This is the story of a girl, who cried a river and drowned the whole world. Just kidding. But really, that song has been stuck in my head for days. You’re welcome.
If you have read any of my previous blog posts at all, by now you hopefully know that I work in full-time ministry. And you probably know that I have to raise support in order to work in full-time ministry (that’s a huge part of my life right now, so I’ve mentioned it a lot in my writing). Through conversations with my closest girl friends who are also in full-time ministry with me, I have learned that there is a common story among us. So this is a narrative written to give you a glimpse into what it’s like to raise support as a young, single girl.
She steps through the door of her favorite coffee shop and scans the room, looking for two things– an empty table big enough for her to spread out all of her things, and a cute boy to distract her from the work she’s been putting off for weeks. “Well, one out of two ain’t bad,” she thinks to herself. She sits down at a four-top table that is in the perfect location for her to keep an eye on the door (watching for potential cute boys to walk in) and the rest of the coffee shop (so she can people watch– one of her most favorite pastimes). She takes out her laptop, her bible and notebook, her current book of choice, and her favorite pen. She strategically places everything across the table so people can see that she is a Christian, she reads, and she works for a Christian ministry. She shamelessly thinks for the hundredth time, “Please someone come talk to me today and either ask me about my ministry and join my support team, or ask me on a date!” At this point in her life, she would be thrilled with either one.
“Alright, what to do first?” She came all this way to get out of the house and be productive, so she should probably get started. But first, coffee! She goes to order a cup of regular coffee and adds it to the rest of her strategically placed items on her table. Emails. She decides to start by sending emails. For her, sending emails and texts is the easiest way to contact people to get together to hear about her ministry because there isn’t much of a risk involved. It’s low-risk and not super bold, so she’s ok with it. “Yes! I just sent so many emails! I’m doing so good today!” She thinks to herself. But now what?
She decides to read from a book called Funding Your Ministry to get some good insight about raising support (as well as adding to the things someone could walk up to her and strike up a conversation about). An hour and a half later, she thinks it’s time to go home. No conversations with strangers, no new supporters, and no dates. Better luck next time.
On her way home she thinks about the stories her friends tell her. She has heard so many stories about her girl friends, who are also raising support, getting approached by a complete stranger who asks about their ministry. She begins to think, “Why doesn’t that ever happen to me?” But she stops herself and begins to laugh a little bit. It’s all so silly– strategically placing things on the table, hoping for someone to strike up a conversation, waiting and waiting and waiting. It sounds silly, it feels silly, but it’s where she and her friends are at in life right now– young, single, Christian girls trying to navigate life, raising support alone, and being single even when they don’t want to be. And that’s ok.