Tuesday, August 18, 2015

My Beauty and My Lack of Dates

 I have never been asked out.

 Okay, maybe once. But it didn't count. It was in high school and this guy wanted me to go to the prom with him because he knew we could just go as friends. But he never had the nerve to ask me. He just announced to the room that he would like me to go with him. So in my book that doesn't count.

 Guys don't flirt with me.

 Okay, two have. The first guy sat next to me on the plane and was a bored extrovert and getting more drunk with each gulp of beer. The second guy I think just wanted to be friends and didn't know how to be friendly without flirting. So those don't really count either.

 I have never been on a date.


 Not even ones that I can say they don't count. 

 So I did what I think every other girl would do. I did a math equation in my head. No dates = No beauty. What other explanation could there be?

 Well let me tell you, LOTS!

 Maybe it means that the guys that are attracted to me value me as a child of God and as a woman who's heart they don't want to take chances with unless they know for sure they want to pursue a relationship with me.

 Maybe they tend to be more quiet like me.

 Maybe no guy has ever been attracted to me. At least enough to do something about it.

 I don't know why I have never gone on a date.

 I may never know why. It may be one of the many questions I ask Jesus in Heaven.

 But this is what I have to ask myself: 

 Do I believe that I am beautiful? 

 Not beautiful in the sense that I could be a model, that the boys don't know what they are missing, that I just have to believe in myself and be confident in my beauty. No, the beauty I am talking about is how God formed me in my mother's womb, how He made me look and be exactly what He imagined and intended for me. How could I want black hair? How could I dream of a perfect tan when the Master of the Universe created me to be the way I am? My beauty is not based on how many guys have liked me, but in the way my God created me. In the way He sent His son to die for my wicked sins against Him.

Do I believe that I can trust God?

 God gave me brown, wavy hair, hazel eyes, and Snow White pale skin for a reason. I am also single for a reason. I've never been on a date for a reason. All reasons that I don't know. Sometimes I don't like the skin, hair, and eyes God gave me. I confess I hate my single status. But do I trust My God who set all of this in motion? Who commanded my eyes to be hazel and decreed before the foundation of the earth that at the age of 21 I still would never have gone on a date? Yes, I trust Him. I trust the one who knows how alone and frustrated I can feel. Who decreed that I be single and feel lonely. Who also gave me the ultimate cure for my loneliness. Because who else would I trust?

 So I believe my beauty, my worth, is only in one man who was also fully God and was sent to die for me. 

 I believe that I can trust the very one who has called me to be single. The very one who has given me life.  

 Sometimes I imagine what it will be like when I get to heaven and I can ask Jesus anything.

 "How did all of the different races come from only Adam and Eve?"
 "What happened to the Roanoke Colony?"
 "Why did no guy ever ask me out?"

 "I was protecting your wayward heart for one guy," Jesus might say.
  "To teach you patience."
 "To help you only rely on me."

Or maybe, when I get to heaven, it will already not matter because I will be with the One my soul longs for.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

My Future Husband is My Idol Part 2

 Last week I shared about how my future husband became my idol. If you missed that, click here to read it.

 To finish that discussion, I thought it would be helpful to share some practical things I have found that help to prevent making my future husband my idol. I think a lot of the danger here is making marriage the epitome of my happiness, leading me and others to making our future husbands our idols. Here are some practical ways I have found to help me keep marriage more of a wish instead of an evil idol. 

1. Stay away from love songs.

  This was a hard lesson for me to learn and a hard thing for me to do. I absolutely love Spotify and I absolutely adore love songs. I had made a playlist that was many hours long and I kept adding onto it. But I realized that when I listened to that playlist my attitude changed. It was a painful reminder of something I didn't have and desperately wanted, and I would often become depressed, discontent, and allow my heart to begin forming my future husband as an idol. I truly believe that music is powerful and effects us more than we usually realize, and it was very sobering when I realized what my love songs were doing to me. Though I literally cringed as I deleted the playlist I had painstakingly put together, it has made a huge difference in my life. I still will listen to love songs, but I no longer listen to a long playlist that goes on for hours and causes me to sin. 

2. Stay away from weddings on Pinterest.

 You've seen all of the wedding boards, wedding pinners, wedding photographers and organizations filling boards with hundreds of pins. Well I suggest not following any of them. Similarly to my love songs, I realized that when I saw these boards full of wedding ideas on my feed or looked up gorgeous lace wedding dresses I became discontent. The images fed my desire and made me jealous for the wedding not in my near future. So I un-followed every board that had to do with weddings. I made a rule that I cannot look up weddings. I even un-followed some of my friend's wedding boards. However, I did keep my future wedding board, but it is private and I try to never look for things to pin onto it. 

3. Limit the number of romance novels and movies you watch.

 My last big weakness is books and movies. Though I am not into most of the current Christian romance novels, I love reading a good romance, and I am a sucker for any Jane Austen type movie. But I had to be careful how many of those books I read and how many period dramas I watched. They can make me discontent and cause me to sin in my heart, so I have had to be careful and limit these things that I love.

 I would like to close with a disclaimer that I am not claiming that these are three rules every single woman should follow. These are just three things that have helped me in huge ways as I struggle with my singleness and fight to take away this idol in my life. I am not trying to say that every single girl should do them, too. Maybe you listen to love songs but do not feel like they are causing you to stumble. If that is true I am glad. We are all different and struggle with different things. I just wanted to share with you what I have found to be helpful.

 That being said, what are things that help you not make your future husband your idol? I would love to hear about it in the comments below!


Tuesday, August 4, 2015

My Future Husband Is My Idol Part 1

 It began when I was young, the desire for a family that I could only explain through my love of dolls and making the silverware into families. But I was content to pretend.

 Growing up I has so many crushes. They were always the subject of sleepovers, the plot of my stories. But I was content to dream.

 My senior year of high school was the first time I remember wanting a boyfriend. Before it was always a future goal for when I grew up, and suddenly it became something I wanted now. However none of my friends had boyfriends, and I knew I was still young. So I was content to wait. 

 But my sophomore year of college I hit a low I couldn't understand. My good friend and roommate was going to be getting married at the end of the year. It seemed like all of the girls around me were getting boyfriends and I had never even been asked out before. I found myself in a mild depression and though I prayed and begged God to make me happy with everything that He had given me, all of my Bible reading and praying didn't seem to help. I was no longer content to wait.

 Then my mom told me to list out all of my expectations. 

1. I thought guys would be interested in me.

2. I thought I would be asked out.

3. I thought I would have a boyfriend by my sophomore year.

4. I thought I would get married in June after I graduated, because that's what my mom did.

5. I thought all of these dreams and expectations would happen simply because I couldn't handle the thought of them not happening.

 I made that list and I wondered, when did my future husband become my idol? 

 My dreams and wishes for the future had become my expectations. I was no longer content to pretend, dream, and wait. I was convinced it was time for me to have what I most desired, what I had waited for my whole life. My mom had gotten married right after she graduated at the age of 22, and that was exactly what I wanted. But how could that happen when I didn't have a boyfriend by my sophomore year? And that is what mostly brought on the mild depression as I walked around a campus filled with couples.
So one night in the darkness of my room I fell onto the floor and confessed all of this to Jesus and asked Him to take away this idol in my life.

 I wish I could say after that night it was no longer an idol in my life. In fact the only real progress I have made in this area is that I am more quick to see my discontent, jealousy, and how my desire and expectation for marriage someday gets put above Christ.

 But this is what I need to remember on the days I get discouraged:
 1. Jesus already died for this sin. 

 I have done many terrible things in the last 21 years, but for some reason I consider this idol in my life my worst offense against God. Maybe it's because it has been a huge struggle for me for what seems like my whole life. Maybe it's because I can see how it has become the main thing causing a rift in my relationship with Jesus. But either way, Jesus paid for this sin on the cross, I accepted His gift of eternal life, and now nothing can separate me from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. I still need to confess this sin to Him. I still desperately need His help to battle this, but I am also at peace.

2. Someday I will spend an eternity with Jesus in Heaven.

 Though my flesh denies it, though my heart at times only wants the love of humans, though it is sometimes so hard to believe, this idol called my future husband, this desire in my heart that I long for, will only ever be satisfied in Heaven when I am with Jesus. He is all I want and need. He is all I possess, all that I am. He gave me breath on this earth and gave me eternal life through His death on the cross. Heaven with Him is what I truly long for, and someday that will come true. 

 Do I still long for an earthly husband, someday? Of course. But I have so much to look forward to when I leave this earth, and that is my true hope.

 I am content to pretend, content to dream, content to wait, but unlike my singleness, I know for sure that someday this dream, this desire, this longing to see my Savior will come true. 


P.S. Don't miss part 2 of this post where I will share with you more practical ways to keep your future husband from becoming an idol!