Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Set-Apart in a Molded World

I want to dedicate this blog to single women who love God and have made a decision to devote their lives to their one true savior, Jesus Christ. Ladies, this life is not a walk in the park, and if you think college is tough...wait for the real world. I am not suggesting that I am miserable and I am not pleading for sympathy. I praise the Lord for where I am in my life and that I am able to share this with you. The path I am on continually leads me to a closer, more intimate relationship with Christ, and for that I am thankful! However, my flesh tells me a different story. The closer I get to my savior the more I hear the enemy remind me that most of my friends are married or that I could have had the "perfect" life had I not made the decision I made to follow the Lord. Girls, we do have the perfect life--all we need is a savior who loves us unconditionally who we can serve and live for, all the while being overfilled with a Joy and a Peace that is beyond understanding.

I am beginning to realize the truth behind living as a Godly woman, and right now that doesn't involve a husband or kids. It haunts me to know that so many women live for Christ in order to find the right husband or that they spend so much time molding themselves to be the "girl that guys want" ( as cosmopolitan would probably put it) and claim to be living for the right purpose on the inside. Ladies, as long as we are searching for our knight in shining armor, we are not living a life set-apart for Christ. Please trust me when I say that I know this, once again, from experience. I can't tell you how many disappointments I've experienced by chasing after a dream that didn't involve being a disciple of Christ. I never truly experienced peace until the Lord taught me to live a life of contentment ( which I still struggle with every day!!) in his unconditional, infallible love.

This summer I had to reach this conclusion the hard way, but this verse stuck with me( I actually had it hanging up in my box :) ). Paul is speaking to the Corinthian church about being married and begins to talk about those who are married and those who aren't married. He speaks of those who are married as being devoted to one another ( not in a negative connotation) but to those who are not married he says this: " The unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit, but the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband. I say this for your own benefit NOT TO LAY ANY RESTRAINT UPON YOU, but to promote good order and to secure your UNDIVIDED DEVOTION TO THE LORD." 1 Corinthians 7:34-35. I by NO means am knocking marriage in this post. Those of you who know me well know that I want nothing more than to be a wife and a mother one day. I have a great desire to experience that love here on earth, but RIGHT NOW I am called to an undivided devotion to the Lord. I pray earnestly that the Lord may put someone in my life who I can love and serve, but I know that to experience God's best I must give him my best. And if his best for me is that I remain single and serve him in the church and in my career then so be it...I trust him. Praise be the God who can offer us contentment in being set-apart in a world where we may only know a mold!

If you are struggling with this I highly suggest the wisdom of Leslie Ludy in the book set-apart femininity!!

Saturday, September 6, 2008


So for those of you who have lost hope in my blog but are reading this right now...Thank you for being patient. I can't tell you how many times I have sat down to describe what the Lord has done in my life in the past 3-4 weeks and drawn out due to the overwhelming amount of thoughts floating around in my head. After reading my last blog, I realized that I really left a lot of you in the dark and I sincerely apologize for that.

After camp, life was confusing--every choice I had to make brought about its own problems, conclusions, consequences, and even fulfillment. I never felt more helpless than I did in this time, and for that I will forever be thankful! As soon as I made the decision in my mind to move to Chattanooga, things started to change. I decided the weekend after camp was over to stay in Bowling Green and spend some time with my dear friend Christy. That Sunday I went to a cookout at a friends house expecting to only partake in some good burgers and fun with friends, but what I got was an answer that I had been waiting for. Her dad is a dentist ( a GREAT dentist!) and that detail honestly slipped my mind until he began discussing my career in dental hygiene with me. The conversation ended in a simple request that I help him out in his office for a couple of weeks, which wasn't promising long term but definitely meant that I had to hang around bowling green a little while longer. After this I had a two hour drive home where I spent almost every minute praying about my conversation with Dr.Clemmons--that the Lord would use me in his office and that he would give Dr.Clemmons discernment in the amount of work I did for him. Eventually, all in the same week, Dr.Clemmons offered me a full-time position in his Brownsville office, I found a place to live, I joined a small group, and I was given the opportunity to lead a small group of college women which is exactly what I feel lead to do. Providence. That word pretty much sums up my life right now. For those of you who have doubted God's ability to provide what you need and more--I am living proof! He really does want the best for us!

When I reflect on this summer and what the Lord taught me through my experience, humility is the only word that comes to mind. This summer I truly learned the meaning of sacrifice--to see myself as nothing in order to serve others. I failed at this A LOT, but for me this summer was about learning and about humbling myself, usually to the point of tears in repentance for every selfish ambition in my heart. My heart was exposed in so many ways this summer, and without that experience I'm not sure if I could handle the world that I am in now. A hymn continues to hum in my mind as I write about this:

"Jesus paid it all, all to him I owe, sin had left a crimson stain he washed it white as snow"

See, -Jesus paid it all- I learned the meaning of this through my experience at camp. I realized the sacrifice that I was called to model through Jesus' endurance of the cross. Jesus resisted sin and pride to the point of shedding his blood, and he constantly reminded me of that this summer when I sinfully wanted attention or recognition for the things I had done. -All to him I owe- Now that I have experienced the depths of his love through his grace, even when my sin was exposed in the deepest parts of my soul, I know even more that everything I have I owe to him. I must fear him even more now than when all I had was faith in his plan for me.

So now I sit....I cry...I marvel...I rest...I have peace and most of all amazement. Thank you for your prayers and for your love and support through a very confusing yet rewarding time in my life. Please pray that I continue to be a faithful steward with the life that I have been given-with my money, my time, my relationships, etc... more to come...I promise :)