Sunday, August 31, 2014

Pursue to Woo

I think it is time for another personal post. I have been doing a lot of thinking and reflecting lately. To understand, you need to know where I am coming from, so, if you haven't already, read a previous blog post I wrote about seven months ago and then come back and read this one. I promise, it's worth it. Or, if you remember that post, already know my heart and past, or just don't want to read it, you can just keep on chuggin' along on this post.

I have been blessed with many opportunities to travel during my life, but, each time I do I learn something new about myself. That's the funny thing about traveling, you not only discover new adventurous and beautiful places around the world, but you discover a part of yourself you wouldn't have otherwise. As I sit here in London and think of all the ways traveling has changed me, I am excited and frightened by my upcoming year.

A huge thing I have dealt with the past year is my singleness. One of the many conversations I have had with my friends on this subject was about how there are no good biblically based books on how to deal with your singleness during the "ugly stages". Everything I've read about singleness only talks about how it's "a gift from God" and a "blessing", amongst other things. Sure, I think you need to get to a place where you believe those things (I am almost there), but when my ex broke up with me the last thing I ever thought was, "this is God blessing me". Yes, I had to run to God to begin to deal with it, I had to seek out counseling and community amongst friends, but I never viewed it as a "gift", and I still have trouble thinking of it in that light. Some things I will tell you about my singleness: It has brought me closer to God, I literally could not have come through the past year without his understanding and forgiving guidance. It has empowered me in a way I never knew was possible. People are describing me as independent and strong, those are not usually words people choose to describe me (try dependent and needy). But viewing it as a gift and blessing is still a work in progress.

Okay, so, if you read my previous post, you should already be able to see how far I have come since February.
1. I didn't get the internships or jobs I was applying for at the time
2. I decided to apply to grad school, got accepted, and moved to London
3. My experience in Israel was life changing and I had the quickest healing experience I have ever had after an ended relationship

Some ways I have not progressed very rapidly in since February (real talk, y'all):
1. Living in Europe as a single woman who also happens to be a hopeless romantic is extremely difficult
2. I still want my ex to look me up and see how far I have come since he told me my degree in art would basically amount to nothing. I'm in freaking London and have the entire world at my fingertips!
3. I still believe the lies he told me during our relationship, although they are not as loud and prevalent in my mind.
4. I am no where near ready to start a new relationship, even though I want one (don't all of us single girls just want a man to hold us after a long tough day? Slash, everyday).

However, I am so quick to forget my Savior. My travels to London have provided me an insight into God's wooing of me daily. His pursuit of my life is not only perfect, but incomprehensible. As if having the opportunity to live, study, and soon work in London isn't enough of a testimony to God's provision in my life, here is an example from just today that is much more personal. I did not want to go to church today, I was making every excuse in my mind why I shouldn't go, thinking of all the reasons I could tell my mom and friends of why I'm not going, or just not go and say that I did, but, my friend texted me first about meeting up, so, reluctantly, I went to church. Talk about God showing up. My friend ended up praying over me, saying she just felt led to, and her words were Jesus to me today and really made me step back and look at how consistently God has been pursuing me daily throughout the past year, but especially the past two months.

He is so tuned in to my hearts desires. I have crazy wanderlust and He made it possible for me to be here, in London. Seriously, there is no way I got here by any of my own doing. So why should I not trust him with such a small thing as my future relationships?

He is my perfect Bride Groom. He knows me better than any man every will, my wants and needs and desires. Actually, He knows me better than I know myself. Seven months ago I had no idea what my future held, where I wanted to be, or what I wanted to be doing. And, here I am loving the life I am living. When I think of being in a relationship, I realize I am already in one. Why do I need a boyfriend or husband when I already have a perfect Groom who provides for me daily in ways no man ever could. Seven months ago no man would be able to tell me what my future held, nor would I be able to trust him to provide my desires. But, God was already here in London with me knowing full well why I wasn't getting those jobs and internships I was applying for in February.

I am also rediscovering my identity. All the lies my ex told me and fed me on the reg are slowly being wiped away by God's truth and love. When I think of His pursuit of me, no man will ever be good enough, sure he could fulfill my physical desires of snuggling up by a window while it rains, or taking me out on a date for high tea, but never could he ever woo me the way my Creator does. And it is with this confidence that I can fully accept my singleness.

So, looking back at where I was in February, a dark, depressing state with no way out, and seeing where I am now, a healing single woman in pursuit of her dreams, I can say that I've come a long way thanks to the difficult work God has done in my heart. The list goes on and on of what man can not and will not be able to do in my life. Only God can heal my heart completely and encourage me daily, never faulting, never ceasing, never demeaning. Am I fully healed? No. Do I still long for the affection of man? Yes. Does living in London have its difficulties? Yes. But, God provides and isn't going to stop providing, of that I have proof (the past 22 years of my life).

As I go to bed tonight and think of what new obstacles and lies I will be faced with tomorrow, I can look back on my past year of singleness and thank God for getting me out of a relationship that was extremely unhealthy, and be grateful for the blessing that I get to experience everyday in my singleness of God's unrelenting fight for my heart. He is always always always providing for me in ways I didn't even know I needed and the sweetness I get from dwelling in His presence is better than anything any man can offer me.

"Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words." Romans 8:26

"O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways... Where shall I go from your spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence?... If I say, 'Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the lights about me by night,' even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you. For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them... Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts!" Psalm 139

"For the Maker is your husband, the Lord of hosts is his name; and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; the God of the whole earth he is called." Isaiah 54:5

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7

"You shall no more be termed Forsaken, and your land shall no more be termed Desolate, but you shall be called My Delight Is in Her and your land Married; for the Lord delights in you, and your land shall be married. For as a young man marries a young woman, so shall your sons marry you, and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you." Isaiah 62:4-5

"For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken. On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God." Psalm 62:5-7

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