Today we’re talking to to Rachel Fogarty! Rachel says:
Build a friendship with God. He is the Author of Life, He is the Author of your story, and you are His beloved. He wants your trust. Give it all to God. You will not be disappointed.
Rachel is 27-years-old and lives in Indiana. What I think is so fun about Rachel’s interview is that she has seven (yes, seven!) siblings! From someone who wanted a lot of children, I think this is awesome! Rachel has taught religious eduction at her church for four years, and she’s involved in the Pro-Life Movement (again, you have my heart here!). You can connect with Rachel on her blog Keeping-It-Real.
Brenda: First, tell us a little about yourself – your name, age, where you live, and where you grew up.
Rachel: My name is Rachel. I’m twenty-seven. I live in Indiana, and grew up in Ohio. I have two loving parents and seven siblings (three brothers and four sisters.)
Brenda: Where do you work, and how did you get started in your job?
Rachel: I work for a locally owned company. I do everything inter-office related (except for accounting). I answer customer email inquiries about our products, write the company newsletter (in which we feature our customers who use our products). I also process quotes and orders, and maintain our Ebay and Amazon accounts. My job came to me through a friend of a friend. My boss at the time was looking for someone to fill my (now) position, and we had a mutual friend who made the connection and helped get me the interview that led to my current job.
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?
Rachel: My job is a good Monday-Friday, 8:30-5:00 job, that is flexible and steady. I definitely think that God has placed me here for the time being, although I don’t see myself working here long-term. Being a single, Catholic Christian has led to many faith-related conversations with my co-workers. They’ve had questions about my beliefs that, for some of them, they have never found an answer for. And through God’s grace, I’m able to answer their questions. Most of my co-workers are Christian. But as far as having a living faith, many of them don’t actually practice faith. So, through conversation, I’ve challenged them to prayer and reliance on God.
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?
Rachel: For a long time when I was a young girl, I wanted to be a flight attendant because I loved the hustle and bustle of people swarming through the airport with places to go and people to see. I also dreamed of getting married and having children. As time passed, my dreams for being a flight attendant diminished, and my hopes for getting married and having a family have become more of my focus. As much as I love being in the world of business, marketing and sales, I hope that when I get married and begin having children (God-willing), that I will either work part-time or be able to stay at home full-time.
Brenda: What fires you up? What are you most passionate about in your life and in the world?
Rachel: I like giving of my time and talent by volunteering in my local community. I love sharing the Gospel with people. I like playing ultimate frisbee and basketball. I also love music. I listen to oldies, country, pop and folk music. And every so often I like listening to classical music. I play piano (I took lessons for 2 ½ years when I was 10). I also LOVE to dance. Give me some cha-cha, waltz or swing dance and you can’t wipe the smile from my face. I took private ballroom dance lessons earlier this year and had a wonderful time!
Brenda: Are you involved in serving in your community or church? What, if any, ministries or organizations are you a part of?
Rachel: I have taught religious education to 5th and 6th graders for going on four years. Ever since college, I’ve been involved with the Pro-Life movement. In college, every Saturday a group of students would drive to Washington DC, which was an hour from our campus, to pray at the abortion clinic. I was part of this group. Although sometimes my tired college student brain needed sleep, so I didn’t participate every weekend. Post-college, I’ve participated in 40 Days for Life, and have continued to be an active part in the Pro-Life movement.
Brenda: Tell us one thing you LOVE about being single and one thing you hate (or your biggest struggle) about being single.
Rachel: One thing I LOVE about being single…..having one schedule to follow. Yes, I thrive on having my daily routine: get up, get ready, go to work, come home, hang out with friends, do laundry, rinse and repeat.
What is my biggest struggle about being single? Actually it’s a lot of little things, like the daily ins and outs that I long to share with my husband. Like cooking together, doing the dishes together, singing in the car together, or working around the house together. I get a tad jealous seeing other couples my age already married and sharing their lives together.
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?
Rachel: Overall, I’m content with being single right now. Yes, there are times when I wanna scream, “Where IS he, Lord??!?” But, I know that God’s timing is not my timing, and that when His timing is right, he will send me my future husband. For the most part, I’m at peace with where I’m at and know that now is just not the time.
Brenda: Do you ever get mad at God because you are single? When bitterness, discontentment, confusion, and even jealousy creep into your mind, how to you deal with it? Do you have a go-to person or scripture verse or something else that helps?
Rachel: Yes, I must admit that, sad but true, I have gotten mad at God because of my singleness. In the moments of frustration when I wonder if my “Mr.” will ever come, I turn to my single women friends, or my family. They know me best, and are good at giving encouragement and support.
Prayer is my go-to even before I go to my family. God more than anyone knows the aches of my single heart. I try to unite my suffering with Jesus’s suffering. HE knows my pain, HE knows my desire for a husband and children. One of my favorite verses is Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
Brenda: How do you deal with loneliness?
Rachel: I have been blessed with encouraging and inspiring family and friends. They help me get through the tough times and are my best support.
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?
Rachel: Oh golly! This kinda made me laugh. I will be the first to admit that I tend to over-analyze. It’s easy to get swept into the “what ifs” of a guy who just asked me out. I could daydream all day long about Mr. Charming. To keep my emotions in check, I try to think about how I’d feel if I had to tell a friend how emotionally attached I’d already become. Yeah, that would be a tad embarrassing. That’s not to say that we shouldn’t think about what direction the relationship might take, but rather to keep things in perspective so as not to get caught in a dreamland that is not only unrealistic but also not fair. We don’t want the guys over-obsessing or becoming over-emotionally attached, so neither should we.
Brenda: What is your biggest pet peeve about the way single women are perceived?
Rachel: It seems as though single women are perceived as being desperate. It’s almost as though there’s a perception that us single ladies will take any single available guy, that we would do anything and everything to find a guy. I recently told one of my co-workers, “I’d rather be single my whole life than rush into a ‘forever unhappy’ marriage.” Like I mentioned above, if now is not God’s timing, I’m okay with that.
Brenda: Do you struggle with finding community in your local church? How do you find community in a world that seems coupled up?
Rachel: Finding community is very . . . how do you say? Tricky. Where to meet like-minded young adults? To me, I’ve often wondered: WHERE. Are. The. GUYS??? Where to go to meet guys? Well, I don’t have a solid answer on that quite yet 🙂
I have groups of friends in town from church and Bible study. Thankfully where I live, there are groups for young adults.. I’ve also gotten involved in the community by volunteering at the local soup kitchen with my Bible study group.
One piece of advice that I like to do, is to get into the practice of making conversation with strangers. It doesn’t hurt. If anything, you boost your self-confidence and your ability to meet new people. When you go to the grocery store, make conversation with the person next to you buying produce. Comment on someone’s excellent choice of ice cream, or if nothing else, smile and make eye contact. People like being noticed, and you will love yourself more for it because you will get smiles in return.
Brenda: Are more of your girlfriends married or single? How do you find authentic friendships as a single woman?
Rachel: Most of my girlfriends are single, and a few are married. When I moved into my current city after graduating from college several states away, I had a hard time finding friends. I had gone to college and then moved back towards home for work. Most of my close friends were either still in college, or had moved back to their hometowns too. It was a hard transition, but I’ve kept in touch with my closest friends from college and we catch up on the phone every few months. It was a hard transition to watch some of my single friends get married, and to see how our lives drifted apart for a while. Yet, we still hang out (of course!) because there is still so much COMMON GROUND. We still share the same values, interests, hobbies, etc. and we still enjoy hanging out for “girls’ night.” Keep your friends, both single and married. You’d want them to do the same for you.
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?
Rachel: My secret is to nurture and sustain friendships within your family and friends. Hands down, I would not be where I am today without my family, friends and most importantly, my friendship with God through prayer. From the time I was very young, to present day, I’ve turned to prayer for everything. In college, my dorm was not far from the campus chapel, and I would stop by the chapel nearly every day to visit with God. Those moments are what helped get me to where I am today.
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?
Rachel: Build a friendship with God. He is the Author of Life, He is the Author of your story, and you are His beloved. He wants your trust. Give it all to God. You will not be disappointed.
Brenda: And some fun stuff!
Brenda: Which do you like best – Facebook or Twitter or Instagram or Pinterest (or all of it!)?
Rachel: Facebook & Pinterest
Brenda: What’s your favorite drink?
Rachel: Raspberry smoothie or Pinot Grigio.
Brenda: Where would you want to live the rest of your life – beach or mountains?
Rachel: Mountains, hands down.
Brenda: Do you read more fiction or nonfiction?
Brenda: Are you an introvert or extrovert?
Rachel: Introvert with extroverted tendencies – I enjoy being with people more than I enjoy solitude.
Brenda: What’s something quirky about you?
Rachel: I have studied four languages: English, French, Italian and Latin. (I hope to become fluent in French.)
Brenda: What else do we need to know about you? Where can we connect with you online?
Rachel: I blog regularly at Keeping-It-Real.