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

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!