I’m so excited to introduce you to Jessica! Jessica says,
I see this season—however long it might be—as an adventure. I want to thrive during it. I want to travel as far as my budget allows, stay up late having great conversations with as many groups of people as possible, and minister to others as much as I can. Sure, there are some days I yearn for the adventure to end and to settle more predictability, but the Lord always brings me back to seeing the beauty in being untethered.
Jessica is the editor of SingleRoots.com and even though she has lived in several different cities, she presently resides in Nashville. In this interview, Jessica challenges single women in many ways. I encourage you to really heed her words. They’re full of wisdom!
Brenda: First, tell us a little about yourself – your name, age, where you live, and where you grew up.
Jessica: My name is Jessica Bufkin. I’m in my mid-thirties and currently residing in Nashville. For now. You never know where I’ll land next since my job as the editor of SingleRoots.com allows me to work from home. I’m trying to take advantage of this season and the freedom that it affords, so I’ve moved around quite a bit in the past few years.
Of course, my mobility might also be because I grew up on a farm in North Louisiana. I never liked living in the country—although I deeply appreciate it now—and after graduation from college, I headed straight for seminary in the biggest city I knew, Dallas/Fort Worth. After living there for 13 years, I decided to try out a few other cities. Nashville is the latest.
Brenda: Where do you work, and how did you get started in your job?
Jessica: My college friend Ryan and I found ourselves single for far longer than we ever thought we’d be. We had grown so frustrated with the things we read online for singles, as well as in finding our place in the local church. We felt like we had things to say—thoughts to contribute to the conversation on singleness—even though we knew we didn’t have all the answers. But we also knew there were many singles who had things to say, too, and we wanted to create a community where we could all come together and have an honest discussion, yet still challenge each other to steward this season of our lives wisely. So in November of 2011, we launched SingleRoots. Ryan handles the technical and business side of things, and I handle the words. Together, we come up with content ideas, as well as online dating reviews.
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?
Jessica: Oh, I am certain it is God’s calling on my life. This particular job is the most certain I’ve ever been in my life. The story of how it all came together is too long for this space, but if you want to read more about it, you can find it here.
Brenda: What fires you up? What are you most passionate about in your life and in the world?
Jessica: Oh, I get all kinds of fired up about community. I know it’s hard when you’re single to connect with the Body. I’m walking that road right now, trying to find a church home in a new city. And this isn’t my first time.
Singles have a litany of good excuses for not going to church. The list is long and wide and the reasons are valid but we still have to move beyond ourselves and fight to find our place. We were not made to live our lives apart from the Body, and for the single man and woman, this is even more imperative. We can often insulate ourselves so that no one is allowed to speak Truth into our problems. It’s a matter of destruction for the single who does not plant himself or herself in community.
Second to community, for me, is discipleship. I can’t deal with surface-y conversations. I want to know the people I’m in community with—their struggles, their joys, their pain—and I want them to know that every single time, no matter how wonderful or how hard, the answer is always found in Christ. I love teaching and leading small groups but even more, I love walking alongside girls and women and helping them better understand the Word.
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?
Jessica: I love my lot in life. That’s not sugar-coating it. I legitimately love it. Do I want to be married one day? Absolutely. But if I never marry, I won’t feel as if I’m a lesser woman. I am at peace with who I am and who Christ made me to be. I know that if marriage were good for me, then He would give it. I trust in His goodness above all else. Sure, some days it makes me sad, but the truth of the matter is, in my spirit, I know that I don’t want what is not good for me.
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?
Jessica: In the past, yes, I’ve struggled with all of the above. I’ve learned, though, that my thoughts and emotions are closely linked. My emotions are a choice, and I don’t have to be a victim to them. They don’t have to rule me. I can take those thoughts captive and make them obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5).
Because I struggled so deeply with thinking about things too much, Philippians 4:8 became incredibly dear to me: “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” I often have to check myself by asking, “Is it true? Do you know this to be true and right?” And if it’s not, by the help of the Spirit, I have to take those thoughts captive and obedient to Christ.
Brenda: What is your biggest pet peeve about the way single women are perceived?
Jessica: I get so frustrated at the perception of the single woman who is fragile and pining away for her Prince Charming to come along. I am not that girl. Yes, I want to marry a godly man who will lead me and our home, but I am not in a waiting room until he comes along. There is too much work to be done for the Kingdom to be pressing the pause button on my life until I have a partner.
Brenda: Are more of your girlfriends married or single? How do you find authentic friendships as a single woman?
Jessica: I don’t choose my friends based on their marital status. I have both married and single friends, and they both speak into my life in invaluable ways. I do find I sometimes have to work a little harder with some of my married friendships, simply because they have a husband and children and their attention is divided, but that’s understandable.
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?
Jessica: I see this season—however long it might be—as an adventure. I want to thrive during it. I want to travel as far as my budget allows, stay up late having great conversations with as many groups of people as possible, and minister to others as much as I can. Sure, there are some days I yearn for the adventure to end and to settle more predictability, but the Lord always brings me back to seeing the beauty in being untethered.
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?
Jessica: I “beg you to lead a life worth of your calling, for you have been called by God” (Ephesians 4:1, NLT).
Brenda: And some fun stuff!
Brenda: Which do you like best – Facebook or Twitter or Instagram or Pinterest (or all of it!)?
Jessica: Instagram.The whole world is on Facebook now, and I don’t know half of the people I’m connected to on Twitter, so Insta is my social media channel of choice. It allows me to see my friends’ pictures and not have to deal with political or religious rants which, let’s face it, keeps me in a much better mood.
Brenda: What’s your favorite drink?
Jessica: A diet cherry vanilla Dr. Pepper from Sonic. Easy ice.
Brenda: Where would you want to live the rest of your life – beach or mountains?
Jessica: Oh, don’t make me choose. I love them both. Beach in the summertime, mountains in the winter, and Louisiana during crawfish season.
Brenda: Do you read more fiction or nonfiction?
Jessica: I always have a Christian nonfiction book that I read at the end of my personal Bible study time. But as an English major, I also love fiction. I don’t have as much time for it as I used to, so I’ll start craving fiction if I go too long without it. I’ll go on binges and read 3 or 4 back-to-back, and then I won’t have time for a while.
Brenda: Are you an introvert or extrovert?
Jessica: I am a recovering extrovert. It feels like the older I get, the more difficult it is for me to get my energy from a room full of people. I still love being around people, but I also really value my alone time in a way I used to not.
Brenda: What else do we need to know about you? Where can we connect with you online?