Guest Post: Beth Petrashek


What’s Wrong With Me?

I’m sitting at my 6 year old niece’s soccer game with my mom, sister-in-law and 8 year old niece. I’m not really listening to my mom’s conversation until I hear her say, “I just can’t believe Mary is still single! She’s in her 30’s! What is wrong with her?” I had been broken up with my college boyfriend for 7 months. The man I thought, I just KNEW, I would marry. I’m 25 years old. I’m still heart-broken. And, I’m single.

“What’s wrong with me? Am I not loveable? I know I’m fat. I know I’m not very pretty. It’s got to be that! All the pretty skinny girls have diamonds on their hands. I’m just not good enough!”

These were the lies I told myself. Every. Single. Day.

“There’s something wrong with me. No one will ever love me.” My first realization that there wasn’t something wrong with me was Christmas 2003. I realized, as I was sitting in the mall, that its “easy” to be in a relationship. Most EVERYONE is in one, almost like it’s the thing to do. I looked around as people were walking by and saw that all kinds of people were “together.” It hit me then that I could really be in a relationship if I wanted. Now, I might have to go to the bar and let my standards go, but I could be dating if I wanted.

I’m too fat and/or ugly for someone to want to marry me.” I still remember the day that my #1 lie was broken. I met a very heavy girl in her early 20’s with the most beautiful wedding ring. “WHAT? I thought I wasn’t married b/c I was fat???? Now, what?”

It was then that God started working on my heart and the lies I was telling myself every day. He would, in His timing, bring me someone and I just needed to wait. This brought a motto I used almost daily for years, and still use today: “Pray and Wait.”

My mom’s question at the soccer field was to my sister-in-law, but I answered her back, “Nothing is wrong with her!” I never want my young nieces to believe that there is something “wrong” with them if they don’t live a life that others expect. That society expects.

Pray and wait. It’s not always fun, but it’s what we do. I grew daily in this singleness thing. I hated it some days and absolutely LOVED it others. During this time, I built an amazing foundation for my relationship with Christ. When I did fall away, I still knew His word was truth and would carry me.

What I learned was that it’s ok to be single! It can actually be fun! I taught myself that there are pro’s and con’s to single-life and in marriage. I made an effort to enjoy every single day in the place God had me. In fact, I was taught by a friend of mine that it’s better to be single than marry the wrong person! To be single and lonely and know why you are lonely is one thing. But, to be married and lonely with that man sitting next to you is unbearable. It’s better to wait for the right one. It broke my heart to see some of my girlfriends find a false sense of security in what they believed marriage would give them and then end up divorced. We all want to feel worthy as a wife, a mom, or as a woman and that is great, but it’s miserable with the wrong person. So, take the time you are single to spend all your time doing what exactly what you want.

Are you single? Are you married and lonely? What are the lies you tell yourself?

Do they sound something like this?

“God must not love me.”

“God apparently doesn’t think I’m good enough for anyone.”

“Its never going to happen for me.”

Whatever the lie is, I can promise you that it hurts! We have to guard our hearts with TRUTH! Speak truth into your life! If you don’t, who will? Change your thought life and begin to take your thoughts captive! Surround yourself with people who speak TRUTH into you!!! One of the most beneficial things I have been told in the last month is, “You can allow all people to speak to you, but only a few people GET to speak over you and into you.” (Miranda Burcham, http://www.pressonfitness.com)

2 Corinthian 10:5 tells us  that we need to be “casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.” If we are telling ourselves lies, we are exalting our own opinions above God’s! We are saying He is wrong! We are to take those lies and anything else we are placing above Him into captivity so that we are obedient to Christ.

God created you beautiful! He created you exactly the way He wanted. He didn’t make a mistake. He loves you more than any other person even can.  Psalm 139 shows us that God knows us very well. He knew us before anyone every had a thought on us. He made you and me “wonderfully”! You are not a mistake!

The verse that I clung so hard to while I was single was 2 Corinthians 12:9, “And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.” His grace is always 100% sufficient…to supply your needs, to be enough love for you, to give you a way out of every temptation, to sustain you in trials. I got to the point in a my single life that I would gladly boast in my weakness so that He alone was glorified!!! I didn’t find my husband until I was 30 years old (and married him at 31). God received all the glory for it b/c I lived a life showing others that it had NOTHING to do with me and my efforts. If we don’t share with others our trials and our pain and just stuff what is going on inside of us, we can’t encourage one another. And, God is not proclaimed. If we don’t learn from our trials and become more like Christ, we go through them for nothing.

My prayer is that you don’t lose heart. That you will dig into His Word and believe what is true and stop filling your thought-life with lies. God is greater than any lie we tell ourselves. It saddens Him that we hate ourselves so much. Start today! Take one positive affirmation (I am beautiful!) and say it to yourself 3 times a day for a month….do it! Just see what happens!

Exceedingly Abundantly Above

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6 thoughts on “Guest Post: Beth Petrashek

  1. Cristin,

    Thanks for writing. I am one of Beth’s biggest fans and her honesty and humility about her own struggles make her advice and criticism easier to take. I’m glad you enjoyed her post.

  2. First I want to let you all know that I love my daughter dearly and she has a wealth of wisdom and understanding for single ladies. Because of her not getting married earlier than later, the Lord has allowed me to learn and unlearn from His perfect timing!
    I was the last of my friends to get married and I too was thinking “what is wrong with me?” Will I be an “old maid” as the women would have called me back then!
    You see in the church we were learning in our late 20’s and 30’s that women were to be submissive and keepers of the home. (And let me just interject here that my OB/GYN encouraged us to have our babies by the time we were 30! AFter that we were to old to bare children! And I didnt have older women telling me any different! So,I did!) That we were to raise our daughters to be good wives and mothers! That translated into an assumption….go to college , get married and when you have babies….its time to relinquish your career and be a stay at home Mom. There is nothing wrong with what I just said because you may be in that place in your life as I was and was grateful for it. There were, and still are women who have their career and do a wonderful job raising children to be responsible, loving,considerate people who even have a real relationship with the Lord! So I want to make it clear I will not stand in judgement of women who have a career by force or by desire. That is strictly between them, their spouse and the Lord! I am not in that triangle!!!!!
    Things change for whatever reason and as always we should never put God in a box! His ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts. He does things that might seem foolish to us, but His way IS the best way.
    I needed to stop saying those little statements like “what’s wrong with Mary?” I certainly didnt mean it the way it was tanslated, but it did translate in a negative way. There was nothing wrong with Mary and I didnt understand why some guy hadnt noticed her because she was a wonderful Christian young lady who desired to be married like her Mom and would make a great wife and Mom! There are many young women in that position and there is no answer to the why other than God knows! We dont! That’s what I should have said…”God knows and His timing is perfect!” It is a total trust issue and as Beth said “Pray and Wait”
    Those of us Mom’s who had/have daughters in that position of singleness for longer than we expected….we just assumed it would happen! We ache for our daughters because we know their hearts desire and there is nothing we can do but “pray and wait” and not make it a big deal. There is so much more to you ladies than marriage. Like…”what is God doing in your life?” How is He using you to further His kingdom?” Or just remembering to let them know what a wonderful person they are, what a blessing they are! People dont have to be married to bless others! We need to admonish that more than being consumed with the “why, what and when”.
    Sarah in the Bible was promised a son and when it didnt happen on her time table, she took things into her own hands and caused a lot of heartache. We can learn from Sarah and believe and trust God and live as though we do even though it may seem God has forgotten us.
    Even in her mistake, God kept His promise to Sarah and gave her the son He had promised her.

    God isnt punishing you, He loves you with an everlasting love and He so has your best interest at heart. The enemy is the one who comes to destroy and deceive and that’s when we choose to believe Truth or believe the lie that robs our Joy and cripples the present life He has us in.
    I am preaching my own sermon ladies! It doesnt stem from not being married, but married life brings its own challenges and I continue to be in a “pray and wait” attitude for my own spiritual growth, for my aging Mother, for finances, for my married children, for my grandchildren, for where and how God wants me to be used to make a difference in this life and I have to make a choice to believe Truth or the lie the enemy wants me to believe! Even though learning can be painful, we must embrace it and be willing to learn the rest of our days! We will NOT “arrive” until the day He calls us home!
    I am ready for that day and I hope if you read this blog you are ready too because THAT will be your most important decision for eternity, not marriage!
    Thankyou Beth! I love you and I love that you continue to trust, pray and wait and that you admonish and encourage these women. I love that you have a sensitive heart and care for others but most of all you are desiring to be a Woman of God!
    love,
    Mom

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