Sunday, February 22, 2015

Last Summer

When I refused to confess my sin, my body wasted away, and I groaned all day long.
Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me.
My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat.
~Psalms 32:3-4

These verses described my state of body and mind perfectly at one point last summer.

I had already believed myself to have been set free from depression, yet here I was again... sinking fast and I couldn't figure out why. Then I saw these verses and I knew.

I wasn't fighting depression. I was fighting God and depression was the result... My energy was zapped. My body ached. I laid in bed and cried for hours at a time.

I asked God for something and He had told me no, but I wouldn't take it.
Eventually I accepted it and let go. Six months later (last week) I found out that God had told me NO for a VERY good reason that I had been completely oblivious to.

"If God keeps you in Illinois" I said "Then we'll know it is meant to be. I love you."
"Sure," He says, "I love you, too." But he knew he wasn't staying. Now I wonder if he said it to the other two women I just found out he was dating as well?

Thankful this week that I KNOW that my battles are not against flesh and blood. God knew this was coming and what breakthrough I needed to be able to brush it off.

He gave me that breakthrough last week (more on that later) and I can truly say that this new information about what I thought was a relationship did not crush me or make me question my worth the way it would have even a month ago. 

When God says NO it is for a reason. We may not understand at the time, but He KNOWS what is best for us. Don't bother trying to fight with Him... He NEVER lets us win.... 
and if or when we find out why, we are usually grateful beyond words.

If anyone turns a deaf ear to my instruction,    even their prayers are detestable.
~Proverbs 28:9

Sunday, February 15, 2015

The myth of fixing yourself first

"God will send you the right person when you are ready... you need to fix yourself first."

I think it's one of the most destructive "helpful" pieces of advice I've received. People mean well when they say it. Heck, even I have said it to people! But recently, as I've explored the truth of what it means to walk in is righteousness because I am saved and not due to something I have or have not done, something occurred to me about that statement.

Righteousness is either a gift from God based on our accepting Him or it is something we have to earn. IT CAN'T BE BOTH. Joseph Prince says, "When you realize that you cannot earn your righteousness, you'll realize that your failures cannot cause you to lose the righteousness you have in Christ either."

What if that applies to the blessings of God as well? Maybe it is possible that God isn't withholding blessings based on my inadequacies? I mean, my God isn't one who only loves those who are perfect in every way.

Surely, Lord, you bless the righteous;
you surround them with your favor as with a shield.
Psalms 5:12

I don't see anything about perfection in that verse. It was written by King David, one of the most imperfect people in the Bible! But God continuously blessed him anyway... his love for the Lord made him righteous.

Obviously, there is good common sense in the statement about fixing yourself. You should want to be in a place in your life where you don't need someone else to survive...physically, financially, emotionally, etc. But God isn't waiting for you to perfect those areas of your life to bless you.

So, what is He waiting for then?

That's the difficult part. We don't know. We can't know.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”declares the Lord.
Isaiah 55:8

Maybe the other person isn't ready yet. Not that God is waiting on them to "fix themselves" but maybe there are some things they still have to experience that will make them into that perfect mate for you, or maybe that describes you.

Saying that needing to fix yourself is a myth isn't saying that God isn't waiting for a certain time in your life. It is saying that we have to be willing to give up control of this area of our lives. We have to stop trying to "make it work" with those who don't fit and stop wondering if every person we meet is possibly "the one."

The biggest one for me is that I had to stop trying to earn it. Countless times I've said, "Okay God, I've done X for You. Now can have... ?"

I believe there are some things God wants me to see and experience before I meet my husband. I still want one. I still kinda hope I run into him today even. But, in the grand scheme of things, knowing that this is beyond my control, that I can't prove to God that I'm ready any more than I can make the perfect man appear by "fixing myself" gives me the freedom to enjoy life and truly see what God wants me to see without wondering if each step I take is getting me closer to or farther from that desire of my heart.

The key there is seeing and experiencing what God wants for me... there is nothing left to be earned.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
Ephesians 2:8-9, 13
So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries.
Today’s trouble is enough for today.
Matthew 6:34