What If We Have This All Wrong?

And by this, I mean Relationships. 

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding…Proverbs 3:5-6

What if we understand relationships to be something different from what God intends them to be?

And by we, I mean you and me.

What if my desire causes me to trust the Lord with only part of my heart?

And by desire, I mean my desire to be in a relationship with a man, not just any man: the man God has planned to join me in our story.

I see desires as gifts from God.  Gifts are good, right?  They certainly are, as long as they are opened by God’s hands and not my own.  On my own, I will spoil the excitement waiting underneath the pretty paper.  Trusting my whole heart to God means letting Him have back those gifts He has blessed me with.  For in His hands, is where the gifts will unfold exactly the way He planned.

In my almost twenty-five years of life, I have wanted so badly to understand relationships.

When I was younger, I wanted to understand why all of these old couples were holding hands, while I thought the boy that tried to hold my hand at recess was infested with cooties.

When I was a little bit older, I wanted to understand how to get one of these formerly infested “boys” to hold my hand.

Even older, and I wanted to understand how to marry this hand holding man one day.

What if we weren’t meant to understand everything about relationships?

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding…Proverbs 3:5-6

We do not lean on the understanding of what we see with our own eyes; instead we trust our Lord in Heaven with the unseen.

What I see in our world pertaining to relationships makes me want to pluck my eyes out!

I see men treating women as though they are less than a person.  I see abuse being confused for love.  I see women throwing themselves at men for a chance to feel loved, accepted, worthy?  I see divorces because people are no longer happy.  I see marriages that are falling apart and no one fighting to keep them together…

There is just so much I see that truly breaks my heart.  With all of this in sight, there is also something else I see: THE NEED FOR A RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD IN THE MIDST OF IT ALL.

One day I opened my Bible to understand this relationship with God.  I have found, opening the Bible, opens our hearts to a relationship with GodThe heart breaking relationships that flood my vision can easily be restored when we commit ourselves first and foremost to God Himself!

Through our relationship God has given me advice for the relationship I will have with the man He intends for me to marry one day.  I do not see this advice carried out anywhere in the world I am living in.   I know that people think I am crazy for not conforming to what our world says about relationships, but I choose to not conform because of the following truth God has instilled in my life:

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will…Romans 12:2

The relationship I am holding our for is one that is rarely seen in our world.  This relationship is how God intended “I do” relationships to be: one in which I will be united to my husband who understands God’s love and God’s Word, and desires to let his relationship with me reflect the relationship between Christ and his church!  This is not going to be with a man conforming to the world, but rather someone who is standing out in God’s plan for His life.  I am not supposed to understand how this relationship will unfold.  I trust the hands that hold this relationship enough to do all of the understanding for me.  As He removes each layer of wrapping, God will reveal to me all I need to understand.

Thank you Jesus!


Waiting for You

I have been wanting to write about this topic for about a year now and as I stare at my little growing cotton plant I decided to finally write!

It all started when I found myself smack dab in the middle of “waiting on the Lord”.  There are songs with that sentence in it, books that discuss what this means, it is in the Bible, lots and lots and lots.  I never really understood what these words meant until I found myself doing nothing other than waiting on the Lord. 

Whenever I do not understand something in the Bible I always ask God to teach me to help me understand His word more and more.  God used a little cotton plant to teach me a big lesson!

Have you ever planted a seed before?

I just recently planted a cotton seed that my sweet gram gave me.  I was so excited to plant this seed and see it grow and eventually have my very own cotton ball!  As I wait and wait for this seed to turn into cotton, I cannot help but smile when I water the little thing every other day, because when I do I realize this seed is SO MUCH like my life.

As a girl who had no other choice than to run into God’s open arms one night, I truly believe God is my Savior.  The one who created me and healed me and took me out of a life of terror and brought me into a life of freedom, eventually to be spent with Him in Heaven one day.  I see so clearly how God took me out of the dirt that was swallowing me up in the weeds of life.  I remember the day He planted me in His soil, the kind that is good for me.  The kind that helps and protects me from those nasty weeds.  It did not take long before I was growing in this new soil.  With God’s Word as my water and nutrients, I was pretty soon flourishing in this new soil. 

Have you ever wondered how long it takes a cotton seed to turn into cotton?  You probably haven’t, but since I am attempting to grow a cotton seed by my windowsill…it happens to be something I wonder about from time to time.  When I planted the seed it instantly grew into a little green leaf.  Now, one month in and I feel like this little green leaf has hit a plateau.  I keep watering it every other day, but it does not look like it is growing one bit!  Naturally I am not a very patient person.  I want this leaf to turn into a cotton plant, and I want it to happen overnight!  That is not going to happen though.  I just have to trust that taking care of this plants greatest needs…its thirst for water and making sure it is sitting close to the warmth of the bright sunlight…will help this little leaf grow into the plant it is meant to be one day.  I have no idea how long it will take.  I know each day even though I cannot see any difference in this little leaf, that it is indeed growing.  I need to just be patient and enjoy the process!

Do you see where I am going with this?  This is my life!

I remember back to that day with my Savior, when He shook the ground beneath me, and planted me firmly in His love.  It was in an instant that my life was changed for the better.  I grew in my relationship with Him more and more every day.  Then something happened.  I too, hit a plateau of sorts.  I was still growing, but it was different.  I could not see my growth.  I felt like I was waiting for the Lord to use what He had brought me through for His goodness all to bring Him glory.  I know I was waiting for Him to turn me into the someone He created me to be.  This is a process on His time table, not mine.  I know regardless of what I see each morning, I am still growing closer to Him as long as I stay obedient to His word and thirst for Him alone.  The work God is doing in our lives holds an eternal purpose.  We are not always going to see the growth in this life.  We just need to be concerned with what God is using to grow us…His word and life. 

As our focus is on Him, we will have a day when we wake up and we are no longer waiting, instead we will be looking down from the highest point next to our Savior, filled with immeasurable joy because it is then we will see with eyes wide open that we have been growing higher and higher in Him all along.  What a day that will be to see our lives right where they were always meant to be…with our Master Gardener in Heaven!

Sewing Together The Scraps

I love my grandmother for many reasons, being my pen-pal is one of my favorite reasons.  I am thankful for the letter I just received from her in the mail.  This letter held a piece of truth from God’s heart to hers…to mine.  I am so blessed to have such a close relationship with my gram, one that inspires me and helps me grow in my own  relationship with God.

In this last letter, my gram was telling me about the scarf she just finished knitting.  My gram knits and crochets so many beautiful items!  Any time you receive a hand made anything from my gram, it is something to cherish because of the love she pours out into each one.  She did not have high hopes though for her latest scarf.  She decided it was time to use up all of the scraps of yarn she has laying around by using them all in the same scarf.  In her letter she explained that the scarf turned out better than she expected it to.  She then explained with more of the scraps she is sewing together patches for a blanket.  The last part of the letter is the part that really spoke to my heart:

When I think of Jesus giving up His life on the cross for me, I can only say use my life however you can Lord!  Comfortable or not!

That sentence right there is another major reason why I love my gram so much!  Our hearts are connected by this desire that we share.  This desire to live our lives sold out to God! 

Her little story about the scraps of yarn truly got me to thinking about something.

All we have to offer God are little scrapings of our lives compared to what He has given to us: His One and Only Son!

Even as I give over my entire life to God when I start off each crazy day, it is still only scraps compared to the life of my Savior who gave it all so that I may be free from the sin that so easily tries to entangle me. 

Sometimes I become discouraged.  I find myself saying things like,

“Lord, this part of me is too awful, too shameful, too (insert other here).  I don’t think you can use this part of me.”

Our lives are filled with scraps of yarn, but they come in those parts of us that we need to give up to God, but don’t know how to or are scared to, or have grown oh so comfortable with. 

When we finally decide to get rid of those scraps, and give them over to God where they belong, that is when God is finally able to sew together our scraps to make us into the one He created us to be.  We have Jesus’ love as the thread sewing all of our scraps together with His scars.  What a beautiful sight. 

We never need to be discouraged about giving God our scraps.  We are His masterpiece, scraps and all! 

Just like my gram’s scarf and soon to be blanket, when we look at what God has made with our scraps, we find He is able to make such beautiful things out of each and every one of our scraps.

Thank You Jesus for taking us out of our comfort zone in order to see that our scraps are sewn together perfectly with You.  Thank You Jesus for giving up your life–for me.  Please help me to give up my scraps for You.