Today I introduce you to Liv! Liv says:
I hope to be a wise wife not a young one.
There is so much wisdom in Liv’s interview! First of all, I’m intrigued by Liv because she lives in New York City. I consider myself a city girl who loves big cities, and yet I’ve never been to New York City. Also, Liv is in her thirties. I love single women in their thirties who are living passionately for Jesus. I was single for the first part of my thirties, and I often wonder if I would have grown in maturity and wisdom like Liv has. May this interview bless you abundantly!
Brenda: First, tell us a little about yourself – your name, age, where you live, and where you grew up.
Liv: My name is Olivia but I prefer Liv. I’m 34 years old and live in New York City. I’ve lived in NYC for most of my life except for a four-year period when I went to high school in Connecticut.
Brenda: Where do you work, and how did you get started in your job?
Liv: I’m currently working as a secretary for a major hospital. I got my job through word of mouth.
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?
Liv: I’ve struggled with trying to figure out God’s calling for my life. While my current job is not my calling, I’ve come to learn that nothing gets wasted in God’s economy! I’ve learned skills here that I hope will help me to open up my own business in the near future. Ultimately, my calling is to become a writer, encouraging others in their faith and also in their singleness.
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?
Liv: As a young girl, my dream was to become an artist. I never wanted to be a teacher, a doctor or a lawyer. I found my happiness in creating “works of art” for whoever I could give them out to. Getting married and having children wasn’t something that I envisioned at such a young age. Once I started reading romance novels in the 7th grade, I started to have that desire for a fairytale, whirl wind romance that would lead to my own happily ever after.
Brenda: What fires you up? What are you most passionate about in your life and in the world?
Liv: Encouraging other women in their singleness. Honestly, this has just recently clicked in my heart that I can use my singleness to encourage other young women, not only in their singleness, but in other areas of their life as well. It’s so hard when we’re constantly bombarded with messages that being in a relationship is the better option, yet there are so many scriptures that speak of benefits of singleness. I believe I’m living that out right now as I encourage young women to learn who God is and who they are in Christ.
Brenda: Are you involved in serving in your community or church? What, if any, ministries or organizations are you a part of?
Liv: I’m a youth leader at my church serving teens and young adults. I lead the teen girls fellowship, which is ages 14-18. I’ve been with them for about two years. I also love being behind the scenes and helping however I can.
Brenda: Tell us one thing you LOVE about being single and one thing you hate (or your biggest struggle) about being single.
Liv: I love being available to young women who need encouragement. Having the time to meet with them face-to-face on short notice or over the phone late at night is something that I would have a harder time doing if I were married and definitely if I had children.
One thing I struggle with about being single is not knowing whether this is for a season or for a lifetime. But I’ve come to realize that if I had that knowledge, I’d probably be counting down the days until he came. My focus would be on meeting “the One” rather than depending on Christ and finding my satisfaction from Him first.
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?
Liv: It’s been a long and often times painful process, but I’ve gotten much more content in my heart about being single. It’s taken some falls and moments of desperation for me to realize that singleness isn’t a punishment from God but it’s actually His mercy. If I had gotten married with the amount of low self-esteem that I had, not feeling good enough, and wanting a man to fill the holes in my heart, I would have been more of a burden than a blessing.
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?
Liv: Sometimes I do. It can feel like I’ve done something wrong in my life or I’m just not good enough in general, which is something that I’ve struggled with throughout my life. God’s been showing me that we’re in a fight against our emotions. I know I can be easily overcome with negativity and that the biggest battle fought is in our minds.
The Holy Spirit has been reminding me of James 1:17– Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. It’s such a great reminder that when God has something for us, He will give it to us openly and without any shame or doubt being attached to it.
Brenda: How do you deal with loneliness?
Liv: By remembering that I’m not. Just because I don’t have a boyfriend or a husband doesn’t disregard all the other amazing people in my life. I can reach out to them and also wherever I’m at reach out to God and be honest with Him. He’s not surprised by my feelings. He’s my Comforter!
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?
Liv: I don’t obsess about guys or dating. I think as I’ve gotten older that has mellowed out within me. In high school and college, I definitely did. But because guys can be kind of scarce in the church, I do find myself getting attached quickly if I like someone. I’m still learning to deal with my emotions and get to the root of why I do that. I’m learning that I hold on for dear life because one, marriage is a desire of my heart, two, I’m looking for validation and for someone to be like, “Wow, she’s awesome!” and three, feeling like I’ve overlooked in the romance department way too often has led to me being desperate for love. God in His mercy has protected me from a lot of bad experiences and regrets. Looking back, I can only express gratitude to Him because He really knows me better than I know myself.
Brenda: What is your biggest pet peeve about the way single women are perceived?
Liv: I would say that my biggest pet peeve is that once you’ve hit 30, you’ve reached your expiration date. If God can open up Sarah’s womb way past her “prime” years, then God can bring my husband at any age. I hope to be a wise wife not a young one.
Brenda: Do you struggle with finding community in your local church? How do you find community in a world that seems coupled up?
Liv: In my church community, they are supportive of singles, which has been a blessing. It’s allowed me to find healing in that area and embrace what the Bible has to say about singleness instead of feeling as though I have to fit a mold that I have no control over.
Brenda: Are more of your girlfriends married or single? How do you find authentic friendships as a single woman?
Liv: I’m blessed to have a best friend who is also single. We’ve gone through the ups and down, the possibility and the loss of relationships. Having someone to share that with has been an awesome blessing and I couldn’t ask for a greater support system in her.
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?
Liv: The Lord has brought a story from the Bible into my life repeatedly, and it’s the story about the woman at the well who had an encounter with Jesus. He had a divine encounter with a woman who avoided the judgmental glances of others. He loving confronted her about how she was living and instead of condemning her, He spoke words of life to her. I have never been married, but I’ve tried to fill that hole in my heart with other idols. Jesus spoke to her brokenness and told her that if she drank from His living waters, she would never thirst again. Sometimes that need for marriage can feel like an unquenchable thirst and we can grow bitter and resentful of God for not satisfying it but He showed the woman at the well (and us as well), that He is all things to us at all times.
My sense of worth, the meaningfulness of my life, is not determined by my marital status but by the life of surrender and obedience I live for Christ, which is done out of love. Whatever He gives, He gives in abundance and instead of looking at the lack of things or desires unfilled in my life, I need to look at all the blessings He has given to me.
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?
Liv: Your life has already started. Dream big dreams and don’t be afraid to pursue them! Travel, go on mission trips, explore hobbies and secret passions. God is not confined by what we think He can do. The Bible is full of stories of Him breaking confines and doing awesome things. If He can do it for them, He can do it and will do it for you as well!
Brenda: And some fun stuff!
Brenda: Which do you like best – Facebook or Twitter or Instagram or Pinterest (or all of it!)?
Liv: I love all of it!
Brenda: What’s your favorite drink?
Liv: Mocha frappes
Brenda: Where would you want to live the rest of your life – beach or mountains?
Liv: Definitely the beach but I’ve also been dreaming of the Scottish coast (I’ve read so many books that were set there yet I’ve never actually been).
Brenda: Do you read more fiction or nonfiction?
Liv: I read more fiction but I also read nonfiction.
Brenda: Are you an introvert or extrovert?
Liv: Total introvert and completely accepting of it.
Brenda: What else do we need to know about you? Where can we connect with you online?