Almost every Saturday, my walking partner and I meet at the local river walk and hike our way through its twists and turns for about an hour. It goes rapidly because we use it as a time to talk and catch up with each other’s life. When she’s not there, I usually opt for something less involved, or worse, no exercise at all.
There’s something about partnering that helps me. On this long and often difficult walk of singleness, I’ve found that the same principle applies. A few years ago God laid it on my heart to seek a prayer partner. Serendipitously, my friend Ayesha was looking also, and approached me with the idea of becoming mine. She and I had been friends since college, when we met on a semester long trip to Central America. She was great fun, and I marveled at her unique relationship with the Lord. She introduced me to creativity in worshipful dance and mystery in prayer. I found her down to earth and non-religious approach to God refreshing.
As our relationship grew, we began to share our hopes and dreams, failures, successes, and especially our desire for strong men of God to become our husbands. She told me about her faith chest, where items bought or acquired for marriage are stored as an action of faith before God. I created my own, dropping in a book or two, a man’s clothing item given me from someone who thought I was already married, and wedding magazines.
Whenever I share a shameful story of failure or weakness, Ayesha never judges me; she simply encourages me to keep trying. Not only that, she always has my back. Once when she visited my home, a harmless yet slick neighbor we called “Gator” was trying his best to get me to come talk to him alone. Ayesha stood giggling beside me, pretending to misunderstand his cues for her to exit and give us privacy, she quietly refused to leave my side. He finally gave up and walked away while we entered the house laughing like girls. She’s even boldly called to check on me when I’m spending time with male friends she knows I may have trouble setting boundaries with. She gently but consistently keeps me accountable by reminding me who I am and whose I am.
Today, we commit our requests to God on a weekly basis. When my faith falters, she continues to model her trust in the good things our Father will one day bring into our realities. In return I enjoy offering back her gifts of friendship and sisterhood.
I am better because of her. We all need an “Ayesha” in our lives to push us along, laugh and cry with us—someone to bundle our supplications up with and send them on to Heaven.
“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!” (Ecclesiastes 4:9,10).
Two are better than one. Even when you’re single.