What God Taught Me About Being Single

Looking back on my two marriages, I realize I was never really happy because I still had an emptiness inside.  A hole.  Even though I had a spouse, it never completely filled the void in my life.  I know now that the missing part was The Holy Spirit.  I remember towards the end of 2014, I was doing my devotional reading and I called my cousin after I finished.  I was just bubbling away on the phone and she interrupted and said “did you hear what you just said?”  I had told her that I didn’t feel empty inside anymore….that the big hole I always felt wasn’t there.  And until that moment I hadn’t even realized a lot of the changes that had happened to me.  I had been going about life, trying to make it through one day at a time, and God was doing big changes in me.  And some of them were so subtle, so quiet, I didn’t realize the change until, I think, He was ready for me to.

It’s so hard sometimes to wait and not rush things.  We often times don’t think God moves fast enough.  But sometimes, not moving right then, IS God’s answer.

I’ve been single now for 2 1/2 years.  Man, it was hard at first.  Like so many people today, I didn’t want to be alone.  I NEEDED someone there.  Someone who could validate me as a person.  But the longer I stayed single, the more I walked with God, I realized….being with someone else doesn’t determine my worth as a person.  I don’t HAVE to have someone to be complete.  And that’s something I think everyone needs to take the time to learn before being committed.  Why?  1.  You learn God is all you need to be complete.  He alone validates your worth as a person.  No matter what this world says about you, how people try to break you, God says you’re priceless and worth dying for.  2.  You learn to love yourself.  And when you learn to love yourself, you’re okay with BEING by yourself.  3.  If you can’t be happy in a room by yourself, if you are miserable every time you have to be alone, how can you be happy with someone else?  If you’re not happy with YOU, you won’t be happy when it becomes WE.

People ask me all the time, don’t you get lonely?  Sure I do.  That’s when I spend a little extra time with God.  Yes, I would like to get married again someday and have the marriage God intended for me all along.  But all in God’s time.  I’ve seen all to well what following earthly desires get you.  This time, I’m letting God lead me all the way.  When it’s time for that he’ll let me know.  And if he doesn’t bring someone into my life, I’m okay with that.  I don’t know what He has in store for me…..maybe my path takes me somewhere that I need to be single to accomplish His will.  He knows best for me, and I trust Him fully.

I think God waits for us to get to the point where we realize He is all we need.  When we realize, I need no one or nothing in my life but God.  Only then can He truly let our blessings fall on us.  Because it is then that we are no longer blocking Him from moving, we are totally and completely open and surrendered to Him.  And there is no loneliness in that.

Being single today doesn’t mean what people think it does.  It doesn’t mean you’re unlovable, no one finds you attractive,  or there must be a problem with you.  It means you are strong, you are independent, you are secure enough in yourself to wait for God’s plan to unfold in your life.  You are defined by God, not the world.

There is no shame in being single.

Beauty from Ashes

….and provide for those who grieve in Zion-to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair….Isaiah 61:3.

And that is just what He does.  My journey since February 4, 2014 has been nothing short of amazing.  He has shown me so many things that I was blind to before.  Just like in the song Amazing Grace “was blind but now I see”.  And it’s not a journey that ever ends.  There are always new things to see, to learn.

It’s not something that happens overnight.  It has taken these 2 full years to get me to the point I am now.  But you feel the change immediately.  And everyday just gets better and better as long as you are walking close with Him.  But the JOY!!…  I use to think joy was just an emotion that we felt like happy, sad, mad….but it’s not.  All your emotions are fleeting.  They are based on how you feel at that moment, what is happening right then.  But joy?  Man….joy is something that fills you up inside.  If you’re walking with God, joy fills every part of you.  It’s there to stay.  And when trouble comes your way, yes, you react, but the difference is when you have that deep-soul rooted joy….you can handle ANYTHING!  People think we as christians don’t have the same problems they do…WRONG! Sometimes we face them more often.  The difference is WE have God and the joy and faith knowing Him gives us, so we face adversity in a different way.

I don’t worry nearly as much as I use to.  I may not like or understand what is happening sometimes, but I know ultimately God is in control and if I get in the way, I’ll just mess everything up and block His work.  And having faith makes anything possible.  It’s so hard for people to understand when you try to tell them things like this.  It’s something that has to be experienced.  I know, from experience, the difference in life without God and life with God.  And the difference is death and life.  You will never be more alive than when you are filled with His presence.

I had someone argue the point with me “what if there isn’t a God? What if you live like this and it’s for nothing?” To which I replied with the quote “I would rather live my life as if there is a God and die to find out there isn’t, than to live my life as if there isn’t and die to find out there is.”  It’s truly hard for me to comprehend when I hear people talk so nasty about the existence of God.  Even before I knew Him, I believed in His existence.  I mean, come on, I would believe a loving God created me any day over the universe just burped me into exsistence!

But, everyone has their own choice to make.  And everyone will live with the consequence of their choice.  But if life has gotten hard, and you feel like what’s the point?…You feel like you’ve tried everything and it’s never going to get better….try God.  You have nothing to lose and everything to gain…including life.  If you call out, He will answer.

He made Beauty from THESE Ashes!

Learning Lessons,Living Life

2014 was an intense year of growth for me.  My son was saved and baptized and I was rebaptized.  God still continued to teach me new things.  I remember sitting one night and reading my devotional.  I had a lot of things on my mind and I had a rough week with my ex and I was just mentally tired.  I asked God why I had so much to deal with.  I was trying to live right but it seemed like everything was piling on me and I just couldn’t handle it.  And quite clearly this thought entered my mind….Give them to Me…My shoulders are big enough.  And I thought..Wow….never processed that before.  God carries the weight of EVERYONE’S burdens and problems on His shoulders, yet He never hesitates to add more.

So I slowly learned to depend on Him more and more.  And an amazing thing happened….my faith started to grow, my troubles got easier to handle.

My ex was my trigger point.  The one area that could flip me in a second.  He wanted nothing to do with religion so of course every time I would disagree with him or tell him no about anything, I was a hypocrite.  And my church was a cult with the anti christ leading us.  All of that I just laughed away..  But he still continued to use my son to get to me and that will set a momma off faster than anything.  But I was at work one morning and I got hit with this overwhelming urge to pray, and pray NOW for his soul.  It was weird.  I’ve never felt like that before.  I felt like if I didn’t pray right then, his soul would be lost.  And I was crying, for my ex…  Yeah, it was a really wild experience.  But I obeyed that feeling and in the middle of my praying, I felt my faith swell up inside, and I felt like if the devil showed up in front of me right then, I would have stomped his butt back to hell.  And I’m pretty sure I told him that in my praying.   To this day I have no idea why I felt that, what was going on with my ex at that moment, but I learned with God gives you that nudge to do something, don’t question it, just do it.  And I also realized that day that my fight wasn’t against my ex, but against the powers of darkness.

I have grown a lot in the last two years.  My ex and I are civil to one another which is all I can ask for.  But I’ve learned to handle my temper better and I try to always, no matter how he acts, to react calmly.

But I am still growing and learning.  And living life.

 

THE CROSS

After love, my next lesson was already lined up…..The Cross.  You never know when God is going to give you something to work on, teach you a lesson, or just love on you.

And don’t think when I talk about hearing God, I mean I actually hear this loud, booming voice….that would be cool, but it doesn’t work that way.  God speaks to everyone differently….for me.. He speaks through music, thoughts and images and sometimes, He speaks through my heart .

I was doing my journaling one day and an image of the cross entered my mind.  I didn’t think too much about it then, but later that day it happened again.  And again.  And He began to slowly teach me the importance of the cross.  I would hear discussions on the radio about it, songs.  And always the image.  In the middle of the day, night, driving in my car, wherever I was, at any time, it would pop into my head unexpectedly.  And it became more than a symbol.  I realized the depth of His love for us.  He didn’t HAVE to die.  He did it for me.  He did it for you.  His love for us was stronger than anything else and He chose the cross BECAUSE of His love for us.

Even if it had of only been  JUST ME…..even if it had of been JUST YOU….He would still have died on that cross….He loves us that much!!

 

And God Became Real

Tuesday February 4, 2012…..That day is etched in my memory forever.  It’s the day I fully surrendered and came back to God.  The day my life changed forever.

I went to my pastor’s house that night to talk to his wife and another lady from church.  There was a lot of crying that night too…the cleansing kind.  My Pastor’s wife(I’ll call her Mrs. C) told me that Sunday when I was coming up to her, God kept putting “forgiveness’ in her head.  She said she thought it was my ex I needed to forgive, but she realized after talking to me, it was myself.  And that is a hard thing to do.  Why is it we can forgive someone who has been so horrible to us, give them chance after chance, yet are unable to forgive ourselves?

I had a long road ahead.  So many things God and I were to work on.  Mrs. C gave me a journal and devotional.  (And let me stop here and say if you want to do a devotional, Jesus Calling by Sarah Young is amazing!! It’s written as if Jesus is talking to you.)  But that night he revealed my first hurdle to work on….LOVE.  I didn’t love myself anymore, and in turn didn’t think anyone else, even God could.

I had heard so many testimonies over the years of people who had “heard” God.  Reformed drug addicts, alcoholics, bad marriages, numerous types of testimonies.  And I always thought ” I have never heard God. Why?  Why can’t I have this big experience they talk about?”  Never realizing it was because I wasn’t walking with God.  My heart was never where it should have been to receive Him.

Now I knew what it felt like.  And there is NOTHING like when you are able to finally feel and hear God.  It is AMAZING!  It is also hard.  Sometimes you don’t want to hear what He says.  And sometimes it’s hard to revisit some places He takes you.  But the result is always worth it.  He knows where He’s leading you.  You just have to have the faith to follow.

Music is a BIG vessel that He used and still uses with me..It can reach me and make me feel when nothing else does.  So Tuesday night after I left, Mrs. C sent me some songs to listen to.  I got home and read my devotional and started writing in my journal.  All while listen to the music.  The journal had bible verses across the top of the pages.  They were about LOVE.  Everywhere  I looked, that word kept leaping out at me.  I opened the bible to read some that night, and the word LOVE just kept popping into my mind, over and over.  All that first week, everything I would hear on the radio, or read, would deal with love.  I remember laughing at one point and saying “Okay God I hear you”.  He will get His point across to you by whatever means necessary.  And no, it didn’t work over night.  I accepted how much He loved me long before I learned to love myself again.  And some days I still struggle with that.  And He will gently remind me in some way just how vastly I am loved.

One of the songs that I listened to over and over was Healer by Dawn Rodriquez (Kari Jobe does a version too for those who prefer her).  That is such a powerful song!!  That song gave me one of my best memories I have, one I will cling to and cherish forever.  Some of you may think I’m crazy, some of you will understand what I’m describing.  The third night after I had started my journey, I woke up from a nightmare….

Let me take a minute to sidetrack here….if you’re on a journey of getting to know God or you’re trying to get back to God, prepare yourself.  The enemy WILL attack.  The closer you get, the more he will try to pull you back.  Stay strong and lean on your faith and God.  It will get better.  You will get better equipped to handle him.  And you will hear his voice less and less the closer you get to God.  No, He will never leave you completely alone.  He doesn’t want to lose you to God.  But with God in you, you get better equipped to deal with him when he does show up.  You can show him the door!

I woke up from a nightmare (the first of many I would have) and I popped my earphones in.  One of the best ways to fight the enemy is with worship!  I put Healer on and laid there and listened.  Tears were pouring down my face as I cried to God.  And then I felt God’s presence in the room.  Which was something new to me.  And then, and I still get goose bumps and tear up when I think back to this, I felt His arms wrap around me.  I could physically feel them.  And I lost it and cried like a baby.  And He held me while I cried.   I had never had an experience like that before, and I haven’t had one like that since.  I can’t explain it.  God knew I needed comfort that night.  I was feeling alone, unloved, the enemy had just showed up in the way of a nightmare, and the Comforter was there when His child called out.  A lot of people aren’t going to believe this, and to be honest, if it hadn’t happened to me, I might not believe it.  That’s ok.  Everyone has their own walk in life to take.  But for me, that night…

God Became real.

And The Journey Begins

When I have bad days, I reflect back to 2 1/2 years ago.  And I see just how far I’ve come and how good my life is now.  Not in the ways some people would think is important….I’m not rich, beautiful, I don’t have a spouse, and I don’t have a high paying job.  But I do have people who love me, a job I love, a contentment in my life, and most importantly I have God and the overwhelming Joy knowing Him brings to my life.

2014…. The year everything changed for me.  Like I said in my earlier posts, I was raised in church and always knew who God was.  But in 2014 He became real.

I was going to church and active in my women’s group at this point.  God had been working, I had been ignoring.  I knew at the end of each church service, I needed to get rid of some things I had and give God my life.  I would have an unbearable weight  come over me, but I ignored it and went on with life.  I had kept so much inside of me and hadn’t dealt with anything from the past 3 years.  Even now its hard to describe to people how I really felt.  Things scar you.  You change.  I had no confidence.  I couldn’t get around a man without shaking.  Because my ex had done so much, I felt worthless, unlovable, and I felt like everyone else saw me the way he had.  I was ashamed.  In January I started having trouble sleeping.  I wasn’t eating.  I would hear voices in my head (no I wasn’t crazy).  I would hear a voice telling me I could do this, I was worth it,  then another saying Look at what you’ve done.  You don’t love God.  You’re a hypocrite.  I was having nightmares.  I know now it was spiritual warfare, but at the time I knew nothing about that.  I thought I was going crazy.  This went on for 2 weeks.

Sunday February 2 I went to church.  At the end of service they had their usual time for you to go pray with someone.  I was standing there and I literally felt like I couldn’t breath.. I felt like I was suffocating.  To this day I don’t remember walking to the front but somehow I ended up going to the preachers wife.  And I lost it.  I was crying so hard she couldn’t understand me.  I was up there for a while and she talked to me and prayed for me, and told me she was there if I ever needed to talk.  I’ve never been one to open up fully about my feelings.  I went home and felt the urge to text her.  But I kept talking myself out of it.  Finally, that night, I text her before I could talk myself out of it and she told me to come over that Tuesday night.

My Journey back to God began………

 

 

2013: The Year Of Preparation

I know my previous posts may seem like I’m babbling, but you had to know some of the background.  I had to let you see a glimpse of my journey through the valley so you would understand my joy at the view from the mountain top.

2013 was a pretty quiet year compared to 2012.  Now that I look back I think God was giving me a year to rest before I started my real journey.   I still had the ongoing divorce and the fights with the ex.  My main thing was protecting my son.  And I hated seeing him used to try to get to me.  I was in church and trying to lean on God more, but in the heat of the moment its sometimes hard to remember that He is in control.  We get so used to trying to solve all our own problems.  But after having the heart attack, I realized I had to mellow out some and change things.  My divorce was final in September. YEA!!!!!  I was starting to change inside although I was, I think, at the time unknowingly fighting it.  I remember every Sunday towards the end of service, I would get such a heavy feeling in my chest.  But I ignored it.  But let me just tell you one thing….When God is working in you, and He’s trying to get your attention, make no mistake, He WILL get it.   In 2014, He finally got my full attention.