OK, my friend, so I want you to do something for me today. I would like you to read the sentence below in blue.
If you could ask God for any gift, anything at all, what would it be?
Ok, now I want you to close your eyes for at least ten seconds and visualize that God is giving you this gift RIGHT NOW. I want you to go BIG here. Like really BIG. I want you to think about something that you really, really, really want. There are no limits here. God can give you anything! I want you to try and feel what it would feel like if you had this thing right now. What would it smell like? What would it taste like? (Maybe your thing doesn't have a smell or taste to it but hopefully you get my point.) I just want you to really try and imagine that God has given you this gift right now. OK?
Then, after you have closed your eyes and pictured yourself with this gift, I want you to open your eyes again and continue reading why I had you do this.
Are you ready?
(ten second pause.)
Welcome back. So, what did you picture? Was it a million dollars? Was it a brand new Tesla Model S? A new home? A baby? To be out of pain? A spouse?
Was it easy for you to imagine God giving you this gift? Did this visualization make you happy? Excited? What emotions and feelings came up for you? Did this exercise make you feel sad or dissappointed? Did it make you feel angry or ashamed.
Maybe you have wanted this thing for a long time and for some reason you have not seen it come into fruition yet and don't understand why. Maybe you wonder if you acutally will ever see this thing come true.
Whatever the case may be for you I want you to know that I had you do this for a reason. And this reason was not to make you sad, confused, angry or dissappointed. (If that is how it made you feel.) You see, I believe THAT THING, that gift you wish God would give you right now, is a God given desire. I also believe that God WANTS to give you this gift and that he WILL give you this gift someday in His timing! Because God is good, He knows what is best and he delights in giving us the desires of our heart!
AND to take this one step further I ALSO believe that the fact that you do not have this gift today, even though it may be hard, is in fact a wonderful gift, in and of itself, from a very generous and loving God that knows what is best for you.
I'l explain what I mean...
First off, because I love looking up the definition of words lets see what the word gift means.
gift: a thing given willingly to someone without payment; a present.
Did you catch that? A gift is given willingly, meaning that it is given by someone that wants to give it. Not because they have to give it to you or because you prompted them to give it to you or that you deserve it. They just want to give you something.
AND this gift is given without payment. It is given without expectation. So in other words, God wants to, like really wants to give you this gift and expects nothing in return. He wants to give it to you just because. Just because he loves you and he loves to see you smile.
OK, so then, if God wants me to have this gift and He really wants to give it to me then why do I not have it RIGHT NOW? Why have I been waiting so long? (If this is the case for you.) WHAT is stopping him and has stopped him from giving it to me?
Because he wants you to be able to truly accept that this gift is from him and he knows when you are TRULY ready for this gift-when your soul needs it. This is why I believe that NOT having this gift right now IS A GIFT and perhaps is an even BIGGER GIFT than the gift itself!
To illustrate what I mean by this, and hopefully hit my point home a bit deeper, I want to share the gift I imagined when I closed my eyes and did this exercise myself this morning.
When I closed my eyes I pictured my husband. Now, I need to tell you that I don't actually know what this man looks like. You see, I have never been married. I am not even dating anyone. So it is not like I actually saw a clear picture of a man's face. I just pictured the essence of my future husband and what it would feel like to see him, know him and be with him.
And this is no ordinary husband that I pictured. This is a handsome, strong, kind, smart, fun, honorable, God fearing and God loving man. I imagined that I was in a loving, beautiful and Christ centered relationship with this man, my best friend, and together, we were using our unique gifts and talents to happily glorify the Father and bring heaven here on earth.
It was great to visualize this and perhaps becaue I am both an artist and have pictured this many times before I was able to go pretty big, but I noticed that a number of things came up for me during this exercise. Things that have come up for me many times before.
First off, I opened my eyes and I was still single. In fact, I have been for the past 11 years. ELEVEN! Now I don't know about you I think this is a long time. A very long time. And actually, to be clear, it has been longer than 11 years because I am 40 and I have never been married or engaged. I have never even come close to being engaged but I say 11 years because this is how long I have not had a boyfriend and have been REALLY SINGLE.
Over the course of the past 11 years I have had many thoughts and feelings about the whole marriage thing. I have been scared of it. I wondered if it would ever actually happen for me. I have thought that I was incapable of being in a Christ centered marraige. I have experienced days of extreme lonliness. I have felt a deep ache in my heart for days yearning for a partner to share life with. I have been jealous of other people's marriages, especially well known christian couples.
I have also gone through periods where I have believed that I was meant to be single forever, thinking like Paul said, that this is a good thing. I have also felt total freedom and gratitude for being single. I have been really happy to NOT have to share a bed and to be able to be free to do whatever I want to do whenever I want to do it. I have felt completely filled up and happy just being with Jesus and grateful for all the time I have had to pour into my relationship with him. Time that I would not have had if I were in a relationship and if I had a family to care for.
Throughout the past 11 years I have felt God speaking to me about my husband. I have felt that my hubby is going to be a very strong and powerful christian man and that we are going to be a team doing fun and creative things together with our giftings. I have felt him tell me that we are going to KNOW, right off the bat, that we were put together by God. I have felt that we were going to be very attracted to eachother mentally, physically and spiritually and that our life stories were going to overwhelm us at how crazy amazing it is how much we were meant to be together.
So because this marriage and relationship is NOTHING like I have ever experienced before and FAR better and more awesome than anything I could ever imagine, I have realized that I have a hard time accepting and BELIEVING that this will actually happen.
It just feels impossible. I mean how in the world am I going to be able to be in a relationship like this? How will I keep him interested in me? How am I going to find him? How will a man of this caliber actually want to be with ME and want to stay with ME? Won't I ruin it? I mean, I struggle with insecurity a lot of the time and don't you know who I am? I am just plain old simple Mandy.
Exactly and THIS is why I don't have the gift yet! This is why I say that not having the gift is a gift. Because God knows that what I really need is to KNOW and BELIEVE the word of God!!!
If I know the word of God, which I have been more and more everyday, then I would NEVER think that I am not good enough for a great man or that I would need to earn a man's love or that my desire for a husband means that I am obviously not ready because if I was I would not want a husband and be content with just having God. (All things I have believed.)
The truth is God gives me gifts because he loves me and he wants to blow my mind. Just like salvation!
What I love about God is that He cares MORE about what is on the inside of me than giving me the gift. He knows that having my mind bound to Christ and being in relationship with him is far more valuable than meeting a man. He also knows that I will end up sabotaging this gift and not fully able to receive it if my mind is not renewed with the word. So, He is a gentleman and waits to give me things. He knows the perfect timing of it all and He knows the TRUE gift is relationship with HIM!
I am a person that has a tendency to be really hard on myself. I have struggled knowing my self-worth but what I am learning more and more everyday, through the washing of God's word over my soul and brain, is that I really am a daughter of a King. That I am royalty. That I am a child of God. That I have been adopted into a heavenly family. That I don't have to earn God's gifts and love. That I don't have to be perfect for my husband. That my husband will love me BECAUSE I am fully and totally MANDY-with all my insecurities, faults, mistakes, fears, desires etc....just like God loves me.
I am not single because there is something fundamentally wrong with me. I am not single because God is mad at me or has forgotten about me. I am not single because I have not looked hard enough for a man. I am not single because I am not worthy, not perfect enough or not ready for a relationship. Its just because God has not given me this free and beautiful gift yet because it is not time. That's it. Period. Do you see this? Is this penetrating your soul? It's finally penetrating mine!
I can trust, surrender to it and have peace that this season of singleness is a gift. Period.
I am so grateful, that although there have been days that were hard and days I have doubted, I have mostly believed that this single season is a gift from God and have not wasted one single day of it. I have worked on my giftings. I have launched a business and built my own website. I have written and illustrated a number of books. But most of all I have spent time learning about God's word and spending time with him. I have grown spiritually and have healed more than I could ever express. I have hungered to know God's character. I have pursued this relationship above ALL things believing that IT is more important than marriage or anything else in this world.
So, even though I have so much more to share on this topic, I don't want this blog post to be too long, so I will close with this.
The most important thing you could ever do, the thing that will change your life, the only thing that will give you true freedom and happiness is to delight in the Lord, spend time in his presence and read his word. Just like the scripture verse says...Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4
Because even when you get the gift He will STILL be what your heart longs for. Your mind will still need to be renewed with the washing of his word and the most important thing you will do will be to spend time in his presence. Far above spending time with a husband.
At the same time, know that he wants to give you this gift and cannot wait for you to open it. He wants to make you smile and make you happy.
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:1
Thank you Lord for all the gifts you give us. Thank you for the gift of singleness. Thank you for the gift of marriage. I praise you for all the time I have had with you and if you do give me the gift of marriage I pray I BELIEVE, with all my heart, that this is a FREE GIFT from you and I pray that I receive it everyday with gratitude, even if my husband drives me crazy, leaves his wet towels on the bathroom floor and if I ever find that I wish I were single again because I don't have as much alone time to spend with you.
God is the best gift giver and always knows just what we need.
Motivated by the radical love of Jesus, I create beautiful works of art and passionately share my testimony to free people all across the earth to also fully and completely live the life they were uniquely created for.
I blog about things that I experiene and hope will motivate, guide and inspire you toward greater creativity, fulfillment, peace, and joy in your everyday life.