Truths About Being Single


Hey love bugs!

Okay . . . so for quite some time, I have been feeling this weight to do a series of messages just for SINGLES. Now, I’m going to be honest . . . when I first felt this heavy weight, I couldn’t understand why. Okay . . . to be totally honest, I didn’t want to understand why. You see, me personally, I’m finally at a place of contentment with being single not to get confused with being complacent. Trust me . . . it has taken me years to get here. And . . . it has not gone without lots of tears, heartbreaks, mistakes, disappointments, feeling like I’ve wasted time, frustration, confusion, and even depression. Yes . . . being single has been one emotional rollercoaster. Then it hit me . . . this is why I’m feeling pressed to do this series that I will title Lessons From A Single. I’m sure many other women have felt like me, is currently having those emotions, or are now cool with their “single status”, but still struggle with navigating what to do with the time. So here we are. And here is my disclaimer:

I, Hazel Owens, am writing this series based off of my personal experiences and lessons learned with being single, and those experiences I have had the pleasure of enduring alongside others. I do realize that not everyone struggles with this topic, and at the same time I realize that many do. My hope is for each of us (including me) begin to live this season (and any other season of life) to the fullest potential possible, embracing every twist and turn along the way.

Aaaaahhhh . . . now that is out of the way. Let’s start with some truths about being single:

  • Singleness is not a disease, and marriage is not the cure.

Seriously . . . I have no idea where this thought came from. However, I do remember a time thinking something was wrong with me because I was single. This caused me to mentally marry every cute guy in my head that said “hello”. Basically, I rushed things with guys, and found myself giving myself to anyone that gave me attention because being single meant being alone. Being alone meant something has to be wrong with me. Having this mindset that marriage will fix your problem with being single runs the high risk of you ending up with the wrong person, or feeling more frustrated after each failed relationship. Singleness is not some disease or some problem that can be wiped away with marriage. Marriage has it’s own sets of problems and frustrations, as with any season in life. This is a time for some soul searching for you. If you can’t stand being alone with you, how do you expect for anyone else to want to be around you. Marriage is not going to make you happy all of the time . . . honestly you yourself can’t make you happy all of the time. So, please do not think that marriage is going to solve all of your single problems, because it won’t. Use this season to see what all God wants to do for you and through you.

  • Being alone doesn’t mean you are lonely

So this drive me nuts! Just because I’m alone, doesn’t mean I’m lonely. I am sure many others feel this way as well. Alone does not always equate to feeling lonely. In moments where I have felt lonely, I would seriously have to focus on those who are around me. Sometimes, it’s hard to connect with that friend who is married, a momma, or both because they can’t always hang or talk when you want to. I can’t get mad about that because that’s their season, but what I had to learn to do was to do things on my own. The more I began to do things on my own, the more I began to learn me more intimately. I began to meet other people. I began to fall in love with me all over again.

  • Desiring marriage, connection, or companionship from the opposite sex is not wrong.

There is nothing wrong with having strong desires for marriage or companionship with opposite sex. How you act on those desires is what can get you in trouble. Dating random people, just because you are bored or don’t want to be alone, will get old. Having sex with “randoms” just because they gave you some attention and time you were desiring is a recipe for confusion and heartbreak (more on this later). Be careful how you act on those desires.

  • Being single can be exciting

This is an amazing time to enjoy all the things God is calling you to without distractions. You don’t have to worry about the cares of a husband or children (if you’re not a mother) when you make decisions. If you have children, you can bring them along, or introduce them to the things that God is calling you to. Traveling freely, pursuing your purpose, serving, hanging out with friends, taking risks . . . gosh this time of life can be so exciting if you just put yourself out there and embrace it.

  • This season can be frustrating!

It can totally seem like everyone is in a relationship but you. Every time you turn around, someone you know is getting engaged. You are over a certain age and people put the pressure on you to be involved. Holidays are the worst at times . . . a constant reminder that you are single. When you are content, people confuse it with you not being open to marriage or relationships. How frustrating is this?!?! More to come in a future post.

  • Being single does not mean you are not whole or complete

This saddens me deeply, and yet so many women struggle with this . . . I did too. Feeling like you are not whole or complete can at times force you to stay in toxic relationships or in relationships longer than you should. When God created you, He created you whole. Being with someone is not going to complete you, because sis, you are already complete!

I’m so excited for this series. I’m praying for singles, and I pray that the lessons that I have learned (and learning) along the way, be a source of inspiration to you. Also, as I introduce this series, I am adding videos for a deeper dive with every post. I am now on YouTube!!!!! Many of you have been asking for video along with the blogs, and it’s finally here! Be easy with me, as I’m still learning the art of YouTube lol. Enjoy this message on YouTube by clicking the link below. While you are there, please subscribe to my channel! I look forward to your comments there and on this website. Let’s journey together friends!

~Hazel ~

Though you are Imperfect, you are loved by a Perfect God!

 

 

 

His Likeness


You meet a guy, you fall in love or “strong like”, and it feels great! You have been yearning for this type of connection for quite some time. Time with this guy . . . well you can’t get enough of that. You look forward to his sweet “good morning beautiful” text messages, talking throughout the day, and dates in the evenings. As time goes on, you find yourself adjusting yourself doing things that you know would make him happy. You may even put what you want or desire on hold to make sure his needs and wants are met.

I know you’re like, “Well Hazel, what’s wrong with all of that? This is what you do in relationships sometimes”. True enough, and believe me, there is nothing wrong with any of this. In relationships of any kind, there will often be some compromising. You will often want to be around that person because of how they make you feel or because of your infatuation with them. Again, nothing wrong there. However, have you ever lost who you are while doing these things? Have you ever found yourself totally changing by adapting the other person’s characteristics, hobbies, and habits?

I Lost Me

Trying To

Please Him

I don’t know about you, but I have. In the past, the longer I stayed dating someone, I found myself adapting his likeness. I found myself doing things that I know he would like; wearing my hair the way he likes, dressing the way he likes, going to places I know he would like, etc. Now don’t get me wrong, I was not like the chick on Coming to America, saying “Whatever you liiiikkkeee”. Naw . . . it didn’t get that far, but at times I may have come close.

I also noticed over the years that I’m not alone in this experience. Many women find themselves putting on the likeness of the guy they are in relation with. This could even happen with women and their female friends too. It’s so easy for us to do this because we are trying to please our mate. While there is nothing wrong with this, it does become problematic if it gets to the point where you totally lose sight of who you are and who God called you to be. So I beg the question, If we allow ourselves to put on the likeness of our mates because of our desire to please them, then how much more should we put on the likeness of the One who created us?

Remember, people are flawed and imperfect. Be careful in your pursuit of relationships, not to totally transform your God-identity to please another human. Our identity is in Christ. Allow Him to guide and lead you in your relationships, to reveal Himself to you, and for Him to show you how to put on His likeness. Again, there is nothing wrong with pleasing your mate, just make sure it doesn’t cost you your soul in doing so. Keep God in the midst of all your relationships to reduce the risk of conforming into a person that God doesn’t desire you to be. Draw close to Him and watch how you will begin to imitate His image, and become more like Him (something we all should be striving to be).

~Hazel~

Remember this: Though you are imperfect, you are loved by a perfect God!

5 Things To Consider Before Dating


Hey love bugs!!

I pray you all have had a fabulous weekend! Tonight I went to Periscope with a message to singles. I shared with the #PerfectlyImperfect community via Periscope on the 5 Things to Consider Before Dating. You can catch a replay of the broadcast by clicking here. Download the Periscope app and check out the discussion.

I wanted to make sure I bring you all in the loop as well! Again, these are some things to consider . . . to think about before the next time you decide to date:

Have you taken time to fully heal from past relationships?

I have heard this saying: “The best way to get over a man is to get under a new man.” This is absolutely FALSE!! You cannot fully embrace the person you are with by still holding on to issues with the person from your past. Not taking time to heal will cause you to make the new person pay for all the mistakes your ex(es) have made (whether you realize it or not). You wouldn’t want to pay the penalty for someone else wrong doing . . . no one does. If you don’t take this time to heal, you will run the risk of being a serial dater. You will find yourself being in and out of relationships because you are sabotaging them with issues from your past. You will find yourself dating the same type of men, but with a different face. Make sure you fully heal before bringing anyone into a messy situation.

Get some insight about yourself/work on your heart.

It is important to take some time for yourself between relationships. Evaluate what you need to work on or improve upon. Remember, it takes two to tango. They may be the reason why the relationship ended, but you also played a role as well. What are somethings you learned from your past relationships about you? How can you be better? Spend some time with God to have him reveal your heart. He will show you areas that are displeasing to him . . . it is He that makes you whole. Develop/strengthen that relationship with God . . .besides that is the best relationship you can have.

Are you holding on to anger and bitterness? Are you too independent and working that man out of his job? Chivalry is not dead ladies . . . there are some gentlemen still out there. Some times our fierce independence gets in the way. Every time he tries to do something for you, you say “I got it . . . I can take care of it . . . Don’t worry about it”. Every time he goes to open a door for you, you rush to beat him. There is nothing wrong with being independent but some of us are just way too strong. I know . . . you are used to taking care of things by yourself. Well, sis, a real man . . .a gentleman will not let you do it alone. However, if you keep assuming the role as male, he will think and feel as if he’s not needed.

Once you have gathered some insight, actually do the work to strive to be better.

Learn to forgive.

          Forgiveness is not just for the other person, but it’s for you too. It frees you up. We have to learn to forgive. When you hold on to unforgiveness, you heart is becoming harden the longer you hold on to it. No one can enter into a harden heart . . . you are not even letting God in when your heart is harden.

You also need to practice forgiveness because the Lord instructs us to do so. If we don’t forgive one another, our heavenly father won’t forgive us. Once you get this down, you will forgive much easier when your mate makes a mistake. Relationships require work. Learn to forgive.

Many singles desire to be married. Well guess what? That’s two imperfect people coming together as one. Some one is bound to make a mistake or hurt the other persons’ feelings . . . are you going to forgive?

Practice healthy communication and vulnerability.

          Now . . . this right here . . . whew! I am getting better at the communication piece, but the vulnerability is hard. However, I can honestly say that I am practicing it. Use discernment . . . not everyone can handle your vulnerability. The one person that you should be able to be completely “naked”/vulnerable with should be your spouse. If you have not practiced this while being single, you will struggle greatly with being vulnerable in your marriage. Find someone of the opposite sex that you trust and practice letting your guard down. Let God guide you to that individual.

Also, practice communicating in a healthy way. Many people listen to respond instead of actively listening. Try repeating what you heard to ensure that you understand correctly what’s being communicated. Watch your emotions when you communicate as well. Make sure those “feelings” are in check because if they are not, you can perceive something to be true that is totally false. Understand how the opposite sex communicates. Men are logical . . . they think. Women we feel. Nothing is wrong with either . . . we’re just wired different.

Ask yourself: Why do you want to be in a relationship?

          Some people think that marriage will cure their singleness. First . . . you being single does not mean you have a disease; and trust me, marriage is not the cure. There is nothing wrong with being single. Do not let anyone get in your head and make you thing that being single is bad? This is your training ground to prepare for marriage (if that’s what you desire).

Some people want a relationship because they hate being alone, and thus will settle. Any attention will get them going. Understand that not all attention is good attention. If you don’t like being with you, what makes you think someone else will like being with you?

I ask . . . why do you want to be in a relationship? Check your motives. Are you pursuing a date or are you preparing for marriage?

Remember this: Though you are imperfect, you are loved by a perfect God!

God loves you and so do I!

~Hazel~

Heart To Heart: “Communication: She Feels”


Communication is one of the biggest break down between male and female interactions. Chris and I are trying to paint a vivid picture on exactly how men and women communicate, in hopes to help each sex get a better understanding of one another. Chris started us off with this topic of communication in the Heart to Heart series blog He Thinks. If you haven’t read it yet, go back and read it. Now I (Hazel) will continue this topic by sharing a little insight on how women communicate. But before I do, do you remember this video from the He Thinks blog? Check it out

Keep this in mind and let’s dig in to how women communicate.

DSC_0070I have often heard people say, when it comes to the differences in communications between men and women, that: Men don’t care how women feel, and women don’t care what men think. Every time I hear someone say that, I cringe just a little. Especially once I understood how men and women communicate. Men do care how women feel, and women do care about what men think. Don’t believe me? How many times have you asked the man in your life “What are your thoughts on this?” Fellas . . . how many times have you asked the woman in your life “How are you feeling?” The fact remains is that although we are of different sex, we are still human beings who have emotions. Those emotions may be expressed differently but that’s another topic for another day.

When it comes to communication with the opposite sex, it’s important to note that men and women communicate differently. Chris laid this out very well in He Thinks. Men “think”, they are more logical. Women “feel”, we are more emotional. To Chris’s point, that doesn’t mean that men don’t feel and women don’t think . . . it’s just that those are our default responses. We (women) are more emotional. Why? We’re just wired that way. Thus often when we communicate, we say a lot of “I feel” statements and don’t even realize it. We “feel” everything! Even factual information sometimes. Whether we realize it or not, we tie an emotion to just about everything . . . and we can’t help it.

Once I started understanding this about how I and other women alike communicate, I started paying attention to how often I would say “I feel.” One day I heard myself say, “I feel like I need a Coke!” And of course I said this to a male. He looked at me with one eyebrow raised and a confused expression on his face, and said to me “WHAT?!?” My response (very calmly), “I feel like I need a Coke.” His response (still confused), “What do you mean you feel like you need a Coke? Do you want a Coke?”

It was that moment when it hit me how different men and women communicate. A woman would’ve understood the need of a Coke or Pepsi feeling. A man sees it as you either want one or not. He is thrown off by the feeling aspect. Had I had the same conversation with a woman, the response would’ve been totally different. She would’ve expressed to me how she too felt like she needed a Coke or had the same feeling recently. We then would’ve pressed our way to get our cola beverages, sat down, and continue to converse with one another. And after that first sip, we would’ve said, “Aaaahh . . . I feel much better” and proceeded to share about our day, and why the feel for a Coke was much needed.

If you’re a guy reading this, you’re probably still stuck on “feel” for a Coke. You’re probably questioning “How do you feel for something tangible that you want? You’re either thirsty or not. You either want a Coke or not. You don’t ‘feel’ for it.” To you it makes no sense, but to a woman it makes perfect sense because we feel. Because our default response is to feel, we tend to use that as a means to share and bond with one another, and our men. This is why we are always asking our men, “How do you feel about that? What are you feeling?” It’s the way we connect with you . . . it’s the same way we connect with our fellow sisters.

Being naturally emotional and nurturing, we connect and bond based off of feeling and sharing. We are allowed to express our feelings and not have any push back from others or society when we do so. Since we are allowed to do this, we have no problem sharing with others. The more we share, the deeper the connection and bond gets for us. So when it comes to our men, the way we feel closeness is through our ability to share with him, and his ability to share not only his thoughts, but his feelings with us. When our men do not connect with us in this way, we feel distant from him. He may be thinking everything is cool, but she may be feeling like things are not cool because he is not opening up.

Men, understand that her way of getting close to you and bonding with you is through a mutual sharing of feelings. Women, understand you have to be patient with your man when he is taking his time to share deeply with you. Remember our default response is to feel, his is to think.

Next, Chris and I will share what we have learned along the way on how to flex our communication to make for a better connection with the opposite sex.

Got a question that you want to send privately? Email Chris and I at: heart2heart.ch@gmail.com

Be blessed!

~Hazel~

Heart to Heart Series: Meet Chris Davis


For quite some time, I have been wanting to add a male’s voice to this blog. With the supporters being mostly women, I know many of us (women) want to hear a male’s perspective when it comes to dating and relationships. Although you all get to glean from my experiences, I’m not a man; and therefore cannot fully express in writing what a man thinks/feels when it comes to the topic dating and relationships.

My heartbeat is to try to encourage and empower women to be the best woman they are able to be. I want to help women to embrace the unconditional love of God, to heal from their past hurts, and to understand how to practice self love. In addition to all of this, I want myself and my sisters . . . yes all of you . . . to enter into healthy relationships with men. To the brothers who support this blog, you know by now that this site do not male bash. I want men to have a better understanding of women, and women to have a better understanding of men. In the end, my prayer is that we draw closer to God to help us to be the men and women God has called us to be. It is then, through Christ, that we are able to flourish in our relationships.

I say all of that to say, that God has placed it on my heart to start a blog series called “Heart to Heart”. It is through this series where we will explore topics as it relates to dating and relationships from both the male and female perspective. As I was sharing this vision with a dear friend, it became clear that he was the person I was to do this series with.

Please allow me to introduce you all to my great friend Min. Chris Davis. Chris and I have dug deep into several conversations around dating and relationships. We both realize that we share the same heartbeat for our respective genders. The things we discussed, we have been able to share them in other platforms, and now want to share with you! Check out Chris’s bio:

     Min. Chris Davis is the founder and president of The Bridge Leadership Foundation a local faith based organization that serves youth and families of Indianapolis. He attended Indiana University and played football for the Hoosiers (yes, Indiana is more than a basketball school!) He is single father of three superstar sons who are truly his pride and joy. In raising his sons, he often says that part of his job as a present and active father is to grow thoroughly equipped young men who will impact the world as good men and  “good catches.” A former educator, coach, and youth pastor, Mr. Davis has been serving youth and families for over 12 years. He is a poet, lover of music, and an avid movie buff.

     Chris has served and consulted in some of the largest ministries in the country. From his service, he has developed keen insight regarding single-hood, relational dynamics, and strategies to engineer health in these areas. His greatest desire is, taking a page from the late Dr. Myles Monroe, to live a life where he is gone, he will have given everything God has gifted him to give.

I’m so excited about this blog series! Please keep us in prayer as we seek to hear God’s voice on what and how to share with all of you.

Blessings,

~Hazel~