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Married People are Insufferable

I am not here to complain.

I consider myself to be more of a truth-talker than anything.

I will tell it like it is. I don’t sugar-coat it.

Married people are insufferable.

Some of the married population never really knew what it was like to be single in the first place. I mean, come on. If you married your high school sweetheart, you have no idea what it’s like to be single because you have never had to do any part of what the kids these days call #adulting without someone else by your side. If you’ve never “#adulted independently of a romantic partner, you have never been single.

#SorryNotSorry

If you got married in college or before you had to start being responsible for your own finances, you probably don’t truly know what it’s like to be single either. College, for many people, is an extension of childhood during which a student still enjoys being on their parents’ insurance, Mom and Dad help figure out the finances and the car and some parents even do their college student’s laundry. I’m not saying this is bad or wrong. But if you fit in this category, you haven’t #adulted today. If you got married while you still had this level of support from your family, you don’t know what it’s like to be single.

People tend to forget what singleness is like the instant the engagement ring goes on the finger.

Some forget what it’s like to be single as soon as the relationship is defined as a bona fide relationship.

If the selective amnesia doesn’t kick in instantly, it does come eventually, most often by the time the wedding band slips into place. In some cases it lies dormant until the first big fight or until the monotony of having the same person waking up next to you morning after morning begins to set in.

It doesn’t much matter how long it takes. It comes eventually.

And it is insufferable.

They complain about how horrible it is to be married.

Or they sit with a single person and they chide said single person because they don’t love the “freedom” of being single.

A married person might listen to a single person, feigning great interest in their circumstances and when the single person stops talking, offer a condescending remark about how they need to get right with Jesus because they have a “horrible attitude” about their lives.

The previous example happened to me recently. Today, in fact.

Someone made the statement that the book Redeeming Love (Francine Rivers) is a wonderful book.

I contributed to the conversation by saying that it is a brilliantly written and excellent book, but it is extremely frustrating for single people who don’t love being single.

They told me that I didn’t understand the story.

I understand it completely. I have a degree in reading (in the words of my brother) and in the many, many literature classes I’ve taken, I learned to recognize symbolism and find meaning in places the average person wouldn’t find symbolism and meaning. I also know the Bible. I know it quite well. I am very familiar with the story of Hosea and how his life was a foretelling of the redeeming love of Jesus. I understand that both Hosea was and Jesus is a man who loves people regardless of what they have done. It is beautiful and I love the concept of redeeming love very, very much.

But the book is frustrating. It brings that story into a slightly more modern-day time period and presents the “love story” between a man who marries a prostitute because “God told him to” with the intention of having his love change her into a woman of grace and beauty.

It’s a lovely idea.

I’m going to let my inner cynical old hag out, for just a moment, and make the comment that in the time period and geographical area in which this story took place, there were many more men than women. If this were a true story, it wouldn’t have been so much about a man proving a point as it would have been about a man who desperately wanted to have legitimate sex and operated under the delusion that marrying a prostitute would both provide him with legitimate sex and with a godly wife who had no interest in other men, simply because he picked her. If I remember the details of the biblical story correctly, it didn’t work out that way for Hosea. It didn’t work out that way for Jesus. It probably wouldn’t work out that way for anyone else either.

The book frustrates me because I’ve followed all the Good Girl Formulas. Things like:

Go to Church + Don’t Kiss Boys = Wedded Bliss

Pray + Dress Modestly = All the Men Want to Date You

Don’t Have Sex + Behave Demurely = Engaged by Age 22

Read the Bible + Don’t Talk to Men = It’ll Happen Before You Have Time to Wonder What’s Taking So Long

All the formulas. All of them.

I’ve learned that they are all lies. There is no such thing as quid pro quo when it comes to these things. God doesn’t do “If you do this, then I’ll do that” when someone else’ free will is involved.

I’ve had Christian men refuse to date me because I was too innocent. Or too godly. Literally, if I had been a prostitute, I would have gotten somewhere with those (Christian) men.

As I read Redeeming Love, I thought to myself, “The formula is to become a prostitute. Being chaste doesn’t work. Being godly doesn’t work. No matter what I do, I’m not good enough. So I might as well try being a prostitute. It worked for Hosea’s wife. It worked for the prostitute in this book. Why wouldn’t it work for me?”

Of course, that’s not the kind of person I am and I’m not actually going to become a prostitute — which makes it even more frustrating because the only thing I haven’t tried is something that I wouldn’t try. It really makes me feel like a victim of my circumstances. A girl can’t win no matter what she does because there are limits.

The other person responded by chiding me for making the story about sex trafficking (um…. the story is about sex trafficking) and told me I was being disrespectful to women who are trafficked (???) and the cherry on top was when she asked for permission to add me to her prayer list because she didn’t want to argue about it with me anymore.

Wow.

Just. Wow.

For the record, I wasn’t arguing. But you want to not argue? Just patronize me. Talk to me with a condescending tone. I wasn’t arguing. But now that you mention it…. Now I feel like arguing.

* * * * *

My response to the person’s preposterous statement was promptly deleted.

Further proof that married people are completely clueless about how truly difficult it is to be single, especially among married church people.

One might ask what my point is. Why make a ruckus about it?

I don’t talk about singleness every day. I don’t even think about it every day.

But having people shut me down as soon as I start talking about it gets old.

It says that my experience is not relevant or important. It says that my feelings don’t matter. It says that I don’t matter.

I’m sorry my experience is hard for you to hear about and watch. I’m truly sorry. But if you think it’s hard to listen to or watch and you feel the need to shut it down because it just doesn’t fit with your expectations as a Christian person…. you should really try living it.

You should try doing everything alone.

You should try coming home to an empty house day in and day out.

You should try having people pat you on the head and tell you you’re cute when you talk about it.

You should try listening to people tell you to get over it.

You should try talking about your places of woundedness and having people shut you down and tell you it doesn’t matter.

You should try having people getting in your business all the time because you’re just a little (single) girl and they don’t think you can do life without their input.

You should try to be an adult woman in a community that doesn’t recognize women as adults unless a man comes along and validates their existence by choosing to marry them.

You should try to function as a minister as a single person. Let me tell you — that does not go over very well in many circles.

You should try to live in a way that you understand to be godly and also try to date. (Hint: They either don’t want a godly woman or you’re not godly enough. There’s no winning on this one.)

You should try being not good enough and too good, both at the same time, depending on who you’re talking to, and rejected by everyone because of things that you can’t begin to comprehend.

You should try talking to people who have no concept of your circumstances and try to get them to understand.

They won’t understand. It is a truly frustrating situation to be in. You feel very isolated and alone and the harder you try to help people to understand, the more alone you feel because they don’t get it and they don’t care enough to try to understand.

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Posted by on April 21, 2018 in Current Events, Rants

 

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His Love Restores

Do you know how it is that I can find so much joy in caring for a child who doesn’t speak, walk or do anything for himself?

I believe in his ability. Maybe he doesn’t talk today. But maybe he understands what I am saying to him. Maybe tomorrow he will vocalize something. Every syllable he says, even if it’s not a real word, counts. Every sound matters. Maybe tomorrow he’ll put two letter sounds together. Maybe…. I believe in his strengths, I believe in his abilities and I believe that no one stays the same. Everyone, regardless of their ability, can grow. There is hope for everyone, even the child who cannot speak.

I also believe in God’s ability and willingness to restore us. I believe that the God who invented brains knows how to fix brains too. I believe that God knows every millimeter of brain matter in our heads and He knows exactly what to do in order to make a brain function exactly the way it is supposed to function.

Because of these two beliefs, I watch expectantly. I wait patiently. And I rejoice exceedingly at every little thing that happens that indicates growth and restoration. It can happen. Sooner or later, one way or another, whether it’s physical healing on this earth or we go to live with Jesus where all things are made new (and there’s cookies and ice cream and swings and bikes!), we will be restored.

There is hope for everyone. I watch. I wait. I play with him in ways that don’t makes sense to people who don’t believe in his abilities plus God’s ability to restore him. And every so often…. something happens….

And I have a mini heart attack. And then pick myself up off the floor as I wipe away tears….

And I pray that he does it again. And again. And again….

Because His love restores.

 
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Posted by on March 23, 2018 in Current Events

 

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What is Your Calling?

Have you ever thought about the concept of your calling in life?

I was asked to ponder that question recently. What exactly does “calling” mean? What is my calling in life? What does it look like?

Calling and vocation are not the same thing. Everyone has a different vocation, but everyone who follows Jesus has the exact same calling.

Our calling, as followers of Christ, is to simply do everything we do with the same kind of love and compassion as Jesus. Our calling is to be the hands and feet of Jesus. Our calling is to meet people where they are and love them in that place in the same way that Jesus loves us.

This means two things. First, we are called to sacrifice of ourselves. Jesus gave up His very life for us. Most of us are not going to be asked to make that kind of a sacrifice, but we are asked to serve others at times when it’s not convenient. (Hint: it’s almost never convenient.) Most of what it means to sacrificially love people involves service. It might involve helping them pay a bill they don’t have money for. It could also involve easier things like taking the time to have coffee with them. Basically, it’s being mentally and emotionally present, even if it’s hard.

Secondly, we are called to extend grace. We are called to embrace people we don’t agree with and people who are difficult to love. Jesus did this so beautifully when He chose to extend grace to each of us.

We are called to be like Jesus.

Several years ago, I read the New Testament with the intention of taking note of the things Jesus did, why He did them and the attitude He did them with. He did things like hanging out with people that no one liked. You know — the tax collectors (thieves), the prostitutes, the disabled, the people with contagious diseases, the people possessed by demons and the people that no one wanted. Jesus chose those people. The ones who needed Him the most. The ones most lost. He picked them and then he provided for their needs. He healed them. He delivered them. He set them free. He talked with them and helped them see a better way. And he did it all with humble love and compassion. That is what we are called to do.

 
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Posted by on March 6, 2018 in Current Events, Profundities

 

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Being a Boat in a Storm

Now, when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was. And other little boats were also with Him. And a great windstorm arose and the waves beat into the boat so that it was already filling. But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” Then He arose and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace, be still.” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!” Mark 4:36-41

Sometimes we are like that boat.

Tossed about on uncontrollable and unpredictable waves.

Drowning in the Sea of The Unknown.

It’s easy to focus on the storm raging about us. Noise and chaos grab our attention and drown out any hope of sweet rest and peace.

But the Truth. Jesus dwells within my boat. He lives there. He is intimately acquainted with every minute detail of my boat. He knows exactly what kind of storm rages within and around me. He knows when to whisper “peace” and He knows when I need Him to shout “PEACE” at the chaos raging within. He knows the struggles. He knows the storms. The Prince of Peace, the One who made all that is with just the words from His mouth, calms it all with just one word. Peace. Be still.

Be still and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!

The Lord of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our refuge. Psalm 46:10-11

 
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Posted by on February 20, 2018 in Profundities

 

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Hold Me Jesus

I began writing this in 2016 and just discovered it. Oops. I don’t know how to bring it to a conclusion so what you see is what you get.

Well, sometimes my life
Just don’t make sense at all
When the mountains are so big
And my faith just seems so small

So hold me Jesus, cuz I’m shaking like a leaf
You’ve been King of my glory
Won’t you be my Prince of Peace?
(Hold Me Jesus, Rich Mullins)

Those eight lines describe how my life has been the past several months.

It was one thing after another.

Attack. Rejection. Anxiety. Depression.
Pain.
Confusion.

Trying to cope.
Every person and place I turned was a dead end.
Friends.
Family.
Church.

I went through all the options and found no comfort.
At times it has seemed too much to bear.
The things that are supposed to help didn’t.

I cried a lot.
I was numb a lot.

I have cried through church so many times.

Through all the times I’ve cried “WHY??” and tried to give up on my faith and my convictions, I can’t. I’ve wanted to. There are lots of things I’ve wanted to do through the tortuous fog of pain. Convictions I thought I no longer cared about.

But I can’t.

Because no matter what anyone does, Jesus holds me.
When my life makes no sense, He is holding me.
When it’s too hard and too big, He is holding me.
When my faith is almost gone, He is holding me.
He sees my small and broken self, searching desperately for a place of rest and safety.
He holds me even then — even when I’m convinced that there is no rest and no safety, even with Him.

Through the pain, He is the Prince of Peace.
The nights I toss and turn, my mind and stomach twisted in anxious knots, He is the Prince of Peace.
The days that I’m overwhelmed by dirty dishes and snow and bills and having to go grocery shopping, He is the Prince of Peace.
The times I’ve tried to go to church and, He is the Prince of Peace

 
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Posted by on February 16, 2018 in Current Events

 

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Matters of The Heart

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked. (Jeremiah 17:9)

We’ve heard it a thousand times.

I really like that house. I want to find a way to buy it.
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.

But I want a cookie!
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.

It would be nice to be friends with him….
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.

That’s a really nice car!
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.

I want to be someone’s mom….
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.

I need to take some time to rest.
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.

The verse from Jeremiah 17 often gets applied in ways that make a person doubt their hopes, desires and needs. Applied incorrectly, it can cause a person to push themselves beyond what is healthy and good.

If something is dear to you, that means it’s a bad thing because The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.

Applied incorrectly, this verse leads a person to strive in ways that are unhealthy.

Brownies….. Love me some chocolate! But…. The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked! I guess my snack is going to be a glass of water today….

As I’ve been thinking about this verse, it occurred to me that, that was then. Then, as in, at a time in history when people trusted themselves and did not trust God. Jeremiah 17:5 says “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart departs from the Lord.”

That — deceitful and wicked hearts — that was then.

This is now.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. (II Corinthians 5:17)

There was a time in history when hearts were deceitful and desperately wicked.

Before Jesus and the gospel of Grace.

The Old Testament is full of examples of deceit and wickedness.
Think Amnon and Tamar.
David and the incident involving Bathsheeba.
Joseph’s brothers selling him into slavery.
Jezebel.
Haman trying to kill all the Jewish people.
Jonah refusing to warn the people of Ninevah.

And in our own personal lives, yes, at one time, our hearts were deceitful and desperately wicked.
At one time, we too were once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. Titus 3:3-7

Regeneration.
Renewal.

Jesus makes all things new.

All things. Including our hearts.

If Jesus is in you and you are truly seeking Him, it is impossible for your heart to remain “deceitful and desperately wicked.”

I encourage you to trust Jesus in you instead of worrying about what your heart used to be without Him.

 
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Posted by on June 12, 2016 in Profundities

 

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30 Things, 4 Years Later: Day 19

30 Things to Accomplish in my 30s: Day 19

#19 Avoid making decisions based solely on fear.

I think this one made the list simply because today, I needed to be reminded that decisions that are made because we feel afraid or insecure tend to be not-so-good decisions.

Because today, I could make all kinds of decisions because of bad things that could happen. I’ve had a bunch of unknowns pop up lately. And it would be so nice to do the safe thing.

Faith or fear? Faith or fear? What’s it going to be?

I might have done too well on this goal. I bought a house for crying out loud! I bought a house against the recommendations of everyone who offered an opinion.

I went back to school. I went back to school terrified that I’d flunk out — or even worse, I’d get through all the classes and then not be able to pass the NCLEX for licensure.

I started orthodontia, knowing that I might have to have surgery, which would have been a nightmare on many levels. (It turned out that I didn’t have to have surgery!)

When you’re a grownup, you have to make lots of decisions that involve choosing between the safe option and the unknown. I used to always choose the safe option. I’ve learned that being safe all the time is almost always boring and more often than not, it’s not the healthiest choice or the choice that will bring the most peace and joy.

For those who struggle with choosing the courageous option, the risky option, the option that requires the most faith — for all of us, including myself, I want to close with this:

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust.
Surely He will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with His feathers and under His wings you will find refuge.
His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
You will not fear the terror of night
nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand
but it will not come near you.
You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked.
If you make the Most High your dwelling
even the Lord, who is my refuge
Then no harm will befall you.
No disaster will come near your tent.
For He will command His angels concerning you,
to guard you in all your ways,
they will lift you up in their hands so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
You will tread upon the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
Because he loves me says the Lord,
I will rescue him; I will protect him for he acknowledges my name.
He will call upon me and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble.
I will deliver him and honor him. with long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation.
Psalm 91

 
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Posted by on April 28, 2016 in 30 Things

 

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