Always Be Ready to Testify
"How do you get to where you are without slitting your wrist?"
Someone 20 years my junior asked me this question one day. We were having a conversation about relationships/boyfriends/marriage. We were both single at the time. So basically, she was asking what makes me still want to live, even though I'm single/never married, AT MY AGE. I guess the thought of getting to my age, and still being single, horrified her.
I wish I could say I felt sympathy for her, because she seemed pretty shaken with her head in her hands and distraught voice. But I didn't. In fact, I was furious! I was speechless, but I could physically feel my blood boiling inside my body. I thought I was going to either scream and then kick her out (we were at my house), burst into tears, or all the above. I was livid.
After sitting staring at her with her head down in true distress, I finally gained the strength, which I now know only came from the Holy Spirit, to quietly (again, only from HIM-the quiet, not screaming, part) say, "Why would you ask me that? What kind of question is that?" Or something similar. She was visibly shocked that I appeared to take her question as anything less than a compliment because her answer was: "It's because I think you're such a great person and have so much going on, yet you're single! I just wanted to know how you could be so strong!" Honestly, I don't remember her exact words because I was still so angry, I was concentrating more on that than her answer. But that was the theme.
Anyway, we talked a little while longer, very little, and she went home. I have no idea what my answer finally was to her question. I just know that it took a while before my anger subsided. Thoughts of the conversation sparked anger, embarrassment, and fear in me for a while.
Fast forward, one day the Lord reminded me of another time like that, only this time I was the younger, distraught single, questioning God.
I was crying to my married sister about still being single and she was encouraging me in the Lord. Then, a couple of days later, I received an article from her in the mail. It was from a Christian magazine. It was about a woman who had finally found, and married, the love of her life, after praying and wondering if she'd ever get married. My sister had written a loving note on the page saying she had found it after our talk and hoped it would give me hope. The woman was 20 years my senior. I cried and stuffed the article in a box. Soon after, my sister called me to see if I received it. I said to her, "Do you mean the article about the 100-year-old lady who finally got married!" (She wasn't anywhere near that age. And no shade to anyone who is and getting married. I was being a mean girl). Well, my sister was a bit startled, but then I laughed (I just couldn't be angry with her for going out of her way to encourage me) and we had a good conversation before hanging up.
I was in the depths of my depression, before I walked away from God, when that happened with my sister. I didn't even realize how mean and, most likely, full of envy, my statement towards that woman was. Full circle, a few years later, after walking away from God and then throwing myself at His feet in surrender, I was brought to a place where I could have been a witness to a weary soul. But, instead, I was caught up in my feelings. Wondering why God hadn't answered my prayer. Doubting Him. Scared I'd always be alone. And instead of being honest with her, and encouraging her, I took all my fears and doubts out on her. I never shared with her the story of my struggles with wanting to die and giving up on God. That would have been a perfect moment for my testimony.
I've learned that our testimonies aren't always what we're physically given or a particular answered prayer. Yes. Those are parts that make up the whole. But sometimes our testimonies are fighting the good fight of faith in the face of unanswered prayers. In the face of NO. Submitting ourselves to His will even if it looks different than ours and being ok with it. Shouting, through tears, "Thy will be done, Lord!" no matter what we see, or don't see. Waiting with expectancy and contentment, KNOWING, we serve a loving God who only desires the best for us.
And, no, I'm not married. But I am content, most days (just being honest). Do I still desire marriage? Yes. Do I still pray for it? Hmm... What I find myself praying lately is, "Thy will be done" and "I surrender my will to Yours so the two can be one". That's my main desire (never thought I'd say that with a straight face and mean it!). Do I get sad about being single sometimes? Yep! Do I believe marriage was God's plan? For sure. Do I believe that some people aren't meant to be married but if you have the desire for it, you're meant to be that (a very popular teaching now)? Hmm...That's a blog/vlog for a different day!
Either way, I refuse to go back to the despair the enemy had me prisoner to in the past. REFUSE! Salvation is an action word. Once we accept Jesus as our Savior, things don't get easy, they get challenging, to say the least! The enemy will always be at our heels trying to get us to stumble, fall, and then stay down believing we can't get up. But Jesus' blood lifts us up if we accept it. And He will walk with us on our road if we let Him. There will be happiness, and there will be tears. He's there for it all because His plan was never tears and sorrow. He created a beautiful garden for us to live in for eternity. Then, sin entered. But...
"where sin increased, [God's remarkable, gracious gift of] grace [His unmerited favor] has surpassed it and increased all the more..." Romans 5:20 Amplified Bible
Thanks for sticking in there on this journey of mine. I pray my path in some way encourages you on yours. And leave a comment with your thoughts on desires vs meant to be or anything. I would love to hear from you!
Always keep God first and try Him if you don't know Him. He won't let you down!
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