While We Wait: A 7 Day Devotional for the Single Woman on Valentine's Day

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2018 E. byBoone LaurenAllE.Rights BooneReserved All Rights Reserved ©2018 by © Lauren DICATION ]

DEDICATION To every woman who has ever felt alone, unloved, or unappreciated.

Š 2018 by Lauren E. Boone All Rights Reserved

CONTENTS Acknowledgments


1 Introduction


2 Let Go


3 Move On


4 Sis, Who are You?


5 Loneliness is Not a Bad Place to Be


6 The Importance of Fellowship


7 Be Still


8 Release and Rely


© 2018 by Lauren E. Boone All Rights Reserved

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Thank you to the black women and girls who have inspired me in some way to write.


“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.�

1 John 4:7-8

© 2018 by Lauren E. Boone All Rights Reserved

Introduction: YOU

Does my stare ever convey the words “I love you?” Have YOU ever wondered where my heart lies when you aren’t here? YOU know, face to face, chest to chest Without that in the midst, what do we have going on? I love you, you know that, but how can I be vulnerable to a selfish, ungrateful, yet intelligent person? You know what I want. Do YOU deserve this? My love, do you deserve that. Why are we here having to play games with each other? This ain't a game of tic tac toe and I'm not in the mood for XOXO Can YOU not see the tug of war I'm in internally over my love for you? The love for me. Time hasn't healed shit Because you won't let me.

November 30th, 2017

After writing this poem I realized I was annoyed with love. I realized that the problem was not with the person identified as “YOU”, but indeed with me, the woman I had become and my attention, or lack thereof that led me to feel such angst. God tells us that love is a gift. A gift that is patient, kind, and is not boastful (1 Corinthians 13). Learning to love is one thing but being willing to love is the gift that we all strive for in relationships. As I reflected, I asked myself, could this poem be the result of me projecting all of the qualities of what love was onto someone else without looking inward to see the love I had been giving myself? What kind of gift was I? Had my focused derailed from being self-aware to the point that my actions were effacing my desire to be a gift of love and receive the same? Chapter 13 in the book of Corinthians, tells us that while love never ends, visions of love do. As women, we fall in love and think, “ok, this is the one”, before ever talking or hearing from God, before ever knowing what we want, before taking in the moment and staying there. 4

I know I am not the only woman who has envisioned a love life based on fantasy and not the reality of the situation. This is something about myself that I have been told before, but when I first was told I was not in a mind frame to accept it about myself. I ignored my gut and the man who was doing his best to love me, for me it was not enough because I, myself, had yet to become the best version of myself. I was the YOU in the poem and I realized there is more work to be done! I allowed my vision of love to lead me to a place of unwarranted complacency and self-neglect. It took walking away broken from a relationship, going back to it, and holding on to the memories for me to finally see that I was not whole. Whole in the sense that I knew I was not the best gift of love because there were matters I had yet to deal with myself. Development is key and should not be rushed. I could not rush a man to love me by demanding it. I had to create that love for myself in order to create a soil for love to grow. Basically, I needed to be alone! So as I wait, I am not just sitting and staring hopelessly (even though I do find myself gazing at the night sky more these days) into the sky for my God loving gift but I am instead working on myself and allowing God to move things into place. By letting go of false realities and being present in the moment, living fearlessly authentic with God every day- I am becoming that godly gift. The time I spend with myself is an endowment to my womanhood and I am learning to be tender with myself. So ladies (and gentlemen), if you find yourselves lonely on this Valentine’s Day, I hope you use this time to bask in the luxury of you! Your divinely self-deserves the attention and love. Singleness is the perfect time to bond with God in a space free of complaint and judgment. Our time spent waiting on the gift of love does not have to be excoriating or envying someone else’s relationship. God is available to you and you are your greatest gift of love!

Take this week to love yourself!

Š 2018 by Lauren E. Boone All Rights Reserved

Let Go Day 1 Hate stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses. Proverbs 10:12

There are people from our past who we will never lose love for. People with whom the memories made together will never fade, and people who we will somehow always have a connection to. However, those are the very people we must be willing to let go of emotionally, physically, financially, and spiritually in order to grow leaps and bounds into our destiny. One of the hardest things I had to do was to “let go� of the idea of what could be and face what really was occurring in terms of my relationship and my own growth. While there were many elements I had to let go of the main one was fear. The fear of having been in a relationship for 2.5 years, thinking this was the one and being caught in a dilemma to stay or go terrified me. Many of us are at the age in life where friends are married, engaged or starting families. However, if you are anything like me you are often experiencing moments of confusion and not wanting to be alone, or even worst, complacent in premature relationships. Premature in the sense that timing is not in our favor. What we have to realize is that our fear is entangled in the maintenance of someone else and not on growth. As single women, our power is in letting go of everything that does not serve us in the present. When can let go without fear or anger we reach a point of being a gift of love and not a burden. This is your time to shine in your own light!

Prayer Dear God, grant me the peace to leave anything not attached to my destiny. I am letting go of any burden and looking forward to trusting the will you have for my life. Amen Š 2018 by Lauren E. Boone All Rights Reserved

Move On Day 2 So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today. Matthew 6:34

When I was 22, I moved from Atlanta, GA to Brooklyn, NY after dealing with a man who could not honor me with a commitment I was worthy of having. When you move, you move with the intention of putting yourself first and not worrying about the person you are supposed to be with, or when that person may appear. As women, we must be willing to fully trust God to move with us on our journeys to the person we are destined to be. Once we have up enough courage to let go of a past love, failed love, toxic love, or dead love we must be willing to move on and to do so gracefully and not hesitantly. Just as Ruth(see the book of Ruth) was willing to travel to a foreign place after the death of her husband, not knowing if she would or would not be able to call her destination home or if she would find a husband. We must be willing and courageous enough to move on just like Ruth did. Trusting in God’s will for our lives requires that we release our life plans into the spiritual realm, given God the full power to intercede and bless us tremendously. One thing I’ve grown to love about the single life is the time I have to make visions with God and the time God takes to help those visions manifest. God does the talking we just have to do the walking.

Prayer Dear God, I’m ready to take the journey. Order my steps and hold my hand. Here I am. Amen

© 2018 by Lauren E. Boone All Rights Reserved

Sis, Who are You? Day 3 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Proverbs 31:30

My fear of being lonely lead me into a deception of love. We must remember not to live life set on how beautiful things appear in the moment. Remember people change and some people have not yet found themselves. Building a relationship on the image of charm or beauty has been written to be short lived. Your intentions and attention can become displaced when you build off of beauty and not substance. As women, there are things that we have to deal be with before we are able to fully be gifts of love to someone else. So, what promotes that longevity of healthy love? It starts with self, and being confident in the woman that you have spent time nurturing. Learn as much about yourself as you can while you can. Before the man. Before the children. Before the career. Before you put anything above you, sis, you have to know who you are and how you operate.

Ask yourself:

What saddens me? Who is God? What brings me the most peace? What pisses me the hell off? When do I need to be by myself? Do I need a therapist? What can I create? How do I like my space? What are my deepest values? What does success look like for you? Where do I want to devote my time?

Prayer Dear God, I look to you, for my strength in this self-love journey. I know you know best, so I’ll take care of me, and you can do the rest. Amen

Find out what fulfills you, so that you are confident in the woman you are when you meet the right man. For he should not have you questioning who you are or what you believe. The reputed proverbs woman is a woman of many talents-hone yours and you will surely attract the right one for you. Š 2018 by Lauren E. Boone All Rights Reserved

Loneliness is Not a Bad Place to Be. Day 4 However, that may be, let each of you lead the life that the Lord has assigned, to which God called you.

1 Corinthians 7:17 Ever since accepting my call to ministry I have feared being lonely. The thought of having unshared memories, not raising children with my person, not being able to dance with that person, or boast over our children frightened me. This all was until one day, I had enough courage to be honest not only with myself but with my pastor. The words, “I’m afraid of being lonely” escaped so freely from my lips, and his response provided all the comfort I would need on my journey. “To be in ministry is to have a certain comfortability with being lonely.” My obedience is for me and no one else, just how my call is for me and not my partner (whoever that might be), but while I wait I cannot and will not worry about the people/person who chooses not to accompany me and neither can you. Being obedient to God’s will for your life will present some lonely moments, and some places are only intended for you to go by yourself. The person that God has for you will have to endure their walk and calling, but what we cannot do is force them to take it with us. Ladies, in our loneliness we get to hear God’s voice, sit with our fears, overcome them, and walk out breathing, living, and thinking differently. Your place of loneliness will not be in vain. It’s for your strength that you learn to embrace the moments of being isolated. Valentine’s Day 2018 is training day!

Prayer Loving God, your grace and love sustains me in this season of loneliness. I trust that my courageousness will allow me to be guided into the loving relationship you’ve design just for me. Amen © 2018 by Lauren E. Boone All Rights Reserved

The Importance of Fellowship Day 5 Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown his great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her. Luke 1: 58

When I moved from Brooklyn to D.C., I was geographically closer to my family and instead of retreating to myself after a breakup I instantly surrounded myself with family, women, and men who I felt comfortable sharing and growing within my new season. God never takes you away from something and leave you hanging, you just have to tap into the place where you are planted. Many times the people who champion us even before the blessing has manifested help us to experience the love of God and get us to see the light from within. Don’t neglect them. We usually meet God alone, but it’s through fellowship that we find God’s love. Intimate relationships don’t necessarily have to be romantic. There is a certain level of joy you experience by sharing certain moments with friends. While we wait for God to deliver on the desires of our heart, in this case, romantic love, we should strengthen the relationships that we do have. The intimate ones that support where we are as single women matter. The relationships that affirm our womanhood and those that support our endeavors, passions, and zest for wanting more in life all matter in our development, embrace them. The lesson we learn from Mary and Elizabeth in the book of Luke is that our relationships with those that love us connect us to our blessings. To be a witness of God’s grace in the lives of other people is a sure enough way to usher in your own blessings!

Prayer Merciful God, I thank you for the people you have surrounded me with. Those who love and adore you. I pray that my life is able to enrich theirs as much as your presence has enriched mine.


© 2018 by Lauren E. Boone All Rights Reserved

Be Still

Day 6 Be still, and know that I am God! I am exalted among the nations, I am exalted in the earth Psalm 46:10

Seasons of waiting require periods of understanding and acknowledgment of who God is and what God can do. God wants us to experience romantic love in our season, but we have to accept that. There were times in the past when I knew what I wanted, and I got it, but did it last? No, because I wasn’t allowing God to be the Jehovah Jireh in my life. I provided for myself and took control of something I had told myself God was handling. I ended up harvesting crop that was out of season for my life. I learned through heartbreak how to be still and wait for God to act first. This is a faith step that I ran from due to my fear of loneliness that kept me entangled in complacency. Think about your own story. Do you allow God to work on your behalf? Have you been impatient with your love life that you have made hasty decisions and then prayed about it? Waiting can be a somberly or lucid experience, for it to be the latter, we must recognize one thing: our strength comes from walking with God, not in front of God. There is always an opportunity for growth when you take your hands off of a situation and allow God to take the lead. The beautiful thing about a spiritual journey is there’s no definite destination! Your journey will always reveal something new for you to be in awe of, and that is what God wants. God is love. Be still and know that God is working in your favor.

Prayer God of light and truth I exalt your name on high for your grace and craftsmanship in my life. I trust you!


© 2018 by Lauren E. Boone All Rights Reserved

Release and Rely

Day 7 That which is, already has been; that which is to be, already is; and God seeks out what has gone by. Ecclesiastes 3:15

The other day, I read a letter I had written to myself in 2013. Throughout the 5 years, I accomplished the things written, and 5 years ago, I thought if I had obtained whatever was written I would reach peak happiness. I chuckled reading the letter. It put into perspective the presence of God through it all. Life is a cycle, a cycle that has already been lived, a cycle may happen again, but joy and peace come from being ready when or if there is a next go around. Thus far in my spiritual journey, I have grown leaps and bounds by enduring God’s love shown through various people and experiences that have helped me to refocus my attention on self and not others. I have become more intentional about my time, my relationships, my spaces and most importantly my energy. I have been able to do that by being real with my hurt, vocalizing it and releasing. In return, I have been able to move lighter and encounter God more. That’s trust. Trusting God will lead you and your emotional baggage to become in tune with the voice of God. And every stop along the journey will present you the space and opportunity to drop off whatever has been dragging you down. That is the beauty of a journey led by God it has no destination. The sole purpose is to live in the moment. Picking up what you need and putting down what you do not need. Live intentionally, loving yourself, enjoying the moments and the ones to come, and learn to release the unnecessary from your life.

Serenity Prayer God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. Reinhold Niebuhr © 2018 by Lauren E. Boone All Rights Reserved


Lauren Boone is a self- proclaim teacher of the heart. She is currently pursuing a dual master’s degree from Howard University, in Washington D.C., in Divinity and Social Work.

Š 2018 by Lauren E. Boone All Rights Reserved

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