Do You Feel Worthy of Love?

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I used to be the worst at accepting compliments.  When one came my way, especially from a guy, I went into deflect mode.  Adrenaline started pumping, I got nervous, and I babbled some sort of nonsense.  “Oh, thank you, but, I’m not that beautiful.”  “Oh, thank you, but I need to lose a couple pounds.”  “Oh, thank you, it must be this outfit.”

It was the same fight-or-flight reaction I would have facing an attack.  Fight – I would deflect the “blow” and try to shift the conversation.  Flight – I would blush and try to hide.

But what attack?  It was just a compliment!  It should be the opposite of an attack!

I realized that it felt like an attack because it was an assault on one of my core beliefs about myself – the belief that I was ugly, the belief that I was not worthy of positive attention from a guy.  I could not accept someone else’s positive view about me because I did not have a positive view of myself.

The same applied when it came to my relationship with God.  I could read the verses that God saw me as beautiful, that He loved me, but I did not believe it in my heart.  I passed quickly over them and straight to the parts about what I should do to win His love.  I struggled to see God as loving me for me because I did not see myself as worthy of His love.

This failure to believe hurt my relationships with both men and God.  It was impossible for me to have a positive relationship with either when I did not believe or trust that they truly valued me.

So how did I break the pattern?

First, I had to retrain myself to accept the compliment without instantly negating it.  With men, I trained myself to simply say, “Thank you” and nothing more.  With God, I didn’t just read over the verse, I forced myself to stop and actually dwell on the verse and meditate on it in my heart.  I had to learn to trust both men and God that they were telling me the truth.  I may not have believed it about myself, but I had to accept that they honestly saw me as beautiful.

Second, I had to work on my own beliefs about myself.  I had to learn to value myself and to see the beauty in myself.  I have always been confident when it comes to academics and work, but I struggled when it came to a personal relationship.  So I had to focus on seeing my beauty and value not just professionally, but as a woman.

What about you?  Do you know your value?  Do you know that you’re worthy of love just as you are?  Do you believe people when they compliment you?  Do you believe the verses about God’s love for you?

I will post some verses below and I encourage you to not just read them, but really place them in your heart.  Write them on your mirror so you see them in the morning.  Place post-it notes around your car or office or home.  Save the verses as your screen saver so you see it every time you use your computer.  Surround yourself with the truth of God’s love and really work on believing it.  Because you’re worth it!

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. – Psalm 139:13-16

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. – Jeremiah 29:11

Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you, I give men in return for you, peoples in exchange for your life. – Isaiah 43:4

Stress and the Single Life

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Overeating.  Sleepless nights.  Too many drinks.  Sound familiar?

I am a Type A overachiever.  I want to reach every life goal set before me, and then crush it.  But when it came to finding a husband, no amount of effort on my part seemed to make a difference.

I created and updated several online profiles.  I joined co-ed meetup groups.  I purposefully joined a church with a large number of singles.  And yet the years passed without any sign of Mr. Right in sight.

As I watched Facebook friends get married, have kids, and post the many “Look at how successful I am!” photos, it became clear: I was falling behind.  I was not meeting my goals.  I was out of the life success race.

I just wanted to cry out to God: what am I doing wrong?  What else do you want me to do?  Why aren’t you answering my prayer?

I didn’t hear an answer—or at least, I didn’t hear the answer that I expected, in the form of a husband riding a white horse, a rose clenched between his teeth (just kidding – that would be weird).  And so I felt forgotten, overlooked, and left behind.

The physical effects on me were classic stress symptoms.  But that’s no way to live life.  As I looked at how I was handling the stress and the negative impact on my health, I realized I had to find rest.  Balance.  Peace.

It’s easier said than done, but the common mantras of “let go and let God” and “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change” were on point.  I had to not just give lip service to, but actually accept, that there was nothing that I could do to change my circumstances and to trust that God had it in hand.  When it was the right time, He would bring the right person.

It wasn’t something that I could say just one time and boom!  Cured.  I had to remind myself over and over again.  After every bad date.  After every lonely night.  Dear Lord, I trust that you have my future in your hands.  I know that this time of waiting has nothing to do with me or my imperfections, but everything to do with your perfect plan.  I will not waste my time by stressing.  I will trust in you.

This message of trusting instead of stressing is just training for all of the circumstances in your life that don’t happy as quickly or easily as you want.  Right now, I am having to teach myself the same lesson in regard to waiting on a job.  Dear Lord, I will choose to trust in you rather than stress.  And it’s not easy.  My life feels chaotic, the path before me unknown.  I just want to do something to make a job happen.  I feel like I’ve waited long enough!  But it’s the same story – God has my life in His hands and I have to trust Him with my financial and professional future just as much as I had to trust Him with my romantic future.

And one day I will likely be having to teach myself again while waiting on a baby.  Dear Lord, I will choose to trust in you rather than stress.  There will unfortunately always be opportunities for the devil to use stress to bring us down, make us despair, and negatively impact our health.  It’s not a question of if, but when.  But we have the power in our own hands to defeat the devil, and it’s returning again and again to our faith in the Lord.

The waiting is never easy.  But it’s the lesson in how we wait that God truly wants us to learn.

Stay in the Game

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Sarah’s chubby fingers gripped the crooks of her folded arms. Her eyes became chocolate tongues of fire as she watched me collect the remaining cards.

In a 4-year-old aria, she sang, “I don’t want to play any more.”

Now, the game was her idea. She had bounced with excitement as I set up the board, arranged the cards, and gave her a game piece. But Sarah stomped her tiny sneakered feet in displeasure when she began to lose some of her gold tokens.

Something shifted when she realized that losing was a possibility.

We can feel the same way at times in life. A challenge to go on a blind date, a unique job offer or the opportunity to try anything new can be fun to entertain. But when these experiences hint at continuance, we can pause.

Because we know that floating can make you fall and injury to our person and our heart is imaginable. The risk gets real and we don’t want to play any more.

I felt this way when I began dating my now-husband. After a few months, it became clear that our connection was ordained. And that scared me. I remember thinking, “I need to do something to stop this.” The chance of heartbreak terrified me to the point where it felt easier to stay put in my stretched yet safe singlehood rather than step onto the new waters where the Lord was clearly calling me.

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”– Joshua 1:9

Stopping the game can mean cutting a journey short, missing out on a lesson, and closing the door on an awaited answer.

See what’s next. Trust God, stay in the game, and keep playing.

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Jennifer Jennifer

Hi, there! My name is Jennifer. I’m 32 and live in the D.C. area. I love Jesus, R & B music, and sugar in all its forms:-)In June 2016, I married my amazing husband, Calvin. I was completely single and waiting throughout my entire twenties. So I know the prayers, fears, and tears that come with prolonged singleness very well. I am excited to share my story and encourage single women who are waiting for God’s best!

Proverbs 26

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Ever have one of those moments when a close friend tells you something that you really don’t want to hear but really need to hear? That moment when those hard truths smack you in the gut like a sumo wrestler?

Yea, me too. And I feel like Proverbs 26 is that well meaning friend. Truth bombs all over the place!

One thing I love about the word of God is that it’s not sugar coated. There are moments when truth is spoken with love and grace and other moments when God just lays it all out there.

Because here’s the thing: sometimes we NEED to hear the truth in a way that might not seem loving. Sometimes we NEED the truth to hit us in the gut and wake us up!

Like all of Proverbs, it’s hard to have tunnel vision on just one or two of the verses because it’s all just SO good. But as I was preparing and studying for this post I went through John MacArthur’s commentary. Here’s how he sums about Proverbs 26, “Most verses in this chapter compare the aspects of natural order that are violated with the behavior of a fool.”

Yep, pretty much sums it up! We are fools who try to take things into our own hands only to then find out we are wrong and need our Savior.

In verse 11 it says, “Like a dog who returns to his vomit is a fool who repeats his folly.”

Can we just agree that the imagery here is powerful? I love the strong imagery here! Basically saying that if you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you have always gotten.

This hit home for me because while I was praying about a husband and praying that God would bring a man that I could spend my life with, I continued to fall into the trap that being with someone was better than being with no one. Which meant I caused myself a lot of heartache that I could have avoided by simply trusting that my Father had it all figured out.

Ladies, if you are praying for a husband, if you are praying about the current relationship you’re in take a good hard look at your track record. Are you meeting men and dating them just because you’re lonely? Are you praying for a husband but not putting yourself in the position to meet new people? Or are you like me and trying to trust in yourself to find someone?

I urge you to meditate on the wisdom of Proverbs 26 and to allow God to shape your heart and mind based on His word.

Are you violating the natural order of God’s plan by trying to take things into your own hands? Or are you finding the wisdom in the Word and living your life by it.

I know that today’s chapter in Proverbs didn’t just happen to fall into my lap. I was supposed to read it, because I desperately needed to hear it. Even now in married life I am truly like a dog going back to it’s vomit – I try to do things my way even though I have learned time and time again that I am indeed a fool whose wisdom can only come from my Father.

Trust in your Father ladies, lean on Him and allow Him to give you wisdom. Only then can we leave the days of going back to our vomit and truly live freely in Him. And then maybe He might open our eyes to a possibility we didn’t see before.

Blessings,

Keri

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Josh&Keri Keri

I’m Keri! I’m a lover of Christ and receiver of His unending grace. I love all things book related and might have an addiction to white cheddar popcorn and Dr. Pepper. I am recently married to Josh who, frankly I just don’t deserve it. Isn’t God GOOD?! Most of my life my passion has been children’s ministry but the past few years God has been shaping my heart for women’s ministry. My sister and I started Little Light on a Hill with one goal in mind: women. We want to challenge women to dig deeper into their Word and to create a community of all different types of women who can lean on each other and help each other grow. I hope you join us there!

Proverbs 23

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Do not let your heart envy sinners, but always be zealous for the fear of the Lord. There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off. – Proverbs 23:17-18

When I looked through my Facebook feed at all the pretty pictures of everyone else’s relationship successes, I didn’t just feel envy.  I judged.  This girl who just got married – I know she was living in sin with her husband for years before the marriage!  Why does that girl get all the cute kids – she doesn’t even go to church!

In contrast, I could look around me and see a dozen beautiful, smart, funny, kind, and wonderful Christian women who were still single into their 40s, still waiting on the Lord.  They were doing what was right, holding strong to their beliefs and instead of being rewarded, they were being punished!  It just didn’t seem right.

To be honest, I felt like being a Christian put me at a distinct disadvantage.  First of all, I knew that I needed to look for a husband who shared my faith – that right there seemed to drastically limit the pool of available men.  Second, I wanted to find a man who not just shared my beliefs in word, but also in action.  I’ll just ask you – how many single Christian men do you see active in your church?  You got it.

Third, in a hookup culture where people talked about having sex not just on the first date, but on no date at all (!), I felt distinctly out of step, old-fashioned, and frankly like a frumpy fuddy-dud to still be a virgin in my 30s.  Everyone knows that men want a hot, confident lady who exudes sex appeal and puts out on the third date, right??

The more that I thought about it and analyzed the numbers objectively, the more it seemed that I was just not going to get married because I was following the Lord.

There is no pat solution to this.  The fact of the matter is that it IS harder to find a spouse as fewer people are believers.  Those single ladies I mentioned above?  Most of them are still single.

But our God is a God of impossibilities.  Throughout the Old Testament, when by human logic victory seemed impossible, God made it possible.  God has the power to make a way where it seems there is no way.

There is hope.  Because guess what?  I did find the man I was looking for.  Jennifer and Keri, other posters on this blog, did find a Christian husband as well.  The odds were against us just as much as anyone else, and yet God provided.

What is more, the Bible tells us that the Lord will bless us for the suffering that we endure for His sake.  I knew that every time that I made the right decisions to follow the Lord’s will even when it may have seemingly hurt my chances for marriage, God was applauding me.  He knew I was putting His will above my own.  I believe with all my heart that God will redeem those years of singleness and I believe the same for you.

No matter what, there is surely a future hope for you.

Proverbs 22

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Proverbs 22:13 “The lazy person claims, ‘There’s a lion out there!  If I go outside, I might be killed!’”

Ok.  So I know that I’m supposed to be talking to all the single ladies.  All the Ruth’s out there waiting on their Boaz.  But for some reason I feel led to address the men first.  The guys.  The brothers.

Because if you were to Google the term “Christian dating,” “being single while christian,” or just plain old “dating,” 99% of the returned results would be geared towards women.  As if we’re dating or getting married to some invisible, non-existent species.  Or worse yet, that men are in no need of dating advice.  Which would be false.

But here’s what really grinds my gears.  I know so many incredible women who are being taught and inspired to wait.  To wait on God.  To wait on men to pursue.  But for some odd reason men are not being taught to actually do the pursuing.  Or even just the approaching of humans of the opposite sex.

Many times when you go to singles events at church, it looks more like a desert safari than a room full of grown people itching for a date.  Men on one side staying as far away from the imaginary entrance into the lion’s den of female hunters on the other side.

And that analogy may seem a bit far fetched, but you get what I’m saying.  Many men are fearful.  They’re afraid of rejection.  Afraid they might get ‘hurt again.’  Afraid they’ll look like a fool or less of a man if they put their pride on the line to pursue a woman intentionally.

Well you know what?  You might get rejected.  You might get ‘hurt again.’  And you will have to lay your ego down in order to let God take the forefront in your relationships – over and over again.  But don’t let the laziness or fear keep you from the great things God has for you because you’re afraid.

Because in the arena of dating, when you step outside of your comfort zone and take chances to get to know women God has placed in your life, it may not exactly be a confidence builder.  She might cut you with her words.  She might shoot you down with a nasty glance and a mean side eye.  She may not answer that text in a timely fashion.  But it is still your responsibility to take the risk of being rejected, cut, shot down, and sometimes even wait on her as long as you’re walking in obedience.

Now to my ladies.  To my Ruth’s still waiting on their Boaz.  Do not take that man’s fear as your opportunity to pounce.  A man who is too afraid to ask you out or take that chance in just saying hello doesn’t need to be coaxed out of his man cave of trepidation.  That’s where the ambiguous ‘friendgirls’ and ‘textlationships’ live.  And we all know how those stories end…Or how they go on forever and ever with no end in sight.

God did not call you to become less of yourself so as not to threaten the timid.  You were called to be dangerous for the Kingdom.  And the man who is not scared to take on the challenge and privilege of loving you will be drawn to, not fearful of your purpose.

So whether you’re trusting in the wait or following God’s lead in the pursuit, you can know for certain that there is no such thing as immunity from challenges or human rejection.  Faith is the epitome of freedom but it is not safe. There are lions out there, and you will learn a few lessons in humility.  But staying in the confines of fear is not an option when you walk with an almighty God.

Join the conversation! Are you afraid to face your lions? Or what struck you from Proverbs 22?

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roz Roz

Hey there!  My name is Roz.  I’m a full time working, single, homeschooling mother to the world’s funniest 5 year old on the planet.  I’m an introvert who is obsessed with bacon.  I like to play music extremely loudly in my car and will keep singing at full voice even when you turn to stare.  I also blog occasionally over at beautyfullyflawed.com where I write words about Jesus, homeschooling, and the beauty of imperfections.  I look forward to sharing my imperfections with you, as well.

Proverbs 21

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There is so much in Proverbs 21 that I simply can’t choose one verse!

First, Proverbs 21 gives not just one, but two warnings about living with a quarrelsome spouse:

Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife (Proverbs 21:9) and better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and nagging wife (Proverbs 21:19).

Of course, husbands can be just as quarrelsome as wives!  (When Proverbs was written, men were primarily the gender that received religious instruction, hence the focus on wives.)

When you’re evaluating dates, do you pay attention to red flags that they might be quarrelsome?  Are they the type of person who always has to be right, always has to have his/her way?  Does he/she get into debates with their family members or with customer service people?  Do they have a short temper?

I have a friend who is married to a quarrelsome man and arguments have been a sad characteristic of their marriage.  The first time he yelled at her was right before they got engaged.  From that point on, she felt locked in, even as it became more and more clear that the yelling and arguing was not going to stop, but only get worse.  The Bible says that it is better to live on the corner of a house or in a desert than with a quarrelsome spouse!

Next, Proverbs 21:2 says “A person may think their own ways are right, but the Lord weighs the heart.”

Are you this person?  Do you tend to follow your own advice rather than the wisdom of the Lord?  In dating, this is so easy to do – we know that we should date someone who is also a believer, but heck, there aren’t that many of them out there!  Maybe someone who is just spiritual is enough.  Or, we know that we should be pure in our thoughts and actions, but man, being a virgin in your 30s feels so embarrassing and out of touch with our friends!

Throughout the Bible, humans supplant God’s teachings with their own wisdom – it’s nothing new.  But beware – the Lord weighs our hearts and knows when we are making decisions out of obedience or rebellion.  What he cares about, truly, is our hearts above our actions.  Where is yours right now?

Last, the final verse in Proverbs 21 is perhaps the most profound:

The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but victory rests with the Lord.

You know, we can do everything that we can – and I encourage an active approach to dating and finding Mr. or Mrs. Right! – but at the end of the day, victory is from the Lord.  Rest peacefully in that knowledge.

Join the conversation!  Do any of these strike a chord in your life?  Or what struck you from Proverbs 21!