One of the things for which I will forever be thankful is that my mother forced my brother and me to watch nature shows from a very young age. At first what started out as severe boredom eventually turned into pure bliss and excitement as we learned and were able to discuss the intricacies of the animal kingdom. When all the other students came to school the following day talking about a cartoon they saw the night before, we were full of factoids and vivid descriptions of lionesses chasing impalas and the carnage left behind as the pride devoured its meal. Stunned and amazed by what we had to offer we soon became popular among the more scientific students within our classes.
It was not too long after we started watching nature shows that my brother and I started to take dibs on which impala, or deer, or meerkat would be the first to die. My brother and I became very adept in looking for the signs that would signal the demise of one of the above mentioned animals. “Were they alone? Were they elderly? Were they sickly? Had they wandered too far off from the herd?” The more we watched, the more skilled we were at not only selecting the doomed animal, but stating the reasons why said animal became prey even before the narrator revealed his/her thoughts.
The Bible tells us that, “The enemy, our adversary is like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8). Is it any wonder that Peter would have likened the devil to an animal in the wild on the prowl for his next meal? Does not that tell you that the devil has the same attributes of a lion on the prowl in search of its next victim? If this were the case, would it not stand to reason that the same attributes lions look for in the wild prior to singling out its prey would be the same characteristics the enemy might employ?
When we look at how antisocial many people have become as a result of social media, online streaming, online shopping, online dating, and/or online video gaming, is it any wonder why so many fall victim to loneliness, especially during the holiday season? Alone on the internet and locked away in their our rooms, is it any wonder why so many are addicted to creating embellished and far from truthful profiles on dating sites, or worse find themselves addicted to pornography? Much like it is in the animal kingdom, is it not the ones who are lonely, or the ones who are sickly, or those who have removed themselves from the crowd the prey that eventually gets picked off by the enemy?
One of the things I have learned during my season of singledom, is that accountability is key to remaining faithful in all things, even more so during this walk as a single woman. As a result, I have aligned myself with other women of God who desire to be married. I have also established an accountability relationship with someone who, throughout the years, have become my best friend. More so, I have held myself accountable by confessing my downfalls, my sins, to said accountability partner – not in an effort to be judged, but rather in an effort to loosen the grip of guilt and shame said sins would otherwise have on my life. It is through said accountability that I have managed to remain a part of a very functional, and goal oriented group. It is on account of said accountability that I have maintained my sanity even when my single walk wears me down – and at times it does. But, it is through said accountability, and the like minds I have surrounded myself with I have been able to ward off being devoured by the lions of depression, loneliness, illicit behaviors, unhealthy thoughts, guilt and/or shame.
Accordingly so I challenge you, if single, to surround yourself with people who would edify your walk, not those who would seek to desecrate it. If you desire to be married, surround yourself with those who share similar desires. If you have committed to a life of purity, surround yourself with those who have taken that same vow. Further, if you have committed to a life of strength and health and relationship with God embed yourself within a group of people who strive to acquire the same things. Beloved, we have been warned, “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed” (Proverbs 15:22, NIV).
It is my prayer that you will submit yourself to counsel so that your plans may succeed. I pray that the Lord will direct compatible and like-minded accountability partners your way. I pray that there will be no decoys in the name of Jesus, and that everyone with whom you are grouped will edify and strengthen you for the journey ahead. Lastly, I pray that you will be victorious against any roaring lions whose attention you may have garnered in the past. I pray these things in none other than the matchless name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Alleluia!
Know that I love you, all.
Red Shoes and Accountability,
Danielle, The Girl in the Red Shoes