Kaycee Lookingbill will be graduating in May 2018 from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary with a Master’s in Ministry to Women. She is a Generation LINK resident in Raleigh, NC, at Open Door Church where she serves in women’s discipleship and college ministry. Although she’s been in NC for 2 years, she is still an Okie at heart and most days you can find her at a local coffee shop, laughing with friends, & Insta storying (@kayceelookingbill) about the awkward random things that happen in her life.
At the beginning of this year I tried to decide what my “word” for the year was going to be. You know, some people choose words like: obedient, faithful, and hospitable. Then spend the year intentionally growing in those areas. I usually pick a word early on and then I’m ready to go.
But this year was different.
I really felt the Lord telling me 10 words:
“The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I lack.” – Psalm 23:1
Little did I know, I would enter into the loneliest season of my life four months later.
The thing is, if you looked at my life you wouldn’t think, “Man, she must be really lonely.” I have a really full life. I am a full-time student, do ministry full-time, have solid community around me, and get to travel and do things most singles would love to do. I am so thankful for the opportunities that I’ve had to serve the Lord in my singleness, but it’s still there: the deep desire to do life and ministry with someone.
And it comes in waves. It’s not always constant and at the forefront of my heart & mind. And it’s not always a wrong desire to have. It’s NOT wrong to desire to do life and ministry with someone, unless it makes its way to the throne of your heart.
This season hasn’t been lonely just because I don’t have a husband or that everyone and their mom is getting married. I’ve felt it in ministry as well. I feel the loneliness that comes with being a single woman in ministry, who looks around and wonders where her sisters are. Loneliness doesn’t discriminate. It can come in any season & hit you in different ways.
Even though this has been a season of deep loneliness, it’s been one of the sweetest. I have been learning what it means for the Lord to be my Shepherd. And sisters, as a single woman there is nothing more comforting than that.
I just turned 25 this year. I’m like SO old now. I’m apparently an adult, but don’t always feel like it. I’m also finishing up my Master’s degree next May and I have no idea what I’m supposed to be doing.
Helllooo quarter-life crisis. (Why did no one warn me about this?)
As I was making life decisions and financial decisions (yuck), I found myself thinking if I just had a husband this would be a lot easier. And that’s a lie. A husband will not fix everything. I found myself desiring to have someone there to lovingly lead, guide, and protect me. I wanted the sense of security he would bring.
But isn’t that what the Lord does?
The answer is yes, if you were wondering. I felt the Lord whisper to my heart, “Kaycee, I am lovingly leading, guiding, and protecting you. I am the Good Shepherd. I know my sheep. I know you. I see you. You are not alone.”
Here are 3 things that I have learned while walking with the Shepherd in this season:
- There is nothing you lack
Some versions say, “I have all that I need” or “I shall not want.” The Shepherd provides for his sheep. He promises to take care of us. It seems simple, but my heart needs to be reminded of His care for me- I can bet that yours does, too. He has not forgotten me. When I look around and see all my friends in relationships or I see friends moving away or I see friends who seem to know what they’re doing – He has not forgotten me. The lot He has given me is good.
And He has not forgotten you. The lot He has given you is good.
- You are not alone
Deuteronomy 2:7 says, “For the Lord your God has blessed you in everything you have done. He has watched your every step through this great wilderness. During these forty years, the LORD your God has been with you, and you have lacked nothing.”
Sometimes singleness and, let’s be real—life—feels like a wilderness. As I read that verse I immediately realized I am a lot more like the Israelites in the wilderness than I think I am.
I often grumble and complain through this season.
I forget what the Lord has delivered me from.
I forget His promises.
I forget His faithfulness when my selfishness creeps to the surface.
But even in this wilderness, He has been with me and I’ve not lacked a darn thing. Sisters, He is providing and caring for us. I’m learning it often just doesn’t look like how we think it should.
- You are heard & known
Psalm 116:1-2 says,
“I love the LORD, because he has heard my voice and my pleas for mercy. Because he inclined his ear to me, therefore I will call on him as long as I live.”
Sister, He hears you. He hears the cries of your heart.
John 10:14 says,
“I am the good shepherd. I know My own sheep, and they know Me…”
He knows you.
And because He knows you, He knows the deepest desires of your heart. He cares deeply for them. And because we know Him, we can trust Him.
This past week I had the opportunity to gather about 12 girls around a table with our Pastor to share with him the ways we struggle being a single woman in or pursuing ministry. He listened. He encouraged. He spoke Truth. He vowed to be our advocate.
Oh, my heart. I couldn’t believe it. The Lord was answering my prayers.
Of course the answer didn’t come in the form of a ruggedly handsome, Jesus-loving man who was ready to accept my weirdness and addiction to coffee.
You know what, though? I preferred the way God answered. He knew my desires better than I did.
Sister, don’t give up. Press in to the pain. He’s there in the midst of it bringing healing.
And who knows, God just might use it to spark a passion in your heart.
(P.S. New to the series? click here to start at the beginning!)