Hey y’all! I’m Amber. I was born and raised in Louisiana, and moved to Houston about three and a half years ago without knowing a single person in the city. It was definitely a leap of faith! It can be difficult to live away from my family, but for the most part Houston has started to feel like home. For most of my twenties, I was very career-minded and spent most of my time working extremely long hours and trying to climb the ladder. Now at the age of 27, I have slowed down enough in my career to make time for the things that really matter to me. And that definitely includes a social life and dating! About six months ago I launched my lifestyle blog, Saint and Cypress, and it has been so much fun! I love how blogging connects people. I also love that it gives me a chance to challenge myself creatively! With so much negativity in the world, especially in the media, I want my blog to be a place where people can find a fun, light-hearted pick me up to their day!Introducing Wholehearted Lady, Amber Guillory, of Saint and Cypress blog! Read where this sweet single lady gets the most encouragement for her single season, whats on her bucket list, advice she would give herself years ago, and so much more ! || www.NatalieMetLewis.com

Honestly, my journey through this season of singleness hasn’t been the easiest. I’ve definitely had years of struggles and frustration. Watching my sisters and most of my college friends get married within about a two-year time span was hard. I felt so left out. So isolated. It became difficult to relate to friends and family. And I even started to ask God, “what about me?” Moving to Houston was one of the best things to happen to me during this season. A colleague introduced me to my church and I quickly became a part of an amazing group of young single adults. My church, Houston’s First Baptist, really has a heart for the young single adults ministry and pours wisdom and guidance into these men and women. It was through this ministry that I not only made some of my closest friends, but also where I learned more about God’s view of dating and relationships. It was then that things began to shift and my struggles and frustration with singleness started to morph into feelings of joy, patience, and even gratitude. Now, does that mean I never ever struggle with being 27 and unmarried while living in the South? Heck no! I definitely have moments of upset and still wonder every once and a while, “why not me, Lord?” And it’s in these moments that I am the most grateful for my friends who I can call on for a reality check. That’s why community is so important. We ladies need each other to do life with!

These days I feel the most content and calm that I have ever been. And it’s all in thanks to the Lord’s goodness and faithful love. He hasn’t forgotten about me, and He hasn’t forgotten about you either, sweet friend! Jesus is right here with us in the waiting. Allow his presence into your heart and your life as you navigate this season. With His help and love, it can be a fruitful and sweet time in your life!


What has been the most exciting thing you have done throughout your single years?
Taking risks! Singleness has allowed me to take various risks throughout my twenties. Without the responsibility of a husband and family, I’ve been free to pursue some really interesting things. For example, for about 18 months I worked as an international financial analyst for an oil and gas company which required that I travel internationally on a regular basis. I covered five countries spread across three continents. Many of these trips were planned pretty last minute. Singleness allowed me the freedom to pack up at a moment’s notice and fly half way around the world.


What are you most grateful for/has been the biggest blessing of singleness?
Time. Something I never expected my singleness to yield has been an incredible gift of time. Honestly, I didn’t realize how much of a blessing time was until I was maybe 25. It was then that I decided that I didn’t want this time to be spent in vain. I love reading books, listening to sermons, and studying the Word all in an effort to become the best version of myself, all while strengthening my relationship with the Lord. Time has also given me the push to really lean into what the Lord places on my heart, and then step out in obedience. And it’s in this obedience that I’ve been led to do some scary things like seek counseling for anxiety and some joyous things like serving others in the church and my community. I’m so genuinely grateful for the work the Lord has been doing in my heart and in my life, all of which has been made possible with the gift of time during my single years.


What have you done on your own that you are most proud of?
Back when I was working in oil and gas, I took a 24 hour trip… to Africa. All by myself. Yes, you read that correctly! There was a project that I needed to tend to and it required that I stay in the country for about 18 hours. For my safety, I was required to fly back to the States right after I was done. Honestly, I was pretty proud of myself to take this trip solo. I’m really not that brave, so it’s still shocking that I did it, haha!


What have you learned through singleness that you wish you could tell your younger self?
Slow down, sweet girl! You are going to be single for a bit longer than you thought and guess what? It’s going to be okay! It’s actually going to be an adventure. The things you will experience during your single years will be wonderful, challenging, joyous, and refining. All together they will be some of the sweetest moments of your twenties. Don’t take your singleness for granted. Use your time to serve others, as well as to better yourself and grow your relationship with the Lord.


What is your craziest, funniest, most awkward dating experience?
The first memory that pops into mind is the one guy who told flat out told me he was “always curious about women who weren’t married over the age of 23. I mean obviously there’s something wrong with y’all”. This was on a first date. And he was serious. Obviously I never spoke to him again.


What is your favorite truth/bible verse to combat the lies of the world?
Psalm 13:5-6 (NLT) But I trust in your unfailing love. I will rejoice because you have rescued me. I will sing to the Lord because he is good to me.


What is your favorite resource for singles?
I love to pray, read, and listen to podcasts. Those three things remind me of the Truth especially in times when I need it the most.
The Sacred Search by Gary Thomas was a life changing book for me. It opened my eyes up to so many things about pursuing and maintaining a God honoring relationship. One notable piece of advice it shares is for singles to get up and get going! You won’t meet your future spouse by staying cooped up alone at home. Put yourself out there!
Wholeheartedly by Natalie Metrejean Lewis – This devotional is one that I have read through nearly three times. The honesty in Natalie’s writing makes this devotional so relatable, especially in those moments when singleness can feel so isolating. I honestly wish I could have a case of these devotionals in my trunk to hand out to the single ladies I meet. I’ve gifted it to a number of friends who have also found it incredibly encouraging!
The Porch Podcast – My church streams The Porch Live every Tuesday night, but for those who aren’t in Texas (or who can’t attend in person) I recommend their podcast. This is one of my favorite resources for singles. JP and David aren’t afraid to talk about the hard stuff or call “us” (single folks) out on things we need to hear.


Do you have a bucket list? If so, what’s one thing you’d like to do?
I’d love to travel to 6 of the 7 continents. I currently have 4 under my belt (South America, Europe, Africa, and North America). Asia and Australia – let’s go!


What is something you like to splurge on?
I’m quite domestic and really like to cook and decorate my home. So I decided that I wasn’t going to wait for my future wedding registry to equip my home, especially my kitchen, with nice things. From Le Creuset pots and pans to my Vitamix, I enjoy having high quality goods now instead of waiting on a husband to have them. If there’s something I want for my home, I save up and buy it myself. It’s such a gratifying feeling!


What encouragement do you have for those girls who are struggling and not yet thriving in their singleness?
There’s freedom and joy to be found when you surrender your singleness to the plans that God has for your life. You have an incredible purpose with or without a husband. That being said, it’s okay to grieve your singleness and the plans you had. Let out all the anger, sadness, and upset. Then move on. God has such a beautiful story he’s writing through your life. Once you lay down the plans you had, you will have the space for God’s plans. That’s when the fun begins!
I also suggest surrounding yourself with people who are in a similar phase of life as you. Having Christian friends who are also in a season of singleness really helped me make the transition from struggling in my singleness to thriving. I can’t tell you how nice it is to have friends I can text when things get hard and they just get it. We need each other. Both to vent and to encourage. Take these words to heart: find your tribe and love them well!

Name : Amber Guillory
Instagram : @saintandcypress
Website : www.saintandcypress.com

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