To Be His - A Series on Singleness

The Shepherd and My Singleness – Kaycee

IMG_1692Kaycee 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:

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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!)



To Be His - A Series on Singleness

To Be His


I knew the question was coming, I just didn’t know who would ask it first.

It happened as I stood outside fanning the back of my neck, confident I was about to melt and soak into the grass out in the South Carolina summer sun.

One of my relatives – a third or fourth cousin or a great uncle or none of the above (I have a big family) – came up to me as I pulled my hair into a bun.

“So you’re not married yet?”

Boom. There goes the dynamite. The go-to question for single twenty-somethings.

Smile, Anna, I told myself. I looked at my relative and replied with all the good church girl persona I could muster, “Not yet.”

After that grand revelation, I stepped off by myself, pulled out my phone, and texted my friend Kaycee: “I even get The Question at a funeral…”

The guy was just trying to make friendly conversation, and I definitely wasn’t upset. But it did make me whisper to God: Why am I not married yet? What are you doing up there?

See, I’m a planner. I have a bullet journal, I love a good school syllabus, and I adore sticky notes. I like to know where I’m going and how I’ll get there.

When I started college, I had my love story all mapped out, and it was perfect, in my opinion. It looked like this…

Freshman year: Get the hang of college. Meet professors, make friends, pass classes.
Sophomore year: Get involved in campus organizations. Make more friends. Meet a guy friend.
Junior year: Fall in love with said guy friend.
Senior year: Get engaged. Plan a wedding.
Summer after graduation: Get married. Live happily ever after.

According to my carefully thought-out schedule, I should be a few years into a marriage with Tall, Dark, and Handsome right now, probably painting a nursery, or at least daydreaming about what we’ll name the kids.

In my carefully planned world, tonight I’d light a candle and have friends over for coffee, then my husband would come home from work, we’d have a home cooked meal (yours truly can rock a crock pot), hang out watching a movie or reading on the couch, then go to bed.

Except not.

God had other plans, and they didn’t exactly match up with mine.

I’m writing this while sitting in my twin-sized bed, wearing an old t-shirt and gym shorts, and stuffing my face with popcorn. It’s not my most attractive look, but it’s definitely not a bad situation.

But still. I’m super single. Honestly, I don’t talk about it a lot on the internet (But if you follow me on Instagram and see how frequently I post pictures of my cat, you’ll know my relationship status). That’s on purpose. I don’t want to admit I get tired of independence. Or that, while I’m full of joy when my friends fall in love and get married, it’s not all happy tears. Or that sometimes I’m tempted to believe God has overlooked me and my biggest dreams.

I’m earning a master’s degree in ministry to counsel and teach and encourage women. I love the life God has given me, and I desire for others to know the joy of Jesus, too. And yet sometimes I’m just not 100% on board with where I’m at in life.

Recently, though, God’s been telling me to share my story. To be real with where I’m at, in hopes of encouraging those of you who find yourself in a similar situation.

So I talked to some of my closest friends – single girls whose wisdom I trust – and we decided to dive into this single thing in a blog post series.

I can’t promise you it’ll be pretty, but I can promise you it’ll be real. I can’t promise you we’ll offer a solution for those lonely days, but I can promise we won’t give you the standard singles “encouragement” (you know the stuff).

We can’t promise you’ll be married by your next birthday or that some guy will kiss you at midnight on New Year’s Eve, but we can promise to walk beside you.

Some of us have been in relationships before, some of us have been on our share of coffee dates, and some of us haven’t done any of that. But we’re all single twenty-somethings. We’re not into cliché answers or fluffy feel-good statements. We’re in it with you.

We definitely don’t have it all together (I’m currently modeling a scar on my neck from an unfortunate encounter with my curling iron…), and we don’t have all of the answers, but we each have a story. And we’ll share them with honesty, humor, and heart (and possibly cat GIFs).

Ultimately, we desire to point you to the one, single thing that matters most. We all believe our relationship with Jesus is hands-down the most important, fulfilling relationship we’ll ever experience. Sometimes we stumble, but there’s so much joy in this journey of learning To Be His.

So welcome to this series. We’re excited to live life with you, sister.

For His glory,

Series Contributors:

Posts in this series:

Europe Travel Journal

May the Road Rise Up to Meet You – Europe Journal Part 10

Tuesday, June 20 

On the plane ride over, it was night. The lights in the cabin were dimmed and the window shades were down. 

We were somewhere over the vast expanse of the Atlantic ocean. We hit rough air and began rocking a bit. That always makes me nervous. 

But then I pulled up the shade to look outside. We were above the clouds, which were smooth, like a cotton blanket. The sky was clear and stars were out. All was calm. 


I was hit with the reminder that, even when life seems turbulent and unstable, God is still moving us forward in the purpose He has for our lives. Though our circumstances may be chaotic, if we look beyond them, we can know God is in control. Nothing is catching Him off guard or taking Him by surprise. 


I pray this adventure stays with me in the days ahead. I pray I’ll remember the sights and sounds and feel of history beneath my fingertips. I pray I will live life knowing I’m not yet home – eternity is coming. 


And I pray I will always remember God has so many great things planned for my life in His timing and in His way. I just need to be still and know that He is God. 


Wednesday, June 21 

It’s the morning after I returned home from Europe and, despite my exhaustion, jet lag had me up at 6:30am. So I did laundry and made a giant cup of coffee.


The trip may be over, but I pray the Lord continues to teach me through the experiences. That I’ll remember what it feels like for the cliffs to take my breath and my heart rate to speed up. That I’ll remember tears springing to my eyes at the beauty of it all and the Scriptures of praise to the Lord that entered my soul. 



IMG_7399May the trip be a memorial stone in my life of what God has done, can do, and will do in my life. 



Thank you for journeying with me as I shared my travel journal with you.


As we waited to board our flight in Dublin, a traditional Gaelic blessing was printed on the wall, and continued to replay in my mind during the long trip home…

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.


May God hold you in the palm of His hand today, friends, whether you’re on the trip of a lifetime or living a seemingly mundane day. Because with God, even the ordinary can be an adventure.

~ Anna


This post is the final entry in my travel journal from my time in Europe. To read the previous entries, follow the links below:

Europe Travel Journal

Living a Dream – Europe Journal Part 9

Tuesday, June 20

My alarm went off at 5am Sunday morning because we were headed to Paris!


My first view of Paris when we stepped out of the metro was a bird cage sale. Not even kidding – several booths were set up selling bird cages like you’d keep a parakeet in. Birds are my least favorite. Oh, irony. 


I was thankful for a sunny day so I could wear my sunglasses and hide my tears so I didn’t look like the weirdo American tourist crying as she walked through Paris.


It’s just that seeing Paris has been a life-long bucket list kind of dream for me. Ever since I was small and read about an old house in Paris that was covered in vines and the 12 little girls who livesd there, I’ve wanted to go. And although we were only there for the day and didn’t have time to go in in museums like the Louvre, it was still incredible.


I first teared up as we crossed the border into France to board the train, but it really hit me when I saw Notre Dame with my own eyes. We went inside, and because it was Sunday, and 11:30 mass was starting. So we got to see and hear a little of that. 


Notre Dame really takes the cake on all of the cathedrals we saw. 


Stunning stained glass, intricately detailed sculptures  tall ceilings and ancient paintings – all of it so sacred and beautiful. 


When I stepped into the courtyard of the Louvre, I stopped and caught my breath. Just physically being in the place I’d grown up imagining was amazing. 


Emily was so kind and patient – it was her 3rd time in Paris – and indulged me while I oohed and ached and requested she take my picture with everything. 


We toured the city on foot and ended the day back on the train. 


Some of the things we saw: 

  • Notre Dame
  • The Louvre
  • The Arc de Triomphe 
  • The Eiffel Tower
  • and more!


We bought crepes from a street vendor and had an early dinner sitting outside a restaurant, facing the street and enjoying croque monsieur and fries.


We then had pain au chocolat at the train station, something else I’ve always dreamed of eating in Paris. I really don’t even have words to describe the expeirience.


The day was warm and the sky was a brilliant blue. I walked the Champs Elyses and I stood in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower.


I keep saying I need to go back one day to go to the top of the tower (the lines would’ve taken more than an hour) and go in the Louvre. Plus, I have about 8 euros left that I’ll need to spend one day. 


Will I be back? I’d love to believe so. Maybe not in the immediate future, but who knows? I never even dreamed up this possibility for this trip. 


Emily and I have dreamed of going to Europe together one day, but we thought the season of traveling together might be over. 


But God. The giver of good gifts, the granter of seemingly impossible dreams, the One who gives us more than we can ask or imagine, well beyond what we deserve – He did this. He knew all along He would grace us with this. Earlier in the year when I prayed for the opportunity to see more of His world, when I was tempted with discouragement – He knew. And He already knows what He will do next – how He will answer other prayers. 


This post is part of my travel journal from my time in Europe. To read the previous entries, follow the links below:

Europe Travel Journal

Lead Me to the Rock – Europe Journal Part 8

Wednesday, June 21 

Yesterday, we went to the Rock of Cashel – an ancient church on top of a limestone hill. It’s crazy to think that the place has existed long before anyone even knew the continent of North America even existed. IMG_6869It was also used as a place of shelter and safety from foes. IMG_6993Psalm 61:2 kept echoing through my mind. 

“From the end of the earth I will cry to You, When my heart is overwhelmed; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”

IMG_6997The view from the Rock is amazing, which is commonplace here, of course, but something that never fails to take my breath away. IMG_6872Near the base of the Rock sits the ruins of an ancient abbey. It’s overwhelming to think about how the faith has been passed down and reformed these hundreds and hundreds of years. IMG_6916The Reformation wasn’t even a thought when theses places were built, yet the monks were earnest and devout in their worship. IMG_6923Oh, that I might be that devoted in service to my God! IMG_6914That’s the thing about Ireland – everything is so old. So rich in history and tradition and heritage in a way America doesn’t have. IMG_6903Our baby country lacks ruins at every turn – or “crumbly buildings,” as I called them while I was still severely jet-lagged. IMG_6904I’m seriously gonna miss all of the castles and abbeys and cathedrals and lush, patchwork land and quaint cottages and sheep and the accents and everything. 

Goodness, I’m tired, but I love it here. IMG_6897IMG_6876IMG_6874I pray I’ll remember the details, big and small, and that I’ll be able to recall details of how it all impacted me when I read through this journal and look at pictures. 

I can’t stop being thankful for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. IMG_7004

This post is part of my travel journal from my time in Europe. To read the previous entries, follow the links below:

Europe Travel Journal

Sheep or Stones? – Europe Journal Part 7

Monday, June 19

The fields on the hillside look like patchwork quilts. Trees and shrubs mark off the land like thick, fuzzy seams. 


We play a game Emily made up called “Sheep or Stones?” where you look at the white/gray lumps in the distance to guess if they’re sheep or large rocks dotting the landscape.


Sometimes it’s really hard to tell, although there’s an abundance of both. 


Tomorrow is our last full day in Ireland, and I don’t want to leave. I don’t feel like I’ve soaked it all in yet – I so badly want to just be here, present and slow for a while. But life doesn’t pause, and there’s more world to see.


Wednesday, June 21 

Monday we went to Dingle Peninsula – the Westernmost point of Europe. It took a few hours to drive out there, but was so very worth it. 


There is actually, according to the guidebook, a larger sheep population that people population. I believe it, too. I’ve never seen so many sheep! I love them! My favorites are the super wooly ones that haven’t been sheared (shorn?) yet and that have the black faces.

So. cute. 


While driving with pastures of sheep on either side of us, we recited the 23 Psalm. That was way cool. 

The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil; For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord

I was also reminded of the verse in Isaiah 40:11:

He tends his flock like a shepherd:
He gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart;
he gently leads those that have young.

We also talked about how sheep are dumb. But then, I thought of how the Shepherd knows how dumb they are, yet He loves them anyway. I was blown away at how much my Good Shepherd loves me, even though I’m a dumb, simple-minded sheep in comparison to all that He is. He is the Good Shepherd. 


This post is part of my travel journal from my time in Europe. To read the previous entries, follow the links below:

Europe Travel Journal

The Cliffs of Moher – Europe Journal Part 6

Sunday night, June 18


The Cliffs of Moher – whoa. I hope I never forget the impression they had on me when I first reached the edge and looked over for the first time.


I was a little bit out of breath from the climb, but the view took the rest of my breath away. My heartbeat quickened and I felt tears in my eyes. Because God did that because He wanted to. Even erosion can ultimately be redeemed into something for His glory. That’s what all of it is all about, anyway. 


Over here in Ireland, I get the feeling that nature remembers its purpose. 


Unlike us, nature doesn’t forget it was created to declare the glory of the Lord. It just does it naturally.


It’s intrinsic and, even with the corruption of the Fall, it does not need to be reminded to display beauty. 


And the cliffs? I’ve been able to see many beautiful sights of over the years, and this one lies toward the top. 


Thank you, Father, for this once-in-a-lifetime experience.


This post is part of my travel journal from my time in Europe. To read the previous entries, follow the links below:

Europe Travel Journal

A Thousand Hills – Europe Journal Part 5

I’ll never forget the beauty of the Irish countryside. I tried to describe it with words in my journal and pictures on my phone, but it’s too beautiful to capture. Here are two entries I wrote while at the cottage in Ireland, transcribed exactly as I wrote them while in the middle of that indescribable Irish countryside…

Saturday evening, June 17 

As we drove past herds of cows today, Psalm 50:10 came to mind and has been in my head ever since: 

“I own the cattle on a thousands hills.” 


The surrounding passages give the context of how everything belongs to God. The psalmist  talks about how the wicked give their sacrifices, but their heart is not right. Therefore, the sacrifices do not matter. God asks why do they even bother to feign godliness when they are evil in their ways. He says thanksgiving is the way to honor Him – because He doesn’t need our stuff. The heart is what i’s all about. 


So tonight, I give thanks. I’m thankful that God owns the cattle on a thousand hills – even the ones here in Ireland. I’m thankful for this opportunity He’s given to me. And I’m thankful that He loves me and doesn’t give up on me when I try to hide behind my sacrifices. IMG_6994

Sunday morning, June 18

“The earth is the Lord’s and the fulness thereof.” – Psalm 24:1 

This verse echoes through my mind this morning as I look out over the Irish countryside. I sit on the back patio while everyone finishes getting ready to leave for a day of adventures, and I can see over a hundred cows in the pasture behind the cottage. Other cottages are dots in the distance, and I can even see a mountain range.


Everything is free – oh, so green! – and lush, bursting with life and purpose and awareness of its creative design. I can try, but pictures can’t do it justice. Words can’t do it justice. It is the Lord’s, every last bit of it. He owns the cattle on a thousand hills. 


This post is part of my travel journal from my time in Europe. To read the previous entries, follow the links below:

Europe Travel Journal

Wide Open – Europe Journal Part 4

Saturday, June 17

Powerscourt Estate, Wicklow, Ireland

I think this is how we were meant to experience life. 

We don’t have to cross an ocean or tour elaborate estates and crumbling castles, but we are made to live with our eyes fully open, inhaling until our lungs can hold no more fresh air.

Learning to dive headfirst into each sacred moment we’re given, fully experiencing the feeling of being alive.

When we do this, the world becomes more clear, the colors more crisp, life more wide open.


It’s not rose-colored glasses at all, but rather, it’s removing glasses, seeing life the way it was made to be seen, living the way we were made to live. 


This is an entry in my Europe travel journal. To read previous entries, follow the links below:


Europe Travel Journal

A Day in Dublin – Europe Journal Part 3

Friday, June 16

Yesterday we went in a cathedral in Malahide, Ireland. It was beautiful! It was also so quiet, even though several people were in there. At one point, the only noise was the clinking of coins dropping into an offering box and the click of a lighter as an older woman lit a candle. I wanted to take a picture of it, but something about it all felt too sacred to try to capture and save. But I love cathedrals. 

Today we went to Dublin. Bustling, lively, historic Dublin. We bought hop-on, hop-off passes for a red, double-decker bus, and sat up top. The Irish wind teased strands of hair from my braid, and I zipped my rain jacket all the way up.

We toured the city all day. A highlight was definitely St. Patrick’s cathedral. It stood tall in all of its historic splendor, pointing out the glory of the Lord for whom it was made. IMG_6385

We toured inside of it, and my literature nerd self was in heaven. 

Jonathan Swift (author of Gulliver’s Travels, “A Modest Proposal,” etc.) once preached there. Got a picture with his pulpit. Touched it. Fangirled over it. IMG_6373IMG_6377

I also saw his grave right there in the cathedral, as well as a case containing old copies of his work and – get this – a cast of his skull. What even…IMG_6374

But it gets better: there was also a death mask of his corpse’s face. So I now know what freshly-departed J. Swift’s head looked like, both with and without the skin. Ick. 

Got a picture. 


I also saw where Oscar Wilde was born and lived, as well as Trinity College and some places related to James Joyce. 

Dublin was so much fun. I loved hopping on and off the tour bus and exploring the city. But as amazing as Dublin was, the countryside was all the more amazing and the highlight of the trip. I can’t wait to share it with you next time!

Thank you for journeying with me,


P.S. This is the 3rd entry in my Europe Travel Journal. To read the first two entries, follow the links below: