What Does God Say About Me?

Earlier today I was spending some time with the Lord and during our dialogue, I began to think about the man I will one day marry.

I think about him often. He comes to mind during random moments throughout the day. Hopeful wishes form as I journey through life and think of what it would be like to have a supportive partner by my side. There are many things that bring him to mind and I eagerly anticipate the day I will finally know who he is.

Today as he came to mind, I felt like I wanted to hear the Lord tell me more about him. I wanted to know what the Lord had to say about this man who holds a piece of my heart.

So, with my pen in hand, I vulnerably shared my feelings and asked the Lord, “What do you want to tell me about the one you have for me father?” and this is what He said:

“He will be patient and supportive.

He will love your passion and spur you on to greater goals.

He will love you well.

You will be his favorite thing.

He will beam and light-up when he sees you happy.

He will admire you when you share your heart with others.”

 As I penned these words in my journal, these futuristic words I thought were describing the man I would one day marry, an image of Jesus in a crowd listening to me speak came to mind. I was overwhelmed with emotion. My question to the Lord was brought forth by a desire to know more about the man I would one day marry but that’s not what the words of my hand wrote down.

How sweet of my Abba to set my mind on the things above and remind me of the eternal. How loving of my Abba to refocus my attention on the one who loves me yesterday, today and tomorrow. The one who cherishes and adores me now.

As you read these words, I just want you to know how God feels about you. I want you to know how much you are loved. How special you are to Him. How much He beams and lights up as He looks at you. He is so proud of you and He wants you to know how much He cares.

This is what God says about you:

You are My masterpiece. (Ephesians 2:10)

You are accepted. (Romans 15:7)

You are loved beyond measure. (Romans 5:8)

You are My beloved child. (Galatians 3:26)

You are My friend and I want to spend time with you. (John 15:15)

I am with you always. (1 Corinthians 6:17)

I know who you are and I love your heart. (Psalm 139:1-2)

I have called you to do great things. You have a purpose. (Romans 8:28)

I will never leave you, I am with you always. (Isaiah 41:10)

When you are hurting, I am here. (Psalm 147:3)

The Day I Realized My Biological Clock Was Broken

Another Mother’s Day has come and gone.

Another year of my 30’s without the title of “mommy,” passes by as I sit here trying to come up with a word for what I am feeling.

Society tells me I should feel sad. Society tells me I should yearn for the day children will lift their tiny arms to me as they mumble, “hold me.”

The word to describe how I feel… Well, I’m not quite sure –but sadness it is not. You see, unlike most females who grow up playing mommy with their dolls and crossing off and re-writing potential baby names, I don’t long for the day I will hold the title “mommy.” I’m not sure if this is a product of being single, but if I’m honest, I can’t help but wonder if something is wrong with me.

Why isn’t my biological clock ticking? 

Why don’t I yearn to bear children? 

Am I broken?

To all the women who find themselves asking these same questions, I want to share with you what I have learned.

Deadlines create desperation.

“So, if I wanna have my kid when I’m 35, I don’t have to get pregnant until I’m 34. [That means] I don’t have to get married until I’m 33! That’s three years… — Oh, wait a minute though. I’ll need a year and a half to plan the wedding, and I’d like to know the guy for a year and a half before we get engaged…” – Rachel, FRIENDS

One thing I’ve come to realize in my 30’s is that deadlines can create desperation.

If we live our lives allowing the cultural and societal expectations to guide us, we can lose sight of the plan God has in store. Society doesn’t dictate your future, God does — and the timeline He operates within is eternal.

Just because your life isn’t lining up the way you think it should, doesn’t mean it isn’t lining up the way God mapped out. If you find yourself struggling with feeling like you must be hitting certain milestones, I hope you’ll take a minute to talk to Him and let Him remind you of what lies ahead.

There’s nothing wrong with you.

When I think about the excitement and eagerness I see in other women as they think about the prospect of motherhood, it’s hard not to think something is wrong with me. I can’t help but wonder why I don’t long for those same life events. But in those moments, God reminds me that He doesn’t want my focus to be on those things right now.

Instead, He wants my focus to be on the things He’s called me to do in my present season. Presently, He has called me to a season of preparation and projects. Presently, He has my attention and energy focused on other things. If I was longing for a husband and children, I may be distracted from the very thing He desires to be the center of my attention.

Be encouraged by the words Paul writes in 1 Corinthians, to experience fullness in your season of caring for the things of the Lord and to serve the Lord without distraction.

Women give birth to more than children.

In her article, Giving Birth to More Than Children, Sundi Jo shares a great reminder that children are not the only thing women give birth to. Women are nurturers, lovers and creators. Women imagine, envision and produce. Whether it is a project you are working on, a book you are writing, or a person you are mentoring, you are playing an integral and God intended role in everything you are doing.

The Lord has called you to this season. Wherever you are, He wants your focus to be on what He has in store.

Embrace the silence of your biological clock and praise the Lord for lowering the volume so that your focus can be on whatever He has that lies ahead.

Breaking Up With Christianity

There have been two distinct times in my life when I’ve wanted to call it quits and break up with Christianity. The first was in my early 20’s and the second was last week.

Both times I felt frustrated, overwhelmed, and sick of doing the right thing. Both times I wished I could go back to the time in my life when I didn’t know the truth about Jesus. I longed to return to the time in my life when the Holy Spirit wasn’t nudging me to do what’s right. To return to the time when I could give into the desires of my flesh and not feel the wrestling in my spirit that I was doing something wrong.

Do you ever have those moments, moments when you feel like breaking up with Christianity? Do you ever feel frustrated thinking about the things you shouldn’t do because you’re a Christian? Sometimes I just wish I could go on a break from Christianity. Sometimes I wish I could take my Christian hat off for a temporary season and live like the world lives.

If I were to break-up with Christianity, this is what I would say:

It’s not you, it’s me. It’s not you, I promise. You’ve treated me well and I’ve enjoyed our time together but I need a break. I need a season of being without you. You didn’t do anything wrong. There’s nothing you could have done different. I’m just not in a place to be in a relationship with you right now.

I know this isn’t what you want to hear but I’ve found someone else. His name is Sin and I have a lot of fun with him. He knows how to bring me happiness. He knows the things I want and he anticipates them before I express my feelings. I’m sorry but it just isn’t working out with us. I’d like to see where things could go with Sin. It’s been fun but it’s time for me to move on.

The truth is, it’s perfectly normal to feel this way. It’s in our nature to desire things that are not consistent with what Christ has called us to. It’s in our nature for our spirit and flesh to wage war against each other.

These feelings are to be expected but the question is, how are you going to handle them when they arise? When we begin to feel like we want to take a break from our faith, we have two choices: surrender or fight.

Surrender

If we choose surrender, we are giving control to the enemy. We are letting him win. We are allowing him to say to God, “I told you so. I told you they couldn’t resist temptation. I knew they would succumb to my ways.”

If we choose surrender, we are saying we are not strong enough. We are saying the fight isn’t worth it. If we choose surrender, we have to be prepared to deal with the consequences.

Be careful not to binge on sin. It will leave you feeling like vomiting everything you just took in. It will leave you feeling full of guilt and regret and it will leave you with weight you can’t unload. Before you choose surrender, which I sincerely hope you are able to resist, will you speak these words aloud and see if your heart changes:

“All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.” (1 Corinthians 6:12)

Fight

If we choose fight, we can be confident in knowing we are more than equipped to win the battle. God has given us the gift of the Holy Spirit inside of us who calls out Abba Father when we can’t bring ourselves to call (Galatians 3:6). He has given us a book of encouragement that we can turn to when we need help pulling ourselves out of the pit.

He has given us a body of believers who love us and will help us through our season of struggle if we open up to them and share. And most importantly, He has given us the inner strength we need to fight.

It’s in you, believe that.

No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. The body of believers knows your struggle, they have experienced similar struggles. No sin temptation is too big that you can’t face it and win the battle. I know that. I’m living through it with you.

I have faith that you can overcome whatever you are struggling with. So hang in there friend. Continue to resist. Continue to fight. Put on your armor, pull out your sword and show Satan you will not allow him to tell God “I told you so.”

Her Name was Heroin

I grew up in the suburbs of Dallas, Texas. My mom was an Attorney and my dad was an Architect. Life was pretty good for the most part. I took care of my younger sister and got good grades in school, life was pretty good. Everything appeared normal on the outside but my dad was doing his best to keep a secret, he was Bipolar.

Chaos became normal.

Never knowing when he would come home calm or come home screaming, I grew up expecting the unexpected.

The chaos of my home took a toll on my emotions and created a lot of anxiety. I tried to keep things in our home peaceful, I tried to make sure my dad was always happy so he wouldn’t start yelling at my mom and sister, but nothing I did was ever good enough. It wasn’t long before I started drinking to numb the emotional pain I was feeling inside. Shortly after high school I joined the military and moved away from my family. I finished my Bachelor’s degree, met a girl and ended up getting married. Life was going really well until the demon of mental illness crept into my own life.

Up and down and up and down, I could never seem to find a happy medium. I tried my best to keep things under wraps. I was a soldier, soldiers have to keep it together.

I did a pretty good job hiding my emotions until my wife got pregnant. I was excited. I dreamt of they day I would be a father. I wanted to shower my child with the affection and love I had always hoped for, but I never got the chance. My spirit was crushed when my wife told me she didn’t want to keep the baby. I didn’t want her to have an abortion but I loved her and I knew she wasn’t ready, so I agreed to support her.

After she had the abortion, I began to carry a lot of guilt and shame. I felt we made the wrong decision. I couldn’t live with the choice we made and I carried regret with me daily.

The guilt and shame made it harder and harder to control my emotions and the mental illness began to show. I didn’t want people to think I was weak. I didn’t want them to know the real me. I tried to hide it, to suppress my unstable mood swings, but it didn’t work.

Life was slowly starting to spiral out of control and I didn’t know how to manage the chaos.

That’s when I found her…

Heroin.

Oh the euphoric feeling she brought me.

The escape and release I felt when we met face to face. It was just what I needed, a temporary escape from my dreaded reality. My world as I knew it was crumbling to pieces and heroin was the only thing that made me happy.

My marriage was soon over. My family began to disown me. I lost my job and had no idea how to support myself. Life became too much to bear. I felt like a burden to everyone in my world and couldn’t find meaning or purpose in life anymore.

So, I did the only thing I knew to regain control of my life, I tried to end it. But it didn’t work!

“Stupid idiot! How could you not do it right the first time?”

So, I tried again. “I don’t want to be alive, life is meaningless, just let me die! I’ll get it right next time, you watch!”

But the third time didn’t work either.

It was at that point, that I realized I wanted something more. I couldn’t go on living the way I was living anymore. I desired a better life. I desired stability again. Independence. Sobriety. I wanted to be a productive member of society. I longed to feel worthy, needed, loved.

I longed to be married again. To be the father I always wished I had. To share the love I was so eager to give, with a wife and children of my own.

So I tried. I really did. I tried to stay sober. I went to meetings. I was vulnerable and shared the demons in my closet and I learned about myself.

I grew.

I changed.

But the progress didn’t last.

The dark cloud continued to hover and the emotions I had suppressed all my life all began to resurface. The chaos returned and everything I had worked so hard for was slipping through my fingers. I was in a state of panic and I didn’t know what to do.

Amidst the chaos, I could hear her calling my name.

“Chris… Chris… Come back to me, you know you miss me…” — Heroin

Tall, Dark, and Handsome

Tall, dark and handsome. If there was a way for women to create their perfect match, I bet the majority would throw these three adjectives in the mix. Women swoon over tall, dark and handsome celebrities, they visualize what the tall, dark and handsome fictional characters in their latest romance novel really looks like, and they dream about the tall, dark and handsome man they expectantly long for.

For some women, dark may not be on the list that qualifies their dream man, while others may be willing to trade handsome for funny, intelligent or great personality. But for most women, tall (read taller than me) is usually always on the list.

You may have read my recent article about weight being an instant disqualifier for most people, but it wasn’t until I had a conversation with a male friend (who isn’t in that 6-foot-tall or taller group) that I realized this same bias is used to rule out great men from the pool of potential suitors, just because of their height.

Who was responsible for making these rules of attraction anyway? I mean, just because a guy is tall doesn’t mean he will make a great husband. I know a lot of tall guys who aren’t so great.

As curiosity got the best of me, I decided to find the average height of men in the world. Of the 125 countries with height for men listed on Wikipedia, only six countries recorded an average height of 6 feet or taller for the men in their country. Furthermore, the average height of men in the United States is 5 feet 9 ½ inches, while the average height of a woman in the United States is 5 ft. 4 in. So if the majority of men across the world don’t even meet this standard, where did this idea that a man has to be a minimum of 6 feet tall come from?

Ladies, I think we are missing out on some incredible men when we put this limitation on our requests to the Lord. I know some wonderful men who are continually discriminated against because of something beyond their control. He can’t control his height; that is the way God made him. Would you want a man to discriminate against you because of something beyond your control? I encourage you to prayerfully consider if you have put a limitation on the Lord regarding your future spouse—a limitation that He may not think is a disqualifier.

Let’s look at some examples of men chosen by God regardless of height or appearance.

Climbing To Truth

Luke 19 tells us that Zaccheus was a man of short stature. We don’t know much about him, just that he climbed a sycamore tree because “he sought to see who Jesus was.” Jesus calls out to Zaccheus and tells him to come down from the tree because He needs to stay at Zaccheus’ house. Zaccheus’ encounter with Jesus results in him getting saved, giving half of his riches to the poor and paying back his debts. Of all the information we can glean from Luke 19, the most important piece of information we need to know about Zaccheus was that Jesus chose him. Jesus could have stayed with anyone—I’m sure there was a multitude of people who would have opened their home to Him—but Jesus sought out Zaccheus, He wanted people to know Zaccheus was important, despite what they may have thought of him.

The Unexpected Choice

After Saul’s disobedience to the Lord, God speaks to Samuel and tells him He regrets choosing Saul as king and reports a new king shall be appointed. God instructs Samuel to tell Saul and then go to meet Jesse and his sons to select the next king. Samuel encounters Eliab and says “Surely the Lord’s anointed is before Him!” and God responds, saying, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7).

If God said to ignore man’s appearance and physical stature but to look at his heart in the selection process for a king, don’t you think we should consider that same advice in the selection process for a husband?

Small but Powerful

Standing at a physical height of 3 feet 3 inches tall, Nick Vujicic is probably one of the most verbally powerful men I know. His story is amazing. Born without any limbs, Nick struggled mentally, emotionally and physically as he fought through how to live with his disability. Upon accepting his disability and learning to use it to glorify God, Nick created the Life Without Limbs ministry. He travels the world sharing his story and the gospel, and lives are being changed. Now happily married with a son, Nick transparently shares these words about how he felt as a single person:

“I definitely had doubts that I would ever get married, that I would ever meet anybody who would love me and spend the rest of their life with me, because I’m Prince Charming with a couple bits and pieces missing.”

I don’t know about you, ladies, but I want a mate who exhibits incredible spiritual, mental and emotional strength. When life throws battles our way and we are in the middle of a war zone, those three things will be far more important than how tall the man is.