From a father who read Revelations of a Single Woman, borrowed from his single daughter, Ann: Ann, I’m sorry it has taken me so long to get your book back to you. Thank you for letting me read it. It has helped me understand your situation better, at least to the extent that yours is like the author’s. Gilliam is a very good writer whose style I enjoyed. She made some points I really appreciated. In the chapter “Men—Who Needs Them?”, she concluded that we all do, because they complete the image of God. Her point was that both men and women carry the image of God in unique ways, and we need to have relationships with both to help us know God better. I thought that was a good point. It also came up in our study of The Shack, where Papa says, “I’m not who you think I am.” I always run the risk of trying to put God into my preconceived image. God is not limited to my best imagination of Him. Seeing Him in others helps me complete that picture. In the chapter on “Dads and Daughters,” I guess I saw myself, to some degree, in her father. I’d like to think of myself as being sensitive and perceptive, but he probably did too. I know I’ve missed the main point with Mom from time to time, and I’m sure I’ve done it with you too. Being reminded of it motivates me to listen more carefully, not just to what you’re saying, but also to what you’re not saying. Gilliam’s description of “When Good Friends Marry Off” helped me see how difficult friends’ weddings and marriages must be for you. I can imagine each one is a mixed bag of feelings; joy for the friend and a painful reminder that you’re not where she is. This book prompts me to pray and helps me to pray more specifically. My prayer is twofold: First, that God would bring someone into your life. Not just anyone, but someone who will be the perfect complement to you—spiritually, physically, mentally, and emotionally. And second, that He would make Himself known to you in the interim as sufficient for all your needs. I love you and am so proud of you. Let me know how I can be the best dad in this season of your life.
I just picked up your book while on a brief vacation visiting friends (married, with kids). I'm about to turn 30, with no guy in sight. I like my job and feel moderately successful, have a good education, and enjoy a great group of friends. I've traveled, lived in two states, and have worked several different engaging and fulfilling jobs (including teaching jr. high English). I have been dealing lately with an overwhelming longing for home, such as you discuss in the last chapter. Most materials on singleness are either how-to NOT be single, or pat answers on how to enjoy it. I so appreciated your take on leaning into the pain, and learning from the heartache as well as the joy. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts, dreams, and pain honestly, thoughtfully, and in a giving way. I read it through in the last three days of my vacation and am reading it over again slowly now. And I didn't have a single "secret shudder" at syntax or patronizing attitude, so common with books on singleness! Thank you, thank you. All the best on your ongoing journey.
I just wanted to thank you for your “revelations.” Although I am surrounded by wonderful friends and family whom I love very much, I now know few single women, and I cannot tell you the relief of having all the things I was thinking and feeling validated as reasonable and normal responses to being single—and not just my own neurosis as I was beginning to suspect! I’ve just cried my way through the book for the first time, but there’s so much food for thought in there that I’m going to read it again with a lot of prayer. I know it won’t keep you warm at night to know this, but God really is using your current singleness for a valuable purpose—thank you for sharing it.
I LOVED this book. Amazing. I'm an 18-year-old virgin with many friends—yes, many that are my age, going to college, and still virgins. Some, like me, have never even been kissed. A lot of the other singles books are annoying and formulaic, but this one was more in tune to real life. I put together a review at my blog: http://hannahzuzu.livejournal.com/. Thank you so much for writing the book!!
I have read your book and enjoyed it very much and have referred again to certain parts. You are one of the few Christian authors whom I feel truly understands what it is like to be single, as so much literature is addressed to marriage and family issues. . . . Thank you very much.
Thank you for your book; it’s the only one I’ve ever read on the topic that I’d bother recommending. The conversation with Dr. Houston (whom I spent a bit of time with in ’02/03 when I was a student there too) really caught me off guard. I was in bed reading before falling asleep, and suddenly it was as if it were me in the car with him, hearing him say those things; tears ran down my face as I “listened.” What else can we do but be prophets to our generation and plead with our parents’ generation to help undo their damage by mentoring and loving Xers? We are the aborted generation—â…“ of our siblings are dead, and we had the highest suicide rate of male adolescents ever. We are a generation in pain. Thank you for writing this difficult but helpful book.
Dear Connally, I'm halfway through the book and am finding some sweet release for a lot of my single-woman emotions I hadn't bothered to define lately. In the past I have voiced some of my singleness issues to other singles and to sympathetic married types, but it is so validating to see such a thorough and human treatment of these struggles put into print. Thank you, Connally! I wish I could meet you. Do you ever have coffee with a random stranger who stops by your area? (Not that I'll be in DC anytime soon, but you never know.) I'm sure you are inundated with requests for coffee—probably from too many fellow females like me—but I couldn't help but ask if it's possible to add one's name to the coffee-sometime list. Thanks again for a great book!
I am a 42-year-old single mom, and I am currently reading your book. I just got to the part when your Scottish friend talked to you about suffering prophetically. I had to put it down, as it brought tears to my eyes. My favorite Scripture is 2 Tim. 3:1-8 (actually the whole chapter is good). It brings me hope that Jesus cannot be too far away.
Dear Connally, I just wanted to say thank you for writing the first book on singleness that I've actually felt was worth reading. While I'm only in my mid-twenties, almost every chapter in your book struck something deep inside. I feel like I'm well on my way to the kind of fragmented life you describe—I'm a Southerner but have also worked in DC and now am living internationally. I've lived in a different city every year since graduation from college, with eleven different roommates, four church communities, and friends all over the world—but relationships that are getting thinner and thinner as our circles spin off again and again. Your book is getting passed around with my coworkers in China and other parts of Asia. I just wanted to say thank you for writing honestly, bringing up the taboo topics that are so, so hard to discuss even in our closest friendships, and for not providing any surface-level, clichÃ© answers but challenging us to be brave. If I ever find myself working in DC again or getting my master’s degree there, it would be a privilege to meet you!
Your book has been the only thing I have found to relate to while navigating this life of undesired singleness. I would really like you to pray for me . . . and maybe even shoot an e-mail my way. Thank you so much for your honesty. It is almost as if you read my heart and published it. I look forward to hearing from you.
I just finished your book. I’ve read a lot of books about “singleness,” but yours struck a chord like no other! There were so many things that you described in your test, that I would read and exclaim, “That’s me!!” There is someone else out there with the same perspective! (I didn’t think it possible. A 34-year-old single woman in Indiana is something of an anomaly. ïŠ) There was one concept in particular that was almost like a revelation for me. I live in a small town in Indiana, and people are constantly telling me I need to move to a city like Indianapolis or Houston (where my brother lives), where the “odds are better” (for meeting men). I’ve been hesitant, because honestly, I like my life. In many ways I really haven’t understood why I like my small town life so much . . . until your book. You hit the nail on the head when you talked about community! My family is 20 minutes away, I work at a middle-sized hospital with lots of great people, and my church is my FAMILY. I got sympathy cards from these wonderful people when my dog died this year (LOL). How many people have that kind of support system? I feel so connected here! I never really realized what it was. It’s funny, because my brother is a deacon at the Second Baptist Church in Houston, where there are hundreds of singles, but sometimes I get the feeling that I am more “connected” than him. I guess there is a time for letting go (of our control) and letting God work through our current circumstances! Anyway, if you should happen to get this message, thank you for having a heart for the circumstances of the thirty-something single Christian women in the U.S. We are forging new ground in so many ways. We may not have all the answers, but we’re looking in the right place with a loving, gracious God. Thank you for taking the time to encourage others, and know that tonight I’ll be saying a prayer for you!! God Bless