Me: How long were you single?
Gretchen: 40 years
Me: When you think back on your time of singleness what is one word you would use to describe that time and why?
Gretchen: RICH. For me, I lived each day in the moment and I was never one to pine for a husband. I always felt young in every aspect and so I was in no hurry. It was the Lord that finally had me start desiring a husband around 37-38 years old. I believe that was His way of preparing me for my husband. In the 6-8 months before I knew who was going to be my husband, God told me to pray for him.
Me: What were some of the hard times of your singleness?
Gretchen: I think it was difficult always finding myself with the WRONG person because I didn’t know my self worth. I didn’t lack for confidence in who I was, but I did lack self-worth of who I was MADE to be in Christ.
Me: What were some of the great times?
Gretchen: Oh goodness, so many! I traveled extensively and had many adventures! One of the most impactful being a missions trip to Guatemala where God’s glory was truly manifested in supernatural ways! But the best times were in my continually deepening walk with the Lord as I pursued Him with all of my heart, obeyed His leading and I truly left the picking of the man He had for me in His hands to handle it in His timing as He pleased. I learned to fully trust God with this!
Me: Why do you think God incorporated a longer season of singleness in your story than some of your peers?
Gretchen: He had to prepare me for my husband in several ways. My husband is 12 ½ years younger than me so he would have been waaaaay too young for me prior to our marriage date! He also had to establish my walk with Him so that I would not fall into making my husband my idol instead of keeping God first. He had to establish my self-worth and identity in Christ as well. One of the ways God worked out some of the kinks in me and grew me immensely is by having me live with other people (host family, roommates), so that I learned to be more patient and selfless.
Me: What advice would you give to those who are waiting on God’s best and desire not to settle in their relationship choice?
Gretchen: Definitely keep waiting!! My husband and I always tell people that God is the BEST matchmaker. Let God work out your kinks, and let Him build your character so that you will be a better husband/wife to your future spouse! TRUST God that He loves you and wants the best for you, but He wants your whole heart in exchange. Trust Him with your heart. Trust Him more than you trust yourself. You’re a mess whether you know it or not (sin nature, sin habits) so your decisions are not pure, but His are!
Me: Is there anything else you want to add for my readers?
Gretchen: After I returned from the Peace Corps I was fervently crying out to the Lord in my desire to know Him and pursue Him more. As a result, God led me to Cleveland where I found my purpose in Him with a large community of believers. Coming to Cleveland took me much more deeper in Him than if I had stayed in the “desert”. I eventually met and married Glenn, the man that God had perfectly chosen for me here in Cleveland. We met on a missions trip to Guatemala, became very good (but very platonic) friends for 4 years. He was younger than me so I didn’t consider him in that way, but always thought he was such an amazing man of God. After 4 years of friendship, God revealed to his heart that I was the one for him and at that moment, his heart was flooded with love for me. When he told me I was the one, I was truly shocked, but knew he was much more than I ever thought I could have. 4 ½ months later we were married and are still blissful together 6 years later. My husband and I are foster parents and our ministry is working closely with refugees as well, building relationships, helping them adjust, etc… We have 2 beautiful foster children that we believe the Lord has said will be ours one day. That word has been confirmed over and over again. He is NOT a man that He would lie!
Gretchen Anderson speaks Spanish as her first language as a result of living in Mexico the first 5 years of her life. Over the course of her life she’s held down a ga-zilliion jobs that ranged from working at a gun store to being an ESOL teacher! She loves athletics and has ran several triathalons. She moved around a lot before settling down in Cleveland, OH where she eventually met, befriended and married her hunk of a husband! Now they enjoy being foster parents to two adorable little boys and look forward to the next adventure God has to offer.