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

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.