I got a tattoo a few weeks ago, it's the word "Beloved" and it's on my wrist. It's turned into this topic of conversation, it's turned into me telling my story and walk with Christ. Not just telling the story to my friends but to some pretty random people. I'm learning the more I talk about what God has done in my heart, that so many people have sat in the same lies. So many women have believed the same lie, and never acknowledged it or hid it or pretended it wasn't a lie they believed, and I'm sure there are just as many men that believe the same lie. So I want to share a story, my story with God, how He took who I thought I was and showed me who I really am through His eyes.
To love is to be transparent to be vulnerable. So here I go, the blog I never thought I'd write, the song I swore I'd never sing outside of my room. This is not to show you me, but to show you God. Show you the lies I believed for so long and how God pursued me and never stopped chasing and taking them from me till I was free.
This is my story (the short version). God gives us each a different story, different tools to bring us all to our knees and to Him. Even though we all have a different story, they all have the same purpose. His purpose for us all is to know His love, to know Him and to shine and lead others to Him.
Mine came to me a few years ago. Now I've always known of Him, always know He was near, but I don't think I realized what I really believed of His love. Till a few years ago He showed me, how I talked of His love, but what I really believed of it, or how little I believed of it.
So most ladies grew up looking to date, loving to go on dates. Afterall, dating is the path to marriage and most women love that! :) That's what dating is, you don't continue to date someone unless you can see yourself with them forever. You date until it just doesn't fit into marriage, right? Guys ask girls on dates that they see something in, they continue to date her, pursue her heart because they could see themselves with her. When it doesn't seem like the option, you part ways, knowing that your heart was shaped in that season, but it was just a season. Anyways, most women love dating, they loved being pursued, some women have the fear of being alone, so they're never the single ones. But that is not my story. Not only was I not the one always dating, but I came to realized I was the one that feared dating, I feared being known.
My years of dating have been the opposite of any woman I knew. I didn't get asked out all the time, in fact I rarely got asked out at all, every guy I met was "just a friend". When I did date, I always dated thinking "This will never work, he can't really like me, he'll eventually stop calling, he won't show up on this date, he'll bail out on things he said he'd be at, he'll meet my friends and think they're funnier, kinder sweeter, there is no way i'll get married, God will make me single forever."
My dating story or lack of dating story really, was based around fear and not in faith. Fear of pain, fear of rejection, just too much fear to even type out. I believed the bottom would fall out, which meant I ultimately felt God would fail or take that man away or he would find someone better, so I might as well not try. yeah.
I honestly believed that and I never thought anything was wrong with that. I even started to think "God I'm ok with being single, I'm loved and I never really feel lonely, you made people single and i'm great with it! Rock on." I kept saying it over and over and over until one day I believed it. But it was centered around lies and fear so i believed more than just "i'm single" I believed i'm alone. ugly. annoying. not worth love.never chosen.....the lies just started to build up. I felt happy I did, and i think that was the biggest sneakiest thing. I always had guy friends, always had friends, always someone to hang with, I felt happy-ish, but I knew I was not ever addressing what God was saying to address.
Sometimes faith isn't about the feeling of happiness, sometimes it's digging in, getting your hands dirty, digging up the roots of some sin or lies in your life, then once it's gone, not just experiencing happiness, but pure joy, joy from Christ!
So God started to dig in.
In fact my YL girls were the ones that opened my eyes and heart to the fact of what I truly believed and it all started with pinterest. One day I told them "I don't have a wedding pinterest board because I don't want to have that board incase I don't get married, that would be so embarrassing!" They asked me one simple and honest question:
"why would you believe that?"
one honest question changed my thinking, my life, my walk with Christ. My thinking of "i'm just meant to be single, that's God's plan." to "is everything based on Him or fear?"
and that was the start of my eyes being opened to lies.
Lies ...I believed until about a year ago, wow almost 2 years, God started showing me, taking it, shaking my world upside down, telling me. Showing me fear that I never wanted to address. Fear of being hurt so just keeping everyone at a safe distance. Close enough to flirt, to feel loved, but far enough with sarcasm and work that they couldn't find out who I was, or my flaws. I felt enough love but I didn't want someone close enough to realize who I was. That I get mad, I have horrible bed head, I can be mean, I'm not perfect, I'm constantly growing, I put my foot in my mouth, my heart can be broken. So I flirted and joked away life so people would just stay at a distance and I was safer that way, my heart was safer that way.
God showing me all of this was extremely overwhelming and hard, very hard and once I saw it and asked how to rid myself of the fear, every step was a step of freedom that I had never known. Once I saw that sin or lie, it became exposed and once I gave it over I saw more of God.
Then I went to Windygap last summer and the battle got even more intense. I felt the blow even stronger, the fight for my heart get stronger. I'm sitting in the quiet time on the mountain and praying and thinking about the girls and praying for others and I just feel God silence my mind..and say He wants me to pray about me...and this thought crossed my mind
"How can you believe you're my beloved, how can you believe I'm all loving, that I delight in you, if you can't image anyone would love you? How do you believe in me at all if you don't believe in my love, that you're lovable?"
Tears immediately fall, silently on this hill. What did I think love meant, and how could I have possibly believed that God forgot me and this all knowing God forgot about me? I wept and wept. I somehow had believed I was unlovable, somewhere, in all the love my parents and family surrounded me with, I wasn't ever wanting to receive that I was worthy of love, true love, God's love.
And then like it was just for me...this small faint voice starts singing.."how He looooveeesss uss...ohh how He loves.." and let me tell you. I don't think I've ever felt so loved and pursued in my life. I know YL staff planned that song, but that moment was from God to me. God knows my heart, knows music, knows the lyrics to my heart, and at that very moment on the hill, in the dark, with a choir singing that song right to me, I started to realize God had been pursuing me my whole life. It was time to receive it. I am not forgotten, I've been loved my whole life, now it was time to receive it, time for me to let Him love me boldly like He does. Learn to receive grace.
that night on the hill, I decided to fight for my heart too, stop fighting against God, and ask Him to show me all my sins. And that my friends, is a hard prayer to pray. He answers and they come up, but once they're free and I started giving Him one fear at a time, freedom. Some I gave over easier than others, and some lies and fears I literally felt God wrestling me for.
Jacob and God wrestled..so Jacob would get a new name..let me tell you, He loves me so much, we've wrestled to the point of me screaming out loud, that's how much He wants to rid me of this lie, that's how much He loves me. We've cried and screamed, He's changed habits that I didn't want to let go of. He's shown me sins that I didn't even recognize as sins, and He's taken them from me.
I realized what faith in hope is....praying and believing..that's faith. When the rain didn't come, Noah kept His faith until the rain came. When Sarah still hadn't had her baby, Abraham told her "trust in God, He'll fulfill His promise." I always had faith until it got hard then I thought "OK that must be a no, moving on." Praying boldly. boldly ..with great faith. Change the sound of my prayers from fear to great faith and knowing He will provide His promises, His love.
life is hard. Marriage is hard. Dating is hard. I never recognized faith and prayer in hope. And perseverance, God showed me I liked to run :) Not running a 1/2 marathon kind of run, but running away. If I wasn't able to control it, If I wasn't able to run towards it and get my way, than I would run away. Simple. Duh. Life and love was white and black, it was either a yes or a no, it either worked or it didn't, easy. haha yeah no..God really has been just opening my eyes on this.
And knowing and trusting the sound of His voice. I had believed the sound of doubt and discouragement more than I had the sound of His voice. The sound of God's voice is bold and doesn't fit in the world. The sound of lies are very sneaky, very sly and tend to make sense in the worldly view. ex. Oh you're single, guys don't tell you you're beautiful? You are probably ugly and annoying and stupid and dying alone. Your personality is probably like nails on a chalk board and you should just settle on the first man that comes around.
And that was the last lie I really believed, that God would have me settle. If I actually did find someone that could like me, he would be just ok. And I almost bought completely into that one. A good man, a nice man,cute, fun, everyone else liked him, I eventually would probably fall in love. God is not a settling God, He's not a "he's alright, ehhh he's kind that's good enough right?' but I believed if He did have someone for me he would be "ok". No man would ever want to be some girls "ehhh he'll do" but I just really believed that's what it was...but no that's not our God at all.
HE'S AN OUTRAGEOUS ...He's the perfect sunrise every morning from my bedroom window. He's the biggest fluffiest clouds I've ever seen. He's gut laughter ..gut laughter. He's my windows down listening to country music. He's hanging out with my best friends during Sunday Funday. He's a hike at percy Warner Park. He's the sound of 1000 people singing at church.....HE'S GOD..HE'S BOLD ..BEAUTIFUL....He loves us soooo big...of course He has love for us..Of course He loves me..Of course He has not forgotten me or you..
I don't even recognize who I was 2 years ago, from the outside looking in you might not even notice a difference. I hope you do but if you don't it's probably because I was really good at hiding. I got really good at covering things up, pretending everything was hunky dory. But God doesn't want us to pretend, He doesn't want us to fake it. We're only faking it with ourselves and others anyways, never with Him, He knows.
so that's my story. it is not a sad story at all..it's such a glorious story. It is a story of God never stopping. Always pursuing us, fighting for us. In a world full of lies this is the truth, He loves us..oh How He loves....
i love with my whole heart. i am blessed to know my jesus, my family and my friends. i'm excited to love people i haven't met yet. i count my blessings everyday. i believe that the glass can always be seen as half full. i try to practice grace. i'm only human.