I was speaking to a friend today and she was filling me in on her marriage woes. Without getting to deep into anyone else’s business, it’s a fairly new marriage and they are more unhappy than not with each other as they attempt this life long journey of growth together. In the midst of her complaining about him, I found myself express, “OMG, I am so glad that I’m not married!” Now, In hindsight, I realize that was a little selfish as many of my friends use me as a sounding board and I would never want to make any of them feel alienated. Secondly, I should have stated that I am so glad that I’m not unhappily married as we can speak life or death over our situations and lives (Proverbs 18:21). But it even shocked me when I felt it come over me, because I truly meant it with everything in me. This was a new feeling as I had been so focused on wanting a relationship that I had rarely taken the time to thank God for saving me from the wrong unions! I have no desire to deal with the drama, arguing and pain that comes along with a union to the wrong person (not saying that was my friends situation at all). I came to the conclusion that I would be much happier single and at peace than married and constantly at war. My relationships in the past have been full of drama, abuse and pain, although there were definitely good aspects to each I could have done without the negative parts. Granted, the negativity was because God was not the head of our unions and partially a result of my insecurities and actions which I can now take accountability for. But as God instills in me the patience to wait on His best I grow more and more overjoyed in the fact that I haven’t made the mistake of marrying the wrong man. Or on the flip side that I haven’t scared off my Adam because my heart wasn’t prepared for a union that would glorify God.
Because I am currently doing a bible study on self control, I was reading about the Stanford marshmallow experiment. This experiment was done many years ago by a psychologist Walter Mischel. In the experiment, children were offered a choice between one small marshmallow immediately or two marshmallows if they could wait and practice delayed gratification. In follow up studies the researchers showed that the children that were able to wait longer tended to have better life outcomes. I know that with living in such a now centered society the thought of practicing patience and delayed gratification may seem archaic; But what if God wants to give us as many marshmallows as we want and were settling for one measly marshmallow because we can’t control our own desires of immediate indulgence. What if God has His best for us, but because we simply won’t wait for His timing we forfeit it all because of impatience or we have to wait even longer like the Israelites out in the wilderness for forty years on a journey that should have taken them 11 days! (Deuteronomy 1:2) As children of God how long must we go around this same mountain of singleness because of complaining, wrong thinking, frustration or impatience? And I say we because I include myself and need reminders every now and then as well! If we practice patience in this one area of our lives I believe it will also enrich other aspects of our lives and be well worth it in the end.
One huge perk of singleness is the time allowed to renew your spirit, ready your heart for a partner and grow in God, so take advantage of it. We can rest assured and be at peace because we know that if God placed the desire of marriage in our hearts, he will fulfill that longing, exceedingly and abundantly beyond what we can probably even imagine as long as we believe and do not ask outside of his will (Mark 21:22 & James 4:3). We can rest in the fact that our life long partners are either being prepared for us or waiting on us to grow ourselves up enough to have a thriving marriage truly made in heaven! So what are you waiting for? Get to work!!!
Here’s to a purposeFULL life!
Six ways to combat the feeling of loneliness…
1. Learn to depend on Him: Don’t call that friend, turn on the television or go to the mall to make yourself feel better or be around people. If you try to numb, ignore or tune out your loneliness it will most likely still be there after you get off the phone, the TV show is over or you finish shopping. Instead, work it out with just you and God, pick up your bible or read your bible verses that you wrote out for times like these.
2. Have an attitude of gratitude: I know that this is quite cliché, but it works wonders! When you focus on the things that are right in your life you don’t have much time to focus on what’s wrong. The majority of the time you will realize you are more blessed than not. Even though you may not have a significant other at this time, there may be other people that God has placed in your life to love on, so be grateful for them!
3. Get it out: Allow yourself to feel the frustration of loneliness, cry, write about your feelings and pray to God about your situation, then get quite before Him and listen for a response. Give your loneliness to God; He knows how to heal your brokenness.
4. Adjust your focus: God tells us to focus on things eternal and not seen (2Corinthinans 4:18), in the long run those are the things that will prove to be important. Instead of focusing on us and what our flesh wants in the right here and now, focus on why God may have you in this situation to benefit the kingdom. Could it be to have time to help others, volunteer, start or help in a ministry, write a book or just to become a better you?
5. Think of the alternative: In my times of loneliness I think of what my life could have been like had God given me my hearts desires in the past when I wasn’t ready. For me, I could have married my first boyfriend but I’m quite sure it would have been a horrible marriage. Think of the ways God has saved you and what He kept you from instead of focusing on what you believe He may be withholding. He wants you happy and you deserve the best, His best. Hopefully, you believe that’s worth the wait.
6. Feelings are fickle: Realize that what you feel is just a feeling and most feelings are fickle. Usually, most feelings soon leave for another. You won’t feel this way for the rest of your life, maybe even the rest of day. Rely on what you know to be truth, that God is not a man that he will not lie and that he fulfills His promises (Numbers 23:19). Know that this too shall pass.
I truly hope this helps someone in their time of loneliness!
Here’s to a purposeFULL life
Jeremiah 17:9 – The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?
If I can be totally transparent, I am 36, childless, and single. LIFE GET’S LONELY! I try my hardest not to compare my situation to anyone else’s and hold on to the faith that God will fulfill my desires of a family, but at times I stumble. This evening as I was sitting in bed working on my book a good friend called. She began updating me on her Fourth of July weekend events, mishaps and adventures with her family and as she was speaking a wave of sadness washed over me. I tried to remain totally focused on what she was saying but no matter how much I tried to suppress them all types of thoughts began to pester me during the conversation. The main one being, will I ever have a family of my own? This thought I knew was of the devil and had to be taken captive immediately. I was being double minded in my thoughts, I doubted God and His will for my life, in which case I would receive nothing! (James 1:6)
I write this with tears in my eyes, because I truly do long to hear the sound of tiny feet running down the hall and have a wonderful husband to snuggle up with on nights like this when storm clouds are forming in the sky. But I have to learn to accept my portion in life at this time and be content with all the beautiful things God has given me. In times like this, I have to make an effort to remind myself that I have a wonderfully family, supportive and loving parents, great dogs, a freedom in life that I truly enjoy and a bed all to myself! Usually after saying a prayer and focusing on the things I love about my life I feel sooooo much better. In the past I have been in a place where I allowed the fog of loneliness to linger and I know that if it does it will draw me in more and more until it becomes despair and eventually depression. I have to believe in God’s promises to me, he promised me anything that I ask, if I believe (Matt 7:7).
One thing I have learned through my studies is that God wants to capture our hearts more than any man in this world. He doesn’t want us to hurt, be lonely or sad in the time He is taking to mature us past this point but there may be some growing pains. Fight through it and trust in Him. My advice is to get verses of scripture that can speak to your heart in times of loneliness. Write them on note cards or save them in the notes section of your phone, as long as you have them on hand when the time comes. One of my favorites is Proverbs 3:5-6. From my experience, if you make God the love of your life, you will love this life so much more regardless of your relationship status!
Here’s to a purposeFULL life
Matthew 6:33 – But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
So, I’m (re)starting my healthy eating habits and a couple days ago I was able to check out the local farmers market. I got kale, some wonderful fresh strawberries and onions. Now, I don’t know if it’s all in my head, but honestly everything taste sooooo much better than what I purchase from the store. Each bite of a juicy, ripe strawberry was like a burst of fresh in my mouth! Is that a bit much lol? Well, let’s just say everything was delish.
It is a smaller market (only about 7 vendors) but there were a variety of options from fruit, veggies, flowers, jams and soaps. I was proud to support local farmers and small business, the only downfall is price. The eggs I bought were $6, which was a little pricey for me, but other things were just slightly above regular store prices. Plus a lot of farmers markets are now taking public assistance cards. I think I’ll make it a habit!
Here’s to a purposeFULL life!
Although I don’t know much about being married, I could write the book on being single or worse the perpetual girlfriend! I am starting a short series on singleness and some of my stories of singlehood today. As I learn what it means to be in a committed relationship, to love a man in the way that Jesus commanded and how he is to love me (Ephesians 5:22-33, Matthew 19:2-9); I can honestly see why my past relationships have failed. Although I don’t have all the answers my hope is to help women as they go through the dating (and even better courting) phase of life.
Have you ever been at a point in a relationship where you just wanted attention? And I mean ANY type of attention from your mate even if it wasn’t positive. Or have you let your emotions get the best of you and said something just to cause a reaction from someone else? Well, I have and to be perfectly honest with you, I have done it in all of my relationships. I have only had three seriously committed relationships in my years here on earth, but they have all been eye opening experiences. With each relationship I learned something new about what I want from a man, my desires for the type of relationship I would like to have and most importantly new things about myself. One thing I realized or rather accepted is that I was acting like a spoiled brat sometimes! In relationships, I often wanted things my way or the highway! If you didn’t have time to talk to me or were taking too long to get back to me, I would get upset and pass that anger along in a mean or condescending text. If there was something that I wanted to do that conflicted with what my partner had planned I would be upset and try to make him do what I wanted. It was a very unhealthy way of life for both of us and ultimately I’m sure my selfish and bratty ways helped to place a divide between us.
I have grown enough to recognize this as one of my flaws and as God continues to reveal more of my fleshly ways I am able to humbly ask him to change my life from the inside out. I truly want him to create in me a new heart and renew a right spirit within me because one day he will send my earthly husband and if I act the way that I have in the past that man will flee with the quickness! When we ask God to change something within us (or for anything) we have to have faith that it is done, so I thank God today for changing my heart and making me into a more mature godly woman. There also must be no doubt or double-mindedness in that faith (James 6-8) and we also must begin to operate as changed women. Faith without works is dead (James 2:14-26), we must act upon what we know which means using our self-control at times when it’s hardest. It can be quite difficult not to push someone’s buttons especially when they are so close to you that you know exactly what buttons to push to get the reaction you desire. It isn’t that we won’t feel that anger or need for attention bubbling up inside us but as mature women in Christ we put away childish and manipulative tactics (1Corinthians 13:11) and begin instead to build our houses up as wise women do (Proverbs 14:1). It takes a lot of will power, discipline and reliance on God (at least for me) but it’s well worth it in the end when you are able to recognize that wonderful growth through God within yourself.
Scriptures that help me:
Psalm 141:3 – Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips
Psalm 51:10 – Create in me a clean heart O God; and renew a right spirit within me
Proverbs 16:32 – He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city
I long to hear from the Lord and to have a much deeper connection with my heavenly father. I know people that say they can hear God speaking to them about certain situations in their lives and I want that for my life as well. Recently, I was very upset and saddened by falling apart of a two year relaionship, to say the least I was heartbroken. I desperately needed to hear from God and to know his will for my life. I began a fast as I knew that somethings will only come about through prayer and fasting. (Matthew 17:21) Although, I did not hear an audible voice during this time of fasting and prayer I felt closer to God as I shut out the rest of the world and focused on Him. At the end, I didn’t want to stop! I would recommend fasting as a means of removing yourself from the world, shifting your focus onto Him and relying on God to fulfill your desires. I am still on my journey to hear from God and to recognize His voice beyond a shadow of a doubt because I know he speaks to me, I’m just not sure that I am listenting. In the bible there are many pepole that fasted, but during my time of fasting I thought a lot of Ester. She fasted for three days before a huge, life altering decision that if gone wrong could have ended her life. In no way was I fasting for an answer to a life or death situation, but I was still seeking answers. One thing the fast showed me was the fact that I had to trust in God and rely on Him, in times of hunger and wanting to give up I leaned on and trusted in Him to feed me through his daily bread, His word. (Deut 8:3; Matt4:4; Luke 4:4) During my time of fasting I also began to thank God for my heartbreak ironically! Because if it hadn’t happened I never would have relyed so heavily on His word, during this small trial. James says to count it all joy when we go through trials and temptations for through faith in God those difficult times mold and deveop us into more patient and whole people. (James 1:2-4) One more awesome thing occured during my time of fasting, I had a dream where I was told to go to christian.org. Prior to the dream I had never heard of the website and now this is where I begin my journey into blogging and online journal that I hope through God’s saving grace will be of help others!
Scriptures that helped me during my fast:
Psalms 51:10 – Create in me a clean heart O God and renew a right spirit within me.
Provers 3:5 – Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding
Fly – Jason Upton
Have Mercy – Out of Eden
Break Every Chain – Tasha Cobbs (but there are multipl versions)