This morning I started reading Deuteronomy 31. I had highlighted verses 6 & 8 because I love how God promises several times to never leave us or forsake us and also tells us repeatedly to be strong and courageous.

God will always be with us, he will never leave or forsake us, but we need to make a conscious decision to be strong and courageous and to obey him.

When God has a point to make, he repeats himself so we will catch on. Within these two verses God tells us to be strong and courageous twice, not to be afraid or terrified twice and that he will never leave or forsake us twice. He means it.

And then I looked back to Deuteronomy 30. It describes how, if you turn to the lord and obey him, he will bring prosperity to your life. In these verses (1-10) there are several repetitions too. Three times God tells us to obey him and three times he repeats “with all your heart and with all your soul”.

Deuteronomy 29 talks about renewing a covenant with God, not so much reestablishing a new one, but adding to one that was already established with the Lord. As I read through a few things caught my eye, God is reestablishing a covenant he has already made with the Israelites, reiterating commands he has already given and adding to them. He tells them to stick to the covenant and they will be blessed and prosper in everything they do. He reminds them that they are standing in front of God, entering into a covenant and sealing it with an oath.

So in Deuteronomy 29 God reestablishes a covenant with his people, in 30 he tells them what they will have in return when they obey or disobey the covenant and in 31 he repeats that he will never leave or forsake them and tells them to be strong and courageous.

When I was running away from God and from my husband I knew what God wanted me to do. I knew not only what he wanted me to do, but why. He told me so clearly, as I lay in bed one night, to read the bible and I would return to my husband.

Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach…No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it.

Deuteronomy 30:11&14

I believe that everyone that is running from God knows exactly what they need to do to return to him. I believe that God is chasing them so passionately and that at one point they could almost clearly hear his voice telling them what to do. Depending on how long they have been running from him, they may not hear his voice as clearly now because they have been pushing it to the side for so long, but I know that if they would take a moment to be still and to rest their minds, they will remember what God has been telling them to do.

In these three chapters God was serious about punishing these people physically if they did not obey his commands and stick to the covenant they were making with him. They would have actually died, they would have actually been destroyed by their enemies.

God doesn’t do that to us now, he doesn’t just make us keel over and die if we don’t obey him. But disobedience of his word and personal instructions to us makes us die a different type of death.

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins.

Ephesians 2:1

Your vibrancy dies, your passion for life, your dignity. In your disobedience to God you will become dismal. Maybe not on the outside, maybe you will be like me and seem positive and excited for life to everyone around you regardless of your situation. But on the inside you will feel lonely, pointless, lifeless and lost.

Ephesians 4:17-19 describes someone who has gone away from God as being “separated from the life of God”, “having lost all sensitivity” “with a continual lust for more”. And this is exactly how I was. I was desensitized to the harsh, crass and lost world around me. Nothing could fill me, nothing was good enough, I needed more and more of everything, continually searching for something that would make me feel whole.

None of my new friends saw this in me, they saw a fun and hardworking girl that chased after life and loved where she was. But my old friends and my family saw that I was searching for something. They felt that I wasn’t where I needed to be.

It was when I obeyed and made a choice to love God with all of my heart and soul that the change happened. In obedience God changes you. It wasn’t so much a choice to love God with all that I am, it was a natural progression because of obedience.

God gives us what we need to live a full life IF we obey him. If we take that step, and usually it’s a simple one, to obey what he has been telling us, he will help us with the rest. When we obey him, whether we feel like it or not, God will wash through us and transform us into someone that passionately loves him with all of our heart and soul.

When we do what we are told he does what he has promised.

Deuteronomy 29: This is what I’ve told you do to.

Deuteronomy 30: This is what I will give you and this is what will happen if you don’t listen.

Deuteronomy 31: But I will never leave you. Be strong and courageous.

There wasn’t a time in the two years I was running from God that I didn’t know what God wanted me to do. Sure, I ignored him or did half of what he wanted me to do and thought that would be good enough. But if I had sat still and rested my mind for a moment, I would have remembered exactly what God’s instructions were to me.

And when that day came, when I was broken down enough and lonely enough and realized that all my pursuits left me empty, and I obeyed what God had told me to do…that was when my eyes were opened. I took that step of obedience and my eyes were, almost literally, opened.

I actually felt alive instantly. I literally felt as though I had been seeing in black and white for the past two years and suddenly color was there, vibrancy, JOY. Suddenly I could see and feel. Suddenly I was alive!

God doesn’t just tell you to be obedient so he can control you, he tells you to be obedient because he wants you to live a full and joyful life! He doesn’t just tell you do obey him and not give you something in return. He sees your steps towards him and is dying to reward you for them. He is so excited to give you what he has promised if you obey him!

He’s told you to do something. He will give you something in return. If you run from him, there will be consequences. But he will never leave or forsake you. Be strong and courageous.

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I am really loving Ephesians. There’s so many little goodies in that book. You should see my bible, it’s all marked up and highlighted and underlined…I love that we have so many promises from God in less than three pages.

One verse that stood out to me yesterday was Ephesians 1:18-20

I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms.

After reading it with a friend a couple days ago, I decided to go over it again. I went over it a few times yesterday, trying to really grasp what it meant. I felt like there was something there I was meant to get, and after I prayed that God would help me understand it more, and read it again, I moved to reading the latest book I’ve started on “Power of a Praying Woman” By Stormie Omartian. I found my place in the book and started to read. At that exact place, Stormie was quoting these exact verses in Ephesians.

Here’s the three things that stand out to me:

1) God has called us to hope

2) We are given the “riches of his glorious inheritance”

3) He provides his “incomparably great power” for us

The definition of hope is: The feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen. Expectation, trust, promise, anticipate.

God gives us promises and gifts us with hope, the expectation and anticipation that these promises will happen. God never backs out of his promises. Ever. Even if it means fulfilling those promises after someone has passed away, he will still stick to his word and keep his promises.

We are given the “riches of his glorious inheritance”.

His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.

2 Peter 1:3

Not only is my God able to provide me with anything I need for life, but he is also willing and eager to provide me with anything I need in godliness. I am called to live for his glory and in doing so, in being obedient to him and working on my relationship with him, my knowledge of him, he will provide every single thing that I need.

God provides an “incomparably great power” for us. Power of prayer, power to overcome, power to heal, power over evil…Through God we are powerful, through our prayers we are powerful. God’s power. Not ours. God works through us if we allow him the room to work in our lives. If we surrender control to him and allow him to take over, we will see his power work through us.

The very same power that raised Jesus from the dead is available to us. Isn’t that a crazy thought? And if God has already done the impossible, raised his son from the dead, how much more is he capable of working in our lives? Providing us with money when we need it. Giving us a piece of encouragement for the day. Bringing someone back to our lives who is on the wrong track. If this power is capable of raising the dead back to life, how much more is it capable of answering our “little” prayers? This power is available to us. Just think about that for a moment.

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and self-discipline.

2 Timothy 1:7

You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.

Hebrews 10:36

When we persevere, push through hard times and lean on God’s promises, we will see the fulfillment of his promises to us. We will see his power work around us and we will know that he is God and that he is so much more powerful than all of our fears. We will see that he is a God that does not give up, does not back down and does not abandon his children or the promises he made to them.

And we can have hope, anticipation, expectation and trust that our God is protecting us and leading us towards our best life in and with him.

 

I am standing for my marriage, regardless of my husband’s decision or opinion of it.

After two years of dating and trying to “move on”, I have firmly come to the conclusion that I have no choice but to remain faithful to my husband and wait for his return to me. People think that it is a choice to “move on”, a choice to be happy with someone else, and they are sadly mistaken. People who say this or who think that being completely satisfied with another person other than your spouse are either in denial or have never attempted to make a life outside of their marriage.

I know I’m going to get a lot of push back from these comments. This is not how the world wants to think and even the Christian community encourages “moving on” as something healthy. We all want to be happy, we all want to have a companion, we all want to be in a committed relationship. That is what we were built to desire.

I believe that we are not aware of what a spiritual bond marriage is. Ephesians 5:32 says “This is a profound mystery” after it talks about how a man and woman become “one flesh” after marrying. But I know that even Christians, who take the Bible as complete truth, do not understand, or want to understand, what a serious, spiritual bond this really is. It really is a mystery how connected a husband and wife are after they have committed to their vows in front of God.

Try leaving and you will really begin to understand what a mystery this really is.

When I left my husband and I was seeing other people, for the first year that we were in contact, almost without exception, he would text or email me every time I went on a date. We lived nine hours apart, I never communicated to him that I was dating or when I was going on a date, and we didn’t communicate frequently, but for some reason every time I would leave for a date, he would contact me and ruin it.

I left with every intention to move on, I started dating right away and my mind was set on getting out there and finding someone new. But do you think I could? Even if I went on a date with a great guy, someone who fit all my criteria, there was something…something deep down…that knew it just wasn’t right. There was a wall up, a barrier I just couldn’t break no matter how hard I tried. There was something stopping me from being committed to any other man and I am completely convinced that it was the God Connection that a husband and wife have because of their vows.

There is a very deep and very spiritual bond that is created when a man and woman say their vows to each other in front of God and it is honestly scary how quickly the church and Christians will encourage someone to find someone new.

It is not about being happy, it’s not about just signing the divorce documents, it’s not about one person deciding to leave. It’s not that easy! God has joined a husband and wife together, and no man can separate that. Jesus says in Mark 10:9 “What God has joined together, let no one separate”, and I believe that this isn’t just applying to people flirting with husbands or tempting wives…I believe that it is also talking about Christians encouraging spouses to move on from a spouse who has decided to leave the physical marriage.

I do not believe, because of my experience, not only with myself but with men that have been divorced, that it is possible to have even close to the same connection with someone who isn’t your spouse.

I dated a guy in my new city for three months. I knew almost immediately that it wasn’t going very far, but I cared for him and we had fun together. For me, there was that feeling of just not being able to connect deep enough. That feeling that something just wasn’t right. But on top of this, I felt these things from him too. He had been divorced for several years and you would have thought it was enough time to “move on”. It wasn’t. It was so clear to me, even then, even when I didn’t believe what I believe now, that he was still connected to his wife somehow and wouldn’t be able to let go.

It wasn’t possible for him. As a divorcee you cannot let go enough, you cannot separate yourself from that spiritual connection with your spouse enough, to move on from that relationship.

When people hear about my story, about how I am waiting for my husband regardless of how long it takes or if he comes back at all, and they know that I was the one to leave, I usually hear the comment “But Katie, the bible says that divorce is allowed if there is marital unfaithfulness”. Yes, they’re right. Mark 10:2-4 is a conversation between Jesus and Pharisees where the Pharisees repeat Moses’ allowance for divorce: “Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce and send her (the wife) away” (Deut 24:3).

First of all, let’s not forget that God hates divorce (Malachi 2:16). There are few things that God hates and if we have a healthy view of how big and powerful our God is, not just a leather bible and a Sunday sermon, we will steer clear of anything he hates with a furious passion.

So divorce, I believe, is the absolute last resort…if a resort at all. Being where I am now, I wouldn’t divorce again unless someone grabbed my hand and forced me to sign the papers. And even then, I wouldn’t give up on my marriage. No matter how bad it was, that’s how powerful prayer is. If it’s an unsafe relationship, separate yourself, protect yourself and pray. Pray for a miracle, expect a miracle, and you will see a miracle.

But the bible permits divorce. If the spouse is being unfaithful. I have two points about this. One is that yes, divorce is permitted, but remarriage after divorce is not. Prove me wrong, but I have not found a verse that says that after divorce you are allowed to remarry. I have, however, found many verses saying that marriage after divorce is committing adultery, and this is something I am not willing to be involved with any longer. I did commit adultery during my separation with my husband, but I have been washed clean of those sins and I will not ever, with Gods strength and wisdom, commit that sin again. Divorce is permitted, but marriage after divorce is considered adultery.

A wife must not separate herself from her husband. But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband…

1 Corinthians 7:10

And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery.

Mark 10:12

…Anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery

Matthew 5:32

I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery.

Matthew 19:9

So then, if she marries another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress.

Romans 7:3

My understanding of these verses is that divorce is permitted if there is adultery in the marriage, but remarriage is not.

But my understanding of these verses goes further than the bible. It goes to personal experience. I know what I felt and didn’t feel when I was attempting to make a life apart from my husband. I know that it wasn’t possible for me to find a mate that even came close to comparing to him. And it wasn’t because I couldn’t find a good guy, I did, I found a few, but it was because they couldn’t compare to the spiritual connection I had with my husband – even if I didn’t realize it was a spiritual connection. I know now that it is because I said vows in front of God that connected me with my husband, whether I want it now or not.

It’s not a choice for me to be committed to him, it’s not a choice for me to “move on”. I could “move on” in body, but it is impossible to move on in my spirit. Lucky for me, God has changed my heart and I don’t want to “move on”, I don’t want to struggle through the thoughts of “What is wrong with me? Why can’t I just let go and enjoy this relationship? Why can’t I just relax enough with ___ to feel content with him?” and all the rest of the doubt and pestering thoughts that came with trying to find a mate outside of my marriage.

I know that if I were to marry someone else, I would feel as though I was committing adultery because of the lack of connection I would feel with them. If there is that distance in dating, like I experienced, it won’t change with marriage. I would feel as though I was connected more to my previous relationship than to my new marriage. I know this is how it would be! Like I said, if this is how I felt during the dating stage when I wanted to and was trying to be happy and “move on”, I know it wouldn’t have gotten any better in another marriage. I’m positive it would have gotten worse.

I think as Christians, especially, we need to clue in to why the divorce rates skyrocket after the first marriage. Maybe it’s spiritual! Maybe it’s more than just knowing how to deal with a divorce after the first time!

As I’m writing this, I know how different and possibly crazy it sounds. I know that a lot of people are not going to appreciate hearing this. And unless someone asks me advice about how they can apply these verses to their life, I’m not about to tell anyone how to live their life. These are verses and standards that God has put on my heart and I believe them so firmly that I can’t live any other way.

But I do believe that we need to pray about this concept. I do believe that the Christian community has not educated itself enough in this area. And I do believe that, just as I prayed for God to speak to me about these things, that everyone needs to pray and seek God’s will for them in this area.

This is, in no way, a finger pointed at anyone, but a challenge to seek Gods truth in our lives. This is definitely a conclusion I never expected to come to but one that I prayed about and God very drastically changed my heart about.

God created marriage as a reflection of his relationship with us so we need to take it very, very seriously.

Last night I prayed a prayer that scared me. I prayed that God would allow me to do something reckless for him. Again. You would think that I am already at the place where I am doing this for God. He is basically providing the money for me to survive; I have no permanent residence and nothing else to my name. I am dependent on my God for everything in my life right now. But I am finding that although I am really just living on faith right now, I am getting to a point where it seems ‘normal’.

My pay-cheques are covering, if barely, my bills and I am living off of the meager tips that my part-time waitressing job in a small town provides. I’m not a martyr, I don’t enjoy suffering nor am I trying to romance my position in life, I am actually content and peaceful with where I am at. I am enjoying seeing God work and waiting on him! But, like I said, I have gotten to the point where this place that I am at is do-able. And I think that’s why I prayed this prayer for challenge.

Really, that’s what it is.

I prayed for a challenge.

Why are we so afraid to pray prayers like this? Are we afraid that God will hurt us? If we go to church and memorize scripture like “I can do all things through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13), why is it so hard for us to believe that this is actually true?

Isn’t it better to be challenged and see God work, than to be comfortable and only see a tiny part of him?

When I took that one step of obedience, God showed me just how powerful he is. I gave up a boyfriend I was committed to, I gave up my new life with so many good friends close by, I gave the dream of buying a motorcycle this summer, I gave up a cute condo, I gave up being close to my niece and my sisters, I gave up a great paying job, I gave up a dynamic and amazing church, I gave up the dream of owning a home soon…the list goes on! But guess what. I don’t regret any of it! And it’s not because of me. I’m not an amazing person that can just live simply and be happy with it. I’m not someone who wants to be single or is satisfied with living at my parents place. But when God brings you through something, he provides you with what you need in order to make it through.

If someone had told me pre-Easter that I would be giving all of these things up and moving back to my hometown, I would have laughed hysterically and actually thought they were the probably the stupidest person I had met. I’m not kidding. Not only did I want to give up any of these things, but I didn’t know how it would be possible…how I would mentally, emotionally, be able to.

But with God, all things are possible.

Without these things, I am content. I am satisfied. I am living an amazing life and seeing my God work daily. And that is better than any of these things combined.

I would much rather live without these things and see firsthand that my God is powerful, than live with them and wonder if my God is truly as big as the bible says he is.

Why are we afraid of allowing God to work in our lives? Don’t we believe that he actually wants us to prosper (Jeremiah 29:11)? Are we so full of ourselves that we actually believe we can control our lives more effectively than God can? I mean, really, that’s what it boils down to. If I can’t pray this prayer, if I can’t abandon control of my life to God, than I am actually saying that I believe I can do a better job than God can. Personally, I think that’s scarier than giving him control in the first place.

So I’m going to pray this prayer again tonight. And even though it gives me butterflies when I wonder what it means, what will change in my life in order to experience being reckless for God, I am excited. Excited to see God move so wildly in my life again.

 

How many times do we kick ourselves for not learning the first time?

About eight months after I left my husband, I was driving back to my new city after visiting my hometown, and something in me snapped. I can only explain it as a “God Moment”.

I started crying uncontrollably and wasn’t able to stop thinking about or missing my hubby. I didn’t know why this started happening, at the time I thought that I was fine. I had just left from a great weekend visit with the family, I was returning to my city where I was happy and loving life…but something in me was randomly triggered and it could only have been God. I hadn’t seen my estranged hubby when I was in my hometown, I hadn’t thought much about him, and I hadn’t been missing our marriage or life together. Until the moment, about ten minutes out of town at the beginning of a nine hour drive back to where I was living.

The tears wouldn’t stop coming, just pouring down, and I remember telling myself that if they lasted until a certain point, I would call him.

They kept coming down until that point, my mind racing with memories and trying to control myself, but they kept coming. So I dared myself to pick up the phone and call my husband.

That night’s phone call turned into three months of my husband and I dating again, trying to get to know each other after several months of being apart. Long distance was hard, but I wasn’t ready to move back to my old hometown. We trudged through some hard moments and smiled through some great ones.

A couple trips back and forth, many many phone calls and skype dates, flowers at the office and love notes…it was hard, it was a struggle, being apart for those few months had created some walls, but there were amazing moments too.

After three months, the “feelings” had simmered for me. The novelty of it had worn off and I was convinced that it wouldn’t work. So, painfully, awfully…regrettably, I ended our dating and put a stop to ‘us’ a second time.

There are so many excuses I could have used, and did, but now that I am in a healthy place with God, I look back and know that there is one single reason that this second attempt at being together didn’t work. I (and we) wasn’t putting God at the centre.

In Luke 5:1-9 Simon is instructed by Jesus to do something he should know how to do. Fish. Possibly rolling his eyes and thinking “Jesus, I got this. I know what I’m doing, I’ve been doing it for years!” Simon takes the boat out a second time, after failing the first time I might add, and throws the net over the side of the boat. And what does he find? After following Jesus’ instructions, Simon finds success.

Jesus was at the centre of this miracle showing Simon something he was sure he knew how to do on his own. Simon, having failed earlier that day, finally has success when Jesus is directing.

Awe. That’s nice. Good for Simon, he allowed Jesus to be in control and saw a miracle!

But have you ever realized that this same miracle happened to the same guy in the same boat on the same sea with the same Jesus just a little while later?

John 21:4. Simon is fishing with some disciples just after Jesus has died and when they return to shore, after a night of frustrating failure, with no fish to speak of, Jesus instructs them to fish again. This time on the other side of the boat.

They do it, because who wouldn’t listen to a stranger telling you how to do your job in the early light of the morning?

And once more, a miracle happens. The same miracle to the same man.

Once again, Simon has success when he puts Jesus at the centre of what he thought he knew. When he follows Jesus’ instructions, a miracle ensues.

Had I (we) allowed Jesus to be in control and in the centre of what we thought we knew, our second attempt at mending our marriage would have been a success. But instead, we tried to fix the mountain of a messed up marriage by ourselves, not bringing God into the mix and not listening for his instruction. For a second time.

I’m glad that Simon had to see this miracle two times. I wonder if he got the point after the second time? I see this as hope, that even though Simon walked with Jesus, talked with him, had a friendship with him and saw first hand the miracles preformed in Jesus’ ministry, he still needed to see one in his own life. Twice.

Not only is it hope for me that someone so intimately connected to Jesus needed this, but it’s hope to see that Jesus didn’t just give up after Simon didn’t get the point the first time. He didn’t think “Well, I tried!” but he showed Simon again.

God showed me a miracle twice.

Twice he brought me back to him. The first time, I didn’t get it. I saw the God Moment that initially brought me back to my marriage, but I didn’t see that it meant my God was ever-powerful and that I needed to fully envelope myself in him in order to have success.

The second time I saw it completely. In an instant, for an unknown reason, God triggered something in me that couldn’t be denied. It was a God Moment! I would have never thought it was possible to be completely changed the way I was, but all things are possible with my God and I see that now!

Thank God he didn’t give up the first time! Thank God he tried again and made sure I knew that it was a miracle. My God is relentless and you don’t know how thankful I am for that!

Simon walked with Jesus and he needed to experience the same miracle twice before he understood. How much more do we need to experience a miracle to understand? How much more should we have patience with those around us as they experience miracles and don’t understand them the first time?

Just because the same miracle is preformed twice…doesn’t make it any less of a miracle.

God must have a purpose if he wants to show someone something so big…twice…

My sin put him on that cross.

My beautiful savior, Jesus, the blood dripping down his side, down his face. The thorn crown shoved into his scalp, the cold wind biting at his naked skin, as he lay there crying in pain, screaming, they pounded the nails deeper into his wrists.

As I turned away from my husband, that hammer hit the head of the nail. Pain seared through my loving Jesus’ body, his waist raised up in anguish, his face contorted in horror.

As I slept with that stranger, my merciful redeemer’s blood dripped deep red down his face, past his steaming eyes. Blood I caused, pain and hurt I made him endure. The pain from the jagged thorns pushed against the bone of his forehead stinging as it dug deeper with every movement.

As I signed those divorce documents, my beautiful master’s cross was raised up to stand in the dirt. His body’s weight hung from the long nails embedded in his arms and feet, tearing into his flesh and bones. His body was broken. Skin hung from exposed muscle, it was mutilated by whips, thorns and nails, because of me.

Jesus wailed in pain, screaming for his Father, wanting comfort, but there was no answer. God turned his face from him in this moment. Because of me.

Barely able to breathe, the indescribable emotional burden of my sin, of the wrong I have committed, weighing on his heart. He felt all of hurt I was causing him, he knew what I would do ahead of time and he carried the weight of my sins as he carried his cross to the hill where he would die.

While I was taking pleasure in the sin I was committing, Jesus was in complete, overtaking agony, on the cross.

He knew ahead of time what I would do and that I wouldn’t comprehend that I was causing him this hurt. He knew that I wouldn’t consider that. And he still agreed to be tortured. He knew that I would sin against him over and over again, not thinking about the cost he would pay, and he still volunteered to cover me with his blood.

A spear ripped into his side, blood poured out, audibly landing on the ground at his feet. A scream of agony.

“Father, forgive them for they do now know what they are doing.”

I didn’t know.

I couldn’t see.

And I don’t know what would be worse. Looking back at the irresponsible acts I did and knowing that even though I had been taught it my whole life, I somehow couldn’t see that I was hurting my God? Or being able to see, hearing him tell me this, but just not caring or comprehending and going ahead with it anyways.

And it was Easter weekend that God brought me back to him.

The weekend that we celebrate his death and resurrection. The weekend that we celebrate that God saves us from our sin, no questions asked. Easter weekend Jesus himself gently took me by the shoulders, and whispered “Beautiful girl, it’s time you saw.”

His one hand held my cheek as the other gently but firmly took the scales from my eyes. And as the light was finally allowed in, I saw him there before me, his kind and soft face smiling at me, and I knew what I had done.

His face told me everything.

It told me he loved me. It told me he already knew everything about me. It told me that he had covered my sin already. It told me that I was his beautiful girl.

His eyes lit up with excitement as he saw my recognition of him. He threw back his head and laughed, “I’ve been waiting for this moment.”

And in that instant, I knew I was saved. I was rescued and nothing I had ever done mattered to my God. All he cared about was that I was with him again. He had paid the price for me and knew ahead of time what I would do against him and once I asked forgiveness and tried to explain myself, he wrapped me in his crimson cloak, and said “My little girl, you have and always will be my bride.”

The other night I heard a friend say “Yeah, but God would want…”

So many times we put our ‘wants’ into our opinion of what God wants for us. God doesn’t want us to suffer, he wants us to prosper, but his definition of suffering and prospering may differ from ours!

So often we come to a conclusion of what God wants for our lives without comparing it to God’s word. And because of the situation I am in, I hear comments like this often. “God doesn’t want you to be single your whole life”, “God wants you to be happy”, “God doesn’t want you to suffer”…

Singleness.

Singleness isn’t a bad thing! Singleness gives you time with God, time to focus on your relationship with him without interruption and time to hear his voice and walk in the direction he is setting before you.

An unmarried woman or a virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit.

1 Corinthians 7:34

Yes, I have been married before. Yes, sex is wonderful. Yes, I can’t wait to be married again. But God has called me to wait for my husband to return to me, however long that takes. God doesn’t ask you to do things that he won’t provide the strength to endure. Through God, I am satisfied with where I am in life. Through him, I am content being single.

If I was trying to do this on my own strength, it would be impossible. When I focus on the world’s definition of happiness in this part of my life, I get antsy. I want a man to put his arms around me, I want to be kissed again, I want to go on a date, I want to hear how beautiful he thinks I am. But when I pray for strength to help me through this point of my life, God provides in a way I never, ever thought was possible.

Yes, I believe that I am called to a married life. I believe that God will allow this to happen and that my husband and I will have such a testimony and such a powerful relationship that it will only bring God glory. The ‘how’ is what I don’t know right now. But it’s not my job to know the ‘how’, it’s my job to know obey God’s instructions. I can’t wait for that day where I look back and see the ‘how’! The day where I can say “Hey satan, look at this! What you meant as a curse, God has turned into a blessing! You are crushed beneath our feet!!”

Suffering

If you look at what the disciples had to go through to witness and to live their lives to glorify Christ…I think I have a pretty cushy life. “Suffering” is the last word I would use to describe it.

Yes, I’m living a single life. Yes, I am living off of a limited pay-cheque. But I have never felt so full of life! I have never felt so close to God, so in-tune with my purpose in life or so at peace.

Sure, there are bad days where I wish I was “normal”. Where I wish that I could just live life and not worry about being accountable to God (wait, stop…is that what it is to be ‘normal’?!…yikes!). But I believe so strongly that God has called me to this path that I know I can’t give up on it. Not only am I fully confident that God has told me to live this life for him, but in this lifestyle I have heard from him so frequently and so obviously that I just wouldn’t and couldn’t give up on that.

Consider who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Hebrews 12:3

If I keep my eyes on Jesus, everything else fades into the background. If I focus on him and his biblical call to my life, everything else is just a slight detail. Forget my marriage for a second, forget my husband for a moment…God’s call to every Christian’s life is to live fully for him. When I get to the Pearly Gates God isn’t going to ask me “So Katie, were you married?” or “When was the last time you had sex?” He’s going to ask me what I did to advance the Kingdom of Heaven and what fruit I have to show for it, he’s going to ask what treasured I stored up for Heaven, not Earth.

There is always a purpose to the suffering that God asks of us. He won’t ask us to do anything that he won’t help us through and when we look back and realize that the God of the universe was right beside us the entire time, speaking to us and holding our hand, I believe that we won’t consider what we went through as suffering. We’ll realize the miracle of experiencing our God through it all made it worth it.

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you… Many are the woes of the wicked, but the Lord’s unfailing love surrounds the man who trusts in him.

Psalm 32:8,10