Why we need to stop thinking of singlehood as if its a clearance shoe rack

I stopped into DSW (Designer Shoe Warehouse) today hopeful to find a cute shoe on sale that would go well with basically every outfit I own.

Tall order, I know.

As I meandered the aisles, looking up and down each one, not one shoe caught my eye. In one last ditch effort, I took the walk of shame to the back of the room. Yes. I went to the clearance shoe rack; that dreaded back area of the store where all is fair in love and war and maritime law ceases to exist.

Strewn about in ordered chaos and nothing like the shoes on the floor displayed on their crystal pedestals, these shoes always dash my hopes and dreams. More times than not, I leave the store empty handed, wondering why my feet couldn't just be a size 4.5 so I could, you know, buy shoes on sale that don't look like they were made in the dark by ostriches with hands.

Shopping in the clearance rack is exhausting for this very reason. The shoes left over are the ones that are a hard sell. They're weird. Or shaped funny. And they're there because nobody wanted them...haphazardly thrown together in a large mass and marked down in the hope that some poor soul will take them home.

You may be 28 like me and with every passing second you hear the clock tick down to 30 contemplating how in the next year you're going to do everything you ever wanted before the end of your life.

You may be 33 and rolling your eyes at everything I write because you're annoyed that I'm annoyed that I'm single and only 28 and think my life is ending.

You may be 24 and really are thinking I'm an old hag and this year is a shot in my foot and I have seconds to live.

I don't know.

But what I do know, what I've wrestled with myself and am learning and seeing and hearing from so many of you, is the reality of the fact that many of us fear we are those shoes.





Not chosen (yet).


The wrong ______.

And although we may know that those shoes are NOT WHO WE ARE, in many ways I believe those shoes represent how many of us feel about ourselves and about dating.

Whether intended or not, we've been fed the lie that the good ones are already taken and that all that is left for us unintentional life-thrifters is to scour the clearance racks, swiping left or right in the hope of finding anything a step above ugly, weird and mass-murderer...and fast because those are selling off the shelves too!

Single adults. Hear me.


As single adults, we have to stop living into the clearance shoe rack mentality. There is more to who we are and who we were created to be than trying to pull a Cinderella's evil step sister over on our dating lives or project our fears and insecurities onto those whom we think we're destined to have to date.

Time is on our side.
They are not the last one.
You are loved regardless.

We have to stop seeing ourselves as less than our married or successfully relation-shipped friends. We also need to stop seeing ourselves as better, in an attempt to lift our pride and esteem.

We are a part of making up the culture in which we live. We are just as responsible for the lies we internalize as the people and systems in our lives, churches and families who instill them.

As single people, we can either choose to live into the stereotypes that abound, or break them. And we break them through learning to live free.

We haven't missed our boat. We are not too old for love. We are not subjected to a castaway lot of misfit, ugly, weird, annoying and awkward clearance rack future husbands and wives.

When all we seem to do is pick up are the 8" heels NOBODY CAN WEAR or the see the adorable size fives that someone else seemed to snatch up before us, even though we know our size nines would never fit, we must continue to push forward. We must continue to live lives or integrity, honor and truth, knowing that the Lord has a plan and that He loves us.

And for real, that plan does not include an ugly loafer...unless you like those...

I get it. I totally do. And I hate it...for both you and me. I know how frustratingly annoying it is to try and try again only to be let down. But fashionista, don't give up. Don't throw in the towel and settle. The blisters and corns aren't worth it.

Because sometimes...sometimes...there are those moments however glint, when you find your PERFECT fit and are ever so glad you waited. So put your Olympic-rated elbowing and bartering skills to rest, dear shopper, and keep your eyes focused on what is ahead.


But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. -Isaiah 40:3

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. -Proverbs 3:5-6

The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. -Lamentations 3:25-26

140 Days and Counting: An Update
I have 140 days left of this journey...a 140 in which I fully intend to soak each and every second out of. I love my life and I am learning to truly and deeply love and fully accept who God created me to be...which comes with vulnerability, sacrifice and a little bit of fear as I step into leadership roles and own parts of me I'd rather just hide.

Since I've written last, I've had two different men tell me they were not interested in getting to know me if it meant I wouldn't date them in the immediate...yeah...that really did happen.

I've also started a new job which I love, opened my own photography business (after 10 years of talking about it) and am about to start my third year (of five) of graduate school to complete my second masters degree...this time a Masters of Divinity. And yes, I mean it. So if you're against women leading or speaking in public, you need not apply to be my true love come January 2017. All snark intended.


  1. Ha! Love the last paragraph. True words as always, my friend. Great to see another post! Love hearing your wise thoughts!!

    1. Love you girl! Thanks so much...and I'm extra glad you noticed and liked that last graph the best. hehe!

  2. Steph thanks for writing this blog! I may or may not have read through every post you've written as I rode the subway home. :) I'm so refreshed and encouraged by your words (or should I say God's words, communicated through you). I get less pressure in living in Korea to be dating and whatnot, but as a Christian girl it's impossible to not feel pressure from the church like you're "less" or not fulfilling God's purpose yet because you having gotten married and created some new little Sunday school attendees. There's always an older married lady down the pew to nudge you when a new single guy walks in, nevermind that he's almost a foot shorter than you and happens to be picking his nose at the time. Because OBVIOUSLY I must be desperately looking for a man! Argh. Your reminders that God leads us all on a different path, some of those paths including a longer period of singleness, are so encouraging. I think God has given you a very needed path this year to minister to your peers that keep being bombarded with the lies you wrote about. Miss you!

    1. Heidi-AMEN!!! Thank you so, so much for these words!! I feel the same, I am so honored that my journey is impacting and encouraging so many-it makes the scary vulnerability worth it, knowing my thoughts and stories as I wrestle through this year (and 28 years worth of lies and lessons) are serving to minister to others who find themselves in a similar stage of life. We're not alone! Love and miss you...and now I know who my S. Korea IP address is through Google Analytics! hahaha! Thank you for reading and commenting, next time you're home, I'd love to see you. -All my best, Steph

    2. I sent the link to a few friends so you might get a few more South Korea IPs haha! And YES let's meet up next time I'm home. :)

  3. You don't know me but I happened on your blog through the comment you made on a relevant article and your point of view was so refreshing to me. I am married with two small kids but more and more, God is leading me and showing me more about singleness. For many years God has kept in on my heart to write a book about dating---not an "I kissed dating good bye" type book but a book that encourages men and women biblically based on the example of Ruth. It might sound cliche but there is more there than meets the eye. I am grateful, however for your blog because ethe perspective you give is so healthy for many to hear. To me, it seems that many I meet that are older want to connect...not first be married but seem for who they truly ae in Christ. Is that a right view? Marriage is a great gift, but so is singleness. I future up for it, I would love to converse with you a bit more via email. Please let me know! My email is

    1. Hi Shelley! Thanks so much for your comment and for reading my post. I love that the Lord has placed this on your heart!! I would love to converse further--will email soon! Best, Steph