Stop Living in the Waiting Room
A Letter from Emma Fradd
(Click on the letters to enlarge)
Three years ago my brother wrote a blog and titled it, 'There Isn’t Someone Out There For Everyone, and Yes, You Might Die Alone.'
The blog spoke about the idea of a soul mate, and how there’s no real biblical reason to believe in this, essentially it was a bit of a wake up call.
Wow. I felt 5/10 offended at the time and tried to suppress the blog in my memory because it just couldn’t be true!
“Matt doesn’t know what he’s bloody talking about, my desires are too strong!”
…I wasn’t willing to accept that I might be single forever.
Now I’m 27, going on 28 and I’m feeling different about it.
Mind if I externally process with you?
I live in sunny Brisbane, Australia, and I know too many beautiful single Catholic women like Justine and Danielle and Viv and Karen and Sarah. I used to live in Canada and I knew so many BEAUTIFUL single ladies there too like Danica and Jasmine and Mary and Mary B. Sometimes I would stare at them and wonder…why? They are literally some of the most beautiful women I’ve ever met.
“How are you still single?”
That question really doesn’t make you feel any better, does it?
“I don’t bloody know, can we talk about other things? Like what God’s actually doing in my life right now?”
Another banger is, “Where are all the Catholic men?”
Nah I’ll pay that one. Seriously, I DON’T KNOW WHERE THEY ARE? I can’t remember the last time I had a crush on someone. I want to say Easter, 2 years ago, and I wasn’t even in Australia. (Is that sad?)
That desire to be married really burns sometimes hey? Because there is nothing you can do to change it. I mean you could online date? People much holier than me do that I’m sure.
Think about it. If Jesus appeared to you right now and said to you, “you won’t get married. You will remain single for the rest of your life and will glorify me that way."
After a good 7 hour cry, would you not wanna shake off the yuck and start figuring out what this life looks like? and fighting for that glory of the God you love?
Now I’m not saying if you’re single now, that’s how it will be forever. But I am talking about shifting your thinking. Perhaps a more positive/productive way to consider my brother's blog title is, “God might not plan for you to get married, this just means he has something more incredible in store for you, So what are you going to do in the meantime?”
Two months ago My friend Renée threw “Battlefield of the Mind” (by Joyce Meyer) at me and said ‘read it’. I did, all through Lent actually, what timing! Thanks, Renée.
Joyce talks about how; the way we think affects how we act. The book is also dripping with scripture in relation to the renewing of the mind. It’s frigging amazing. I had no idea the Bible had so much to say about how I think.
Have you ever thought about, what you think about? it’s incredible what you learn when you start to listen to the sorts of things you tell yourself.
Regarding waiting, Joyce says that we spend more time waiting than receiving, so you might as well enjoy the wait!
I’ll tell you what I was doing before I read this book. In the wait, I was daydreaming (I gave up daydreaming about boys for Lent), I was letting friends show me their Facebook friends-list of single guys they knew. In every conversation I had with every friend at every catch-up, I was complaining about being single. I was allowing the topic to dominate my morning prayer times and I was missing other things that Jesus was trying to say to me. Do you see the pattern? This thinking was affecting my behavior. I was receiving the sacraments with a grudge. I had morphed our God of Love into a version of him that was playing games with me, or holding something back from me, or not listening to me. big WHOOPS. How long ago did I stop praying to the real God?
"In the wait, I was daydreaming (I gave up daydreaming about boys for Lent), I was letting friends show me their Facebook friends-list of single guys they knew. In every conversation I had with every friend at every catch-up, I was complaining about being single. I was allowing the topic to dominate my morning prayer times and I was missing other things that Jesus was trying to say to me. Do you see the pattern? This thinking was affecting my behavior."
Years ago, If I heard someone talk about positive thinking I would probably have slapped them. But it’s because I was addicted to worrying, and putting myself down internally, so the concept didn’t even seem realistic.
We literally need to take every thought captive (2 Cor 10:5) …every! single! one!
We talk so much about the conversion of the heart, but what about the conversion of the mind?
You and I literally have the mind of Christ. In fact, we have a right to it, we’ve inherited it because Jesus bought and paid for it, so whether you like it or not, it’s there. Let’s tap into it!
I saw this meme on Facebook last year, of a woman asleep in her bed, the caption was “To fall asleep, you have to pretend to be”. I thought man, that’s too funny. Every night, everyone around the world crawls into their bed and fakes being asleep until it actually happens!
In the same way, if we reframe our thinking, choosing to be positive when we’re not; we will start to be women of the Resurrection.
Our God is for us, not against us (Rom 8:31), God will be found by us (Jere 29:14) God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind (2 Tim 1:7)
Or, personalize it:
God, I have such a strong desire to be with a man, to have a husband/family, I know you feel and hear this desire, I trust that you will do something with this desire, I trust that you are leading me to live the life best for me that you have fashioned. God it’s hard, it’s bloody hard, but I can unite my sufferings with yours, I surrender this to you, help me not to dwell on what I don’t have because I don’t want to miss what I do have and what you’re giving me right now.
…Not suppressing it. Not taking my desires to every Tom, Dick and Harry at the club on a Saturday night; But being real with God and inviting him into that space, every day if I have to, but not dwelling there for the entirety of the prayer time either.
I think for me, if I feel negative (Sad, hurt, annoyed), being ‘positive’ can actually feel so fake.
Truth? - our God is positive.
And I’m sorry Emma, but thats the reality He has for me, God wants me to live in the Resurrection, he doesn’t end the story at the crucifixion. Once I get on board with that, I’m going to enjoy life a lot more with Him, instead of shutting him out and making a little ‘woe is me’ land.
If we chose to reframe how we think, it will affect how we act and ultimately, we’ll become much more bearable people. Not only that, personally I have experienced the world opening up to me in a way it hasn’t before. Being single is actually less of a worry to me now, because I’m investing in beautiful friendships and incredible opportunities with my band and music, I can be present to my ministry, my family and whatever God throws my way. The biggest way I have experienced this is in the little things. What would have in the past, crushed my mood and made me stress-cry, is now being fought against by the mind of Christ, i'm more patient with myself, and it is so freeing.
"Being single is actually less of a worry to me now, because I’m investing in beautiful friendships and incredible opportunities with my band and music, I can be present to my ministry, my family and whatever God throws my way. The biggest way I have experienced this is in the little things. What would have in the past, crushed my mood and made me stress-cry, is now being fought against by the mind of Christ, i'm more patient with myself, and it is so freeing."
Now, I totally failed in this yesterday. But I’m trying my hardest not to stay down, to keep pushing through.
“There’s no drive-through to a break-through. You’ve gotta work-through.” - Joyce Meyer.
The more you feed anything, the stronger it gets.
The less you feed anything, the weaker it gets.
Let’s start feeding our mind of Christ with positive, fruitful thoughts to influence positive, fruitful behaviour. We have been given the spirit of self-control (2 Peter 1:6) little by little, we can grow our mind of Christ, with Him.
You and I might not get married. Let’s swallow this. But thank you JESUS there is more to life.
Don’t, and I say this to myself as well, don’t live your life in a waiting room, experiencing whatever falls into your lap (trashy waiting room magazines), what Pope Francis calls “absolutizing free time”, listening for your name to be called by a certain person in a certain way. God is calling your name right now. Start choosing to say yes to your name call, one small moment at a time, slowly renewing your mind and living in the Resurrection, living life to the full (John 10:10).
I’ll say a prayer for you, and all the single ladies, I’m on my way to Adoration now before work,
Love ya guts,
Tell us a little bit about yourself!
My name is Emma Fradd, i'm 28 years old, living in Brisbane Australia. I work full time as a Recruiting Coordinator for NET Ministries Australia and it's the best job in the world, I work with the best people in the world! 2 examples, (if you have time for them)
Earlier this week me and my boss ate blueberry yogurt in one of our meetings and he gave me boy advice, and yesterday with half an hour in the workday to go, Hannah comes into our office and says "I need energy for the last 30 mins!" so we had a 4 minute-give it all you've got-dance party, and resumed as normal. But mostly, I love the people I work with because they are very passionate about the church, and being the best version of who you are as a part of that church in the world. We are all working together to transform the youth culture in Australia by training up volunteer young adult teams who do 10-month missions in our schools, parishes and universities each year. They are some of the most authentic people I know, it's truly a blessing to be in their presence as often as I am.
I am also in a fairly successful Dance Pop band called Heaps Good Friends that has recently toured Australia twice. The fella's in my band are not Christian and our music is not Christian, but they are 2 of my favorite people and one of my favorite things to do is to write music/play music. I also enjoy listening to my favorite band Haim and figure out their drum patterns, to explore this beautiful city/Country I live in with friends, mostly eating all the food!, going to the beach, going out for a cocktail and a boogie, runs by the river, daydreaming about when I'll see my nieces and nephews again (they live all the way in America!) , going to Meyer and relishing in free perfume sprays, stopping to listen to a kookaburra or to watch the Brisbane sunset.
Leading worship is something I am very drawn to also, I love nursing a cup of Port, or coffee, and I will never say no to some WWE Wrestling. (It's not fake it's scripted!?)
As a single person, where is God calling you to right now?
If I don't think about this question too deeply, It's going to my job 5 days a week and giving the best I've got. Spending time with him in prayer daily, visiting the sacraments frequently, and putting love and life into my friendships and family.
If I think a little deeper, which I've been trying to do lately. I think he might be calling me to revive parish music. I don't know the scope of that yet, but wow. I get so much life from going home to my little country town, or to a little mass here in Brisbane where they usually play cd's, and bringing them my experience and heart in leading worship as the Mass. What a privilege.
Also, I reckon he's calling me to seek out other musicians who perhaps aren't 100% confident in their craft, to give them lessons, build them up and bring them to a stage whether that be the Lord's table or a bar down the street.
Can you share any advice that’s helped you stay focused on the present moment and embracing single life?
Gosh. Haha, probably to stop reading this interview right now. Set your phone timer on 5 minutes, close your eyes, be still, and tell Jesus to remind you how much he loves you. I'll do it too...
Doing that daily will put you in touch with the one who will actually lead you where he wants you. For me anyway, I can feel so productive by being distracted. As my brother puts it, "I'd rather spend an hour in a Catholic bookstore being distracted than sitting in Adoration for an hour alone with myself."
Having single buddies who get it has been a huge blessing for me, practicing rehearsing thought patterns that you already know are true or need to start acting out of, "God Loves me, God has a plan for me, God has a purpose for me", if we truly believed that we wouldn't be so restless. I know I wouldn't!
On top of that. something I've found helpful is to find your sweet spot. Find the thing that you can do that brings life to others, and practice it regularly. We all have gifts God intended for his glory and our fulfillment. Doing things like taking the Gallops Strength Finder, setting up meetings with a mentor or Spiritual Director, being proactive in learning your craft is imperative. The thought of what does God want me to do for the rest of my life? Is pretty terrifying to me, and it's something I don't know yet haha, But I do know, through doing mission work, prayer and reading books on this stuff, that the gift he wants me to use right now, is music, and I can use that gift right now to build up his kingdom.
Where can we keep up with you?
Sure thang! Twitter and Instagram handles are @emmafradd. Also, If you go to my youtube, you can find a playlist of worship I did recently with my friend Justine here!
Fill in the blank
My favorite liturgical holiday is…
A saint I identify with the most is…
St Mary Of Egypt
My favorite quote is…
I literally put up about 34 quotes on my wall last week, so will you let me list two? Hehe.
“Out of the darkness of my life, so much frustrated, I put before you the one great thing to love on earth: the Blessed Sacrament. There you will find romance, glory, honor, fidelity, and the true way of all your loves on earth, and more than that: Death." JRR Tolkien
"The Lord is not going to do everything for us in this life. We can’t just find someone to lay hands on us and pray for us to be set free from all our bondage. There is a part we must play with our minds and wills. It takes a combination of faith and action." Joyce Meyer
I feel most at peace when…
I'm laughing at my dad's aggression towards televised Australian Football OR when I'm believing everything that God says about me.
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