8 months: Setting up some boundaries and learning lessons (reminders for the single godly ladies out
It's been almost 9 months since my husband was called to be with Jesus and boy what a journey it has been so far! It has been an emotional and mental roller coaster ride. I feel like I'm in a state of metamorphosis right now, hoping I will be turning to a beautiful graceful butterfly and not the incredible hulk. It could go either way at this point.
Every one who knows me knows that I am not a stranger to crisis and tragedy and one thing that God has taught me was to look at each tragedy and situation as a lesson or a test. What am I being taught by this? How can I grow in and from this? What does God say about all of this? How can God use this and use me through all of this? These are just a few of the many questions I have whirling around in my mind and heart once I take hold of the never-ending tears and heartache; shut up the annoying "whys" "why me" and "woe is me", "hurry up God".
My different life:
* Oh crap! I'm single again.
I was a wife for 19 years. That's a long time. I welcomed the feeling of being covered, of saying goodbye to the whole dating, questions about my future and just being approached by random guys and having to politely exit the back door and run for my life. Also that little anxiety on whether or not I was going to die an old maid, ha ha ha. When I married I could let my guard down, there was a ring on my finger and a man by my side, no more creepy guys trying to talk to me. I belonged and had a role and I loved my role as a wife despite many situations we would face as a couple; and yes, many anxieties withered away with the covering of a husband. Of course, replaced with new anxieties, marital ones, parenting ones, etc. but that's for a future post.
As a youth leader and mentor to young ladies, I have given a lot of advice about being single, pleasing God and waiting on Him in this world full of sexual temptation, ideas and freedoms that are opposite God's will and purpose for our lives. Now I find myself having to seek and remind myself of this advice and principles once again.
When I was younger and single, I was led by God and His Word to put a very high price tag on myself. I wasn't about to settle. I am finding myself having to get back to that. I am a woman of God, I love the Lord and want to please Him. This means not settling into friendships and relationships that would steer me away from that! Jesus died for me and gave me worth! This means that if there is a man in my future that man will, first of all, love and seek God on a daily basis. This man will understand his role as a man, that God-given role. Yes, in practical terms, that means have a job, be responsible, hard working, and do it in joy, not whining. Handle it! Figure it out! And run to God if you can't! I see so many single women whether widowed, divorced or single settle out of loneliness or fear. Taking in a guy who doesn't have a job, or who have obvious problems of addiction, or major emotional imbalance, but because these women don't know their value or worth, they settle, becoming this man's mommy/psychologist instead of friend, partner, wife. These women work, while these guys lie around whining and complaining. No thanks. Yes, I am that picky. I didn't date very much but the couple of christian young men I did date couldn't hold a job for more than 6 months. Always whining about the pay, the hours, the boss being too bossy? What? One of the first things that attracted me to my husband was that he was 0nly 28 and had been working for a company for 7 years. Of course, having a job doesn't mean this person is perfect but it is a good sign of character, loyalty and great work ethic.
Ladies! put a price on yourself, on your heart, mind and body; don't just give yourself away, don't settle! I'm not talking about a dollar tree or Walmart price, I'm talking a high price; after all, Jesus paid the ultimate price for you. Don't settle for sweet words and promises if that man doesn't show that His heart belongs to God or he doesn't understand the true meaning of his God-given role as a man. You need to get into the Word to know what that means. Yes, I am this picky.
A true man of God is a worshiper, a man who understands the need to read and obey the Word of God to stay spiritually healthy, a man who takes care of himself (I'm not talking about good looks) I'm talking about physical, mental and emotional health. A true man of God will respect you, your values and your faith. This man will not be pushy or demanding, he will exercise patience and self control. A man who is a good example to others, a man of integrity, well respected. There is no such thing as a perfect man or woman. However, a man of integrity may fall but gets back up in God's strength. A man who understands God's grace and mercy and his desperate, daily need for God. A true man of God does not, LADIES LISTEN, does not need to be saved by a woman. A man who shows signs that he is needy, and wants to be saved by you needs a mommy not a wife. I know, I'm picky.
Of course, in marriage, the wife takes care of the husband and the husband takes care of the wife. When one is weak the other is strong and vice versa. However, ladies, you shouldn't fall into the trap of settling and later realizing you married a little boy in a man's body, where you find you are always having to be strong and always having to be the one taking care of him. Picky woman here.
And yes, ladies, this might mean waiting for awhile. Put a price on yourself! I am! In the meantime, work on being that woman of integrity and faith; pray, get in the Word, choose your friends wisely. A true man of God will look for that in a true woman of God.
So all that to say, wow! time to start relearning how to value myself, protect myself, put a high price on myself and be that example of a Godly woman to my daughters. In this process, God is my covering, my comfort, my strong arms. He will see me through the lonely nights, the broken down cars, the leaky plumbing. Not saying this will be easy, but it is time to stand up, put on my big girl pants, hurry up and wait on God!
And one last thing. Can't always follow your heart. It will get you into trouble.
“The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?" Jeremiah 17:9