It’s not you, it’s Him

Darling, it’s not you, it’s him.

Let me be vividly honest for a moment. I struggle with relationships. I don’t date often because I know I fall fast. For this reason I weed through potential suitors with a fine tooth comb. I don’t enjoy dating. I don’t find it enjoyable at all. In fact I find it emotionally exhausting. So, if I dated someone it was because I saw great potential. For this reason when I get my heart broken, it’s to a severe degree.
However, I feel this great pressure to be in a relationship. I feel it from certain people who consistently ask if I’ve met anyone. I feel it from the world because everyone where I’m from gets married early. I begin to ask questions. Am I not pretty enough? Am I not smart enough? Am I too smart? Am I too mature? God, what is wrong with me? God, why haven’t you sent my Boaz? At this point in my life my strongest desire is to meet my forever person. The Godly man God has designed for me. God, why are you making me wait, you know how I feel? I’ve gone from one bad relationship to the next, God, why are you letting me get into these situations? The last guy, well I even prayed about him. I wasn’t ready for a relationship but I turned to God and sought his advice.  I thought it better to turn to him than mess something up that could have been. He sent person after person who encouraged me to move forward each in their own way. I am certain I heard God tell me to move forward and because I don’t want to fight God, although it’s a lesson I have to continually learn, I moved forward. But I ended up heartbroken again. I have had enough heartbreak this past year alone to last me a lifetime.
Let me give you a tip: it’s Him, it isn’t you. Ladies, it’s God who is holding back your Boaz. You are pretty enough and smart enough. You are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14). I know you feel ready but maybe He is growing you. Maybe He is protecting you from a painful situation. Maybe it’s your Boaz. Maybe he needs to grow. Maybe he isn’t listening to God as He screams, “Son, this is the woman I made for you. Isn’t she precious?” Maybe it’s a combination. Regardless, I know God has a plan. But let me stop here. You’ve heard all of this A MILLION TIMES, right? You’re tired of hearing just be patient, he is coming. You literally want to just scream, “BUT WHERE IS HE??” I know sister, I feel the same. Here is my recent conversation with God:

“God, I tithe. I donate to the needy. I even got two pairs of shoes instead of just one. I donate to organizations monthly. I seek you daily. I try to serve you daily. I share the Gospel whenever the opportunity presents itself. God, why haven’t you blessed me? Your word says if I tithe I’ll be blessed (Malachi 3:10). If I help the needy I’ll be blessed (Proverbs 22:9). I promise I didn’t do it just to receive a blessing. I did it out of love for you but God where is my blessing?”

Ladies, you aren’t alone. Many others, as well as myself struggle with this too. I trust God with my life, but sometimes I worry. Sometimes I question God. Sometimes I’m impatient and sometimes I don’t listen. Just because I’m Christian doesn’t mean I don’t struggle! I have to constantly lay all of this at my Father’s feet. I know his plans for me are great. Gosh, I’ve even had people tell me that they felt God telling them how great His plans for me are. Yet, I still struggle because knowing His plans for me are great doesn’t take away the pain I am experiencing now. But keep on trusting. Keep on hoping, I promise I will do the same and remember: it’s Him, darling, it isn’t you.

Love,

Shiann

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well”. Psalm 139:14

“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.” Malachi 3:10

“Whoever has a bountiful eye will be blessed, for he shares his bread with the poor.” Proverbs 22:9

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Don’t Ignore God’s Call

This picture was captured in a moment of pure bliss. Should it have been? Probably not. A friend and I were unloading trash out of the back of my truck into the trash pile behind my house and I might have accidently closed the tailgate on their finger. At the moment in this picture they had locked me out of my truck. They might have been a tad salty that I was laughing so hard at what had just happened. To be fair I was laughing at their reaction, not them getting their finger smashed. They took this picture of me as I was trying to catch my breath and attempting to get into my truck; and I have to say, it is one of my favorite pictures.

This picture to anyone else would just seem like any normal picture but for me, knowing the backstory it is a moment that captured the wholeness of God’s beauty. I don’t mean that in a conceited way, bear with me. This picture captures the raw beauty of love and friendship. It captures mistakes and forgiveness. It captures caring for one another. It captures the simplicity and joy of life, right before it all came crashing down. You wonder how do I get that all from a picture? Well I lived it. When I look at this picture these are the things I am reminded of.

Love and Friendship

I didn’t have to help this person haul off trash that day. I could have done anything else. They didn’t have to help me later on that week clean out an old disgusting house I had promised to clean out for my dad or go “treasure hunting” in an old falling down house on one of our places. They could have been doing anything else too!

Mistakes and forgiveness

I didn’t mean to smash their finger nonetheless it hurt them. I humbly said I was sorry (I might have been giggling when I did so) regardless they forgave me and it became a laughing point for both of us later on.

Caring for one another

We had a blast simply working together. Yes, we could have been doing anything else but because we cared for each other we took the time to help each other out. That is what you do when you care for someone.

Simplicity and joy of life

We didn’t have to spend any money, just working and being together was enough. We laughed, we made fun of each other, we pulled chunks of wood and old paint out of each other’s hair. Simply spending time with those you care about can make all of the difference. Money or even alcohol doesn’t make a moment special, the people you spend it with do and those are the moments that you are going to remember as the “good ole times”.

All of this wrapped up in one picture and there were many more moments like it. The most difficult thing is that sometimes, as humans, we fall into a difficult time of life that pull us away from each other. When you care about someone though, you don’t just walk away and that can be quite challenging. God puts different callings on each of our hearts, and just because someone else hasn’t received the same calling as you doesn’t mean that what you have heard is wrong. For as long as I can remember I have prayed that God use me as a tool to spread his word. Our goal as Christians should be to be Christ-like and bring others to know and walk with Christ. God is simply using me as I prayed He would, though at times it becomes very challenging. So when it has been put on your heart to help someone and be there for them do not let others discourage you. Friends simply want the best for you and seeing their friend get hurt can be tough, but search out the will of God. Continually pray that you are on his path and He will guide the way.

For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:17-18

Old Fashioned

You are a daughter of Christ, do not forget that you should be treated like one.

Someday there will be a little girl who follows you around. She looks up to you and aspires to be like you. She pays attention to your every move, even when you don’t realize it. She may even call you mommy, aunt, sister, or she may just be someone special. Everywhere we go, everything we do is setting an example for this little person. They are impressionable. We face so many challenges these days with young girls not thinking they’re, good enough, pretty enough, or skinny enough and those little girls pay attention to how we view ourselves and can pick up bad habits if we are not careful. There was a study done that showed that daughters criticized their body in the same way they overheard their mothers criticizing their own bodies but that isn’t the only thing these young girls pay attention to. They also pay attention to how the men in our lives treat us. If these young girls grow up seeing men not express the chivalry that was long ago a society standard then they are more likely to think that the modern treatment of women is more acceptable because it is what they have seen.

Women this means that as a generation we must look for a man who values us as daughters’ of Christ and treats us as God would want us to be treated. Getting the car door, making a phone call instead of texting, walking on the roadside, and walking to the door to pick you up for a date are not gestures of the past and they are not that difficult. Yes, I am old fashioned. My grandpa would get on to men for cursing in front of us women. I was probably born in the wrong era but I am also encouraged to bring back the standards that have fallen to wayside. I envision someday a man meeting with my father to ask for my hand in marriage. I envision a man who treats me in a manner that makes his daughter want to “marry daddy” when she grows up. But that starts with us. It starts with prayer and asking God to send men of God our way who have been taught respect and chivalry. It starts with holding ourselves to a Godly standard and requiring the men who pursue us to meet that standard. I hope to be the cute old couple in the Walmart parking lot grinning from ear to ear as my husband still gets the door for me some 40 years later. Act like a woman of Christ and God will certainly send you a man of God. Those men are out there; just wait for God to send them your way.

“Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.” 1 Peter 3:7

“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” Ephesians 5:25

“An excellent wife who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels.
Strength and dignity are her clothing,
and she laughs at the time to come.
She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
She looks well to the ways of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children rise up and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
“Many women have done excellently,
but you surpass them all.”
Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Give her of the fruit of her hands,
and let her works praise her in the gates.”
Proverbs 31:10,26-31

Letting Go

I was a born fighter. I am known for getting back up swinging after being knocked down. As a high schooler that fight was mainly focused on my dreams and goals; things like winning livestock shows and speech contests, and I was very successful. But as I’ve matured and do almost no competing I have found that the fight has shifted somewhere else. I have this thing where I don’t give up on people easily. Although, I have also found that my control over this is far less than the control I had at being successful. I would say my speech to my dad in the living room 9 times in one night. We would write down questions as we were driving from place to place so I could spend my Ag period at school looking up the answers. When I was finished with my work in Trig I’d write my speech in the back of my notebook making sure I had it down to a “T”. While I couldn’t control how the judges chose or how much someone else practiced I could control how prepared I was when I walked into the room. With people it is far different.

img_8649Koda likes to join in on prayer time!

I’m a believer in the whole “cross oceans even if they wouldn’t do it for you” theory. I want to be a Godly example of someone who cares, but caring often leads to hurt. Tonight I did my best to let go of that hurt. You see that hurt made me angry, and that anger weighed me down. That anger was only hurting me. As a Christian I sought council for guidance to help me let go of the feelings I was harboring. After a conversation with my youth minister’s wife I sat down and made two lists: a list of hurts and list of all the things I loved about the person who hurt me. You know what? The list of loves was significantly longer than the list of hurts! It is so easy to focus on the bad that we forget the good we see in people! When I finished my lists I taped the “love list” to my prayer wall and I burned the hurt list. Yes, I burned it, in my sink, I was safe I promise! I prayed that as this list disappears so do all of the feelings I’ve been holding onto. It’s called GRACE and God freely gives it to us!
img_8648-1Koda on his rug by my prayer wall… he doesn’t leave my side! 

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9
We do not deserve God’s grace but he gives it anyways. In our walk to be more like Christ, we should also do the same for others.
img_8650-1My prayer wall. 

I heard this quote several days ago:

“The only thing harder than forgiveness is asking for it.”

Maybe for some people, for me I find the act of forgiveness far more difficult. Regardless God calls us to forgive. When you do you’ll find this amazing weight lifted off your shoulders (or maybe it’s just the endorphins from catching stuff on fire, only God knows!)
img_8644-1When you’re done all your left with is ashes. You can’t make heads or tails of once was, it has all been burned away.