all the single ladies...

"This girl in my small group just got engaged the other day, but I'm actually really happy for her."

My best friend thought she just making idle conversation during one of our weekly phone sessions, when in actuality she was revealing something incredibly profound.

You see, somewhere along the lines (probably around the time all my friends started pairing off, purchasing houses, and procreating), I allowed jealousy to replace joy in my heart.  While I was genuinely happy for all of the new blessings in the lives of those I love, it was always with a twinge of envy that I congratulated them on the happiness that seemed to be chasing after them (and consequently leaving me in the dust).

I lost my authenticity when I lost my appreciation for the fierce and tender love and pursuit that Jesus has just for me.

He loves me just as uniquely and perfectly as He created me.

This love might not manifest itself in my life the way it does for her, or him, or them, but that doesn't make it any less precious.

Perhaps this season of waiting is serving a purpose in my life.  Scratch that, this season of waiting is definitely serving a purpose in my life.  The only problem is; rather than relishing in the joy of the process, I've been holding my breath with tunnel vision focused only on the outcome: marital bliss. (married folks, go ahead and laugh at my expense - I'm learning)

My soul needs to exhale.

My heart, which longs for home, needs to rest.  Here. Now. ("Be here  - The King is wild for you." Psalm 45:11)

Several months (which now feel like years) ago, I sat on a couch across from my pastor's wife and profoundly spilled my guts.  She was familiar with my sob story.  My broken almost-engagement.  My confusion over my future.  And this time, the added bonus of a some new boy who was pursuing me.  As hope warred with resistance in my heart, I admitted that I knew I should be excited, but I was scared.

Her wise response shocked me.  "I think the Lord is calling you to a season of stillness before Him."
Ummm, are you kidding me?  Everything around me is spinning so fast - and you are telling me to be still?

Psalm 37:7 commands us, "Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him..."

While I've been gritting my teeth and forcing myself to be still here in Nevada, I sure as heck have not been patient.

Even more than that, however, Jesus has recently shown me how much He longs for me to find joy in the anticipation of His blessings.  The Bible actually calls that HOPE.

Paul addresses HOPE quite a bit in the book of Romans.  He even likens it to the beauty of pregnancy, a metaphor which is particularly relevant for me in this season as I watch my sister's belly swell with new life.  Every day Keegan stays in the womb is a true miracle.  I am aware that the process of growing a human can be incredibly uncomfortable - the body is stretched, nutrients are sucked, hormones explode - and yet there is so much joy in the wait.

“…waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother.  We are enlarged in the waiting…the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy.” (Romans 8:24-25)

But wait (hehe, get it?), there's more:

"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." (Romans 12:2)

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." (Romans 5:13)
^how can you not love a verse that includes the words "hope, joy, peace, and trust" all in one?

And then yesterday, I stumbled upon this verse in 1 Corinthians (7:17):
To all my single ladies out there: stop wasting your heart space comparing and contrasting your life with those around you. No, it isn't fair that the leopard-print-spandex-wearing-loud-mouth in line in front of you at the grocery store has a husband and you don't, but be honest...would you really want her man as your spouse anyways?

And more importantly, stop allowing the seeds of comparison to sow a plant of jealousy which will inevitably choke the joy right out of your life (thank you Lysa Terkeurst for this metaphor).  

You are more than your marital status.

You are right where God needs you to be.

Live and obey and love and believe (and HOPE) right there.

Think of this wait as a gestational period for the beautiful joy that is coming your way, as you learn to trust in Him, devote your heart to Him, and thrive in the realization that you already have Someone who is far more madly in love with you than any human ever could be.

And if you need someone to encourage you/vent with you/laugh with you/pray with you as you wait, I'm your girl.   


Heather said…
I think you've summed up the last 6 months of my life in this short entry. No really, down to the pursuit, the verses, and the expectancy metaphor. Funny how whenever we feel alone, we're never really alone. There's some darling woman in Nevada experiencing the exact same thing. Thanks for understanding and praying.
Vanessa's Dad said…
Sweet, tender, insightful blog. The Pharisees missed Jesus, because they were waiting, hoping, and expecting something different. Blessed are those who choose Joy in the Ordinary... Joy in their Circumstances... Joy in what they did not think would bring them Joy.