For all the single ladies…

For all the single ladies…don’t wait! Fall in love with Him. That is the goal – not waiting for something or someone to come.

—————–

 

I DON’T WAIT ANYMORE.

Posted by gracefortheroad in The Mercy

 

When I was 16, I got a purity ring.

And when I was 25, I took it off.

I didn’t tell anyone I was doing it — it wasn’t a statement or an emotional thing. I just slipped it off my finger that day and, before tucking it away in a box, ran my finger around the words on the familiar gold band.

“True Love Waits.” Waits.

What’s it “waiting” for, anyway?

*****

I had my reasons for deciding not to wear it anymore. Other people might have other reasons. It’s a graveyard of hearts, this place where single church girls crash into their late 20s and early 30s. Churches see the symptoms. They scramble to reach out to the ever-growing young adult singles crowd who feels alienated by family-oriented services.

But there’s something bigger behind it than that.

Much bigger.

There are a lot of girls out there who don’t know who God is anymore – the God of their youth group years just isn’t working out. Back then, that God said to wait for sex until they are married, until He brings the right man along for a husband. They signed a card and put it on the altar and pledged to wait.

And wait they did.

*****

And waited and waited and waited.

Some of them have prayed their whole lives for a husband, and he hasn’t shown up. They’ve heard the advice to “be the woman God made you to be, focus on that, and then the husband will come.” They’ve read “Lady in Waiting,” gotten super involved in church and honed their domestic skills.

And still they wait.

More than a decade ago, a youth leader handed them a photocopied poem in Sunday School written to them from “God” that said, “The reason you don’t have anyone yet is because you’re not fully satisfied in Me. You have to be satisfied with Me and then when you least expect it, I’ll bring you the person I meant for you.”

And the girls see it posted on their bulletin boards from time to time.

“You’re right, God,” they say. “We’re not satisfied in you yet. We will put you first and then you can bring us a husband in your timing.”

But many of them – if they’re honest – will tell you that time has passed, and it’s wrecking their view of God.

If this is who God’s supposed to be, then He’s tragically late.

So some decide to chuck “Lady in Waiting” out the window … and possibly their virginity with it. Church goes next. God might go next, too. If He doesn’t answer these prayers after they’ve held up their end of the bargain, why would He answer any others?

Whether it was the fault of the leaders, the fault of us girls, or both, a tragedy happened back then.

A lot of girls were sold on a deal and not on a Savior.

*****

I had that poem on my bulletin board all through high school – the one where “God” was telling me to fall in love with Him first and then I would be able to fall in love with a husband later.

Who wrote that poem anyway?

Pretty sure it wasn’t God.

When Jesus was here on the earth, the crowds would follow Him because they saw He gave good things. But that’s not what He wanted. He wanted their hearts for Himself. So He would turn to them and say things like, “If you don’t love Me so much that every other relationship in your life looks like hate by comparison, you can’t follow Me.” (Matthew 10:34-39, paraphrase)

That sounds a lot different from the poem.

Christ is the source of everything we need and the giver of all good gifts … but in telling people about Him, it’s possible we’ve sold them on a solution for life’s problems and not life itself.

What if we as girls had learned early on that having Him was everything, not a means to the life we think He would want us to have.

If we had learned we don’t abstain from sex because we’re “waiting.” We abstain because we love Him.

If I’d had on my bulletin board, “Fall in love with Jesus.” That’s it. Bottom line. That’s everything you need to know, to work toward, to put your hope in.

If I’d learned who He is, what He wants, how to give Him everything, not “wait” so that one day I could give my everything to someone else.

If I’d learned that it’s not bad to pray for a husband, but that my greater prayer should be for Him to spend my life as He chooses for His glory.

If we as believers make that our message, things could be drastically different for a lot of girls wondering why the God they think they learned to follow doesn’t compute. It doesn’t necessarily stop the desire for a husband or end all feelings of loneliness, but it does show a God who provides, loves and gives infinite purpose even to our singleness rather than a God who categorically denies some who pray for husbands while seemingly giving freely to others.

It shows that while marriage is good, He is the greater goal.

*****

Don’t think I’ve done this perfectly.

I’d be deceiving you if you thought that. I’ve had relationships where I made major mistakes. I’ve gone through angst-ridden phases where I met with friends to plead together with God to bring us husbands. I’ve planned major life decisions around possibilities.

I lived like I was waiting for something.

And that’s why I slipped off my ring that day. It wasn’t that I wanted to sleep with people – I haven’t. It wasn’t a slap to True Love Waits, or to anyone who wears a purity ring – saving sex for marriage is good and is His design.

I just didn’t want to wait anymore – didn’t want to live like I was waiting on anyone to get here.

I already have Him … and He is everything.

“Follow Christ for His own sake, if you follow Him at all.” – J.C. Ryle

What about control? Here’s an article including the Worrywart Prayer.

There is a new book coming – Everything by Mary DeMuth. It’s good, people.

 

Following is from Sarah Farish – http://www.makingmuchofhim365.com/2012/09/06/giving-up-control-thanks-mary/.

Today, I awakened to this prayer by Mary Demuth in my inbox. Funny how God knows exactly what we need.

This prayer reminds me that…

God is more than capable of handling my burdens.

I like to be in control. I am a planner, an organizer, and a…..ummm…..control freak.

I don’t like chaos and can’t stand the unknown – or the unorganized or the unplanned.

But, God’s been working on this idol in my life. He has called me to relinquish control in some very specific areas, and I have taken some huge steps over the past week.

I did it. Now I wait.

And, the scariest part of waiting?

I don’t know what the outcome of me giving up control of ___________ will be.

I might love the outcome! Or, I might hate it. Again, I don’t like not knowing, so this part is the hardest for me. The waiting [insert Jeopardy theme here] and the waiting [yeah, I know I said it twice!]

I’ve asked myself a bazillion times in the past week, “Then, why make all these changes? Why not stay on the same path: doing it my way?”

Because God woke me up at 1:09 a.m on Saturday night/Sunday morning and laid out his plan very clearly. And, it’s time to surrender to HIS way. (And, duh, my way wasn’t working!)

More than that…

I want your will. I want your presence. I need your strength.

All I want in my life is God’s will. His presence. His strength. I look back over the past five years, and I’ve existed because of HIS strength. The minute I step back into my own strength, I fail, fail, and fail again.

I KNOW God’s way is better than my way. God’s shown me that again and again in my life. So, I am choosing to wave the white flag and let God have the control he should have had all along.

Mary’s words echo the prayer of my heart as I daily surrender to Him and live in the tension of not knowing the outcome: Please take this burden today and use it in my life for your glory.

I love the song “You Are”:

All for Your glory; All for you name…You are God, Jesus, Majesty; You are life, Jesus, saving Me; You are King, Jesus, All will see that You are God.”

That’s my song today – and everyday. All in my life and your life – good and bad – be all for His glory.

What burden are you carrying today? What worry is filling your head and your heart, crowding Jesus out? What needs to be turned over to your Creator?

Rest in knowing He is sovereign. His ways are better.

Isaiah 55: 8-9

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord.
“And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.
9 For just as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so my ways are higher than your ways
and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.

Give it to Him.

I Peter 5:6-7 “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.”

22 Ways To Humble Ourselves
by MARK ALTROGGE on SEPTEMBER 2, 2012

 

Christians should be the most humble people on earth.

We should be so because we have come to know something of God’s infinite greatness and our own unworthiness before him. Here are some reasons why we should humble ourselves before God and some suggestions on how to do it.

Why we should humble ourselves

– Because Christ was humble and we should imitate him.
– So that God can exalt us as he sees fit. “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.” James 4:10
– Because “God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6). We shouldn’t need any more reasons than this. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want God resisting me and I need all the grace I can get.
– Because there is safety in humility. Pride comes before a fall – the humble are less likely to fall, and if they do they don’t have as far to fall.

How to humble ourselves

– Contemplate the infinite greatness of God
– Consider your innumerable sins against God and the unbelievable mercy he’s poured out on you
– Contemplate your human frailty. Your every breath and heartbeat, your eyes, ears, strength, and mental health are all from God. He could remove them at any time.
– Contemplate your complete inability to control a single thing in this life.
– Realize that every good thing, talent and gift you have is a gift from God which he could remove at any time.
– Contemplate that if God did not keep you from sin you’d plunge headlong into it
– Confess your sins and temptations to God and others
– Ask forgiveness of those you sin against, even if they sinned against you first. Even if they don’t ask your forgiveness in return.
– Be quick to listen and slow to share your own opinions
– Don’t be so sure you’re right all the time
– Consider that there are multitudes far more gifted and godly than you are
– Cultivate thankfulness
– Contemplate your many areas of weakness – share them with others
– Realize you’re dispensable. If you died today, things would go on just fine without you.
– Realize that the things that bother you about others may be things you do as well
– Invite constructive criticism.
– Serve others. Wash others’ feet. Take on lowly jobs in your church.
– Take an interest in others. Consider others more important than yourself.
– Pray. Prayer is an act of dependence and humility.
– Ask for help, wisdom and prayer from others.
– When others compliment you, thank them, then give all the glory to God in silent prayer.
– Rejoice when others are promoted, praised or honored.

What would you add?

P.S. I’ve got to add one more. Probably the most important one:

–Regularly contemplate the cross. Nothing should humble us more than the perfect, sinless, Son of God willingly pouring out his life to rescue those who hated him and rebelled against him.

 

I Peter 5:6-7 The Message “So be content with who you are, and don’t put on airs. God’s strong hand is on you; he’ll promote you at the right time. Live carefree before God; he is most careful with you.”

from Angie Smith – Seam of Sky

Beautifully written – we see hope!

http://angiesmithonline.com/2012/08/seam-of-sky/

Read and share your opinion please. Thanks!

I’m posting this quote and a link to a blog post without personal comment. I would love to hear your thoughts on this, if you’re willing to share. Click the link below to read the article and then share your own thoughts in the comments.

 

“Where you live should not determine if you live. Where you live should determine what you give.”

— Joy in the Journey

The Needy In America Vs The Needy In The Third World: Who Is More Worthy Of American Aid?

A Song and A Prayer

“Keep Making Me” by Sidewalk Prophets

Make me broken, so I can be healed
Cuz I’m so calloused now I can’t feel
I want to run to you, heart wide open
Make me broken

Make me empty so I can be filled
Cuz I’m still holding onto my will
And I’m completed when you are with me
Make me empty

Till you are my one desire
Till you are my one true love
Till you are my breath, my everything
Lord please keep making me

Make me lonely so I can be whole
Till I want no one more than you Lord
Cuz in the darkness I know you will hold me
Make me lonely

Till you are my one desire
Till you are my one true love
Till you are my breath, my everything
Lord please making, I know you’ll keep making me

Micah 6:8

As you read this, I’m supposed to be on a train in India – traveling to help plan a new opportunity for freedom for women and girls caught in the sex trade. As I write this from the comfort of my home in Alabama, I wonder how I’ll be feeling – the emotions and sights and smells and …

Pray for us – and I’ll give an update when I can.

This is our theme verse. do justice, love mercy. walk humbly…

 

But he’s already made it plain how to live, what to do, 
what God is looking for in men and women.
It’s quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbor, 
be compassionate and loyal in your love,
And don’t take yourself too seriously— 
take God seriously. 
(Micah 6:8 The Message)

Life is risk

I want to be obedient to God – even if it’s risky. Life is risky.

Watch this video by Christine Caine. Well said!

“Blessed is the man…” Psalm 1

Sunday’s sermon by Dr. Danny Wood at Shades Mountain Baptist Church

 

“The will which governs the outer life is rooted in emotions captivated by God’s truth, and a mind constantly fed upon His teaching.”

Meditate on God’s Word

• Read it

 • Study it
 • Think on it
 • Understand it
 • Memorize it
 • Live by it

Psalm 1 (ESV)

1 Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
but his delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on his law he meditates day and night.

He is like a tree
planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.
The wicked are not so,
but are like chaff that the wind drives away.

Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
for the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked will perish.

 

“My Faith Has Found A Resting Place”

Book Review: Nearing Home by Billy Graham

“I never thought I would live to be this old. All my life I was taught how to die as a Christian, but no one ever taught me how I ought to live in the years before I die. I wish they had because I am an old man now, and believe me, it’s not easy.”

These are the first lines of Billy Graham’s latest book. This man is beloved by many and has quite a reputation among believers and non-believers alike. He has one of the most recognizable voices to those over 40.

His words are simple and elegant – just like his life. As you would expect the book is filled with Scriptural references. The point of the book seems to be getting your life in order to die – with relationships, with God and with yourself. It ends with a look at heaven.