Hands Off

 

Hands Off (1)

There are times in life when you want something so badly it hurts, keeps you up at night, and pervades most of your thoughts, actions, and purposeful direction. I’m at that stage in life right now, aching for several things. Things I’ve been working toward for years and still seem no closer to achieving.

This morning, I opened my current devotional book and found:

“The LORD said to Abram, ‘Leave your country, your people, and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you’.”

Genesis 12:1

At first, it didn’t seem like this has much to do with this deep, aching, all-consuming desire within me. Until I looked past the surface and saw what God was really asking Abram to do.

Leave your country. The people you’re loyal to, the ones who influence your personal culture and tell you what is acceptable. Your people… The ones you’ve grown up with and value their opinions. And your father’s household… Your family, the ones who put expectations on you and advise you. Go to the land I will show you. 

God looked at Abram and told him; “Take your hands off this situation and let me handle it. Do what I say and trust Me to know what’s best for you.”

Girls, that’s hard. Sometimes it’s the hardest when we want something the most because a nagging little voice asks us “but what if God doesn’t want this for me?”

Let me tell you something. God is good. He wants what’s best for you, and he placed those desires in your heart. If it’s a Godly desire, he wants it for you! He wants you to have the best, and He’s willing to give it to you. Don’t doubt that He will give you the absolute best of everything. If what you’re wanting lines up with His word, there’s no reason for Him to say no.

“Whom have I in heaven but you? I desire you more than anything on earth.”

Psalm 73:25

You see, the trick is to get so lost in God that you don’t care if you get those earthly things! He wants what is best for you, so why would you need anything but to love him? If my eyes are so focused on God that I don’t look around me, it seems so much shorter a wait when his plan finally unfolds before my eyes.

Girls, we don’t have to fret, because God has this! Throw your hands up and let it go, let him take it off your shoulders. There’s no need to fret and there’s no need to stress. Take your hands off and let the hands of the sovereign, beautiful God crush you to His chest. Get lost in Jesus and watch God bring you blessing after blessing, even things you never thought would happen!

I love you all, and I want only the best for you, just like your Jesus. Stick with me, girls! Hold on and keep the faith. I promise you everything will be so worth it in the end.

Loving the Lonely

lovingthelonely

 

Confession time, ladies! Sometimes I feel the most alone when in the midst of the most people. (*Cue gasps and shocked faces*!)

I’m just being honest! You probably know how I feel. Like when the whole family is together (aunts, uncles, sisters, brothers-in-law, etc.), and you’re sitting awkwardly in the corner. A little nagging feeling starts somewhere near your heart and spreads out through the rest of your body. How is it fair that they all have someone to share this with and you’re just sitting there alone in a corner? A CORNER, for heaven’s sake!

You may think I’m being a little dramatic, and maybe I am, but it’s pretty close to the truth. The thing is, you and I aren’t the first ones to feel this way.

“Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. Relieve the troubles of my heart and free me from my anguish. Look on my affliction and my distress and take away all my sins.”

Psalm 25:16-18

Okay, if even David felt alone from time to time, I think we’re in good company here. It’s human nature to want to share life with someone, and when everyone has a ‘someone’ and you don’t, it can get hard to take. Don’t get me started on grandparents and their constant questions about my relationship status!

Loneliness can feel all-consuming and even leave an empty feeling inside, but you don’t have to feel that way. You’re never really alone if you think about it. The Bible says the following about that:

“…And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Matthew 28:20b

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”

Isaiah 41:10

So, boom! Right there. You’ve got God right next to you the whole time. Your argument is invalid.

But I get it. You want someone you can see, feel, touch, and talk to. You want a physical human being. I get that, too. I’m the same way. We “waiters” tend to feel an acute sense of loss because we haven’t found our gain yet.

So here’s an idea, and one I use all the time if we’re being honest. (Which we are.) Write a letter.

Stop laughing, I’m serious! I have a whole collection of them so far. I’ve titled them “The Darcy Letters,” which is a story best told some other time when I have more time and word to say it. Basically, when I feel that lonely feeling, when I want someone to share something with me and don’t have them yet, I write a letter to my future husband.

Yes, I am aware I don’t know who he is yet, but that doesn’t stop me from sharing these moments with him via letters. I plan to one day give these to my fiance and allow him a look into my life before he came alone. Tip: Keep them upbeat and positive. We’re not trying to depress our fellas.

In review: everyone feels lonely sometimes. You’re really not alone in that. You CAN take control of your feelings, and you CAN do something about it. Don’t let loneliness define your life. Let love work it all back around to complete you.

I love all you lonely “waiters” out there! Don’t feel alone, be strong and stick together!

What Defines You?

what-defines-you

What defines your worth?

It’s a real question, isn’t it? One I’ve been asking myself lately, as I learn more and more about who I am in Christ. I’ve chewed on it and rolled it around in my brain until I thought I couldn’t think on it anymore.

It led me to a second question:

Why do I assume I’m not likable/attractive?

Yeah, I’ve dealt with those feelings for a long time now. What’s wrong with me? Why don’t I feel like anyone will ever find me pretty? You know what, that’s a great question! I puzzled over it again and again until God finally pulled up one specific memory. I’ll give you the basics.

I was 11, maybe 12 (a very impressionable age), and not the prettiest flower in the meadow. My other friends were. Anyway, I was sitting in the church foyer during a wedding reception, talking to these two guys who were supposed to be my friends. (Keep in mind, these are junior high boys.)

Basically, the air had broken and in the middle of July, that’s not the best scenario. So I may have mentioned something about my being hot. Being juvenile boys, they took it and ran, insisting that I wasn’t. Meaning they didn’t think I was even remotely pretty.

It’s taken a lot for me to get over the hurt of this memory. For years, those three little words haunted me. “No, you’re not.” I let them stew inside my head, and I let them define what I thought other people would think of me. Because of those juvenile boys, who probably didn’t even realize the damage they were doing, told me I wasn’t pretty, I chose to believe it for almost ten long years.

I’ve recently come to the conclusion that they were being idiots, and I don’t need their confirmation of facts I already know. Neither do you.

Let me show me something.

“Before I shaped you in the womb, I knew all about you. Before you saw the light of day, I had good plans for you…”

Jeremiah 1:5 (MSG)

If God knew you before you were even born, don’t you think His plans are perfect? Don’t you think He knew what you would look like, how you would sound, what your style would become? He put those things in you. He has good plans for you! And that’s not all.

“Oh, yes, You shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb. I thank You, High God-You’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration-what a creation! You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body…”

Psalm 139:13-15 (MSG)

He knows you, inside and out. He made you! He knows every bone in your body. He knew what you would look like when He formed you, and God doesn’t make mistakes. He made you perfect!

I know you may not believe it now (even I have a hard time believing it sometimes), but to someone out there, some day, you will be the very thing they’ve been searching for all their life. To God, you’re already perfect. To that future someone, you’ll be perfect too! Everyone has different ideas about perfection, and despite the fact that you might sometimes feel like a failure, you’re not.

Don’t let the mean girls of this world define you. There will always be a voice trying to tell you that you’re not good enough. Don’t listen! The Voice above all other voices says “you’re perfect.” He leans down and whispers, “I made you, and I won’t leave you. I’m not going anywhere, and I’ll always look after you. You. Are. Mine.”

Why do we feel we need to go anywhere else to find our true worth? The One who created worth wants to hold you. Forever.

While I’m Waiting

While I wait

 

Waiting is hard. I know that you know that, we can all agree on that. No one wants to wait. In fact, we live in an “I want it now” society where they tell us we don’t have to wait. You want food fast? Plenty of restaurants are willing to accommodate you.  Do you want a relationship? Plenty of fish in the pond, boo!

Unfortunately, that’s where the world gets it wrong. Half the journey is experienced in the waiting. That’s why I’ve decided to explain to you, today, why I have chosen to wait instead of date.

Let me show you a few things I’ve been learning from scripture before we delve into that particular sore subject.

“But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength…”

Isaiah 40:31a

“The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the souls who seek Him.”

Lamentations 3:25

“Wait for the Lord, be strong and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!”

Psalm 27:14

All these have come up in the past week during my regular devotional time with God. I’m a firm believer that the entire Bible is God’s word to me, and if He keeps bringing up the same thing over and over again, you’d better believe I’m going to stand up and listen to what He’s trying to tell me.

Did you know that in over half the scriptures that tell us to wait, or be patient, or let God’s timing prevail, that they tell us to “be brave and have courage”? Even God knows that waiting is hard.

So, with that in mind, let me show you a few more things that helped me decide to wait, not date. I hope they’ll help you make a decision one way or another, too.

First off, let me start by pointing out God’s original design for man and woman. Eve didn’t go searching for a man. God created her specifically for one man, and he brought her straight to him. Genesis says that God looked at Adam and said, “It is not good for man to be alone, I will make him a helper comparable to him.” He didn’t “try out” fifteen women before he landed on Eve. God brought them together, and they stayed that way.

Next, I’d like to introduce you to Proverbs 18:22

“But he who finds a WIFE finds a good thing, and receives favor from the Lord.”

(emphasis, my own)

First, let me point out that it isn’t the woman finding a man here. It’s the man finding a woman. And, yeah, that might seem like an outdated concept to you, but I firmly believe God is still in the business of bringing the right people together.

Secondly, I would like to point out that it doesn’t say “he who finds a girlfriend.” In fact, the Hebrew doesn’t even have a word for “girlfriend”. God’s original design for relationships was for them to last forever. “Casual dating” only teaches people that they can back out of a relationship if they have to work too hard.

So, yes, waiting is hard. The good stuff always is. Think about when you were a kid, and you had to wait for a batch of cookies. Didn’t they taste that much better because you waited?

Who cares if it’s not the norm? We left normal in the dust the instant we turned to Christ. Isn’t it better to wait and not have all that emotional baggage when you find THE ONE? (Or, rather, when he finds you?)

I still believe in true love. I still believe God will bring me the perfect mate. Yes, I am still waiting and yes, it is still so hard. I’m human. I have wants, desires, and urges that only get stronger as I get older.

Guys, I’m going, to be honest here. I’ve never even been kissed. I want so badly to know what that feels like. But I’m going to wait on God’s timing. I’m going to wait for that one guy that I will spend the rest of my life with. You know why?

Because…

“I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!”

Psalm 27:13-14