His Best

Singleness can really hurt sometimes. When you have the very real desire for marriage and family, and another year passes you by, and you are seemingly nowhere closer to that dream, it hurts.

What can be hard for me, personally, is when I see a possibility with someone great, but then God says, “No”. I am back at square one and begin to ask God, “When?”, “Why?”, “Who?”.

While reading a book this morning, called Rhythms of Rest, by Shelly Miller, I was reminded of How God brings us into a future far beyond our imagination if we wait and trust in Him.

In the book, the writer and her family feel called to move from the states to London. This has been a great desire of theirs and God confirms through many people , circumstances, and words that He is leading them there.

So, they quit their jobs, sell their personal possessions, put their house on the market, and take their son out of school. They are more than ready to go. And yet, nothing seems to happen. Jobs in London do not line up, their house stays on the market untouched. They must wait in this uncomfortable place where they have laid it all out on the line to trust in the Lord for their dreams.

After a time of waiting and trusting, Shelly says , “And then the better than we can imagine comes true.” Their house sold, her husband got a wonderful job in London, and on top of all of that, a newer, updated, amazingly placed house in London opens up for them. The house is in a neighborhood they assumed was too nice for them, near shops, and a beautiful park.

She writes, that if they hadn’t waited on the Lord, if they had arrived in London just a bit earlier, this house wouldn’t have been an option.

Maybe it is strange to compare this story to singleness, but I am going to connect the dots anyways.

I know many of us are ready. We are seeking Jesus, mature, serving, selfless. We are not holding back our spouse due to our own spiritual life. We have laid it all out for Jesus to give us our dream, but it hasn’t happened yet.

However, if we choose to do something outside of God’s will, speeding things up, we will miss His best. And when we think someone is great and could be a possibility, and God says no, it is probably because He wants something much better for us than we do and only He knows when it will be time.

I know I would be heartbroken if I realized I went outside of God’s plan, only to see that I missed out on something better than I could have imagined.

It might make very little sense. We may hurt deeply as we wait, but be encouraged to wait sisters and brothers, because if you do, I know God will blow you out of the water with His best for you in this area of your life.

 

 

Advertisements

Desires

I read Psalm 37:4 yesterday, “Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart”, and I found myself frustrated.
When I read commentary on this verse, I always find people reminding me that I need to be delighting in the Lord, seeking His will, spending time with Him daily, and then the desires of my heart will be given to me. Those reminders frustrate me, not because they aren’t important, but because I do them. I do not say that out of arrogance, but out of humility, because I know I need Him every second of every day so I choose to seek after Him. Yet, there are desires of mine that have not been fulfilled, good healthy desires.

In particular, I have desired a Godly spouse, someone to partner with in Christ, someone to laugh with and run the race of life with. God has not brought that person into my life and recently, I have faced some heartaches and pangs over singleness. So, when I read that verse yesterday, I felt angry and asked God, what does that even mean? Because it clearly doesn’t mean, if I seek after You, You will give me the desires of my heart.

So, I sought out someone to speak into this verse in a new way for me and came across a post on livingbyfaithblog.com, written by Steve Fuller. His explanation and understanding of this verse, has given me a renewal of strength and joy in the Lord. I pray that in sharing this with you, it will do the same, no matter what season you are in. I will only share a few sentences that stuck out to me, but will post the link at the bottom of my blog, so you can read it yourself.

“When we delight in the LORD, the desires that we have in our hearts are desires for the Lord. If we delight in the Lord, He will satisfy our desires for Him, by giving us more joy in Him. God promises that if we delight ourselves in Him, His glory and beauty and love and majesty will so fill us that we will desire nothing else. Our hearts will be completely full. We will be perfectly content. He will have satisfied every desire of our hearts- in himself.”

God promises us so much: He will gives us strength, He will never leave us, He will help us, He will anoint us to proclaim the good news, He will go before us, He prospers us, gives us a future and hope, He will meet all our needs according to the riches of His glory, He will deliver us from our troubles, and more! Yet, He doesn’t promise us that He will give us everything we wish for or want. He doesn’t promise us that, because instead, He promises us Himself, that we will be fulfilled in Him. I know that is hard to swallow because there are some good things we truly want, we desire deeply, but if we continue to delight in Him, He will fill us up and satisfy every desire!

http://livingbyfaithblog.com/2014/07/24/delight-yourself-in-the-lord-and-he-will-he-give-you-the-desires-of-your-heart/

Goodness, Love, and Mercy

How could I ever fully fathom Your love?

It would take all my days and then some

To explore every corner

To feel every drop of Your

Goodness

Mercy

Pursuit

It is endless

Yet it is always complete

Full

So why do I look for it elsewhere?

Why do I seek love in others?

In their hands

In their eyes

In their words

Let me get lost

In Your quiet whispers to me

In Your hand holding mine

In Your eyes looking at me

Hanging from the cross

And victoriously rising to give me life

Let me turn to You

Adventure with You

And never grow tired of learning

Of growing

Of spendimy my life with You

Giving You my all

Choose the Good Portion

Luke 10:38-42

38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said.40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one.[b]Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
This passage really spoke to me in a different way today.  Maybe you are working hard, living life, serving, loving on others, but all with a place in your heart that asks for something in return, a reward of some kind. You’d like a promotion, a financial breakthrough, more friends, a spouse, or maybe just simple recognition. – That is Martha!

She is doing good, but deep in her heart she is motivated by a selfish desire to please, to make things perfect, to control, and then she seeks after a reward, a thanks from Jesus Himself.

Jesus’s  response always stings me a little because I am so often a Martha and I think a lot of us feel bad for Martha because we identify with her. Someone had to do the cooking and cleaning, right? And we don’t admire Mary as much as we should because we are too busy feeling bad for Martha.

So, when we finally are like Mary, when we choose Jesus first, time with Him, a career path for Him, sacrifice for Him, the path less traveled  for Him, we can stand out like a sore thumb. Everyone around us will seem like Marthas and we might start wondering if it isn’t Martha’s way that is right. After all, her way looks productive, responsible, maybe even admirable, because she is getting things done.

That is why today, as I try and am growing more into a Mary, I find such affirmation and confirmation in Jesus words, rather than the usual sting. “Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away form her.”

Maybe you are trying to be a Mary, but you look around you and feel like a weirdo in the midst of worldly pleasure and life. Please hear Jesus. Know that your choice to sit at His feet and listen, to walk closely with Him, to choose His will, not your own is what please Him and in return you receive eternal life, pleasures forevermore, and a relationship that is so intimate and wonderful you will never want to be a Martha again.

“Let your light shine.”

I have heard this phrase ALL my life, especially in my favorite children’s song. Yet it’s meaning has expanded for me.

Sometimes in certain circumstances, I spend the entire time feeling less than, uncomfortable in my skin, ugly, unworthy, etc. I do my best to fight against those lies with God’s grace, but I can’t always shake the feeling.

Today, for me, “let your light shine bright”, means be who God made you to be with no holding back.

Matthew 5:16 “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your father in heaven.’

It struck me that Matthew uses the pronoun “you” and “your”, not “us” or “our”, or even “his” or “he”. The light we have,  comes from Christ and putting our faith in Him. However, we each are uniquely made to shine that light. It is when we let ourselves, our gifts, our personality shine the brightest that we see God glorified.

For me, that is motivating. If I remain insecure and hesitant, not fully seeing the beauty in who God made me to be,  I will be putting my light “under a bowl”. If I choose to confidently be me, then others will see my good deeds and I will glorify God.

So go forth, and let your light shine bright.

Ministering to Singles

How you can support your single christian friend (From the perspective of a single christian 25 year old female):

  1. Talk to them.

I can’t emphasize this point enough. If you want to love your friend who is single, you need to talk to them about it before acting or speaking into it. I can’t tell you how many well-intentioned people have tried to “help” me in my singleness and honestly made it worse.

Every person who is going through singleness is walking a different journey. Find out if they even want to change their singleness. Ask them how they feel about being single. Talk to them about the kind of person they are looking for, how you can help, etc. Truly, it is as simple as that. If you want to love them where they are at, just ask them about it, and listen.

2. Let them feel their ups and downs.

Because they are a follower of Jesus, they are hopefully trusting in God’s plan for their love story. That means, they do feel content in their singleness much of the time. They live life, enjoy their freedom, their time with friends, their a lone time, and their treasured time with Jesus. However, because their desire may be to be married and have a family, they feel discouraged and hopeless much of the time as well. They will have days where it hurts to be single and days where they wouldn’t trade it for the world (I’d imagine it is the same in marriage too?).  So please just meet them where they are at, even if it is up and down in a day. As it says in Romans 12:15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.

3. Counsel and minister to them too!

Don’t forget them! There is this weird gap between college aged people and married people in the church. There is marriage counseling, couples classes, college groups, student ministries, but it is hard to find a niche for those whom are young adults and single. It’s almost as if the church doesn’t know what to do with them because they are expected to be married already.

I also understand that the majority of churchgoers are couples and families, but can someone please speak into the single people too? Help them understand marriage, as well as how to live a Godly fulfilling single life. If you need an incentive for doing this, then listen up! Many of those leading, ministering, and serving in your church are overlooked single people needing to be poured into!

4. Tell them the good and bad of your marriage or dating relationship.

Please share with them about your relationship, but let it be balanced. Don’t paint it as perfect nor as a disaster. Be honest with them and share what you are learning so they can learn too.

5. Stay away from the Cliches.

“You will find him when you least expect it.” “Stop looking for him and you’ll probably find him.” “Don’t worry, God will bring someone into your life someday.” “You need to yourself out there more.” “Your standards are too high.” “He’s single too! You should go out with him!” “Man, I wish I were still single.”

I’ll admit, some of these hold some truths, but they have not helped me, personally, or built me up in any way. It is absolutely true that we should not be anxious or discouraged, surrendering this to God, but unless God has given you a prophetic message that they  will be married, you can’t predict or promise that they will find someone someday. So, maybe don’t say that. And yes, it is nice to have people looking out for you, even “matchmaking” in a sense, but just because someone is single too, doesn’t mean that they are meant for each other. Most of these can be avoided if you are getting to know the person you are trying to love on.

6. Finally, PRAY for them.

Some of my most encouraging moments in my single years thus far have been when others are praying for me. They aren’t just praying for a Godly spouse, but they are praying for me to have wisdom in who to like, for patience and peace, for me to grow in my relationship with God and as a follower of Christ, etc.

 

 

Who am I?

Wow! I sit this morning feeling anxious and unworthy, seeking comfort and truth from the Lord.

Tomorrow I am speaking for a short time at my church’s college and young adult group and I can’t help but worry about what to say, how it will be received, and ultimately how I will feel through it all. You see, I have taught a lesson to 200 plus kids while holding a snake and I have spoken to crowds of strangers about a myriad of subjects, including Jesus. Yet, fear strikes in my heart over speaking at church to my peers. I suppose there is a longer story to tell as to why I feel that way, but it is not how God wants me to feel and it is not the truth.

Naturally, I thought about The Bible this morning, searching my mind for someone who loved God, who also felt unworthy to speak to people and represent God’s words. It didn’t take long for Moses to pop into my mind. So I turned to Exodus 3 excitedly.

You see, Moses, at this point,is an exile, a murderer, shepherd, and he is certainly not thinking God is about to change his life and the lives of others forever!

God speaks to Moses and tells him to go to the Pharoah and bring His people out of Egypt.

“Who am I that I should do this?” Moses questions. I am unequipped. I am an exile, a shepherd. I talk to a flock of animals, not to a court of Egyptian royalty.

I love the simple truths God replies with, truths that pierce my heart, make me laugh in joy, and refresh my soul. Truths that we ALL need to remember in times when we feel less than qualified for God’s calling.

God tells Moses, “I will be with you.” Don’t things become less scary when we have a companion? The darkness is less intimidating, traveling becomes safer and more fun, sorrows less intense. We seek out companionship because it helps us face difficulties. Well, God is always with us, so in all those difficulties, we are constantly in companionship with Christ, facing our fears with Him, not a lone.

God, also says to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” This is not about me or you. It doesn’t matter if I am a shepherd, an exile, or if I am a leader or a servant, it’s not about who I am, it’s about who God is. You are sent, called, directed by God and His identity and purpose is truly the only thing that matters. It never changes even if you feel like your own purpose and identity changes.

Lastly, my favorite response from God this morning. My heart, above all, wants to make it obvious to everyone that what I say comes from God, that who I am is all about Him. I am almost anxious about ensuring that this is communicated. And guess what, God addresses just that in verse 12.

“This will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain.”

How will you know that this is from God? You won’t know based on the reactions of others. As we see, God says to Moses specifically, that he will know when he worships God, not when the people worship, or when Pharaoh worships. It has little to do with those Moses is afraid to speak to and has everything to do with his own response and intimate relationship with God.

This reminds me that whether I speak eloquently or not, if my heart and my soul are centered on worshipping the King, I can stand firmly on His purpose and calling to place me there and know that He is pleased.