Tag Archives: singleness

Doctor’s Offices, Drive Thru’s and Dating

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What do you think of when you hear the word “waiting“? Personally, I think of a torturous activity that includes doctor’s offices, check out lines and the like that causes impatience to flare up. This girl has grown to cringe at the concept in waiting especially in her dating life. I will own the fact that I am a product of our instant gratification culture where most things are only a drive thru or click away. Believe me, if there could be a drive thru for dating I am pretty sure every single person would be there and the line would be miles long. So there we are, back to the whole waiting thing again.

You see, maybe you are like me and struggle with what to do with waiting. I mean really, who thinks “oh today I am going to do some waiting. Yup, that waiting was the highlight of my day.” Take that into the dating realm. The first picture that pops into my head is a woman sitting at home knitting socks and sewing buttons waiting for a man to court her. (Okay so maybe I read Little Women one to many times). Regardless, I highly doubt that any of us are overly excited at the idea of waiting. In fact, when God impressed upon my heart back in November that I would be single for a year, I cried and wailed and attempted to persuade him that a FedEx box on my door step with my husband in it was a better alternative. Unfortunately here we are about five months later and still no box on my porch. Looks like God has bigger plans.

But God has been teaching me something in the past few months. I have learned waiting in singleness is not a passive activity. Far from it actually. When I sit down with a girlfriend over coffee and discuss my situation of singleness, I have begun to realize that there is far more I can be doing than pining away for my God appointed helpmate. God has opened my eyes up to the importance of intension during singleness that actively prepares me for my future relationship with my spouse. This time of my life is not meant to be idle. Nor is this is the time to be throwing a pity party. In no way is eating ice cream watching chick flicks, reading love stories or planning our future wedding, helping our cause. Even if everyone in our life is getting married or dating someone does not mean we don’t have things we can be intentionally doing to prepare for the things God has for us.

Above all else we need to fully surrender ourselves to Christ. Fully. Not partially, not selectively. Fully. The most important thing I can do for my spouse is fall head over heals in love with my Savior.  My relationship with Christ directly affects every area of my life and will affect my ability to be a good wife to my husband. Do I trust the One who created me? If not, how can I trust a flawed human being?  The biggest gift I can give my husband is being firmly planted in Him. Our relationship with Christ directly affects our ability to love another person. When we withhold ourself from Him, taking control, we cut off the supply of life to that area of our life and death is bound to follow.

It is important to identify that only Christ can fix the broken places of my heart. Christ alone sets me free. No man can give me my identity, but Christ can because He created me. Security does not come from a man or possession, but through Christ who is my Provider. As much as we want to believe that our significant other will provide a solution to pain or complete a process of healing or make us whole in some way that is far from the case. Jesus completes us, heals us and is the Perfecter of our faith. Attaching ourself to another equally broken person without knowing who we are in Christ is a recipe for disaster. Take it from the girl who used to be a leach, sucking a man dry in desperation to figure out who she was all the while he didn’t know who he was. When we know who we are in Christ, we are whole and confident in Him prepared to sustain a relationship with another broken human being. No longer are we looking to them as an answer, we already know the answer.

In understanding each of these things and more through pursuing God whole heartedly, I am establishing discipline in my life that will carry over into my future marriage. By reaching out to Him to receive all I need, I am practicing identifying the proper source of where those needs are filled. I am building a foundation in my life that will join with my husband who I believe is doing the same to build a life on the cornerstone of Christ. But we each have to own our faith first and walk it out alone before we can to it together. Without the opportunity to exercise our faith muscles we risk being unequally yoked, depending upon the other person in the relationship to carry our weight. Another person cannot walk out a relationship with Christ for you.

Finally we can pray. We can be prayer warriors for our spouse and future marriage as we wait. Just because we don’t know their name or details doesn’t mean that prayer isn’t effective. God knows all. He knows your spouse better than you ever will. I think sometimes we think of prayer as a passive activity because we don’t always see the fruit right away. But actually prayer is biggest thing we can do. I know I hope my husband is already praying for me, it’s likely he has been for years. Truth be told I very well could be the woman I am today because the power of some prayerful people who lifted me up to the only One who could reach me. Never ever ever underestimate the power of prayer. If you don’t pray for your marriage, who will? I know I want to actively sow into my marriage now through prayer even though I don’t get to see the harvest for a while. Prayer has become an active act of submission of my plans in exchange for God’s plans. As I pray for my husband, our hearts are being knit together. I want a unified marriage through Christ where my husband and I’s heart beats as one. The only way I know how to have that happen is kneel before the Author of my love story and pray. I am learning to love that man already through prayer. Prayer purifies our motives and exchanges our natural selfish lust for selfless Christ filled love.

Singleness is not this holding place meant to torture us. It is a period of time to prepare for all the beauty God has for us. Personally through seeking Him and praying for my husband my heart has been filled with purpose and a hope of a future beyond my wildest imagination. My motives have been purified. I no longer seek to be married because of a deep need that  aches to be filled. Instead I desire to journey through life with my husband spurring him on to be the man God has called him to be and as a couple seek to glorify His Name. My singleness transformed from a time of idleness to a time of intension because God opened my eyes to the responsibility I have in preparation for my groom. But most of all I no longer worry about this area of my life. Dating and marriage used to consume me, but I realize now that He has always been penning my love story.

“Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, 
   for I have put my trust in you. 
Show me the way I should go, 
   for to you I entrust my life. ” –Psalm 143:8

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Godly Man Sighting: They Do Exist!

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In the past year or so God has really blessed me with some tangible examples of men who seek Him. Some of these men I know well, others are just fellow bloggers, but it is clear that they have a vibrant relationship with the Lord.  I think this is important for a single girl to acknowledge because at times it is easy to get caught up in the negative cycle that good Godly men do not exist. We become cynics and skeptics and wallow in a pool of pessimism. In frustration and at times jealousy, we sit around and bash the opposite sex and their shortcomings. I am guilty of this. These bash sessions also can come out of the broken places of my heart from the wreckage of broken, dysfunctional relationships. They come from the lies that the enemy has placed in my heart that it is worth settling for something less than what God has for me. I praise God for giving me a renewed perspective on the male species through the windows of these brothers in Christ who seek Him whole heartedly.

You see ladies, when we sit around and harp on the men we begin to build up false perception of them. We fail to see them as children of the Lord Most High and diminish His workmanship. Our brothers in Christ really are just as broken as we are and it is unfair to expect perfection. I realize that every time I look at a brother and judge him and his brokenness, I am denying my brokenness and need for Jesus. Other times when I look to a man to be perfect, I am failing to recognize that he cannot and will not be my savior. No man can be Jesus. We all are in the sanctification process, if we were perfect then we wouldn’t need Him.

Now I do believe that it is important to be able to discern whether or not the man we are interested in or dating has a strong relationship with God. While our men won’t be perfect, it is important that we don’t excuse abusive behavior or lack of intimacy with God. If there is not fruit of that in their life, most likely they are not ready for an sustained dating relationship. Same goes for us. We cannot be looking to the men to fix our brokenness. The only Healer and Savior is God. Not to mention take it from a girl who has dated a “project boyfriend” more than once, you cannot change him. We do not have that type of power or authority in any man’s life. God is the only one that can do a work in someone.

As a girl who has dated guys that have lacked in a strong relationship with God, I know that it has been encouraging to see these men of God and the fruit of their life. In fact, some of my friends are married to them. Rather then get jealous and doubt whether or not I “deserve” something like this, I look to these men of God as examples to spur me on to wait for the man God has for me. Watching these men interact with the women in their lives, may it be their wife, mother, sister or just friends, it reminds me not to settle for someone who really does not seek the Lord. Other times it reminds me of the importance to wait for a man who really will lead the relationship through discernment from our King. These men remind me that:

-Godly men do exist and are seeking the Lord with all their heart, mind and strength.

-There are men that will pursue women when led by Him.

-There are men who understand redemption and know who Christ is.

-There are men who do not view women as objects for sexual gratification and desire to honor them.

-There are men that are leaders and are seeking to understand how to grow in leadership to prepare for all that God has for them, including marriage.

-There are men who live set apart lives for Him and seek first the Kingdom of God.

Ladies, it is important that we do not give up hope. That we trust God to bring a man into our lives that loves Him and spurs us on. These guys are out there. If you don’t believe me, ask God to open your eyes to men who really do love Him. Often they are right under our noses, or we have been looking in all of the wrong places. Right now one of my favorite websites Good Women Project is doing a series called Open Letter’s from Men to Women. This is one of those places that gives me a window into men’s hearts.

Just like we are being refined, grown and pruned by our King, so are they. It is important to love each other as Christ first loved us and show grace and not condemnation. Just because we may have had a bad experience, or two or three does not mean that all men are bad. So let us allow God to restore our faith in the opposite sex and spur them on towards Him by not lowering our standards because we don’t believe they exist.

Choosing Singleness: Waiting on Him

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So at the beginning of the year I confessed that I was in a season of singleness, and then I avoided it until, well now. Some of you might cringe with me because of the ridiculous stereotype that comes with being single. For some crazy reason single has the stigma of being less than being in a relationship.  Perhaps that is the reason for my silence. Or maybe it is because I had to come to grips with it myself. Okay, really it is both.

Maybe you can relate with the feeling that all your friends are getting married this year (okay, okay not all of them). The rest of them are already married and have a baby or are trying to have a baby. You meet with people over a steaming cup of coffee and you are enjoying yourself and the conversation until suddenly the topic switches to your love life.  You stare at them blankly because it doesn’t exist right now, out of choice I might add.  They then begin telling you about their cousin’s friend’s friend’s brother who is just so great and loves Jesus.  Oh yes, that is me. Anyone relate?

I love my friends, I might add. I know they really just want to see me with a guy who is running with the Lord the race marked out for him. But right now I know in my heart I am meant to run this segment of the journey alone. Without a man.

You see I am a recovered serial dater. I once was that girl that needed a man for an identity and looked for it in all the wrong types of guys. I imagine friends prayed for and worried about me because the guys I picked were not at all right. Somewhere along the way I would believe that they were “perfect” for me or believe that it was as good as it was going to get and settle into the dysfunction. I would adapt myself to fit their life, change the things I liked and disliked to make them happy and hopefully “find myself”.  Perhaps you have a friend that is like I was. You know, that girl that jumps from guy to guy like a spider monkey because of that emptiness that is just aching to be filled.

Those poor men that journeyed that segment of life with me naturally became exhausted because I looked to them for who I was. Or I somehow figured out that the situation really was bad and there had to be something better. So I would move on and find a better version of really the same type of guy.

One day I found myself dumped by a man I thought was “the one” and cried at the feet of Jesus. My broken heart ached and I despaired at the bottom of the pit of self loathing and lost identity. Christ met me there. I remember thinking how I felt like I had lost myself and then it dawned on me, I don’t even know who I am. Thankfully God has brought me a long way from this place and proceeded to pour into my identity. Believe me, if it can happen for me it can happen for you too. He is our Redeemer. I still have had a couple more dating blunders along the way and a while ago found myself single again.

I am doing it different this time. This time I am waiting on the Lord. I am believing in His timing and His plan. Dating has been a cycle of brokenness and control. I would crawl around head down groping for the nearest man to claim me and call life into me. I put the man on a pedestal and believed that he was all I needed to become whole.  I clung to this lie that I have to make it happen and take matters into my own hands because God wasn’t moving in this area of my life. In my impatience I would settle and search for something that is far less than what my Father wants for me. For now:

“I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” Psalm 27:13-14

You see I finally get that no man, no human affirmation can call forth identity into me. My identity is in Christ alone and I will stand upon that truth. Knowing who I am in Christ has helped me stand up and not let others dictate who I am or will become. Through sleepless nights and countless tears I know now that the only thing I need is Jesus and one day, in His timing, if He brings me a husband it will be a bonus. I believe in God’s perfect timing the right man will walk into my life and a divine romance will unfold unlike anything this girl can understand.

But on top of that I am already married to the Prince of Peace and His love for me is perfect, never fails and never runs out.

“For your Maker is your husband- The Lord Almighty is his name- the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth” Isaiah 54:5