Anybody else excited about turkey, mac and cheese, delicious desserts, and seeing your family and friends this Thanksgiving? Going back home was always a tradition I looked forward to ever since I moved away, but what I did not look forward to was the inevitable conversations that would take place concerning my relationship status. The very last time it happened had to be the worst. It was my second Thanksgiving as a believer, and I was already trying to be on my best behavior because visiting my family back home always seemed to test the work God was doing in me. Everything was going well, and I was thoroughly enjoying myself. That is until my family started asking questions and making comments such as “Why aren’t you seeing anyone?” or “You know you’re not getting any younger?” or my personal fave “What are you a nun now that you got saved?” See they were used to me always bringing my ex (who I dated before fully giving my life to Christ ) home for Thanksgiving and pretty much every other holiday. They thought for sure that we were going to end up together, and they made sure to voice ALL of their opinions this particular Thanksgiving. They even began to make fun of me and mock me for actually having standards and admitting that I was waiting for God to bring my husband. They said things like “What? Are you waiting for one of those church guys or ministers in the church?” and pretty much went on to say how they’re no better than men in the street and I’m living in some kind of fantasy world. They basically wanted me to get back with my ex and settle for a relationship I knew I was not supposed to be in.
I tried to stick up for myself as much as I could, but a part of me wanted to crawl under a rock and hide. I did say a few things, and afterwards I went back to where I was staying and journaled the experience in order to get all of my feelings out. I feel like I had passed the test because I did not let their words get me to the point where I was doubting God, but I do wish that I could have had a better response for them when they were interrogating me. Not that I owed them a response, but because God always ends up coming through, and He came through in a major way because the following Thanksgiving I came back home with John by my side and we were engaged two months later. Do you see what an awesome testimony that is? It’s still a great testimony because my family knew my stance and they were able to see the manifestation of what I professed, but I still believe it could have been articulated better at that Thanksgiving dinner had I not been so intimidated. 1 Peter 3:15 says this: "but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect." I love that verse, and I always want to have an answer for why I believe what I believe about Christ and the hope that He gives me, and I want you to have the same. If I could go back and do it all over again, my response to my well meaning family would have gone something like this:
"Yes I desire love, marriage, and a family however I will not settle for a man or a relationship that I know is not up to the standards that I have determined for my life. God has engrafted worth in my soul, placed purpose in my heart, and shed blood for my eternal existence, so to settle for anything less than what I know is His best for me would be a terrible waste and a complete shame. He sent His Son to die on a cross so that I could not just have life, but have it more abundantly (John 10:10). So I believe that as I submit myself to Him and delight myself in Him, then He will give me the desires of my heart (Psalm 37:4). I don’t have to date a bunch of guys to know if he’s the one. I don’t have to make myself be seen in church or frequent certain places to be noticed by men. I don’t have to wonder whether or not I’m good enough or pretty enough or worthy enough because I know that at just the right time, the man God has for me will tear through the veil that God has me hidden under and he will be able to see me and recognize me as his rib, his wife.
Yes, I know how old I am and yes I know that my biological clock is ticking, but I serve a God who created time. And not only that but He created my body, and He knows exactly what He is doing. God is not up in heaven like “OMG I forgot Rita will be turning 30 soon. Let me hurry up and try to find a husband for her because soon it will be too late for her to have kids.” That sounds silly right? God is not sweating so neither am I. I believe that all of the good seeds that I am planting in my life by living a life surrendered to His will and His way will soon produce a harvest of blessing as long as I do not give up (Galatians 6:9). It may seem as if everyone is winning except for me, but I trust that God has not forgotten or forsaken me, and He never will.
My joy, my happiness and my success in life is not contingent on whether I have a man or kids anyway. My joy is found only in the One who has redeemed me, and my success is only measured in whether or not I am doing what it is that He has called me to do with my time here on earth. Again, I am not denying my heart’s desire for human intimacy, romantic love and an earthly legacy, but I am saying that those things are only the icing on the cake that is Jesus. And because I know that He loves me, I know that He has good things in store for me. So I trust in that. I hope in that. I rest in that."
At the end of the day, the key is to first be confident within yourself that God has a plan for you. If you're not confident of that then no response to any person will matter because even if it sounds good it still holds no real weight. During that Thanksgiving of 2013 my circumstances were saying one thing, but my faith was screaming something completely different. I did not let what it looked like in the natural be more powerful than what I knew God was had spoken about me. The reason I was able to not let my family’s words get to me was because I had finally gotten to a place where I wholeheartedly believed that God had a plan for my life. If he could rescue me from the pit that I was in and love me back to life then surely He had a destiny with my name on it filled with good things on the way including (but not limited to) a husband and a baby. If you are struggling with believing that God has a good man for you or if you are losing hope in that fact then maybe, just maybe, you have not become well acquainted with the revelation of His love for you and His plans for your life because that. changes. everything. Once you really have that revelation then you can confidently say that no matter what the circumstances look like in the natural, God's plans for me are still good (Jeremiah 29:11). God knows how old you are, He knows how many kids you have, He knows how crazy your family is, He knows how much debt you have, He knows your medical issues, He knows the woman to men ratio in your city, He knows how long you’ve been praying and believing, He knows all the reasons why it looks like it won’t happen for you, but He’s still saying trust me. I got you. Will you believe Him?
Still Hidden in Him