Saturday, December 28, 2013

A Living Heart



Life is confusing.  Everyone knows it and I doubt there is a single soul who wouldn't agree that trying to sort through life is just that... life.  It isn't easy and sometimes it becomes so stressful you just want to cover your eyes, scream, cry and just start over.  

And I've done that.  

I've started over and sometimes you have to stop starting over and just learn how to make things better.  

That right there.  That is where the heart seams burst, because it can't take the pressure.  The heart doesn't know how to take the tangled strings of rocks and make them into a delicate string of pearls.  

Then it breaks.  

The heart.  The pearls.  Everything.  The river of grief spills out the windows of your soul and you just want it to be... better. 

Not great, amazing, phenomenal, or just plain old good.  Just. better.  Just bearable.  Just being able to cope.  

If you're like me, you start evaluating all of the different facets of your life.  You look around you and you say "what is contributing to my misery?"  Because I belong to the Savior who suffered all pain so that I might have joy!  So there has to be a roadblock.  

And there it is.  You see it, and even though you want to deny that as a possibility to your state of misery, you know- you know that you know that you know.  

You know that you're drowning in the shallowness you subject yourself to.  You know that dropping your vulnerable heart into a den of daggers is going to make it bleed. You know that searching for love and acceptance, among people who burn rejection into your soul, is going to scar.  And you want to deny it.  You want to say that it isn't true and you're just imagining it, but you know.  You know that Jesus Christ has provided solace and love for you, and you just have to grab it up. You just have to swallow the clump of pride in your throat and admit that just because something holds the promise that it is what you need, doesn't mean it is what you are searching for.  Your heart is searching for the place that Jesus resides, and if Jesus isn't found, it's time to move on.  

I have so many things I want to do and in a rut is where my free spirit is.  I want out and away.  But I just need up.  Up out of the rut and on the path towards the home the living God has for me.  

That's it.  

It isn't like looking for a needle in a haystack.  It's just about giving up an idea of what my life as a single person is.  People try to tell me what it is, or who I should be; and even though it is cliche, I am me.  God gave me two things that overwhelm me and that's love and passion.  And as tempting as it is to fall into the rut that was dug for me, I have to... I have to, make the choice to follow my Master.  To be free.  To love.  And to live with an unquenchable passion.  

So this is it.  This is my stake in the ground of life.  To *not* not live.  To not be boring and lifeless and not love what I love and express myself because I am afraid or because I am in a demographic.  

I'm just going to be brave and say it.  Shoot me if you will, but I have the heart of a truth teller and here it explodes from my lips:

Groups created to "help" people because they are not married or dating, are 99% of the time, a hindrance.  They're not a hindrance to marriage, they're a hindrance to life.  They are the rut.  We get stuck and can't move.  We wait and wait and wait for life to begin and it's right here!  It is right in front of us!  Begging us to pick it up and enjoy it!  Life is so hard.  God gave it to us to shout from the bottom of our lungs, the love and joy He has given us.  

So we need to scream it.  We need to sing it and laugh it and dance it!  

I'm trying so hard to not use this opportunity as a podium to proclaim my hurts and blows.  To not seek pity for how my heart burns with grief and sorrow, but to use this as an opportunity to see how powerful and strong life can be when we live it in the face of God and to express His love.  Not to advance our names, but to spread His joy.  

Have joy people, because Jesus died and rose to life so that we could live.

So let's live. 


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Shelby,

This comment doesn't exactly apply to your post, but I wanted to share some things that Lord's been teaching me:

I am currently single and closer to thirty than twenty. Just recently, the Lord sent a young man to me. It happened very suddenly. His family met mine one week. A few days later he asked permission to get to know me. Two weeks later he asked to court me.

My message to you all is: please do NOT get stuck in the "single now, single forever" rut. I did and was completely unprepared when the Lord sent a young man along. Not that I had never thought through courtship and marriage or prepared myself to potentially be a wife/mother, because I did. But in the past 2 years I got discouraged, put away my notebooks of thoughts, encased my heart in a hard shell with the excuse that "all I need is the Lord," and arranged my life around enjoyment and fulfillment without any plans for marriage. It was wrong. I (and all women) was created to be a helper and companion to a man. That doesn't mean I can assume to be married someday, rather, it means that I ought to have faith in God's plan for woman, and give evidence of that faith by the way I order my life. It was not right of me to start arranging my life to fill the void (for me: with books, study, family, plans for my own ministries and businesses).

When the blessing came and the Lord made it unmistakably clear that the course of events was His doing, I went into complete shock for over a week (as in, can't eat or sleep). When it wore off, I realized I was already making mistakes in the early part of the courtship because I had been attending to the spiritual needs of single life for the past 2 years and had been ignoring the growth I needed to be ready when and if the Lord changed my circumstances.

Please do not fall into the same trap I did. Be content and joyful with just you and the Lord as a single, but don't forget that God will probably call you to marriage. It is NOT adultery against Christ to want a husband. It is not traitorous or less holy to aspire to marriage. Submit your will and desires to the Lord, and then arrange your life according to faith that the Lord will provide what is best for you in His timing.

Lastly, do not despair. I was despairing. And for that matter, so was the young man who is courting me. We both looked on the outward circumstances (i.e. went to conferences and still could not find “the one”), and felt a certain bitterness of heart and soul because there was no provision. We both were making plans to be single forever and insulate ourselves from the pain of that realization. And we were both wrong. Please don’t make the same mistake we did.

I have sensed pain in your posts, Shelby, and I know there must be young ladies like my 4-month-ago-self who read your blog for comfort in their singleness. I know some of you may read this and cry for loneliness, and think I don’t understand because someone has come along for me. But I do understand. I have only known the young man for a little over two months. And I still don’t know whether marriage will be the end result or not. There are no guarantees. But I know what I have learned from the whole experience so far, and wanted to pass it on to you all. Please be comforted. The Lord sees you. Yes, you. He knows your needs and desires, even when you cease to acknowledge those needs’ even to yourself. Wait upon Him for the good things He has in store for you, and don’t try and forge your own destiny of good things.

God bless and be with you all,
A Sister in Christ