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Monday, September 8, 2008

What Does God Want Anyway?

I keep hearing that God has a plan for my life. Excuse me, but am I the only Christian who has doubts about what God is thinking or conspiring for my life? Why is it that plans have changed for so many of us? What I mean is, why are so many of us single without wanting to be? Is it REALLY GOD'S plan? Or are we just coming up with spiritual rationalizations for a societal neurosis?

I suppose what God really wants is for me to be faithful to him, no matter what happens--whether I'm single or married, male or female, mother or childless, DINK or SINK, rich or poor, healthy or ill. That means no matter what stupid crap people pull at church, no matter if some men are disrespectful, no matter if I don't have a date Saturday night, no matter if all my church "friends" turn their backs on me-- I should be following Him.

The thing is, I'm horribly bad at it; following God.

I've been asking God for help for years. He doesn't seem to be listening. I've been seeking true love for years, trying to find a meaningful career path, a decent boyfriend, to lose the weight that dogs me, to find greater peace and sanity, a church I want to serve in--a church that accepts my gifting and honors it.

For years I was faithful to God, but I wonder if God has been faithful to me. Has He forgotten about me? I feel like I'm still a child in so many ways--single, no boyfriend (plenty that seem to want to use me as a toy--OK, OK and some that respect me greatly but we aren't dating), no children, trying to find purpose and meaning for my life. I long to sit at the grown-up table and to understand what they are talking about.

The married people at church, pastors included, give bad advice. In fact, they look at us and just don't know what to say. So they tell us that God has called us to singleness because still dating when you are grown up is obviously selfish. We should be serving God like the married people. Even though I'm not married, I should be toiling at home waiting for my prince to call on me. He will come by with the magic glass slipper I left at the charity ball for the Christian organization supporting cancer research that fits only me...Oh wait, that's Cinderella. Or the Prince will come magically knocking on my door while I'm romantically spinning yarn for my knitting (from the lambs I raised and fleeced) by the hearth with the light of the setting sun upon my work--the same light I also use to read my Bible. Except that somehow I missed his call because I pricked my finger on the poisoned needle and fell into a deep sleep... Oh, wait, that sounds like Sleeping Beauty. Or that I'll be reading my Bible by candlight--candles that I made from the tallow I melted down--and while I'm engaged in these spiritual pursuits and taking care of seven dwarfs someone slips me a poisoned apple that...wait, that's Snow White! Or that God will magically provide the right person "when I least expect it." I'll be locked away in my room reading my Bible by candlelight again and a Prince will come by and ask me to let down my hair...oh wait, that's Rapunzel!

Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Rapunzel--the Princes found them while they were sleeping in crystal coffins or locked in a tower, so all is not lost for me. The exception is that brazen Cinderella who had the gumption to go find her prince at the ball--with a little help from her friends--and then left something at his place that he had to figure out who it was and return it. Instead of being angry that she left something, he married her!! Or I could try to transform a Bad Boy into a better man through my unselfish love...oops, that's Beauty and the Beast. Some women still believe that fairy tale. We've gone from kingdom to yuppiedom--certainly I'm easier to find in our modern age than most of those princesses!! "When you least expect it" is the fairy tale of modern yuppiedom.

But you see, I don't expect it. I'm used to not expecting it. I've already dated seven dwarfs, a couple of trolls, the Billy Goats Gruff, at least three little pigs, quite a few Beasts, some Big Bad Wolves, an odd bachelor named Jack who kept talking about stealing office supplies from the giants at work, a couple of frogs and the Pied Piper who with dulcet tunes lured women instead of children. And that's just this year!!

Where on God's green earth is that prince??? Kissing all of them did not result in a prince!! At this point, I would be happy with a brave little tailor or brave woodsman--one that might save this poor Little Red from being devoured by a wolf as she is on her way to give her Granny some medicine and read to her from the Holy Scriptures and didn't stop or go off the path--not even once to pick flowers or strawberries or talk to any wolves, frogs, beasts etc.--cross my heart. ;)

I don't think any of us understand. So, God, what's the plan? Is it Africa? Tajikstan? Uzbekistan? Married-stan? If you send me to Africa, can You make it a big city with Jazz clubs? I speak Spanish, how about a Latin American country?--one where I might Tango the night away to evangelize in the name of Christ of course! What do You want anyway? Am I enough all by myself? Do You really want just me? Do you want me here?

Maybe I have low spiritual self-esteem, but I'll take this teeny, tiny mustard seed of faith and keep watering it even though it almost wilts in the hellish cultural heat of our societal neurosis. Right here, right now, right where I am; I'll take it with me in a little pot whereever I go, whereever God sends me, whatever the circumstances, whatever work I'm doing, kingdom or yuppiedom, Prince or not.

-------------------------------
DINK-Dual income, no kids
SINK-Single income, no kids
Yuppie--Young urban professional
Yuppiedom--urban area where yuppies live.

OK, I made up SINK.

20 comments:

The Learner said...

Hey Savvy,
I'll take this teeny, tiny mustard seed of faith and keep watering it even though it almost wilts in the hellish cultural heat of our societal neurosis. Right here, right now, right where I am; I'll take it with me in a little pot whereever I go, whereever God sends me, whatever the circumstances, whatever work I'm doing, kingdom or yuppiedom, Prince or not.

Amen

For years I was faithful to God, but I wonder if God has been faithful to me.

Savvy, what helps me with this is to remember that God's faithfulness to me was proven 2000 years ago when Jesus died for my sins and made a way for me to be justified before God. Anything else that he may bless me with is way beyond faithful.

single/certain said...

For years I was faithful to God, but I wonder if God has been faithful to me. Has He forgotten about me? I feel like I'm still a child in so many ways--single, no boyfriend (plenty that seem to want to use me as a toy--OK, OK and some that respect me greatly but we aren't dating), no children, trying to find purpose and meaning for my life. I long to sit at the grown-up table and to understand what they are talking about.

yeah. i sooo know what you mean. :( and no, you're not the only one who doubts or freaks out or says 'hey God, WTF?!?!'

the only thing i can think of is this... what do you want more, to be with god or to just get the presents he hands out? and what do you think he wants more, to be the god who hands out presents, or the god who gets to spend time with you?

single/certain said...

ps... maybe skim over this: http://singlecertain.blogspot.com/2007/08/and-sometimes-joy-leads-to-revelation.html

LadyElaine said...

savvy,

I totally understand where you are right now, because many of us grapple with the same issues as singles. However, I must say that some of the things that really irk me is the insane perception that because I'm not married with children, somehow I'm not grown up and am socially segregated and separated from my married brothers and sisters in Christ. When did marital status become a means of defining social hierarchy in the church?

I can only pray for your strength and encouragement in the Lord, as I cannot say why you're still single, but I want you to know that being single doesn't make you a freak, it doesn't make you weird or have a red letter. Your marital status doesn't define who you are. You are defined by your identity in Christ, because that trumps everything and everything that's important flows out of everything. People who build their lives around God's gifts and blessings instead of building it around who they are in Christ wind up with a serious crisis of identity when change affects or dissipates those very things. It is easy for smug marrieds to tell single woman that you need be married and family to be a success, but will they same the very same thing twenty years later when their children are all adults, independent and on their own? Will they say the very same thing on the days where they realize what marriage really requires? Success is obedience to God's will for your life, day by day, step by step, consistently, constantly moving forward, growing in a deeper relationship with Him. I'm not trying to be superspiritual here. But the truth is that true peace comes when we stop trying to look for circumstances and things to be right and start trusting God to take care of us, despite the chaos that tries to blow around us.

I know you don't know the whole plan. But you need to obey and operate what you do know God has instructed you to do. I know it gets lonely,and I know it gets hard. But you are not running this race for others, you are running for something greater and bigger than the opinions of men(even if those men are people that sit next to you in the pews on Sunday).

The one thing that helps me in all of this is that God's Word is true, no matter what the circumstances, no matter how I feel at the time, no matter how things appear to me.

As for your married brothers and sisters in Christ, ask the Lord for patience and that His love will overflow in your heart towards them with mercy and grace. Forgive them, because more often than not, they are simply acting out blissful ignorance than intentional malice. If necessary, you may have to love them from a distance.

Amir Larijani said...

Savvy: You forgot to mention some sniper who would love to shoot those bad wolves from afar. LOL

Oh wait...you're in the People's Republic of California. Wrong state.

Seriously...I hear ya. The pastors can be pretty useless sometimes, because they are clueless on this matter of singleness.

The married folks don't know how to deal with folks who "fell through the cracks" in the marriage lottery.

Combined with clueless pastors, you have a lot of people giving piss-poor advice, or--worse--passing unsubstantiated judgments on singles.

The result has been an unmitigated disaster, and singles are paying the price.

The Learner said...

LadyElaine-
I must say that some of the things that really irk me is the insane perception that because I'm not married with children, somehow I'm not grown up and am socially segregated and separated from my married brothers and sisters in Christ. When did marital status become a means of defining social hierarchy in the church?

Hello! This irks me sometimes too. My absolute favorite all-time home group/small group Bible study was a mix of married and single people from 24-40 years old.

single/certain said...

learner/lady elaine... you know what's funny? sometimes we do that to ourselves! case in point: some friends of mine who go to another church set up a 'dating forum.' it was a seminar type thing, i guess, about dating and relationships and etc. i was invited, and i noticed the facebook invite said something about it being for 'young adults.' but most of the invitees were late twenties on up. i declined the invite, (for multiple reasons) but wrote something along the lines of 'um, at 29, i'd to think i no longer fall into the young adult category.'

all that to say that i guess i just think that we sometimes put it on ourselves: that because we're not married, we're not yet adults.

chrissy said...

Okay, Chicklet, you know me and you know I don't get preachy, so I'll keep it simple...(ha, you know I don't do that either)....

I've spent more than the last decade single (you know the history before that) and I figure it all comes down to this - when God wants to put "the one" in my life, he will put him in such a place that I won't miss him. Until then, God feels I have other things I need to concentrate on - things a relationship will get in the way of.

Yeah, there were plenty of times when I thought He wasn't listening...turns out I was so busy repeating myself to Him that I didn't hear what He was trying to tell me!

It's in His hands, my friend. Trust it there, even when you don't like it, and all will be good.

L.C.T. said...

I think God honours our own desires. After all He created us so He's partially responsible for them! He wouldn't make us unhappy which only leaves me to think that although I'm single, I don't think I'm "called" to be single. I may just have to get a little better at waiting.

Anonymous said...

All I have to say is your post is hilarious! Love it!

Alisha Endre said...

I think this is totally HILARIOUS. for the face value of it.

but going a little deeper...

How often do you read your word?

Maybe you are not feeling close to God or feeling like he hears you because he doesn't answer... MAYBE because you still have some area of sin in your life that he's begging you to remove.

As far as being single. NOTHING WRONG WITH IT!

I want to get married one day, yes... but I'm more focused on drawing closer to God and being a complete woman. You dont have to sit around waiting for magic, but I think you're missing the mark if you think that you dont have to be close to God.

Dating is FINE. but you pushing relationships to become serious before a man decides he's even into... is NOT. i think you have to get over that wordly anxiousness of needing someone. Become content with Savvy first. your husband will love you all the same.

Look in the mirror EVERYDAY and say I am enough. because you SHOULD BE!

Paul when writing to the Corinthians didnt even SUGGEST we marry because it takes our time and focus away from doing the works of Christ. you're not even married and focusing more on men than God. see what happens?

Maybe God is like, Sav... I can't give u what you want until you give me what I need.

that's all. think about it.

SavvyD said...

Alsiha, honey!!! At what point do you see me PUSHING a guy ito a relationship??? Or are you talkng about the women that actually do that. I don't. My practice is to let them go. You might want to read about Astro and see how I let that one go. There are only two that I even really cared about at all this year--Tall and Bass. Sing is nice, but he has issues, so I wasn't sad about that though he is a good person with a good heart.

SavvyD said...

I suppose I feel anxious about it because I'm starting to wonder if there is anyone at all. When I was in my early 20s I wasn't ready for a relationship at all. I didn't date for a long time, and had alot of first dates. Now that I'm dating alot, I'm making it to 3-4 dates. I've had very few boyfriends while I have friends who have been married for years and have 3-4 children. I'm starting to wonder if theres something wrong with me.

Alisha Endre said...

there is NOTHING wrong with you Savvy... REALLY!

but maybe your anxiousness and wonder is a little more apparent than you think. that's all I want you to think about a lil...


you respond to my comments but still you're responding as a woman of the world and not the righteousness of Christ.

what gets me is why dont believers believe?

Gods word gave us 10 laws in the old testament. but once JESUS came, he replaced ALL OF THOSE with just two. And OH how two cover a multitude.

But the most IMPORTANT was: Mtt 22:37
"Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind."

I'm not saying be a nun. I'm just saying make sure ur priorities are straight.

and seeking God first is NOT joining every church function. its about your personal relationship with God. Hearing from God. daily communion and quality time. He wants your time too...

Anonymous said...

thanks to some "christians" i want nothing to do with god becusae their god doesnt care about me or what i want and that my life has nothing to do with me and that its not about me and that i was not put on earth for me. stop right there! none of my friends or family live this life or have this on their life, why me, i am asking to be let go!!!! life is not about god so if it is, god get over it, now!!!!! i am not afraid to talk to god and not its not sing unrealistic praises that someone else wrote. i am single and i am not going to be single becuase god allegedly wants me to, did god also want me to experience the depression, the feeling of being left out, the loneliness, the embarassment, the tears, and the the dumb excuses and beyond lame attempts of explaining for god( my gosh i didnt imagine hearing what i heard and it is still ridiculous) other people are not missing out and neither am i!!!! i am not answering the call to be single and really dont care what god wants at all
i dont trust him i dont love i wont serve him
seriously, poeple have made god out to be the grand hinderer and interferer
he loves marriage and created marriage but for some reason not for me!!!!!!
God said its not good for man to be alone
some christians insist god has called me to be alone
well to hell with them
i dont care about them anymore
i used to
not anymore
i will no longer give them room in my life

dear god
call someone else
also
get over it
i am getting married
get over it
and you better not hinder me in any way
you arent hindering others in any way
you better not be hindering me
if you are STOP SINGLING ME OUT!!!!
AND GET OVER IT
YOU CREATED MARRIAGE!!!!!!!!!

B said...

Even though this conversation took place in 2008, I just found it now because I was Googling trying to see if other Christian single women were feeling what I'm feeling right now.

Thank you Savvy for keeping it real - your feelings, your anger, your frustration and fears. Being single has a lot of lows especially as you get older and see all of your friends and peers go to that next stage in life with husbands and kids. I admire your courage to really say what's on your heart and I feel like when we come before God baring our true souls (and He knows what we are really feeling anyway) then He can work with us. I'm am continuing to be open and honest with Him and my relationship with Him has never been better.

SavvyD said...

@B Thanks for stopping by. Yes, lots of women feel just like you.

Anonymous said...

well i am a very serious down to earth good straight man that is having it very difficult finding love again, especially after my wife of 15 years that cheated on me. i very much hate being alone as it is, and it is certainly no fun at all. i was a very good husband at the time, and i loved her very much before this happened to me. now going out all over again is the hardest part, since many women nowadays are so mean and very difficult to meet. i certainly hope with God's blessing that i will be able to find true love again, and that would certainly change my life around.

SavvyD said...

I'm sorry to hear about your story. You are, unfortunately, not the only person who is going through this. I would like to believe it's easier for a man to find love than a woman. And I have no idea what she was thinking when she chose that path that tore apart your relationship. You will need some time to heal from this. HUGS

SavvyD said...

Wow, I am thankful for Google's new comment system where I can see who commented most recently because I think I missed reading that absolutely heartbreaking comment about having to make excuses to people for why God hasn't done things in life. Yep, so hard to explain...