Thursday, September 20, 2012

No Show or Go Slow?



(Written especially for my single sistas :) )

Okay, so I’m beginning to think that there’s some hidden message, imprinted somewhere beneath the epithelium of my forehead. And it seems everyone but me has the superhuman ability to read it. That has to be the reason why, of late, I’ve been bombarded with the “girl like you need a man”, “can we get to know each other deeper”, “I’d have a baby with you” and other not so PG one-liners. I must be inadvertently advertising my single status. In addition to offers from would-be “suitors”, I’ve received the occasional unsolicited council from those who believe my time is very surely running out. And with all the different angles and approaches, the advice essentially goes back to this: get married before it’s too late.

Thank God He alone orders my steps.

For me it boils down to this: maintaining a single status for the rest of my life or meeting and marrying the man of my dreams (clich├ęd? Who cares! It’s true). The former is not preferable (like, really not); but if the man is in fact a “no show” then…. (deep breath) there’s probably a good reason why. Easy to accept? Um…no; but what I’ve learned to accept and appreciate is that God knows more about what I need than I do. Experience taught me that. What I’ve also come to realize is that true fulfillment can only be found in Christ.

I can almost see the rolled eyes. There was a time when my reaction was the same. I mean, who knows best exactly what I want or need? Um…me. Hello? But recently I discovered a term – God-sized Void. At the time I didn’t know that that was the reason why I still felt empty. There’s a space in my heart (and yours for that matter) that no one else but God can fill. 

My first love should be Christ. Every other relationship is secondary. If my relationship with Him is rocky, then all others will be challenged at best. So I have to sort out ours first. I’m not at the level of intimacy I desire; but it’s getting there. And the closer I get to God the more content and at peace I feel in my singleness. There’s no desperation. No depression. No anxiety over trying to find a man before (as I’ve been often warned) things “dry up”. If God does not allow it, then His purpose for my life will still be a fulfilling and enriching experience.

Now…..if Mr. Right-For-Nadia is actually on a divinely-orchestrated “go-slow”, I patiently (and happily) wait . God’s timing is perfect. I can’t stress how much so. Didn’t always acknowledge that fact, of course, but I believe that with my whole heart. He knows best who will enhance my life and vice versa. His desire is that my earthly relationship glorifies Him and reflects the commitment and selfless love He and I should share. For that kind of relationship I am willing to wait.

Don’t think I’ve reached this level of contentment overnight. Introspection, words of council (heard and read), prayer, and more prayer did that. That prayer aspect – it is a balm for the soul.

Have you ever felt that God just wouldn’t get it right if you allowed Him to choose your partner? I did. Big time. I mean, He just wouldn’t know how to “package” a man the way I wanted. What a lie I fed myself. My Creator – the One who knew me before He even formed me in my mother’s womb (Jeremiah 1:5); all my quirks, insecurities, skills, abilities, preferences, habits, etc. well before I developed them – delights in giving me good things (Matthew 7:11) and wants to give me the desires of my heart (Psalm 37:4). But He wants me first to trust Him; to let Him guide me down the path of His choosing because His plans can only result in peace and prosperity (Jeremiah 29:11). Therefore (if this is part of His plan) He  knows who will compliment me and complete the triangle.

Now, if you’re a sister struggling in singlehood or perhaps with the idea of being at that place (if you need to walk away but are afraid to), give it over to God. Don’t be afraid to let Him take control. You can do it your way but His way is soooo much better and less painful.

So is Mr. RFN a no show or simply on go-slow? Hmm…it’s a little early to call it. But whichever God decides for me, by His grace, my life will be rich and satisfying and complete.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

There's another election on the horizon. The date, however, is yet to be called.

As we wait, both sides amp up their campaigns, particularly the opposition. The closer we get to the mystery date, the more subtle its campaign strategy becomes. Is this really a Government for the people? Its mantra, “ask, seek, knock” - is it just a catchy phrase? After all, the people are asking for and seeking after a better life; they're knocking on doors that should burst open with “so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.” Initiatives like PUSH and the social intervention program, WWJD, are labeled frivolous, ineffective; a waste of time when the people want change now.

Naturally, the populous is divided. The die-hards remain loyal to their respective side. The undecideds look for compelling reasons to choose left or right. And the non-voters – well, they neither stand for or against, but simply live, unconcerned by the progression of events. But here's the interesting thing: the elector – even those who take no stance at all – will also be elected.

This election, that the whole world will face, deserves at the very least rapt attention.

In his second epistle, the Apostle Peter advises the brethren to "give diligence to make your calling and election sure...." (1:10). We're all called to be a part of God's kingdom. Through the Holy Spirit, God has launched a campaign for our souls. Not only does He reveal Himself to us but He also impresses upon the hearts of His earthly ministers – pastors, evangelists, teachers, family members, friends – to encourage, counsel, befriend, pray for/with and, where necessary, rebuke, to help us stay the course. His agenda is transparent, detailed in the manual, Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth or, more commonly known as the Bible. However, few will be “elected”, or chosen, to live eternally with God not because He wills it; but because these persons will be swayed by the propaganda spread by Satan and his team.

One of the lies perpetuated by the devil is the fact that God's coming is far from imminent, if at all. He plants the seed of unbelief in our hearts and fools us into thinking time is on our side. We live by the formula, “eat, drink and be merry,” with Jesus' return only a distant reality. But Peter in his epistle further encourages the believers to “be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day” (vs 8).

It's easy to become impatient and grow complacent as we wait for God to “call it.” But it is His mercy that “delays” the second coming. “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (vs 9).

The date will be called one day and there will not be a recount. This fact is confirmed in Revelation 22:11: “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still”. How we live reflects whom we serve; whom we serve determines where we'll be on the other side of eternity.

Does Jesus have your vote? Is it the Accuser that has your allegiance? Or are you riding the fence, not certain where you stand? It's time to make your calling and election sure. “For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry” (Hebrews 10:37).




*PUSH - Pray Until Something Happens; WWJD - What Would Jesus Do

Friday, January 6, 2012

It's said that time is deceptive. I can't help but agree. Five days ago, I watched fireworks light up the Kingston Harbor as we ushered in 2012. Five days ago. Where did the time go? Probably the better question to ask is, how did I make best use of that time?

I suffer from a problem that oftentimes affects my physical and mental capabilities. 'I'm sure you've heard of the condition; maybe it's something you're trying to treat as well procrastination.

It always starts out the same way: Yeah, this year's mine. I'm gonna do this-and-that by such-and-such time.... The gun goes off and, like a bolt (pun intended), I'm out of the blocks, adrenaline pumping, excitement coursing through my body. I mean, I'm setting fabulous, achievable goals, devising brilliant plans this is my year and I'm going to finish strong. Then I pull up about three weeks later, thinking what's the hurry? I got time .

I've always set out to do this year better with a well-thought out (I thought) list of do's and don't's. The reality is, though, this list thing often doesn't work. Personally, I compare my list with the number of days in the year and just keep pushing it back to a later date. By the end of the year, plans aren't looking as brilliant, goals far from achievable. Everything then gets added to the list for the following year...and the cycle frustratingly continues.

So, I figured resolution-making just wasn't my thing. Actually, I labeled it an impossible feat. Until I discovered a newer (and I believe better) way to make resolutions and keep them. I took the My One Word challenge (www.myoneword.org). And perhaps you should consider taking it too.

The My One Word challenge is about choosing a word that encourages character development and gives you a clearer vision for your future. Once you build character, your perspective is bound to change. Once perspective changes, you'll more than likely prioritize your life better. And if your priorities are in place, you'll find that staying on track with whatever objectives you've set for yourself isn't as hard as you think.

I've chosen Purpose (or maybe it chose me) for 2012. Incidentally, I was in church when the word jumped out at me. Previously, I had made a note in the margin of my Bible, and purpose was the word that caught my eye. I was still in the process of choosing a suitable word and when I saw  this one, I knew. And now with purpose in thought, word, and action, time becomes more precious to me. Minutes aren't wasted on the mundane and the trivial. Even down-time will be more deliberate; not some random period in my day that I stumble into because my body just can't go any further. As much as I wish I could, I can't reclaim the past; but I can certainly be more intentional about the present and the future.

Time does have a way of slipping away from you. But if you're careful, you can learn to keep pace. With a little purpose in my step - and God's help - I think I can achieve that.