To write this specific blog post, I am taking a risk. A vulnerable risk. I only ask that you read my words with care and tenderness, and keep in mind I am still living these words on a daily basis.
Last summer, I wrote on Anchored Voices a blog post titled “Dreams From the Threshing Floor“. To summarize the post, I wrote about my heart journey in the first two-thirds of the year. How God wants us to come to Him with all of our anxieties, fears, hopes and dreams. We can meet Him there on the threshing floor, be stripped of any inhibitions, and allow ourselves to be fully revealed to Him. It is in this place that He takes all that we bring and begins to sift through the chaff of lies, fears, and anything not of Him. He listens, and then lets them fall to the wayside. What is left after the intense sifting is the wheat of truth and hope.
I wrote about this sifting of my heart desires and thoughts, but I chose not to delve into specifics. It was too raw, too fresh. It stung. But lately, I have been pressing into God’s goodness, and learning what it looks like to seek after Him when the “ifs” haven’t come. It’s time to come clean, and bare a little of my soul. I share after much prayer, tears, and asking God, “Really, that? Are You sure?”
So, here I go.
A lot of what God worked on in my life last year had to do with my being single. Three years ago, I wrote about being single. About its joys. About the struggles. And perhaps this is when and where the lies began to seep into my heart.
As I relied upon God, and asked Him (sometimes, if I’m honest, begged Him) to help me believe that His ways are better than mine, I soon thereafter encountered a few glimpses of potential relationships. I bounced back and forth between hesitation and a just-go-for-it attitude. However, none of these relationships panned out. I was left feeling rejected, and my fear of being alone amplified. In these moments, I do believe God protected my heart, and allowed me to bounce back, so to say, quickly. Or so I thought.
This brings me to last summer. In some ways, it felt like God purposefully separated me from my daily routine of work, friends, and family. Being that I am a school nurse, I have the summer off. I can use this time to do virtually anything, and last summer I took a couple science classes. In the morning I’d head to class, in the afternoon, I’d head to the gym. Other than these two activities, I spent a lot of time at home, on my back deck. As I sat out in one of the patio chairs, I began to listen, and pray. God spoke wisdom to me through two friends- both who challenged me to listen to God during this time.
As I listened, here is what God confirmed: I had been harboring some deep-rooted lies about myself for several years. I had not given them up to Him with sweet surrender, but instead had hidden them away, deep within my heart. Lies specifically that stated: I am not worthy of a relationship, that I am broken, that I am not a valuable member of the church because I am single. These ugly untruths revealed themselves one by one. I couldn’t believe my own heart. Hadn’t I been preaching to myself all these years, confident in my singleness and God’s purpose in my singleness?
Flabbergasted, I came to God over and over again. I would cry out, Pour over your truth on me, God! Let my heart be filled with your words. He would direct me to purposeful passages in His word.
“For God is not a God of confusion but of peace.” 1 Corinthians 14:33.
“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31.
God reminded me of my life verse, 1 Peter 5:7, “Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you.” The verses following my life verse then say, ” 8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9 Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.”
It was evident that the devil had been prowling around my heart and head like a roaring lion, seeking to devour my thoughts. It was in these moments of crying out to God that I read His word with fervor. I wanted to shout! NO! I will not believe any longer that I am unworthy of love. I looked at Ephesians 6:11 with fresh eyes, “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.”
I resolved last summer, and have continued, to battle untruths with God’s truths. He says I am loved. He is my refuge. He discerns my thoughts. I cannot hide from God. He looks at me with loving eyes, and knows me intimately. There is no point in tucking away the ugly any more, because He already knows it. He can handle my myriad of thoughts and emotions. He knows that I have moments of watching my friends interact with their husbands and children and that ever-so-slightly my heart physically aches. He knows when I wonder, “Am I forgotten? When is it my time?”
I am finding freedom in surrendering my thoughts fully and completely to God. I am able to share my heart with other single women, and I can articulate to my married friends more readily.
My summer on the threshing floor with God has deepened my trust in Him. I ask Him to show up, and He does. Every time. Maybe not how I think He will, but in His own sweet way. I realize these desires are good, and I have no shame in wanting a godly husband or children. But more importantly, I have learned that God is better than my desires. I am a work in progress, and God is doing a good work in me. What could be sweeter?