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.

To Be Seen

City Real Estate

 

One of the worst feelings in life is the feeling of being overlooked.

Trust me, I’ve been there. I’ve felt alone and unseen. I’ve cried those silent tears into my pillow at night. I’ve screamed at the sky and asked God why he isn’t using me the way I want him to.

And then I realized: this isn’t about me. It’s all about timing. God’s timing. Even if we don’t like it, God’s timing is perfect. Maybe (just, go with me here) He knows what’s best for us and maybe, JUST MAYBE, He wants the absolute best for our lives.

Many times in our season of singleness, we feel unloved or left out. Our friends may be getting married or having babies. They may have a “prospect” or a “guy friend” and you’ve got nothing. Trust me I can relate to that one. (Seriously, if that’s you, drop me a comment. I’m living it right now.)

If this is you, feeling overlooked and undervalued, I’d like to introduce you to one of my absolute favorite men in the Bible. The beginning of his story is found in 1 Samuel 16 and the first mention of him is very telling.

Then Samuel asked, “Are these all the sons you have?”

“There is still the youngest,” Jesse replied. “But he’s out in the fields watching the sheep and goats.”

1 Samuel 16:11

For those of you familiar with the Bible and the study thereof, you will have figured out that this passage is the first time anyone talks about David in the Bible.

I find it interesting that the very first mention of one of the most important men in the plan of salvation didn’t even mention his name. “There is the youngest,” Jesse tells Samuel. Almost like an afterthought. Like he hadn’t even remembered him until that exact moment.

And where is David while EVERYONE else is attending a ritual sacrifice to the I Am? David is left back at home. “Just” the youngest. Watching the sheep and the goats while everyone else is in the limelight, parading before God and the prophet.

How do you think that particular conversation went?

“David, your brothers and I are going to witness the prophet Samuel offer a sacrifice. Watch the sheep and goats okay?”

Do you think David wondered why he of all people had to stay behind? Do you think he felt a little left out and unloved? Unseen? Overlooked?

You see, not all grand plans have exquisite beginnings. Even though Jesse summons David to stand before the prophet and EVEN THOUGH Samuel anoints David as the next king, there aren’t any fireworks or a parade. There isn’t an announcement that “David will rule this nation next!” There is no press release or instant fame and fortune.

After Samuel anoints David, he leaves. David leaves. David goes back to his sheep and his goats. He continues to serve his father, to obey and listen and do what he’s told. And he waits.

Sometimes we take for granted the moments that happen in the waiting. We so badly want the end that we don’t take time to appreciate the little things. We forget to tend to our sheep and our goats. We forget to love ourselves and our lives even if we know there is more for us.

Today, let’s make a pact, you and I. We will live adventurously. We will not take the mundane for granted. We will pick up our callings and we will do what we can with what we have. We will wait for God to open doors and we will say yes when he does. Today, let’s agree to stop trying to make it all happen for ourselves. Let’s agree to let God be in charge and give us every good thing he has for us.

God’s way is perfect. All the LORD’s promises prove true. He is a shield for all who look to him for protection.

Psalm 18:30

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.
    2
  • 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.