If you were to ask me what my favorite part about working in ministry is, it wouldn’t take me two seconds to tell you that meeting up with girls one-on-one is easily at the top of my list and is such a delightful privilege. I am a naturally relational person, so I can never get enough face time. These meet ups don’t happen near as often as I’d like, but sweet mercy these girls are busy!
A few weeks ago I got together with one of my regulars (I sound like a barista greeting a customer) and it happened to be just a couple weeks after she and her boyfriend broke up. Typically we start out by shooting the breeze, but I didn’t let one minute pass before I made her spill the every last bean. It goes without saying that she’d been having a hard time and I wanted her to know I was all ears, but I was also hoping I could bring some encouragement to her.
Listen, I may not have an expert advice when it comes to dating relationships, but I’ve lived vicariously through enough of them that I feel like I could write a book.
Ironically, two close friends of mine had also been through recent break-ups, so this topic was very fresh to me.
After she lamented the details of the break-up and the sadness she felt along with the negative thoughts towards him (don’t judge, we’ve all done it), I made her tell me the one thing she missed most about him.
I know, why in the world would I make her rehash such a fresh wound? But, I had a goal in mind.
It took her a minute to come up with the one thing (I only wanted her to tell me one so as to not throw her back into a tizzy), but when she did, she admitted to the fact that she missed being adored by him.
Oh, I so get that. Don’t we all?
What girl doesn’t long to be adored? Chosen? Known? Cherished? Loved? Valued?
When we know what we’re missing, it has the potential to hurt even worse.
After she was able to express what she missed most, I challenged her to get a journal and tell the Lord all these things. I know journaling may come natural to some of us, but if it isn’t routine for you, then this discipline wouldn’t be your first instinct.
If being adored is what she missed most, then why can’t she ask the Lord to reveal to her ways He adores her? And then receive that. And so on and so forth.
I realize it sounds like I’m preaching to the single girls of the blog, but I want you to know first and foremost, I’m preaching to myself. After challenging her to do this, I had to get honest with myself and what I was lacking and ask the Lord to fill that longing with Himself. However, this isn’t just a post for the single, this is a post for you, the reader.
This past Sunday we had a guest preacher and he talked about Immanuel, God with us. It goes without saying that this was appropriate for the Christmas season that is now upon us, whether we’re ready or not. One thing he said that I haven’t stopped thinking about is, “We know the power of “with” because we know what it feels like to be “without”. Amen and amen.
A week ago I sat at a funeral of a man I’ve known since I was little, two days before Thanksgiving. Talk about hard. Although that family has the hope of Christ, it doesn’t take away the sting of moving on in life without him. We know the power of with because we know the power of without.
If I’m being honest, and well, I’ve never learned anything from anybody that had it all together, so I don’t want to pretend that I do, I can tell you that whenever Thanksgiving hits, everything in my flesh wants to have a pity party. It all stems from my selfish desires of not having what I want. Y’all, I’m weak.
However, as I was getting ready the morning of Thanksgiving, and I’m almost certain it was while I was applying my mascara, I heard the Lord whisper in my heart, Lindsee, be thankful for this day. You don’t know what future Thanksgivings hold. Simply put, be thankful for that day, this Thanksgiving and don’t complain about one thing I’m without.
Why? Because I don’t know what the rest of my Thanksgivings will hold. And quite frankly, throwing a fit isn’t going to change anything. I learned that as a little girl when I wanted to rent a movie in the worst way. I threw the biggest fit right there in the middle of Randall’s and walked out empty handed. How am I supposed to enjoy the future if I can’t delight in the present? It may seem like the silliest, most elementary revelation to you, but it did wonders for me. I enjoyed every minute of that day. And it was good.
What do you find yourself lacking? What do you find yourself most longing for? What is something that you miss? I could be wrong, but I think it’s safe to say that the holidays can be some of the most painful days for some, and some of the most joyful days for some.
Maybe it is your singleness. Maybe you’ve just lost a loved one. Maybe your marriage isn’t all roses and sunshine. Maybe your family is falling apart. Maybe you find yourself unemployed. Maybe you feel lost in a big crowd. Maybe you’re lonely. Maybe your health is spiraling out of control.
This I know: He sees you. He hears you. What do you need Him to be? Tell Him. Cry out to Him. Be honest with Him. He knows your longings, as they are never hidden from Him. Ask Him to delight in you along the way, then receive it, however big or small it may seem. He is always mindful of you. You are dearly loved.
How do I know you are loved? Because as I recently heard a gifted teacher say, love sends and comes for you, love initiates, love stays and love sacrifices. God did all of that by sending His one and only son for you. He sent. He came. He sacrificed. And friend, He’s not going anywhere. It’s a promise.
“God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.” 1 John 4:9-10
“When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? Psalm 8:3-4
“Lord, my every desire is known to You; my sighing is not hidden from You.” Psalm 38:9