blessed singleness + forsaking it all
Blessed is it to be single! I'll be honest, it wasn't until last Sunday that I realized just how content I was at being single, and how fooled I was into thinking I was still in love with my past. Have you ever been in that predicament? I am sure, if you're the hopeless romantic like myself, you've been there and done that. It's sad, but true.
Backing up to last Sunday-it was a single's small group Christmas Party! (Bless my beautiful group and those fearless leaders that make me laugh and wonder....).
Of all the people to be there I was the most excited about my ex-boyfriend attending. Just days before God and I had been on brutal speaking terms (mainly on my part), where I had been bashing God about cursing me with singleness, taking away my ex (whom I still thought I loved), and never answering prayers.
"Lord, I DO NOT want to be thanking you for unanswered prayers," I said shaking my fists.
I even went so far to explicitly challenge God to show me a sign. Not a subtle sign, but one that was WHAM... POW....IN MY FACE. I should have known better than to challenge the maker of the Heavens. I should have known He would have accepted the challenge gladly to prove to me who was BIGGER. And...so He did just that.
That very Sunday God worked His magic.
Unbeknownst to me, while I'd been anticipating seeing my Ex ALL DAY with a pounding heart and sweaty palms, God was at work. Even though back in May I had surrendered my all in all over to the Lord (Ephesians 1:23) when I broke it off with my best guy friend, I had wired myself to always revert back to the hope that my Ex would return, arriving at my door step to win me back.
Well-what happened Sunday was just the opposite.
There we were, sitting down our desert platters onto the table filled with sweets and one odd cheese ball, side by side. I was nervous. I was sweating. As I began to walk away he tapped me on the shoulder. "Oh, my Gosh! He's touching me," my heart screamed. And then he started talking. Little did I realize that my actions towards him would later resound in my heart like a gong.
He spoke to me, but as he spoke I felt NOTHING for him. Rather, I felt numbness. As if he was nothing more that a part of my past that was over. It was over. We were separate people. I had grown up and he was still very much a little boy. The year and a half had done nothing to cultivate him into someone better than the one who'd left. He was still the same irresponsible, selfish, entitled guy I had fallen in love with, and had fooled myself into believing that one day he'd grow up and come back.
I didn't see God's hand in any of this until I was in my car on the drive home. "Oh, my Gosh!" I proclaimed as I tried to keep my car from veering off the road. I was astonished by the amazing miracle God had done in my life. "Lord, I cannot believe it! Forgive me for ever doubting you! I can't believe I am saying this, but THANK GOD FOR UNANSWERED PRAYERS. You gave me a sign, Lord. And because of that-being able to see it first hand-I am free from this foolishness. I am free to live. Free to dance. Free to dream. Free to serve. Free to love when the time comes."
Remember (above) my mentioning about my breaking it off my with best guy friend back in May? Well, it was a struggle, a real painful experience. Not because I was lonely again (I was in a relationship with him because I had been lonely and now I was in a predicament). It was painful because I knew I'd lost a friend, but it was also a relief because I knew I'd made the right choice. It was a struggle because I had to challenge myself daily to change my thought process from a huntress, preying around ready to pounce on the first guy that noticed me, to a content, blessed single woman filled with Christ, surrendered to His plan with reckless abandon.
I loved the picture Leslie Ludy paints in her book Sacred Singleness. Like Leslie, I grew up in church praising Jesus and singing songs about Him being my all in all. But never did I really accept the concept readily as a reality that I needed to pursue.
However, Sunday was when everything came full circle. In honesty, even up until that moment in the car did I not consider that God could actually satisfy my heart. All the songs about Him being my all in all sounded good, but they only sounded like spiritual babble that was good in theory, but not in actuality. In those moments of learning about God being my all in all, I'd usually feel like Billy on Polar Express who, before really experiencing the miracle of Christmas:
Billy: Christmas just doesn't work out for me. Never has.
In reality, I was a lot like Billy. Except, I believed wholeheartedly in Christmas, but seriously doubted the power of God. Before that moment in the car, I had always been repulsed by the idea of being single and alone. But in that car, God had me pinned. There He showed himself to me; to the point where I really had to stop and examine my past, present, and future motives. What was I living for? Was I willing to let God become my all in all? But most importantly, which is what I found to be an amazing coincidence that Leslie Ludy had put into words what I had been feeling in the car that Sunday night "Is not the One who had given everything for me worthy of everything I could offer Him?
I had attempted this before back in May. But not with a fully committed heart. Yet, this time I knew I needed to change my heart, my direction, my focus, and surrender to the foot of the Cross. Yeah, that night I surrendered my dreams of marriage and a family to God. I gave those hopes and dreams to him, much like Mary of Bethany did when she broke her Alabaster Box of precious ointment at Jesus' feet (John 12:1-3). She sacrificed the one thing that was most precious to her, recklessly abandoning her own wants and desires for God's perfect plan.
I knew in my heart-and readily accept it now with joy and pride-that surrendering that which I have focused on for so long to the Lord doesn't mean that God keep from me those dreams and desires, but until that time when He is ready to fulfill those dreams, my focus is on Him alone-serving, worshiping, evangelizing, praying, and loving the One who gave His all.
Last Sunday, I decided to forsake it all for the sake of my Father. It's not been an easy week. I have been having to refocus my thoughts and actions from thinking about guys and how I can be the most attractive to them, to wanting to be the most attractive inwardly to God and thinking of ways I can serve Him, please Him, love Him.
It's a beautiful time of surrender. And I am uber excited about the ways in which God will reveal Himself to me in 2015. I look forward to see what God does in my season of singleness and where He will lead me! In the words of Bilbo:
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.”
But as Chris Tomlin says in his song I Will Follow:
Where you go, I'll go | Where you stay, I'll stay | When you move, I'll move | I will follow you