Thursday, June 28, 2012

Ablaze

I have loved following along with Annie, Nicole, Erin, and Annie this week to learn more about how they have pursued Christ is the midst of singleness, dating, breaking up, and marriage. We are to purposefully pursue Christ no matter what are current relationship status might be. In our hearts we know this is true, but we can easily become distracted. The distractions can vary depending on what season we are in. When we’re single, we wonder when we will meet the godly man we’ve been faithfully praying for. When we’re dating, we can be caught up in our growing romance. When we’re married, our focus changes as we start to live life with this man we promised forever to.

I’m in a season of singleness and I’m going to attempt to share how I pursue Christ in the midst of being single…

ablaze
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It would be nice if he was already in my life. If I knew the name of the man who I will one day give my heart to. To know the sound of his voice and the way my hand feels securely in his. I go to school at a small Christian university where it seems like half the students are in a relationship. There is always news of a new couple or an engagement. The professors joke about the girls on campus getting a "ring by spring" and that the new chapel was built to promote all the student weddings. I can easily be consumed with longing to be in a relationship that I take my gaze off of Christ.  Part of me longs for the day that I meet him, but the other part is so thankful for this time before he enters my life. There is tremendous beauty and opportunity in this season of singleness.  My attention isn't split and I can diligently pursue Christ without a divided heart. Of course I still have struggles, but I'll face challenges no matter what my relationship status might be. The struggles will just manifest differently.

Here is what I've found helpful in pursuing Christ during this time:

1. Have a focused quiet time every day. I like to have my quiet times in the morning right after I wake up. I don't turn on my computer until I've spent time with the Lord to avoid distractions such as Facebook, Blogger, email, etc. I commit my time to the Lord first.

2. Celebrate with your friends that are in relationships. It's so easy to let bitterness creep in as your friends enter relationships while you remain single. To overcome that I focus on celebrating with them as they grow in their relationships the way that I would want them to celebrate with me one day. I rejoice in the love story that God is scripting for them. By rejecting bitterness, I'm able to keep my gaze on Christ.

3. Approach this season one day at a time. Mosy likely, God has not called you to be single forever and He has a beautiful love story scripted uniquely for you. Leslie Ludy told the story of her sister-in-law's season of singleness in one her books. One day, her sister-in-law, Krissy, was asked whether she thought she was called to singleness, and Krissy responded by saying, "today I am." That comment has stuck with me and I've embraced it as my outlook. I know that God has given me all that I need to live out today.

4. Realize that you have a love story with your heavenly Prince. Even the most beautiful earthly love stories are mere glimpses of the heavenly love story we can have with Him. He is not a stoic or distant God, but a God who pursues and woos His bride. In Sacred Singleness, a young woman shared her realization  of this truth..."Suddenly, with overwhelming clarity, I realized how God felt about me - how much He loved me and longed for me to truly be in love with Him. And instead of dreaming of the marriage vows I hoped to someday share with an earthly prince, the passion of my life began to focus more and more around the vows I should be saying and living daily with my heavenly Prince."

I truly hope this encourages you to pursue Christ in the midst of this season!

If you missed this series, catch up now:
Annie @ What She Saw: on singleness
Nicole @ Bloom: on dating
Erin @ Sweetness Itself: on breaking up/post relational singleness
Annie @ Turning Pages: on marriage

6 comments:

Annie said...

I love this, Samantha. I particularly love your first piece of advice; that's something I struggle with, setting aside a time for just me and Jesus. Thank you for your wisdom!

Laurie Ann said...

Thank you for posting this!! All of your advice was great!! I particularly like the part about taking it one day at a time. I think that's so crucial, because we only have today's mercies.

Thanks for stopping by my blog and for your sweet words!

Nicole said...

I really liked your second piece of advice. Bitterness can kill friendships. It makes me so sad that some of my best girlfriends are no longer because they just can't get over the bitterness. I think it goes for girls in a relationship too! You look at others and may think they have a better relationship that you, but you just have to keep your eyes fixed on where they need to be and the Lord will bless you personally. Thanks for linking up!

Tiffany said...

Great post!!!!! I really appreciate the advice, "take it one day at a time." I frequently find myself looking weeks, months or years into the future. I forget that God wants me to seek Him in the moment and be in the center of His will. Thanks for the reminder :)
-Tiff
http://thewanderingtheologian.blogspot.com

Erin said...

oh sweet friend, i love what you shared!! you are one gem of a girl and you shine for Jesus.

i love ALL your points, very wise stuff here. especially loved the second point - amen girl, we need to rejoice with others rather than sinking into bitterness.

keep on keeping on - love your kindred heart :)

Kiki said...

I just discovered your blog and read through a lot of your older posts. Enough so that you can consider me a blog stalker. Okay, not really. That's a bad way to start my first comment off. :)

I just wanted to say that I love reading your perspective on teaching (fellow college student + future teacher here!), singleness, and your relationship with Christ. I feel like we have sooo much in common!

Anyway, thank you for writing this post! I love how you remember to focus and pursue Christ instead of a boyfriend. Number two is so hard for me, so I'm grateful that you're sharing your positive experience with it!

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