You, me and the dog

I heard a pastor once say that the best sermons are the ones that convict the speaker as much as the listener. So this blog post is as much for me as it is for you. Bear with me while I process out loud.

A few years ago, I asked God to remove the temptation away from me to date anyone other than my husband. This wasn’t a ploy to manipulate what I wanted from God or even protect myself from unnecessary heartbreak. This was a desperate attempt to rid myself of some awful sin in my heart that was destroying my relationship with God.

And He responded. I haven’t been asked out since. Oh, but I have pursued many a man. I have prayed over every man I have ever had an interest in. And with every freaking man, I thought God had told me this man was the one. I found signs everywhere I looked that confirmed this prophecy. Each time, my heart grew sick with waiting and analyzing and hoping and honestly, pretending I had given it to God when in reality, I was holding on to my logic and reasoning. Especially because my spiritual gift is prophecy, I was convinced God had told me who I would marry.

God was patient with me, right up until the third time, when in the middle of my obsession God firmly told me, This isn’t your job.  As a woman, it’s not my place to pursue and while I am a firm believer that a woman should make a move if she wants, God doesn’t want that for me. He just doesn’t. I’m a raging control freak and if I didn’t get it under control, I could never honor my husband in submission.

So I started to let go and experienced a lot of freedom. I prayed for my husband and myself. Most recently, I asked God to remove the desire of other people from both of us. I wanted freedom for myself but I also wanted to be safe with my husband. I don’t compete for a man, not anymore. The hardest thing about this prayer is watching my desire for someone I have wanted forever slowly go away. There’s still a part of me that wants that man but each day, it becomes a little less.

I’ve fought with God over this man probably more than anyone else. I’ve asked God why I can’t have my choice. I would choose him a million times over. Shouldn’t that matter? Shouldn’t my choice matter? But God has been very clear with me. The second I asked God to take away the temptation of other men was the moment I relinquished my choice. I surrendered that to God and He honored that sacrifice.

I have fought that and even at times, regretted it. I questioned how God could love me and let me leave the choice with him. But I realized I had already done that with my job.

Two years ago, I had been struggling to find employment. I had applied for job after job, getting close but not getting hired. There were jobs I interviewed for that I thought was my dream job. They were everything I thought I wanted and I grieved not getting those jobs. I got to this place where I asked God to bring the right job into my life. I was done searching, done looking. I clearly didn’t know what God wanted. And He brought the job into my lap. I didn’t even apply for it. I actually remember not wanting to interview for the job. It was in the same line of work I had done before, where I had gotten burned, and I was wary of going back. But I trusted God through this and I got the job. This job has blessed me more than I could have ever imagined and I’m ultimately grateful I left the choice with Him.

It has only been recently that I have begun to see the treasures in letting God take my choice from me. Not everyone would agree with me. Love is a choice and we honor God through that choice. But for me, I would rather choose God a million times over and have Him give me His best rather than be ordinary by either choosing my spouse on my own or by allowing my emotions to dictate how I make decisions about my spouse.

God always gives His best to those who leave the choice with Him – Jim Elliot

The best advice I could give you is to let go of how you think your life should go and let God direct your path. You won’t be disappointed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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We will be the faithful

When I was a little girl, all I dreamed about was being a mother. I dreamed about caring for a child. As someone with a disability, I was often surrounded by other children with disabilities. More often than not, these children were in the foster care system or had been adopted. So as a little girl, my dreams of my child always involved adopting a child. As a teen, I often dreamed of being this woman. I saw her in my head all the time.

This woman was a mother to many, adopting children but also fostering dozens of other children. I wanted to be that woman.

Weirdly for my personality (if you know me, I can be quite the blabber-mouth), I didn’t tell anyone of my dreams. With my disability, I thought no one would give me a child and you throw in mental illness, forget about it.

It stayed in the back of my mind for years. Honestly, I think that’s a big part of why I wanted to get married so bad. I thought if I had someone by my side, I could foster children. I never said it out loud but I actively looked for men that seemed like the type that could love children that weren’t their own. I was waiting until marriage for my life to start.

And then about two weeks ago, I was sitting in my living room, reflecting on all the men I had cared for, obsessed over and prayed for and I was just so exhausted.  How much of my life had been squandered away because I had placed all my hopes and dreams on men who never gave me a second thought.

It was one of those a-ha moments, where you look at your life and question the direction your life has been going. What the heck am I doing? I sat on the couch, questioning everything. It was in this moment I made the decision to move on with my life, to walk away from this striving for fulfillment.

If you’ve read my blog for any given amount of time, you know I have prayed for, yearned, sought after and questioned my dream of working in full-time ministry. What if my ministry had been right in front of me the whole time and I had not received it because I was too busy chasing what I thought would be my saving grace?

Could I walk away from everything I thought I needed and move forward without fear towards something bigger than myself? What if the life God has in store for me is bigger than marriage?

There are few times in my life where I have prayed and God has answered my prayers swiftly. I asked God for answers and provision. While I don’t believe this is always true in every situation, this time I needed God to open the doors with ease. Resistance meant to me that maybe it wasn’t meant to be. I’ve spent most of my life living in resistance, persevering through some pretty heavy deserts. Somehow, I knew that I needed God to make this easy, as easy as becoming a foster parent could be (sarcasm added here).

For the first time in my life, I’m watching the pieces come together with ease. Practical and emotional needs are being met and I have never been more calm than I am right now.

Sometimes, I think we put life on hold for things God never promised us. But Scripture says Seek my kingdom first and these things will be added to you. I realized I needed to repent of this heart that had been seeking everything else first before being obedient.

So I’m moving forward with what God has asked of me, following a dream I’ve had since I was a little girl. And that’s pretty exciting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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All the Single Ladies (and men)

I still remember the conversation I had with my stepdad at 19. I had watched a boy I had fawned over for three years fall for someone else, a heart-breaking, soul-crushing spectacle that I wish I could have avoided.

But I was on the mend, relieved to be finally okay when I sat across my stepdad in our dimly-lit living room and proudly proclaimed that I was not planning on ever getting married.

This was not a new sentiment but one I had shared over the years since the tender age of eight. As much as I liked guys, was attracted to them, enjoyed spending time with them, I found that I valued my freedom much more. At 19, I had every intention of becoming a missionary and then adopting a daughter later in life. This was going to be my story, sans a man.

Over the years, I dated purely out of rebellion and fell in love with a boy that never loved me back. Before you feel sorry for me, you should know that I genuinely believe that I deserved the treatment I received from said boy. You reap what you sow and I had sown discord and heartache with every man I dated.

By the time I got to counseling, I had a trail of pain and idolatry following behind me. I told the counselor I believed I had the gift of singleness, which was why nothing had worked out. He responded curtly with a no, you idolize singleness. There’s a difference. People with the gift of singleness don’t break hearts and use people the way I did.

So I went on this journey, exploring the darkness I called marriage and for the last three years, I have wrestled with, sought out and ultimately idolized the very thing I ran away from. It brought me here, to this very day when I finally admitted to myself that I had a problem. I had traded one idol for another and I was done. My heart exhausted; I threw up my hands and told God I’d take whatever life He’d give me.

I had finally been throw out of the whale. I was free.

I realize I might never get married or I might marry someone for fifty years. Whatever the case may be, I’ll be okay.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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