I have been known (at least in my own heart) to have a chip on my shoulder criticizing how churches operate: Why do all the pastors sit together instead of spreading out in the sanctuary? Why aren’t the pastors mingling with strangers? Why don’t those worship leaders go hangout with a loner in the back? And so on. But at one-point years ago in my grumbling to God about church operations, He so kindly reminded me that though I am not paid to do so, I am a part of the body…so if my heart is so strong in reaching out to people, why am I not the one doing exactly what I think they should do?
Some of you may not know this, but just this past year I started a new job at the missions organization, World Mission. It’s amazing to me how quickly your focus can change depending on the environment you’re saturated in. After carefully watching award show nominees for five and half years while working at a film school, this past year I couldn’t tell you which films were nominated for the Oscars. I could however tell you about the crazy military coup that was taking place in Myanmar or the humanitarian crisis in Bangui, Central African Republic when rebel groups were choking off their supply chain.
I didn’t think I wanted to get married so young. I wasn’t looking for a husband. I was looking for a career. Marriage and family? That could wait until after I’d put my degree to use. Maybe 28. Maybe 30. That’s when it would be time to settle down..... Those were my thoughts as a nineteen year old girl. I knew that I wanted to get married… someday. But that someday seemed a lot farther off than the two years when I’d be standing in front of the altar exchanging wedding vows at only 21 years old. So what changed? My perspective on what marriage is and what marriage isn’t. As a 21 year old bride, I realized that marriage isn’t just a season of life. It’s doing all of life... together.
Writing about singleness is certainly not my idea of a good time, but I suppose that is just the reason to do it. I have been single for 31 years, and while probably the first 21 or so I was praised for my focus and not being distracted by the opposite sex, I have now spent the last decade feeling the pressure. Thankfully (and one of the reasons I was encouraged to write this e-book) I have had the joy of experiencing a lot of healthy community over the last decade and, quite honestly, I have put in a lot of work along the way to receive that blessing with an open heart.
Anyone else guilty of going all Joanna Gaines when you have the opportunity to decorate??? Swap shiplap for seventies textiles and white interiors for the color yellow, and I am all there!
Most rom coms go the same way - two individuals on completely separate paths fall in love, experience relational conflict, and overcome it through their feelings for each other. We’re fed the message by our movies and media that as long as two individuals love one another, it will work. But our generation isn’t buying it. We see the effect of broken relationships all around us and wonder what we are missing.
The hard truth is that some things just don’t need to be said at all. While my husband and I wholeheartedly believe in open communication and zero secrets, I’ve learned that every sigh of discontentment and passing annoyance doesn’t need to be shared, even with my husband. It’s difficult and nuanced. But sometimes our needs, suggestions, or opinions are excuses for selfishness.
I get it. It can be confusing knowing how to live out your faith in a practical way. You want to love Jesus and be a good Christian, but sometimes it can be hard to know how. Sometimes Christians do a great job demonstrating what it looks like to “Be a Christian”, but sometimes Christians are completely uninspiring or conduct themselves in a way that makes calling yourself a Christian seem downright embarrassing.
From front to back, the authors are candidly honest yet gracefully tactful about the details of their own sexual sin. If there is one thing you’ll get form this book, it’s that you are not alone. We all sin. We all have sexual struggles. And we all have the same solution - Jesus Christ. Written for older teens and college girls, this book includes practical resources for the Christian woman who wants to reclaim purity in her life.
How are we supposed to know we aren’t messing up God’s plan for our lives? How are we supposed to know this is the right person to date or marry? How are we supposed to know this is the right college to attend? Since we are searching for God’s will, we get caught up in an endless cycle of anxiety and indecision because we don’t want to mess up God’s plan. As a result, we sit and wait, hoping that God will show up and do something for us.