Everything seemed to pile up on my shoulders as the weekend got nearer.
Earlier in the week, I was almost caught up in three riots because of the elections. I was experiencing loud, obnoxious thoughts that were not my own while teaching the kids; blaring lies were engulfing my very being. After a bed bug scare, and actually finding tiny bugs in my bed, I was physically exhausted all week. I was too paranoid to fall asleep, and I felt as if a million bugs were crawling all over me. I had received not-so-awesome news about some health issues one of my family members have been experiencing for far too long, and it has taken a downwards spiral into unbearable pain. My heart hurts for her. I was also experiencing some severe headaches and dizziness throughout the week.
Although I was able to take each hit with my feet planted firmly in the ground, proclaiming that I am only strong in Christ, I finally broke down.
Let’s be real; I lost it.
I completely let my guard down. On Friday night, I had had enough. I was done. It was the first, genuine time since being here that I wanted out. I wanted to get on the next plane, and collapse in my mom and dad’s arms.
I cried. And cried, and cried, and cried. I wanted to stop in fear and stubbornness that I was giving satisfaction to the enemy through the tears that dripped off my cheeks.
But as I cried, listened to worship music, read a few encouraging verses and messages from friends and family, and desperately called out to The Lord, He reminded me of what I had learned in the middle of the week.
And today, He has taught me the rest of lesson on this beautiful, Valentine’s Day.
I love to go out on the veranda. I love to read a book, my bible, colour, journal, relax, while the sun goes down and the kids play their games in the yard. It’s beautiful. I savour it.
In the middle of the week, I opened up “One Thousand Gifts” by Ann Voskamp, and tried to take my mind off of some of my stresses. As she talked about savouring moments, and taking time to thank God, I quickly closed the book and grabbed my journal. God was in the midst of showing me something amazing.
I’ve never really liked Valentine’s Day. Of course I love the chocolate part of it; who doesn’t, am I right? But being single, especially on a day like today, has been difficult. For the girl who is the youngest of the family, whose sisters were all engaged by the age I am right now, and currently all have beautiful children, I feel a lot of pressure to get my life going. I cannot express to you how many times I’ve heard, “So when are you getting married? From your family’s history, you’ve got about a year left! Better hurry up, and find a man!”
Thanks, but not the best choice of words for someone who is already struggling in this area. In fact, for about a year, I began to really resent singleness. To me, singleness has presented itself to be lonely. Lonely, silent, discouraging, not meeting up to the family deadline.
Am I even a Brinson if I’m not married by the end of this year?
As I madly scribbled down notes, I didn’t realize that it would play a bigger part in my life.
In this world, we are constantly being rushed. Hurry up, and graduate. Hurry up, and get a career. Hurry up, and get married. Hurry up, and have kids. Hurry up, and make my coffee. Hurry up and load, stupid Netflix. Hurry up, life is short; time is running out.
And all this hurrying, for what?
To live selfishly and to satisfy our flesh temporarily until we realize it’s not working anymore?
We waste so many moments, so much of our lives, trying to get from A to B.
But there’s a reason why the Bible continually talks about how meaningless our lives are, how little our time is, how fast our lives just wither away.
I wrote in my journal:
“We have to savour the beautiful, little moments that God so graciously grants us. But not in hopes of quickly satisfying the flesh. It’s not to do it for the memories we’ll create, or even to feel happy, selfishly, for ourselves.
Shan’t we savour all moments? Not just the beautiful, blatantly easy ones to cherish, but also the recklessly tragic moments too? Aren’t we called to be thankful under all circumstances?”
Answer: we savour purely for the glory of God.
The moment our hearts cry out in genuine thanksgiving, we overflow with an unexplainable joy. Thanksgiving is the most unselfish act possible. We only find true joy when the spotlight is not on us, but reflected back on Him.
When we truly savour, cherish, treasure a moment, a single, profound moment, our souls are instantly enlightened, as if we have discovered a new colour of the rainbow.
We are full; we are content.
True savory means thankfulness, which results in joy.
And who are we to believe that we are even entitled to the gift of joy after we give thanks?
I should be giving praise, worship, adoration, thanksgiving, my everything simply because my God is the Giver of Life, and He deserves it all; not because I am expecting something in return for playing the part well, especially since I absolutely do not deserve anything.
As I woke up today to another dreaded Valentine’s Day, a day where singleness utterly sucks, I was not thinking about being thankful. Truth is, I know that I should enjoy this time of my life; I’ve known that for awhile. I have tried for awhile, and I haven’t been able to figure out why I struggle so much.
And no; it’s nothing to do with trying to fill a hole that only Christ can fill. Trust me; I’ve worked through those issues.
Today my eyes were finally opened up to why; why has my heart been so heavy over singleness?
First of all, if you have read my blog post entitled, “Pure,” then you would know I have struggled in being cleansed from my past. That’s been the first step of finding out this struggle; accepting my new, pure self in Christ. I cannot, and would not want to, imagine bringing the shadows of all the guilt and shame from my past into my marriage.
Secondly, I have had a broken heart that desperately needed mending. Not just from scarring, past relationships, but also in not knowing what love really means. Getting closer to Christ has shown me His character; He truly is the definition of love.
Thirdly, being content. It’s been so hard to ask God to give me strength and to ask Him to use me just as I am, while I have this amazing, God-given desire for a family. It’s been even more trying to trust in His timing. I just want it all right now; hurry up. However, He has repeatedly reminded me of His Father-role in my life; He knows exactly what is best for me.
And now, being thankful. Today, He showed me that I need to take these three points just one step further. He wants me to savour this time; to be thankful. He wants me to not only being thankful for this time of singleness, but also to rejoice and celebrate it.
How the heck am I suppose to do that?
Savouring the moments I have right now. Cherishing the good moments, as well as the trying, hard ones. Treasuring how He is working in my present, and my future, for my good. Letting go, and letting Him to continually chisel me into the woman He has created me to be. Choosing to let God work in and through me during the silences I feel so often.
So for the first time since being a child, I have been able to look boldly at Valentine’s Day, and I am content with being alone. I look back at the week that I just suffered through, and I am thankful. I look forward to my completely unclear future, and I am cherishing the present. I am choosing to savour the moments God graciously grants me, and He just so happens to grant me His joy. I am choosing to treasure my singleness, as I am realizing it’s not such a bad thing.
For the purpose of glorifying Christ, I choose to be thankful, and I choose to savour it all; my singleness, my awful week, my weaknesses, my laughter, my sorrows, my inability to see what’s in front of me. Through this, He will continue to undeservedly bless me by watering me. That’s just the kind of amazing God that He is. And although the hard, overwhelming days come and go, I know I am exactly where He wants me to be: right here. He makes all things work together for my good; so stop worrying, stop stressing, stop crying, and just savour it.
“You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand. My entire lifetime is just a moment to you; at best, each of us is but a breath.” – Psalm 39:5
“Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” – Romans 8:28
“That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on the things that cannot be seen.” – 2 Corinthians 4:16-18a