Welcome to the fifth edition of The Intellects. Today I’m chatting with Tamara Gibbs, broadcast journalist turned author.
After a 20-year television career, Gibbs took a leap of faith to release her first book, Single Serving for Single Women: A Fifty Day Devotional. The book is about her journey to finding peace as a single career woman. It quickly morphed into a digital ministry that she operates in her spare time. The ministry is geared to empower, encourage and educate women who are single.
Single Serving for Single Women ™ shares visually appealing quote graphics with its growing social media fan base. Facebook fans and Twitter followers can expect to see #MorningPrayer posts and a witty blog series.
A lot has changed since her days as an accomplished journalist. Now, Gibbs serves as the public information officer for the Durham County Sheriff’s Office. She is also the mother of a five-year-old girl named Faith.
The new mom says her foster daughter is a vibrant, smart and funny child who has survived more than most adults could endure.
Q: You recently retired from ABC11 WTVD after working there for nearly 10 years. In total, you have about two decades of broadcast news experience under your belt. What led you to making this decision?
A: I had been contemplating a career change and a slower pace for several years, but the timing never seemed right. Also, I was afraid to leave a successful career for a path that was relatively unknown. Journalism isn’t just a job; it’s a lifestyle and for committed journalists, it’s a professional and personal mission. More than a year later, I am grateful I mustered up the courage, developed a plan, and took a leap of faith.
Q: Did the process of writing your first book and its completion serve you in the ways you’d hoped?
A: Oh, yes! I am an avid reader and writer, but most importantly, I’m a creative spirit. Expressing myself visually, verbally and in writing feeds my soul. The only other thing that compares is gardening.
I love to write and being able to share my walk and boast in my infirmities without shame with others has truly been a blessing. The feedback I’ve received from readers has been very positive and affirming.
Q: Your mission is to change the conversation about single women and the conversation single women have about themselves. What is the biggest misconception about this group?
A: My message to believing women is simple: if you are single, you are enough. I want to remind single women that they are still significant in the eyes of God if they don’t have a significant other yet. They are just as close to Jesus as a woman who is married.
Single women, specifically women of color, make up a significant number of believers filling up the pews of churches nationwide. In fact, there’s data that supports single men and women are a growing population in churches.
Sadly, many faithful, single women, often leave their places of worship feeling as though they are insignificant without a significant other. They are told after a certain age they have no value. These are the thoughts I repeatedly heard from women as I researched and prepared to write my book.
My book attempts to encourage women to hold out hope, to keep doing the work, to wait for God’s best, and most importantly, to accept that God is sovereign. His plan is not always our plan– even when it comes to finding a suitable husband. Those are tough yet rewarding lessons.
I wholeheartedly believe in the covenant that comes with marriage. Everyone should have marriage role models. Our community and places of worship should emphasize covenant, but first encourage individuals to come to a blessed covenant whole and healed.
Often times there’s a rush to the altar to legitimize a relationship in the eyes of God and that can have disastrous results if we haven’t worked on ourselves as individuals.
Q: What is the hardest part of ministry for you personally?
A: Time. I wish I had more time to pour everything into Single Serving for Single Women, but alas, bills must be paid and I have a daughter to raise now. I would love to turn the ministry into a full-time profession.
I’m so grateful for opportunities to talk with people about singleness, relationships, and most importantly, holding onto faith.
Q: It seems like the environment we live in subliminally teaches women to look a certain way, behave a certain way and do certain things to please their man. Some of these things are contrary to God and His Word. What are your top three tips for women who want to keep their significant other happy without sacrificing her spiritual values or connection with God?
A: [Tip 1] Be whole and healed. When we come to any relationship with these two boxes checked, we can only win.
[Tip 2] Always remember you have an obligation to help someone else’s faith walk. If you bend the rules you’re not only contributing to your own contradictions in faith, but you’re also complicit in someone else’s fall from grace.
[Tip 3] Save wifely duties for marriage; stay in your lane. Honor the friendship and consistently pray for discernment.
Q: Any advice on getting your mind right when it comes to knowing your worth a.k.a. self-love?
A: Practice contentment. Literally, practice it. Just like a workout routine, a jump shot, a golf swing, or yoga, we have to exercise that mental muscle that says to us, “I’m alright; everything I need, I already have.”
Without contentment within, we seek resolution in others or in things. When we’re thirsty, people, especially men can see that. We must learn to value and love who we are, where we are and when we are. I say when because life keeps moving. Who you were last year may not be who you are today.
There are seasons of our life that we have to make note of and do some serious self-inventory, but don’t give yourself a headache with excessive self-examination. Go out there and live!
Q: What new projects/events can we expect from Single Serving for Single Women?
A: After a sabbatical this summer to focus on being a mom, I have a women’s event coming up this October in Raleigh. Be sure to check out www.SingleServing.org or social media for details.