Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Large and Small Deaths // Laying My Desire for Marriage on the Altar

 "He was leading her away from her hearts' desire altogether and gave no promise at all as to when he would bring her back."  
~ Hinds' Feet on High Places         

 Early last week I was pondering my singleness and this quote from the allegory by Hannah Hurrand (which I think every Christian should read- it was that good!). Not that I don't usually ponder my singleness, but last Monday and Tuesday it was particularly on my mind.  

Image result for hinds feet on high places In Hinds' Feet on High Places, the Shepherd leads Much Afraid on a long journey where he says he will make her feet like those of the hind and hart leaping among the mountains. It is a hard journey that Much Afraid takes, but the Shepherd helps her, gives her companions, and at the end, Much Afraid has been completely changed and finds the high places where her Shepherd lives better than she could have imagined, a beautiful picture of our lives as Christians on this earth and the hope we have in heaven. 

 But what struck me most in this story is how at almost every turn, every change, every hardship and every new path Much Afraid took, the Shepherd asked her to make an altar and lay down her fears and desires and give them to Him. 

 Throughout my life, I have had to lay down my singleness before God many times. I remember specifically doing this my junior year in college. At that point in time, it was clear that God was not going to let me get married right after my graduation like I wanted. I realized that I had been holding my desire to be married in a tight fist, clinging to it more tightly than Him, like God could only be good to me if He granted me that desire. At some point during my junior year the Lord broke me, pushing me literally to my knees before Him where I knew I must offer my desire to be married to Him. It has been one of the hardest things I have ever done, but what a sweet communion with my Lord it gave me.

 However, offering this desire is not just something I need to do every year or every few months. Just as Much Afraid had to continually make an altar, I need to continually give Jesus my hopes, desires, and fears- particularly my desire to be married. This must happen every day. Every morning I need to submit and surrender to His will. 

 Much Afraid laid on the altar big, hard things as well as small things. I've been realizing that my singleness is comprised of both of those things. Usually I see it as one big, hard thing, but it is also made up of many small, hard things. The difficulty of singleness is also seeing my friends and people I grew up with have boyfriends and get married. It is the realization that my younger sister may get married before me. It is the awkwardness of relationships with married friends changing. It is holding crushes and potential relationships with an open hand. It is being alone on Valentines' Day. It is no one asking me to dance. It is the realization that I may never have children. These are the little deaths that I forget I must also lay on the altar. 

 So right now, today, and yet again, I lay my desire to be married on the altar. I do not want to be single. I did not want to be single when I was six. This is hard. So hard. But I lay this desire at His feet for Him to take and do as He sees fit. And starting now, I will do this every day, because that is what my weak, selfish hearts needs.

 Lord, I pray that I will trust You with these large and small things. I pray that I will hold my hopes and desires with an open hand and that no matter what happens with my life I will say, 'You are good', because You are always good. 

Have you read "Hinds' Feet on High Places?" 
How did the book impact you? What large and 
small deaths are you having to give to God?


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