Stop Striving, Start Living

Sorry for the absence dear friends. It’s been a whirlwind of a month. Bittersweet in every way possible. I’ve had so many posts started and just couldn’t eek the words out to save my life.

Let me be blunt, I’m having to learn to be single again. It’s not an easy transition, which seems like a given. And you might assume that having been alone for two going on three years I would be used to it by now. I might have it down by now. I might have gotten into the swing of things. In some senses, yes. In many others, far from it. I have probably said this before, but I wasn’t good at being single before I was married. I was constantly searching for validation from other people. I never found that sweet spot with Christ as a twenty-year-old single girl. I never gave it a chance. I robbed myself of the opportunity for Christ to show ME who I WAS. Which explains my fruitless striving to find my worth and my identity in whoever I was standing next to.

And here I am more than ten years later. Have I learned anything? I’m getting there. I laugh as I think of how I sometimes ask my kids, “Do you guys like to get into trouble or something?!” They’re so much like their mother. I feel as if God looks at me and says, “Do you like your lessons served upside the back of your head?” Seems like I do.

It took a near ruined friendship for me to see that my heart is far from healed. Once again I found myself striving again, trying to stuff that hurt with something other than Christ. I found myself rebelling because I just didn’t think that God’s timing was good enough. His timing isn’t good enough. It’s perfect.

Striving. By definition it means to struggle against, to contend, to fight. Yet He says, ” Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.4 Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.5 Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: 6 He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn,
your vindication like the noonday sun.” Psalm 37:4-6 (NIV)

There you have it. Now listen my single friends . . . I’ve learned a little something that I must share friend to friend – striving to be something you’re not is not beautiful. Beautiful is discovering who God made you to be. Beautiful is a life serving Him. Beautiful is honesty and vulnerability and strength found in your very weakness when it’s found in Him. Beauty is trusting God, palms open. It’s being committed to accepting what He gives and allows – the good, the bad and the ugly. Beauty is trusting that He really does have good plans for us. (Jer 29:11)

And another thing. “Good enough” is about the crappiest phrase ever. You’re not to be someone’s consolation prize! God didn’t give us a good enough savior did He? I’ve got to believe that if He means to bring someone to spend a life with into our paths they will be right and GOOD and a blessing, and you dear one, will be right and good and a blessing also. Even so, it’s not the end all be all. My pastor often says that marriage isn’t about happiness, it’s about holiness. It’s taken me a long time to understand that. With that thought in mind, make marriage a sobering thing to consider, not a dream to achieve. It’s an everyday opportunity to learn the fine art of dying to self, not a Hallmark movie played out in real life.

So today I woke up and smiled. It’s June 1st. A new day, a new month, a new season. And away we go!

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2 thoughts on “Stop Striving, Start Living

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