I’m excited to have Natalie Buckingham post today because she is a woman passionate about fighting against human trafficking and slavery, and is very involved both locally and globally.
Natalie Buckingham works with people who have disABILITIES. She enjoys walking in forests and hiking in the mountains and constantly wonders why she lives in Illinois.
“When I get asked if Iâ€™m going to get married again, I say No. I have given myself to God to do whatever He brings my way. Iâ€™m totally content with where Iâ€™m at.
When I turned 48 years old, I was single for the first time in 28 years. I had gone from living with my parents to being married to being divorced. And all I could think was, Now what?
During the last ten years of my marriage God was actually preparing me for the single life, I just didnâ€™t realize it. I was a fairly new Christian and I knew God didnâ€™t like divorce, so I poured myself into knowing God more and doing what He wanted me to do in regard to my marriage. (The whole godly wife thing to an unresponsive husbandâ€” thatâ€™s for another blog.)
God brought me through me some very hard lessons. He taught me how to love my husband unconditionally just as Jesus loves him. But, it was a hard ten years. Every breath and step I took was with the help of God. I grew so close to the Lord during this time. It was amazing.
When I moved into my first house as a single woman, I remember standing in the living room praying. I thanked God for all He had done and invited Him to live in the house with me. I told God that I was all His. I wasnâ€™t as scared as I thought Iâ€™d be. I had such a peace; it was just me and God living in â€œourâ€ new house. I was excited to start my life of singleness and to see what He had planned for me.
One of the first things that God did was provide a way for me to go to Israel. While there, He placed a burden on my heart to care for orphans and victims of human trafficking. I felt so passionate, but unsure of what to do. So, I prayed (and at times, yelled) asking God what to do.
God answered again and led me to get my Foster Parent license. I was able to bring a few children into â€œour house,â€ to love and care for them in the name of Jesus. God also allowed me to go on a few short term missions trips to bring the love of Jesus to orphans in Russia, Honduras, and Zambia. I went to Cambodia where I learned more about human trafficking and was able to work with some girls that had been rescued.
As hard as my marriage and divorce were, I would not want to change any of it because of how great God was during it all. He taught me that being single did not mean being alone and that He would still use me in ministry.
Not much is spoken about on the topic of singleness except the typical wait â€˜til youâ€™re married before having sex. There is so much more to be said. We need to talk about being content where God has you for this time, or about putting God and your relationship with Him above your circumstances.
In fact, the Church doesnâ€™t always recognize the different facets of singleness. Just as there are different reasons for being single, each individual has different needs because of it. Often churches are quick to form a singles groupâ€” Iâ€™m not saying thatâ€™s bad or wrongâ€” but I donâ€™t feel singles should be set apart. We should be embraced as part of the whole family of God.
Whether or not they mean to do it, people in the church seem to look down on, or have pity for singles. We need to bring a better awareness to the churchâ€” itâ€™s ok to be single! You are where God has you to be for this time.
In general, married people need to be sensitive when they talk to someone who is single. Donâ€™t say things like, â€œOh Iâ€™m sorry. Iâ€™m sure God has someone for you.â€ In fact, just avoid asking divorced people if theyâ€™re going to get married again. Hereâ€™s how you should respond to single people: â€œPraise God, tell me what God has been doing in and through your life!â€
If youâ€™re divorced, widowed, or single for any other reason, take hold of where God has you. Seek Him. This is your time to build a wonderful and lasting relationship with your heavenly Father.
He is a father who doesnâ€™t see you as single. He sees you as His beautiful child.”