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From Closed to Open Singleness

with

Tara Leigh Cobble

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Kait and JJ are joined today by Tara Leigh Cobble to talk about open and closed singleness, holiday traditions, emotionally healthy community, and married friends.

Introduction

Hey fammm! Welcome back to the Heart of Dating podcast with your hosts, Kait and JJ Tomlin! We have a HUGE announcement before we jump in today… we have OFFICIALLY joined the THAT SOUNDS FUN NETWORK!!!! We have some new artwork and branding and we’re so pumped to be part of the team! They have so many amazing podcasts under their network. Make sure to like and subscribe on YouTube!! AND then we have a huge thing happening at the end of the month, December 29th and 30th, HEART OF DATING CONFERENCE is happening in Nashville!!! Get your tickets now and join in on all the fun at the end of the month! 

Today’s episode is INSANE! We have the one and only Tara Leigh Cobble (TLC)  in the house today!! 

Updates from TLC and All the Amazing Things!!

TLC lives in Dallas, she’s single, no kids, no pets, and has some AMAZING ministries! She has The Bible Recap, so if you’re feeling confused by the Bible this is a GREAT resource. The Bible recap is where you read the Bible and then she has a ministry called D-Group where you get to study the Bible. In this they do 12-week deep dives through a book of the Bible. Then, she also leads luxury trips to Israel! 

We recommend ALL of these resources, they’re INCREDIBLE!!!! 

TLC did 3 years of intentional singleness (aka closed singleness) but she never stopped WANTING to be married. She felt burnt out in dating. Then, May 21st, 2021 her Life Pastor came to her with some hard things to hear. Saying that he doesn’t think that she was actually talking to God about this, but rather sidelining the whole thing. He wanted her to start praying over it. She started dating again. She’s had some of the best first dates and worst first date stories. 

This might resonate with a lot of you that are listening. Maybe you have entered into a closed season of singleness more so because you are so frustrated that you’d rather not deal with it. Because dealing with the tension of frustration and hope is way too difficult. It’s way easier than to actually go out there. 

TLC talks about processing through if she wants to go into another season of closed singleness but what she would do differently this time is to pray about the desires of her heart DURING that season. Maybe this is an invitation for some of us to do the same. 

TLC, you’ve been in seasons of closed singleness, AND open singleness. Have you found the Holidays to be a hard time single? Has it been harder in closed singleness?

TLC says that there are always aspects of it that are really hard. She doesn’t think that God wants us to just stuff those down. He wants us to come to him and talk to him and the people who know and love us about how hard this season can be. 

What are some of the things you’ve done to grow closer to the Lord in this season?

Every time we take something to the Lord, share our heart with him, we ask him to speak into it, we listen to him, and obey him, every single time that happens it strengthens and fortifies our relationship with the Lord. 

Feeling seen and heard by friends and trusted people, even when circumstances don’t change is a game changer. One of the things that has become a non-negotiable for TLC is to have an emotionally healthy support team in her life. 

Where do you feel like for you, that deep desire and need for spiritual and emotional maturity surrounding you, really cemented?

TLC had a relationship once she got back into open singleness that felt like a jarring in her life and became really important. After that she dove into some really intense therapy trying to get herself emotionally healthy. It took something dramatic though, it took her not recognizing herself to do something drastic to change. During this time she had a group of girlfriends who surrounded her in really amazing ways and that’s when she saw the true need for emotional and spiritual maturity in friendships. 

How were you able to look at your friendships and recognize the differences in cheerleaders and a life board of advisors who are going to have hard conversations with you?

When you watch how friends handle their own struggles it shows you a lot about their emotional health. How do they self evaluate? Are they self aware? Are they a gossip? Have they done significant therapy? Do they see areas where they need to grow? How do they respond when they don’t get what they want? 

What are some things you’ve done as a single to have FUN? Have you made any traditions for yourself? Many singles fear doing things ALONE, what would you say to them?

TLC does create traditions for herself, and they’re things that she’d love to continue if one day she does get married. She books herself a solo trip to NYC every year and she sees old friends, tries some new things alone and she always looks forward to it so much. On Thanksgiving night she does a leftovers party and it’s only for singles people, everyone brings their thanksgiving leftovers and there have been dates that have come from this party! 

The meaningfulness and significance of all of this is 1) it takes you out of a place of self pity, but 2) it is also a way to show compassion and kindness to someone else who may be bent towards self pity in that space. It brings community, and builds the body of Christ. It also helps squash the sin of self pity. Which is why showing up to serve somewhere is a great thing to do during the holidays to get you out of thinking about yourself. This helps us to be others focused. 

Sometimes married friends project their view on singleness on singles. Maybe they don’t invite singles to kids things, Christmas couple-y things, and only invite other families or couples. What should we say to address this? Have you ever addressed this to friends?

We can’t assume that our friends can read our minds and know our needs. We’re responsible for communicating our needs to our friends. Put things out there, and let them be known. The kind of people we want to be in those spaces with, are people who would not make you feel like a burden in that space. They’re the kind of people who care about your heart and want to lean into it. They want to show up for you, they just might not know that you need someone to show up for you. You lean into relationships where you feel seen and valued and loved. 

TLC

Tara-Leigh Cobble

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Tara-Leigh Cobble’s zeal for biblical literacy led her to create a network of Bible studies
called D-Group (Discipleship Group). Every week, hundreds of men’s and women’s D-Groups
meet in homes, churches, and online for Bible study and accountability. She also writes and
hosts a daily podcast called The Bible Recap designed to help listeners read and understand
the Bible in a year. The podcast garnered over three hundred million downloads in its first five
years, and more than twenty thousand churches around the world have joined their reading plan
to know and love God better. It has been turned into a book published by Bethany House
Publishers. Tara-Leigh is a Wall Street Journal bestselling author, speaks to a wide variety of
audiences, and regularly leads teaching trips to Israel because she loves to watch
others be awed by the story of Scripture through firsthand experience. Her favorite things
include sparkling water and days that are 72 degrees with 55 percent humidity, and she thinks
every meal tastes better when eaten outside. She lives in a concrete box in the skies of Dallas,
Texas, where she has no pets, children, or anything that might die if she forgets to feed it.
For more information about Tara-Leigh and her ministries, you can visit her online.

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Website IconPodcast Mic IconInstagram IconFacebook IconLinkedIn IconTick Tok IconTwitter IconYoutube IconCustom Icon

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