Tag Archives: singleness

‘Tis So Sweet: Take Him At His Word

ID-100463957‘Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to take Him at His Word;
Just to rest upon His promise,
And to know, “Thus saith the Lord!”
-‘Tis So Sweet to Trust In Jesus,  Louisa M. R. Stead

I want to start out by saying that the way I planned out this blog series is not the way the blog series is going to go. “Many are the plans in a man’s heart,” right? Instead of this series being about several things that happened during that prayer night, it’s going to be about the ONE thing that happened during that prayer night–the one thing that has really been affecting me the most, because it is just this one thing that is challenging my trust in the Lord the most. So please bear with me during the shift, and know that the Lord’s plans are always better than my own. (And I apologize for the length of this first blog!)

I think it’s safe to assume that everyone who reads my blog knows that I am single. I have been my entire life; I have had limited relationships–have dated some, but honestly, do not have a storied life in romance. I’m okay with that; I know there are folks who think you should date a million people to figure out what you like, what you want, what you need. Actually, at the beginning of August 2017, I was going to change into one of those people after reading, “How To Get A Date Worth Keeping” by Henry Cloud. I had made a huge decision to finally be proactive about dating now that I am settled here in my new home and city. I had even set up the steps as outlined in the book, had a few people in mind for my “get to know” list, and had a friend to hold me accountable. I was ready. Finally.

On August 19, 2017, when the ladies of my church gathered for prayer–praying over me as an individual at one point, one of the ladies in the group (a seer and prophet) saw a vision of a man in my life. She only called him THIS MAN–but she said it with such intensity that I knew deep within me that it was no ordinary man that she saw. THIS MAN was THE man for me. She said she saw him in a specific situation (she drew a picture of it) and that my mind would not get in the way. And as she said this to me, I CLEARLY heard the Lord say THIS MAN’s name to me. I can’t explain to you what this was like, the general feeling that I had at this moment. First, I knew who THIS MAN was. I hadn’t had too many interactions with him, but I knew him. Second, THIS MAN was one of the guys on my “get to know” list. And third, I knew from my limited interactions with him that THIS MAN was a mercy gift.

I honestly was overwhelmed in the moment. Here was a woman that I respected and trusted who was seeing a part of my life that is so personal to me. She supernaturally knew that my mind has always been a problem in the past; she spoke peace and life over the situation knowing there had been anxiety and death present before. It was a LOT for me to take. But though I left that evening still feeling overwhelmed, I decided to trust God–not my own mind, not my own past, not anything else. I decided to see how this would play out, and I decided to keep THIS MAN’s identity to myself (obviously in case I was wrong about what I heard).

The very next day after the prayer night, something incredible happened. THIS MAN and I had a sudden shift in our interactions. I don’t even know what happened, I just know that things changed between us the very next day. I wish I could explain to you what happened, but I cannot–it was somewhat supernatural, considering I had only had one real conversation with him prior to the prayer night.

Additionally, about a week after the prayer night, as I was beginning to think I was crazy and doubt the word I heard from the Lord, THIS MAN posted a picture of himself on social media in the specific situation that my prayer warrior friend had mentioned and drawn.

To say seeing that picture was overwhelming would be an understatement. I was at a friend’s house when I saw it, and I cried in her laundry room for 10 minutes. It was as if the Lord was not so subtlety quelling my doubts and telling me to trust Him.

Since August 19, that has been my daily challenge: will I trust the Lord to do what He has said He will do? Will I believe what He spoke to me that night? Will I take Him at His Word?

Challenge accepted.

“Do not disbelieve, but believe.” -John 20:27

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The Envious Eye

envious eye by nirots

image courtesy of nirots / freedigitalphotos.net

I’ve been really discouraged and frustrated lately about being single. The older I get, the more it becomes a real threat that I won’t have a husband or family. I know God calls some people to singleness, but I have never felt that call on my life. In addition, the Paul says in 1 Corinthians 7:9, “But if they cannot control themselves, they should go ahead and marry. It’s better to marry than to burn with lust.” And believe me folks, especially in the last few months: I’ve been on FIRE, out of control, and more than a little ticked at God about the whole thing.

For Christmas, my bosses gave me some little hand lotions and a spa gift card. Now, I don’t use conventional hand lotions because of all the chemicals, but these were really nice sets of lotions and I wanted them to go to a good home. So I stopped by a few offices on my way through the building last Friday, eager to give out these little lotions to some friends and coworkers. At the last office, I stopped and gave the last few lotions to the two secretaries that I always chat with when I visit that office. They were excited to have such a nice, little gift and very thankful that I thought of them.

As the two secretaries were sampling the lotions, another girl—we will call her Gina—came out from her private office and asked what everyone was doing. One of the secretaries answered, “Oh, Michelle brought us some lotions.” Immediately, Gina began to make a big deal about how I didn’t bring her anything, and I should have shared with her and not just these two girls, ad nauseam. When I pointed out to her that I was the giver, and she did not get to dictate who I gave anything to, she got even more incensed. I also noted to her that I had given her really nice gifts in the past, and she replied that that was “a couple of years ago.” I also pointed out to her that she had acted in this way before when I gave something to someone else—she had come in and started taking things that I had purposed for someone else. She then stated that the person I had given those things to had WANTED to share them with everyone. At this point, the two secretaries were so undone at how Gina was acting that they offered up their lotions to her. Then she made a big deal of not accepting them because that wasn’t what I wanted. The whole situation was totally embarrassing for Gina, even if she didn’t realize it or think so.

As for me personally, I was livid, really. You see, I had given to Gina in the past, and I felt it was pretty crappy and ungrateful for her to interrupt a thoughtful moment with her incredibly selfish banter. I was mad mostly because Gina is a Christ follower, and that kind of nonsense makes believers look incredibly petty—it was trial size hand lotions, for crying out loud. As I was recalling the situation and my anger to my mother, I said, “My gosh, does Gina act this way when God gives someone else something that He doesn’t give her? Because that would explain a lot!”

A few hours later, as I was stewing and trying to pray about this matter, God nudged me about that particular comment. He said very clearly to me, “But Michelle, isn’t that how YOU think? Don’t you believe that I should give you a husband and kids? Don’t you look at other people and go, they have a husband and kids, why don’t I?”

And that hurt. Because (as always) He was absolutely right.

I tend to believe that I am not all that selfish, but it’s really not true. My selfishness comes out in different ways—in fact, I act towards God like Gina did to me. I may not do it over hand lotion, but recently, I’ve definitely been doing it over getting a new job, having my own place, moving to a warmer state, and having that elusive family/husband. And though the Lord has provided so much for me—both now and in the past, I tend to interrupt any kind of thanksgiving with my own selfish banter about what I want and need right now that He has not given me. Or what someone else has that I want. And when God gave me a brief glimpse into that, I was embarrassed—this time, for myself.

Matthew 20 begins with a parable about a vineyard owner who is searching for laborers to work his fields. He hires three sets of laborers at three different times during the day, and each group he agrees to pay a denarius. The other groups are not aware of what each is getting paid. So imagine the anger of the first and second group when the third group gets paid exactly what the first two are getting paid. The owner doesn’t want to hear their grumbling. He is basically like, “Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? So then take your money and go.” But then he says something that catches my eye and rifles through my heart like a shot: “Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with what is my own? Or is your eye envious because I am generous?” (Matthew 20:15)

This is the point that I tried to relay to Gina, and it’s the point that God in turn relayed to me. Gina had an envious eye, but so do I—and maybe you do, too. Wanting something that God hasn’t decided to give me yet isn’t the sin. The sin is seeing God’s generosity in other people’s lives and being envious that those gifts haven’t been given to me. It’s okay for me to want to be married and have kids and to have my own place, etc.—as long as I don’t want those things more than I want Jesus, as long as wanting those things doesn’t become the focal point of my life, as long as those wants aren’t what compel me. Seeing others get what I think I deserve—that is the real sin. What I truly deserve is death. Anything I get beyond that is gravy!

Mostly, I need to make sure I am taking pains to pluck out the envious eye every time it surfaces and regrows in my life. Because when you have an envious eye, you’re not going to see anything the way it really is—you’re only going to see what you didn’t get or what you don’t have. And by doing so, you’ll miss out on the real blessings God is showering you with every single day.