Thursday, October 10, 2013

as faith grows, trusting that God is enough

Three weeks ago I found myself on the couch sobbing over the passing of a woman from church who I barely knew. She was 32, beautiful, a deaconess at my church, very successful in her career, and single. I can count in one hand the number of times I've cried in the past year, and I rarely feel stressed or anxious. So why was I losing it on my too cheerful yellow couch, in a complete 180?

Two years ago, this woman shared her testimony at my church. She got up in front of 500+ people at service and talked about her dating struggles; how as her faith grew, she felt convicted to stop dating a man who she loved but who didn't love God. She felt at peace with her decision and was happy. Though it was difficult, she felt that God had rescued her and generously given her the strength to move on.

Recently, I did the same thing. I told a guy who I could easily have loved that I needed to be with someone who loved God more than he loved me. Internally I cringed at the awkward conversation -- two years ago, I never imagined religion being a deal breaker in my dating life. I had never dated a Christian. But I felt at peace with my decision and remembered this Maya Angelou quote: “A woman's heart should be so hidden in God that a man has to seek Him just to find her.”

But do I really trust God? Will he really lead me to a man who pursues both Him and me? I constantly struggle with entrusting my life to him, especially my love life, even though I know he is sovereign and trustworthy. Sometimes I think about one of my favorite books, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and equate it to the story of my life: Faith Grows in New York, The City of Temptations.

How amazing it is that our relationship has grown, that I've fallen in love with Christ and found a community of fellow Christians... in a city filled with idols and temptations that pull me away from resting completely in God's hands. A city that encourages taking control of our lives and celebrates making things happen.

I was sobbing on my couch because I idolize marriage. The deaconess’s passing triggered the deepest fear in my heart: that I will be like her, as successful and beautiful as I can be, but alone. As the tears streamed, I lamented, “What good is beauty and success if I’m single?” And then I was reminded, through friends and scripture, that the deaconess is in a better place than the happiest wife on earth. This sparkling, exciting life we have is but a waiting room compared to being with Him in heaven.

Instead of worrying about being alone, I need to remember that God is enough. He is the ultimate and perfect husband, and human marriage is just the closest comparison – and it is still broken. Instead of fearing that I’ll never meet the right guy, it's dawning on me that truly, his love is better than life (Psalm 63:3). He is in control, and I completely surrender to his plans. Through Christ, I have received freedom and wisdom – and I appreciate them in new light, as I continue to learn lessons while single.

(Photo via here)

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