So recently I’ve been reading this book by a lovely lady (to be fair I’ve never met her but if she’s as gorgeous as her words are then I know she must be lovely) called Francine Rivers. Its called Redeeming Love and if you haven’t already, READ IT. It’s a retelling of the story of Hosea – which is a love story, by the way; where God speaks to the prophet Hosea through the relationship with his wife. His wife is a prostitute, sleeping with all these other guys and having children with them, and Hosea compares this to how sinful Israel is and how they always seem to turn away from God and don’t see the incredible love he shows them everyday. Rivers re-writes the story; a man called Michael Hosea (cheeky link) marries a prostitute called Angel and it’s all about their relationship and how it’s a kind of back and forward affair. I’m halfway through it so I can’t ruin the ending even if I wanted to, but since I’ve been reading this book it’s got me really thinking about my own love story, and who I want to write it.
I’ll be honest, this blog post is coming from a place of some sadness I suppose. I’m pushing myself to write this blog post because I know once I’ve written it I can reread it and remind myself of what I’m about to say. In the past, the toils and troubles of my still young love life have put me in seriously different and uncomfortable places, both emotionally and spiritually. I’ve been pulled away from God, I’ve been lied to, I’ve been manipulated. I’ve got some experience under my 19-year-old belt and some horror stories from friends and family to boot. I’m not making myself out to be a relationship expert because I’m really not, and over the years I’ve come to accept the responsibilities I have in the past mistakes and upsets in this romantic realm. But now, at uni, at a new church, out in the world on my own, finding that someone special has definitely been something that has been playing on my mind a little more than usual, and I want to take the opportunity now to say that I’m giving up looking. No, before you worry, I’m not resigning myself to a life of Bridget Jones, Ben & Jerrys and a cat farm – I’m simply just taking the pressure off of myself.
The thing is, when I became a Christian, I gave my life to Jesus. My whole life. Each and every day, each and every moment. It was in His hands, not mine. As I grew older, I suppose I started taking bits back – and relationships was definitely one of these things. I’ve learned that if I want my life to reflect Jesus and what he wants from me, he has to be in charge of my love life. Of course, I want to get married, I want to have children and I want to be happy – but now I know and completely understand that being happy does not mean being with someone. This is such a commonly believed lie told to everyone by anyone and it saddens me greatly to think that men and women feel incomplete without having someone on their arm. Of course, for the Christian community, marriage is something that is so important and something that should be celebrated. But singleness should be, too.
One of my last posts was about taking in the everyday and savoring those blessed moments that God gives to us. I know for a fact that I’ve missed out on some serious blessings – or I’ve not taken notice of them is probably a better way of looking at – because I’ve been so worked up about a guy or not having a guy or worrying about never meeting the ‘right guy’. This Christmas I realised many things, and this was one of them: look at what you have, not what you don’t have. I have been blessed with some amazing friends, and a beautiful family. I am a lucky girl, even when I do feel sad and empty and alone. When I can’t see it, God is still with me and still right beside me through everything. When I gave my life to Jesus, I was saying that his way was the right way – what he provides for me is what I need, and what he says goes. At the moment, I am single. And guess what? That’s absolutely fine.
I want to have a love like the guy in the book I mentioned earlier. Something real, and something from God. God tells Michael to marry Angel, and he does. And his love for her is incredible. I’ve got teary a few times reading it because its just so beautiful. And I know that if that’s what God wants for me, then he will give it to me. But I can’t find that on my own, and I can’t make that happen in my own strength. So if you’re reading this and you’re not feeling all that fabulous about being single, it’s okay. You are worth more. This is the first step to properly handing over this whole thing to God. As always, I want to stress that I have not got this down to any kind of art. I am rubbish in this area of things and God knows full well how rubbish I am. But even when I’m sad, even when I’m suicidal (which has happened a few times, if I’m honest), even when I’m in that dark, lonely, scary place and I can’t see even a fraction of my worth, Jesus still died for me. And if I was the only person on the earth, he would do it all over again. If you love God, let him look after your heart. Let him find someone you can share it with, if that’s whats right for you. And if it isn’t, don’t despair, because the love God has for us isn’t dependent on whether you have an attractive lady or laddy friend on your arm. If that’s what you think, read your bible again.
Sometimes the love we’re looking for comes in other places and through other people. Look at those around you and look at how much they love you. Let yourself feel it and let yourself know it – not just in your head but in your heart. This, I guess, is another step. After giving it all to Jesus, let the love in. And, if you’re anything like me, after doing this you’ll start to see that you don’t need the love you thought you did after all, and suddenly it becomes something that you could have, but not something you need, because the love you’re letting in is more than enough – it’s more than you need. Its Heaven sent.
Most importantly though, realise – or at least try to, I don’t think anyone will ever really understand – how much Jesus loves you. In the Hosea passage quoted way back up the top (if you’re still with me, thank you, it’s nearly over), God is saying how he’s going to woo us all over again. And again. And again. That persistence, that goodness, that pursuing – this is the love we need. And the best bit? It never dies, it never fades, it never leaves. God is always there, waiting for you. So if you feel he’s calling you to that special date, or that special time for just you and him to be, then go. Say yes, and be loved like you’ve never been loved before.
Peace and blessings x