When I was 32 years of age, a single mum with 3 small daughters, having escaped a difficult marriage that was threatening to become violent, I was working in a government position and attending church regularly. The year was 1989.
One day a woman at the church came up to me and told me I should be ashamed of myself - throwing my marriage away. It seemed she had been praying for a husband for a long time and desperately wanted to be married. I spoke with the Pastor about this and he in turn told me I was a woman who should be married and that I needed to pray about it. I thought I had had enough and wanted to stay single and bring my girls up on my own and told him so. He continued to urge me to pray about the situation.
I had made a mess of things in that area of my life and didn’t really feel like trying again. About a week later in a conversation with a girlfriend at work she told me of the criteria she had for meeting guys - five points. I told her I thought that was a rather cold way of approaching things and she said it was her life and she wanted to make sure when she met ‘him’ he was the right guy. Why waste time on anything less?
I began to wonder if God had a message for me because in a time period of a week I’d received three separate messages relating to my marital status from unrelated people. I had read that God will often confirm messages from Him in this way and I began to take it seriously. What if He was trying to tell me something? Taking Sue’s five points I increased them to twelve and prayed over them, at first somewhat cynically, but over time, more in earnest. I think I made it that many because I wanted to make it hard on God, I didn't really know for sure if He was trying to get something across to me, and I wasn't really sure I believed that the message was from Him. Meeting twelve criteria was going to help either prove me wrong or...
During this period of time one of my associates at our work prayer group told me about a man whose marriage had recently broken up and there were two little girls involved. He asked if we could pray for this man and his family and that God would enter into the situation. At that time I had been learning about how, if we concentrate on other people and their needs, that God would also look after our needs. So, for a couple of months I was praying over my situation and praying for this man and his situation in the same prayer sessions.
God has such a sense of humour! I won’t make this a long story but suffice for you to know the man I was praying for asked me out a couple of months after I started praying for him and within one month of getting to know him, he met 11 out of the 12 criteria I had set – I think God had plans for me! Graham soon met that 12th point as well and in 1991 we married and combined our family of 5 girls. A co-incidence? I don’t think so!
So very many women need to read this article. It brings both hope and know-how in that toughest situation - single motherhood. What a privilege to read it. Maybe it should be part of the learning of every woman in the church - every single woman at least!