Not Alone Series: Encouraging Advice


How do you give encouragement to other singles (or couples) who are struggling in their journey?

I got really sick last weekend—so sick that I had to call a friend to drive me to urgent care. Waking up with one eye incredibly swollen due to what turned out to be a bacterial infection was scary (because I couldn’t see) and annoying (because I hate being sick and losing so much productivity). I spent all of Saturday morning lying in bed trying to get up enough energy to leave the house and trying to figure out who I was going to call to drive me to the doctor. (Ghostbusters was not an option.)

In the end, I found a fellow single friend to drive me. That friend, coincidentally, is a nurse. She stayed with me while I saw the doctor, we had dinner, and she even made it home before her college football game kickoff. I am so grateful to have her in my life. Even dinner was a needed stop: not only so I could wait for my prescription at Walgreens, but also because I lose my appetite when I’m sick and tend to forget to eat. I’m so needy.

So what does any of that have to do with encouraging singles? Well, as a single woman, I occasionally find myself in situations like that one. Not often, but sometimes. Sometimes I need help, I can’t help myself, and I don’t know who can help me. I moved far away from my family for a new career path. I don’t have a husband, a boyfriend, a helpful older child, or even a handy roommate. (I have two roommates; they were out.) Some of that is my fault, but either way, I felt pretty helpless that day.

What I learned (besides gratefulness for healthcare access) was the importance of building a support system when you don’t have a built-in one such as a spouse or other family. It’s easy to think that we can all go it alone. I’m the oldest child in my family, so I have an independent nature that is usually useful. The downside is that I feel bad when I have to rely on someone else for, well, anything. Community is incredibly important to social life and Christian life, but there’s a difference between the people you go out with for dinner and the people who will come to your rescue when your eye is infected.

So my word of encouragement fits with the very name and theme of this series: you are not alone. Even as your friends keep getting married and having babies and moving away, even as others keep going off into the convent, even when finding work means moving far away from your family, you don’t have to be alone.

Who would you call in a real emergency? Who reminds you that you’re not alone?

Next week’s topic: Single Scriptures

What is your relationship with Scripture? Do you read the Bible every day? What is your favorite translation or edition? Do you use Scripture for prayer (a.k.a. lectio divina)? Do you play Bible roulette (flip to a random verse)? What are some Scripture verses that speak to you as a single woman?

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Link up with Rachel at Keeping It Real!


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This is something I have thought of a lot. Having a partner in your life is beyond everything else also a security net. In Austin I had a support network of friends that would drop anything to help me if something went wrong and that commitment was mutual. Now that I’ve moved to another country I feel vulnerable, and while I am building friendships, I don’t have any that I feel are strong or secure enough to call on in an emergency. I’m headed to the on-campus Mass at Southampton. Thanks for your posts and reflections.

    It is definitely a blessing to develop good friends when you move somewhere new. I lived in Austin for several months before I realized that I hadn’t really made any friends. It was my realization that there was no one to drive me to the airport when I went home for Christmas, actually, that finally lit a fire under me. I found the Catholic 20-Somethings via Google and my trivia teammates via Meetup, and I slowly built up a good life. I don’t have much experience building actual friendships through dance, but you seem to be involved enough that that might be your way toward finding your emergency contact. You’re already headed in the right direction by not staying holed up in your flat!

[…] If she gets sick, no one can legally take time away from work (even unpaid) to care for her. I experienced that myself. There’s no single-person version of […]

[…] too. Waiting for nine days to pass to reach the end of a novena is an easy exercise in patience. Speaking (or blogging) words of encouragement to others can shine the Spirit’s light upon them when it feels like your light has grown […]

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