Dear future husband

The past seven months have been painful and hard, but extremely rewarding. I have learned so much through this time. I know so much more about Jesus and who He is. He is good, faithful and always there for me. I have learned so much about myself and how I will go into my next relationship, making Christ the center. Lastly, I have learned about what I look for and desire in a husband, so I am going to write a letter to whoever he may be.

Dear future husband,

I pray for you often. I pray for your relationship with the Lord and that right now you are actively pursuing Him and putting Him first in your life. I pray that whatever pain and heartbreak you have had to go through, you have sought out the Lord through it all and gone to him first in all your decisions.

I pray that as I am praying for you, you are praying for me. I pray that we would both go into any other future relationships in a way that glorifies the Lord, knowing the possibility of them not being our future spouse. I pray that we wait patiently for one another and trust God with each others lives.

I desire a man that is going to lead me spiritually and someone I feel like I have to keep up with, because he makes me better and push me in my walk with the Lord. I desire someone who is going to push me towards holiness and not towards sin. I pray this is you.

I pray that as I have had to endure a time of pain and hardship, that I can say later on you were praying for me the whole time, like I’ve been praying for you. I know this period of waiting for a guy is going to be so worth it when God brings us together. I want a marriage that is going to beautifully represent the love that Christ has for us.

As much as I love chocolate and flowers, that doesn’t prove to me you’re the one.

All the right/sweet words won’t show me that you’re perfect for me.

We’re not “meant to be” because you are athletic, or have money or are a hard worker.

I won’t believe you’re good for me even if you go to church every day and claim to be a Christian.

But, prove to me that you’re a man of God!

Prove that as a man of God you will read God’s Word with me, that you will pray with me and for me, that you will strive to lead our family in the way that God calls you to. This is what attracts me to a guy. Pursue Him first, and me second all the days of your life.

I don’t need a man who is perfect, but one who is validated by the One who is perfect! I need someone who I can trust will never break my heart, but sees my heart how Jesus does. Someone who will protect it with all he has and never want to see me hurt or cry.

I can’t wait until I see why so much of my pain and heartbreak has happened and to see and really know that God has been there the whole time and was saving me for you! I can’t wait for a life with someone who has the same desire as I do, to glorify Jesus in everything! I can’t wait for countless adventures, kids and a lifetime of sweet memories.

I will continue to pray for you, whether I know you right now or don’t, and trust God with you, with your life and with our future.

Love, Se

 

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What God gives when He takes away

When something or someone is taken from you, you may feel a season of loneliness and confusion. I know I did. I questioned why God would take away someone who brought me so much joy and who I loved so much. It didn’t make sense.

I still chose to seek out Christ and know that He had far better for my life, even though some days it seemed almost impossible to believe. I know I serve a good God, and He won’t take something or someone away without the intention of replacing it/them with something better.

This doesn’t even mean God promises exactly what we want, or for me another boyfriend right away. What I mean is when God took away someone who I originally saw my whole future with, He replaced that guy and the hurt I felt with peace, hope, assurance and joy.

Peace! I remember when I was going through the initial heartbreak and the pain I felt, I longed for peace. I wanted to just be back to normal again and remember looking around and envying people who could truly laugh and smile and feel any happiness at all. I know a lot of people have had their heart broken and gotten through it, but somehow I still felt like the only one and Satan deceived me into thinking I would never get through it, and I would feel the way I felt forever. I felt so discouraged.

Even in these times, I was actively pursuing the Lord and wanted to hear from Him and what He had to say through my pain. I needed to trust His words over any lie Satan was trying to feed me. I would have horrible, break-down-and-cry moments, and then minutes later as I was seeking out truth from God’s Word or a message I was listening to, I would feel a wave of peace consume me.

This peace I felt was not because my circumstances were good by any means. The peace could only be from God, because it made no sense why I would be feeling such a peace through the hardest time of my life. The verse Philippians 4:6-7 says, “6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” The peace I experienced surpassed my own understanding.

The peace that Jesus has brought me through a time of hurt and disappointment is amazing, and I would take being sad and feeling the peace that Jesus supplies, over being happy and never experiencing this type of peace.

Hope! I felt hope in a lot of different areas. I had hope that Jesus was going to use my pain for my good and His glory. I had hope that He was going to make this one of the best times of my life spiritually. I had hope that one day God would bring me a man who would love me unconditionally and lead me like God calls Him to lead me.

I also had a greater hope that Jesus is coming again, and it made my ties to this world even looser. It caused me to want to see Jesus face to face and experience Heaven even more! No more pain, no more suffering.

Assurance! When we first broke up, I clung to Christ. I knew I needed Him and couldn’t get through something so painful without Jesus and His sweet words to encourage me that He loves me, He is always there for me and will never give up on me. It was a brutal time, but through it all my relationship with the Lord became the best it has ever been. Because of this, it gave me an amazing sense of assurance of my salvation.

You don’t see if someone is really saved when they praise God in the good times, but when life gets really hard, and they still praise God. Throughout the past six months, I have never wavered from saying God is good, and He remains faithful. This is not to say I’m amazing, because I could not have done any of this without Christ. It’s not me, but Christ in me. Through a time of trusting Him, and clinging to Him it made me on fire for Jesus and His Word, which gave me so much assurance of my salvation. Praise God for how He has worked in my life and proven to be so faithful!

Joy! Wow, joy was one of the things I struggled with the most. I wanted my joy back so bad, but I felt like Satan had robbed me of all joy, leaving me in a puddle of despair. When I went home for Thanksgiving, it was so difficult trying to feel the joy, and not let what had happened affect me, my family or my friends. Over time, through a lot of prayer asking God to renew in me a newfound joy, I slowly started to feel more and more joyful, despite my circumstance. I have more joy now than I did when I was dating this guy, and it’s become my joy comes from the Lord! Nehemiah 8:10 says “…for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

God is so good in restoring my heart and outweighing the bad with the good. He gave me so much more when He took away. God sees the big picture, and in his wisdom — which often initially doesn’t look like wisdom — he will bring all to right in the ways and at the times that will result in our experiencing the greatest joy possible. God knew what He was doing when He took away, and now I do too. He gave me peace, hope, assurance and joy. I wouldn’t change a thing that happened to me, because of what it has produced in me!

Have you ever experienced a time of confusion where you didn’t understand what God was doing, but now looking back you see how He worked it out for good in your life?

The importance of Prayer

On my last post, I wrote about how important it is to have a quiet time with Jesus — a time set aside to read your Bible and read all the truths and promises that give us a sense of hope and peace.

Prayer is also so important! It is a time where you are able to cry out to the Lord during any season of life. If you’re sad, cry out to Him. If you’re happy, thank Him. He is good in all our circumstances and deserves our praise and to hear from us at all times.

When I went through my difficult breakup, prayer meant everything for me. It became so important and something I needed to get through my days. I would wake up and pray for a day full of peace that surpassed my understanding. I would pray all throughout the day when I was hurting and would end my day with prayer asking God for continued peace and that He would continue to remain near to me.

As I continued praying, I was seeing God answer my prayers, and I was able to start praying with so much more confidence, looking back seeing how many prayers He had already answered.

I started reading Job and seeing his prayers. He was on his hands and knees begging God to hear him. He felt like God had forsaken him. He was in an excruciating amount of pain. He had everything taken from Him. His prayers weren’t perfect, but he completely laid his heart before the Lord and allowed Him to work in his life. Jesus doesn’t want perfect prayers; He wants heartfelt prayers.

Prayers for believers and non believers are so different. So many non-Christians pray but often times pray only for good things, and not for the best thing. The best thing might be through a season of pain, but we as humans hate to feel pain. It is so hard, but I started praying for God’s will and for Him to do the best thing in my life, no matter the cost. I ultimately want His name to be glorified through my life.

It’s amazing getting to see how God has worked in my life through the power of prayer. I am able to have a direct connection to Him by communicating with Him. He isn’t deaf but hears each one of my prayers.

I began to pray for more than just my needs, but for others’ needs. I started praying for the guy who broke up with me and that he would turn to the Lord in his pain and not seek out the world. As bad as he hurt me, I want this time of pain to be used for good like it has been in my life.

Maybe you don’t know what to pray for. There are so many different things you can pray for. This link is from “Desiring God,” and it’s a helpful guide on what things you can pray for.

Do you struggle with spending time with the Lord in prayer? How do you plan to make it more of a priority in your life?

 

 

Making time for Jesus

In college, it is so hard to find time to do anything else than what you know you have to do. Classes, sports, extra activities, studying, maintaining relationships, etc. We are all extremely busy, and balancing it all is crazy!

The most important relationship we have as Christians is the one we have with the Lord. He is the one who sustains us and encourages us, and He is always with us no matter what we go through.

It’s crazy to think how He is the one who loves us the most, yet it’s so easy to continually reject Him and put all sorts of other things in front of Him.

Last year I really struggled spiritually, and the desire to want to be in God’s Word and in prayer was not there. I really wanted that desire back and prayed for it, but I really didn’t expect how it would happen.

When my boyfriend and I broke up, I was so heartbroken that I NEEDED Jesus. Reading my Bible wasn’t an option, but a need. Crying out to Him in prayer was the only way I could get through my day. It was crazy to see the difference and to see how when He was all I had; He became all I needed.

It was hard going through a breakup, but so rewarding seeing Jesus become all I wanted and needed. It has been amazing having that desire back and looking forward to being in God’s Word and having that be my favorite time of the day.

As I read through different verses and specific Psalms, I experienced a hope and a peace like I had never experienced before. My circumstances were not good, but I had the assurance that God had better plans for my life and was using my pain for good. I would have never remember this if I had not been spending time with the Lord on a daily basis.

Through tough times we always see Jesus come through and realize He was there the whole time. He deserves all our honor and all our praise. Making time for Him is extremely important to keep that relationship thriving.

Any other relationship, you would make sure you spend time with that person to make them feel loved and like you care about them. Well, Jesus died because He loved us so much, so the least He deserves is some of our undevoted time.

James 4:8- Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.

Psalm 1:1-2- 1 Blessed is the man
   who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
    nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
but his delight is in the law of the Lord,
    and on his law he meditates day and night.

Matthew 6:33- But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Do you guys have a quiet time? If so, what do you do during that time and when do you do it?

There’s a season to come

The past couple months I have struggled, but what I know to be true is that what I am going through is simply just a season. For the longest time I felt like I was enduring the brutal, cold winter.

Some days I felt hopeless and felt like the winter would last forever with no signs of spring. But, as I have continued to cling to Jesus and see Him as my greatest hope and joy, I now know that God has better for me.

Not only is winter going to end, but the summer is going to be the best one I have ever experienced. I know that God doesn’t take away just because he’s mean or mad at us. He does it to give us something that He knows is going to be far better.

Suffering is not want anyone wishes on themself. We as humans hate pain and will do anything to hide or run away from it. What I have realized is that pain may be the very thing that not only brings me closer to the Lord, but that gives me the voice and the platform to speak into other hurting hearts.

For the longest time I wished my pain away because of how excruciating it felt, but now when I pray I ask God to use my pain for good and for His glory. I want to be able to see other people who are hurting and to share with them the hope of Jesus.

I want to tell them that as much as it hurts, and as much as it feels like the pain will last forever, that God has bigger and better plans for them that will far surpass what they ever had in mind.

I have already seen God work in my pain and use it for so much good, and I am starting to see signs of spring. The hope and the joy I have experienced during a time of hurt is so much better than the pain I once felt.

I see that God has allowed my pain to draw me so much closer to Himself. I am so thankful that this did happen, even though I would’ve never originally asked for it.

I still am in a season of waiting. My life is not perfect. I still cry. I still don’t have that boyfriend that I desire to have one day. But, because of Jesus I have hope. It’s not a hope knowing that Jesus will give me a boyfriend when I want one, but a hope that He is going to work in my life and do what is best and what brings Him the most glory.

I desire to use this season of my life for so much good. I don’t want to sit around being unhappy single, when I know I can get to know Jesus so much more in a time of singleness.

Paul remained single his whole life, and talked about how being single is far better. We are able to fully devote ourselves to the Lord without any distractions from another person. It is such a cool season to sit in and allow God to work in.

Have you ever gone through a really hard season in your life? What helped you get through it?

When life doesn’t get easier

After I went through that really hard break up and had that moment of joy and peace knowing that God allowed this for good, I then assumed I would be ok and I would never be sad again. I thought I would always be able to see that God is sovereign in my situation and I don’t have to be sad knowing He has a plan. Wow, that is so much easier said than done.

I initially got discouraged when I would have really awful days where I would just weep and be so confused on how the person who once loved me so much could do this to me. The heartbreak was real and it wasn’t going away. I was irritated and felt like if I didn’t feel joy all the time, then I wasn’t trusting God.

This was a huge thing I learned while going through such a difficult time. I fully trusted God and knew He was in control, and in knowing and reminding myself of this I actually found the most hope and peace. But, I went through something really hard, and to not be sad would’ve been not normal. I realized and am still realizing that I can be growing and doing great, but still have some days that are really tough and when I cry.

Being stuck in this place is where I know I am wrong. I can feel pain, sadness, rejection, hurt, but then lift my eyes and cry out to Jesus for comfort and for hope and peace and He is so faithful in giving it to me when I need it.

I have seen a ton of similarities between what I’m going through and what new believers go through. When people first get saved, I think many times they believe God will now do good for them and no bad will ever happen to them again, but then they’re hit with a trial and they’re confused and they question God. This is exactly what Satan wants. He wants these new, baby Christians to question God’s goodness.

I have fallen short in many ways and done the same. I believe questioning God is natural when going through a hard time. Why has He allowed this? I’m a Christian; why is He bringing a trial into my life? Job did the same when his kids, land, and livestock were taken from him. But, the Bible never says that life will be easy once we give up control and give our lives or our circumstances to Him.

We are promised trials and it is actually good because it is a testing of our faith. Look at Paul in the Bible! At the time of his conversion, life did NOT get easier. It got so much harder.

2 Corinthians 11:25-27- “Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; 26 on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; 27 in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure.”

I look to Paul for encouragement a lot of times when I am feeling weak and discouraged to see all that he endured, but joyfully for the sake of Christ. He was human too and had emotions like anger, sadness, pain, etc. There were time he hurt so much he asked the Lord to take the pain away.

2 Corinthians 12:8-10- “Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

It’s amazing to look at Paul and see that he wasn’t always joyful, but he hurt and he had times where he experienced real pain. He didn’t sit in his pain, though; he cried out to God in his pain, and the Lord showed him that He was going to use his pain for Paul’s good and for His own glory! Now, we’re able to look at Paul and praise God for allowing him to go through this because of the example we all have through him.

I know God is going to use my pain for His glory and for my good. Life may not ever get easier, but that could be what God is going to use for His glory, and He could use me to show other that when I am weak, He is strong! Becoming a Christian, I have given God complete control of my life, fully trusting that He knows what is best!

 

 

 

Even in the valley, God is faithful

College is way harder than I could’ve imagine. And it’s not because of the workload or my brutal soccer practices.

When I first got here I was thriving and loving life, feeling happy, but deep down not satisfied. I’ll get to that a little later. I had a boyfriend whom I loved so much and saw my entire future with, I played Division 1 soccer, lived in Nashville, had amazing friends and loved my classes. Life was great!

I felt kind of stuck spiritually though, attending church on Sundays (maybe) and not doing anything beneficial for my spiritual life otherwise. I desired to be on fire for the Lord but didn’t know why I didn’t have that same passion or desire anymore. I felt like I had completely lost it.

After this year, I had an amazing summer with my boyfriend, Jason back in California and was so excited to get back for my second year of college. Coming back was awesome but also tough because of having to leave someone I loved so much, and not only that but I was coming back to playing soccer all day in the humidity.

August came and went, and I really started having doubts about my relationship and seeing correlations between my “great” relationship and my failing spiritual life. I decided to ignore that and continue in this relationship, because I loved him so much and we had our whole future planned out. I could never break up with him!

Well, September came. We were fighting a little more than usual, and out of the blue he broke up with me. Shocked. Devastated. Shattered. My heart was broken. I could not believe that this man I was supposed to marry and who told me how much he loved me, broke up with me.

My best friend flew out, and a week later my mom flew out. When my friend Brittany was here, I remember being on the floor of my dorm room weeping. That was the most hopeless I have ever felt in my entire life.

I felt not only hopeless but also worthless and so unlovable. I felt like my entire future had just been stolen from me, and I could do nothing about it.

Brittany tried to comfort me the best she could, but I felt broken. That night we went to dinner and decided not to talk about Jason for three hours. As we got our food and sat down, all the sudden I was overcome by an overwhelming sense of peace.

It made no sense. My eyes were red and puffy from crying for days, and now peace? I told Brittany I had to talk about Jason real quick. I told her how this might actually turn out to be the best thing that happened to me.

I felt the Lord telling me that He could use my pain for His good and through this time grow me so much. For the first time in a while, I felt peace, I felt joy, I felt hope.

I called my mom crying, but this time out of joy, telling her God is going to bring good out of this, and as broken as my heart was, He was going to restore it. I wish I could say since that moment I haven’t missed Jason once, and trusting in the Lord is the easiest thing ever.

This season of life has been by far the most difficult season of my entire life but also the most rewarding. I have fallen in love with Jesus in ways I didn’t even know were possible.

I know that He would never break my heart, He would never hurt me, He would never give up on me and He would always be right there with me, no matter how many times I failed Him. It was the most comforting feeling.

Looking back, I see where His light was, and He was there the whole time. Even in the times I cried on my floor, feeling so worthless and lonely, He was there holding my heart.

We serve a good God, and He has brought so much good out of this situation I would’ve wished I never had to go through. I now have not only a desire but also a burning passion to know my Savior more.

I consistently go to church every Sunday, pray daily, read my Bible daily, memorize scripture and read so many books about pain, brokenness and God’s goodness and unfailing love. That is not at all to brag, but to brag about what Christ has been able to do in me.

I would’ve never done those things before had I not gone through something so excruciatingly painful. This is what I needed to get my passion back, and it is fully the Lord’s doing!

Praise God for being good and faithful and bringing those He loves back to His fold, no matter how much it might hurt in the moment.

2 Corinthians 12:9 says, “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

In my weakness, I have seen God’s strength. I have seen Him do so much good through this time, and I praise Him every day for being so near to me.

There are times in our lives where we are on the mountaintops, and others where we are in the valley. I know what it’s like to “walk through the valley of the shadow of death.” But I know that

EVEN IN THE VALLEY, HE IS FAITHFUL!

Have you ever had to go through a difficult time but seen it as God’s hand in your life bringing you closer to Him?