This week we’re introducing you to Stacy Varghese (pictured here with her husband, TJ). Stacy is the Development Manager at Global Media Outreach, a non-profit organization founded by former Apple Computer Executive, Walt Wilson. She’s spent most of her working life in non-profit boardrooms full of middle-aged married men.
After 32 years of (often impatiently) waiting, she tied the knot with TJ, a product manager for one of the top selling apps on the iPad, and proved there are still great guys out there for the hard-working single woman! Stacy sat down with us this week to chat about how the effect that waiting for God to bring the right man to her had on her faith.
4word: Can you tell us how and when you and TJ met?
Stacy: We met on EHarmony! It’s a fact that both of us were embarrassed about early on, but it shows God can use anything. In fact, God really did guide us both there. TJ felt he should join right after his birthday in September of 2009. That same week, I was on vacation and went to visit a sweet mentor who spoke encouragement into my single-weary soul. She reminded me that my desire for marriage was put there by God, and that it wasn’t wrong to keep trusting Him for marriage.
I felt my heart begin to hope again, and after five completely unrelated people mentioned EHarmony, I joined. Within a week TJ and I were matched and began communicating by email. But, we still had all the awkward getting to know you stuff to get through. Looking back, you can see God’s plan at work.
4word: I think all of our readers have heard multiple times how important it is to wait for God’s timing, but, practically speaking, what did that look like for you?
Stacy: I had great mentors. Seek out women who had to wait a long time for marriage and get their advice. For a long time I kept my feelings to myself, because it was hard to admit that I felt like a failure in my personal life. It’s strange to be so successful at work and feel like a loser in your personal life.
My mentor, Marina, got married at age 36, and she always told me, “Maximize your Singleness.” In other words, use this time to volunteer, build your career and deepen your friendships. I’m glad I used that time to get my MBA and to lead mission trips. Those were two things that stuck out to TJ when he decided to pursue me, and they have given me the pedigree to have flexibility in my job, right when I needed it the most.
4word: Was this a part of your life that it was easy to trust God with? Why/why not?
Stacy: It was not very easy to trust God, and at key points in my life I had to deal with unmet expectations and surrender the timing to Him again. When I graduated from college I really struggled. I realized that my plan had always included marriage soon after I graduated. I hadn’t even really had a serious date, much less a serious relationship.
At 25, it hit again. But by 30, I was learning to anticipate those times, and to celebrate what I COULD do as a single instead of dwelling on what I felt I was missing. So for my birthday, I got four of my friends together to go skydiving. My sadness about being single at 30 was replaced with a fear/excitement of the big jump.
4word: How did waiting for God to bring TJ into your life (and waiting I am sure much longer than you would have wanted to!) strengthen your relationship with Him?
Stacy: I journaled a lot during my single years, especially when I was struggling. Usually it would start by complaining about what was wrong in my life, but I’d also make sure to end by writing a prayer to God. I knew I needed to l trust Him in that moment and move on with my life. When TJ and I began to get serious and compare our life stories, I realized that many of those prayers had specifically been answered. It strengthened my trust in God and my faith that He was the one who brought TJ into my life at just the right time.
For more on singleness, dating and marriage as a career woman, read Chapter 6 of “Work, Love, Pray.”