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Paperback Revelations of a Single Woman: Loving the Life I Didn't Expect Book

ISBN: 1414303084

ISBN13: 9781414303086

Revelations of a Single Woman: Loving the Life I Didn't Expect

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Book Overview

Turning our culture's Sex in the City worldview completely upside down, Revelations of a Single Woman celebrates God's enticing, life-giving promises, even when life takes you down a path you didn't plan for. Connally Gilliam explores what it means to live in a world for which her mother never could have prepared her. Through this collection of thoughtful, honest, and humorous memoirs, the author delves into what it really means to be "the remainder"...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Reviewing a book I didn't expect

This book blew me away. It is fabulous. It is the kind of book for singles that I have thought doesn't exist. Let me confess: I hated being single two years ago, even tho I am really happy about it right now. It just felt so unfair. So I thought "You need a Christian self-help book for singles, that will fix it". And oh what a great choice we have. There is Michelle McKinney-Hammond, whose books on the topic did virtually NOTHING for me. Her writing, it is ALL about *preparing* and waiting for that perfect God-blessed relationship. Sorry, but I don't even KNOW whether God has that planned for me, so why would I spend so much time *getting ready for Mr Right?*. Then there is Nancy Leigh Demoss. Her apporach is far more true to God's word and actually considers the concept and joys of life-long singleness. Or at least a life that doesn't center on waiting for God-sent Prince Charming. I liked that. Because it destroyed the myth that only a life spent in a relationship is a life worth living. BUT....what I am missing in this type of book is my down-to-earth everyday life as as single and how I sometimes *coughs*euphemism*coughs* struggle with it. You know...finding out that even God-trusting singles of the kind that strive to please God have to come to terms with certain things. And Gilliams's book addresses all that in a way that I -a woman who is in her mid-20s in 2006 and was raised in a non-Chritian household in a pleasure-obsessed world- can relate to. Chapters like "I Just Gotta Be Queen", "Not Getting It" (and yes, she means *it*) and "So, Why aren't you married?" give an idea. This is no dreamy Christian-Women-have-no-physical-and-emotional-desires-and-naturally-bloom-in-volunteer-work type of book. This is about your average woman who has made a commitment to the Lord that seems to be against everything modern western culture advocates and against what a not-to-be-understimated part of herself simply *wants*. Don't get me wrong, the author NEVER fails to give God His place in this book, but she understands that striving to be a woman after Gods' own heart does NOT mean being "naturally" and "effortlessly" chaste and happy-about-her-situation. In fact, Gilliam points out that it is the struggle, the effort and yes, the suffering, which help us to follow and understand Christ. So: Does THIS book help me at all? yes. It makes me feel I am being understood by other people in this situation and reminds me that the ultimate reason for going through what sometimes is not a pleasure is to glorify God. And the author does all that in the funniest, most down-to-earth yet biblical way I could possibly have wished for. Highly recommended.

Dealing with Unfulfillled Expectations

REVELATIONS OF A SINGLE WOMAN Loving the Life I Didn't Expect By Connally Gilliam Why would a happily married (for 33 years) father of three and grandfather of four read a book with a title like this? For one thing I have a single daughter, and I wanted to understand it better before passing it on to her. Most importantly, however, this is a book about unfulfilled expectations, and everyone has to deal with that sooner or later. The subtitle "Loving the life I didn't expect" should have tipped me off, but I was 80% of the way through the book before it hit me that this is really a book about unfulfilled expectations. Victor, Frankl, who survived a Nazi concentration camp, said that the ultimate freedom is the freedom to choose one's attitude. Connally Gilliam has learned this through unintended singleness. She never expected to still be unmarried in her late thirties, but that is how it turned out, and she deals with it by exercising this ultimate freedom to choose her attitude. She writes movingly of how she has discovered that the real source of joy is not to be found in a relationship with another human being but rather in a relationship with the triune God. She writes: "I say this now with greater clarity and conviction than I did a few years ago. It has taken me a while to get this `source of joy' thing straight. The struggle is probably half of what this book is about. And even now, I must be reminded of what's true in a myriad of ways from a myriad of sources....at the risk of sounding like a clichéd bumper sticker, I'm just going to say it. There's one true, if mysterious, source of inexpressible and glorious joy: the triune God - Father, Son and Holy Spirit - a.k.a the Joy Maker." She quotes the wife of an older mentor: "It is better to be single, wanting to be married than it is to be married wanting to be single." There is a lot of wisdom in that, and if the divorce statistics are any indication, there are a lot of married people who want to be single, because at least half of them go through the messy, expensive process of becoming single again. One suspects that there are a sizable number in the other half who are "married wanting to be single" but who stay together for the sake of the kids or for appearances or whatever. But that is small comfort to single people, especially single women who long to be married. Connally Gilliam writes about this longing poignantly and intelligently. This book touches on many of the issues facing this generation of women, which is arguably the first generation of "liberated" women who have access to career choices that previous generations only dreamed of. The author does not disparage women who have ambitions to succeed professionally, but she does note that, for all they have gained, women have lost something as well. The book does not shy away from the hard questions either, in particular questions of sexuality. In an age where anyone who is not sleeping with a member of

A book whose time has come!

During a 12 year pastorate helping to lead a large single adult community in a California church I often looked for a "defining" book that would be of broad use in our community regarding issues of singleness. Defining chapters and paragraphs turned up regularly but rarely did a whole book until now! Connally Gilliam has written a book that will cross many groups and many boundaries. First, her book is not just for women. There are thousands of men out there who would gain an enormous new understanding and appreciation for the women in their life from reading through these twenty chapters. Hopefully, they will have some healthy and honest talks with their female friends and relatives as a result. Second, this is not just a book for Christians. Though Connally leaves no doubt as to her own religious convictions she sets out such a thoughtful and comprehensive conversation that anyone, religious or not, is bound to enjoy this discussion and find themselves eager to reply to this deeply committed Christian who somehow covers all the issues the culture at large is already talking about. If you are already a Christian, you might be surprised by some of things Connally is willing to talk about. If you are not a Christian, or of any religious persuasion at all, you might be surprised how intelligent and winsome her invitation is to engage in dialogue. Third, this is not a book for sissies! There are a lot of lessons learned from the school of hard knocks between these pages. The author is not shy about sharing her own heartache in the classroom of life but also does not shrink from what she believes are self-evident truths and absolutes lines of behavior that hold true today as yesterday. Are you ready to be more honest, thoughtful, and willing to face up to life's pain as well as pleasure? This is the book for you, don't miss it!

From a Single Woman who Doesn't Like Books on Singleness

When Connally Gilliam asked me to review her book, Revelations of a Single Woman: Loving the Life I Didn't Expect (Tyndale, 2006), I considered it a good way to get to know Connally. I have appreciated her posts on this site, especially the one entitled, "The Jealousy of God." And I thought we had a lot in common: English majors who grew up in Virginia, serving in parachurch ministry, similar age, and single and loving our lives. Where I hesitated internally-and I didn't tell Connally this-is the subject matter. I don't care for books about being single. There are so many thoughtful books waiting on my bedside table that a singleness book is not a priority. (Not to say there aren't thoughtful books about singleness.) But usually they end up as commands to be content, instructions on keeping clear sexual boundaries or how to's in using this season of "freedom" to serve God. Thankfully, Connally's book is not centered on these topics. Instead, it is about a wise woman's experiences with her God, with her friends (male, female, married, single), and with her self. Connallly asks all the questions I've asked myself: How do I live with the fragmentation and isolation of today's world? What does it look like to have life-giving relationships with my family, my friends, my community? How much of myself do I give to my career? Is full satisfaction available this side of heaven? What do I think a man should be/do/stand for? And Connally's voice is clear and strong, a real tribute to a first-time author. Her personality jumps off the pages; she is honest in her longings, true to her faith story, and welcoming in the conversation. Plus, she's downright funny! She introduces the reader to tens of her friends' and their experiences and thoughts. I liked that. Hearing from all sorts of people gives Revelations of a Single Woman a broad reach--but not so broad that that it thins out. In fact, I think this book has so much content it could have been two, or even three! Connally is at her best, though, when she offers more of herself than even she, a clear extrovert, feels comfortable. My favorite exchange occurs in Chapter 13, when an old, wise friend challenges her to "suffer well" the isolation of singleness. Connally tearfully asks what it means to do so. "It meant admitting that the confusion plaguing me . . . was real and not easily navigated. It meant owning my unmet desires and the related disappointment. And it also meant holding on to and holding up the goodness and realness of God in the midst of it. [Her friend's] words about suffering prophetically had felt like a gut-level punch. But in reality, they were more like the compassion-induced Heimlich maneuver, freeing me to live." May her courage be contagious--in the lives of all believers.

Don't miss this one!

If you or anyone you know is unexpectedly single, you definitely don't want to miss reading this book. I LOVED every chapter and was sad to get to the end. I found it to be insightful and honest with a refreshing dose of humor and candor. I was grateful for Gilliam's willingness to share openly about the joys and struggles of singleness without compromising her beliefs in the truth of God's goodness and presence in her life. She masterfully articulates the fact that the issues and struggles are REAL, yet she gently leads the reader again and again to the God of hope who can and will meet us in our places of pain and disappointment. Gilliam dares to discuss even the secret and seldom talked about topics that face single women without coming across as preachy or as a prude. Her open-hearted style draws the reader in and her brilliant weaving of the stories and insights from other women rounds out the book beautifully. I believe Revelations of a Single Woman will be a source of encouragement and hope to single women of all ages. I am anxious to recommend it to my friends!
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