I truly believe my patience holds me back from a lot of things in my life. It boggles my mind as to how I let the timing of things affect how I feel on a day to day basis. Why is it so hard for me to trust God's timing, when it is always so perfect? "Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And he shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord! -Psalm 27:14 (NKJV)
This blog, in particular, is going to be really hard to write, but I promised myself that I was going to share my testimony, and how Jesus has changed (and is continuing to change) my life. I am truly ashamed of my past, but the beautiful thing about it, is that Jesus has forgotten about it, and forgave me. I wish everyone felt the chills I just felt right now when I wrote that.
My life has always been consumed by a male-figure; ever since I can remember. I moved to Arizona almost two years ago, and really let my relationships with men get a hold on me. My love life has consisted of frequent phone/text conversations, and sex. Yes, I said it. Sex. I actually let myself believe, that giving a guy my body, was going to strengthen a relationship. Looking back on that, it sounds completely ridiculous, but this is the mentality that the enemy had given me. Our world is so broken, and anyone who tries to find hope in it, will also be broken. I've never realized how much pressure my generation has upon us. I always thought it was so cliche for me to say something like that, but when you sit down and really grasp the concept, it becomes so vivid, and so clear, that it can actually become life consuming. Sadly, it does for a lot of us. Your weight, your clothes, your makeup, your hair, and any other physical aspect is what gets you known in this world. The parties you go to, who you are having sex with, what cigarettes you smoke, the drugs you do, how drunk you get, and how awesome your hangover was the next day; these are the things that young adults consume their life with, because it's what's going to get them accepted. Sad, right? Reality isn't always pretty. I know that these things are what cause our broken world. How do I know? Because I have been there, and done that. I was so caught up in the ways of this broken world, that I became broken. In all this chaos, there is beauty. That beauty is Jesus. By His wounds we are healed (Isaiah 53:5).That's what my tattoo says across my chest, closest to my heart, because it's true.
I continued these relationships, and held on as long as I could so that lonely feeling I always had, would go away. I just wanted that empty space in my heart to get filled, and I was willing to do anything to fill it. I used sexual intimacy with someone to hold on to them, thinking that it would work. I have never been so wrong in my life. Searching for emptiness with sex, only created more emptiness. So I tried to satisfy that emptiness with more sex, and then the vicious cycle set in. It became an addiction, which led me into depression. According to recent research, sexual addiction alters the shape of the brain and drains natural serotonin levels. The nervous system gets messed up. Deep sleep through the night is elusive and addicts often feels run down. Clinical depression, anxiety attacks and blood pressure problems start to creep in. Many sex addicts wind up on antidepressants or other medication to cope. So I saw a therapist, and she prescribed me anti-depressants to shift my neurons into the right place so my brain was able to produce sufficient amounts of serotonin. Talking with my therapist, and taking the medication helped a little, but it never felt like it was enough. I still felt that emptiness.
Many people have said, that it is in your lowest moments that God reveals himself to you. You just stop covering your eyes, and pretending he's not there. I had gotten to such a low point in my life, that I felt I had no where else to turn; So I turned to God. I prayed for an answer, and I prayed for healing. "Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you." -James 4:8
"Return you backsliding children, and I will heal your backsliding." -Jeremiah 3:22
"Will". Such a strong word. It's not, "I might draw near you", its not "I can probably heal your backsliding", no! The word God uses is, "will". He will do what he says, because God does not lie, and God does not contradict himself. It he says he will do it, then believe that he will do it. I asked him for healing, and he truly healed me. It took a little bit of time, but that time drew me closer to him, and made me seek him more and more, everyday. That gap that needed filling, was really a space I was reserving for the holy spirit. I then came to a point in my life, where men and sexual intimacy were no longer a priority or a worry in my life. Those sinful desires, which never satisfied, had been replaced with a Savior. Jesus always satisfies. He has given me a new place to put my hope; My hope now lies in Him. Amen!
Waiting for that healing was hard, but it made me stronger, and the wait was well worth it. So how is it that I still get so impatient with him?
Through my journey, I met this fantastic guy. I really cannot put into words how much he has inspired me, and how his love for Christ has drawn me to him. We have been talking for about a month, but I feel like I have known him forever. We hung out, and not once did we try to go further than kissing. I didn't even want to, and when it seemed like I did, he stopped it. Wait, what? I can say, in all honesty, that this kind of stuff never happened in my past relationships. In fact, it was the exact opposite.
One small problem, he's a whopping three and a half hours away. So, needless to say, we aren't "together". He had come to the conclusion that we couldn't be together because of the distance. He said if he was going to be with someone, he wanted to "be with them". He said, "I think you're great, but it just isn't going to happen right now. But who knows, maybe God will put us together later." When he said this, I was crushed. It was weighing on my mind so heavy. It felt like someone was sitting on my chest, making it impossible for me to breathe. I finally found a decent guy. A guy that's devoted to Christ, and is so involved with his church. That's exactly what I'm looking for, and now distance is going to be an issue? I took a deep breath, closed my eyes, and told God that I trusted him.
Key phrases/words to look at in that last paragraph: "Maybe God will put us together later", "looking", and "trust".
"Maybe God will put us together later"- I think I listened to everything he said, except for this minor (a.k.a major) detail. It seems that I am better at listening to the bad, and filtering out the good, instead of the other way around. I need to remember that if it's in His will, then it will fall into place according to plan.
"Looking"- Girls, stop looking. The whole world says you should be dating. God says you should be serving him while you are patiently waiting. There's that word I need to soak up. Patience. God is never late!! I have found myself holding on, as if God doesn't have better plans for me. Psh.
"Trust"- This is the most important word in this blog. Trusting God is so vital when you have a relationship with him. We have to have faith, and trust him in everything he does. If we don't, we are pretty much saying, "He won't be able to handle this problem", or "He won't care about this situation, He has too many other things to worry about". Really? Are we really about to belittle God? The almighty God? Did I really forget how much I am loved by him? He cares about all of my problems, big or small. It should be obvious that if I put complete trust in him, he's got my back. No matter what. End of story.
It's funny how I tend to believe that I'm going to plan out my life when I have God in the picture. A friend of mine would always say, "We plan, He laughs." If God is perfectly capable of writing my entire life (which he is), then I'm pretty sure my love life is in good hands. I have to learn to be patient in God's timing, because it is completely perfect. A pastor at a church I went to once said, "God is like molasses. He might be slow, but he is so so sweet." That couldn't be a truer statement. The more trust I have for the Lord, the more my patience is revealed. Lack of faith, and lack of trust has been the root of my impatience, and has not only hindered the relationships in my life, but has hindered my most important relationship- the relationship I have with Jesus.
"Trust in the Lord with all of your heart,
and lean not on your own understanding;
acknowledge the Lord in all of your ways,
and He shall direct your paths."
-Proverbs 3:5-6 (NKJV)