the threshold of a good life and into a bold life when I not only embraced the freedom in challenging the status quo of societal pressures by being single and okay with it, but when I gave my life to inviting others to do the same.
The life I live now isn’t the way it’s always been. As a matter of fact, most of it was spent on a downward spiral of disappointment, depression and despair. I grew up with similar dreams to many of my peers. With Barbie in one hand and Ken in the other, I’d walk them down the aisle of their make-believe wedding and into their Barbie dream home to live happily ever after.
High school turned into college and then into my twenties without much of a love story. Obviously, I was disappointed but having long since passed the age I hoped I’d be married by, my disappointment turned to depression. This only led to poor health, poor choices, compromising relationships and the spiral dipped even lower into despair, which was when all hope of things turning out okay was lost.
This season lasted the better portion of a decade until I reached the bottom. When I found it, I hit it hard and knew I had no other option but to return to the One who promised He’d never leave.
Fast forward through a few short years of surrendering my hurts, disappointments and fears into His capable hands and my life has turned completely around. Despair no longer visits and depression doesn’t even bother to knock on my door because there’s no vacancy in my heart anymore.
Announcing to the world that you’re 34 and still single is one thing but building a platform on it means embracing it on a much deeper level. I never realized the fears of what other people would think about me would be so loud in my mind and that I would have to daily silence them to press forward into the calling I had accepted when I said, “yes.”
My “yes” meant that I would embrace my story, be openly vulnerable and share it with others. My “yes” meant letting go of the dream to get married so I could live a much larger dream to see other girls walk in hope and freedom during their single season. My “yes” meant that even though I have no idea what’s around the next corner, I whole-heartedly embrace the journey in order to leave an impact on the world I was born to influence.
There is only one who is worthy of my absolute “yes” and that is Jesus Christ. It was His love that changed my perspective, and by it my entire life. So now I live that others may encounter the same overwhelming love in the deepest most intimate places of their soul.
The turn-around of my life inspired a book, which I never even set out to write, and that book erupted a hunger in me to see other girls and young women experience this same freedom I have found in savoring life, no matter our status or season. Now, I boldly declare it’s okay to be single! There’s a purpose for it and it won’t last forever, so savor it.
Shelley Black has journeyed through being single longer than she expected and has since found joy, hope and purpose from a once begrudged season. She now challenges the status quo of what it means to be single as a modern-day Christian female, with a passion to infuse hope and restore joy to every single-girl heart. Shelley is a loving momma to her pup Lucy, is one proud “T” to six nieces and nephews and serves her local church in North Mississippi as the worship leader. Find her at SavoringSingle.com and across social media: @SavoringSingle.
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