Name: Jennifer Abohosh | Dallas, Texas
Field of Work: Consulting
Can't Live Without: Coffee. (Stumptown Coffee is the favorite)
Loves: Spending time with her high school small group girls and spurring them on!
Has Flown: Over 100k miles this year helping ministries all around the world with digital strategy.
Side Hustle: Dallas Flower Company! She started it just a few months ago and has already sold countless bouquets and has a wedding booked this month! Remember those beautiful blooms on my Instagram yesterday? Those are hers, give her a follow @DallasFlowerCompany
I am so thrilled to introduce you to my dear friend Jen. We first met in a wedding we were both bridesmaids in together in 2015. Since then we were bridesmaids in yet another wedding together last November and have become close friends since I have moved to Dallas. We have recently joined a small group together with Chandler Mann (whom you have met) and Lindsay Price (who you will meet soon!) It has been so sweet to walk throughsingleness together and experience community in the midst of a sometimes lonely season.
If I had to describe Jen in one word, it would be INTENTIONAL. This girl is intentional with her words, time and actions. She is an example to me of what it looks like to be “quick to listen and slow to speak.” (James 1:19) (something I struggle with). She is wise beyond her years, and leads humbly. Jen is creative and a go-getter. (Did I mention she’s been promoted at her job like a billion times?) She has an eye for all things pretty (duh, her flowers are amaze) and a gift of making her friends feel known and loved. In this post Jen digs into what it feels like to belong somewhere or to someone in the midst of singleness and where we place our identity. Let me tell ya, it’s good stuff and you don’t want to miss it. Ok, enough from me, here’s what Jen’s has to say on “Belonging In The Desert”.
"Singleness sucks. Can we just come out and say that?
A friend of mine once gave me permission to scream into a pillow and cry over this, because it does suck. Feeling that emotion is part of it – it’s part of the refining fire.
I’m an extrovert. I get my energy from people and by being around people. Growing up, I was the girl that would bring 10 friends to camp with me to have built-in friends, and birthday parties were planned months in advance. Gathering with friends has always given me the most joy.
So, being single in a time of life where most of my friends are married feels isolating.
But desiring connection and belonging is what makes me human – but, for me, is part of what made me incredibly broken.
In the Bible, God uses a story in Hosea to show how a prostitute seeks value from her suitors instead of her husband. God tells him to give her unconditional love, and he does, but she still turns to her old patterns instead of to him.
Finally, in Chapter 2, God threw her into the desert and said, “I will block her path with thorn bushes; I will wall her in so that she cannot find her way. She will chase after her lovers but not catch them; she will look for them but not find them. Then she will say, ‘I will go back to my husband as at first, for then I was better off than now.” (Hosea 2:7-9)
Like Hosea, God, in his kindness, threw me in the desert away from the things I longed for until I realized where true life was found.
Except for my suitors came in the shape of friends, family and relationships that I clinged to for identity instead of fully in Christ.
But the desert is the place where I found myself and figured out what it meant to truly belong.
While in this desert, I decided to face the wilderness alone (with God) to figure out who I was and what He was trying to teach me as I clinged to the promise that “God works in everything for the good of those who love him and who are called according to his purpose” and I knew that even in this phase of life God was at work!
Trying to find my identity in people left me in this constant state of being too much or never enough.
I was either, too ambitious in my career for some men who wanted a stay at home wife. But, I was not feminist enough to really fit in with the career driven women.
I was stuck.
I was trying to cling to identities that were out there instead of grasping my own.
But God showed me that you can’t put me in a box because I don’t fit in a box. I’m complicated, and deep, and snarky, and smart, but it’s all beautifully unique to just me.
I discovered that identity is something that you carry and belonging isn’t something someone can give you. True belonging is something only you can give yourself.
And, true belonging is scary. It’s something you do alone – just you and God. It’s vulnerable and brave.
Because, when you truly belong, you belong nowhere and everywhere at once.
I am no longer picking up my identity from one person or friend group, because I’m unique to me. I belong nowhere but here – with me and God.
But, at the same time, I get to belong everywhere at once – bringing a lot to the table when I do! Since I’m coming to the party whole and already belonging - I get to experience joy from friendships as an added bonus to my life and praise God for those sweet gifts of mirroring His love for me.
I think this what God wanted from me in this season.
I think God wanted to show me that true belonging comes from within, and I don’t need anyone else to belong. I get to belong in the desert on my own. And that’s enough."
Struggling with our identity and wanting to feel like we belong somewhere is so common in all walks of life. I hope you were encouraged by Jen's words just as much as I was and reminded that God has us belonging in what ever season it may be, for a reason, and for His Glory, and "that's enough", because He is always good.