Monday, February 2, 2015

CHALLENGE ACCEPTED #6

JANUARY

What are your New Year's Resolutions?


Have you ever read something and when you read it again there is an entirely different message? It's amazing to me how God communicates with us when we open ourselves up to just listening. I am so stubborn and it is probably why it takes me forever to learn something. Thank goodness God is so patient! This challenge has been helping me tremendously. It is helping me to focus on myself instead of trying to reclaim some connection to someone else. The problem I have had in the past is when I enter into a relationship I get lost. My personality is a sacrificial one, I will give myself in every way to the person I am with, and in doing so I am giving away too much. As well, in the past, I willingly give away too much without reciprocation. This only led to insufficient and insecure feelings and instead of sustained relationships, I was nurturing the wrong environment for love to grow. Instead, and because I wasn't receiving what I needed, I would get depressed. But, no more! Now that I have identified a key factor and characteristic of myself; I have acknowledged it and now I am working on change. That what this year is about. I have to put myself first.


"Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you." Deuteronomy 31:6 ESV 


 I can't tell you how many times I have read this scriptures, and it isn't the only one that states God will never leave you or forsake you. So, why have I been so quick to think so? Because, I wasn't putting God first in my life. For so long I have prioritized men first - this has got to change. Obviously it hasn't benefited me. As I continue to go from one relationship to the next, I was also taking those feelings of neglect, hurt, and other insecurities along with me. That isn't how you want to start a relationship. Having so many failed relationships has also made me feel like a complete failure. However, once I read and re-read different scriptures, I finally got the message! For so long I was putting my faith in finding "the one" and have been bitterly disappointed. Now, God has given me the knowledge - not to lose faith in men - but, to have faith in Him.


One night as I lay awake, I thought about how God made Eve (woman) from the rib of Adam (man), and how easily men throw away their ribs these days. It is so disturbing to me that so many marriages end in divorce and that adultery is not necessarily socially acceptable but, it seems that no one looks at the act as God does. After each ended relationship, I felt like a chewed-up discarded barbecue rib at an buffet. "Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous." Hebrews 13:4 ESV  "You shall not commit adultery." Exodus 20:14 ESV 


So, what I have learned this month is to put God first. Second, that in the past relationships, for the majority of them, I was the one to initiate or pursue the guy. Whether it was on-line dating and sending that first message, or sending a message elsewhere (like Facebook), I was usually the one to initiate conversation. What I have learned from this is that I won't be the dominate pursuer; he will have to initiate, making the effort, and being the pursuer. "So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart." 2 Timothy 2:22 ESV  "Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?" 2 Corinthians 6:14 ESV



I have been tempted, in moments of weakness I have clicked on sites that promise to deliver you to that perfect partner. Further still, I go through answering questions in the hope that the one God has intended for me could be on the other side of the screen. Not that this hasn't happened, there are couples out there that have met on-line, married, and very happy. But, for me and my year without men, I nearly failed a crucial test (I think). Instead, realizing I was making a huge mistake and falling back into bad habits, I erased my profiles. It's almost like an addiction or a drug. You want that connection with someone, you want to find "the one." But, I've been looking in all the wrong places this entire time. God has told me that He is the unconditional love that I need and instead of seeking a physical man for my need for companionship and that connection, that I am to seek Him in all things. I had read a posting once that said a woman should be so involved with the Lord that a man will have to seek the Lord to find her. Every time I find myself thinking of a relationship, I need to condition myself to remember to think of God's word instead. That it is in His timing and in His way only that I will find what I am truly searching for (and the reason nothing in the past has worked).