Today’s revelation: the blessings hidden in unanswered prayers

Ethan and I have been battling purity for 2 years now.  The only thing that’s been keeping us from getting hitched is money.  My parents have generously offered to give us a chunk of doe to pay for a wedding / honeymoon / down payment on a house (if we can be that frugally awesome), but their deal is that we have to prove with math based around our incomes that we can be financially independent.  A reasonable request!  So we’ve been waiting for God to line up the right work with Ethan so we can get married… like tomorrow.

Well, naturally, Ethan and I are getting tired of waiting.  

Ethan is an art guy.  He’s incredibly talented.  Gifted really.  He went to a great art college for a few years, but wasn’t able to finish because it was ridiculously expensive.  He’s been working 2-3 jobs since trying to make ends meet and pay off the debt from his years in school.  It’s been very hard on his self-esteem as an artist and even as a man (they want to be the providers, and he feels like he’s failing at times).  Then God put him in the right place at the right time with the right people to get him into a meeting with the head designers at a car company.  We’ve been praying for about a month that this be our big break.  We both had such high hopes (and nerves).

It turned out they weren’t looking to get Ethan on the design team.  They want to get him on his way to getting a clay modeling certificate (another reasonable request) and sent him off with some great contacts.

Was I excited about this?

Not really.  I was honestly hoping for a quick fix.  A phone call saying “I’m in; go dress shopping.”

As I sat there wondering if God cared about what I wanted, I happened to hear, from my freshly updated as-of-last-night-on-a-whim-because-my-mom-has-great-taste-in-Christian-music iPod, “Whom Shall I Fear” by Chris Tomlin that says:

You hear me when I call
You are my morning song
Though darkness fills the night
It cannot hide the light

Whom shall I fear

You crush the enemy
Underneath my feet
You are my sword and shield
Though troubles linger still

Whom shall I fear

I know who goes before me
I know who stands behind
The God of angel armies
Is always by my side

The one who reigns forever
He is a friend of mine
The God of angel armies
Is always by my side

And nothing formed against me shall stand
You hold the whole world in Your hands
I’m holding on to Your promises

You are faithful
You are faithful

Thank you, Mom, for having great taste in Christian music.  Thank you, God, for putting this song on.  What a gift.

As the day went on, I noticed God was lining up other things in my life pertaining to ministering to young, single moms.  Me and a few close friends have been wanting so badly to find a way to make our group grow and make an impact and we’re finally becoming a ministry branch of our church.  Turns out the lady my friend met with today (a head-hancho in making us official) has been praying to meet somebody on fire to reach out to young single moms.  PRAYERS ANSWERED.

And then I lost my school book.  I’ve lost a ton of things recently.  And not just the look-for-20-minutes-and-find-it-somewhere-silly kind of lost.  Lost as in “I’ve checked everywhere, every day, for a month.  Time to save for a new one.”  I lost my iPod, my favorite leather jacket, my phone and keys on a daily basis (these luckily, I find), and now a school book…  I’ve been getting so frustrated with this stuff lately and so mad at myself!!  I’ve also noticed that my patience with my daughter has been shorter than usual, too.  Then I just happened to hear “This is the stuff” by Francesca Battistelli that says:

I lost my keys in the great unknown
And call me please ’cause I can’t find my phone
This is the stuff that drives me crazy
This is the stuff that’s getting to me lately 
In the middle of my little mess
I forget how big I’m blessed 
This is the stuff that gets under my skin
But I’ve gotta trust You know exactly what You’re doing 
Might not be what I would choose 
But this the stuff You use

So break me of impatience
Conquer my frustrations
I’ve got a new appreciation
It’s not the end of the world

It all clicked! How would God teach me patience if I was perfect – never lost anything and never grew frustrated?  How would he teach me patience if I didn’t have to wait until marriage?

Then came even more clarity.

If I hadn’t had to wait so long to marry Ethan, how could I talk to you guys about ways to fight and win the purity battle?  How would I know the benefits of waiting for marriage if I only had to wait a few months?  How would I know how important it is to keep your relationship Christ-centered in order to win the purity battle?  Everybody that reads this is the reason Ethan and I have had to wait so long.  And every single one of you is worth it because I know how much Jesus loves you and I know how badly He wants me to tell you guys what I’ve learned so that YOU can find the happiness and peace that comes from a Godly relationship.

Most importantly, how would God teach me to lean on Him when I feel lost?  How would He teach me to over-come doubtfulness?  How would He teach me to be faithful to Him when I’m not getting exactly what I hoped for?  How else would He show me that His plans are the BEST plans?

I also realized that God’s lessons are also tied to sacrifices at times.

I’m reading a book right now called “Not A Fan” by Kyle Idleman.  I’m only only chapter 4 and this book has got me thinking all day.  It talks about the differences between being a fan of Jesus vs. being a follower of Jesus.  Fans may know lots about Him and participate in churchly things, but when it comes to sacrifice, the fans and followers are clearly divided.  Fans want to be close enough to God to reap the benefits and blessings but not so close as to have to change or make some sacrifices. Followers HAVE to make sacrifices.  That’s what Jesus asks of His followers.  They’re all for His glory in some way or another.

My beginning sacrifice when I first surrendered was my relationship with my daughter’s biological father.  That was terrifying for me, knowing that she may have to suffer because of my decision in the future.  But I trusted God, gave me and my daughter’s lives to Jesus, and now He has prospered us and brought us to a Godly man.

Now my sacrifice is sex with the man I hope to marry tomorrow (but will most likely have several more months of waiting).  Is it hard?  Absolutely.  Is it frustrating?  Definitely.  Do I want to give up at times?  More times than I’d like to admit.  Is it bringing glory to God?  HECK YES.  Am I being blessed because of it?  HECK YES.

Look into your battles, struggles, frustrations, valleys.  There are lessons to be learned, characteristics to be strengthened and molded, perseverance to be built… Every struggle God can and will turn into something progressive, optimistic, faith-building, glorifying…  you name it.

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4 thoughts on “Today’s revelation: the blessings hidden in unanswered prayers

  1. Gaby says:

    I don’t mean to sound bitter, I was blessed by this post, but at the same time frustrated. I guess it’s not just the post, it’s mostly because of my current situation. My boyfriend and I are both Christians who want to honor God with everything we are, including our relationship. We are fighting for purity and to see you say that 2 years taught you patience is kind of frustrating to me. Two years is fine, but when because of your age and economic situation you are on almost 4 year and no hope in sight it’s just hard and frustrating. And while I know God is worth it I feel tired and alone in this fight since my family does not share my faith and all of my friends are older and already married.

    • Single Young Christian Mom says:

      Gaby, I have many friends in a very similar struggle, and I totally understand how it would be disheartening and very frustrating. Some of them still in singleness wondering when their relationship will even begin so they can begin the long treck to marriage, some in the thick of a relationship not knowing when marriage will come, some divorced and in their 40s, feeling like they don’t have enough time to wait… Just know that where you are at, in this present time, God can and will use for His glory. There is a purpose to it. Ask the Lord to continue to give you encouragement and confirmation on this path He has you on. Ask Him to continue to bless your relationship. Keep fighting to be obedient, you will be an absolutely incredible inspiration to others when this test becomes your testimony!! Also know that the Lord hasn’t brought you this far to leave you struggling – keep leaning on Him for strength and perseverance. Praying for you, sister – for encouragement and strength, resilience and wisdom!

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