Finding Purpose in Singleness

I read a blog today titled, Singled Out.  The author wrote something that made me smile with a new realization.

 “When I meet another single Christian woman in her 30s, I automatically envision how God has used her singleness to teach her wisdom, selflessness, self-control, joy, patience, and faith because that’s what God has done in my own life.”

I love this! I don’t think many people automatically envision these qualities. And, I sometimes forget, that is exactly what being single has taught me.

While singleness has of course at times brought about feelings of loneliness, what I have learned and how I have grown during this season has been invaluable.

Our society often views singleness as a curse.  I can sometimes sense the pity from others when they find out I am single, but I can honestly say that I am content. I know that God has used this time in my life to shape me into a stronger and better woman. During this season of my life my relationship with my Savior has grown and He has been preparing me to be a better wife for the man I will one day marry.

Thank you Jesus for being with me every step of the way. For comforting me in my pain, reassuring me in my doubt, and using this time in my life to make me a better woman. Thank you for helping me become a woman with:

Wisdom. Selflessness. Self-Control. Joy. Patience. Faith.

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Be Fruitful

I chose you, and put you in the world to bear fruit, fruit that will last…

John 15:16

After God created the first man and woman, the first command He gave to mankind was to be fruitful. God created us to bring value to the world.

This weekend at our High School Graduation the commencement message was on the importance of living a fruitful life. I love what the speaker said. “In order to have a fruitful life, put yourself in a situation where you have to trust in Him.”

Although this sounds simple, in reality it is often a difficult thing to do. We like to be comfortable. We like safety-nets. We like to know that we have things in order and taken care of. But what happens when God calls us beyond our comfort zone? When He calls us to trust fully in Him and not in ourselves?

I love the story of Abraham. It inspires me and reminds me that when God calls us to step out in faith He often does not show us the whole picture, but if we trust in Him – He will prove himself faithful.

Hebrews 11:8­9 (NIV) By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.

Sometimes God calls us to obey Him in areas where He doesn’t give all of the details but he expects us to trust him. God stripped Abraham of his security. He said leave your country, your people, and your father’s household. Not only did God ask Abraham to leave what was familiar, He also did not give him the details of where he was going or how he would get there. God was putting Abraham in a position of complete reliance on Him.

When we choose to trust in God and step out in faith that does not mean life will be a bed of roses. Abraham made mistakes and faced trials along the way, but just because we face trials it does not mean that we are not in God’s will for lives.

In scripture James reminds us, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

Abraham chose to obey God and he persevered through the trials; as a result, God delivered His promise and Abraham’s descendants became as many as the sands on the beach. Not only did God bless Abraham by giving him many offspring, He also blessed Abraham by pronouncing him righteous and giving him salvation.

God sometimes requires that we obey Him regardless of how illogical it seems. That way, we can show that we really trust Him. When we are called into a situation where we must rely on God – He will bless us to make HIS name known.

Be Fruitful

Know your strengths: God created each of us with something to offer this world so that we can live a fruitful life

Know the needs: There are many hurts and needs in this world. How can you use your strengths to meet those needs?

Make a plan: That doesn’t mean you will have all the details, “But don’t begin until you count the cost” – Luke 14:28

Step out in Faith: “Nothing is impossible with God” – Luke 1:37

Invested

I am not very knowledgeable about the different forms of financing and investments, but what I do know is that an investment is putting money into something with the expectation of gain. Therefore, I think it would be appropriate to say that a wise investor would exercise much thought and consideration before making an investment in something. I know I would want to invest my resources in such a way that I would have the greatest chance for return.

 

Today, during church, this thought came to me:

Is God reaping a return for what He has invested in me? 

 

Within me God has invested specific passions, gifts, talents, and values that I need in order to fulfill the good works that He has prepared for me to do. He invested in me so that I can live a life that makes His name known. Ephesians 2:10 reminds us that: We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

My pastor reminded me today that God wants to change the world though me. It was a wake-up call. Our world desperately needs to find Christ. I am not guaranteed a tomorrow. I don’t know when Christ will return or  how much time I have to complete the tasks God needs me to complete. I want to live in such a way that others are coming to know Christ.  I want to make sure that I am using what God so carefully invested within me to accomplish His will for my life. 

Romans 6:16 says that whatever you pursue – that is what you belong to. Reading that stings a bit. I admit I have often pursued things of convenience and fulfilling my fleshly desires rather than being obedient to His call. I don’t want to belong to anything other than God; therefore, I must pursue Him. As I seek Him – He has never failed to respond. I seek Him because, it is in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. The proof that we love God comes when we keep His commandments and are obedient to what He asks us to do – and the things He asks of us are not at all troublesome.

 God has invested supernatural power inside of me, and more than anything I want Him to  gain from what He has invested into my life.

My prayer is the same prayer Paul prayed to the faithful believers in Ephesus:

 I ask God of our Master, Jesus Christ, the God of glory – to make me intelligent and discerning in knowing Him personally, my eyes focused and clear, so that I can see exactly what it is He is calling me to do, to grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life He has for His followers, oh the utter extravagance of His work in us who trust Him – endless energy, boundless strength!

Delayed Gratification

 

Hebrews 6:11-12

We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, so that what you hope for may be fully realized. We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.

A couple of weekends ago my sister came to visit me and we were making a Father’s Day dinner for my dad. We decided on the menu and were in the process of making a pineapple bunt cake for him. But, for some reason, the cake was just not baking the way it should have been. The oven was not heating properly. Every few moments my sister would get impatient and check the oven to see if anything had happened. Finally, I said (not in the sweetest voice I have ever used), “If you don’t stop opening the oven every second it is never going to finish!”

I told her I was surprised, because it was usually me who was the impatient one. She replied with, “But I need to see right away that the cake is going to turn out right.”

Just as my sister wanted the instant satisfaction of knowing that our cake was going to be perfect, I often find myself looking for that instant gratification. Waiting is hard. Having patience is sometimes tough.   

We hear all the time that we live in a “microwave society” where we expect everything to happen with the snap of a finger. We don’t have to plant the garden, wait for the veggies to grow, and then harvest them.  We can just run to the store and get what we need. Delayed gratification is a concept hard for many to grasp.

I have heard stories all my life of how my great-grandpa cut down every single tree, transported it to the saw mill, cut it, and transported it back to his land to build a house for his family. It took persistence and patience for my grandfather to build his home. He had a dream to build his wife and 7 children a home, but in order for his dream to translate into reality his dream had to translate into work.

We want to bask in the pleasure of the final result without the painstaking efforts it takes to get there.

If I am going REALLY reach my goals I am going to sometimes have to delay gratification. I am going to have to do the tough thing instead of the fun thing. There will be obstacles that arise, but any goal worth achieving will have obstacles to overcome. If we are going to fulfill the purpose that God has ordained for us we have to have a long-term view so that when difficulties arise, we can preserve though it knowing that what is on the other side is worth all of the effort and hard work.

Sometimes we will find ourselves in God’s waiting room. Waiting for Him to show us our next step or the path we should take.

God’s timing is perfect and mine ours is not.

I am learning every day that I have to be patient and persistent. And when I find myself slacking in either area, I have to remind myself of this: A GOD GIVEN VISION WILL ALWAYS BE FULFILLED and I know that God is the author of my vision.

~

“Cast not away your confidence because God defers his performances. That which does not come in your time, will be hastened in his time, which is always the more convenient season. God will work when he pleases, how he pleases, and by what means he pleases. He is not bound to keep our time, but he will perform his word, honour our faith, and reward them that diligently seek him.”  ~ Matthew Henry

Time for some FUN!

Once again it is almost the weekend and I am not complaining, but at the same time I cannot believe how fast time flies by. My jaw literally dropped today when I realized that what I thought I did yesterday, I actually did an entire week ago. It just cannot be possible! The 4th chapter of John reminds us that we are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. I am confident that unless we intentionally live life on purpose, we will look back someday and ask: Where did the time go? What did I do?

Just the other day a friend of mine suggested that we tell each other one thing that we think the other should work on or improve during the upcoming year. Her suggestion to me was that I take more advantage of the moment I am in and not always say “One Day.” I have a lot of “professional” goals and aspirations that I hope to accomplish. However, it has often led me to tunnel vision with a one-track mind. I know God created me for a specific work and that He has called me to an important mission, but that doesn’t mean He does not want me to take time and enjoy all the amazing things the world He created has to offer.

In an article, written by Rick Warren, about the purpose driven life he wrote: Jesus doesn’t want you to live without fun. Jesus spoke more about being happy than He did about heaven. The apostle Matthew spent three years with Jesus and he wrote, “[Jesus] came, enjoying life” (Matthew 11:19 PH).

Even Jesus, who came to the earth for a specific purpose, took time to enjoy life. I believe the life Jesus lived on earth was the perfect example of how we should live. Jesus lived life on purpose, but He also enjoyed it. So, as a fun way to motivate myself to try to things and to enjoy life I am creating a new bucket list. I say “new” because I have created them before, but never kept up with them. I just turned 28 and I am going to write a list of 30 things I want to do before I turn 30. If I don’t accomplish them all, oh well. My 30-by-30 list won’t be just another “to-do” list where I feel the pressure to mark another thing off. My hope is just to remind myself to have a little fun and enjoy this earth God created.

So I would like to propose a toast to a lot more “Todays” in my future and a little less “One Days”!!!

I am off to start dreaming of all the possibilities and as soon as my list is created I will post it!

A Night to Remember

Day: Monday, October 10th
Time: 9:45pm
Place: My bedroom 
Mood: loved and fully loaded
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I have a million things to do to prepare for my job tomorrow and I don’t want to do it . Don’t get me wrong I love my new job, BUT, I wish I could just soak up the love of my Father tonight. There is not a lot I am going to write but I have to take a moment to record what happened at church tonight.

I am so overcome with emotion… and with pure PEACE.

I just have to breathe it in. Inhale. Exhale. Inhale.

ahhhhhh….. God is good, folks, God is good.
Okay, so on with the story….

Matt Shull spoke at church on Sunday about destiny and that is when I realized I was finally “Planted”. Well, he spoke again tonight continuing preaching about destiny and how God needs us full and fully loaded to accomplish His destiny for our life.

Tonight…
I was filled.
I was re-loaded.
I was restored.

“God’s annointing is on you.All that you have lost will be given back to you and your life will have a 180 turn around this year. it is all coming together.”

Big things are coming. Watch out world!

Tonight I am filled with peace and joy. I want to bottle this feeling up so I never forget how I felt on this day.

THANK YOU JESUS!

I’m Letting Go!

Day: Friday, September 30th
Time: 1:00pm
Place: In Beautiful Green Country  
Mood: excited, scared, free falling…
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Learning How to Live According to God’s Beautiful Timing
(The original title)

God’s timing is perfect. End of story.

But, this is one lesson that I seem to find myself struggling with on almost a daily basis. I am having a hard time of letting go of control. UGH! Why does that control keep sneaking in? I think I feel like if I control the timing then I control people’’s reactions and opinions of me. I have to daily remind myself that God is the One who I seek to please and follow. Sometimes I feel God telling me “”Let’s Get This Party Started!!!”” but out of fear (UGH! another ugly word) I am holding back. When will I figure out that if I want the best life, the one God has planned for me, I have to stop trying to hang on?

When I let go of control, the big picture comes into focus, and then I get scared that PEOPLE will question me. So like always I grab the handle bars in order to have control of the speed and the direction in which I am traveling.

Right now I am praying that I will surrender wholly and completely to Jesus. That I will not fear what is around the corner or people’s reactions. I know He will work out the details and that it is not up to me to figure everything out and make everyone happy and… and… and…

————-

As I was writing this blog I stopped to pray and in the back of my mind  I could hear the words “I’’m letting go”. I could not put a finger on the song that I was hearing so I did an internet search and realized it was the song I’’m Letting Go, by Francesca Battistelli.

Well, I listened to it and my heart is now pounding. I am having a struggle between taking the leap of faith and declaring God’s plans for my life, which was not the intended purpose of this blog, or continuing to hold it inside of me, waiting for what I believe is the perfect timing.

I watched Francesca explain the story behind I’m Letting Go and this is what she said:

“I’’m letting go is a song I wrote pretty soon after moving to Nashville a couple of years ago. I was sort of in this place where I had just graduated college and I was learning a new industry. And in this new life I was undertaking I did not know how things were going to turn out. I left a lot behind – my family, friends, home, church, everything I had known; everything that was comfortable.… I started telling my producers how I was feeling about needing to let go… and that is where this song I’’m Letting Go came from.

Wow. Her story reminded me very much of the point I am at in my life right now. The first line of her song is: My heart beats standing on the edge.
That is EXACTLY where I am right now, and I have to make that decision to take a leap of faith off the edge. I have to make the decision to trust what I believe God is telling me to do. At this moment I am having an internal battle…I keep telling myself I will come back and tell God’s plan for my life in a minute. I am thinking I will do it soon, maybe later today or tonight…. or tomorrow. But I feel the Holy Spirit saying why not NOW?

I may not do everything right…, but God sees my heart

So…….

I’’m Letting Go!

I am going to attend Graduate school to earn a Master’s Degree in Human Relations at OU-Tulsa. My prayer is to not accrue any additional school debt so to benefit my capability to be awarded scholarships I am moving to Tahlequah to get a job through Cherokee Nation.

Ahhhhh…!!!!!!

I said it…. And it feels like I’’m falling, but that’’s what it’s like to believe.
I have to remember that God makes ALL things beautiful in HIS time and…
 …
– Even though leaving my comfort zone is hard.
– Even though my friends, family, and church mean everything to me.
– Even though there is fear in the unknown.
– Even though I am letting go of the life I planned for me.

I know His plan is better than my plan
and that He will work everything together for good.
He is holding me in His hands and I won’t be afraid.
~
I’m Letting Go
by Francesca Battistelli