Saturday, July 19, 2008

to keep with the theme...

you can always die a little more, right?

so i put dating in the coffin awhile back and died to it. but as most of you know, dying to yourself and your desires isn’t a one-time thing, it’s a process. a continual process (that’s probably redundant, i know). i am obviously very much still in process.

the latest step of the process has been me giving over another dating-related area of my life/heart to god. for lack of a better word, we’ll call it timing.

i love and trust god. i know his ways and plans and rules are best, for him, for me, and for everyone else. giving over dating gave me a wonderful feeling of peace that transcends worry or any temporary fix i might have come up with myself (funny how the peace of god can do that, huh?)

but until this past weekend, i hadn’t really believed with all my heart and mind and soul that god’s timing for me and marriage was really perfect. i was still holding onto feelings of hurt and bitterness and anger and frustration. i still felt like my singleness was for no good reason. almost like i was serving some singleness sentence, and i didn’t know why.

but god used several events to set me straight. and he did it in such a wonderful way. a very old and very dear friend spoke some encouraging and truthful words to me that got me thinking. we were talking, and i was kind of complaining and hinting at the fact that i felt so far behind all of our friends, life-wise. no marriage, no kids, not even a steady boyfriend. after listening to me for a while, she said, you know, sc, you’ve grown so much in the last four or five years, and so much of that has even been in the last year. the man you might have chosen to be your husband a year or two or three ago would have been very different than the man you would choose now. and that is so awesome! and remember; you still have so many good things to look forward to! i’ve already met the guy, gotten engaged, gotten married, and had my first kid. and it was all wonderful. and you still have all of that to look forward to!

with those words, i started to see my situation in a new light. the next morning, the sermon at church picked up where my friend’s words left off. the pastor was talking about pride and how worry and anxiety can create it. he read from 1 peter 5, and talked about how we’re supposed to give our anxiety and worry to god and replace them in our minds/hearts with god himself. and honestly i’m pretty sure i’ve heard that before, but this time it clicked. put the first things first. put god first and he’ll take care of everything else. trust him with the things you’re most afraid to give up or most worried about, focus on being close to him, and rejoice in the transcending peace he gives. yes, virginia, it is that easy. at least in theory...

after the sermon the pastor initiated some guided prayer. usually these things don’t work so well for me; i can't concentrate or focus with all the people around. but as soon as i bowed my head, i knew what i needed to pray about and give over to god; timing. i gave god all of my anger and hurt and bitterness. i asked for his forgiveness for me holding onto that for so long, and for me believing deep down that i somehow have been getting the short end of the stick, that somehow i know better and think i should have been married by now. i get it god, i told him. you’ve been working in me, even when it didn’t feel like it. i am different now, and i am glad to be different. i trust you; i trust that you have a plan. i believe that all things work for your good in this area of my life.

and then it gets a little weird. i’m not sure about this next part, but i’m going to write about it anyway. my friend’s words from the night before came into my head. you still have all those wonderful things ahead of you: meeting the guy, getting engaged, getting married, having kids… and felt like god was telling me to just relax. i felt him say, you’ll have those things. i want to give them to you. you’ll have a boyfriend, a marriage, a family. i want to give you those things; they are good things, and you want them, and i want you to have them. so just relax and trust me!

it's such a rare thing for me to hear god promise me specific things. but once i started to really give him control of this area of my life, he met me. i took some steps, and he met me. it's given me such peace. whether i get married a year from now or 10 years from now, i know it will happen, and i know that the time until it happens won't be a waste.

7 comments:

The Learner said...

SC,

I have often thought that if God would only tell me if I would ever marry or not that I could accept it and just settle in for the ride :) He hasn't chosen to give me any assurances about that, but He has continued to draw me to Himself and teach me. Interesting how God deals with His children in different ways, always giving us what we need.

SavvyD said...

Thanks for reading my post about my Non-Dating Dude. The thing is, we shouldn't "die to dating." Dating is just a way to get to know someone and make a decision about someone's possible place in your life. It seems like we're talking ourselves out of something that is normal and healthy--to be in relationship with others. Birds do it, bees do it, even educated fleas do it!! Let's do it! Let's fall in love!!

If a great guy from church were to ask you out for coffee tomorrow, would you really say no?

single/certain said...

thanks for stopping by, savvy! if you read some of the earlier posts, you'll see that i never said i'm not dating at all. if a great guy asked me out, of course i'd go. i'm just givng back to god something that i've been spending way too much mental energy on. i'm a firm believer that i should die to anything that takes my focus off of god. now, when i go out, i'm not constantly checking out who's there and if he's cute and if i can catch his eye; i'm just out having fun, talking with my friends, whatever. god knows i want to be married. i have faith that it will happen. i'm not going to worry or freak out about it anymore.

single/certain said...

hey, learner... god does deal with us all differently. one thing that i think is always the same is that we have to take steps toward him. i'm still in the middle of this crazy long journey through singleness and dating and etc. but recently i've really taken some steps of faith toward god. it's hard to describe (especially while i'm at work :), but i feel like god replied to me because i stepped toward him. i committed to let go of the control of something i really want, and only after i did that did he respond to me with the assurance that i'd have it someday. does that make sense?

The Learner said...

SC,
Yes, that makes total sense. :) I've been going through some growth in that area too and have been humbled at the ways God has stepped toward me as I step toward Him.

Fred Walker said...

Here's an uplifting thought - if our purpose is to bring glory to God would we bring greater glory to God by trusting Him with our singleness and missing out or by trusting Him and ending up married?

But my point is that isn't dying to something accepting God's will whether or not it is what we want? What if His timing is not at all?

SavvyD said...

Ahh the bliss of being where you are. I was there once. Now I am in a different place. Sometimes--actually most of the time I'm just doing my thing, and in those times, I still end up having a few guys after me. Some of them I wish would leave me alone. I just don't call when they ask me to.