I continued to struggle with letting go of the idea of marriage.
THIS IS THE FIFTH AND FINAL PIECE IN A BLOG SERIES BY ATHENA DEAN HOLTZ ABOUT FINDING LOVE BY SURRENDERING ALL HER HOPES AND DESIRES TO JESUS, READ THEM ALL HERE.
SERIOUSLY, BE STILL
“Lord, even though You released “marriage” to me on September 5 through Roby, I am still going to ask You to help me embrace the idea of being single for good with full devotion to You instead of being pre-occupied with finding my man.
“I can see how I assumed her word was about my friend, because I had just surrendered him again when the email came from Roby. It may well have been You giving me hope even though he wasn’t the one, so I could be at peace that You really are bringing me a husband. And instead of just trusting You for the fulfillment of that Word through Roby, I took it and ran with it, assuming it was about my friend!
“Oh Lord, thank You for already forgiving me for such foolishness. For running ahead of You instead of heeding Your constant reminders to:
- Be still
- Slow Down
- Wait on You
“Oh Lord, what a fool I have been! I can post benches all day long and quote scriptures about being still, but in that one area of my life I was NOT BEING STILL. I wanted a godly man and I’d found one and I was going to win him over. OH GOD! What a hypocrite I’ve been!
“Thank You Lord, for allowing me to see how foolish I’ve been, how I’ve done the same with this friend as I did with the widower…OH GOD…please help me to just BE SILL and let marriage GO!
The first Saturday morning of 2014,
I SPENT SOME TIME WITH HIM AND JOURNALED MY PRAYERS:
“Oh God, I so want to trust You for a husband. A godly husband. One who will be faithful to me and true to You. I so want to believe the promise of marriage, but Lord, I so easily get distracted by wondering when and who. It so easily becomes idolatry for me and I know that breaks Your heart.
“So Lord, I’m going to quit trying to figure it out. I’m going to quit looking at ring fingers, wondering what my friend is doing, anticipating meeting “the one.” I am going to forget Roby’s word to me and get down to business promoting Your faithfulness. I am a whole person even without a man, and I do not have to have romance in my life in order to be happy!
“Lord, I ask you to wipe the thought of my friend from my mind. Lord, that I will not keep coming back to him and wondering if You will bring him back into my life to pursue me at a later date.
“Lord, please wipe clean my mind and help me to keep it that way.
“Oh God, looking back to mid-September when I thought You were saying that my friend was THE one, but that You were also saying not to announce it to him, just be his friend, and keep my focus on You. I went and did the very opposite. I announced it, I focused on him, I did not take Your command to BE STILL, I ignored what You said and now I am broken hearted.
“Lord, thank You for already forgiving me…for drawing me to repentance. Thank You for showing me how I ignored what Your clear direction was. I was too zealous and so idolatrous!
“So Lord, all I can do is trust You to move, to speak, to bring, if that is Your will, the One You have for me, so that I can right now focus on You and the work You’ve called me to.”
Who could have guessed that exactly six days later I would be invited to return to Washington to start Redemption Press, His next phase of redeeming all the enemy had stolen?
And then 13 days after this invitation, I would be on my way back to Washington for good?
And then, while in the airport, God would arrange a phone call that would change my life forever and bring me the dream-come-true godly husband I’d been longing for?
GOD WORKS IN MIGHTY WAYS — REDEMPTION
Never in a million years could I have dreamt that up, or anticipated that God would work in this way. Kinda makes me weepy to think about, and then this verse comes to mind.
Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Ephesians 3:20 (NLT)
So, does that mean He will do that for everyone who surrenders their longing for a mate? Probably not. Does that mean every situation will always have a happily ever after ending? Not by a long shot.
What it does mean is God is faithful…whether we are foolish, disobedient, stiff-necked and idolatrous, or growing in His grace in a way that demonstrates Christian maturity. He is faithful whether we are on the mountain top singing praises to Him or deep in the darkest valley crying our eyes out.
WILLING, SURRENDERED … AND LOVE
The name of this blog series is Willing to Wait – Single and Surrendered. Was I willing to wait? Yes. Willing. But as you have seen, I struggled a lot with the surrendered part. I certainly don’t claim, in the title, to be something I’m not. I surrendered many times, but felt like a total loser… I put my future into His hands and turned around and took it back. I failed over and over again, but I think the key is that I continued to surrender, no matter how many times I failed.
He had to take me a long way around the mountain because I did not want to do what He was asking me…be still…yes even in this area of my life. But once I confessed, repented, and recommitted myself to Him and Him alone, He moved and boy, did He move quickly.
I can’t promise He will do the same for You. But I can promise that He will draw You closer to Himself, He will pursue an intimate relationship with You and He will do what is best for you. All along the way, the desire of His heart is for you to experience His love as He is conforming you into the likeness of His Son.
Athena Dean Holtz is an author, radio host, speaker, and cult survivor — among other things. She is the co-founder of Redemption Press and happily married to her pastor-husband, Ross Holtz. You can reach her in the comments here or on Facebook.