Ahh breakups, so hard but so necessary. As I go through this process again the lyrics to the 2007 Leona Lewis “Better in Time” song come to mind.
“Thought I couldn't live without you
It's going to hurt when it heals too
Oh yeah (It'll all get better in time)
Even though I really love you
I'm gonna smile because I deserve too
Oh (It'll all get better in time)
Since there's no more you and me (No more you and me)
This time I let you go so I can be free
And live my life how it should be
No matter how hard it is
I will be fine without you
Yes I will”
During this hard time, I have to comfort myself and keep putting one foot in front of the other. When I get down, I tend to get lethargic but now is not the time for lethargy. Like most breakups, I saw it coming but put it off. I think because the relationship started when I was in a point of transition (the summer in between business school years) that I believed I needed the relationship to carry me through the next transition (graduation and life beyond business school). I think the fatal flaw in that thought is I became too dependent on that person and was placing burdens on them meant for God; our relationship was supposed to last a season and I was trying to carry it into another. And now I’m depending on God to heal me and carry me into the next season.
“Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.” Isiah 46:4
Friends and family have been helpful in this process, and honestly I’ve cried more from their words of encouragement than from the actual relationship ending.
“Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of one’s friend springs from his earnest counsel.” Proverbs 27: 9
What makes a lot of breakups difficult is that they don't end badly and the person wasn’t a bad person. So feelings will inevitably linger but in the end I know that differences between us would make for a contentious marriage that ultimately wouldn’t bring God glory. Here’s a quote from the late Billy Graham,
“The ultimate thing we can say about marriage is that it exists for God’s glory. That is, it exists to display God. Now we see how: Marriage is patterned after Christ’s covenant relationship to His redeemed people, the church. And therefore, the highest meaning and the most ultimate purpose of marriage is to put the covenant relationship of Christ and His church on display. That is why marriage exists. If you are married, that is why you are married. If you hope to be, that should be your dream.”
As I move forward, I’m seeking God for next steps. I’m excited to grow closer to Him and get more involved in ministry.
It’s funny how you can enter a conversation with someone expecting to take away one thing and leave with something completely different. That happened the other day with my brother; what began as a chat on careers and professional strategy ended as a lesson on faith and instructions on how to effectively execute quiet time.
My brother touched on communicating with God early in the day; giving Him the first fruits of our time. When I first wake up I may utter a “thank you” to God but immediately check my phone to see if I missed any calls or texts and then scroll through my social media pages to see if I have any notifications. In those precious first moments of my day, I’m mindless scrolling and comparing myself against others’ accomplishments when I could be going to God for strength and instructions on how to conquer the day ahead. When I think first fruits, I think tithes but God wants first everything.
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6: 33)
Commentary: What is really important to you? People, objects, goals, and other desires all compete for priority. Any of these can quickly become most important to you if you don’t actively choose to give God first place in every area of your life.
So this past week I went about putting God first and let me tell you I can see and feel a difference! One of the most clear areas I can see a difference is at work. I feel lighter and not as tense. It’s like my spirit is being filled and I have more of myself to give; more compliments to share; more smiles to spread.
“When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, ‘Tell me, what can I do for you before I am taken from you?’ ‘Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit.’ Elisa replied.” (2 Kings 2:9)
Commentary: God granted Elisha’s request because Elisha’ motives were pure. If our motives are pure, we don’t have to be afraid to ask great things from God. To have the Holy Spirit’s help, we must be willing to ask.
So given my experience, I definitely encourage you to seek God first and give Him the first fruits of your time; I’m sure you’ll see tangible blessings as a result!
Are you grateful right now? Or are you waiting for [insert action, thing, or event] to happen in your life? A topic I touch on a lot is being content and having patience. It’s something I deal with all the time. I would be doing fine, then I would see something online. I would see someone accomplishing something I hope to accomplish or reaching a life milestone earlier than me, then I get worried. God, is everything alright up there? Did you forget about me, my hopes, and my dreams?
Something I’m constantly dealing with is being content in this moment; not waiting for [insert action, thing, or event] to happen in my life before I allow myself to be joyful. A good way to arrive at this place I think is to be thankful. It’s just like what my mom often says, “If God didn’t do one more thing for me, I’d be ok.”
Furthermore, we all can be grateful for God’s ultimate gift.
“You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5: 6-8)
In addition to this gift, we can be grateful for our personal testimonies. I’ve seen God’s hand and protection in my life many times; most clearly on May 19, 2008. My brush with death always makes me so grateful for life. I use that gratitude to look ahead and trust in God’s promises. “This moment” may not be where we want to be, but we praise God in it and trust in His promises. We see several times in the Bible of people praising God when in that moment things didn’t look great. Paul got his praise on in jail!
“About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open and everybody’s chains came loose.” (Acts 16:25-26)
Even through turmoil and hardships, Job praised God.
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised. In all this Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.” (Job 1: 21-22)
We can learn so much from these spiritual heroes. And remember,
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)
The spring/summer is a really exciting time people are graduating, getting married, having babies; it’s beautiful. I’m enjoying taking it all in online and even getting to go to a few events in person. I have some really smart, successful friends and sometimes I have to fight the thoughts of “they’re so much smarter than you.” “They’ve accomplished so much more than you.” “They’re already stepping into their purpose.” And I have to remember comparing myself to other people is so dangerous. It’s more or less a slight to God, like He made a mistake making me. I’m pretty sure the Creator of the universe didn’t overlook any talents or gifts He was supposed to give me and while now is a season of accomplishment for several of my friends God is moving for me too in the background. And while I wish every day of my life was highlight reel worthy, that isn’t the case.
“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know that everything God does will endure forever, nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it…” Ecclesiastes 3:11-12.
And I know myself I get so caught up in the destination but God is more concerned with the journey. A previous post I mentioned God developing character in us and in order for us to move from the dream stage of our lives to our destiny, we must have character. I’m pretty sure character is not something we build over night. It’s a daily process that comes in our daily walk with God.
“You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds, and to put on the new self, created to be made new in the attitude of your minds.” Ephesians 4:22-24
“Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things.” Colossians 3:2
I probably harp on the same things because these are tough concepts that I’m still trying to grasp. But I’m not giving up, and you shouldn’t either ;)
The holidays are nearly here and it’s a great time of the year; a time all about family, friends, and good food. Lately, I’ve been reflecting on a different season: this season of my life. It’s marked by a demanding job, a new city, new friends, and singlehood. It’s amazing how things can be going pretty well in our lives in numerous facets and we will zero in on one area that may not be where we want it to be. I think singlehood resonates with a lot of us because it is such a vulnerable state; we feel alone.
“Do not be afraid or terrified…for the Lord your God goes before with you, he will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6)
Well technically we’re never alone but sometimes you want an earthly companion; your other half. It’s easy to look online or on our phones and see other people paired off and appearing happy. We can get so caught up in their fairy tale that we forget our lives are pretty awesome too.
It’s when we focus on other people’s blessings that we miss our own. I’m 22. 22. I have to let that sink in. I may not be married with kids or engaged, but I’m blessed. I have a really good job, I’m pretty much independent and pay all my bills, and I’m free to do and hang out with whoever I want, whenever I want. My life won’t always be this worry-free. I should enjoy it now. Ha, easier said than done, but something I take from fellow Christian blogger Heather Lindsey is that we need to enjoy each season of life. We can’t be in our single season looking forward to married season then enter that season and look forward to kids. I think the bottom line comes down to contentment.
“I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4: 11-13)
That’s something I can latch onto and really try. These days I’m trying to say what I’m thankful for every day and whenever I get done reciting the list, I see how numerous my blessings are and how few my problems are. This whole contentment thing is a daily thing as is the Christian walk in general.
“If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” (Luke 9:23)
But be encouraged because the Word says,
“Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.” (James 1:12)
Hi! I'm Marilyn!