"The thistle is a prickly flower, aye, but how it is sweetly worn."

Friday, March 29, 2013

My Love Story- on being single

The summer I turned 22 I fell in love with George Mueller.  [Some girls like Channing Tatum (i think that's his name).  I like random dead people who run orphanages.  I never said I was normal.]  There was something about his faith that I desperately wanted to lead me.  I felt like if I had a guy like that, walking in faith would be so easy, because he would hold my hand.  And I think more than anything, I wanted a godly man I could respect.  Reading his biography was beyond inspiring, and probably was one of those pivotal moments that affected my missions outlook.  He was what I wanted- and even today- I want a godly man with a missions mindset whom I can respect.

Somehow, though, that summer I also met my ex husband.  It's beyond my comprehension that I could be heading one direction and somehow veered so far off what I had said I wanted.  Through my ex husband I entered sexual immorality, abortion, idolatry, pain, shame, fear- lots of fear.  Bondage really. I've wondered before (don't dwell on this because- Jude- worth it), but still wondered how I fell so far so quickly.  The answer is simply- idolatry.

I was entering my last year of college.  I had assumed all my life I would be engaged at least when I graduated from college.  I felt like I was off schedule, and so, Michael represented a way for me to be on the path I 'knew' I should be on.  There were warning signs.  But I was so fixated on making sure I was married on time, I really didn't acknowledge them.  I was so sure that being married was worth it all, and it would all work out in the end.  Not even remotely true.

I kind of think as that as a 'Hagar decision'.  Just like Abraham and Sarah got tired of waiting on God to fulfill His promise, I got tired of waiting.  Just like Sarah took things into her own hands and gave Abraham Hagar, I took things in my own hands and 'made it work' with Michael.  Both decisions had disastrous results.

What I didn't realize at 22 was that I had hope.  Hope that a 'George Mueller' would come along.  Right around the corner could be the right guy.  When you are married to the wrong guy, you don't have any hope.  Looking at someone who hurts you in every way possible and thinking 'this is what my life is going to be like for the next 50 years' is possibly one of the most horrific thoughts I've had.  In fact, when I first got divorced I wasn't sure I would ever consider getting married again- or that it would be ok from a spiritual perspective.  I was 900% sure though, that being single for the rest of my life, while difficult, was better than being married and afraid.  Whatever you think loneliness feels like when you are just young and single, I promise promise it is nothing to the loneliness of having someone in your life you can never truly be close to.  Unfortunately, I think there are a lot of lonely married women in the world.  And that's a pain unlike any other.  A hopeless pain.

I know there are several people in my blog/real world that worry about being alone.  That's a totally normal fear.  Women were created to be a helper to someone.  God has a definite plan for your life and ways to fulfill that need He gave you.  And it's scary to think about not doing that with your life.  Even now I have moments where I wonder oh my gosh, what if...  And that's definitely not what I want.  I don't know what God's plan for my life is.  I don't know what God's plan for your life is.  But I do know that I pray you feel encouraged.  You have hope.  Just like God saw Hagar in the desert, he sees you too.  He doesn't just know your heart, He adores it.  He thinks your heart is beautiful and worthy of not just settling, but a love great and godly.  He knows of someone who will be worth the wait.

Waiting can be a fruitful time.  I waited for 2 lonely painful years before I considered dating again.  Sometimes it was because of my decision.  Sometimes it was God's.  Those two years were blessed though.  I fell in love with God so deeply.  I learned what it was like to depend on Him solely.  He became the Lover of My Soul.  Those lessons have been beyond a blessing in my current relationship.  I used to have moments of severe loneliness or fear.  I would just pray something like 'Lord, I need a hug right now.  I'm so lonely, and I'd give anything to be held.  But that's not what you've given me right now.  So please hold me tonight".  And He faithfully answered that prayer everytime.  He knew those desires I had, and He continually fulfilled them.  Because I learned to depend on God to satisfy my desires and fill my hollow places with His lavish, unfailing love (i literally pray that daily- Got that from a Beth Moore book called Breaking Free- which I highly recommend), I haven't needed Jimmy to fill those.  I love having him around.  He is such a breath of fresh air all the time.  I absolutely adore him in every way.  I literally think He's brought Christ to life in a tanglible way for me.  But I don't need him.  And that's huge for me.  It's also allowed this relationship to be truly healthy, and also truly dependent and focused on God.  Which has made what I really dreamed of, a godly man who I could respect and trust to lead me, possible.  And that's exciting!  And was worth the wait!

In closing, I just want people to know that its good to be content where you are.  God is blessing you right where you are.  He is doing amazing things right where you are.  It's also ok to want and even need other things.  But for me, laying them down at His feet made them possible.  It was hard many days.  But I always had hope.  And in Christ we have a hope that doesn't disappoint!

Side note:  A couple months before meeting Jimmy- maybe not even that long- I acknowledged before God my desire to serve in foreign missions.  I told God I was willing to go- anywhere- although at the time I wanted to go to Morocco.  Now I would just go anywhere.  But I asked God, if that was my calling to please bring me someone I could trust to protect me while I was there.  Pretty legit request, especially in places like Morocco where my rights as a woman would be limited.  Jimmy literally would go anywhere.  And he is absolutely concerned with shepherding me in every way.  I'm not saying anything as far as where Jimmy and I are headed, because I don't know.  But hey, maybe you should surrender to missions and God will bring you a co-laborer ;)  kinda kidding....


Aanie @ The Active Mum said...

Hey lovely lady, this is so beautiful well written, as always. I really relate to those feelings of being single and feeling like I would already be somewhere in my life by a certain point, and the feelings of loneliness that can bring. This post is incredibly encouraging for anyone at that point, and also nice for those of us that have been there to know we weren't alone.


Susannah said...

Oh sweety, thank you so much for being vulnerable and sharing this with us. It's wonderful to hear how God worked in your life - even in the hard times! Have a wonderful Easter weekend!

Danielle In The City said...

This is a message I can never hear too many times.

First of all, I could see myself making the exact same decisions as you at 22...23... even though I KNEW that's not what I wanted. It's so easy to try to take things into our own hands. Even at 27, I struggle not to do things my own way, so ic an totally get where you were coming from. The only reason I haven't had any truly disastrous results (minus a lot of unnecessary guilt), is because for whatever reason God has stopped it from happening every single time. Thank goodness he knows how much I can fail on my own - he definitely knows much better than I do.

I'm always inspired to hear your story, and to see how far he's taken you and carried you through the ruins of earthly decisions so faithfully. I'm so thankful that even when we get it wrong, he's still willing to step in and make it right.

Shannon @Imperfectly Perfect Grace said...

This is exactly what I think I needed to hear. Honestly it's not what I want to hear...but I recognize it as the truth. Waiting on God to heal my heart and bring me a new man scars the crap out of me, because my heart so badly wants family...but just as you talked about how God worked on your heart so much before you met your Jimmy so that now God's filled all those holes in you that you might look for Jimmy to fill in you. I know that's right and beautiful, and the way it should and needs to be.

Katie Ramirez said...

Our hearts are so alike...I love that friend!

Kiki said...

This was such a good read for me. Thank you for sharing this and reminding me of all the goodness there is around me (namely God!) if I'm willing to open my eyes and find it. Hope you're having a lovely Easter!

Claudy Ashlee Francois said...

Wow...we have a lot in common. I said yes to moving to Haiti when I was 28 and single...very much thinking it was my call to singleness. My husband and I started dating a month after I moved :)

Lisa notes... said...

A Hagar decision. What an apt phrase. We've all had those seasons where we felt we had to take things into our own hands if anything was going to get done. I appreciate your honesty here. And that you fell in love with George Mueller. :-)