So, yesterday I called the local rape crisis center to schedule short term therapy sessions.

Notice the date of the post below and the day I called.

Yeah.

I was pretty much terrified to call the center for a few days. For one, I’ve never verbally affirmed the abuse happened before. In fact for the only person I’ve ever “told”, I literally spelled out a few bits of info. No details, only that something serious happened to me. Thankfully answering machine took the call and now I’m waiting for a call back.

Ugh.

I do want to get better, I really do, but I can’t really say I’m looking forward to the sessions. Everything from being afraid of someone I know seeing me park there to uncovering more memories (I have gaps in memory, NOT a good thing from what I’m reading) is wracking my brain right now.

Buuut…doing hard things is essential for, well, everything. I chose a path that requires me to be open with myself so I can be open with others. I speak to kids, mentor them, but if one of those kids were sick would I knowingly send them to a doctor with a deadly, contagious disease? Of course not! That’s what I’m essentially doing when I fail to acknowledge myself as a (future) overcomer. Someone is going to ask me how to get over something like this one day, and I’d rather have even a little bit of an answer for rather than crumble from shame within.

This dreaded wait it irritating me, lol, but it’s worth it.

*I’ll get to the title of this post in a minute.*

I’ve mostly avoided this topic because as a single person, I didn’t think I had anything to add to the conversation.

I’m talking about sex.

If you’ve read my previous post, one of the guiding factors to creating this blog was because I never learned about boys or sex growing up. Though 100% true, it isn’t the whole picture–I was sexually abused, and because of it I’ve also had to purge my false understanding of male-female relationships as I’ve likewise learned what God has to say about it.

(Note: It’s very hard to write this, so if something doesn’t make sense gon’ head and tell me!).

I’ve never actually had sex before (vaginal, oral or anal; never been fingered); the teen who abused 11-year-old me escalated the molestation from a light caress on the hands or arms, to inappropriately long and touch-feely hugs to forcing me into back rooms to massage, grope and fondle me. This all happened at my childhood church. I left that church when I moved away for college.

I’ve never told anyone about it before, save for this blog post and a program I’ve reached out to to get myself some help. At the time I didn’t think, and still don’t to a certain extent, that anyone would care or listen to me. As a result of the abuse I became suicidal. I also thought that since it didn’t advance to sex I was sort of a lesser victim, if I could even identify myself as such at all. I’m an activist and advocate for domestic violence and other victims of violence and always felt their harrowing stories made mine nothing in comparison. The only problem was I have some of the same anxiety and other issues they do as well. I’ve also encountered others with a similar story as mine and I would never minimize their experience. I had to come to understand the full scope of sexual violence. All of it hurts. It’s like a heavy iron chain holding you in bondage. But I’m not in bondage, I’m free.

If you have Jesus, you’re free too.

Even though I intellectually understand myself as a victim I’m embarrassed by my silence. The first step is getting help, which I’m doing, and hopefully it’ll teach me how to help others with my story. I also want that help to help me with intimacy with my husband and children, should I ever marry. Going back to the title of this post, after listening to married folks at church, in my personal reading and listening to Moody radio, sex, among other things, is both the glue and icing that holds marriages together. Marriage has so much depth that great sex alone is no guarantee of a happy marriage, but at the same time when it’s missing or lacking it’s detrimental to an otherwise solid the marriage bond (in fact I recently read an article that found even so-so/average sex is leaps and bounds better than nothing). It’s icing in that an otherwise great marriage is awesome with sexual intimacy, and the glue that’s vital for keeping it going.

In my head, all of this makes perfect sense. Emotionally, I had some work to do but thankfully I’m getting stronger by the day. Being an introvert and not getting hugged much as a child, the sexual abuse just made my aversion to physical touch all the more a problem for me. Now, I still cringe when my pastor says, “If you’re too mean or too stuck up to hug/high five/shake hands with five people…” or whomever, and probably will for a long time. I really don’t want anyone to think I’m mean or stuck up. :( Besides being a trigger for me if I’m sitting next to a man, I sort of have to invite people into my personal space on my own, if that makes any sense. Luckily in my healing I’ve learned I’m actually an extremely affectionate person! :) Who knew? I’m so happy I can accept affection from those I love now without shying away. Having never told anyone about my abuse I probably just seemed like an alien.

So, why this post? In my “becoming” I’m also coming to understand sex a glue and icing for marriage, not as something that causes pain and bondage. I’ve found a couple great Christian resources dealing with sex, namely ChristianNympho.org (ignore the name, lol). Now I don’t read eeeeverything–as a single woman not ALL of it’s necessary, lol–but it’s a great place to start for everyone. Another one I’ll designate for when the going gets tough if I’m ever married is a blog ran by a woman who spent a year never refusing her husband sex. It’s called I Will Never Say No in 2012. As a sexual abuse victim turned survivor, it’s initially extremely difficult to wrap my head around the notion that sex is an actual need and not an option, especially for men. My attacker was a male, and a very troubled one at that, but my husband will certainly not be an attacker and it’s up to me to become emotionally healthy enough to trust, respect and love him as a gift God blessed me to have during my short time here on earth. I’ve noticed an ongoing theme among women who for whatever reason withhold sex from their husbands: many times, it’s because sex isn’t viewed as a need as vital as her own needs, the needs of their children, the needs of the workplace, ect. One of the first things I did this morning after waking up was heat up leftover pizza for breakfast. Why? Because I was hungry. What happens when I don’t eat? I. GET. MEAN. Lol!! So serious, I’m not the most pleasant person when I my stomach gets grumbling, to the point that family members ask if I ate anything if I snap at them or seem disinterested in whatever is going on, hahahahaaa. Seriously though, in getting something to eat I both satisfied a vital need for my body (and, apparently other bodies from my hunger-induced attitude) but also prevented anything unpleasant relating to it. This is all easy to say/write out, but when I marry a top priority is making sure along with other daily needs including sexual intimacy with my husband is included–lest I have to deal with the sexually hungry, emotionally emptied and likely very unpleasant monster (albeit *created* monster) also known as the sex-starved husband. If I’m anything like the average married woman this won’t be easy to do which is why I’m trying to cultivate the mindset of sex as a vital need right now.

With alllll of that said, even though I’m working to get better I won’t truly know the fruits of my labor until I marry and that scares me a little. I pray that the Lord helps me continue being emotionally healthy not only for the sake of my husband and our intimacy, but also in my work as a daughter of the Most High.

It occurred to me yesterday that the Becoming the Right Person blog is now 3-year-old!

:)

Wow…comparing my life three years ago to now, I feel as though I’ve lived an entire lifetime–or seven, lol. Let’s see, I moved about six times, changed jobs three times, reluctantly lived in four cities (between two states), started a nonprofit and sucker punched depression in the throat, POW!. Aaaand that’s just the major stuff! Around this time three years ago I was stuck in the desert both literally and figuratively, wanting to get back to my home city without any sort of inkling as to how that could happen and coming to understanding that I knew nothing about men, relationships or marriage. I never learned about boys or sex, and the idea of marriage was both attractive yet a giant question mark (some may argue that it’s still a giant question mark and that’s quite alright, lol).

For whatever reason, I felt a huge tug to set out to learn everything I had missed out on learning about. I was 23 at the time, and the task seemed extremely daunting–after all, my first real sex talk probably should have occurred maybe 15 years or so prior, complete with additional learning about it. I didn’t see it as such then, but I was embarking on learning years and years worth of lessons on my own, since I neither had a church where I lived in the desert or a married couple to defer to. It was exciting, the bookstore was calling my name everyday, but most of all it was daunting. I was super late to this new world and Facebook reminded me daily about my newly engaged, married and family-building friends, while I was busy reading up on it all without a single suitor in sight.

Fast forward and though much has changed, a lot has not as well. I’ve mostly traded the bookstore (expensive!) for my car radio, which stays on Moody Bible Radio for both nostalgic and learning purposes–I grew up listening to it thanks to a Christian school and Christian babysitter–but the program is chock full of family and marriage oriented material. I don’t agree with all of their programming, but none of what I disagree with is doctrinal in nature so it’s all good! I’ve learned a loooooot, though unfortunately I still don’t have a married couple to bombard with questions. Simply put, I don’t know what I don’t know, so everything seems like a big revelation, lol. Learning is fun though, so I don’t mind. Soon after I returned home (yay!), my church introduced a single’s ministry that I eventually felt a bit lukewarm toward, but it was nice knowing I was at least acknowledged as a person. Facebook is still teeming with newly engaged, married and family-building friends, and I am still very much single. That bothered me more in 2013 than now, which I had to dig deep into my heart to see what the real issue was. I had always wanted to be a fairly young wife and mother, but the closer the clock ticked to my 25th birthday the more suffocating it felt to realize that wasn’t going to happen. Like, not. at. all. Eek. Lol…I shared my feelings in a previous post on this as well, but coupled with the fact that I very rarely date and am not approached, being married and on my way to having mini me’s (or, mini him’s!) is just not something I see happening anytime soon. I am now 26, almost 27, and if were to meet a potential mate today, date for 1.5/2 years, allow a year or so for pre-marital counseling–which I think is far too long but that’s not here or there at the moment, lol–I’d be getting married at 30ish, with juniors likely making their grand entrance to the world around 32. While I would certainly be young in general terms, I think we can all agree that 32ish not a young mother. All of this is also under the assumption that Mr. Guy who approached me was, in fact, someone I could marry. Oy. Talk about a stretch considering my circumstances.

My primary goal now is shifting my perspective on what it means to be the “right person.” I still have a LOT to learn. I don’t necessarily believe everyone who desires marriage will be married, but I still try to share what I’ve learned/been learning with others and my tug to learn all I can may have been for the sole purpose of helping my fellow sisters. When I started the blog I thought my issue was mostly just learning wifely basics like cooking, checking my spiritual fruit to be sure it wasn’t rotten, and the life, and I still believe those things are very important. However something far more important rings true–when you choose to make God the center of your life and consciously decide to make striving for holiness a deliberate effort, you as the “right person” will shine through. Granted, there may be a specific person God says, “Yep, she will do well alright with this guy, their interests match wonderfully,” or something to that effect, we ultimately have our own choices to make and that person only becomes your soul mate once you are one through the covenant of marriage. Ultimately, the “right person” is someone who is consciously aware that being that person is something we strive to be, not arrive at to be swiftly taken off our feet and ride into the distance with Prince Charming. (Side note: the idea of a perfect mate or Prince Charming kind is the biggest turn off ever for me now! I used to want that guy in high school, but I realize now that with my own issues and downright spiritual ugliness within myself I’m working on, pairing my very imperfect self with someone perfect is akin to riding around in a late model Benz with a giant splat of bird poop on the windshield, lol!).

So, what have I learned in year 3? I’m not going backwards which is always a good thing, lol. I’ve learned that when God says He’s got me in His hands, not only is He not letting me go but I can’t even jump out of them if I wanted to. I want Him to be proud of me, I want Him to use me, and I thank Him for showing me I can still work for the kingdom even though I do not have a husband. Come on year 4! Next year at this time I will be 27, going on 28 and it’s so surreal! :) All in all I’m thankful that I even get the opportunity to learn so much truth. God is so good to us.

Edited to add: I still haven’t decided on whether or not I will reveal my identity now or in the future! I prefer anonymity, but I don’t know if I’ll feel that way forever. Stay tuned. :)

If there’s one thing I know how to do well, it’s finding out the hard way how well something doesn’t work.

In my previous post I mentioned a lot of what I’ve learned about being a godly wife crosses by path by accident, and some very much intentional. Of the intentional is a phenomenal blog called Peaceful Wife (and it’s little sister, Peaceful Single Girl), which the creator says is aimed at those with the more domineering personality type. I wouldn’t describe myself as domineering, but she’s really helped me in my understanding of godly submission. Like many young women, I absolutely HATED the concept of submission fed to me by society, the church and my religious school, and for good reason: I was being taught wrong! Not only did learning what true submission is feel natural to me, but it also gave me a glimpse at a sense of how to keep peace in my life. At the same time, I’m increasingly learning to keep God as my source and it’s going to work everyday that reinforces it. Without getting into too many details, I’m disrespected on a regular basis each day when I go in to work. At first it really wore me down, and even now it still hurts, but since I’ve been keeping God as my source of peace I’ve been much happier! Right now during my “ditch experience”, I’ve really been getting a glimpse of what it must feel like for a man to not have a peaceful, respectful wife. For that reason I thank God for where I am because empathy goes a very long way!

The way I approach my relationships with friends and family have changed too–I see everyone as multidimensional, fully capable of making huge mistakes while simultaneously loving the Lord with their entire hearts, and, for the most part, wanting to do what’s right even if it doesn’t always seem like it. It’s not that I never saw any of this before, but again, it’s the empathy behind it that it was difficult to get my head around at times. Learning about how I tick mentally has helped as well, and I thank God for all of the internet sources I’ve been finding since I don’t really have the funds for regular therapist visits. My church offers a lot of courses too, the most influential by far for me being one called Safe People (I’ve written about it on this blog before). I took it since a required one, Grief Recovery, was full and I haven’t regretted it yet!

I think I’ve said before that “becoming the right person” means much more to me now than focusing on being a blessing of a wife to my future husband, even though that’s extremely important to me too. I want more than anything to make God smile and be proud of me.

It’s been several months since my last post. You’ve probably gathered that. :)

I haven’t been on a hiatus per se–in fact I’ve been making my own “mental posts” on this whole becoming thing…simply put, it’s been a whirlwind of a journey. What started with learning the surface-type basics of being a godly wife became so much more in the three years since I started blogging.

I’m still very single.

I’m still rebuilding my finances (slowly…ugh, painstakingly slow).

I’m still stuck at my job.

I’m still…blessed beyond measure…

…and I don’t deserve it at all.

After all these years of being a born-again Chris-follower–He’s had my whole heart for going on 20 years now–I’m still indescribably humbled that He led someone into my life to teach me the Gospel as a young girl. My only explanation for my salvation as a 6/7-year-old girl is that I desperately needed the Holy Spirit’s direction, guidance and education.

Anyway, I’m completely saturated in the learning aspect of becoming a godly wife, of which a good chunk of it isn’t even intentional! I’m both somewhat embarrassed yet grateful I’m sort of being socked over the head with it, lol. Some of it is very intentional, like only listening to Moody Radio, a habit I developed wayyy back in middle school, but a lot of it is just coming across articles, blogs and other materials about it. I pray to God all the time that I just be a wife that’s a blessing to her husband and children.

I pray that all of my wonderful visitors be a blessing to their households too! It’s hard, yo! I’m even debating on whether or not I really want to purchase a television since I haven’t had one since my last major move in 2011. I don’t miss it at all and it would only be for my visitors, so I’ll see, but I’ve found there’s just too much I need to study and learn to be wasting time in front of the television. No, I don’t think it’s inherently evil or anything, lol. It’s just there’s something on me that needs my undivided time.

Mooooving along…now that I’ll soon be an “older single” this year when I turn 27 (not my own words! lol), I’ll try to post much more often. I’m very much okay where I am, I’ve even started a non-profit organization for a cause near and dear to my heart, but there’s now a new dynamic to the pressure that’s on me to marry. It’s not a panicky kind of pressure, just one where I realize that’s the only facet of my being anyone really seems to care about anymore. If that comes across in a woe-is-me kinda way, that’s not intentional, I just really want to encourage my fellow sistas out there that no matter how anyone else out there sees you, you’re still a mighty woman of God regardless of your age. As for me, I’m just taking it all in…these past few years have been absolutely nuts for me and I’m sure for you too.

Adieu for now!

Yeah, so digging and filling ditches is apparently really hard to do.

Figuratively, of course.

I’m referring to money, a really scary topic for mid-twentyers for the last several years (not a word but let’s roll with it). For me what’s toughest is knowing all of my issues were due to ignorance and general stupidity–I picked up habits ingrained in my family despite otherwise being the “responsible one” in our clan. At the same time though, I have meager solace in knowing my issues just came from living. No partying it up for me, just desperately trying not to starve while making minimum wage in my career field.

My greatest worry is how this looks to people, specifically people who are not women or children (hint: men, lol). I’ve forgiven myself, but I’ve come to several realizations in this journey: 1.) My husband is/will be a great man and I’m not just saying that. I’ve been through the wringer way too much for him to be just anybody, and I don’t mean that in a demeaning way at all. My life is a set up to complement his, and vice versa. In fact along with really getting into my prayer life more, I pray for him daily…whomever he may be. 2.) Worrying does nothing to help me. I have favor, and God loves me regardless of what I feel.

And with alllll of that, I made a tentative financial plan. It wasn’t easy making one since things tend to look more of a long shot than a sure thing for me, but here goes!

1.) Credit building — the easiest one, amazingly.

2.) Wealth building — specifically for my children. Besides my regular saving, I want to contribute to a Roth IRA in their names specifically for when they have families. This will be in addition to the funds saved up for their education, which I’m hoping will be 50 percent funded by my husband and I and the rest from scholarships and grants, should they choose college or trade school. If they choose neither of those options, the money can be used for a business already seeing moderate success as a start up and needing the funds to back it.

3.) Shunning 401k savingfor shame you say?! The prognosis on 401k saving is actually quite poor for the majority of people with this plan, and on top of that there are many rules and regulations governing it. I’ll likely delve into this in some future post on finances though. I do have one, but once my company stops matching it I’m going to stop funding it. Instead, I’m going to save a significant amount toward a high earning savings account and the rest will be invested, put into the account, then reinvested on a rolling basis.

4.) Building my own home — yes, really! It’s really been on my heart to buy land and build our home for a really long time. I’m not sure where this random idea came from, but I do love home and interior design. Some of my favorite websites are ApartmentTherapy, Houzz, DreamHomeSource, YoungHouseLove, Ana-White, Manhattan-Nest, Centsational-Girl … aaaand a bazillion others. :) Ana White is amazing–not only did she build her own home, but she and her husband literally built it themselves and are working on a home for her mother. Oh yeah, and she’s doing this while pregnant with their second child. Talk about dedication!

5.) Learning efficiently — I didn’t get this the first time around, and wish I could give my 16 and 17-year-old selves a really big hug. I’ve been on my own financially and otherwise for a really long time. It hurts. With that said I’m glad to have discovered it’s not left field to have multiple interests, one being to inspire young girls! I’m currently enrolled in school for an associates in Sports and Exercise Studies to go with my personal trainer certification which I am also working toward and plan to take the test for in December. Once I get a sound footing I’m also going to enroll for my master’s in Food & Nutrition. I’m doing all of this slowly, paying for it out of pocket. I really hate student loans!

6.) Save, save, save. — Saving. :)

I’m also in the process of figuring out how to increase my income for the sake of saving, which has been really difficult. I work in the field where my work day can change at any time, meaning another static gig is out of the question. I have a couple plans under my sleeve though, and hopefully they work out!

That’s all for now. Ciao. :)

I mentioned in my previous post that I took a summer long break from this blog while dealing with self esteem issues, though I’m still not totally sure if that’s what I want to call it.

If you’ve been reading for the 2+ years I’ve written here (time flies!), I didn’t exactly start the blog on purpose. While living in the desert (literally) and no prospects in sight, I felt the sudden urge to research as much as I could about marriage after stumbling upon a really great sermon on the topic. Fast forward, and I’m still living in the desert (figuratively) and still with no prospects in sight, lol!! I can honestly say I’ve grown up a lot, and the scope of this blog shifts, ebbs and flows.

Getting to the point, I’m guilty of setting mental milestones for myself. Now I’m not at all opposed to mental milestones, but I made the mistake of making them on my own terms. See…in about a month I will be 26 years old. It had always been a desire of mine to be a young wife and mother, and it took some mental gymnastics to realize this was one of the reasons why I was struggling with my emotions at times this year. Some people reading this are going, “What?!?! That’s it?! You have your whooole life ahead of you, get over yourself.” and I wouldn’t necessarily disagree with them. I suppose in my case coupled with the fact that I’ve never quite been in a serious relationship, am very rarely approached (and only by non-Christian men) and the fact that say I were to meet a godly, Christian man tomorrow, I would likely be pushing 28 or 29 before we got married–and that’s pending he truly is my husband. I’ve never written out any crazy timelines or anything like that, but as much as I hate to say it I sort of feel forgotten about.

Don’t get me wrong–I love the Lord, and have since I was a little girl. In fact I believe one of the reasons He spoke to my heart at such a young age was because I didn’t have direction growing up or even now. I never learned about boys, cooking or how to be a wife from anyone in particular. I was (and still am) a Bible nerd, and I never understood why I was/am so different from everyone else my age. I’ve made some very ugly mistakes, but I’m certain if it wasn’t for the Holy Spirit’s guidance throughout my formative years I would lost. He raised me, and for that I’m also grateful for along with my salvation at the tender age of 6. :)

In my heart, I know God has never left me and never will. He’s shown me a glimpse of my future, and I can’t wait to get there.

And…regardless of how things pan out for me, I will always love my Father. :)

So, how do people celebrate 26th birthdays? I’ve never really done anything for my birthday before, and that includes my 13, 16, 18, 21 and 25th birthdays. On my 21st, which was a Friday, I worked all day and fell asleep at 11 p.m. I know, I know…such a wild woman, lol.

Wow, interesting summer indeed.

…and it’s not over, yikes. :)

I’m just going to get right to it since it’s been a while since I’ve written here. Truth be told I won’t say I lost interest in this blog, but rather my self esteem was treading murky waters. I’m still not sure if I even have the right, insight or foresight to comment on this topic, but then again it wasn’t my idea to start it anyway, lol.

Back in June I met a guy. Or, rather, he met me. I was leaving the gym and walking my bike to the street when he walked over and started a conversation. He was very smart (in school studying mechanical engineering after spending time in the military), engaging, charming and not bad looking at all either.

My guard was (very reluctantly) up. I did give him my number though.

Now, because of my work schedule I can’t always communicate with people in a time frame that makes sense, unfortunately. I may every intention of responding to a text, email, phone call, ect…but I can get so weary the simple act of sitting down somewhere for too long can be ticket to the next day (i.e. I go to sleep quickly, haha!).

Anyway, this guy was very persistent with me, which I liked*. We never had a real date, but rather I responded to a text from him about where I was (downtown) and asked if he wanted to come for awhile too. I was planning on going on a bike run later that day and was in full gear, but was spending time at a fair/party on the square. When he arrived I knew I was in trouble…he was in summer date attire. The weather eventually took a turn for the worse–canceling my bike ride–and fast forwarding to a couple hours later, he finally got the (sort of) date he was looking for. I would be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy it, but it also left me on edge*.

The most interesting part was learning a few things about myself: if given the chance, I will witness to just about anyone. During our conversation I learned he was a former Black Muslim* then a fundamental Muslim and while he really liked church, he wasn’t committed to any particular beliefs. I then spent about 20 minutes telling him about Jesus, and not on purpose. It’s not that I didn’t want to, but the way it just flowed out of me was a sign from the Holy Spirit I needed to focus.

After that day I still spoke to him a few times, but eventually kind of just stopped. It wasn’t that I didn’t like him, it was because I *DID* but he was demanding too much intimacy from me and had already proved he wasn’t who God wanted me to be with from previous conversations. Now, when I say intimacy I just don’t mean sex even though he did invite me over several times. That’s actually what scared me the most because I’m not used to being approached, and I don’t want to react like an idiot. Every so often a man will approach, be normal in most respects, allude to sexual intimacy way too often for my liking and then really does provide a way of escape for me. All I have to do is choose it even though as a fully functional 25-year-old woman, the general message of the masses is I should give in to sex and enjoy being young. I wish I could say I completely balk at an opportunity that comes my way to have sex, but unless it’s some random cat caller on the street I’ve never actually done that. I’ve always declined, but I don’t recall ever giving a flat out “no.” In fact, even though I’m a virgin I’ve been very disappointed in myself for getting dangerously close to a “yes” on several occasions.

And yes, you read that correctly: a 25-year-old virgin. I’m also African American and was born, raised and currently reside in the inner city.

I also have a pet unicorn named Mindy.

Just kidding. :) About the unicorn, that is.

But anyway, back to the intimacy thing: I can’t simply let go what I work so very hard to not only keep safe, but obtain from God. I don’t mean this in some theological, super deep way either–I long for God. I also believe all humans long for God, as He created the idea of a “relationship” and we spent a great deal of time making lateral ones through boyfriends, girlfriends, spouses, pets…whomever…rather than establishing a vertical, permanent one to Abba (God the Father aka Dad). I looove worship music, and if you do too you’ve probably noticed the trend that we’re always longing after God, chasing after God, welcoming God to the atmosphere and the like. Even though the veil in the temple was ripped when Jesus died, giving everyone direct access to Him, intimacy doesn’t just happen. We have to pursue it. With alllll that said, *our date left me on edge because I want my future husband, especially in our early stages, to push me toward our God. On our impromptu date no explicit conversation happened, but a few things caught my attention besides him not being a Christian. Don’t worry, there is a ginormous plank in my own eye and I have no qualms about going in on myself here, but I want to use an analogy a missionary friend of mine used to describe one of the prime difference between someone chasing after holiness and someone who isn’t:

Imagine a tunnel with two open ends, and you, a saved Christian and an unsaved person are standing in the middle holding a suspended rope. At one end is an endless pit of inky darkness, and on the other end is pure light. From where you are, both ends are not visible and you might as well be blind. Thankfully, your ears are working and you hear God calling from the lit end. And, unfortunately, since your ears are working, you also hear pleasurable yet superficial things on the other end. A Christian trying to walk in holiness will follow God’s voice, but will always feel the tug of the rope encouraging us to backtrack to the other end. Just like in a game of tug-o-war, you’ll lose ground and fall, but you still get up and walk steadily to the end with light, ultimately following God’s voice above all the other ones–we recognize our Father’s voice and settle for nothing less! The unsaved person does hear God’s voice, but the other sounds are deafening. They feel the tug of the rope, but because they don’t know the difference they head in the direction that’s both easiest and doesn’t sound all that bad. The great thing is, everyone has admired God’s handiwork even if they don’t want to admit it. An unsaved person may wake up extra early one morning and curse God, look out the window and see the magnificent colors the morning brings, have a fleeting thought that, “Wow…could the big bang really make something so beautiful?”, but again feel the tug of being inconvenienced and keep walking to the dark end of the tunnel. Now, I too get annoyed at waking too early on a day I really need it, but when I see the morning and hear the birds sing it just does something to my heart. It is these moments of reflection that makes no one a lost cause.

I love this analogy because it doesn’t paint a picture of a perfect Christian. Speaking for myself, if I’m not deliberate in my relationship with Christ I’m just one smooth talking guy away from heartache and maybe even a baby. It is this deliberateness that I not only find attractive in a Christian man, but will make my Father proud of me when I keep it at the forefront of my relationship with Him.

Did I mention all of this is hard?!?!

Yeah, cuz it is!

Wanting to do what’s right is difficult because our earthly bodies have yet to catch up with our new minds. Our bodies want to do things that our minds are utterly disgusted by, and we disciplining ourselves to not give into it can be a struggle.

On my impromptu date, I kept feeling a “tug” in the direction leading away from God. *It was just a subtle one, like when he apologized for using a curse word while getting very exciting story. I accepted the apology, actually wasn’t too offended but instead of seeing it as an opportunity to calm down, he saw it as a green light to insert a curse word into every other word in each sentence from there on out. I almost wanted to ask him if he was related to the late Richard Pryor! *I also felt a tug when he mentioned he used to be Muslim, because those guys tend to be extremely intelligent when it comes to knowing Islam and Christianity. I knew that if his heart truly did skew more so into the realm of being a non-committed Muslim rather than an agnostic (or theist) who like Christian church, I was really in for a mental battle. At this point I knew this date was fruitless and I was now concerned about the impact it may be having on well, my life in general. I was also torn because as I said before, I really liked him.

Long story short, as I said before I did have contact with him a few times afterward and he even tried meeting up with me again. Each time he asked me to come over, and each time I brushed him off. He eventually stopped contacting me. I don’t give myself any sort of applause though. I see experiences like these like hanging off the edge of a cliff and grabbing the hand of a rescuer just as before your last finger slips.

Before I finish (sorry for the length), I want to add that another things helped me tremendously was finally making my list of what I’d like in a husband about a year ago. When I began this blog, I was still uncomfortable with making one because I didn’t feel like I had any right to do so. I now know that the purpose of the list isn’t to hand it off to God like He’s some Santa Claus, but so I can stay focused. One of the things on my list is a man who’s really into health and wellness. If I meet someone who’d rather camp out on the couch all day and refuses to do otherwise, he’s probably not for me. In addition to my list, I’ve also made one for expectations for myself too. I’ll write about that too sometime. :)

‘Til next time!

 

B.:

Excellent post! A definite must read.

Originally posted on Grace for the road:

When I was 16, I got a purity ring.

And when I was 25, I took it off.

I didn’t tell anyone I was doing it — it wasn’t a statement or an emotional thing. I just slipped it off my finger that day and, before tucking it away in a box, ran my finger around the words on the familiar gold band.

“True Love Waits.” Waits.

What’s it “waiting” for, anyway?

*****

I had my reasons for deciding not to wear it anymore. Other people might have other reasons. It’s a graveyard of hearts, this place where single church girls crash into their late 20s and early 30s. Churches see the symptoms. They scramble to reach out to the ever-growing young adult singles crowd who feels alienated by family-oriented services.

But there’s something bigger behind it than that.

Much bigger.

There are a lot of girls out there…

View original 885 more words

Soooo…I’m still going to Singles Ministry at church. For the past several months I’ve been wavering on continuing to attend, with the last two or three months being the toughest. Since it’s started I’ve only missed two meetings–one because I had to work, the other because I had a strange inkling doing so would be unsafe since I walk and take public transportation (thank You Holy Spirit for alerting me to whatever danger was lurking!).red-circle-slash-0

First things first: I truly believe I’m supposed to be attending Singles, grudgingly or not. If you know my story of the past three years, the very fact that I’m writing this blog post from my hometown is nothing short of a miracle. Besides personal reasons, Christian singles and the general idea of singleness from both an economical and social standpoint have been a fascinating focus and one I can honestly say are probably supernaturally driven.

My attendance has become of the grudgingly sort because I’d like to join and have tried for some time, but I’m not connecting. Unfortunately the way the buses run I get there after it’s started, and when it ends my ride isn’t very nice about me wasting any time leaving, lol, so I don’t have time to physically approach anyone. Also, some of the things in recent meetings straight up irked me as well, namely the singles-have-so-much-free-time-and-can-do-what-they-wanna mantra. While I agree that if a friend invited me to lunch I could theoretically just, well, go (sorta), or if I wanted to go on a nature walk for an hour by myself I can just grab my coat, or wanted cheese puffs for a snack I can head out the door, during one of our singles meetings it was said that we have the freedom to move–as in to another city–whenever we want. I’m beginning to notice some married folks say things of this nature, or that I have the freedom to buy a house if I want, or I can dump money into another degree or a business venture at my own whim, ect…

Free time argument aside, since it’s suuuper subjective though it’s obvious those without pressing responsibilities theoretically have more time to spare…I really with the singles-can-do-what-they-wanna mantra would die a slow death.

Why?

Because you can’t.

No, you cannot.

Yes. YOU. Reading this post.

One of the main things that stick out to me about the various people in the Bible is the burdens many of them carried for whatever reason. Sometimes I ask for forgiveness for being a mini Jeremiah after getting a bit preachy–I can’t always hold in the fire, lol! But Jeremiah, the first man Adam and many others had jobs as singles, and were subject to God regardless. I in no way think I’m comparable to these mighty men of God, but am likewise subject to Him as a single woman. Even though we may not have family obligations and other issues holding us back, as a single it’s not the greatest idea to buy a one-way ticket to Cancun tomorrow because the wind blew north this afternoon.

Wow…Cancun sounds reaaally nice right about now…*clears throat* Ahem…as I was saying (haha), simply put we need to allow God to order our steps:

As a single, DO ask God what you should do and what directions to go in. If He says no, obey what He says. Remember Noah? Ha!

As a single, practice submitting honorably whether talking to a police officer during a traffic stop or being asked by your boss to do a task that’s genuinely beneath your skills.

As a single, be careful not to let bad habits take foothold because no one’s there to lift an eyebrow.

As a single, SERVE. Service is showing love. I’m not just talking about the Sunday morning ministry kind of service. Serve by giving in for no reason in particular–always getting our way isn’t always the best for character building. Serve by thinking how your talents, abilities and available resources can help those around you. A while ago I wrote a post about the movie The Secret Life of Bees. Even though the movie itself was so-so, what stuck out to me most was the part when the little girl asked one of sisters why their house was an OOGLY (not ugly, oogly…lol) shade of pink. She said it was simply because one of her other sisters liked the color, and sometimes we do things to brings others joy. Now, this doesn’t mean you go painting your house an ugly shade of pink, hahahaa…but keep in mind being right, getting what we want or fulfilling selfish needs will eventually get very old no whether single or married.

At my church we sing a song that goes, “My life is not my own/to You I belong/I give myself/I give myself to You”. If you’re a Christian you’ve been redeemed for a hefty price–Jesus’ sinless life. It may not always be easy, but as an adopted son or daughter in the kingdom, God has a plan for each of our lives. I can only speak for myself, but as much as I’d like to move it’s not in God’s plan for me right now. There are a host of other things I’d like to do, but again, not part of His plan. Even so, I’m eternally grateful for the plans He does have.

If you’re single and reading this, I won’t pretend to know how you feel, or how frustrating it may be to feel unsure about the next stage in your life because you’ve allowed God to be the commander of your ship. Just know that He loves you and just like some earthly dads give their kids wisdom and direction because they want what’s best for you, God is the same! :)

Be blessed y’all!

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