The past couple weeks have not been easy. They have been filled with struggles; from feeling completely alone with a group of my closest friends to wondering just what God has up His sleeve and couldn’t He please, oh please, just give me a little hint or insight. Through it all though, He has been teaching me, which, of course, is the reason for these struggles to begin with.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4
Some of these lessons I cannot quite verbalize yet, but there are a few that I can.
- When God’s Word says “all” that is exactly what it means. Of course, you say, what else could it possibly mean? The truth is, until last week I didn’t really think it applied to me or my circumstances. How many times have you heard “With God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26b)? Hundreds, probably. In Christian culture it seems to be one of those things that just fits in anywhere and can be said without really thinking. Are you out of work & looking for a job? Is a friend sick and need to be healed? Have you lost your keys and need to get to work? Don’t worry, With God all things are possible. See what I mean? It is something we can automatically say, knowing it was the “right thing” to say. Now, don’t get me wrong, I believe these words to be true, 100%. I just don’t think we always believe them to be when we say them, or we say them not expecting anything to change. Last weekend I heard something on the radio that made me rethink how I perceive those words. To be honest, I don’t remember what the radio host said, or if it was more than those few simple words, but the Holy Spirit used them to flick on a light switch in my head. All means all; it means it is possible for me to meet a man I will one day marry, it means it is possible for me to overcome thoughts of inadequacy, it is even possible for me to run a half-marathon (but not any time soon). But here’s the catch, I can’t do these things on my own. Ok, so technically, maybe I could; honestly, I have no desire to. I cannot see any way I could make it through these struggles, on my own, that would help me become the woman God is molding me to be. While the word all was my focus, my a-ha Erlebnis, if you will, those two words at the beginning; With God, are really the key.
- I am not alone. And neither are you if you struggle with similar things. A friend of mine sent me a link to Focus on the Family’s program for today entitled “Navigating Dating and the Single Life.” The only problem I have with it is that it is part one of two, so I have the wait until tomorrow for the other half. Take some time to listen if you have a moment, and if you don’t have a moment, make that time. Lisa Anderson, director of Focus on the Family’s Boundless ministry for young adults, shares her story of singleness while addressing the common questions and myths in today’s dating scene. What I like most about this was that I was wrong about the woman in this program. I (somewhat bitterly) assumed that she was going to talk about singleness and then go on to say how she just found her “Mister Right” and is happily married with a kid on the way. I was wrong. She is 10 years older than me, in her 40s, and single. As I listened to her speak with such open honesty, I heard myself. I cannot say there was one thing she said that I have not experienced. I found out I am not alone in my circumstance; being a woman who wants to be married, who wants to share a lifetime of love with one man and receive the same from him. In a small church where there have been 4 new babies in the past 6 months and the only other single women are widows and teenagers, this was an important thing for me to realize. She also makes a great distinction between being lonely and being alone, a good thing for everyone to realize.
No matter what, He is the God Who is in control of it all. These struggles are taken to Him with Whom all things are possible. He constantly shows me I am not alone. For these reminders, that would not have come without these struggles, I am thankful.
Love & Blessings,