Let me introduce myself…

Now, I’ve had this blog for about for about 2 years, and was hosted on Blogspot for about 4 years before. So, I’ve been blogging for 6 years…

And, I feel the need to re-introduce myself. So much has happened in the past 6 years, this blog has been through so many seasons & cycles itself.

Back to me – I am passionate about God’s unrelenting, unwarranted, and absolutely unconditional love -His Agape. Making His children Agapetos – the beloved.

But, knowing I am the beloved, and feeling it all the time are two entirely different things.

Sometimes, that not-feeling has come from the huge, 10 year battle with depression that I fought…which is trying to rear it’s ugly head again…Sometimes, it comes from the heart pounding, suffocating anxiety I feel like will be with me forever…Sometimes, it comes from the chronic singleness that has engulfed my life…

Yet, whatever the reason, my lack of feeling does not negate the truth of my being.

I am beloved…

And, in this season of my life, I want to focus on accepting, becoming, and waiting.

  • Accepting: my role as His beloved. Right now, that means being back in a place I never thought I’d find myself again, working in my old schools, and attending a church I left 9 years ago. Right now, it means faith in His perfect plan, His ability to bring beauty from ashes, and His future blessings. Right now, it means simply accepting the present for what it is and turning to Him when the rest get’s overwhelming.
  • Becoming: who I’m meant to be as His beloved. We all have that picture of what we want our lives to be like, and compare when we get there. Mine doesn’t exactly look how I thought, but pretty close. Yet, there are pieces missing…things I thought I’d have or places I’d be. So, I am focusing on becoming that girl – in so far as God leads me there. It also means pushing myself at times, or holding back at times. I am focusing on allowing God to shape me, grow me, stretch me, and sustain me.
  • Waiting: Those who have read my posts before know I am constantly in a waiting phase – and the biggest thing I am waiting for is that Godly man I will one day build a life with. A man I can submit to and serve with. I know I am also waiting on career moves to be opened up. So, I will focus on the wait – the acceptance and becoming that take place in the waiting. The continued faith that God will fulfill and provide for me according to His good will & purpose.

Honestly, it’s not much different than the way the blog has been in the past. Just a little more focused on these aspects of beloved-ness.

Perhaps someone will find this blog, my little slice of the internet, and know they are not alone in their struggle. Maybe, someone will reach out and offer encouragement, not only to me but to readers, as we become and wait. Maybe someone else out there needs to be reminded and encouraged in their own accepting, becoming, or waiting (or all three).

I pray that in the time moving forward (until my next mini-shift), people will be encouraged, people will find community. I pray that God will begin to use me more than ever to reach others like me, or different than me. That my words would touch exactly who they are supposed to, and that in writing them, I too will be changed & challenged.

Thanks for reading! Welcome to my little corner of the world 🙂

Another little word on waiting –

Recently, waiting has been a challenge. I keep hearing from people the same pat Christian answers…and I know they are only trying to help, but, honestly, sometimes I desire more of an understanding and a “this sucks” than anything.

We as believers keep throwing around some of the same phrases, things like: “Wait on God’s timing”, “It’ll happen when you least expect it”, & “focus on becoming the right person.” Honestly, some days, I want to punch anyone who says any of these, even if that first one is actually biblical…And, sometime in the next week or so, I will be writing a post reacting to these semi-myths of Godly waiting.

But, what I want everyone to know is that, just because I get tired of waiting at times (and boy do I grow so weary, especially in the weeks before my birthday…), this doesn’t mean I will give up, compromise, or go my own way. I know, even on the hardest days, God has a plan to use my life for His glory (even if that plan does not include me ever having a husband). And, even on my hardest day, I know a single life serving God is far better than a married life pulled away from Him.

Yet, what I wish people really grasped is that: waiting does not mean doing nothing. Even as a woman.

I can’t wait to share more with all of you as I narrow this focus for this chapter of my life. Thanks so much for reading and joining my journey.

What have you learned over the years about accepting, becoming, and/or waiting? Do you feel God has been brought glory from your life? How about from your relationship story? Do you feel like He used your single time to help you become in the waiting? Has he worked in your heart to accept & be content? Let me know below. I’d love to hear from you!

I’ve Grown Weary

The sky was dark, as with every morning.

Panic. I’m going to be late!

My eyes shoot open. Thinking it’s Monday, I’m ready to shoot out of bed at 6:15.

Then I remember, it’s Sunday. And, I have two more glorious hours of sleep.

Snag in the plan, though, I slept through my alarm.

Apparently, the sleep is needed this weekend.

You see, at the end of a long week, I’ve grown weary. And, I suppose, recently, weary in general.

But, I managed to roll out of bed and get to Sunday School, and what a day to go. A day when we were discussing Hosea – a beautiful reflection of how God really works – a God that is in the business of pursuing.

You see, I want to say I identify with Hosea, but more often than not, I fear I am more of an Israel (or Gomer, as it were).
Easily tempted by the trappings of this world.
Often finding myself in my own selfish pursuits.
Overruled by desire.

And, I’ve grown weary.

I’ve grown weary of seeing brokenness around day in and out.
I’ve grown weary of not turning to my Abba as I should.
I’ve grown weary of not being where I thought I’d be, even if I’m where God has placed me.
I’ve grown weary of being surrounded by the temptations & trappings of the world.
I’ve grown weary of finding myself in my own selfish pursuits.
I’ve grown weary of being overruled by the desires of the lights of the world.
I’ve grown weary of holding on to my own brokenness and sin, instead of turning from them to the arms of God,

But, I have hope.

I have hope that God is in pursuit, always.

I have hope, that like he did with the people of Israel, He still pursues His people.

Hope that He knows where our choices today will lead tomorrow, and He still steps in to try to get us where He wants us.

As He told the people of Israel through Hosea:

“I will betroth you to me forever;
I will betroth you in righteousness and justice,
in love and compassion.
I will betroth you in faithfulness,
and you will acknowledge the Lord.”
– Hosea 2:19-20

Even with all of their turning to their own prosperity, their own desires, their own sins, God still opened Himself up for them.

He did this for Humanity with His son. Christ is that redemption.

And, in Christ, I find my hope:

I have hope that though I’m not where I thought I’d be, I am where God has led me.
I have hope that, despite the brokenness around, Humanity, as a whole, will still come through for one another.
I have hope that, even though I have my own brokenness, I can turn it over to my Abba; and that I learn to do so more and more each day.
I have hope that God will provide a way out when tempted by the trappings of this world – I need only be open.
I have hope that my salvation is secure in Christ – and I cling to that hope each day.

And so, even though I have grown weary, I will rest in Him. And, I will continue to work each day to be more like Hosea and less like Gomer.

This week, I am joining in with Kate over at Heading Home for 5 Minute Friday. This week’s prompt is Weary.

Redeemer, Provider, Sustainer…Everything

“With [man] it is impossible, but with God, all things are possible.”
– Matt 19:26 & Mark 10:27

Home – a place to be vulnerable.

And, this blog is my home on the web, one of my little corners of the online universe, so please, allow me to be vulnerable.

This passage is often used – and gives a great picture of our limitations that clearly don’t apply to God.

Now, so as not to take this verse out of context: when Jesus speaks here, He speaks of salvation. Something we cannot have on our own, but something we have by the Grace of God: sola gratia.

In this passage, Christ points out one of the biggest barriers to salvation: wealth – a lack of need, a presence of comfort. If you think you’re all set, you don’t need Christ. If you are comfortable where you are, you will be less likely to move.

This is what Paul addresses in Philippians 4:13, another verse often taken from context:

“I can do all [this] through Christ who gives me strength”

I like this version, because the “all things” we often quote, has less to do with being able to do whatever we want, and has more to do with learning how to rely on Christ at all times. Paul has just finished describing that he has lived through wealth and poverty, sickness and health. Good times. Bad times. Yet, because of Christ, he has been able to be content in all situations. Not on his own, but because God made it possible.

This evening, I was looking back over old pictures, and thinking about times in high school & college. Old insecurities began to flood me – magnified by current unrest in my life. I felt the old hatred I had for myself & the depression try to creep in. Negative thoughts about my appearance, personality, choices. That, I’ll just be this way forever…but I refused to give in to those thoughts, because,

Here’s what I know for my own life, by looking at these verses:

Right now, I have about $100 left to my name after this month’s bills, unless I find a job soon. But, even if that is my reality,  history indicates that God will sustain me through it.
Right now, my dream of home is having to shift & change. I don’t have what I thought I’d have by now – single, no apartment or house of my (our) own. But, God is teaching me that home is Him. That, I carry it with me wherever I go.
Right now, I am still in that Chronically Single phase of life. But, so much beauty has been/is being created in this stage of life. He is teaching me more & more each day to make Him my focus.
My life was once a disaster. Depression followed me anywhere. I had no idea how to get out, and at a point, death seemed like it might be an option. But God –God brought me out. He has turned it all to  beauty. And, even though it’s not what I thought I wanted, not the comfort, wealth, and everything I thought I wanted, it’s an amazing life. He has redeemed me to Himself. My future is in Him.

See, it’s about God’s redemption.

Without God, none of it happens. Without God, I have no life. Literally, my life would have been over.

But, even now, in tough times, He is still my provider, my sustainer, my redeemer, my everything.

And, if there was any question, Paul addresses this further in Philippians 4;19

“My God will meet all your needs according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus.”

Do I think this means God will make me rich? Of course not.

But, it means that God will take care of me in His way and His time, I need only be still and rely on Him, knowing He is God.

So, what does this have to do with Home? Honestly, for me, I’m still learning. For you, I’ll let you connect the dots where you need them.

Just remember, He is the redeemer, the provider, the sustainer…He is everything.

He is home.

#LovelySunday – HOPE

“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.”
– Proverbs 13:12

I did it. 

I packed up my life, loaded as much of it into my car as would fit, and drove across country with my mom. Back to a place I never thought I’d call home again.

Now, a week later, I’m all settled in.

I went back to the church I grew up in. Had an incredible time of worship. 

I’ve reconnected with my dearest friend. And, spent a lot of time with my family.

I’ve applied for countless jobs and have begun praying for my dwindling finances.

So, tonight, I took to the internets – the dating sites, as it were.

And, apparently, my options are more limited here than they were on the Left Coast…

So, it seems, for now, my mate is not to be found online. And, as at first, that struck me as making it a hopeless cause.

But, really?

I have all the hope in the world.

Other than for four months last year, Single is what I do. 

Do I want a partner? Absolutely

My heart longs for it. Some days, the ache is almost all I can take. Some days, my heart cries out in ways only my heart can cry out. 

But most days? I can definitely survive until it happens; I can survive if it never happens.

But, I have hope – hope that a partner will come some day.

I have hope because my Abba God knows my heart. He knows the ache in there. He knows it intimately, because He created it.

I have hope, because I pray for “him” almost every day:

I have been “devoted to [him] in love…joyful in hope, patient, and faithful in prayer”
(Romans 12:10&12)

For over a decade, my heart has held a special place for “him” and I have hope my Abba will fill that space.

Because, I believe that it is within His will that many of His people find an ezar (Gen 2:18). He knows it is not good for us to be alone, and He created this space in our hearts.

As for what I am patiently waiting & praying for?

Some people have told me that by requiring “he”  be a Man of God, that I am asking too much. That people, especially in my generation, are just not as devoted to Christ as they used to be. So, I should dull down that standard. Perhaps a “church goer” is enough; or maybe someone who is just “spiritual”.

To that, my whole-hearted response is:
I would rather serve Christ alone & single, than serve Christ alone & in a relationship.

So, is my standard too high?

Perhaps – but it’s not going anywhere.

So “he’s” not online. That’s ok. That just gives me hope that God has something even greater in mind for our love story.

And, I can’t wait to see what He makes of it.

“But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently” – Romans 8:25

“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 15:13

Is there something you are patiently trusting God for? If so, I recommend taking advice from the new movie “War Room” (which, if you haven’t seen, I highly recommend). Begin to fight in prayer, that’s where patience is grown and the battle is won. Keep trusting God. Stand on His word. He is faithful.

*I have written this post in conjunction with last week’s Tuesday @ 10 and as part of my own #LovelySunday series.

It Started with a Resolution…

This is the first of many Lovely Sunday posts.

As I’ve written before, 3 years ago (at age 23), I made a resolution to go on my first date…

Not just a first date, but THE first date…ever.

And, like I’ve said before, that didn’t happen. Not that year or the following year, so last year, I gave up that resolution. But, my cousin decided to make it for me.

She encouraged me to put myself out there, to work on me, and to see if I could get a date.

And, In 2014, I did go on my first date, had my first boyfriend…and thanks to the lovely world of online dating, had to fight off crazy emails and questions from, um, shall we say, interesting fellows…

You can read all about it under my Single Life & Dating tab. But, this Lovely Sunday thing isn’t completely about that.

It’s more about what God is teaching in the singleness, what I have taken from my relationships/friendships, and how the adventure continues.

Because, the adventure is waiting…And it isn’t for the faint of heart.