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The struggle to find our value and identity is probably one of the biggest battles we as women face (and men as well). It’s a search to find significance in the eyes of others, an internal struggle that leaves us continuously unfulfilled day after day. We may not fully realize it but from the moment we wake up in the morning to deciding what to wear to putting make-up on our faces and racing out the door, we are in a constant battle with our self-worth. A little voice inside our head is whispering, you will never be enough.

When we lose sight of “who” we are and “whose” we are, we fall into the trap of comparison. Comparison clouds the promises of God and convinces you that God doesn’t have a plan for your life. It attacks the uniqueness of WHO God created you to be. Then your joy is gone and you feel isolated and alone.

Before we can ever find JOY and FULFILLMENT in our life, we must first realize WHO we are. YOU are a daughter of the KING! YOU are an HEIR of Christ. His MASTERPIECE. His BRIDE. We must believe and know the value we possess. It’s one thing to read who we are in the word of God but it’s another thing to actually believe it and walk in that truth. There will always be voices that surround you telling you “who” you should be and “what” you should be doing. Voices that try to convince you that you’re not enough and you’ve missed it. They cause you to revert to the past wishing you would have settled for something less that God’s best for your life.  If we listen to these voices without taking them captive we will lead our lives down a destructive path away from God’s perfect plan.

My beautiful sisters, you have a God-written story, but your lack of knowing your value and identity in Christ can keep you in the waiting. The waiting season can be good and of great benefit but it can also be damaging if our eyes aren’t on Jesus. During this time it’s so easy to watch other stories around you unfold and compare it to your own. We allow our worth to diminish against that strength of someone else’s story. I’ve been there and at times I feel I’m in that place. We get tired of waiting and forget who is writing our own story; therefore we give-in and settle for an incomplete rather than a fully complete God-written story. We come to the conclusion that what we desire doesn’t really exist and that maybe we just aren’t one of those that God truly wants to use to write and amazing story. Lies then become reality. Have you ever felt that?

During the waiting season, we have to choose to believe, despite our circumstances, that we carry value and worth even when we don’t feel valued or worthy. Maybe you don’t feel loved or you compare your love story to someone else’s. Maybe you’re single and your fighting against the lies that you will always be single. Maybe you have made so many mistakes that you have lost who you are. Maybe you gave yourself away to someone who didn’t deserve you and now your fighting to find yourself again. Maybe you desire just to be loved but feel unloveable. Maybe you feel like you have nothing to offer, no gifts, not talents. BUT I pray you know this, God cares so much about your life that He wants to get you to a point to where you are a “strong, energetic, and confident girl who knows the value she possesses regardless of the way she feels or what her circumstances look like.” It’s in the moments when our faith is greater than our feelings that things began to change and we become BRAVE.

Embrace the story that God has entrusted you with. DARE to trust him. Be BRAVE. Even when it’s tough and when it doesn’t make sense. Find joy in the small things. I haven’t made it there yet but I KNOW that in the end of the struggle you will be able to look back and say “it was worth it.”

I love you and I believe in your story. You are BRAVE.

March 19, 2015 0 comment
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I’m reading this book Every Bitter Thing is Sweet by Sara Hagerty and in the forward of the book Katie Davis says,

“To love is to be vulnerable — Open to love, and then, too, open to disappointment. Too often we try to avoid that scary place where we love so deep, so much, our hearts could break. But without the bitterness we would never appreciate the sweetness.”

I remember a time I let my heart love so deeply that it broke. In a little impoverished village in Haiti, I scooped up into my arms a 3 year old little girl that weighed less than 10 pounds. I remember taking my hand and wiping the sweat off her face as she looked into my eyes. She began to cry and point to the water bottle that was hanging off the side of my backpack. She was thirsty. She was dying of dehydration and there was no clean water for her to drink. Everything within my tummy hurt as I began to get nauseas by what I was seeing. My heart was breaking and as I tried to process it all I couldn’t understand why this beautiful little girl was born into such overwhelming poverty. She was unclothed and I could trace the outline of her bones with my finger. That year had been one of the hardest years of my life and so I decided to take a mission trip to Haiti to just serve and get away. I had built walls to love. I was scared to get back to that deep place again. But in that moment, this beautiful little girl was teaching me what it meant to truly love deeply. I thought I had it figured out but I was far from it. That moment was transformational for me and through that baby girl I was holding I could “feel” the way our Father truly and deeply loves us. True love (loving like Jesus) is loving through the bitterness and hard moments in life and finding its sweetness.

“A satisfied soul loathes the honeycomb, but to a hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet.” – Proverbs 27:7

When I read this it struck my heart so deeply. With this being the month of love driven by chocolate candies, stuffed animals and Valentines Day cards, I had to ask myself, what does it truly mean to love deeply — so deep that your heart could break? Are we displaying this type of love in our relationships, friendships, and families? Are we giving this love to the lost? Are we letting this type of love be an example to our children and those who look up to us?

Christ is the MOST beautiful picture of what it means to love deeply. He loved you and I SO much that He shed his own blood on a cross. His love for us drove Him to the greatest pain of all, the greatest heartbreak of all. He went the length of “feeling” so deeply that it cost Him his life. The blood He shed gave us freedom from the sin we live in every single day. Jesus knew that through the cross His heart would break and His vulnerability would leave scars on His hands BUT to Him it was worth us getting to see and experience the greatest LOVE of all.

Maybe you’re single, dating, or even married. Maybe you have some relational scars that have affected every area of your life when it comes to love. Maybe you have lost all hope in what love even is or you wonder if a LOVE that great even exists because of the pain you have experienced in the past. I’ve been there. I’ve doubted. I’ve questioned. But one thing lately I’ve learned is that it begins with me. It begins with not being afraid to love beyond the surface, to love when it doesn’t make sense and to love when the odds are against you. It is choosing to love beyond the arguments, the imperfections, and the heartbreaks. To let love drive every area of your life, in EVERYTHING you say and do. It is a risk-it-all kind of love where you are going to give it all you’ve got regardless of what those around you say. And then it’s in the deepness and the vulnerability that you find the true love of our Father, an unconditional love that knows no bounds. One that comforts and truly satisfies the deepest longings in your heart. When you experience this type of love, He becomes your identity and your hope which transforms every area of your life. Fear and anxiety are replaced with unexplainable joy and peace.

This is the way Jesus wants us to LOVE; just like Him. But it’s not that easy and it may cost you something. There are many stories in the bible where He teaches us how to love. Majority of the time we read those words and leave them on the pages. We don’t live them out because it’s out of our comfort zone.  We can’t LOVE like Jesus if we’ve built walls around our hearts where we can’t “feel” with those around us. Opening yourself up to truly feel will cost you your comfort and control. If “LOVE is the greatest” and “LOVE covers all,” opening yourself up to love like Jesus will transform every area of your life. I’m daily learning this type of love. Tear down your walls and transformation is yours.

I dare you to LOVE deeply with me today.

 

February 23, 2015 1 comment
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If you are reading this and you are single, this is for you. I pray that each word I write is an encouragement unto your life and restores lost HOPE while you “wait.”The “wait” that God has me on has been a journey. To be honest, its been tough. I’ve walked through many valleys and faced many tears. I have cried out to God in a state of desperation, begging Him to help me understand the “why,” but each time He reminds me that I’m not meant to understand the “why,” but to trust in who He is and that He has my heart in the palm of his hands. He knows how fragile our hearts are and as our “daddy,” He will guard our hearts with each step we take.Last week, one of my best friends got married and I had the amazing honor to be in her wedding. It was absolutely beautiful and she was a stunning bride. As she walked down the isle, I couldn’t keep my tears from falling. My heart was so full and I could see the joy all over her life that she had found “the one whom [her] soul loves.” Song of Solomon 3:4. Her “wait” was finally over and she was marrying the man of her dreams. That day, she was reminded of how much God loves her and sees the deepest desires of her heart. Watching her love story unfold on her wedding day reminded me of God’s great love for us. The pure and divine love that God creates in a marriage, demonstrates His own love for us. It was He who said, “it is not good for man to be alone.” Adam didn’t approach God for a mate; Adam didn’t even know what he was missing. But God knew. God initiated the process of a companion for Adam because it was all part of His perfect plan. Marriage is a part of God’s perfect plan and He initiates that desire and longing in our hearts. He starts the process and He will bring it to full completion. He is faithful and His promises are true. Sometimes the “wait” He takes us through can seem long and hopeless, BUT God sees the bigger picture and knows that we are strong enough to walk through the fire so that He can bring us out stronger than ever before. He wants to write a love story so beautiful for you life, but you have to let go and trust Him with it. He wants to give you a love story that will be the greatest love story ever told; one that is full of an unwavering walk of faith. And ultimately, He wants to create a love story that brings His name glory and changes the hearts and minds of generations. This can be your love story…

As I was helping my beautiful friend prepare for her big day, we stopped by a Jewelry store to have her jewelry cleaned. I have never really taken the time to look through the glass at diamond rings, but that day I did. The lady behind the counter asked me if I wanted to try one one, without much hesitation, I said “Yes, Please!” … As I slipped the ring on my finger, the diamond was absolutely breathtaking. Of course I had to pick the most expensive ring in the store to try on! Haha! I just wanted to see what it looked like out from behind the glass case. Absolutely Beautiful. There for a minute, I had to fight tears, not because of the diamond on my finger but because of what it symbolized; I was reminded of the deepest desire of my heart. Yes the ring was beautiful, but it wasn’t about the ring at all; it was about the desire for a companion and a God written love story. The desire to have someone by your side, to take their hand, and change the world.  Every girl longs to LOVE and to be LOVED.  That day, God began to speak to my heart while I was sitting there and His amazing peace came over my life.  God’s beautiful words reminded me that I am more precious than rubies to my heavenly father. I thought about this for a minute, rubies are the rarest of gems and one of the hardest to find. To know the magnitude and value God has set over my life is beyond anything I can understand. There is peace and comfort in knowing He delights in me, that His desires are my desires, and His plan for my life is already set.

“Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is more precious than rubies.” -Proverbs 31:10

God delights in writing beautiful love stories. He has a specific purpose for each one but it takes time to refine. Our love stories are like that diamond that is locked away behind the counter in the glass case. It is kept safe from those who want to abuse it but held in safety for that person who deserves it, your prince. Just like our lives, if you are single and waiting for your prince, know the value that God has placed on your life. Believe that you are worthy of that God-written love story. You are MUCH more precious to Him than rubies so He will keep you behind the counter until that day comes and your prince arrives. When the time is right, He will bring you out and allow you to become one with the companion God has chosen for you.

The “wait” is a difficult place to be. Sometimes you think you have almost lost all faith and you are doing everything you can just to keep your head above the water. You feel alone and that God has forgotten you. You pray and pray but half the time you feel like your prayers are just hitting the ceiling. Let me encourage you, YOU are not alone. God has a plan for you and He will bring a worthy prince into your life. Believe you are worthy and seek to live each day in contentment knowing who holds the destiny of your love story. Once you get to a place where you realize your worth, everything changes. One day you will say, “I have found the one whom my soul loves.”

August 10, 2013 0 comment
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“But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”
James 1:4

Singleness. If there is one question I am constantly asked it is, “How do you get through your time of singleness remaining joyful?” Part of me loves to answer this question and share how fully satisfied you can be during your single years but then there is a part of me that gets emotional because I know that there are so many girls who are missing out on so much because they are just “waiting” for the Lord to bring their night in shinning armor. They face emotion after emotion trying to find their fulfillment in a man. I see it everyday. I see girls who have lost themselves in the “noise” of this world. I see girls who have lost all of their value and when they look themselves in the mirror, they see worthlessness. Eating disorders attack young girls everyday because they think they aren’t “skinny” enough or “pretty” enough by the world’s standards. Years ago I walked this road and I “get” it. I can relate. It makes me so angry to watch how the devil knows exactly where to attack the most vulnerable part of our hearts. I see 15 year olds having babies at my hospital that are so lost and caught up in their emotions. My heart screams, “if you only knew the VALUE you have in CHRIST! You are perfectly complete in him and no one, absolutely NO ONE can steal that away from you. But we let our emotions and desires take over and control us to where we build our lives around them. What does it mean to completely yield your emotions, dreams, and desires to the Lord? What if we looked at singleness as a preparation for marriage??

“For since the world began, no ear has heard and no eye has seen a God like you, who works for those who wait for Him.”  Isaiah 64:4

“Singleness” is one word that can bring up a whole lot of emotions and cause loneliness to set in. It is a battle that many of us face but definitely a time that God takes us through. God never meant for this to be a season we dread, or a season where our “emotions” control us that we fail to miss the purpose God has for us in our singleness. Believe me, I will be the first to say, singleness is hard, but it comes down to the fact that we make it difficult. We let our surroundings convince us into thinking something is wrong with us because we still remain single. We dread the question, “Are you dating anyone?” because we worry what others will think when we give the answer. When we are with other people “we often lose sight of the presence of Jesus. Fear of displeasing people puts you in bondage to them, and they become your primary focus.” The bible says “Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but trusting the Lord means safety.” -Proverbs 29:25. We tend to let our physical desires to be loved and pursued take preeminence over our relationship with Christ. We fail to realize that Jesus Christ is the ultimate pursuer of our hearts and desires to script our beautiful love story; if only we would let Him.

“You continue to get your heart broken because you are holding the pen of your life and trying to write your own story. I am the Author of True love. I am the Creator of romance. I know your heart’s every desire. I want to script a beautiful tale just for you, but first you must give the pen to Me, You must let me become the center of your existence. You must let Me have total control of your love life, and every other area of your life as well (When God Writes Your Love Story, Leslie Ludy).”

If there is one thing I ABSOLUTELY love is my time with Jesus! I love to wake up in the morning, pour me a cup of coffee, and sit on the couch with my bible and journal. God has taught me so much through my quiet time with him. I CRAVE my dates with Jesus.  I look at my life and realize that over the past few years I have grown so much. I can honestly say that today, I am fully satisfied in Christ. I know that only HE can fulfill my deepest longing and at the end of the day, He is enough. Do I have lonely days? Yes. Do I still struggle with singleness? Absolutely! Do I want to fall in love and be a mommy? You better believe it. But first, Christ must be the center of my existence and everything I shape my life after.

I just finished this book, “When God Writes Your Love Story” by Eric and Leslie Ludy. It is a beautiful book on handing the pen of your life over to God and letting Him script the most beautiful love story. God began to speak to my heart through the pages of this book and I want to share a little bit of what He showed me.

This quote jumped out at me…

“Loneliness is a required course for Leadership.” After reading this line over and over again I began to see singleness in a different light. “If God is preparing you to make an impact on this world, chances are He will take you through a season of solitude. In this season you will learn that you can’t lean upon anyone but Him for your confidence and when you gain strength to stand alone, even when no one else stands with you.” This time is training ground; He is raising you up to impact the world around you. He has to get your attention and it is in the lonely, quiet places where we finally begin to listen. Embrace your season of singleness, stand firm in your convictions, and use the time to find comfort in the arms of your King. When the lonely hours come, God is using the time to give you a strong backbone and prepare you to step apart from the crowd so that you don’t crumble and compromise under pressure. He is teaching you to turn to him instead of trying to fill the void with other things.  The more time you give Him, the more you seek Him, you will begin to see that He desires more than anything to meet your EVERY need!

“You will discover that He may be using loneliness to prepare and equip you to be a leader, to stand firm when everyone else’s courage is failing, and to live for the applause of your King alone.”

There is nothing more fulfilling than living for Jesus. He cares so deeply about you and has your BEST interest in mind. He can do “exceedingly, abundantly, above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us..”He is the pursuer of your heart and desires to be your all in all. We MUST find our ultimate fulfillment in Him first before He brings along a godly man. We have to know that He is enough.

“God will honor your decision to hold out for a godly man; He paid for the treasure of your heart with HIS OWN BLOOD.” Now that is LOVE…

“Since He did not spare even His own son, but gave Him up for us all, won’t He also give us everything else?” Romans 8:32

May 9, 2012 0 comment
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