Saturday, July 3, 2010

Summer and Its Worries

Summer and all of its amazing joys have finally arrived: the warmth, the killer sunsets and the lullaby’s of the peepers. When my bare feet finally touch the grass or sand finally dances between my toes as the ocean waves sweep them away, I smile, wanting the moment to last forever; knowing that all too soon the weather will change, and autumn will sneak in under the beautifully painted mountains. I want every second to drag on at the cookouts, bomb fires and lightning bug races. However, lately there seems to be some kind of invisible battle going on within me, the one that always arrives on the rays of summer. It is the battle to be content with where God has placed me as and to try to understand His timing.
As I eat the s’more or lay in the beach sand, I know I should be truly happy. I should be amazed at God’s awesomess: how did He form every particle of the ocean? Does he smile every morning as he watches the sun rise over the glass like water? However, the image of trying to see God smile, or watching a giant hand scoop up the sand is often interrupted. Immediately I lone for a “special someone” to be on the beach next to me, laughing at all of the corny things that only couples laugh at. Or, I picture him sitting next to me by the fire, laughing about how my idea of a s’more is a piece of chocolate between two marshmallows. Basically, I just long for that special someone.
Congratulations, you’re psychic! Yes, that special someone would be a (dun dun dun) boyfriend! Summer is the only time during the year, other than Valentine’s Day, that I truly long for a boyfriend, or that kind of intimate relationship. Summer, is when I see everyone else with their boyfriends at beaches, cookouts and 4th of July parades. It is hard for me to accept the fact that God does not desire for me to have a boyfriend right now; and that he quite frankly, wants me to be single until he says differently. What makes it even harder, is that society tells me that being single is wrong. In the movies about high school, who tends to be the happy person? The one with the boyfriend. In teen books about summer, what is usually the main topic? Summer love. In Seventeen Magazine during the summer, what tends to be the main focus? Keeping your body in shape so you can get a boyfriend. The world around me makes it seem like singleness is wrong; and that if I am single, there has to be something wrong with me! However, as I study my Bible more about this very topic, I find that God is saying the complete opposite! God has a perfect plan for me, and part of that plan is to be single. In fact, singleness is a gift and a bundle of opportunities from Him!
For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord. ‘Plans for you to prosper and not to harm you, plans to give you a future and hope.’” Jeremiah 29:11 NIV. This verse sounds easy enough, right? It’s the typical Sunday school lesson: God has a plan for me. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I’ve heard it a million times. However, today I really began to dig deep into this verse, and look at in a way that I never have before. God has a plan for me life, yes my entire life. I usually look at this verse when I’m having an off day and go, “Okay, God, you’re in control, you know what you’re doing.” But, I usually stop there. It’s awesome to think that God has control over my entire life, not just today and yesterday, but until the moment I breathe my last breath, and even when I see Glory for the first time, He is in control. This includes, who my future husband will be. Because, when I say I want a boyfriend, I don’t mean it in the traditional make-out-then-leave, kind of boyfriend, but in fact, a boy/man whatever that will become my husband. A special someone, designed for me, from God. That may sound deep, but it’s true.
For the first time, I read past verse 11, and was amazed at what I read: “Then you will call upon me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all of your heart” Jeremiah 29:12-13 NIV. I kind of felt like God was speaking to me; not like in a speaking to Adam or Jonah kind of way, but that he wanted me to read that. Deep down, I know that God hears my every prayer. Whether it is something as simple as asking him for help to make a basket during a game or thanking him for another awesome sunrise, to more critical prayers such as asking for protection or forgiveness, he hears me. So yes, he also hears me when I pray for a future husband. Then, God did a little self convicting in my heart.
“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all of your heart” Jeremiah 29:13 NIV. I swallowed hard as I read this, and God did a little heart tugging. Had I been seeking him lately? Sure, I pray and read my Bible daily, but had I really been seeking him during my singlehoodness? No, recently I’ve just been so in contempt with being single, that that has been my main focus; nor full-heartily serving God. I decided to dig deeper into God’s Book, and see what exactly He said about being single.
I went to 1 Corinthians, a book I knew talked a great deal about marriage. I happily stumbled across 1 Corinthians 7:32-35 NIV: “I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs-how he can please his wife- and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs. Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world-how she can please her husband.” This verse stopped me, and I read it several times. Woah, there is some great stuff packed in there! To be honest, I’d never really thought about singlehood as a way to devote myself to my King. To serve him without reservation. Now, I’m not saying that while someone is married they should hold back from serving the Lord, of course they shouldn’t! Just, as Paul writes, when we are married we also have a responsibility to our husband, not just to God.
So, I’ve decided: starting this summer I will use my singlehood as a way to serve God better. To praise Him and do His work without holding back. I also decided to start a blog, and keep track of my journey; so that perhaps, someone may stumble across this and relate to it; and know that they, like me, are not the only person struggling with this. 
“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:17 NIV.