disowned

Blah. Another blog about this . . .

I don’t know how often I end up blogging about this. It seems like a lot to me, but I’m sure it seems like even more to you readers. All 10 of you. [That might be stretching the numbers a little . . . ] This is where I’m at right now, though. And I’m learning.

I have this joke with several of my friends that if they’re looking for “the one,” all they need to do is make me fall in love with them. “The one” will then come strolling down their path. And then I’ll be left behind with not exactly a broken heart . . . and I’ll be ok within a week. Or two. A month at most? It’s happened more than I care to think about. Maybe not all of those people have decided that it’s “the one” yet, but most are at least well on their way to discovering that. And I really am ok. I haven’t exactly fallen in love with all of those people. But it’s true that every time I become a little interested in someone, they seem to find someone else within a few weeks. I guess it saves me some heartache. So at this point, I’ve realized that the combination of person and timing hasn’t worked yet. Which is fine. Because we’re not working off of my timetable here.

Every time I’ve become even slightly interested in someone within the last few years, I immediately begin to consult God about it. I don’t really feel like wasting my time if it’s not right, and I try to keep my heart out of things. But that’s easier said than done. Generally, things are pretty clear in a matter of weeks – like I said earlier, they always find someone else. In my last post, I talked about how at one point I told my mom that it wasn’t supposed to end with me still being hurt, but that’s exactly what’s happened. And I think when we’re dealing with emotions and feelings, things are generally going to sting when they don’t work out like I hoped for. So what . . . does that mean I stop hoping?

I don’t think that’s the answer.

Anyways, as I was sitting in church on Sunday, a thought nearly crushed my mind. I was thinking about the dumb struggles I’ve had in trying to determine if a guy is the right one and all that. I don’t want to come across as being pious, so don’t take it that way . . . I think it’s just the best way to describe it . . . I feel like it’s a battle between flesh and spirit. Am I interested in someone for the right reasons? When I start to like someone now, it’s like a little bit of dread comes along with it. Probably because I always think it’s not the right person while secretly hoping that this guy will be the one. And honestly, in the past couple years, all the guys I’ve been interested in are great. They’re making good decisions and are on track with God. They just haven’t been right for me. And that’s good to know, because I would pretty much hate to marry the wrong person. I don’t even like dating the wrong person. Go figure.

I thought about how I’ve always told God that I want Him to control the situation. And then, I realized that God’s not wanting control of the situation. Telling Him I’m willing for Him to control it doesn’t really change anything. I mean, He pretty much controls it anyways. So yeah, God doesn’t need me to give Him permission to control the situation. He wants my heart. Ok. Yeah. That’s about where I was feeling a little stupid. Really . . . why did it take me so long to figure that one out?

Psalm 4 talks about guarding your heart because from it flow the springs of life. I’ve continued to pray that I would guard my heart. I’m convinced now that I’m not capable of guarding it myself. I would much rather have God guarding it. So now my prayer is that He will take my heart and do with it as He pleases. If there are trials I’m supposed to go through, bring it on. If I need to experience heartbreak . . . I’m ok with that . . . knowing that God “heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Now that I see it, it makes so much sense. Peter told us to cast all our cares on Christ because He cares.

So the choice now is to daily give God my heart. He has my life . . . I want Him to take my heart and my mind with it. And I’m willing to go through whatever He has for me. I don’t know that I’m saying anything new. I think it just finally clicked with me. I got it.

This summer, I was taught some powerful things. In a discussion about Job, it was pointed out that the story of Job isn’t about Job. It’s about God. Everything that happened to Job was about bringing God glory. What a change of perspective. My life isn’t about me. It’s about bringing God glory. So if God receives the most glory from my brokenness, I’m ok with that. He’s called me to follow Him.

If I can bring God more glory by remaining single, I will be completely satisfied in Christ. If I can bring God more glory by being married, I will be completely satisfied in Christ.

Either way, God has given me more than enough to be content.

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face it.

I was reading the other night. This made me think:

Don’t judge God by what your situation is; judge your situation by who God is.

I keep thinking about that.

Within the last couple of years, there was this time when I was just right there with God. I was closer than I’ve ever been. My mind was consumed with things spiritual. And I wish I was still there. I’m close to God, and I feel like I’m in His will, but I don’t have the same fellowship with Him. I’m not really sure what changed. I have a couple ideas, though.

For 9 months of that time, I was really seeking out God’s will. There was a certain situation I constantly brought before the Lord. I don’t think I’ve prayed so hard about something in my life. I had taken Psalm 37 as my promise. My key words were delight . commit . trust . rest . wait . That’s a lot easier to say than do, but I felt like I was doing a good job of it. I told God I was cool with whatever His will was for my life, and I meant it. I always do.

But when He told me no, after 9 months of hard prayer and really asking every step of the way if I was on the right track . . . asking for some sign to know . . . hoping to keep my heart out of it . . . when He said no, I was devastated. I remember saying to my mom, “I prayed about this for so long. This isn’t how it’s supposed to happen. I don’t understand why the outcome is still the same. I’m not supposed to be hurting.” But I did. It was almost like I had trusted God with my situation, feeling I met the qualifiers of Psalm 37:4 . . . and truly wishing my desires to be changed to be His. I just expected it to happen sooner than 9 months in and without any pain.

But I serve a bigger God.

It took me a while to realize that. Sometimes I still feel like I’m having trouble really trusting God. I’ve found myself actually questioning if I can trust God with something . . . since He let me down last time. Wow. How awful. But that’s where I was. And I said it more than once.

God is a lot bigger than any situation I could ever get myself into. How ignorant to judge my God based on what happens in my circumstances . . . in my life. After seeing the promises in Psalms – no good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly . . . He opens His hand and satisfies the desires of every living thing . . . He will give thee the desires of thine heart – why do I have trouble trusting?

My skewed vision.

Judge the situation by who God is.
Simple solution.

ministry bound

So, here I am, sitting back at Ironwood.

I’m not even sure what I’m writing about, because I don’t feel like much has happened since I’ve gotten here. I left last Monday to drive out with my dad – about 32 hours on the road. We made just a couple interesting stops along our way on I-40. We stopped at the Oklahoma City Memorial which was actually quite cool. It’s a very artistic setup. Simple and clean. We were planning on staying in Oklahoma City that first night, but neither one of us was very tired from the trip, so we drove another 3.5 hours to Amarillo, TX. 1100 miles in 16.5 hours. I thought it was pretty good. It was over half of our trip. Tuesday we ended up staying at the Grand Canyon. [Yes, we actually stayed in the park.] We got there early enough to hike partway down into the canyon. I’ve flown over it quite a few times and thought it was really big, but standing there makes you realize how insane it really is. Dad really wants to hike all the way down sometime. So now we just have to find a guy to go with him. I told him maybe he’d get lucky and Amy or I would end up with a guy who loves the outdoors. Wednesday we made it to Ironwood a lot quicker than we expected. The Grand Canyon is only 5.5 hours from Ironwood instead of the 8 we were anticipating.  I drove Dad into Vegas to catch a flight that evening after we unloaded all of my stuff. The drive back from Vegas was exciting and beautiful. There’s just something about being “on your own” that is enjoyable. Although . . . I’m not really “on my own” cuz I’m surrounded by camp people, but it’s just different. I have a lot more responsibility than I’ve had before. [And freedom. They go hand-in-hand . . . remember?]

Thursday, all 5 of us Ministry Bound-ers and Pastor Ron left for our excursion. It was really cool and I laughed harder than I’ve laughed since the Vintage family was gathered together. I’m the only newbie for MB, and they decided I’ll fit in ok. I never had any doubts. :) They’re all fun people, and I tend to get along with people like that. We stayed overnight at Pine Summit, a camp located in Big Bear, CA. The setting is pretty much exactly the opposite of Ironwood – mountains, trees, cool weather – and it’s all gorgeous. But I’m very thankful for the setup Ironwood provides.

I feel like I’m home again.

Tomorrow starts work for MB. We’re doing a lot of orientation stuff this week still, so it won’t be a completely normal week for any of us yet. I’m excited to be on the Broken I|Ike’s Roost Program Team with Mr. Scott.

Anyways. That’s where I’m at. I don’t feel like I’ve accomplished much with this post, but there it is.