I’m so excited to introduce you to Rebekah! Rebekah says,
As long as I’m a single woman with purpose, I’m completely satisfied. The doubts and discontent come creeping in when I get so bogged down in the mundane that I lose sight of the grand vision. God has a purpose for me, and I don’t need to be married for Him to fulfill that.
Rebekah is a 23-year-old “starving artist”. No, she’s not starving, but she is pursuing writing career while working in a restaurant waiting tables. Coming from someone who was in a job she disliked for many years, I think this is awesome and I always encourage single women to do what they’re passionate about now! Rebekah is also the author of the book Beyond Waiting: Redefining the Purpose of Singleness. I can relate to so many of Rebekah’s words in this interview – (I even vacation at Fripp Island!). So let’s get started . . .
Brenda: First tell us a little bit about yourself – your name, age, where you live, and where you grew up.
Rebekah: My name is Rebekah Snyder and I am twenty-three years old. After spending nearly five years in Virginia, I recently moved back in to my rural Ohio childhood home. Living with my parents was supposed to be temporary, as I only wanted to move back to the area, but my mother has managed to convince me that it would be silly for me to be paying rent at this transitional point in my life. So far it’s working for me, but we’ll see how long it lasts, as my heart hasn’t fully settled into being back in Ohio yet.
Brenda: Where do you work, and how did you get started in your job?
Rebekah: After six, miserable weeks of unemployment (seriously, who knew it was that hard to get a job?), my desperation drove me to a town a little farther out than my hometown. The restaurant was the last stop on my circuit of application drops, but I knew the moment I walked in the door that this was where I wanted to be. The owner sat down and talked with me that day and, next thing I know, I’m a waitress.
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?
Rebekah: The waitressing gig is just a day job that supports my habit—my writing habit, that is. I’m a storyteller by nature, and my dream is to be able to spend my days turning those stories into books. I’m currently pursuing the possibility of publication with my first Young Adult fantasy novel.
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?
Rebekah: I had decided by the time I was eight years old that I was going to be both a mama and a missionary. After a brief stint in missions, God called me forth to other places, but I’m still hoping the mama dream will be fulfilled sometime in the future.
Brenda: What fires you up? What are you most passionate about in your life and in the world?
Rebekah: It feels like the answer to this question should be a big, earth-shattering thing, but thanks to a young writer named Hannah Brencher (and especially this article, “You Get to Lay Down Your Armor Too“), I’m learning that it doesn’t have to be. Because I’m finding it’s the little things that make the biggest impact. And while shaping the world does come through big efforts, it also comes through touching the hearts of a cherished few, and touching them well. And while I used to think I wanted to be able to wrap the whole world up in my arms, I’m finding that I can’t. And that is okay.
What I am really passionate about now is gathering just a few that I can hold and love with all that is within me. I want to be a home to them, even if it is only for a season. I want to be the safe place they can come when the world rocks crazy. Because while I may not be able to make this whole world better, I can make it a better place for them. And that would be enough for me.
Brenda: Are you involved in serving in your community or church? What, if any, ministries or organizations are you a part of?
Rebekah: The most dreaded part of moving… While I’ve been searching for community, I unfortunately haven’t found mine yet. It’s strange that not having a ministry outlet can be more draining than spending your every Sunday morning pouring your heart into a dozen middle school students, but that’s the way it has worked out for me. Hopefully I’ll find my place soon.
Brenda: Tell us one thing you LOVE about being single and one thing you hate (or your biggest struggle) about being single.
Rebekah: This is such a funny question. As if I have anything to compare it to, or know for certain what I would lose should I ever relinquish my single status. I guess I love that I can spend entire days holed up in my room writing without having to worry about things like cooking. The flexible schedule is definitely a perk.
The struggle? God made us relational beings, giving us the desire for companionship. Sometimes it’s hard to live with that desire when the fulfillment doesn’t seem to be anywhere on the horizon.
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?
Rebekah: As long as I’m a single woman with purpose, I’m completely satisfied. The doubts and discontent come creeping in when I get so bogged down in the mundane that I lose sight of the grand vision. God has a purpose for me, and I don’t need to be married for Him to fulfill that. I’ll admit that in this time of transition and uncertainty, the questions have been more prevalent than they previously have been (or currently should be, for that matter). But when I’m focused on the task at hand, I don’t have time to be discontent. So I guess you could say I’m pretty much at peace with my relationship status 95% of 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 do you deal with it? Do you have a go-to person or scripture verse or something else that helps?
Rebekah: In reading Anything by Jennie Allen, I stumbled upon this quote: “You have to thank God for the seemingly good and the seemingly bad because really, you don’t know the difference.”
I think God has shown that to be true in my life too many times for me to ever be truly mad at Him again (I say “again” because there was a time in my childhood when I had to learn of God’s faithfulness the hard way). Also, I’ve seen enough of the world’s suffering to realize that, if I was going to be mad at God about something, my relationship status seems a petty thing to choose.
That being said, I won’t say I’ve never complained. There was a particular time last year when a fledgling relationship gone wrong inspired a little pity-party (“Kari got John, Katie got Rives, and I got this?”), but I think it helps to have this perspective:
Singleness is not a bad thing—really, it’s not—and I would rather be happily single than unhappily married any day.
Brenda: How do you deal with loneliness?
Rebekah: Loneliness is a part of life. You can have friends and be lonely. You can have family and be lonely. And ladies, believe it or not, you can have a husband and be lonely. Also, lonely days don’t last forever. Hold your chin up and press through.
And if it’s been an exceptionally bad day, I recommend Rock Hudson. I know a lot of people think chick flicks are bad for your emotional health, but when I’m down, I like to end my day with a bowl of ice cream and a little bit of that fifties heart-throb.
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? If so (or if not) how do you deal with your emotions?
Rebekah: Overly attached is my middle name. Okay, so it’s my first name. Seriously, my mama named me Devoted, and that has clung to me something fierce. If we met, I would either accept you as a casual acquaintance or I would throw myself in front of a bus for you. There is no middle ground. There is also no easy recovery.
That applies to dating along with everything else. It hurts like the devil, but what am I going to do? I refuse to stop loving people.
Brenda: What is your biggest pet peeve about the way single women are perceived?
Rebekah: That we are somehow incomplete. A friend of mine once gave an older couple a tour of her house and was told by the well-meaning lady, “What a beautiful home. All it needs is a husband.”
While my friend would be perfectly happy if God sent her a husband, she is also perfectly happy to continue ministering to others as she has been doing very well on her own these last thirty years, thank you very much.
Stop telling us we need to be married, as though it is our chief goal in life. All it does is stir discontent and, yes, even distract us from our true calling.
Brenda: Do you struggle with finding community in your local church? How do you find community in a world that seems coupled up?
Rebekah: Finding community in a world of couples is simple: you befriend married women. My last small group was pretty evenly split between married and single women, and we all got along so well. I think we need to stop creating such a divide between the two. While our singleness may put us in a little bit of a different walk of life, it shouldn’t make us unable to relate to those who are married. Sure, it would be awkward to be the only single in a group of couples, but start a women’s group. You would be amazed at how much fun those can be. I know I was.
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?
Rebekah: There is no secret. You just live in the time and space God has created for you here and now. We try to make it so much harder than it actually is, but that is seriously all it takes. Just live. Pay attention to where God is leading, and get out there.
Brenda: And some fun stuff!
Brenda: Which do you like best – Facebook or Twitter or Instagram or Pinterest (or all of it!)?
Rebekah: I like them all for different reasons. And it seems like I go through spurts where I focus on one more than the others. I like Facebook to keep up with people I know in real life; Twitter to follow other writers and people who inspire me; Instagram because I love pictures; and Pinterest because my imagination gets to run wild on there.
Brenda: What’s your favorite drink?
Rebekah: I’m a consistent water drinker, although I can pretty easily be talked into a Barq’s root beer.
Brenda: Where would you want to live the rest of your life – beach or mountains?
Rebekah: My home away from home is Fripp Island, so I guess you could say I’m a beach girl.
Brenda: Do you read more fiction or nonfiction?
Rebekah: Last year, I read one hundred and nine novels and tried to justify it as work-related research. All right, all right. So it’s an addiction.
Brenda: Are you an introvert or extrovert?
Rebekah: Introvert, but I’m good at playing the extrovert when I want to.
Brenda: What’s something quirky about you?
Rebekah: If I’m going to be honest, I regularly find myself randomly making faces at friends across the room. Also, I have a habit of making a pitiful growling noise at the first person I see in the morning. (I know, it’s weird.
Brenda: What else do we need to know about you? Where can we connect with you online?
Rebekah: Technically, my online place of residence is BeyondWaiting.com, but I’ve taken a little bit of a sabbatical in order to focus more on my fiction writing, so I can’t guarantee you’ll find new content there. However, you are more than welcome to browse the archives. I am the author of Beyond Waiting—a book designed to help young women live a purposeful singleness. It is sold online by Amazon and Barnes & Noble.