You know you’re getting real when as a response to someone’s pleading for answers you respond by reading them a journal entry. Radical community, right? As I sat looking my friend in the eyes, tears streaming down her face I felt helpless. I also saw a little piece of myself being projected right in front of me. Like a holographic image of my soul. Sitting there, pain radiating from her wet eyes. Today’s challenge was to give a self update. But I have always had a hard time simply staying on the surface. It would be easier to talk about the “weather topics” in my life, than the actual struggles. But something that I promised myself, is that I would never write something that was not relevant. I would never waste a readers time with “fluff.” I would be real. So this one’s for you single ladies of the blogging world.
I would say that I am coming into a new season. An exciting one. One that was unexpected, and one that I am learning a great deal about. However, as I sat on the couch with my friend last night, I also thought of other girlfriends that I have recently interacted with. Other woman who are well into their 20’s still asking that life long question, “God, do you REALLY have someone for me? Am I only fooling myself?” At the root of this question, and I know this because I have felt it, is the real question, “How long do I hope for?” When hoping becomes a painful thing. I have spent most of my life hiding behind a lot of things. Not daring to ask this question because I didn’t truly want to know the answer. So I kept pressing forward. While my hope seemed to be lagging behind me. It was easier when I was 22, 23, 24, 25, even 26, but as 27, 28, and even 29 began to pass hope seemed to be farther behind than in my earlier 20’s.
As I mentioned, I find myself staring hope in the face at this moment in time, but when I say, this is recent, I mean that. Like 3 weeks recent. Like 3 weeks ago this hope I am talking about was a small ember. An ember so small, and barely holding on, that I was hoping I wouldn’t extinguish it with one tear drop. I found myself being more open and honest with God than I had ever been. Because the truth is, even in my quietest times with the Lord, we rarely spoke of that dreaded word: Marriage. But this year has been different. Actually just the last couple of months really. When I dared to finally let the Lord into that room of “faded hopes and dreams.” Letting Him help me sort through all that I had discarded there. While presenting myself as “content” on the surface.
So when I say I understand the dreaded question, the feeling of hope dying, and the unanswered questions, and the feelings of inadequacy, and impatience, and sadness. I mean it. I wish I could look every young woman reading this in the eye and somehow, through our eye contact, give you a transfusion of this newly birthed hope. But these words will have to act as a salve. This “Blogtember Challenge” was to give an update on how my life is going, how my goals are going, what I am “up to.” I could spend time talking about me, but really I wanted to use this opportunity to talk TO you, single friend.
To tell you not to lose hope, to not lower your standards, to not give in to that awful, societal game of comparison, to not shut down on God, to keep those lines of communication open. To ask as many questions as you want, and to fight back. Don’t let the enemy steal your hope. One of my favorite quotes of all time comes from an old war film, “Man can endure incredible amounts of pain and suffering, as long as he has hope.” You too are in a battle. A battle to continue on this single journey and finish well. To not compromise, change, or alter your course. To stay firm in your convictions, strong in your knowledge of who God has made you to be, and unwavering in your trust in His goodness.
So, here’s the real part. A prayer/dialogue I wrote in my journal last month, that I hope will not only encourage you, but that perhaps echoes as a prayer for yourself:
“I do want forever. I want more than good, higher than average. I don’t want to settle because it’s “time.” Thank You for valuing me. For protecting my heart in ways I’ll never know. And yet making me feel so desirable. Thank You for calling me out. Setting me aside. For guarding my heart. I have the utmost confidence in Your match making abilities and that You haven’t put me on the shelf forever. For even the shelf is lovely. The way that you care and protect the shelf. They way you dust it daily, and spend ALL Your time perfecting me. I sense You’re so excited to give me away. Because you know how good this is going to be. Help me to finish well. I so desperately want to finish well. I don’t want to settle for “Saul” when “David’s” right around the corner. Give me the continued perseverance, endurance, patience, and steadfastness, to run this race well. Grant me a partner to accomplish your will here on Earth. For You, Yourself, said it was not good for man to be alone. So I am asking for that partner. The BEST partner for ME. A man after your own heart. Despite the world’s standards of what they think a man should be. You better than anyone know my heart’s desires. More importantly what I NEED, not just what I want. I only want His heart to match yours. Give me the continued hope to get there.”
After that entry I felt him simply respond, “Child, watch and pray, find in Me your all in all.” My prayer for you is as you “watch and pray” your hope will rest in Him. It will come to life, and that in His timing He will reveal His beautiful plan for both of us.
May we find hope in vulnerability.