Some time ago, I walked upon a beach, breathed upon by soft darkness, draped in the glimmer of an infinity of stars, touched by the wet sand beneath my feet, and in the company of a young lady whose compassion and friendship has blessed me immensely.
I felt the Lord's presence as I have only rarely felt it before.
And for half a moment, I felt a twinge of alarm.
"I don't understand," I told my friend through my tears. "I thought that I'd be over this by now. What is wrong with me, that I can't just move past this?"
"Honey," my friend replied gently. "You've been living with this situation for years. You think you're going to heal in just a few months?"
Yes. Yes, I did think I would. I didn't want to believe that I was so weak. What design could God possibly have in my weakness?
Fear has been a near-constant battle for me in the last few months.
Recently, my life changed significantly. When I came to grips with a number of difficult things I had been denying or minimizing over the years, it all led to making significant changes in my life. Suddenly, I found myself in a completely unfamiliar place, surrounded by strangers, battling constant doubts and fears, unemployed, and uprooted from almost every familiar or comforting thing I knew.
Every tomorrow seemed like a yawning chasm of the unknown.
This post first appeared on LessonsFromPain.com on February 17, 2016.
This week my community lost a 23-year-old young man. He was ice-fishing on the lake with friends and, through a series of circumstances, was alone in sub-zero temperatures when his truck broke through the ice. He extricated himself and tried to make it to shore. He never made it.
Recently, a friend and I were reading through a book entitled Transforming Grace by Jerry Bridges, and we were both struck by the same passage. I don't have the book right in front of me, or I would quote it for you, but here's the basic idea:
When I sin and then repent of it, God does not put me in some different category in which I must serve a penance before I can be fit for His work. When I am righteous, that does not entitle me to greater blessings nor make me necessarily more "fit" for God's work.
Let me explain.
My Bargain With God
When I realized that my singleness was going to last years longer than I anticipated, I made a bargain with God.
“For as long as I am single, I desire only this: Let my singleness be more productive and glorifying to You than if I were married. Only let me marry when my marriage will serve You better.”
It sounded spiritual, but it was really a cry of desperation. If I can’t be married and fulfill my greatest desire, I want to know that my singleness is worth something. I’m so terrified of wasting my life.
Of Power and Love: Why I'm Not Waiting To Become The Perfect Messenger In Order to Tell People About Jesus
I'm 28 and single. I have a chronic illness. I just came out of a difficult home situation.