The Holiday Season

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The holiday season can be a tough time for singles. You see family that you haven’t seen for most of the year and the first question out of their mouths is “when are you getting married?” or “are you seeing anyone?”. When you respond that it’s all in God’s timing and that you aren’t seeing anyone right now, you can see the disappointment in their eyes even if they don’t verbalize it or they may verbalize it, such as, “you’re not getting any younger” or “you’re biological clock is ticking”. Deep down you know your family means well, but hearing these things get old and sometimes downright discouraging. What’s worse is that you get that random “Happy Thanksgiving” text or “Merry Christmas” text from your ex that you haven’t spoken to in weeks, months, or maybe a few years. If you’re like me, you’re just like “really!?!?!?!” *rolls eyes*

This happened to me yesterday. Back in October I started dating this amazing guy. He literally was the whole package. Most importantly, I finally decided to do things God’s way. I prayed about him and did not do anything until I heard from God. For once in my life, I did not let my emotions guide me in the relationship, I let the Holy Spirit guide me. Everything was going great until the guy started changing. He literally did a 360 on me. I didn’t understand it. In the past when I was trying to do things my way, I would be quick to think that I could “fix” whatever was wrong with the person and try to make it work. This time I prayed about it and the Lord led me to confront him. After confronting him, everything went down hill from there. I didn’t understand it because I did things God’s way. I decided to end things even though it hurt. Now that I look back on it, that brief relationship showed me how much I have grown and how far God has brought me, and I honestly believe that is why God allowed this brief relationship. I submitted everything to God during that time, I was led by the Holy Spirit, and I did not compromise in anyway, which was a huge deal for me (see my testimony to find out all that God has delivered me from).

Okay, so back to the present. Starting last week, I kept getting this feeling that my ex was going to text me on Thanksgiving. I talked to God about it and was basically like “Lord, don’t let him text me. Even though I have moved past that situation and I have forgiven him, I’m not sure if I will respond in a Christ-like manner”. The days leading up to Thanksgiving, I kept telling the Holy Spirit that this must be some kind of joke, like this man is not bold enough to text me. Well, Thanksgiving arrived and I got that “Happy Thanksgiving text.”

Before I go any further into the story, let me break down the “Happy [insert holiday]” text from an ex. The holidays tend to make singles who aren’t content in their singleness lonely. They get to thinking about their exes and start thinking that maybe they made a mistake or they simply just don’t want to be alone. The “Happy [insert holiday]” text is a way of opening up that door to reel you back into a relationship you had no business in to begin with or that God ended for a specific reason. You see it doesn’t end at the Happy [insert holiday] text. It then goes to “how are you”, “are you seeing anyone”, “I miss you”. And then you find yourself in that dysfunctional relationship once again. So, how do you respond to a text like that?

I’m glad you asked. My response was simply “No”. You see the word “No” is a powerful word. It may be a small word, but it holds so much meaning. When I responded “No”, I was telling him “No, you can’t come back in my life without an apology and act like everything is okay.” “No, you don’t have a right to tell my Happy Thanksgiving after how you mistreated me.” “No, I don’t want to talk to you.” Just by saying “No” I felt so empowered. You see for once in my life I didn’t let my emotions rule me. For once in my life I wasn’t desperate for a man or his attention. For once in my life I finally saw myself through God’s eyes and knew my worth and knew that I deserve so much better, that I deserve God’s very best.

That’s what you have to do when your ex tries to pop back into your life during the holidays (or tries to come back in your life at any point). God has someone so incredibly amazing for you, someone who will love you as He loves you, but how can God bring you that person if you keep running back to your ex every time they come texting or calling you? If that position next to you is filled, God can’t bring you your mate. It’s that simple. Saying “No” is not easy, but it’s so worth it. Know your worth.

“…for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are Your works; my soul knows it very well.”-Psalm 139:14

You were created by the all powerful God. You are one of His marvelous works. That means you are worth so much. Most of all, Jesus Christ died on the cross for you. The fact that someone so perfect, holy, righteous, amazing, and so much more, as Jesus died for you tells you alone that you are worth so much! Embrace your worth in Christ. Don’t settle for less. Wait on God and He will bring you His best.

I can honestly say that I thank God for using this relationship to show me how much I’ve grown in Him and how far He has brought me. I remember how I used to be, how I used to be so desperate for a man to want and love me. I’m not that person anymore. I have Jesus who loves me unconditionally and honestly that is more than enough for me. As long as I have Him, I am good. Now don’t get me wrong, I still desire a spouse and I know that one day, in God’s perfect timing, He will fulfill that desire. The key is to wait on God. Don’t take matters into your own hands and don’t settle. If you get an uneasy feeling about someone, listen to the Holy Spirit. It will save you heartache. If you’re dating someone who is trying to get you to contradict God’s word, run with the quickness! If you’re dating someone who isn’t treating you the way you deserve to be treated, then drop them. The enemy will send so many counterfeits during your season of singleness. In order to not fall for these counterfeits, you have to be on one accord with God. Your relationship with God has to be first and foremost. Pursue God like never before and He will show you that person’s heart and intentions. I’m not saying that the person that God has for you will be perfect because none of us are perfect. However, if this person has you sad or crying more than happy or smiling, then they are not the one for you. Relationships are supposed to add to your life not take from your life. Stick close to God and be about His business, and He will allow everything else to fall into place.

“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” -Matthew 6:33

A Message to Women

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Why is it that we as women often approach a relationship with the mindset that we have to prove something to a man…that we have to earn his love and affection? We jump through hoops and try to do the impossible all to earn the love and attention of a man who never had any true intentions of pursuing us. No more ladies…no more. As single women, are focus needs to be on becoming the woman God created us to be. We are not called to pursue a man. We are called to be a woman of God, a daughter of the King. I get it…I understand that being single is not always easy, especially when everyone around you is getting in relationships, getting engaged and married. We have to remember that God has not forgotten about us. If you have the desire to be married, God placed that desire in your heart and He will fulfill that desire. He will not leave you hanging.

Numbers 23:19, God is not a man, so he does not lie. He is not human, so he does not change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried it through?”

That’s the amazing thing about the God we serve, He is a good God and He desires to do good to us. If He has placed a desire in your heart, He is going to fulfill that desire, but it will be in His perfect timing. Those relationships you are pursuing, are those God approved relationships? Did God show you that man was the one He has for you? Or did you just take matters into your own hands? One thing I know for sure is that God is not a God of confusion. When God brings you the man He has for you, you will know it…it will be crystal clear. That man will pursue you like his life depended on it because he will not want to risk losing you. The perfect example of this is Adam and Eve.

Genesis 2: 15, 18-24, “The Lord God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to tend and watch over it…

Then the Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.’ So the Lord God formed from the ground all the wild animals and all the birds of the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would call them, and the man chose a name for each one. He gave names to all the livestock, all the birds of the sky, and all the wild animals. But still there was no helper just right for him.

So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep. While the man slept, the Lord God took out one of the man’s ribs and closed up the opening. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib, and he brought her to the man.’At last!’ the man exclaimed. ‘This one is bone from my bone, and flesh from my flesh! She will be called ‘woman,’ because she was taken from ‘man.’

My pastor taught on these verses before and put things into perspective. Basically, before God brought Eve into Adam’s life, Adam had to get a job (hello, a man can’t provide for his family if he doesn’t have a j. o. b.). We also see that it’s God who said it’s not good for man to be alone. Adam and Eve had no say in this. We also see that God is the one who determined when Eve would come into Adam’s life. Once again, Adam and Eve were not the ones in control, God was in control. Lastly, where is Eve in all of this? Is she trying to woo Adam or prove anything to him? Nope. She didn’t come into the picture until God brought her into the picture. Our job as women is to pursue the calling God has given us and become the women He has called us to be. Take this time to become the type of woman that attracts the type of man you desire (godly, pursuing his God given calling, etc.). Work on becoming a Proverbs 31 woman. Yes, that woman sounds perfect; however, she has excellent qualities as a woman of God, a wife, and a mother that we should strive for.

I was reading an article one day, and the author said something that really put things in perspective for me. They said, “This type of woman [Provers 31 woman] can only be revealed by God, and He will only do this when it is the right time. She is hidden by the Father because He loves her, and He wants a great man for her.” This is something I read every night as a reminder and encouragement. I love the fact that God has me hidden. I love having such an amazing Heavenly Father that seeks to protect me, that seeks to be my covering. You see, God is not going to let any relationship that’s not of Him work out. If that’s not the man He has for you, then honey it’s not going to work. The more you try to take matters into your own hands, the more heartache you’re going to end up with. Rest in God. Allow Him to prepare you and your future husband and simply don’t worry about it.

“My beloved daughters, I am Your Father, the God of abundance. Do not fret over whether or not I have a man for you or that all of the “good ones” are taken. Do you not know that I have unlimited resources? I have a man of God, especially for each of you. Not just one that claims to serve Me, but one that is truly living his life according to My word, one so on fire for Me that you can see My light shining through him. Do not settle for less than you deserve. How will you know that he is the one I have for you? When it’s the man I have for you, your spirit will react to him, not your flesh. Your spirit will leap with joy! So rest in Me, My beloved. Don’t worry, just rest.”

The Dreaded “S” Word: Single.

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(Originally Posted June 14, 2013)

Are you a single that walks around moping and sighing “Woe is me”? Are you a single that when another one of your friends gets engaged or married, you look towards the heavens and cry out, “Lord, when is it going to be my turn!?!?” If you answered yes to either of these, then this post is for you (even if you answered no, this post may help you).

 We live in a world where a lot of the focus is on finding “the one”. From your mom setting you up on blind dates because she’s ready to be a grandma to your family always asking you when you’re going to get married, being in a relationship is a huge part of our society. From Singles’ Awareness Day aka Valentine’s Day to the millions (well, maybe not that many) of jewelry commercials about engagement rings, if you’re single, you can’t help but be reminded of that very fact.

 Well, I got news for you! You don’t have to be miserable in your singleness. As a matter of fact, Jesus never meant for us to be all torn up over our singleness. He meant for us to be content in our season of singleness.

 Paul says in Philippians 4:11-13, 11 …for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13 I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”

 Because we have Jesus Christ living in us, we can endure any season we are in with joy. Jesus will give us the strength we need to face and handle each new season in our life. We don’t have to be down or depressed because we are single. No, it’s not the end of the world if it’s going on 3+ years that you’ve been single. Learning how to be content in your season of singleness is not easy. Trust me. It has taken me a couple of years to learn this and I still have my moments.

 When I first truly came to know Jesus, I had no desire for a mate. It wasn’t even something that crossed my mind. The reason why was that I believed that I didn’t deserve for God to bless me with a mate after all of the mistakes I had made while living for this world. The first thing I had to do was forgive myself as Jesus forgave me.

Isaiah 43:25, 

“I am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake, and I will not remember your sins.”

 If God Himself has forgotten my sins, I need to do the same. Once I had truly forgiven myself for my past mistakes, God placed in my heart the desire for a mate. He removed the fleshly desire of fornication and replaced it with the godly desire of saving myself for marriage. However, once that desire was there, I started letting it consume me. I obsessed over the who, when, what, how…it was a mess! It was all I thought about. I would wonder if every godly man I encountered was the man that God had for me. I would get my hopes up high only to be highly disappointed. At times I would even blame God. I would get mad at God for putting that desire there. I was literally on an emotional roller coaster all because of my thoughts.

 This brings us to one of the ways to go from being unhappily single to happily single: your thoughts. Your thoughts are powerful. Your thoughts can effect your mood, effect your outlook on life, effect your relationships, effect your entire being.

Proverbs 23:7, 

“For as he thinks in his heart, so is he…”

 You are what you think. So if you continuously dwell on the fact that you are single and you think being single is horrible, then you are going to be sad every time you think about the fact that you are single.

2 Corinthians 10:5, 

“casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ”.

 We shouldn’t sit and dwell on these negative thoughts because they go against God’s word. God wants us to be content in whatever situation we are in, whether that be single, dating, married, etc. So when those negative thoughts about your singleness arise, start casting them down with positive thoughts. Start praising God for the season you are in and how He is able to use you greatly in this season. Praise God for preparing you for the next season of your life. Just praise God. If you’re praising God, you can’t be negative and miserable.

 Next, realize that you are not single. You are in a committed relationship with Jesus Christ. And please don’t look at me with that tone of voice. You know I’m right.

Ephesians 5:23, 

“For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, His body, and is Himself its Savior.”

 Our relationship with Christ is even compared to that of an earthly marriage. Jesus is our Heavenly Helpmeet and He will prepare us for our earthly helpmeet. So if you can’t be committed to Jesus, how can you expect Him to bring you your future spouse? This took me a while to fully understand. I knew it in my head, but I didn’t let it get into my heart. I kept focusing on the fact that Jesus isn’t physically here with me. The thing is that Jesus’ presence surpasses any human being’s presence. No one, and I mean no one, can make you feel like Jesus can or love you like Jesus can.

Isaiah 62:5, 

“…as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you.”

 Just as your future husband or wife is going to be bursting with joy over you as you exchange those vows, Jesus gets that excited about us on a daily basis.

Matthew 10:30, 

“But even the hairs of your head are all numbered.” 

 Now if this isn’t love…Jesus knows the exact number of hairs that are on your head. What man or woman is going to sit and take the time to know you that intimately by counting the very number of hairs on your head? Not one I tell you. That’s how much Jesus loves you. He knows every single detail about you. Jesus’ ultimate act of love was when He died on the cross for our sins so that we can spend all eternity with Him. Jesus’ sacrificial, unconditional love is…whew…amazing…breath-taking…it’s just…wow! No other love can compare to it. Now I can go on and on with scripture about Jesus’ love for us, but I think you guys get the point. Bottom line is this: if you are living this life for Christ, then you are in a committed relationship with Him so start acting like it. You’re not single. So no moping, no sad face, no grumbling. Rejoice in the very fact that someone as perfect as Jesus Christ, as loving and kind as Jesus Christ, wants you!

 The next question is, what to do in this season of earthly singleness? Well, I’m glad you asked! There’s so much you can do! 

·      Grow closer to Jesus: Take full advantage of this season of your life and spend so much time with Jesus. This is something I have heard so many married folks say. See when you get married and have kids, you won’t have as much time as you do now to spend with Jesus and you will feel the difference. So go have you a beach date just you and Jesus, have you an hour or so long worship session in your living room, get lost in God’s word for hours on end without having to worry about the time. Just spend time with Jesus. Take advantage of this time because when you’re married, you will miss this time you have.

·      Get involved with your church: Serve in different ministries! Get involved, meet people. This is something I’m about to do when I move back home at the end of the month. Seriously, if you are serving in different ministries, you won’t even have time to think about the fact that you’re single. Plus, it will help strengthen your relationship with Christ and you will meet other great Christians who can help support you in your season of singleness.

·      Go on a mission trip: This is the perfect time to go on a mission trip. Save up for it and just go. I have never been on one(but all that’s about to change next year! Already started saving and everything.), but from what I’ve heard they are very rewarding. Just go if you have the opportunity to. You get to share the gospel and travel. Does it get any better than that??? When you’re married, you may not be able to drop everything and go on a mission trip so take advantage now.

·      Finances: If you’re finances are all jacked up, work on getting them straightened out now. God is not going to bless you with a mate if you can’t be a good steward over the finances you currently have. Learn how to budget your money, pay your bills on time, pay off your credit cards…you don’t want to go into a marriage in debt…that will cause all kinds of problems.

·      Dreams: I don’t know about you, but in the past I would make statements such as, “Oh, when I get married I’m going to…”. Don’t wait until you’re married to fulfill those dreams. If you’ve always wanted to take a cooking class, go do it. If you want to travel, go do it(save up of course, don’t go into debt!). If you want to go to school to get your B.A., then go do it. You want to start a business, do it now. Stop waiting. You can’t pause your life until your mate shows up. If you do that, you may be waiting forever (just kidding) and end up wasting most of your life. Enjoy your singleness. Just yesterday I took myself out to dinner and I loved it. I sat and read my book while enjoying a very nice meal. Just go do it. Who cares if you do it by yourself, just do it!

 I leave you with this:

Matthew 6:33,

 “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”

 If you’re about God’s business, He will add to your life (i.e., a mate). Focus on God and He will work out all the other details of your life.

 And

 Psalm 37:4, 

“Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.”

 You make God your greatest desire and joy, He will fulfill the desires of your heart. He just needs to know that when He does bring you your mate that you’re not just going to kick Him to the curb. He has to remain #1 in your life no matter what season you are in.

 

Don’t Settle

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(Originally Posted January 7, 2012)

Isaiah 4:1,

“And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread and provide our own apparel; only let us be called by your name to take away our reproach [of being unmarried].”

Whenever I read this scripture, it wrecks my heart. This is exactly what’s going on in the world today. We as women are so desperate for a man that we settle for any old thing. It doesn’t matter if he’s already in a relationship, it doesn’t matter if he doesn’t have anything going for himself, or it doesn’t even matter if he’s saved. We just settle for any man just to say that we have one. I hate this so much! I see so many beautiful women with so much going for themselves settling for any man that comes their way. You see, I expect this from the world, but when I see one of my sisters in Christ doing this…it breaks my heart. It’s like we have forgotten who we are in Christ. 

 

Psalm 139:14,

“I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well.” 

 

It’s like we have forgotten the fact that we are fearfully and wonderfully made, that we are one of God’s marvelous works, that we are one of His precious jewels. I know it’s hard not to settle, especially when everyone around us is starting a relationship. However, settling for less than God’s best is just wrong. God created each and every woman for a certain man. When God created you and me, He had a particular man in mind as He shaped and formed us with His very hands. Isn’t that amazing!?!?!?! Yes, waiting for that man to arrive may be taking longer than we want, but hey all that means is that God is still working on us and the man He has for each of us. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want the man that God has for me arriving any sooner than he’s supposed to. I want to be ready when he arrives and I want him to be ready as well. So yeah, it may take a while, but the waiting is a good time to develop patience. God revealed to me that the waiting is an important period. You see, if we can’t wait for the man to arrive, then what are we going to do when he does finally arrive and we are ready to get married? Are we going to hound him about proposing? Are we going to leave not so subtle hints? See, waiting is very important. But most important of all about the waiting period is that it gives us time to truly fall in love with Jesus and develop a close, intimate relationship with Him. That’s the most crucial period because if we don’t know how to love Jesus, then we definitely won’t know how to love our future husband. 

 

Single’s Bucket List—Do Before Married!

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(Originally Posted on March 14, 2014)

I came across this blogpost on Married & Young (here’s the link: http://marriedandyoung.com/5-things-you-should-pursue-when-single/) and the blog discusses 5 things we should pursue as singles. The areas of pursuit are personal spiritual pursuits, career and education pursuits, travel pursuits, ministry pursuits, and miscellaneous pursuits. Overall, this blog is very encouraging to singles and a very good read. Instead of focusing on the fact that we’re not married, we should enjoy our singleness and live life to the fullest. So based on this blog, I decided to make a bucket list, but instead of making a list of things to do before I die, I made a list of things to do before I get married. Here’s my list:

1. Personal Spiritual Pursuits

·      Pray more—I pray daily, but I want to get to the point where I take everything before Jesus and discuss any and all issues/decisions with Him first.

·      Leave no room for doubt. I struggle with this in regards to my future and future seasons of my life. I like to have everything mapped out for me. I want to know what to expect, how it’s going to happen, all of the details. Well, Jesus doesn’t work that way. There are certain things He will reveal to us and most things we just have to trust Him. I struggle with this, but I know He will help me get to the point where I trust Him and rest in Him instead of doubting.

·      Get to know Jesus on an even deeper, more intimate level. There is so much to Jesus and I want to know it all. I know I won’t know it all, but that won’t stop me from trying.

·      Learn the Greek translation for various words in the Bible. The Greek translation for various words in the Bible bring so much more understanding to what God is saying in His word.

·      Pray in the spirit more.

·      Memorize more scripture.

·      Go on more dates with Jesus 

·      Write (journal) to Jesus daily

·      Let go and let Jesus use me whenever and however He pleases. I have to stop letting fear, selfishness, etc. interfere with this.

2. Career/Education Pursuits

·      Obtain a Master’s Degree in Child Development (currently pursuing)

·      Obtain a PhD in Child Development

·      Start a business—the possibilities are endless! I have so many ideas that I need to start doing something with instead of thinking on them.

·      Pursue a career as a Child Life Specialist

3. Travel Pursuits

There are so many places that I want to travel to!

Outside the U.S.:

·      Italy—particularly Rome, Venice, Naples, and Milan

·      France

·      Spain

·      Ireland

·      Portugal

·      Greece

·      Egypt

·      Kenya

·      Brazil

·      Columbia

·      Peru

·      Belize

·      The Bahamas

·      Cayman Islands

·      Jamaica

In the U.S.:

·      New Mexico

·      Arizona

·      New York

·      Washington (Especially Seattle so I can visit Judah Smith’s church!)

·      Virginia

·      Washington, D.C.

·      Florida (Orlando only! I just want to go to Disney World and Universal Studios Orlando)

·      Georgia (This will be happening this summer!)

4. Ministry Pursuits

·     Mission trip overseas—I was supposed to go on one this summer, but things didn’t work out so that I can go. However, I have not lost hope about going on a mission trip. It’s a desire God has placed in my heart and so it will happen in His timing.

·      Continue serving in Children’s Ministry. I absolutely love serving in this ministry. I serve in the nursery and it is so much fun! I enjoy holding, playing with, and cuddling with the babies. It’s so nice to be able to provide this for the parents so that they can go and enjoy service while knowing that their child is in good hands. It is truly a blessing. Babies are amazing!

5. Miscellaneous Pursuits

·      Read at least 1 book towards educational growth and 1 towards spiritual growth every month

·      Run a marathon

·      Get down to my goal weight

·      Write my autobiography

·      Learn how to play the guitar

·      Love others more—I really struggle in this area. I honestly want to see everyone through God’s untainted eyes. I don’t want to see the hurt and pain that others have caused me, but to see them in love.

·      Go to a concert every few months (what can I say, I’m a music junkie!)

·      Volunteer at a hospital (currently working on this. Trusting God for His will to be done)

Here’s my list and I had so much fun writing it. I prayed about it before I began because I wanted to make sure everything I do is in line with God’s will for me. I suggest that every single do this. There is so much we can do as a single since we don’t have any responsibilities in regards to a family. Take advantage of this time instead of wasting it on moping around because your mate isn’t here. You don’t need a man or a woman to start living life. Live your life now! Plus, when God does bring you your mate and they ask you what you’ve done during your season of singleness, you don’t want to say, “I’ve just waited on you.” With that said, stop putting your life on hold. Live it and enjoy it!