Thursday, September 27, 2012

In order to lead a fascinating life, one brimming with art, music, intrigue, and romance, you must surround yourself with precisely those things.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Seek Holiness Before Seeking a Spouse

Single Life column by Catholic singer-songwriter 
Jackie Francois: From our July 29 issue
Jackie Francois Facebook
– Jackie Francois Facebook

I really enjoy being single — until someone tells me they want me to date their kin in order for me to bring them back to the Church.
Sometimes I want to respond with, “Hey lady, I don’t flirt to convert!”
It seems, though, that God has granted me the gift of slow wit in the most inopportune times.
When people find out I’m single, they either 1) try to set me up (either with another supposedly pitiful single person or with a convent), 2) tell me how lucky I am to be avoiding marriage or 3) assume I have an incurable disease.
I don’t mind the setter-uppers; they mean well and often want me to enjoy the same bliss they have experienced in their vocation. The jaded marriage-avoiders are another bunch, though. Many times they pressure me to live the pleasures of intimacy without the levels of commitment. They especially flip out when I tell them that I’m a 28-year-old virgin striving to live a life of chastity, because, as they tell me, I “have missed out on life.” The “incurable diseasers” who condescendingly ask, “Why aren’t you married, yet?!” figure that if I’m still single in my late 20s, there must be something wrong with me.
Regardless of these assumptions and reactions, I have never felt more joy or peace in my life than I feel now in the midst of my young-adult single life.
Truthfully, it has taken me years of faith, humility and dating to get to a place where I know that God alone satisfies the yearnings of my heart to love and be loved. God alone is the one for whom my heart longs.
Even though I would like to get married someday, God is the one who I want more than anything. If God called me to give up a husband or family for the sake of the Kingdom, I would.
When there are days that I begin to idolize marriage as the ultimate fulfillment of this life, I remind myself of my God-directed priorities.
If I died tomorrow, would I be happy? Of course! I would be so excited to be with the One whom my heart loves (especially after an excruciatingly purifying time in purgatory, I’m sure).
Obviously, I am not perfect and am still learning how to navigate my way through single life, figuring out how to date properly, wanting the best for others (even if it means being rejected), and practicing what I preach — all the while trying to draw closer to the heart of God in the busyness of everyday life.
My hope for single people who are discerning is that they seek holiness before seeking a spouse, knowing that Jesus the Bridegroom gives a peace and joy that no person on this earth could ever give.
I hope that they practice enjoying the present, since every state of life brings with it trials and sacrifices that train us in virtue and prepare us for heaven.
Lastly, I hope they become witnesses to a twisted culture that scoffs at virtues like purity, chastity, modesty and self-control (see Philippians 2:13-14). Our world surely needs that bold witness.

Jackie Francois is a Catholic singer and songwriter.
Find her music online at

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Saturday, September 8, 2012

A song for you!

"Love Like the Movies" by Mumford & Sons

So you want to be in love like the movies
But in the movies they're not in love at all
And with a twinkle in their eyes
They're just saying their lines 
So we can't be in love like the movies

Now in the movies they make it look so perfect
And in the background they're always playing the right song
And in the ending there's always a resolution
But real life is more than just two hours long

So you want to be in love like the movies
But in the movies they're not in love at all
And with a twinkle in their eyes
They're just saying their lines 
So we can't be in love like the movies

Well you can freeze frame any moment from a movie
Or run the whole damn thing backwards from reel to reel
But I don't see one single solitary light technician
Or one single camera in this moonlit field

I don't want to be in love like the movies
Cause in the movies they're not in love at all
With a twinkle in their eyes
They're just saying their lines
So we can't be in love like the movies.

And with a twinkle in their eyes
They're just saying their lines
And so we can't be in love like the movies.
We can't be in love like movies

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Excuses for Being Single

I’m finished making excuses for being single.
I’m not too busy for a boyfriend. I’m not focusing on my studies. I’m not focusing on my career. I’m not trying to discover who I am. Mom. . . Dad. . . You know how you ask if there are any guys at college and I say, “No, not a one.”? That’s a blatant lie. There are lots of guys. Lots of great looking, intelligent, witty men who would donate one of their kidneys to an Ethiopian orphan and nurse a sick, baby bird to health.
So, why am I single? Because I am discerning what God wants for my life.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve fought Him on this issue. I’ve prayed that God find me a man and deliver him in time for the release of *Insert Movie Title Here*, so I’d have a date. I’ve prayed that He would send him to me before grad school, because that seemed like a swell time to tie the knot. I’ve even avoided praying and rationalized my way through giving my number to a 32-year-old, gas station attendant with a knack for being clingy whom I knew absolutely nothing about (let me just say, that did not go well). To say I’ve wanted to be single for the last few years would be quite the work of fiction.
Despite the moments I’d wished God had given me the go ahead on some guys who’d asked me out, I can genuinely say I’m glad, even thankful, He kept me stag. Why? Because I’m a dependent coward. In the past I wasn’t looking for someone to share life with. I was looking for someone to leech onto and live life through. By staying single, I had to leech onto and live through God. Without a set of broad shoulders to lean on, I learned to find strength and purpose in Christ.
This little epiphany hadn’t dawned on me until one night when I was. . . well, sort of panicking about my future. I’m graduating soon, and I wasn’t 100% sure what I wanted to do or where I wanted to go. It’s not that I didn’t have options, I did. But simply having options doesn’t calm nerves. The fact I could choose the wrong one and have a stagnant, unenjoyable life was where the panic comes into play.
So, what did I do when I couldn’t prevent my mind from wandering into the potentially dismal abyss known as my future? I genuinely, earnestly, sincerely, redundantly wished with all my might that I had a husband, so I could just go with him wherever he ventured and take care of his home. As soon as I had fully realized what my proposed solution was to my uncertainty, I felt sick.
I had completely abandoned turning to God for comfort. I’d stopped discerning God’s direction and purpose for me and started yearning for some faceless male being to drag me along, so I wouldn’t be alone.
I turned to marriage not as a means to grow closer to God and glorify Him with someone but to replace Him.
This is not my announcement that God has called me to be single ’til death. This is me saying singleness is not a death sentence.
It’s amazing what I’ve learned these past few years, and I know I wouldn’t have been able to grow like I have in my relationship with Christ while attaching myself to someone. I simply couldn’t have handled it.
I just want to make sure you never think I’m single because I’m independent and strong. I want you to know that I’m single, because I’m dependent and weak but depending on Christ.