Sunday, February 15, 2015

Surrendering

Yesterday was Valentine's Day, which as we all know, is all about love. It can be really lonely and painful to be single, especially on "romantic days" like Valentine's. I get it, I'm single.

I want to share this really encouraging poem that my friend Karen shared with me, in hopes that it will bless others as well, whether you are waiting for marriage and children, or whatever it may be.

Desperately, helplessly, longingly, I cried:
Quietly, patiently, lovingly God replied.
I pled and I wept for a clue to my fate,
And the Master so gently said,
“Child, you must wait.”
“Wait? You say, wait!” my indignant reply.
“LORD, I need answers, I need to know why!
Is Your hand shortened? Or have You not heard?
By faith, I have asked, and am claiming Your Word.
“My future, and all to which I can relate
Hangs in the balance, and You tell me to WAIT?
I’m needing a ‘Yes,’ a go-ahead sign,
Or even a ‘No’ to which I can resign.
“And LORD, You promised that if we believe
We need but to ask, and we shall receive.
And, LORD, I’ve been asking, and this is my cry:
‘I’m weary of asking! I need a reply!”
Then quietly, softly, I learned of my fate
As my Master replied once again, “You must wait.”
So, I slumped in my chair, defeated and taut
And grumbled to God, “So I’m waiting…for what?”
He seemed, then, to kneel
And His eyes wept with mine,
And He tenderly said, “I could give you a sign.
I could shake the heavens, and darken the sun.
I could raise the dead, and cause mountains to run.
“All you seek, I could give, and pleased you would be.
You would have what you want-
But, you wouldn’t know Me.
You’d not know the depth of My love for each saint;
You’d not know the power I give to the faint;
“You’d not learn to see through the clouds of despair;
You’d not learn to trust by knowing I’m there;
You’d not know the joy of resting in Me;
When darkness and silence were all you could see.
“You’d never experience that fullness of love
As the peace of My Spirit descend like a dove;
You’d know that I give and I save, for a start,
But you’d not know the depth of the beat of My heart.
“The glow of My comfort late into the night,
The faith that I give when you walk without sight,
The depth that’s beyond getting just what you asked
Of an infinite God, who makes what you have last.
“You’d never know, should your pain quickly flee,
What it means that, “My grace is sufficient for thee.”
Yes, your dreams for your loved one overnight would come true,
But, oh, the loss if I lost what I’m doing in you!
“So, be silent, My child, and in time you will see
That the greatest of gifts is to get to know Me.
And though oft’ may My answers seem terribly late,
My most precious answer of all is still, ‘Wait.'”
-Russell Keller

I pray that God will use my singleness for His glory. Those of us who are single have an opportunity to encourage other people who are also single in a way that those who are married do not.

How many times have you heard someone who was married at 18 tell you to have patience and trust God, etc.? Not that what they are saying is wrong, but their words don't have the same weight as someone who is single speaking about finding complete fulfillment and contentment in Christ, even through years of being single.

Don't wait to get married before feeling "complete" or before "doing something" for Christ. We who are single have an opportunity to serve Him with our entire lives in a way that married people do not and in a way we will not be able to once we are married. I pray we use this time in our lives to pursue Him wholeheartedly and serve Him in a way that we won't regret not doing once married.

If you are single, God has you in this place for a reason. Whether He ever brings someone into your life or not, are you willing to trust Him? Are you okay with it, even if He's asking you to be single for another decade, or even forever? Do you trust that He knows what's best for your life and has a plan and purpose in everything?

My desire for marriage and more *living* children has been one of the most painful things to surrender to the Lord in my life. But, the truth is, He doesn't "owe" me anything. I am not guaranteed marriage and the joy that comes with having a family of my own.

It bothers me when people assure me that I will get married and I will find the right guy. I know these people mean well, but the fact of the matter is, only God knows that. And you might want to encourage people with these words, but before saying to someone who is single that they are guaranteed love and marriage, consider instead encouraging them to surrender this area to God and to trust that whether His plan for their life is singleness or marriage, He is good and He knows best. That doesn't mean it won't be painful.

I can honestly say that I would rather be single than married to someone who I settled for. I have had relationships in the past where I could have gotten married has I so chosen to, but I am so thankful that the Lord kept me from choosing that path. And though it is painful and very lonely at times to wait for a man that I don't even know if he exists, I would rather honor the Lord and my future *hoped for* husband than give my heart away to guys who were never meant to have my heart.

I have made mistakes in my path

I struggle at times wondering why God has not brought me my husband yet. I will be 26 this year and always pictured myself getting married very young, late teens or early twenties. I never imagined I'd still be single at this age. I also never imagined that after having Lily I would still not have another child five years later.

Despite my unanswered questions and the pain of waiting, God is doing something. He is cultivating a deep love within me for a man that I have possibly never  met, or at least I don't know that I've met him.

I want to share a few of my favorite resources that have been a blessing to me as a single woman:

-When God Writes Your Love Story by Eric and Leslie Ludy

-The Path of Loneliness by Elisabeth Elliot

Two of my favorite blogs are Desiring God and The Gospel Coalition. They post quite frequently on living single and sexual purity/healing, so I highly recommend checking them out.

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