If you're tagged in this note it's because I want you to know what I've learned, think you need to learn it as well, or I wanted to include you because you're my friend (you can guess which category you're in! lol) But this is pretty major so I hope you'll stick with me through this with me and read it to the end.
For as long as I can remember I have struggled with a deep desire to be in a relationship. This probably doesn't surprise anyone reading this because I've either shared it with you (or my not so subtle nonverbals have betrayed me and I've communicated it to the outside world). For some of you, you know me enough to call me friend but don't know enough to know how much I've desired to have this part of life become a reality rather than a fantasy. Seriously, have you guys seen the beginning of Enchanted? THAT WAS ME!!!!! lol
Over the last year, I've had some pretty interesting experiences with the opposite sex, I even had one guy tell me I would never find love. Needless to say he is not my friend anymore, but this helped me to become quite cynical with guys in general. As I'm surrounded by primarily non Christian 21 and younger guys it hasn't exactly helped matters. Mix in some daddy issues and I've set myself up for disappointment big time.
Last year around this time I was fasting and at the end of the day God gave me nothing related to what I was fasting about but instead gave me some much needed insight: "Lexi, you've put all your hope in having a husband and you've put none of your hope in me." I sat back in my chair as the weight of that sank in. I am in a relationship with the God who created the WORLD, yet I had failed for 27 years to put any hope in the One who guarantees. There is no guarantee that I will get married or ever be loved, but the love I'm looking for, that we ALL long for, I already have in Christ. No man can give me the love I desire except for Jesus.
So why did I put Leah up in the title of this note? Because Leah (look up her story in Genesis) was the girl that nobody loved and I relate to that. I'm not putting myself down, I know I'm loved, but it's taken me a long time to realize that I'm loved because God created me and HE SAYS I'm loved. Leah was overlooked and lived in the shadow of a physically gorgeous sister: while she remained plain and homely. Her father tricked Jacob into marrying her before he would give Jacob who he really wanted (her sister Rachel, who was a total babe). Later in their marriage Leah named five of her six sons with names that reflected her desire to be wanted by a man who did not love her. She had to learn that her identity came from her God and not from her husband or being a mother.
My pastor in California gave a wonderful sermon that my wise mother sent to me. God used this sermon to continue what he started to tell me when I fasted a year ago. As I've grown in my trust of Him who is LIFE, He has been FAITHFUL to reveal so much more to me these past few weeks. I have found myself singing the song "I surrender" almost every day because I HAVE to tell God that His ways are better than the plans I've made for myself. That HIS love and peace are all I need.
I may still long for an earthly romance that honors God, but I can honestly say that if that is not His plan for me or life just works out for me to be single, the joy and love of God is NOT a consolation prize. I would rather be safe with his plan for me than with any man no matter how wonderful.
I decided to listen to the sermon again today and I want to share some highlights with you (especially the ladies, but guys should keep reading too):
"Until our hearts are at rest in God, until he is number one- until God is reigning trlly as Lord overall, we will look for love in all the wrong places."
"If God is not the most importat thing in your life, and the one thing you most need is the love of another and you expect to recieve that love from another human being, you will crush him or her under the weight of your expectations."
"If you make Rachel your God, you will wake up with Leah in the morning" (this is metaphorical, just thought I should point that out) because as my pastor said: "God came to the girl nobody wanted and made her the mother of Jesus...The God so many say is not in the old testament (the God of Love) shows love to Leah in the most powerful way."
Last: and this is a good reminder for every Christian and hopefully an "Aha" moment for those of you who do not have a relationship with Jesus: "He experienced ultimate abandonment so that we could expereince ultimate embrace.... You may feel like somebody's Leah but you are in fact Jesus' Rachel- the one for whom he gave everything."
SIDENOTE: I am a woman! I am always going to desire love, it's what I was made for. I still hope to be pursued and romanced, I just don't hold it to quite the same standard as before. To some extent I will continue to struggle with insecurity and feeling lonely sometimes, but God is faithful and his Son Jesus' death overcame every insecurity and desire I have.