I can’t believe I don’t have a baby 


I’m over 40 and I’m Single and childless …and I just can’t believe it. 

Sometimes I am hopeful that might change, sometimes I’m quite at peace and content if it doesn’t, sometimes I’m overwhelmed with the grief and sadness of it – but mostly, I just can’t believe it. 

I just can’t understand how this is the way my life has gone! All I’ve ever wanted to be is a wife and mother. Instead, I continue to experience so many other amazing things that I didn’t expect, or even imagine would be part of my life. I have so many other roles – a friend, an Aunty, a Pastor, an author, a speaker, a leader, a traveller – I love so much about my life. But I just can’t believe I’m not a mum. 

I love babies. I love children. They seem to love me (well most of them). They run to give me hugs, they fall asleep in my arms; they each have their special nicknames, hugs and traditions. I have a well-developed ability to sleep literally anywhere (including standing up – true story) at any time which I am sure would be a handy skill to have as a sleep-deprived new mum. I have a full heart and an empty home.

I am supremely confident of God’s nearness and His love. He leads me, He defends me, He grows me in wisdom and in His grace. He comforts me. He blesses me abundantly. While I completely trust His plans and purposes for my life, I don’t completely understand them. I’m sure He knows what I long for. 

I can’t believe I don’t have a baby. 

My Singleness doesn’t feel like it has an end date. I can marry at any time – and I hold the deep hope that I will on an open hand. There’s a biological reality to my capacity to conceive and carry a child on which the window is rapidly closing, or may have already closed. 

I can’t believe I’m not a mum. 

I think it’s okay to say that out loud. I feel like it’s healthy to express that in context to a greater sense of contentment and peace. Because the sense of disbelief is actually the feeling that rises most regularly. Sometimes it’s so strong it physically arrests me and I literally stop what I’m doing and shake my head – I’m sure I have a confused expression on my face. 

And then? Well, then I take the next step forward into whatever else is happening and whatever else is coming. 

celebrating for singles


I was recently out for birthday milkshakes with a little friend who had just turned 11. We share a love of all things birthday and were talking about that as we wandered the shops. Her main case for the joy of birthdays was that “Christmas and Easter are great but they’re about everybody, your birthday is just about you.” Good call. 

I have 4 reasons I love birthdays. 

  1. I get to be loved on by my friends and enjoy the affirmation and affection of others. 
  2. I get to express my gratitude for the people who share my life. 
  3. There is a chance to reflect on the year that has passed and acknowledge growth, change, successes experienced and challenges faced. 
  4. It’s all fun and cake! There are special meals, outings, singing, and all the joy that comes with celebrating. 

Every person gets that experience once a year. Birthdays are the best!

If you get married, you add two more celebrations to the calendar. Your spouse’s birthday and your wedding anniversary. Two extra opportunities to celebrate the above four things in your home. 

And then, if you have a child you add three more annual celebrations. The child’s birthday, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. Three extra opportunities to celebrate the changes in your home and life, to affirm your love and appreciation for one another, to give cause for a weekend away or a special dinner out; to eat cake and share joy. (And of course, extra birthdays with every additional bundle of joy.)

So, how do we reflect on that for the Single person? 

At the very least, it probably could cause us to consider afresh the significance of a Single person’s birthday for them to both give and receive the affection, gratitude and celebration of another year of life together. 

Perhaps it might also cause us to consider including Singles in celebrations where their place in other’s lives can be affirmed?

Think about the Singles in your world. What do you think this means for them? Maybe it’s worth some consideration or a conversation.  

can I introduce you to my friend? 



A while back friends of mine invited me to dinner to introduce me to a Single male friend of theirs. I was more than happy to attend. I think there should be more of it!
Friends who host such introductions  …

  • provide socially dynamic, safe and helpful ways to make initial explorations of potential for further interaction
  • give contextual understanding of the other person through the work/family/sport/church environment they know them from
  • become an immediate overlap of the worlds of 2 otherwise strangers
  • provide something of a “reference” for character and any sense of perceived compatibility 

Singles – I know some will be uncomfortable with this idea but I encourage you to consider it as a natural function of community. It doesn’t need to be forced or uncomfortable. Have the conversation with people you trust and be open to the potential connections that could ensue. 

Friends of Singles – don’t do this by surprise or stealth. Honesty about your intentions is good. Or at the very least, an honest conversation with all involved to ensure they are open to the idea and trust your knowledge of and care for them. When you’re dealing with adults understand that the outcome is not your responsibility. If, as two adults, your introduced friends choose not to go any further with the connection or after some time things go askew – it’s on them not you. If, for all you are able to know, they are both well-adjusted, independent and house-trained individuals then you make the introduction and allow them to make the next wise choice. 

In teen and young adult stages of life there is a much more natural social community. As adulthood creeps in (real jobs or career focus, marriage, children etc) large group interactions or events where ‘new’ people are likely to be introduced become less frequent. It requires greater intentionality to continue to maintain social networks and particularly to consider those Singles who might still benefit from such environments. 

Can I introduce you to my friend?

Think of it this way – you know and like me and you know and like him – this is a significantly positive start! 

Go on. Why not give it a go? Ask the questions. 

skin hunger – our need for physical intimacy


I love massages!! Any kind. Feet. Head. Crazy Thai ones where they stretch and contort your body like a pretzel. Soothing oil ones with dolphin music playing. I like getting my nails done. I love getting my hair washed or done. 

I love physical touch. It’s a weird statement to make but an acknowledgement of truth that is perhaps more pertinent in context to my status as a living-alone Single. Ultimately, all of those things above are more than just self-pampering, they’re a means to have my skin hunger somehow satiated. 

Skin hunger is a need for physical touch – not necessarily sexual in nature. It is a studied phenomena in psychology. Unmet skin hunger has been associated with failure to thrive in babies and infants, and increased anxiety, depression, stress and sleep dysfunction in children and adults. Each individual will have a different level of skin hunger and consequently, the absence of physical touch will be felt more acutely by those whose need is greater. 

Some stages and styles of life are innately more rich in physical contact. Living arrangements that involve others will almost always include physical touch – perhaps of an intimate or sexual nature, maybe because of the presence of small children being nursed, held and wrestled with, or even in the more incidental contact that happens as people work together in the kitchen or move around each other in the bathroom. Certain work environments are more physical – various fields of medicine and therapy, working with children, or coaching certain sports.

Physical touch affirms my presence. It is one thing to grasp my own hand or rub my own neck – but it is different to experience those things externally. It’s a tangible recognition that I hold a place in the physical realm; that I relate kinaesthetically to other people and things around me. 

Physical touch releases hormones that increase wellbeing and decrease stress. 

Physical touch communicates non-verbally a sense of belonging and connection. 

What does physical touch look like for a Single person? 

How is skin hunger appropriately satisfied in non-sexual or romantic contexts?

As I mentioned, I am a physical touch kind of person. I’m likely to grab your arm while I’m talking to you. I will normally go in for a hug and a cheek kiss when greeting someone I know. I love love love (love love) holding babies – especially soothing them to sleep. I love little person hugs and high fives. I even like the absent minded touches kids do when they’re talking to you – playing with your hair or leaning against your leg. I love big hugs from big people – I make sure my Dad gives me a couple every time I see him. For some, pets are a large part of their skin-hunger-meeting regimen. 

Skin hunger is connected with our need for intimacy and equally needs to be met in healthy and helpful ways or we will find ourselves seeking to satisfy it inappropriately. Identifying the degree of skin hunger we feel is important to being able to manage it intentionally. 

What does that look like for you? Or for those in your world? 

single – it’s a real thing!


One of the challenges of youth is that you start making decisions that can dramatically impact your future when you are least likely to be legitimately considering your future! It’s biologically true (in relation to brain development) but also just reality that without a very long personal history a young person’s capacity to consider their future is limited.

When dealing with these decisions that come up, I like to ask young people to try and picture what they hope their future holds because it’s really only in light of this that they can make choices that are heading them in a positive direction. What kind of person do you want to be? What activities would you be doing? Where would you be working? What kind of people would be in your world? … and which of these choices you’re considering would make that future more possible?

Everyone I do that exercise with imagines that they’ll be married. Everyone. Depending on age and how far into the future we’re projecting they might also be considering children. But even those who are not particularly interested in dating right now or still believe the opposite sex has ‘germs’ – when asked to picture their future, expect it to include a spouse.

It’s part of the narrative of life. It’s how humanity was created to continue. Attraction that leads to intimacy and oneness in marriage that leads to offspring who are attracted to others and get married and have offspring. It’s the ciirrrrrrrcle of liiiiiiiiife! (You sang that, I know you did!)

While that may be exactly how the future plays out for most – it’s not a guarantee for all. And even if it is in the future for our young people – it will not be the only or necessarily most significant part of what their future holds. And even if it is to be a significant part of their future – that may be some time away. So what about now? What about between now and then?

We need to develop a theology of Singleness.

EVERYONE is born Single. EVERYONE will remain Single for a significant portion of their lives (marry at 20 and live to 80 and you’re looking at 25%!!).

SINGLENESS IS A LEGITIMATE THING!

  • Created for relationship 

As sexual, relational beings (these things are not just switched on as a preparation for marriage) everyone is called upon to appropriately manage these desires and needs in their time of Singleness – however long that may be. The wrestle of youth is a volatile mix of raging hormones, developing emotions and relational immaturity. They are difficult times to navigate. But, also for the older Single, these needs and desires are God given – how are they to be met and managed when you’re not (or not yet) married?

  • Singleness is a valid life status

Paul, in 1 Corinthians 7, advocates for Singleness. He says Single life is less complicated than married life (no need to amen that loudly, married people!!). He acknowledges that Singleness allows for a singleness of focus on God without the innate energy, time and heart-focus a married relationship requires. You don’t have to be Einstein to know that he’s right. I don’t believe Paul is saying NO ONE should be married (because he’s a smart guy too, he understood the circle of life even before Disney released the Lion King) but he is saying if you’re not there are some specific freedoms, privileges and graces that are part of that season. There’s some things you can do now that you might not be able to if you marry. A different kind of freedom in your time, finances, decision making, focus and availability.

  • Singleness is a season to be embraced

Ultimately, Singleness is one of many seasons that will make up a person’s life. Ecclesiastes 3 speaks about there being ‘a time for everything and a season for every activity’. Across a life time a person will experience all manner of seasons – times of preparation and study, times of success and achievement, seasons of ‘plenty’ and seasons of ‘lack’, times of ill-health, times of grief, times of celebration and exploration … you get the idea. Every season has its own lessons to teach us, pros and cons, opportunities and challenges. Given that life is just a collection of these seasons – end to end and overlapping, long and short, repeated or forgotten – in order for our life to be lived to its fullest each season must be embraced and maximised. Singleness is no exception.

It’s completely valid to desire marriage – God asks us to bring Him the desires of our hearts. I think we’d serve ourselves, one another and our young people well to let some of these thoughts about Singleness pepper our conversations, our prayers and our expectations.

 

my year as a professional Single 


I’m Single. No, like, REALLY Single! Oh, you’re Single too? Bet you’re not as Single as me!

I’m SO Single I wrote a book about it! (Truly! You can get a copy of it here!)

I’m SO Single I get invited to speak to groups about how to BE Single and how to care for Singles. (For real! You can book me here!)

I am, essentially, a professional Single. 

See, I am more Single than you. 

A year ago I was preparing for my first book related speaking gig. Steeling myself to step into the place of being “that Single girl” (read the blog about it here). 

While dealing with a familiar wave of self-doubt and insecurity over my abilities – I was also battling a stronger wave of resistance to stepping into that emerging role. The ‘professional Single’. 

I don’t want to be Single. I don’t want to be the expert on it. I don’t want to be known as that Single girl. I didn’t then. And I still don’t now. 

But here we are, 12 months into the journey, and I am so incredibly humbled by all I’ve got to be a part of in that time. The fabulous people I’ve met and communities I’ve been welcomed into. The champion leaders who’ve humbled themselves to learn and understand, the many who have read the book and been shifted in their attitudes and actions. That Dad of Single adult children, the Single-again parent, the leadership team, the young adult Single, the church community – multiple unique and moving stories of how God has used the message of the book or hearing me at an event or listening to me via a radio broadcast to encourage them or strengthen their understanding, empathy and ultimately, their relationships. 

It is my ongoing wrestle. So convicted of God’s call and sure in His anointing and yet so deeply desiring to be writing a different story – to be living a different kind of life. 

I said this a year ago and I affirm it again today. 

“So I will be “that Single girl” …and anything else He would ask me to be … trusting His timing, being confident in His calling. Even if I’d have chosen something else, I know He has chosen me for this and this for me.”

It has hurt and it has been hard – some of my loneliest moments have come on the back of these ministry opportunities – but the fruit is evident and the joy of partnering with Him in His greater work fuels me to ongoing obedience and surrender. 

Even if sometimes it’s through gritted teeth and clenched hands. 

I keep stepping out and moving forward. 

I am a professional, after all! 🙂

why I don’t do online dating

I have been single for many years and my desire to be married is well-documented. People often ask me for my perspective on Online Dating.

Because of how open I am to finding a suitable Mr Kim and the fact that I even advocate that friends should be in the business of making introductions, people are often surprised to discover I don’t do online dating.

Here are the three main reasons for that decision.

  1. I don’t think God is asking me to. 
    Super Christian rationale, I know! But it’s true. More than I want to be married – I want what (and who) God wants for me, so I’m cautious of running ahead of Him in this.
    I don’t expect Him to deliver a guy to my door (how weird would that be!?) but so long as I am putting myself in places – both physically and emotionally – where I would be open to His guy showing up, I think I’m doing all that I need to or can.
    In my current life stage and style, I am regularly in places where quality single Christian men would also be and I know lots of people who would/could/should know the quality single Christian men – I don’t feel like I need to pursue or create other contexts to make a meeting more possible.
  2. I don’t like the idea of meeting a guy outside of his context. 
    We all like to put our best foot forward, particularly when introduced to prospective partners and, more than anywhere else – online! I feel like I could most definitely be the best version of myself – or an even better version of myself – online. You can literally edit yourself in real time (I wish I had that function in real life!).
    Meeting a guy apart from his friends, family or workmates means that I’m only getting his version of him. There is so much about his character, his values and his general manner that I might never get to fully experience without seeing him interact with his family or meeting his friends or seeing how he responds to a ‘wrong’ decision on a basketball court. (I have a couple of personal stories that support this theory – perhaps for another blog.)
  3. I fear it would draw me to judgement and discrimination.
    I have checked out several dating sites – there’s often a certain amount of material you can look at without signing up or revealing anything of yourself. As I scrolled through the profiles – with minimal information provided – I found myself making really quick judgements and discriminating mostly on appearance or other shallow ‘preferences’. I consider myself to be a discerning person, and would back myself to make wise choices – but, what if God wants me to be with someone shorter, less educated, more outdoorsy, more bookish, older, younger or who lives further away than the choices I might otherwise make for myself? And what if it’s less about who I want for me and more about who I might be for someone else?

Disclaimer – this is MY personal experience, sense and decision (for now). I’ve been to the weddings of couples who’ve met online. I’ve seen God use this platform to bring together His choice of partners. People who do use this service may process these three points in a different way than I have. There’s no judgement or criticism from me but maybe these are cautionary thoughts for those considering it?

//FEEDBACK TIME//

Do YOU use Online Dating (or have you)? Have you reached a different conclusion than mine? I would LOVE to hear your story. Use this link to give some anonymous feedback for me to use to give another perspective on this topic in a follow up blog – “Why SOME PEOPLE do Online Dating”.

 

 

“Maybe there’s something wrong with me?”

This was the conclusion of a 25 year old (yes, 25 years old!) single contestant/participant on the first episode of the new series of Married at First Sight when reflecting on her life status. 

She is 25. She’s single and doesn’t want to be. There must be something wrong with her. 

Imagine me sitting opposite her in a coffee shop (because that’s what I’ve been doing) and this is what you’d hear me say. 

There are two options here. Either there IS something wrong with you – in which case, you should fix that – you shouldn’t marry someone you haven’t met before on a reality TV show meets psychological experiment. OR there ISN’T something wrong with you – in which case you shouldn’t marry someone you haven’t met before on a reality TV show meets psychological experiment. 

Then I would let her pay for the coffee. 

The more I think about the “maybe there’s something wrong with me” question that has the potential to plague single people of all ages and stages (more so for some than others) – the more I think it’s an question we need to face and not avoid or dismiss. Because the haunting nature of that question has the capacity to powerfully derail an individual in their living of a fruitful and fulfilling life. 

So single dude, single lady, IS there something wrong with you? No really, is there? Don’t answer “well there must be because I’m single” – think beyond that. Is there anything wrong with you? While that possibility lies unchallenged in your psyche it will have an unhealthy control over your sense of self and could lead you to finding yourself sitting in a limousine questioning whether or not the decision to marry someone you’ve never met is a good idea. Or making other very bad decisions in life and love. Find out if there’s anything wrong with you and work to fix it. Get that question off the table. 

It might not change your relationship status but it will change your perspective on it.

You’re probably not single because there’s something wrong with you. Firstly, some of you haven’t even had the chance for a prospective partner to find out what’s wrong with you. And secondly, look around – have you seen some of the people who ARE married? There are some twisted, broken, weird and altogether unpleasant people who are married! There’s stuff wrong with them and they’re married!

Here’s a word of advice for you without the price of the coffee. Take the question off the table. Move on to more productive spends of your emotional energy. 

happy birthday, book

  
One year ago this God-dream was finally birthed (the “finally” was about me finally cooperating more than any delay on God’s part)!

This book has made it into the hands – and its message into the hearts – of Singles, marrieds, leaders, parents, mentors, friends, Pastors and interested persons across the country and the world. 

My greatest hope has always been that it would encourage a conversation and spur people on to deeper understanding of the unique needs of Singles and grow us all in the greater cause of embracing and connecting with one another. 

I have been continually encouraged by the feedback I’ve received, the opportunities it has facilitated and the people who have shared their stories with me in return. 

What a year it has been! It’s so great to pause and reflect on all that has passed. But it’s not done yet, I’m sure. 

Every good birthday needs presents – so here’s mine to you. For the next 7 days postage is FREE!! That’s right, FREE! So if you haven’t got your own copy yet or had been thinking to send one as a gift now is the perfect time. Simply go to THIS PAGE and choose the “collection” PayPal option. (Ends midnight Mar 27)

Even though this book was finalised in print, the story is still being written. Thanks for being part of it!!!