Know Your Worth!

Whats Your Worth_ (1)

This week, I’ve been learning a lot from small children and foreign dramas.

Let me explain, because I know that doesn’t seem to make sense.

“Small Children” – I watch a pair of toddler boys on Mondays, and they’re the most precious things ever. Recently, the weather here in Illinois has finally started to warm up, so we went outside. That turned into ‘let’s collect rocks from the driveway’. Hold the rock thought, we’ll get there soon.

“Foreign Dramas” – I will admit to watching Korean Dramas because quite frankly they’re just better than most American dramas. That said, because I knew one of the actors from a Korean boy band, I have been watching ONE Chinese drama as well. In this drama, they’re all about the Jadeite trade, which is fascinating and enlightening.

Okay, now that I’ve explained that, let me get to the real point of this post. Are we rocks or are we treasures?

Those little boys (God love ’em) have two different personalities. One didn’t pick up a rock unless it seemed like it would be glittery or pretty. The other just grabbed the first two rocks that struck his fancy. Later, after we washed them and let them dry, do you know which rocks were prettier? The ones I thought were ugly.

Just like that, did you know that Jadeite is hidden inside stones that look like regular rocks? It’s a complete gamble if there’s going to be a precious gem inside. People try to understand what signs show that there is going to be a lot of color in that stone, but they often fail.

Like pebbles and Jadeite, a lot of times even we don’t know our real worth. We may look completely ordinary on the outside, but wait til God gets ahold of us and shows us what’s inside. There’s a scripture similar to this example in 2 Corinthians:

But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.

2 Corinthians 4:7

It’s not our job, necessarily, to look pretty on the outside. It’s not our job to be perfect and irreplaceable.

Jadeite only goes up in value once it’s opened. Once its true colors are shown to the world. It takes some careful calculation and some cutting away of the excess roughness for its true beauty to fully shine.

Sometimes, a stone won’t contain any Jadeite at all. It’s sad, but it happens. These stones are mourned over by their owner, but in the end it isn’t possible to produce Jadeite where there wasn’t any to begin with.

The good news? We’re the stones no one expects. When we came to Christ, we became a new creation, and thus there’s beauty hidden inside us just waiting for the world to see it. Our stone-cutter is Father God, and he’s the very best and bringing out the most shine in our jewel.

The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.

1 Samuel 16:7b

God knows what’s inside of us. He sees the treasure waiting to shine. Trust Him when he starts cutting off the excess roughness. The things we don’t need or shouldn’t hold onto. Trust Him when he washes away the mud we like to hide behind. He knows how beautiful we’re going to be afterward.

Trust God to be your stone-cutter. Because, the best part? Once that roughness is cut off, the treasure inside can skyrocket the price up to 1,000 times the original purchase price. Our purchase price is Jesus’ blood, so our skyrocketed price? Priceless.

We are God’s treasures and He will never sell us or give us away. To Him, we are beyond precious. So trust Him to polish you today.

Are you worried about the wrong things?

WORRIED ABOUT THE WRONG THINGS!
 

Martha and Mary

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:38-42

This passage speaks volumes, it truly does! There is so much to learn here. Jesus came into Martha’s home. Upon His arrival, it seems that Mary, Martha’s sister was in awe of Jesus’s presence and wanted to spend every second soaking Him up. While Martha worried about making everything perfect for Jesus while He was there, and she soon became overwhelmed. If Jesus came to your home now what would you do? Would you be trying to clean, cook and get everything right? Or would you be sitting at His feet focused on Him? If you’re a neat freak like me always cleaning before you have company, and like to have everything things in order for your guest, these questions could be hard to answer.I reflected on these verses, and I could see how this story reflected different areas and seasons of my life. At times, we feel as though we have to get things right and in order before we can come to God and sit in his presence. For example, we may feel like we strayed from the path God had set for us; now things have fallen apart, and we feel obligated to put things back together before going to God.  The fact is things are in such disorder because we worry about the wrong things!

Come to God with all of your mess; especially when you’ve strayed. God knows that we will stumble. We can’t be fruitful in life without Him! He takes joy in being our restorer. Don’t let the enemy play with your mind and have you feeling like you can’t come to God ANYTIME, ANY HOUR! I like to think of being overwhelmed or upset as God using my frustration as an opportunity to say: “Tomasa, Tomasa, you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one.” The truth is things don’t become right or fall into place until we submit to God’s will for our life. God wants us to come as we are so He can perfect us! We are mere humans, and nothing we do alone will be good enough for our God! (Isaiah 55:8-9, John 4)

Have a lot on your mind? Are you confused about your purpose or identity? Are things just not going as you would have hoped? Do you feel overbooked with tasks? Or maybe you can’t put your finger on what’s wrong but know things aren’t right?  If so stop and sit at the Lords’ feet in silence and relax. Let Him renew you and make you whole! Let Him declutter your life and organize your comings and goings. If we stay consistent and focus on Him, He will supply and take care of our needs!(Matthew 11:28-29) The Lord loves you, and if you chase after Him with all your heart, he will not leave you with a need or worry!

Prayer: Lord God, let me not worry about the wrong things. Let me come to you wholeheartedly and put You first in all I do. Comfort me in knowing that if you are my center, you will protect me. If I place you first in all things, you will bless the rest. I am nothing without you, Lord. In Jesus precious name I pray, Amen.

Some Related Scriptures: 2 Peter 1:4, Jeremiah 29:11-14, Matthew 11:28-29,John 14:27, Proverbs 1:33, Romans 10:9

Our Loving Father

Our Loving Father

One of the most fundamental needs that we all have, as a human being, is to be loved. We all feel it. We all want someone to hold us close and tell us that they love only us.

Sadly, a fundamental truth about our great God is often overlooked. Our Father built us to love greatly. He also loves us greatly. Everyone needs to hear and know this, and many forget about it.

So, today, I’m here to tell you just how much your Father loves you.

The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.

Zephaniah 3:17

Not only does He comfort and calm you with His love, God sings over you. Your Father’s lullaby is the best in the world. He holds you close and whispers to you all the plans He has for your life. And, trust me, they are all good.

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:37-39

Because God loves us (YOU!), he made us more than conquerors. It isn’t enough that we come out victorious, He puts us in high places and never lets us go. No matter what gets in the way, He will push through all of it to be close to you. His love is so vast that it encompasses us even when we feel at our lowest.

See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.

1 John 3:1

This is one of my favorites, so we’ll camp here for a minute before I end this post. First of all, let’s notice how it talks about His love being so great that we are now called the children of God. 

Guys, God adopted us into His family. He claims us as His. He protects us like a good dad protects his children.

Here’s what I love about this. Anyone who has a close family knows one fact: we can pick on our family all we want, but the moment someone outside the family starts in on a family member, all bets are off.

God is even greater than that. First of all, he doesn’t pick on us in the first place. (*middle child rejoices in this fact*)

Secondly, because we’re now His children, God is on our side. Anyone touches us, God is going to be all kinds of upset about it. Who doesn’t want our Loving Father fighting on our behalf? Takes the wind out of the sails of the bullies, that’s for sure.

If our Father is holding us close and loving us so epically, what’s stopping you from feeling all kinds of loved?

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

* Re-blogged Content originally posted on Sep 5, 2016 9:49 AM

Is It Time Yet?

is it time yet

 

“For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.”

Habakkuk 2:3

As I ended 2018 and began 2019, this is one of the scriptures that has spoken the most to me. Why? Because, as a single girl looking forward to married life, it’s hard to remember that God’s timing is perfect. No matter how frustrating it may seem to me, God knows why this isn’t the time yet.

Is that what I wanted to hear? Absolutely not.

Is it what I needed? Yes.

This scripture is encouraging to me — and hopefully to you, as well — because it isn’t a “no” kind of answer. It’s all in the timing. Even if the vision before me, the things I want so badly, aren’t here yet, they will have their time.

Timing isn’t my favorite subject because let’s face it, I can be just as impatient as the next guy. Waiting? What’s that? Why do I have to wait? Why can’t I have what I want, when I want it?

Why do I have to wait longer? Hasn’t it been long enough?

These are questions I’ve prayed and journaled over and over again. I’m a hopeless romantic, so why can’t I see some romance? (Can I get a witness, somebody?)

The truth it, God never said I wouldn’t see my romance. He’s just been telling me to wait.

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

Psalm 27:14

Even in my period of waiting, God supplies the courage and strength for me to go on. To endure and to thrive in this time of preparation.

I know I’ve been talking a lot about timing lately, but that’s what God has been placing in my heart. His timing is best and He always asks us to do things that will benefit us in the end.

For example (STORY TIME!!!):

I write. Constantly. Mostly books, because I love to craft stories. So, when the beginning of December came and God told me to take a break from writing until January, I admit to balking a little.

Okay, so it was more than a little. I desperately wanted to just push on. To keep going while I had momentum and to start something new while I was at it. However, after a lot of prayers and arguing with Jesus (not my brightest idea), I did as I felt led to do. I stopped writing for the duration of December.

Of course, when I started, I didn’t know that my computer would crash a week later, leaving me without anything to write with. I didn’t know that during that time I wasn’t writing, I would discover a beautiful new idea for an awesome new book and be able to spend all that writing time fleshing out characters and scenarios and places in the story world.

But God knew. And His timing was perfect.

If I hadn’t listened, how stressed would I have been when my computer crashed? I would have lost so much work and been so upset. But I wasn’t, because all my finished projects were backed up.

If I hadn’t listened, would I have been able to hear the new ideas for this story I’m so excited to start? Maybe not. Because I would have been too focused on what I was doing.

God’s timing applies to each and every area of our lives. He knows what’s best for us and He wants us to live to our full potential. It makes Him exuberantly happy when we listen to the things He whispers to our hearts.

Which is why, today, I want to leave you with one last scripture.

“He has made everything beautiful in its time…”

Ecclesiastes 3:11a

If it isn’t His time yet, that thing you’re waiting for probably just hasn’t blossomed into something beautiful. It will, if you’re patient, and if you keep the faith while you’re waiting.

Keep fighting for the things you’ve been promised! I’ll be right here beside you.

When Happy Seems Far Away

is god perfecting you_ (1)

There are so many things I could discuss with you guys. So many emotions that go through my mind and heart on a daily basis. So many hopes and dreams that I’m sure you all share with me. However, as we don’t have time or coffee today, I’m going to share with you one thing I’ve been learning recently.

As single women, we often feel that this is a time in life to “get through”. We long for the day our man sweeps us off our feet. We secretly plan our future wedding (don’t deny it, you know you do). We imagine what lazy days will be like after we’re married. How our hubby will treat us. And somewhere in the middle of all that dreaming, we lose our sense of peace and contentment.

We start to wonder why it’s taking so long. If only… 

It’s those thoughts that will drag you down into the quagmire of depression. Did you know that we’re stronger than we think?

So I’m not defeated by my weakness, but delighted! For when I feel my weakness and endure mistreatment—when I’m surrounded with troubles on every side and face persecution because of my love for Christ—I am made yet stronger. For my weakness becomes a portal to God’s power.

2 Corinthians 12:10 (TPT)

Even though we may feel like it’s the end of the world. Like nothing will ever go right and maybe, sometimes, like God is keeping things from us, I can assure you that isn’t the case!

God sees all, knows all, and is all. He knows the timing that’s going to make your future relationship beautiful. He knows everything you need and everything you want. He knows your heart and He is willing to inconvenience you to bless you with everything He has in store.

Our job is to let His strength move through us. We can’t give up! Even if we’re taking it one day at a time (and believe me, I am), we have to live each day to God’s standard. We have to believe that He knows what he’s doing. There is no one who cares more about us.

So how do we stay positive when the world is looking bleak?

“for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have.”

Philippians 4:11b

According to Paul, contentment is a learned art. So what do we do? We let God teach us.

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines contentment as “feeling or showing satisfaction with one’s possessions, status, or situation.”

So where are you feeling unsatisfied? If you can pinpoint that, it’s not as hard to turn it around and find a new perspective on it. Find the beauty in where you’re at right now. It may seem difficult at first, but trust me, it gets easier with time.

So what are you going to thank God for today? How are you going to walk down the road of contentment while you’re still in this season of preparation?

Those Who Are Called

 

those who are called (1)

“Now to the unmarried and widows I say this:  It is good for them to remain unmarried as I am.”  1 Corinthians 7:8

Oh Paul, if only it were that easy.

Paul didn’t have to answer to his Great Aunt Bessie at every family wedding, who lamented over whether or not he would ever find the right girl and settle down.   Paul didn’t have a mother who kept hounding him about making her a grandmother.  Paul wasn’t playing house at preschool, didn’t receive Wedding Day Barbie for Christmas.  He wasn’t surrounded by Bridal Magazines on every check out shelf, nor was he feeling like he was “always the groomsman, never the groom”.  No, Paul’s greatest concern here was that if you were tempted to give into your passions… then you should marry, otherwise stay single.

It was the cultural norm to be married, have kids.  There are even denominations that encourage large families because the man who has a full quiver of sons is blessed (Psalm 127:5).   I want to think that Paul experienced the cultural pressure of marriage and family, but he seemed so very confident in his singleness.  I look to our own culture today, and I see there is still this unwritten rule about our timeline of life.  We are kids, go to school, get a job, get married, have kids, become grandparents, retire.

I’ve never pressed this on my children, and yet I remember my middle child being completely shocked when I told her she wasn’t required to get married.  I thought to myself, where did she even get the idea that it was a requirement in the first place?  It’s such a cultural norm, and marketed in television and movies, that I didn’t even need to talk to her about marriage for her to think it was an expectation of adulthood.  Women are building up Pinterest folders full of wedding ideas, bridal shower suggestions, and reception decor.  We are not just dreaming of our future wedding, we are already planning it… down to the very last detail.

There are those who are called to a season of singleness, and those who are called to a lifetime of it.  For those who are in a season of singleness… it can seem like a really long season (such as Nancy Leigh DeMoss Wolgemuth experienced).  You may feel like you are floating in the ocean watching others catching all the fish, while you net comes up empty.  You may even wonder if there are as many fish in the ocean as people keep claiming.  But do not be discouraged!

  • Pray that the Lord would guide you through this time (Psalm 94:19).  That He would not only give you peace, but also guard the mouths of those around you to be encouragers.  Pray that He filters the words of those who would discourage you from your hearing.
  • Don’t worry about tomorrow (Matthew 6:34), but instead focus on what God has called you to do today.  Stand in obedience to that and know that whatever blessings He has in store for you will come at His perfect timing. (Ecclesiastes 3:1)
  • Look for single mentors, those women who have been walking this road ahead of you. Along with other single women desiring to live virtuously for Christ. Seek their wisdom and comfort. (Proverbs 1:5) We Recommend Joining VirtuousBella’s Community of Single Women living Virtuously for Christ and The Purity Pledge.
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  • Turn to the Scriptures and let your desires be transformed into His desires (Matthew 6:33), you may find as you grow in this area that you become more confident about your singleness, like Paul was.

 

You’re Kind of Pretty

I was in high school, going through one of those phases where it seems like “everyone has a boyfriend but you”.  I was tired of being home alone when my friends went on dates.  I was over and done with being the third wheel on outings.  I didn’t understand why I was not on anyone’s radar.  Even to the point where none of my friend’s boyfriends were thinking of introducing me to their friend.  I didn’t get it.

One night, I was watching my friend finish up her hair and make up.  I was third wheeling it, once again.  I cried out in lament, “What is wrong with me?  Why can’t I get just ONE date?”; tossing myself on her bed in the most dramatic way possible.  My friend, of about 12 years at that point, said:

I really don’t know.  You’re kind of pretty.

Kind of.

Certainly not the encouragement one would hope for from her best friend.  Nor was it followed up with any sort of help either.  If she told me that I dressed like a hobo or needed to talk about something other than unicorn collectible figurines… that would be something.  But nothing.  End of sentence.  Back to hair styling and lipstick.

Kind of pretty.

I knew that in a sea of sun-kissed blondes, in S. Florida, I was an oddity.  Porcelain skin and fiery red hair sticks out like a sore thumb around these parts.  I had never considered that I wasn’t attractive at all, or not fun to be around.  I had loads of guys as friends.  But, my dance card remained empty.

In this time of being alone, I learned a few things.  I watched my friends navigating in and out of relationships.  I began to get a better idea of what I did and didn’t want out of a relationship.  I also learned something about my friends, as I watched each of them alter their personality to fit the interests of their new beaus.

He likes country music, she likes country music.  He is into deep sea fishing, she is into deep sea fishing.  He loves Mountain Dew… oh my gosh, so does she.  Music preferences changed by the month.  How the girls dressed and what fashion trends they followed created a mountain of clothes hiding in their closets and spilling out their drawers.  I also watched these same girls being ultra conservative with the guys they picked up at youth group, and then wearing next to nothing when it was the guy they met at the beach.  In order to stay in relationships and never be single, these girls were compromising their “true self”… all of the time.

I learned in my season of drought, that I needed to be true to myself.  I needed to really figure out who I was, what I wanted out of life, and where I was heading before I could even consider who would becoming along for the ride.  If I don’t really understand myself, how could I ever find my place in a relationship?  How could a relationship be built on honesty and commonality if I transformed myself at every flash of a cute smile or twinkling in a casual eye wink?

On an even deeper level, I realized that the relationship I wanted to focus on most was between myself and God.  If I was going to conform to anyone, I wanted to conform to His image (Romans 8:29).  I needed to embrace the way He knit me in my mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13), and the very hairs on my head that He knew the count of (Luke 12:7).  And so, I began to make new decisions.

I would stop dying my hair to hide the fiery locks that He chose for me.  No more bottles of various temporary tan lotions would scatter my bathroom.  The time to stop wallowing over boys was upon me.  I was going to choose to focus on all the wonderful things about being single.  From not having to share my popcorn and drink at the movies, nor having to worry about someone stealing fries off my plate.  I didn’t have to worry about what activities WE could afford to do, but what I could afford to do.  I learned to be brave and go places by myself.

I can assemble furniture, change the oil in my car, get a quote on home repairs, and so much more.  It wasn’t that I didn’t “need a man”, but rather that I became more comfortable with myself until the right man came along.  I was no longer on the hunt, but living life to the fullest.  I have great memories of that drought season, and that independence has served me well even in my marriage today.  I am great helper to my husband because he can count on me to do so many things in his absence.  I was exactly the kind of woman he needed in his life.

The season of drought allowed me to figure out who God wanted me to be, and to travel those roads.  I had no idea, that at the very same time, God was working on the heart of a guy who was among our circle of friends.  In this same time that I was figuring out my way, the Lord was changing him from a boy into a man.  One night, many years later, hanging out as a group like we had always done… something was different.  These two familiar faces were suddenly being seen in a new light.

Less than a year later we were married.  That was twenty years ago.

We tend to think of droughts as bad, negative forces.  However, for the wetlands, droughts are wonderful news.  It actually allows the land to rejuvenate itself, the old becomes new again.  Now when I feel like I am in a dry spell, I embrace it as a time to rejuvenate myself.  Whether the dry season is related to relationships (romantic or friendship), your career, or even your ministry calling… droughts allow us to focus on God and His purposes.  Lean in to Him, to be the living waters in a dry land.  Lean into Him, to cleanse the dust from your heart.  Allow Him to work IN you, rejuvenating you from the inside out.

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!

When It Hurts

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There are times when life just hurts, deeply.   We can take those wounds to the cross, crying out for God to bind them.  Time passes, and the wounds heal.  We pull off the bandages to see that God has created something new.

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.  ~ Psalm 147:3

However, even when we do our best to protect ourselves, an injury may find us again.  Old wounds are opened, new wounds are formed.  We may find ourselves tempted to keep those wounds bandaged, to protect ourselves from every being hurt again.

Do you know what happens to a healed wound that is kept wrapped up indefinitely?

It festers.  A new wound forms and it can end up being worse than the original.

While it is important to guard our hearts, we must be careful not to build walls.  A shepherd guards the gateway to the pen that holds his flock.  He doesn’t block the entrance with stones, keeping the sheep enclosed for ever.  A good shepherd takes His sheep out into the pasture, tending to their needs, and keeping them safe from harm.  He takes the sheep to choice areas where they will receive the nourishment they need.  At night, the sheep return to the safety of the pen.  The shepherd stands guard until it is safe for the sheep to return to the pasture.

We can guard our hearts against being hurt again, by surrounding ourselves with people who give wise counsel.  Guarding our heart also means that we are reading the Word, praying, and leaning into the guidance of the Holy Spirit in our lives.  When we venture out into the world or into relationships, we do so with our Good Shepherd.  And, when danger reveals itself our Shepherd takes us into His safety and stands guard at our hearts.

Our Good Shepherd doesn’t lock us into the safety of a walled up pen.  The Great Physician doesn’t bind up our wounds permanently.  He tends to our needs, helps us to heal, to learn from our errors, and then accompanies us when head back into the pastures.  He commissions us to:

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.  Matthew 28:19-20

When it hurts, pray for healing.  Trust in Lord and put on the FULL armor of the God.  The harvest is plenty, and the workers are few. Do not be tempted to hide form the world, by licking your wounds, and allowing the hurts to root deeper.

Forgive.   Love.   Pray.   Trust.