I have a prayer that I say when I am entering into my quiet time/journal time with the Lord,
Heavenly Spirit, I ask that You be present and reveal to me whatever it is that is keeping me from entering into a deeper relationship with the Lord. Amen.
If you haven’t heard, the Lord responds to prayer, y’all. At my church, we entered into a new series last week called “How to Beat the Odds”. It’s about relationships, what God meant for them, and how to beat the odds of today by having Christ-centered relationships in every aspect of life. When our pastor held the mic and said, “Where are all my married people at?” I knew where this was going. He then called out for the single people in the audience to raise their hands and I held it reluctantly. I thought to myself, Lord, no. Not now, I’m not ready. I don’t know if I want to hear anything about this. I know You’re keeping me single for a purpose, I’ve just come to find peace with this. Can we not talk about how single I am right now? Little did I know that this was my heart’s way of saying, I surrendered my bitterness, my anger and jealousy to You. I accepted my season of (perpetual) singleness and have peace about it. I even found purpose while I’m here at this point of my life. What more do You want?? God knew exactly what He wanted from me but I wasn’t sure if I was ready to hear it. He showed me that because of my past experiences with men (and to a certain degree the lack there of), I had become jaded and cynical about love and relationships. Disclaimer: I do not hate relationships nor do I think love isn’t real. God is real, therefore love is real. But when He showed me the state of my heart, He revealed to me that I had a disbelief that the Lord would deliver on His promise to send me a Godly man to pursue me and eventually marry. I was not expectant of the Lord and His willingness to fulfill my God-given desires. I knew that I was called to a life of marriage eventually however I didn’t think the Lord would really do that for me because of the fact that men (especially the right kind of men) never pursued me. Ever.
The first day of the series was for married men and next Sunday will be for married women. I took notes, I watched as people in the crowd related to what our pastor was saying, I forced smiles and laughs, prayed, and rushed out of the auditorium. Phew, it was over! I stayed after church and talked with friends and finally discussed how none of us could relate to what the pastor was saying. But one of my friends brought up something very important that our pastor said that every single person (man and woman) should hear:
“Being married does not make you a more mature Christian! It does not mean you are a more fulfilled Christian if you are married. If you’re single, this message does apply to you too. Don’t feel like you’re a lesser member of the Christian community and family.”
This truly gave me the confidence to go forward in the series with genuine excitement. For so long in the history of the Church, singles have been treated and made to feel like we don’t realize our full Christian potential until we’re married. This is a lie from the depths of Hell y’all! Paul, arguably the greatest of the apostles, was called to a life of singleness and lived according to God’s word sharing the gospel of Christ with all he knew. I dare someone to say that he lived a life lesser than his married counterparts! With this said, I felt like I could really let myself open up to being receptive of what the Lord had in store for me.
I got home and once the Lord showed me the state of my heart, it was time to get to work! I spent hours in His presence trying my hardest to be open to what He had to say and allowing Him to soften my heart. God then showed me how important it was to draw closely to my community (which has very married, very dating, and very single people). I finally had a pool of people in my Christian community that represented various relationship statuses! Next, He showed me that apart of my disbelief in the Lord’s willingness to deliver on His promises was not having a spirit of expectancy. When we go into life having a spirit of expectancy, we know, believe, and trust that Jesus will intervene and work in our lives. Your mindset goes from “Can He, Will He?” to a thought process that says, “He can, He will, He has!” Amen, y’all! It absolutely blew my mind away, it truly did. I had never consciously lived my life with a spirit of expectancy for the Lord to come into my life’s troubles and circumstances. When I learned this, I immediately began praying to have this spirit. I also shared with everyone that I knew what I had learned, I was so excited!
The next day, I began the task of tackling places in my life that I had yet to give to the Lord and trust Him with. First up: my insecurities. I was taken back through over a decade of deep insecurities and this took all day. I cried, I read Scripture, I prayed, I wrote in my journal, I did everything I could think of to connect with the Lord and find some kind of peace and comfort. Finally, Holy Spirit asked me, “If God told you that you were beautiful, would you believe Him?” I stopped and wrote down in my journal what my heart spoke immediately. No. To this day I struggle with seeing what the Lord sees in me: a beautiful young woman. How strange is that? To doubt the beauty of God’s creation. I had never thought of it that way but for the first time, I realized that’s how I felt. I then tried to search in the Bible verses relating to knowing that you’re beautiful. The first verse that popped up was:
Proverbs 31:30 “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised” (NIV).
Now how unhelpful is that? That does NOT encourage me, Lord! These and many other things I thought in my head and heart. That did absolutely NOTHING to encourage me. I cried more; even the Bible couldn’t help me gain confidence…so I thought. Always know that when Satan tries to get a hold of you and your thought, the Lord intervenes! When the Father saw that I still wasn’t getting it, He spoke.
“You have a beautiful heart, Sabrina.”
I stopped and just stared into the darkness of my room (it was around 1 am in the morning). The Lord of Lords spoke to me and told ME my heart was beautiful! I then felt lead to open my Bible again and find a verse that supported my new found confidence.
Psalm 139: 14 “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” (NIV)
1 Peter 3: 3-4 “Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.” (ESV)
The Lord delivers on His promises and He had just given me the new gift of confidence I had never had before. This was an amazing step in the right direction but there was still something that I had to do: find forgiveness and closure in a previous relationship that had done more damage than I would have thought. My heart and spirit needed reconciliation to move on and finally heal. Back in 2013, I thought I had gotten over it but in all actuality, I did what I do best and pushed it away to focus on other things. I hadn’t confronted my real feelings or the damage he had done to confidence and heart. My friends tried to comfort me, ate lots of junk food, watched lots of movies, I even joined the unofficial official Single Pringles Society (those were funny times). I thought I moved on but I simply moved away, knowing full well I would have to return and face it eventually.
As the week went on, I kept seeing how having a spirit of expectancy could change my life and how truly believing the Lord was for me felt. I’ve stepped up in leadership at church in my ministry and even found financial relief for some problems I was having at the time. Obedience is fulfilling! Then, something unexpected happened this morning. I got a message from him. The person from my past relationship that contributed to my jaded heart. (If you refer back to my post “Destination Waiting”, you can read all about how that relationship shaped my journey) It was completely unexpected and out of the blue, we hadn’t spoken in 3 years. I initially thought it was a mistake but it really was intended for me. I opened it, read it, and what I found was something I honestly didn’t think would ever happen: an apology. A real, sincere, genuine apology. I was astonished and honestly too stunned to feel any particular way. I know I am not pursuing any relationship for a very long time and I don’t foresee him ever being apart of my love life ever again however his apology did something for me: It gave me peace and closure. I could tell that I was finally ready to apply a salve on my heart to soothe the wound that never closed. Do I trust men? More than I used to. And the Lord is still working on me! But in the mean time, I am falling more and more in love with who Jesus is, I don’t want to keep occupying my mind with endless thoughts about how and when I’m going to meet “the one”. The One has already come and found me and I’m chasing after Him hard. If one day some guy is quick enough to catch up to me, then maybe I’ll introduce myself.
Finally, as this post comes to a close, I want to share with you where my once jaded and cynical heart lies.
- I am fully expectant that the Lord will do what He promised (in my finances, career & ministry, in my relationships, my family, and in my health).
- I am comfortable telling the Lord where I am having trouble believing. He can’t help deliver me from a problem if I don’t acknowledge there is one.
- I want His will to be done, always.
- Scripture has become such a life giving source for me. So has prayer.
- Being in His presence is where I find the most peace.
- I am uncertain about the future but I trust He will lead me in the right direction.
Don’t ever let Satan convince you that God isn’t good. He is so good! Your heart will transform when you submit everything that is bothering you to Him. Our God is a huge God, He can take it. Angry at Him? Tell Him. Frustrated and not trusting Him? Tell Him what’s wrong. Just talk with our Father and see how He changes your life. Life with Jesus isn’t easier than anyone else’s life, it’s simply made more full with grace, mercy, forgiveness, healing, and peace.