by Andrea Renee Cox
Two weeks ago, I told you that I’m currently in a season of waiting (read Part One). Today, I’m digging deeper on that subject and sharing more of how God’s been working with me on learning to be content.
On Sunday, February 8, there was a moment that my heart screamed out, “Ask Him again!” So I opened my journal, where I sometimes write out my prayers, planning on requesting yet again that my husband-to-be be allowed to come into my life. What I ended up asking took me by surprise, but it was more than that. Right before I touched the pen to the page, my mind and heart collided with the Holy Spirit. He impressed upon me (though I heard no audible words), “This is a moment to choose contentment.” As I started wondering how to do that, my mind grasped what the Spirit meant. Here are the words I wrote:
“Father, may I gain contentment? My human desire is for my husband-to-be to come into my life. But my spirit desires for more. Contentment with EVERY season. Father, will you please fulfill Your will in my life and grant me a dose of contentment?”
Making that choice to ask for what I really need instead of what I really want wasn’t as difficult as I’d always imagined it would be, nor as hard as it had been at other times. It took place in a matter of seconds, not the long, drawn-out minutes of agonizing decision I would have expected. After years of asking for God’s will to be fulfilled in my life, my heart was finally ready to make the choice that set my humanness aside and reached out to grasp on to a characteristic that will carry me through the entirety of my future, whatever that may hold.
A verse I’d been focusing on that week led up to this life-changing moment.
2 Corinthians 4:18 (NIV)
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
The entire verse is great, and I’d taken it piece by piece each day since I chose it to be my fourth verse to memorize this year (learn about Beth Moore’s Scripture Memory Team for ladies here).
Fix our eyes has been my constant prayer lately. Sometimes fixing my eyes on the right thing for any given moment is difficult. It’s important to have God’s help to focus on the proper thing, and I believe that’s why I was able to choose to ask for contentment that day (and the days since then). He’s been busy doing the behind the scenes work in my heart and soul, the gritty work I can’t see being done as I’m struggling to do my part in coming to Him with a humble spirit and working on the things He’s asked me to do.
Not on what is seen. Well, my husband-to-be isn’t yet seen in my life—I haven’t met him yet, that I know of—but focusing solely on wanting him to come isn’t healthy and can keep me from seeing other blessings in each day the Lord gives me. Distracting myself with other things or duties is helpful on the surface, but to go soul-deep I had to look at the next part of the verse.
But on what is unseen. This is the trickiest part, I think, because if you can’t see it, how can you focus on it? The thing that’s helped me the most with this part has been to quiet my heart and mind and focus on God. His strength, His wisdom, the fact that He knows that I’m struggling right now. That He holds the blueprints to my life, my future. He knows who my husband-to-be is. He knows when and how we will meet. He knows what I need to learn (and what my husband-to-be needs to learn) before we meet. And He knows how to teach us those lessons so that we each will soak the wisdom He’s offering into our hearts to be held for a lifetime. By focusing on Him and everything He knows about my situation, I have been placing my trust in Him more and more each day without even realizing it. (That’s another thing I’ve been working extra hard on lately, but that’s a different story altogether.)
Seen is temporary. This bit hit me hard when I first started working on memorizing this verse. My neighbor recently died, as you know from a previous article here at Writing to Inspire, and that made me realize even more than normal that life is short, our days are numbered, and we don’t know how long we have to make a difference on this earth. In thinking of my situation of being single, I realized that life is short and I’m only getting older every year. Which means I may not have as long with my husband-to-be as I originally thought (once he arrives in my life, that is). Now, I thought realizing just how short life is would make me go into the woe is me mindset. But it didn’t. Rather, it made me begin to cherish every moment I’ll have with my husband-to-be even more. Maybe, because of all the various tragedies I’ve seen in my life and the lives of those around me, I’ll be able to treasure the days—however many they are—I’ll have with my husband-to-be once we do find each other. Perhaps those days, years, and possibly even decades will become something even more special because, a few Sundays ago, I realized in a new-to-me way that life on earth is a temporary thing that no one other than God can predict. Sure, I knew this before. But on that Sunday … that day it sank in a little—or a lot—more. And maybe that’s one of the lessons God was trying to teach me.
Unseen is eternal. This part of the verse focuses on building treasure in heaven. If I’m focusing on the invisible (or unseen) God and gaining characteristics that mirror His own (such as contentment, patience, and trust), then I’m building up heavenly treasure that will last for all eternity. I may not be able to see it or use it or touch it right now, but it is building a legacy of godliness that I’ll be able to leave for future generations to learn from, and it’s also preparing me to be received into my heavenly home whenever my time eventually comes. And honestly, no matter how many collections of books or movies or shoes I have here on earth, the only true legacies that matter to me on a spiritual level are the ones that will show my children and their children that spending eternity with God is the most special treasure we could ever hope to attain.
There are so many things to be learned from that one verse in 2 Corinthians. Just imagine how much more there is to learn in the rest of the Bible!
Other sources of knowledge on the subject of waiting for your spouse to arrive in your life are books from the Christian living aisle at your favorite bookstores. Here are some of the titles I learned about a couple weeks ago that I’m looking forward to reading over the next year. This is the list of titles I promised a couple weeks ago that I would share with you.
Passion and Purity by Elisabeth Elliot
I Kissed Dating Goodbye by Joshua Harris
Secret Keeper by Danna K. Gresh
God’s Gift to Women by Eric Ludy
When God Writes Your Life Story by Eric and Leslie Ludy
When God Writes Your Love Story by Eric and Leslie Ludy
Lady in Waiting by Jackie Kendall
The Mark of a Man by Elisabeth Elliot
The Path of Loneliness by Elisabeth Elliot
Every Young Woman’s Battle by Shannon Ethridge and Stephen Arterburn
Uncompromising by Hannah Farver
The Sacred Search by Gary Thomas
Disciplines of a Godly Woman by Barbara Hughes
Boy Meets Girl by Joshua Harris
Sacred Singleness by Leslie Ludy
Be encouraged, my friends! Whatever season of life you find yourself in, God is there, waiting for you to trust Him with your heart, even when you are afraid of the results or the journey.
Readers, what season of life are you in right now? If you could encourage someone else dealing with similar things that you’re dealing with, what would you say to them?
What Bible verses have you found to be encouraging during this current season of your life? Are there any books you would recommend that deal with where you’re at? Or what type of books are you searching for?
Maybe we can help each other find books that will lend a new perspective.
March 2 - The Prayer Box
March 9 - (yet to be decided)
March 16 - Be My Guest: Elizabeth Maddrey
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