Creation

A to Z: S is for Overcoming the Challenges of Single Life

S is for Single

Overcoming the challenges of Single life

When I was 28, I could recall a number of vividly painful moments when the world around me seemed to flaunt the relationships and opportunities I yearned for yet had not experienced. I would like to suggest a valuable piece of advice for those of you with single friends.There are certain times you should avoid telling a single woman she should enjoy her freedom and take advantage of all the amazing opportunities she has been given because she is single. Avoid these obvious nuggets of wisdom on valentine’s day, weddings of siblings or close friends, major holidays, or when 90% of her friends have just left for a special “couples only” retreat. If you are brave enough to do so, be sure to protect your face while bracing for the dreaded “Hairy eyeball” because it is coming!


Myth: I am Lonely because something is missing from my life.


For years, I dutifully attempted to exploit the benefits of “single awareness day.” Honestly, I did enjoy my freedom but many days loneliness and uncertainty pushed my faith to the edge. An entry from my journal describes the emotional battle I engaged in so frequently as a single woman.


8/27/00
“Life is so very interesting & complicated. Each day becomes a painful mirror into the imperfections and weakness of body and spirit…. sometimes I struggle so violently to cross over from knowledge to experience.” 


Crossing over

If you are single, how do you cross over? How do you transform your desires and emotions  so that they line up with what you profess to believe? As I walked through life, seeking God’s peace and direction, I discovered a truth that empowered me to cross from knowledge to experience. The key was found in my understanding of God’s name and nature.


The more time I spent in His word and in His presence, the more clearly I began to understanding that my single status did not interfere with His love for me or His desires for my life. Being single didn’t mean I was waiting for God’s best. God’s ultimate plan for my fulfillment and happiness wasn’t a gift that would be handed to me on my wedding day. Every new day of life I was given, whether single or married, would be filled with all the goodness and love God could give me. His offering of grace, mercy, peace, and love was the same to every one of His children. Our Heavenly Father does not withhold love.My marital status didn’t need to change in order to obtain purpose, peace, and happiness but my perspective did.


The Truth of the Matter

If it is impossible for God to lie, then I can cling to any promise of truth I find about himself in scripture. This brings me to how I overcame the feeling that I was missing something I needed in order to be content and happy because I was single.


Psalm 84:11-12was the key.


The Lord God is a sun and a shield

The Lord will give grace and glory

No Good thing will he withhold to them that walk uprightly.

O Lord of Host, Blessed is the man that trusteth thee.

Are you ready to have your faith supercharged? These verses will do just that, because they present an intimate glimpse into an amazing attribute of your Father’s nature. These revelations provide a foundation you can anchor your desires and dreams upon.  Verse 11b is an integral key to the kind of faith able to sustain and empower you as you accept the Lord plan for your life.


Verse 11 states that each morning the Lord is present and ready with “every good thing” you needed in order to get through the day. Christ faithfully prepares and will pour out upon you, to overflowing, all the strength, encouragement, wisdom, and blessings you need. Anything truly necessary to navigate through the trials & temptations, joys & sorrow, excess & need today is at your disposal. Your loving Father is there with it all, so that tonight you can testify to the world and for the Glory of God,


My Father has withheld nothing!”


As a single woman, some of the emptiness I struggled with was the result of an attempt to peer into the future to see if God’s will lined up with my desires. By doing so, during momentary periods of discontent, I trampled over hills and valleys paved with His Grace, Glory, and Blessings.


As I struggle to be content with my life (yes it is still a struggle today), the Lord still uses these verses to rebuke me with the truth, my emptiness is the result of a self-imposed, narrow sighted, earth-bound vision and a failure to look at life with spiritual eyes.


My prayer has become, “Today Lord,  give me eyes to see, that I might not miss even the smallest blessing that you, in love and Mercy, have prepared for me.” These verses spoke to me as a single woman and they still minister to me today. This promise sustains me as a mother of three when my days consists of mounds of laundry, disappointments, and mundane trials of life.


We should never hesitate to enter into the presence of  the God who formed and knew us intimately before we uttered our first cry. As we place our will at his feet in humble submission, may we never lose sight of the fact he has all ready given His best, His most precious and beloved Son. He will withhold nothing of lesser value.


When you have unburdened your heart and submitted your will to His, do not forget to gather up your basket with faith unmovable, and eyes set to the heavens. Purpose to recognize, accept, and receive  “every good and perfect gift” prepared for your life by the Creator of the Universe. You may be missing a ring, an invitation to a couples party, evenings with company, but you are not missing the key to happiness, peace, and fulfillment.


How full will your basket be tonight when you lay your head upon your pillow? Did you see, accept, and use all he prepared for you today?


What are some other myths about single life you struggled with? What advice can you offer to women enduring the challenges of single life?


What truth about God encourages you heart, chasing the shadows of unbelief away?
Advertisements

A to Z: Overcoming Through Death

Death

a : a permanent cessation of all vital functions : the end of life b : the cause or occasion of loss of life

c : a cause of ruin
d: the state of being dead
: the passing or destruction of something inanimate

To say one can overcome through death appears to be the ultimate of oxymorons.  Death implies an end of power,  intellect, ability, and opportunity. When life leaves our soul, the opportunity to overcome exits with it, or does it?

Because I have been cleansed through the atoning work of Jesus Christ, I believe death is but the beginning of truly living and the ultimate act of overcoming. The day I confessed that Jesus Christ was Lord, yielding my life to Him, I died and yet the same instant I was reborn.

When I was buried with Christ, the chains of sin were broken, and the grip of death and damnation defeated. I am a new creation no longer bound by the law that both mandated my ruin but also guaranteed it. “Let not sin reign in your mortal bodies” wasn’t just an unrealistic command, it was a gift and ability won for me at great expense.

Because of His death and my death, I can go to bed every evening, and reflect upon my day, my actions, my failures, and my successes and be filled with hope instead of depression. Each day is an opportunity to overcome. I may stumble along the way, and fail in an area I am striving to master, but with my eyes to heaven I know I am being transformed every day into his likeness.

I look forward to the day heaven and earth pass away, bringing with it the final death-blow to imperfect and corrupted flesh. On that day the need to overcome will come to an end, for I shall see Him face to face and be righteous even as He is Righteous.

   What shall we say then?

Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound?

By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?

 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus

were baptized into his death?

We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death,

in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead

by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

Romans 6:1-4 (ESV)

The Stones Will Cry Out- Part 1


Have you ever considered the striking difference between how we as humans interact with Christ versus how the rest of Creation responds to its Creator?

Yes we alone have free will, soul, and spirit, which sets us uniquely apart from the rest of the universe but only Creation operates within the confines placed upon it at the dawn of it’s existence. In fact during Jesus’ triumphant entrance, as the scribes and Pharisees objected to the cry of the palm bearing crowd, Jesus declared that if the people did not proclaim “Hosanna, blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord”, the rocks themselves would cry out proclaiming that truth. While religious zealots denied his existence and schemed his death, creation lay poised, straining to be heard, ready to acknowledge though it were but stone it recognized the fact that it lay in glorious presence of the one who created it.

What a mind numbing thought, that as the rocks choked back their proclamation of the coming of the Savior of the world, many of the living breathing masses our Savior came to save missed the opportunity to herald in a new covenant and hope, that could radically change their lives for eternity.

As I read Psalm 104 today I was struck with the thought, What if I emulated the unwavering obedience of creation, operating within the designed realm that the Lord of the Universe intended? It would seem this should be an easy task considering I have been given a gift which the rest of the universe has not, for I have been ransomed from a sentence of death which I earned and adopted into the family, blood line, and heritage of Jesus Christ. I have a working, thriving, two way relationship with the Lord who created me. Perfection has bonded with imperfection, the mortal has put on immortality, unrighteousness has been shed and I am gloriously enveloped in the Righteous and Holy Blood of the Son of God, Jesus Christ.

Creation’s unwavering obedience to Christ is a masterpeice of design, order and faultless wonder demonstraiting three characteristics I feel challenged emulate.

Psalm 104:1-4 “Bless the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty.2Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment: who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain:3Who layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters: who maketh the clouds his chariot: who walketh upon the wings of the wind: 4Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire:

In Psalm 104, we see that God’s creation brings God glory. Creation cloths Christ with Honor and majesty. The universe and world around us is a perfect display of design and order. By faultlessly operating within these confines it showers upon Him the glory and honor he truly deserves. The sun never shifts from its orbit in an attempt to become part of another, more brilliant galaxy. The moon never says, it is a mistake that I spend my days circling the earth, the world should circle me. By simply being what they were created to be they demonstrate a specific nature or aspect of Christ himself, the God of Wonders.

As a child of God, I am a walking, living, breathing wonder, knit together before the world began. I am so complex my systems and makeup will never fully be mapped or understood by man. I am the meticulous, thought-out handiwork of the Divine Creator. The world was spoken into existence, but God formed Adam with his hands and breathed into him His very breath, the breath of life and through the breath of Christ, “man became a living soul.” I am his child, made in His image. His Spirit has covered and transformed me. I am not only a physical wonder, but a spiritual miracle. My spirit and body bears witness of an amazing work of redemption, regeneration, and sanctification. Does my life reflect the beauty, wonder, glory, and honor that the Lord of the universe deserves? As I go through life, does my life bear witness to the existence of an all powerful, merciful, righteous and loving God, or does creation around me strain in frustration by my failure to Glorify my maker in the special way he intended? The world is filled with men and women straining to be something other than what they were intended. As our hearts grow colder, I believe if we were still but for a moment, and listened, we might hear the growing murmur of creation crying out in frustration “Hosanna, blessed is he who came in the name of the Lord and who stands ready to return once more.

Next time, part 2

Psalm 104:7 “At thy rebuke they fled; at the voice of thy thunder they hasted away.”
God’s creation recognizes and obeys his voice.”