'Step Up Your Faith': Hope for Christian Singles
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More Americans than ever before are delaying marriage. Research shows marriage used to be the corner stone of adult life; it's now become the capstone - especially for millenials.
Christian singles are finding God has a purpose and plan for this season in their lives.
Connect is a 30s and up singles ministry of New Life Providence Church in coastal Virginia.The church has a membership of about 5,000 people; about 50 percent are single.
"I think its good our church has a singles ministry," Connect member William Wells told CBN News.
"We have older people, we have young adults, and we have kids because singleness is a big issue in our culture and the church is a good place for us to talk about it. We need to talk about it because single people struggle just like married people" he continued.
CBN news anchor and author Wendy Griffith spoke candidly to the group about her journey as a single woman, and the heartbreak that helped her figure out the kind of love God has in store for her.
"One thing I learned that God showed me after the break-up was that I had loved him, but I had not loved myself. When you know your own value you don't settle for bad behavior," Griffith said during her speech.
The lesson she learned from that heartbreak turned into a book - You Are a Prize to Be Won . God used that book to change Diane Araj's life.
"It (You Are a Prize to Be Won) really transitioned me onto a total different path of confidence and standing up for myself, knowing that I am a prize to be won, and that I shouldn't be trying to be worried what other people are thinking," Araj said.
Griffith says men and women like Araj are why she is sharing her story.
"I just stand in amazement of God, how He can take the worst year of our deepest pain, heartache and turn it into a blessing for others," Griffith said.
That's exactly what God did for Melissa Dawn Simkins, a successful entrepreneur living in Washington, D.C.
The ring on her finger shows she isn't single, but she says her journey from singleness is something she hopes others can learn from.
"I started dating like most single women in my twenties and fell in love with a gentleman that I thought was going to be my life partner that I would marry and then suddenly when I was 25, he died. He was playing basketball and then collapsed," Simkins told CBN News.
"Suddenly Im dealing with the question of will I find love again, and if so, do I even want to live again? I really went through a difficult, deep time of depression," Simkins added.
She said after God healed her from her time of heartbreak and grief, her career as a brand strategist took off.
Simkins has worked with big name clients, like actor Hill Harper, NBA All-star Carmello Anthony, singer Mary J. Blige, the list goes on.
Her love life, however, was another story.
"Before I knew, it was 10 years later and I was still single had a great career, but I was not married," she said.
Simkins said that was when God spoke to her.
"'You're much more than a great executive," she recalled the Lord's words. "'You're much more than a wonderful entrepreneur - you're a loving woman.'"
Simkins believes God knows the big picture and your full potential, so when you wait on Him that is when he can work.
"I'm out socializing - I'm meeting and connecting with people and I went to the restroom and a guy stops me. He says, 'You should smile more often,' Simkins recalled.
"A gentleman was walking by behind the guy that said that to me, and he looked at me and he said, 'Stop talking to him and come talk to me,'" she continued.
Little did she know that man, William Simkins, would become her husband, and her entire journey as a single woman would prompt her to create an organization called Women in the Spotlight.
Simkins believes her happy ending can happen for any single person desiring marriage.
"My advice is to step up your faith, and when I say that it is to expect God to do more," she said.
"I said, 'This is a desire of my heart, and I believe you (God) put this in my heart. So I don't care if the statistics are not in my favor as an African-American female living in Atlanta. All I need is one - make him, find him, do what you have to do -- but I just need one,'" she said.
Like Simkins, Griffith is putting her faith into action and even dedicating her book to her future husband. She urges singles to not lose hope in the waiting.
"God is saying, and He spoke to me: 'I've got something better for you. I've got my best for you,' so that's why I'm encouraging other women to not settle for crumbs," Griffith said.
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