It’s Mim’s turn now.
The group asks Mim questions, and this is what they hear her saying:
Q. (From Carla) Is there a season that’s most painful to you? And I mean this two ways: over the long haul, and seasons of the year.
A. When she was 29 or 30, it was hard. She missed out on the romance of the Christmas holidays and just being special to that one person.
Q. (From Martha) Is it difficult to relate to single men and how do you?
A. She can relate to married men much better than to single men. This could be related to the awkwardness.
But Mim has found she can work well with men. “I live in a man’s world.” She fits in.
Q. (From Sabrina) Who do you talk to? Are there men you can go to with questions?
A. God has put men in her life who have helped her when she needed help with things like car trouble, etc. Their wives understand and are supportive.
Dot notes that if women resent their husbands helping her, how hurtful that must be.
Mim says, “It’s easier when you’re 62 and they’re 35!” When she was younger, God provided a lot of families who helped her.
Naomi recalls that Elnora said when she needs help from men, she’s not out to get someone’s husband. “That felt good,” says Naomi (her husband works with single women).
Mim hastens to add that sometimes there’s “reason to be skeptical with some women.”
Q. (From Louella) Does it hurt when we talk about our children?
A. Like Dot, Mim says, “Yes, it hurts. But I also want you to talk about your children and grandchildren.”
Q. (From Elnora) What are some of the blessings of being single?
A. She appreciates her independence, her wide range of friendships, and her opportunities to travel. Her identity is not in her husband. She admits she doesn’t want to hang out with singles all the time, especially if they’re not happy being single and are constantly talking about men.
Q. (From Dot) Is there one thing that people say or ask that never stops being hurtful?
A. The old maid label is hurtful, not only to her; it bothers her if anybody is referred to as an old maid. And that’s not the only label.
“What’s a good label?”
The word ‘single’ is good.
Louella: “Never say you’re a leftover blessing!”
The room falls silent as everyone cringes and silently thanks God that nobody says that anymore. Mim says, “It’s much easier to be single in my generation than it was for my aunts.”
Further reflections from Mim: “Part of my struggle as a single woman was feeling like God had called me to be a pastor’s wife, and the years were going by, and I wasn’t one. One day I was asked to speak at RBC chapel and share my story of singleness, and I really didn’t feel like being that vulnerable in front of so many people.
“But I did it and felt good about what I shared. And later I had an email, or a letter, from [one of the men who’d invited me to speak]. And he said, ‘I just want to share something with you that struck me as you were talking. It seems like of course when you felt that call, you would’ve thought that meant you that would marry a minister. As I’ve known you, you’re the pastor. Look at what you’ve done all your life! You’ve pastored people.’
“That letter meant a lot to me, and it was part of healing for me, because I think I felt like maybe I was in Plan B all this time. And I think that helped me to say, no, this is where God had me.”
Readers, what would you like to ask Mim?