Also, be sure to enter the giveaway to win an autographed copy of Allison K. Flexer’s new book Truth, Lies, and the Single Woman at the bottom of today’s interview. This giveaway will continue through Friday!
Today I’m talking with Katie Herzing! Katie says:
After I read Emily Stimpson’s book The Catholic Girl’s Survival Guide for the Single Years, I changed a few of my thoughts on the single years. She made one interesting point that being single is a choice – that I’m not married right now because I’m choosing not to be. It is my choice to be single. I’m choosing to wait for God’s Plan, not my own. I’m choosing to uphold my future marriage to a higher standard based on mutual faith in God.
Katie is a woman after my own heart! She is originally from Pennsylvania, but now lives in Charlotte, NC and loves the south! She says, “I love being a Southern girl and cannot see myself moving back north any time soon.” Yay! You may know, but I am also a southerner – born and raised – and I love all things south! Katie blogs at Waiting for Patience, so be sure to connect with her there, too!
Brenda: First, tell us a little about yourself – your name, age, where you live, and where you grew up.
Katie: Hey y’all! I’m Katie, a 29-year-old single gal living in Charlotte, NC. I grew up in North Western PA in a super small town, and I’m glad to be living in a big (but not too big) city where it’s a lot warmer! I love being a Southern girl and cannot see myself moving back north any time soon.
Brenda: Where do you work, and how did you get started in your job?
Katie: I work as the Office Manager at my parish. It’s a random story about how I got there, but it began with a degree in Catholic Theology, three years as a Middle School Youth Minister, a year and a half as a high school youth minister and then one crazy phone call that changed it all. So now almost two years later, I’m working as the chief problem solver for the office staff and my parish.
Brenda: Do you feel like your job is God’s calling on your life or do you hope it leads to something else one day?
Katie: I don’t think my job is my calling in life. Frankly, I’d love to quit my job tomorrow and be a stay at home mom from now on, but there are a few issues with that right now, beginning with the lack of husband. I hope that the skills I am learning lead to managing a household. It seems simple-minded to others, but being at home raising my children is where I think God is continuing to lead me.
Brenda: When you envisioned your life as a young girl, did you hope to have a career when you grew up or was your desire more for marriage and children or did you want both for your life?
Katie: As a little girl, I dreamed of being a mom and a teacher. Now I still dream of being married and having children. I am not really striving to be a teacher, unless homeschooling my kids counts as part of that dream.
Brenda: What fires you up? What are you most passionate about in your life and in the world?
Katie: I work for the Church so I am able to experience of lot of the things going on with people in the Church. I also have a lot of unique experiences that give me perspective. One of these has become a driving force for what’s been a huge part of my life for the past year. His name is Father Emmanuel, and he’s the pastor of a parish in the middle of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Africa. I’ve spent a lot of time recently focused on helping them, raising awareness for what’s going on there, and preparing to visit again
Brenda: Are you involved in serving in your community or church? What, if any, ministries or organizations are you a part of?
Katie: I’ve had the opportunity for the past year to lead a Bible study for Young Adults in my area at a local parish. This has been a great group for me to take part. I enjoy being able to help take part in a ministry that is helping young adults find their way in the world amidst all of the loud voices pulling at us in the opposite direction of Jesus Christ.
Brenda: Tell us one thing you LOVE about being single and one thing you hate (or your biggest struggle) about being single.
Katie: I love being able to set my own schedule, do whatever I want to do during the evenings, watch and read whatever I’d prefer, and not check with someone’s schedule or coordinate schedules before making a choice to go somewhere. I also love being able to go away for the weekend on a whim or just sleep in on the weekends if I want.
My biggest struggle is being alone in the evenings. I’m living by myself for the first time in over 6 years. I’m afraid of being lonely when I’m alone all the time. When I’ve had a long day at work I just want someone to give me a hug, say they love me, and tell me it’s all going to be okay. Being single then is my least favorite.
Brenda: I imagine there are times when you feel content in your singleness and other times when you want to throw something across the room because of it, but overall, how do you feel about being a single woman? Is there more contentment and peace or more of the opposite?
Katie: Overall I feel more contentment and peace than restlessness. After I read Emily Stimpson’s book The Catholic Girl’s Survival Guide for the Single Years, I changed a few of my thoughts on the single years. She made one interesting point that being single is a choice – that I’m not married right now because I’m choosing not to be. At first, I closed the book and wanted to write her immediately and say, “EXCUSE ME, what are you talking about?” – but when I read her explanation, it became clearer. It is my choice to be single. I’m choosing to wait for God’s Plan, not my own. I’m choosing to uphold my future marriage to a higher standard based on mutual faith in God. This perspective has helped me understand a little more about why I’m in the state of life that I am. It helps me keep perspective and roots out the ‘why me?’ tendency that sometimes takes over my being.
Brenda: Do you ever get mad at God because you are single? When bitterness, discontentment, confusion, and even jealousy creep into your mind, how do you deal with it? Do you have a go-to person or scripture verse or something else that helps?
Katie: I used to get mad at God more often than I do now. When I thought it was just me who was feeling this way, I got angry at him more often than I do now. A little over a year ago I wrote this guest post for Cindy at The Veil of Chastity about difficulties I was having in thinking about my future husband. I find that being with similarly minded women helps me live with the frustrating circumstances – knowing that I’m not alone, it’s not that something is wrong with me, and that it will all be okay because we are following God’s Will throughout it all. Being part of the Not Alone Series has been helpful, being part of a community of women who are there to support me is an extreme blessing.
Brenda: How do you deal with loneliness?
Katie: I keep myself busy – sometimes in healthy ways (friends, activities, cooking, crafting, DIYing) and sometimes in unhealthy ways (working too much) – but doing things, being with people, and not ‘waiting around for him’ is the best way for me to deal with the loneliness.
Brenda: Do you struggle with obsessing about guys and dating? Like, if you’re interested in a guy or if you just start dating someone new, do you think about him constantly, analyze every conversation, and get overly attached quickly? Is so (or if not) how do you deal with your emotions?
Katie: I haven’t had a lot of this happening, but I do have a tendency toward over-analyzing. Whenever this happens, it helps for me to keep perspective. To stay aware of who I am, where God has me, and what I can do to help the situation, if anything.
Brenda: What is your biggest pet peeve about the way single women are perceived?
Katie: One of my biggest pet peeves regarding the perception of single women is that we are somehow doing something wrong, our standards are too high, or some other weird opinion that people have no problem telling us. I am also peeved when my married friends tell me the method about how they met their husband and then also proceed to tell me there’s no formula. It makes me think that something is wrong me with even though they don’t have any intention of hurting me, only helping.
Brenda: Are more of your girlfriends married or single? How do you find authentic friendships as a single woman?
Katie: I have many more married girlfriends than single ones (there is basically one single friend now that I see on a regular basis). And all but one of my married friends have children. I do enjoy hanging out with them and their kiddos. Finding authentic friendships as a single woman is hard. It took me a little over two years to find a good single friend. Before that I had a few great married friends – one had a few kids (and a total of three since I’ve met her). Seeking new friends through young adult groups around town has been pretty successful – but those friendships have been more surface than deep relationships – I may not have been put in enough effort to creating those relationships outside of the YA ministry settings.
Brenda: Our perception of you is that you are living a fulfilled, purposeful life as a single woman. You’re not waiting around for marriage, but fulfilling God’s call on your life now. What would you say is your secret to doing this?
Katie: For me, it’s deciding to live my life now. Over the past year I hung out on four continents. I went to World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, as our Diocesan Chaperone in July of 2013. Then in March of 2014, I took the trip of a lifetime. I spent 3 and 1/2 weeks in the DR Congo with a quick 72 hour trip to Italy on the way home. I find that when I think about all of the things I could do as a single person, I get overwhelmed and a little sad that I’m not married. However, when I just ‘do the next right thing’ for me, then I end up doing amazing things for the Lord.
Brenda: What words of advice do you have for other single women who want to live with purpose now and not wait for marriage to start their lives?
Katie: My advice would be to stop worrying about what could be and relish in what is. I say that as someone who is amazing at playing the “What If?” game. I can play it like a champ about the good things and the bad things that could happen in my life. However, I find that my life is more amazing when I just take it one day at a time. When I turned 25, I made a list of 25 things to do in the next 25 years because I felt like I hadn’t accomplished anything in the first 25 years of my life. Just 4 and 1/2 years into the next 25 years I found that I’ve done 7 of them without intentionally trying to ‘cross things off the list’. Remember that your life has already begun, these times will never come again, and there’s a difference between purposefully holding off marriage and waiting for marriage. Just because you’re waiting for marriage doesn’t mean you can’t use these years for the greatest benefit. Crochet a blanket, learn how to cook, choose some DIY projects, drive across the country, binge watch a series on Netflix, organize your books by color and read them all, do anything! Whether you get married or not, spend your time in ways worth sharing with others. Be someone you’d want to date!
Brenda: And some fun stuff!
Brenda: Which do you like best – Facebook or Twitter or Instagram or Pinterest (or all of it!)?
Katie: I enjoy all of them for different reasons – Facebook to keep up with people, see pictures of friends and family and especially their kids; Twitter for Pope Francis, Instagram for sharing pictures that just seem to be put out there, and Pinterest for keeping track of all of the fun recipes, DIY projects, crafty things, and more that I want to make!
Brenda: What’s your favorite drink?
Katie: I have a few – in order of importance: Coffee with cream, Wine, Water, and for a liquor drink – I would choose White Russians, but I don’t have them very often at all.
Brenda: Where would you want to live the rest of your life – beach or mountains?
Katie: The beach – for me, it’s always the beach!
Brenda: Do you read more fiction or nonfiction?
Katie: I read an even amount of both – I love learning new things so I really enjoy nonfiction – and I love getting lost in a story of fiction.
Brenda: Are you an introvert or extrovert?
Katie: I’m an extrovert in that I receive my energy from being with others. I’m a little concerned about living by myself because of this one fact!
Brenda: What else do we need to know about you? Where can we connect with you online?
Katie: Well, I would love to connect online with all of you! I write on my blog a couple of times a week about the single life, living as a southern girl, and the crazy happens of my life working for the Church. It’s called Waiting for Patience. I’m also on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.