Entries by Julie

Talk Yourself Happy Transform Your Heart by Speaking God’s Promises by Kristi Watts [Book Review]

Talk Yourself Happy Transform Your Heart by Speaking God’s Promises was a timely read.  I think one of our biggest misconceptions is if we think happy, we will be happy.  In my own life, this isn’t always the case. One thing I loved about Kristi’s perspective is speaking God’s promises and Word over our life and circumstances. This has the power to change our perspective significantly.

Our thoughts and words have power, especially the ones directed at ourselves. I’m getting better in this area with God’s help. We have a powerful weapon available to us daily and that is God’s Word. Kristi reminds us speaking God’s promises out loud breaks the enemy’s hold over us. Using the Word of God and speaking His promises allows for spiritual breakthrough.

Speaking God’s promises over our life is not just a pep talk, but a way of life. 

I’m learning this a lot lately. Every time I get into a funk, I repeat scripture back to myself. Thankfully, I have friends in my life who remind me daily of God’s truth.  We need to believe daily the power of the Holy Spirit to transform our hearts and break through the lies of the enemy. This is the key to happiness. 

If you struggle in this area, Talk Yourself Happy is the book for you.

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review.  I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

How’s Your Soul? Why Everything that Matters Starts with the Inside You by Judah Smith [Book Review]

How’s Your Soul? by Judah Smith was a good book to start 2017 with.  The inside us is more important than the outside us and Judah explores this idea throughout this book. There were a lot of things I nodded in agreement with and this will more than likely be a book I revisit again throughout the year. I can’t say though this is in my Top 5 favorites but it’s still early.

At the end of 2016 and even now I wrestle with the inside me more than the outside. I think it’s important sometimes to ask ourselves what’s going on inside us and rather than ask people, “How are you?” we should instead ask them and ourselves, “How’s your/my soul?” This question will definitely change the way we connect with God and other people.

The chapter that really resonated with most with me was “Is Love God or Is God Love?” This is the only chapter I had to read more than once.  Judah explores one of my favorite scripture verses on love.

Roofs Without Skylights

Love is a roof and a cover. Love protects, shields, and conceals the weaknesses of others. This doesn’t mean we ignore sin; it means we don’t use people’s faults and failures to expose or shame them. We publicly cover them and privately restore them with the goal of bringing about health in their lives. 

Some people are roofs, but they have a lot of skylights. Skylight Christians have good hearts, but they are exposers, not coverers. They build skylights into every conversation because somehow the fact that they have the scoop makes them feel better about themselves. We don’t have to do that though. We can be so secure in God’s love and our identity that we don’t have to give people glimpses into other people’s business. We can be a safe place for hurting people, a place where they can find unconditional love and support – both public and private – while they get back on their feet.

This was by far the best chapter of How’s Your Soul? It made me evaluate my life, my friends, and how I talk of hurtful people and situations. Let me just say this is an area I’m not perfect with. When I’m hurting, I pray, I write, I vent. But I’m learning how to navigate and process my hurt without being bitter or resentful … or both.

I recommend this book if the inside you needs some repairing.

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255  : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

 

 

 

Jesus Over Everything by Clayton Jennings [Book Review]

Jesus Over Everything by Clayton Jennings wasn’t my favorite read of 2016.  I first heard about Clayton Jennings earlier in the year so I was excited about his new book. I don’t follow Clayton on social media but some of my friends do. He’s very popular among the Christian community and he made that very obvious throughout his book. He talked about his many followers on social media quite often through each chapter which was my biggest annoyance with this read.

Apart from that, I had a very difficult time connecting with most of this book. There were a few parts I agreed with but most of it were hit and miss. I will say though, I admire and respect Clayton’s passion and heart for Jesus. To his credit, he’s young and attractive. Most of the attention throughout Jesus Over Everything was on Clayton, not Jesus.

Opinion aside, I think this book will resonate with the younger generation who are early in their walk with Christ. I read a lot of books this year and Jesus Over Everything didn’t have the depth I was looking for.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Dating Tip #3: Accept the Truth

My eyes have really been opened the past month. I’m realizing what I had four years ago was safe. We spent hours talking, letting God confirm daily what He wanted from us and we obeyed. We didn’t waver at all from God’s will miles apart from each other. Until we were actually within a few feet from each other that’s when everything changed. It wasn’t a sudden change but over time things changed. Things were no longer safe, we were thick in the reality of what God was doing and each other.

Our relationship was kept off social media entirely. This should have been hint #1. He tried to tell me repeatedly when couples make their relationship public, you’re only allowing outside influences into an area they don’t belong. I believed this and so I agreed with it for almost a year.  Over the past three years though, he’s been very public with his past and present relationships. Three years ago, I took this as flat out rejection. Now though, I realize it was never rejection, it was respect.

The situation didn’t feel right any more. It felt right four years ago when we met in this space. It felt right four years ago when  we built on a foundation we both swore was stable. It felt right when he moved here because God told him to “Go.” It felt right because our situation was unique … so sacred.  Until it was no longer sacred and I pushed it away. I didn’t want anything to do with it any more. He was doing with her what he did with me four years ago. Our connection was no longer between us and he never loved me. He loved the idea of me but not the real me.

This truth has set me free.

I won’t lie, this truth hurts. Earlier this week I fought back tears and I did again yesterday morning. My pride doesn’t like to admit it and I’m almost slightly ashamed to type it, but I don’t know any other way than to be authentic with how I feel. I wanted it this way because I was scared. I was losing this person I created a life with for over four years even if it wasn’t consistent, it was still familiar …. it was safe. And just like that, enter another woman and it was gone. My heart couldn’t take it, so I bailed.

Every thing God places in our hands requires work. I worked pretty hard to obey the Lord in everything. This last time though, it was no longer about obedience to the Lord, but about guarding my heart … for good. I’m protecting myself from further hurt. It’s counter productive, I know but for now, it’s what’s right.

Accepting truth, real truth, isn’t for the faint of heart. 

God’s Word has continually guided and directed my steps since 2012. The only time my steps weren’t directed was when I tried dating in July. I prayed but didn’t wait for clearance, I jumped in. God knows our desire to be close to someone, He understands our desire for companionship. We say we aren’t looking for it, but deep down we really are.  Until Jesus is everything to us, until the reality of His presence is deep in us, in those deep, hidden places, we won’t be ready for the real relationships He has specifically designed us for. 

This truth is what I’ve settled in my heart, let it settle in yours too.

Understand though, I’m not good with relationships. I love people and when that love is threatened I tend to either hold on to it tightly or I let it go without thinking twice. In my dating relationship, I let it go. I literally ran away from it. But with Jeremy, it was different.

Twice in the past week, when I’ve gotten in my car to leave our song came on. The first time, I changed stations immediately because I was pissed. The other day though, I listened to it all the way through. He dedicated it to us when he was back home. He didn’t remember it though after we broke up. I was reminded why I held on so long. Love doesn’t give up. It doesn’t quit. Love always protects, trusts, hopes, and always perseveres. It never fails.  It takes two people who both love each other to make a relationship work. I was the only one in our relationship and friendship who loved the other person. For the first time in four years, I quit because love was never reciprocated and I realized it.

Accepting this truth is disappointing but freeing. The truth really does set us free.

The truth I’m accepting right now is knowing the Holy Spirit can work between people anywhere. It worked between us consistently for four years. It’s worked in my life consistently since I closed this door.  The problem is I tied my experience with the power of the Holy Spirit to a person instead of a Person. The Holy Spirit will work between any one with an attentive heart. A heart that is truly seeking the Lord, one who walks in the Spirit daily, and lays their life down for others. God first, family (children, mother, father, brother, sister, etc) second, everyone else last.  In that order, no exception. 

This last truth is what I keep at the forefront of my mind.

A friend reminded me last week it’s okay to grieve. It’s okay to cry for what’s no longer but not to live there. Don’t live in the memories but to keep moving forward in the Lord because He’s going to do something new. In the stillness, I know that new thing is already here. I’ve known it for almost two months. All those pieces coming together perfectly behind the scenes. There’s peace knowing God is control but even without His blessings and what He will give me, I’m secure.

Let me encourage you to do a few things. Let God love you back to life again before making commitments. Open your hands wide for what He gives you, but don’t hold on to it too tight. More importantly, follow Jesus everywhere. I’m not talking about physically or spiritually but emotionally and mentally.  When we’re truly following Jesus, He will take us through valleys of offenses we’ve never fully dealt with. It will be hellish. Instead of running towards the next feel good high, run to Him wholeheartedly. Running the race for Christ wasn’t for quitters, but for people who aren’t afraid to run and fight. And yes, sometimes for a season you have to run this race with only Him and alone. If you’ve never been alone for longer than three months, then there’s something inside you broken and you’re looking for other people to make it or you whole.

Don’t argue with this truth, accept it, and change.

Don’t hold on to your plans too tightly either. Even with prayer and reading Scripture, God can throw a curve ball into our plans at any time. Our plans, visions, and preparation are many, but “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.” (Proverbs 19:21)

I don’t know what 2017 is going to look like but I’ve stopped looking ahead. I’ve spent more time with family and friends during my holiday break. This holidays has been a little hard and not as joyful, but my joy is no longer in people, but in a Person. The one who never gives up on me and loves me unconditionally.

This truth is the only one I will accept forever, I hope you will too.

In Jesus and with love,

Julie

 

Dating Tip #2: It’s Okay To Walk Away

Over three years ago, I lost who I thought was the love of my life. Over three months ago, I attempted to date again and failed. It’s hard to put in words what’s happened in my life over the past few months. Hence, why I’ve been quiet.

It’s hard to separate faith over our feelings, isn’t it? This is probably why I’ve struggled in my dating life and struggled with a person from my past reentering my life after a few months of silence. I knew the door would reopen itself, I just didn’t know when.

For the first time in almost three years though, I’m the one who walked away and closed the door permanently. It wasn’t because I was hurt or bitter, it wasn’t out of resentment or jealousy. It was about respect and realizing I deserve better. I will never deny my feelings for Jeremy or the connection we had through the Holy Spirit. I thank God every day for the lessons I learned and continue to learn through it and will do so until the day I die. This was a man I thought I was going to spend the rest of my life with. A man who I love unconditionally despite the fact he continued to walk in and out of my life when he wanted and abandoned our friendship for other women.  This last time though, something inside me shifted. The light finally cut on.

The light of Jesus always exposes darkness.

We can have all the faith in God we want, we can love Him with our whole heart, but when we repeatedly hurt those closest to us and conceal and compartmentalize parts of our life, it’s not okay. No matter the reason, there’s no excuse for deception, major or minor. This doesn’t only involve romantic relationships but friendship too.

The desires of our hearts will never be met without Jesus. He has to be in everything. We say with our mouths God is in the center of our life and relationships, but is He really? I can honestly say, every time He was in the center of mine, the relationship wasn’t comfortable or easy.

A Godly relationship will help us confront difficult places. We should date and marry someone who not only helps us confront it but comes along side of us and helps us to be better. If you’re someone who doesn’t like confrontation, check your pride.

Jesus washed the feet of all 12 of His disciples, even Judas, the one who would eventually betray Him. Jesus laid His life down for His friends. I want the kind of relationships where we’re unafraid to lay our lives down for each other and the only way to have this of kind of relationship is when our natural self surrenders itself and dies.

In September, I walked away from an unhealthy relationship, one where my morals were continuously compromised. Last week, I walked away from a relationship that ended long before I finally had the courage to. The answer was there the whole time, but love is blind. Thankfully though, God’s love illuminates everything. I trust God’s plan over my feelings and trust the truth of His Word over fickle relationships.

God doesn’t want us in dead end relationships. He brings people together for a reason but both have to be in agreement with each other and ultimately God (Amos 3:3).  If there’s no agreement, it’s okay to walk away.

Know this, no matter what others say or do to us, God is still God. He is still the One who knows what’s best for us. We don’t. We never will. His ways are always better than ours. So, my prayer for myself and for you, is that we will always test everything according to His Word and pray for discernment. Be a person of integrity in public and in private. Love people. Really love them and let His love lead your relationships.

This past week I’ve learned the value of friendship and how important it is to have people in our life who genuinely care about us and who put others first. They think of themselves very little and always puts others’ needs above their own. They walk in love daily without realizing it.

We can only be lead by the love of Jesus if our lives our truly being led by Him. It’s okay to walk away from people who claim to follow Jesus but don’t love others the way He does. 

I’m still learning how to do the last part and with the help of God I’ll get there. I know my future relationships will be better for it and so will yours.

In Jesus and with love,

Julie

Jesus Always: Embracing Joy in His Presence by Sarah Young [Book Review]

_240_360_book-2036-coverJesus Always is another favorite devotional by Sarah Young. When I first opened it, there was already confirmation from a conversation I had with a friend the night before. I love Jesus Calling by her so I was excited for this and I haven’t been disappointed.

Like Jesus Calling, the devotionals are short and perfect for morning devotional and Bible reading time. I love Sarah’s writing style in that it feels like Jesus Himself is speaking directly to you and your heart. I know it’s helped me look at certain situations in my life from His perspective.

The only drawback about this devotional is it lists the Bible verses highlighted in the day’s reading but it doesn’t give you the scripture written out. Which is preferred for me. However, it’s good because it allows you to look up the verse yourself and study it on your own. This is a minimal drawback though.

Sarah uses different translations for verses (NIV, NLT, NASB, AMP, ESV, MSG, etc) throughout Jesus Always. Reading the verses this way really does help you apply and understand what is being said in the day’s reading. It helped me see verses and their meanings in a different way.

I highly recommend Jesus Always if you’re looking for a quick daily devotional. If you liked Jesus Calling, you will love Jesus Always.

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers  book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255  : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Dating Tip #1: Head Over Heart

Honestly, I’ve been embarrassed to share my last attempt at a relationship because it failed. Though I knew in the beginning it would. Yet, like most people I stayed thinking it would get better and I would grow into my feelings with this person. Those feelings never happened and as I sit here almost two months later, I can say with confidence I will never allow my heart to lead this area of my life again.

For the first time in a long time, someone was interested. They noticed me, all of me. I saw them one day looking at me from across the room and it was like the whole world stopped. I noticed it but dismissed it at the time. This was about a year prior. I wasn’t paying attention to subtle hints someone noticed me. Stuff started happening though when I would go out. Men would give me attention and something inside me shifted. I felt confident. I felt wanted. This only fueled the desire in me to give dating and relationships a try. Though I told friends and Facebook I was content with my singleness, inside I was ready to put myself out there.  Of course, I prayed about it and rather than wait for God’s response, I rushed ahead.

This is where things got messy. I struggled with my relationship with this person and with God. I knew God was there. He reminded me every morning as I sat at His feet to return to Him. He was with me, but my heart was far from Him.

It’s a dangerous thing to move ahead of God in any area of our life and to ignore His warnings.  When I was reading the Word, I wasn’t allowing it to permeate. Instead I was glossing over the hard parts and remembering the good parts. Each time I found myself in situations where my beliefs and morals were compromised, I would hear God’s voice quoting scripture in my head. This was another subtle way He was trying to get my attention and draw me closer to Himself.

Scripture reminds us our hearts are deceitful above all else. I thought I loved this person but real love doesn’t fail. If I had used my head and not my heart, who knows what would have happened. I probably would’ve never dated and kept this person at a comfortable distance and only been their friend. I would have done a lot of things differently. But I can’t take it back and I’m not sure I would. It needed to happen.

Relationships are successful when God is at the center and are led by the Holy Spirit.  I’ve always known this but I allowed myself and heart to get distracted. Our hearts may have the right intentions, but our head and heart should remain kingdom focused.

It’s easy in hindsight to say all this but at the time things were different in my heart and in my spirit. I wanted what most people want; companionship. We were made for relationships but our relationships with other people should be an extension of our relationship with Jesus, not a replacement.

At the moment, I’m not seeking a relationship. I am, however, cultivating the existing relationships in my life with my friends, coworkers, and family. This is all an extension of me cultivating my relationship with God moment by moment.

My heart may have deceived me a lot in my life but I know when my heart is truly centered on the Lord, His character, His ways, and His wisdom, I’m not easily distracted by the desire for a relationship. Right now the only thing I want is more of Him.

It’s my prayer and hope we will all learn to seek and trust God in this area of our life above all else. That we will guard our hearts to the desires of this world moment by moment. Only God knows the true desires of our hearts. Allow Him to lead and guide you continually.

What I’m Learning About Dating

In early July, I tried dating. I dived head first into a relationship without asking God first. The “relationship” ended about two weeks ago and it’s taken time for me to get my thoughts together to write this. I’ve felt both guilt and freedom since I ended things between us. I don’t even know if we were ever really together but I know I took our situation to levels I swore I wouldn’t with someone I didn’t intend to marry.

It’s been easy sharing from my heart over the past three years how to navigate singleness and moving on from a broken heart. It’s difficult though when you’re the heart breaker. I’ve not only lost a relationship but a friend too.

That was hard to admit but I’m learning now more than ever to be honest about my shortcomings and not repeat the same mistakes in the future. In the next few posts, I’m going to share what I’m learning about dating and what I will do differently moving forward.

Without God directing my choices I would have stayed in a situation He clearly told me in the beginning to remove myself from. I didn’t listen and kept going down a path I knew would eventually lead to a dead end. I made that choice and I’ve taken responsibility for it both in asking God for forgiveness and repenting.

If you’re single like me, hopefully what I share here will encourage you to wait for God in this difficult area of life. I thought I was ready for a relationship after three years, but the truth is, I’m not and I’m finally okay with that.

Stay tuned.

Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely by Lysa TerKeurst [Book Review]

_240_360_book-1988-coverAt some point in our life we have all been rejected. Rejection is something I’ve talked about frequently in this space. It’s not a feeling I ever wanted repeated in my life but it has been for some time now. Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst was written for me and every person who has ever felt the hurt from rejection.

Page by page I felt myself nod in agreement, felt convicted, and circumstances in my present were put in perspective. This book was written for me in this time of my life, no doubt in my mind.  Lysa’s biblical perspective throughout Uninvited confirmed so many things I’m going through as I write this. She took the words right out of my heart and mouth.

Recently, I’ve had a desire to run towards people and things to fill the void left from past rejection. It worked for a while and then it didn’t any more. This is why Uninvited is so timely. I realized the things I was running to were taking God’s place in my life. Instead of turning to Him, I chose to turn to things I knew in my spirit wouldn’t satisfy but chose them over Him anyway.

I’ll be honest, it wasn’t easy realizing the damage past rejection has done to me. It’s pretty bad. I’m still coming to grips with it. I don’t want to make excuses for my words, actions, or behavior in the past few months, but I know it’s time to start making real changes in my life. It’s time for me to be honest with myself and let God take the wheel again.

There is nothing pretty about rejection. I can’t think of a single moment when rejection ever felt beautiful, but it’s all about perspective. I was able to relate to almost all of Lysa’s experiences with past relationships. I appreciate Uninvited so much because God was speaking to me directly through Lysa’s heart.

Rejection cannot define our future unless we allow it to.

I don’t know your experience with rejection but I highly recommend Uninvited. I hope it speaks to you as much as it did me.

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers  book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255  : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

 

People of the Second Chance: A Guide to Bringing Life-Saving Love to the World [Book Review]

People of the9781601428547 Second Chance: A Guide to Bringing Life-Saving Love to the World by Mike Foster is my 8th read of the year and I couldn’t put it down. I’ve been following the POTSC movement for a few years now and this book was timely.

We are all flawed and broken and God uses them for good. 

This is the overall message of this book. It’s more than that though. It takes real strength to be vulnerable and transparent with our brokenness. Most of us hide behind ours too afraid to make them known. Mike’s transparency and heart in this book is palpable throughout. Mike invites us to live as God’s beloved instead of living a life of shame, guilt, and fear.

Some of this book repeated what I’ve already been told before but I believe when something is continuously repeated, it’s almost as if God Himself is trying to get my attention. We need to be told often we are loved, chosen, and accepted. I can’t think of a single moment while reading this where I didn’t begin to see things in a different way. It shed light on things I was doing to myself and to others close to me.

I highly recommend this book if you struggle with fear, guilt, or have some hang up you’re allowing to control you. It may be something from your past and even now in the present. It’s a very quick read.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

We Need People In Life Who Take Initiative

For the past few years, my relationships with other people have felt lackluster. Lately, there’s only really been one person who has really been there for me. They take initiative without having to ask. Which made me think how important it is for us to have people like this in our life.

Most of my life, I’ve always been the giver in my relationships. Until recently, I’ve been thinking more about why I’m this way. I didn’t have a rotten childhood, but I know when I needed attention or affection from people I wanted it, I was met with rejection. When I was given attention, it wasn’t the right kind. It was only given to make themselves feel better in fleeting moments. The more I’ve exposed myself to the idea of a relationship and what it means, I know I appreciate when other people take initiative with the right intention and motives.

When people take initiative, it shows they care. This one is really a no brainer. We invest our time in things we love and care about. When people put forth effort into a relationship, it shows they actually care about the relationship and you.

I know my motives with my past relationships haven’t always been right. I thought if I did all the right things, they would love me more. But, we don’t need to work to earn someone’s love. Real love is freely given. What people freely give shows what they really care about.

I’ve always told myself I would never settle for less than I deserve, no one should. But God has been telling me something different lately. If I want others to be more attentive, loving, and to invest in our relationship, I need to do the same. I can’t expect from others what I don’t do myself.

Honestly, I’ve gotten lazy. Most of my meaningful relationships in life have fallen apart because I gave up. I stopped wanting to put forth the effort because the relationship wasn’t going anywhere. So, I did what most people would do. The moment there were inconsistencies, I walked away. I don’t regret it, but I’ve had to take a very hard look at myself and character. The truth is, relationships take work and the more I think about the kind of work it takes, I just want to be carried for a change.

In relationships, small things matter. When people take initiative in small things, when big stuff happens, they don’t freak out or bolt. How we handle small things says a lot how we handle the big stuff. 

I’ll be honest and say I’ve failed more lately at this relationship stuff than I have for most of my life. Knowing what I need from other people doesn’t always mean I’ll get those things. Which yes, can be very frustrating. But we can’t demand things from people. They have to give those things on their own. In the mean time, we have to give others what we  need/want from them even when it’s not reciprocated. This is what Jesus told me today and as much as I want to shake my head in disagreement and in pride, it’s His way and it’s right.

We need people in life who take initiative, but it starts with you.

How will you take initiative this week with the people who matter to you?

#heartcheck

Why God Calls Us To Singleness

Earlier this week, an incident happened and made me take some steps back and see things differently. I’ve talked a lot about my past relationships. I didn’t know the impact these relationships would have on my present until I tried dating. Let me just say, I’m failing at dating pretty miserably.

I believe God calls us to singleness to navigate difficult parts of our lives we haven’t been able to confront so we don’t bring them into new relationships. I’m learning more about myself now than I did a year ago and it’s pretty eye opening.

Dating when we haven’t fully forgiven our past is difficult and should be confronted immediately. 

Being single is one part of my life most people don’t understand. If I’m not ready for a relationship, I must be hiding something. If I am with someone, people are invited into sacred places they don’t belong. God is the only one who needs full access and invitation to those places, period. But so many other variables get in the way.

We have to be able to navigate our singleness knowing God wants us whole persons before we expect others to do it for Him. Truth is, no other person is placed in our life to make us whole persons, but they are there for us to love and visa versa. Not the mushy kind, the eternal kind. The kind that lasts.

All of this is a work in progress. I’m learning to navigate the difficult areas in my heart and life that still need God’s healing touch. Importantly, I’m surrounding myself around the right people. People who don’t throw in the towel and quit every time there is disagreement. Real love doesn’t abandon, it drops the offense and moves forward in forgiveness.

I’ve used my time of singleness to be attentive and grow. There are still places in me that need growth. I’m learning, by God’s grace alone, to rely on His wisdom over my feelings. I’m learning to love again, the right way. To love Him first, others second, and to see myself the way He sees me. It’s not easy after rejection, but it’s getting better.

Someone told me I should consider counseling to deal with my issues. My response was I don’t need counseling, I need a friend and people in my life who genuinely care about me despite my dark moments. We all need people like this in our life. We need people who will step into our brokenness with us unafraid to get their hands dirty.

Singleness has taught me what it means to put others’ needs before my own. It’s taught me the power of selflessness over selfishness. Don’t mistake this for being someone’s doormat, I’ve been there and done that. But, it’s learning to choose my battles wisely and love people the way they deserve instead of push them away.

God called me to singleness to teach me how to love and forgive. Both are difficult, mostly the forgiveness part. But, in Christ there is freedom. 

What has singleness taught you?