We all struggle to accept our current life circumstances and what we are dealt with and at a recent Cedars meeting, I asked Betty to share about “being a good steward of what God has given you” and the following was her story. So many of the women identified with her testimony that I asked her to share it with you. If this really speaks to your heart, please leave a comment to convince Betty that so many of us identify with her journey. Love Michelle
I am one of three sisters who happen to be very close, so you can imagine my delight when on the 12th of January 2013, my younger sister, Rachel got married; and on the 18th of April 2013, my older sister, Marthe also got married. Last year when both my sisters brought home their soon-to-be husbands in quick succession, I proceeded to have the following conversation with the LORD:
Betty: “uhhh…hello God!? Umm…what just happened there because I thought I was also standing in the same ‘I want a man and be married queue too’ like them. So…how come they got a gift and I didn’t? I thought you didn’t have favourites?”
God: “I don’t have favourites. Oh, and by the way, I did give you a gift too.”
Betty: “Oh! Well, where is he because I don’t see anyone?”
God: “I didn’t say I gave you a man, I said I also gave you a gift. Singleness.”
(Long dramatic pause)
Betty: “WHAT SORT OF A GIFT IS THAT!!!?”
God: “A good one.”
Betty: “umm…so perhaps on planet Mercury where there is no possible life form, maybe it’s a good gift. But here on earth, THAT SUCKS!!! Is that the best You could do!!!?”
God: “Do you believe I’m good?”
God: “Do you believe that I do good, desire good, and only give good things to my children?”
Betty: “Of course!”
God: “So then…”
At this point, the Spirit of God led me to 1 Corinthians 7; this is a passage where the apostle Paul talks about marriage. However, in verses 6 and 7 he says this about being single:
“But I say this as a concession, not as a command. I would like everyone to be like me. However, each person has a special gift from God, one this and another that.”
God also reminded me that no good earthly father though there is evil in his heart gives his child a stone when the child asks for bread, or a snake when he asks for fish (Matt 7:11); and that ultimately “every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of change.” (James 1:17)
So, if being single was a gift, I started to think on the concept of gifts and came to the following conclusions:
- Most of the times when we are given gifts, they are usually from someone we generally know very well; it’s seldom and very rare that we are given a gift from a complete stranger.
- There is generally and hopefully some thought given to the gift by the giver.
- A thoughtful gift is usually something that we have expressed a need for in some way or in most cases something that the giver knows we would appreciate.
- A gift will usually come with some form of how-to-use or how-to-care-for instructions.
As I began to think along these lines and meditated on the verses above; I came to the realisation that where I was presently in my life, which included my current marital status, was exactly where my Heavenly Father wanted me to be. I was indeed in the best possible place I could ever hope to be. You see, God knows me better than anybody else, He even knows me better than I know myself. So if He, who knows everything, sees everything, can do anything, and is ultimately, wholly, good and pure; He deems that being single is the best thing for me right now; and based on His never-changing character I trust and believe Him.
This realisation has freed me from the frustration and burden of waiting for “the one” and liberated me to enjoy the beautiful, well-timed, and best possible gift God has given me in the present. It has also freed me to enjoy the gift that is to be found in pure relationships with others, including non romantic relationships with men. I’ve stopped viewing men as just mere potential future partners, but rather as people that God has placed on my path not by accident or coincidence, but to enjoy godly fellowship with one another, having no hidden agendas or ulterior motives.
Fellowship with these men has not only enriched my life greatly, but has also brought so much joy and healing to my life. Enrichment, joy, healing, and so much more are the products of my embracing the gift of singleness and using this gift the way God would have intended for me to use it.
After all, a good gift is meant to be enjoyed and can only be enjoyed, not endured.
Don’t get me wrong, do I still have the desire to get married someday? Absolutely! The desire for the gift of marriage whilst still there and very real has now just been eclipsed by an even greater and deeper desire: the desire for God Himself. To know Him intimately and to be known by Him intimately.
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