Life on Hold?
So as I was preparing to teach a lesson where I'll be talking a little about how we sometimes put our lives on hold while we wait on our dreams to come true, I wanted to share about my own struggle with that. Especially, during my loooong 12 years of singleness. I was bad about hanging onto the mindset that my life would finally begin as soon as God brought me my husband. We would do some kind of ministry together, maybe some mission trips, we could decorate our home and make it warm and inviting, I would find fulfillment and happiness in his hobbies instead of having to do the hard work of figuring out what made me happy and fulfilled. Well, luckily several years before meeting my husband, God opened my eyes to the foolishness of that mindset and showed me how much of life I was missing out on. How we are called to serve, even during our singleness. How he brought to my attention when I was driving home from work one day and was feeling the usual loneliness and depression pressing in on me and I thought, "when I have a husband and a family to drive home to, then I'll finally be happy and feel fulfilled."...then suddenly a question struck me, as if God was steering my thoughts back on track, like a run away train. The question was, "Do you really think that your drive home would be any different if there were someone sitting at home waiting for you? Would your day at work and your mood instantly be fulfilling and full of joy?" I really pondered that question and realized, no, it wouldn't! No person on this earth can give me the peace, fulfillment and joy that my heart was longing for. I would be setting my future husband up for failure if he was responsible for my happiness and purpose for living. If I didn't know how to make myself happy and I didn't know what I enjoyed or what my God given purpose was, then how in the world would he? So, I began praying a prayer that I'd learned from a Beth Moore Study, "Dear Lord, satisfy all of my longing and fill all of my hollow places with your lavish and unfailing way." I finally began to truly surrender my life, my will and my happiness to God. It was like a cloud slowly lifted and I could see all that God had blessed me with and how much bigger my world was becoming. I began small by decorating my apartment, making it "my home" instead of waiting for the home I would have when I finally had family. I began cultivating my friendships and having them over to my, now warm and inviting, home. I went on two mission trips, one being an amazing trip to Africa, where I got to work with orphans. I started going camping with friends, along with many other little trips with them. I even slowly began to let go of the search for a husband. I found that I actually enjoyed Friday nights alone, unwinding from the week either watching a movie or reading Historical Christian fiction and going to sleep before 9:00. More importantly, I found true joy in my growing, intimate relationship with The Lord and finding fulfillment in studying His Word and teaching others! That's when I began having my morning "Coffee Date with God" and began writing and sharing all that God was teaching me. Life was good and amazing and I was even considering remaining single and becoming a missionary!! Then poof, God brought me my husband. That seems to be how he works ;) Now, you would think I was ending this story with a "And we lived happily ever after", which we are...just as any normal, imperfect Christians couple does :) However, over time I'd realized that sometime after marrying Tim, I slid right back into my old mindset and expected him to be responsible for my happiness and fulfillment in life. I began to lose touch with the person I had become. I found in some ways I even elevated my husband above God. Trying to please him over pleasing God. Paul was right when he wrote in 1 Corinthians 7:34 about how once we are married our devotion is divided. Even though, it is to be expected to an extent, we should not place our husbands above God and we should never expect them to be what brings us fulfillment, joy and purpose. So during this season of my life, I am praying for God to help me find the right balance between being the submissive Godly wife with a servants heart and the unique individual He created me to be. The woman He created for a purpose with her own unique desires that He thoughtfully wove into the fabric of her identity. A woman whose purpose and joy is found only in Him and in His Will for her life! I pray each of you ladies find that God can and will satisfy your hearts longings and desires with His love, His Words and His Will for your life!! Be flexible enough to know that sometimes our true hearts desires are buried under some brokenness and with trust and patience He will reveal the deeper desires that lie beneath our fleshly desires. Psalm 37:4, Jeremiah 17:9