Desire- Guest Post

I am a strong and successful woman. I am a homeowner who loves to cook and entertain. I am well-loved by family and friends alike. I am a follower of Christ. I am 35 and single.

And sometimes that last one defines me…painfully.

Don’t get me wrong, for the most part, I am wholly aware of how awesome life is. The Lord has blessed me and puts wonderful reminders in my life on a daily basis.

And yet…and yet…

Not long ago, I came to a realization about how I viewed God. My pastor led the congregation through an exercise to show how Christians can all worship the same Lord, but view Him differently. In that moment, I had an “ah ha” that rattled my cage.

As youngsters, we’re taught that every cause has an effect. As Christians we’re taught that if we “delight ourselves in the Lord, He will give us the desires of our heart (Ps 37:4).” Sadly, this has left an indelible mark on my heart that has led me to twist the Word of God into thinking that He has been punishing me for something and has withheld the deepest desire of my heart. The effect was singleness, but the cause was still unknown to me.

And I know…I KNOW…that God doesn’t work this way. I know He does not look down on me and say “JJ, you’ve lived a good life, but just aren’t quite good enough, yet.” I know He loves me in spite of my sin, confusion, and lack of trust. I also know that He doesn’t want to withhold joy from me.

Many other single gals may feel this way, and they may have other hang-ups that are just as painful as mine. But here’s where I take hope:

I FIRMLY believe that the desire to be a wife and mother does not exist in my heart without a purpose. I believe that the Lord has placed those deep desires inside of me and that He would not play games with my heart and soul. He does not make mistakes.

Therefore, I hold onto that hope and know that while His timing may not be my favorite thing in the world right now, I can have patience because I know that He loves me and wants me to have the desires of my heart.

15 comments:

  1. I needed to read this post today - thank you for opening up and sharing this. I know that I believe that God wouldn't place that desire on my heart if He didn't mean to fulfill it - but it's hard to continue to have faith in that knowledge and not doubt myself.

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    1. Heck ya, it's hard not to doubt! And trust me when I say that all days are not this confident...I even get weepy once in a while! But when I start to go down that road, I CLING to the promise that He made me this way with the longing and desire for love and a family of my own...and that was on purpose!

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  2. Thank you for this post. On the eve of my 36th birthday, I can most definately relate. In fact, a few years ago I had to vanquish my own cause/effect demons:
    http://barefootbohemian.blogspot.com/2009/03/thats-what-susan-said.html

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    1. Great post...and Happy Birthday!!!

      Isn't it nice to know that we are often in the same boat, with the same fears, worries, and stress about our future?

      Your story about how the youth intern said something that scarred you resonated with me. On a mission trip in HS, one of the dumb boys said he thought I had the "gift of celibacy." I SOBBED. He of course was trying to look super spiritual, and I'm sure said it as a joke or with snarky intent, but it broke my heart...even then, I deeply desired a love story of my own! : )

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  3. Yes, yes, YES! JJ, you've nailed it. It's been hard to get past some of the unsound teaching and faulty expectations that have followed me in to adulthood. My struggle is that for all of the similar "aha moments" I've had, there are messages in Christian culture that continue to counteract them and make me question what's wrong with me for being single. But there's nothing wrong with singleness! We just feel that way because marriage and family is often elevated in the evangelical church. I'm holding on to hope, too. It may not be my timing (or that of the people in my life) but God is using this time in my life and He will not waste it. I can't wait to see how it all plays out for the both of us!

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    1. Yes, often times, the "church" just doesn't know what to do with us strong single women! Sadly, there is a lot of awkwardness that comes from the inexperience in teaching/leading older singles (IMO)...and the "be patient, God's got a plan" message can be very frustrating at times when we're feeling angsty or weak!

      But it's true...He who began a good work in us, will be faithful to complete it! : )

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  4. Hey Beautifully Rooted! I am loving your new blog and all the encouragement and fun it provides. I have one suggestion, could you possibly make it easier for me to visit the authors of these blog post by including a link to their personal sites in their post here. It would save me so much time and I'm sure they would appreciate the quick link up too. Maybe I'm missing it, sorry if I'm having trouble finding the obvious! :) Thanks!!

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    1. thanks for the suggestion miranda! we'll see what we can work out.
      right now all the links for our regular contributors can be found on the contributors page.

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  5. JJ - this is so powerfully written. Though I am not single, there are certainly areas of my life that are marked with unfulfilled desires. You really hit on a great point about how peeling back some of our feelings around those areas truly reveals what we believe about God. Thank you so much for sharing with such honesty and hope. I needed this message today (SERIOUSLY needed it!).

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    1. Ah, thanks Megan!!! We often rely on the lies of this world instead of waiting for the Lord to reveal His truth, right?! And I'm glad we can find common ground, even when we're in different life stages!!!

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  6. I'll be 46 this Spring and I'm still "waiting". While I don't always understand, I am faithful and know that God is in control. All in God's time.

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  7. Needed to read this today. I feel like I could have written it myself, especially the part about that verse and wondering what we did to make God withhold from us. So hard to let go of that way of thinking sometimes.

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    1. It is SO hard to let go of that mindset...and trust me, some days I fail miserably and play in the biggest pity party of my own making. And sometimes someone will off-handedly say something or a friend will announce and engagement or pregnancy, and I'll have a blue moment.

      BUT, I've found that when I start to spiral into a funk, I need to cling to His truths even more!

      Hang in there!!!

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  8. I, too, loved that verse, but then, as I got older twisted that verse as proof of God's punishment for me. Being single is hard. Trusting God wants the best for you is even harder. Although I've just recently found my one and only, I still feel your pain more than you could ever know. It's hard to have that desire and no one to share it with. I've read your blog long enough to know that you, like me, never let it stop you from enjoying all of life's blessings. Thanks for your honesty. I wish I could have read this a year or two ago- I really needed it! :)

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