Today we kick-off our 31 Days of Interviews with Single Women. Read the names of all the single women I will be interviewing throughout this series in this post – 31 Days of Interviews with Single Women Making a Difference.
I’m so excited to introduce to you today Rebecca Halton! Rebecca writes,
I’ve finally reached a point of happy and willing surrender. I’ve tried almost every “trick,” in the single-Christian-woman book, and now I couldn’t be happier about leaving it up to God and His timing. I need it to be all Him, because I’ve seen what happens when it’s all me!
Rebecca is a 30 year-old professional freelance writer and published author. Her story includes having an affair with a married man in her twenties which led to her first book Words from the Other Woman. Rebecca also offers coaching services to fellow writers (me being one of them!!). Let’s read more about Rebecca!
Brenda: First, tell us a little about yourself – your name, age, where you live, and where you grew up.
Rebecca: Hi single sister, I’m Rebecca Halton! I love that I’m 30 and currently living in Nashville, but because I was a military kid I grew moving approximately every two to three years. After a series of a few more relocations on my own, I’m happily here in Nashville for—I hope—a while.
Brenda: Where do you work, and how did you get started in your job?
Rebecca: I’m a professional freelance writer and published author, who also offers encouragement and resources for fellow writers! And I’m a bit of an accidental businesswoman: I earned my master’s in 2011 and graduated right into a rough economy…
…After a series of odd jobs—and a stint back at my parents’ house—I got tired, got creative, grabbed my bootstraps, and began learning how to leverage my education and past professional experience into the job I was born to do (write, create, and encourage)!
Brenda: What fires you up? What are you most passionate about in your life and in the world?
Rebecca: I’m passionate about empowering other women—married or single—to rise up into more of their God-given callings. In my early 20s, as a single Christian woman, I made a series of mistakes that resulted in an affair with a married man. Having been redeemed from that by Jesus through repentance, I want to help other women discover and enjoy God’s plans for their lives—regardless of their pasts.
Brenda: Tell us one thing you LOVE about being single and one thing you hate (or your biggest struggle) about being single.
Rebecca: I love the flexibility I have in my schedule, though that flexibility isn’t a “blank check” from God to just do whatever I want. (I think that’s a common misconception among singles.) And it’s not that the flexibility is better or worse—I truly believe that what married women lose in flexibility, they gain in other areas and blessings.
My biggest struggle right now is actually jadedness. It’s true that I genuinely enjoy being single. But I also know that it can be hard to trust that the right man could be out there. (Or trust my own judgment to recognize him…says a retired “missionary dater”.)
Brenda: Do you ever get mad at God because you are single?
Rebecca: I think more so than God, I’ve battled moments of being mad at myself! Sure, there have been times I’ve cried and asked God why something’s happened (or not), but more often I look back and occasionally wish I had made different choices in the first place.
In hindsight, dating and singleness in my 20s was pretty turbulent, rooted in weak boundaries and a lot of insecurity or fear. But instead of beat myself up with “shoulda, coulda, woulda,” I try to let it motivate me instead to make wiser choices in the future.
Brenda: How do you deal with loneliness?
Rebecca: I’ll tell God about it, and I try to stay away from the Hallmark Channel! (laughs) But seriously, it’s not a question of if loneliness will strike at some point—but when and how you’ll respond. For me, that might also include texting one of my best single friends. We’re in similar seasons, so she can relate, but—this is important—I can always count on her to point me back to God or the Word.
She comforts, but she doesn’t support wallowing. As single women, it’s really important that we be strategic about whom we invite to speak into our loneliness. Confiding in the wrong person can just add to the weight of your wait. (P.S. Marriage doesn’t mean you’ll never feel lonely again, so you might as well learn to deal with it constructively!)
Brenda: What is your biggest pet-peeve about the way single women are perceived?
Rebecca: That our accomplishments aren’t as significant or celebratory—or our needs aren’t as real. It does peeve me that earning a master’s or launching my business didn’t garner the same excitement or support, as when girlfriends have launched weddings or pregnancies. I don’t want to discount the unique challenges of married women, or single moms, but there isn’t much tangible support for single women without kids. At all.
To be fair, I don’t think it’s ever been better or easier to be a single woman in America, in terms of opportunities, credibility and independence. But with that comes unprecedented needs and degrees of pressure or responsibility. We are a unique niche within the Church that it (at large) is overlooking in its programming and prioritization.
There’s college-women’s ministry, married-women’s ministry, mom’s ministry, and single-mom’s ministry. But it’s almost like the Church just waits for us to fall into one of those categories: go to college, get married, or have kids. Anything in between, and we’re a bit more “second-class,” or get clumped into general women’s ministry or the small-group system.
This is a risky oversight, in my opinion, considering the statistics of how much longer women in the country and Church are voluntarily waiting to get married. And I suspect it could even be related to the statistics of young members leaving churches, too.
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?
Rebecca: My mistakes! (laughs) No, really! Through a series of choices and frustrating results, I’ve finally reached a point of happy and willing surrender. I’ve tried almost every “trick,” in the single-Christian-woman book, and now I couldn’t be happier about leaving it up to God and His timing. I need it to be all Him, because I’ve seen what happens when it’s all me!
I’d also add that another one of my secrets is learning to do things alone! I go eat meals (yes, in public) by myself. I’ll even go to movies by myself. Now, when it’s a question of safety, that’s different. I try to avoid hiking alone, and if you see me running alone at night, please stop because it probably means I’m being chased! (laughs)
But way too many single women aren’t enjoying their singleness, because they’re afraid of what people might think if they’re seen alone. They’re afraid of what it might suggest about their worth as a person, if they’re alone. Or, honestly, they’re codependent on other people.
And that in itself has implications that are best addressed before dating or getting married (because it influences whom you’ll attract and choose).
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?
Rebecca: I would remind them that life has already started. Their lives have already started, so they might as well enjoy living them! I’d also share with them the same advice Author and Speaker Pam Farrel gave me a few years ago, which helped me tremendously. I never forgot her encouragement, that the best way to meet the best guy for you, is when he’s brought alongside you while you’re already following and enjoying your calling.
Wait for the guy who fits and “gets” (supports and is attracted to) your calling; don’t fit your calling to get a guy.
And even if there isn’t a guy for you (some of us will be single for life), I assure you there is still adventure and purpose, love and joy, to behold—because our Father is full of good and perfect gifts, and plans that are greater than we could fathom.
So—if this is you (like it was me)—it’s time to uncross your pouting arms, open your hands, so you can receive more of the gifts and plans He has for you now, not just if/when you get married.
Brenda: And some fun stuff!
Brenda: Which do you like best – Facebook or Twitter or Instagram or Pinterest (or all of it!)?
Rebecca: I’m a “F.I.T.” girl—Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Brenda: What’s your favorite drink?
Rebecca: I’d buy kombucha by the caseful if I could. Oh, wait, I have!
Brenda: Where would you want to live the rest of your life – beach or mountains?
Rebecca: The mountains, but with a view of the water.
Brenda: Do you read more fiction or nonfiction?
Rebecca: Nonfiction, and usually inspirational biographies or business and faith books.
Brenda: Are you an introvert or extrovert?
Rebecca: I tell people I’m a friendly introvert, because I like people, and I can strike up a conversation with just about anyone—but I recharge through solitude or my closest friendships, I like quiet and space, and I actually don’t like being a focal point in social situations.
Brenda: What’s something quirky about you?
Rebecca: I can be a total goofball: I love to laugh, am a sucker for puns and quips, and that’s so necessary because I can also easily be intense and deep. It’s easy for me to become emotionally invested in serious issues, so the goofiness is a good counterweight.
Brenda: What else do we need to know about you? Where can we connect with you online? Please share your business, ministry, books you’ve written, etc.
Rebecca: I love connecting daily with fellow singles and other writers on Facebook and Twitter. I also share faith, fun, and fabulous ideas for writers there, and at RebeccaHalton.com (where you can also learn more about my first book Words from the Other Woman).