Monthly Archives: April 2014

Just Affirm Me, Pleeaassee!

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A couple years ago a friend and I read through “The 5 Love Languages: Singles Edition.”

(Side note: I think it’s humorous that we can label anything a certain edition and sell it. I should market and sell, “Frozen: Kayla Edition” and see how that goes for me…)

I digress.

She and I really learned a lot through reading that book together–learned about ourselves, each other, and how to interact with those around us in a loving and encouraging way.

A couple big notes of mine that came from that:
(1) My “love tank” is filled by quality time with people and words of affirmation from others.
(2) I get sweaty and socially anxious when people touch me. Please don’t test this theory.*

Back to the love tank.
A running joke between the two of us now is when we affirm something the other does, we jokingly declare, “Affirmation!”
It’s funny and the two of us get it even if you don’t.

The struggle here is when I let affirmation from others dictate my joy, my value, my actions, etc. Often in my life I’ve desired affirmation from people who don’t really have a stake in my life. I search and yearn and try to work for the approval of others.

I search for and yearn for affirmation and approval from a guy. I desire to be lifted up by a man so that my love tank may be filled. I want to hear words spoken by a broken human that stroke my ego and make me feel whole…for a brief moment until I forget his words and feel the need to be affirmed even more. I think that being with a flawed man with somehow make me less flawed. I think that my value is less than what it could be if I were in a relationship with someone that constantly told me he loved me (cause that’s what boyfriends and husbands do, right??).

The truth amidst the long list of lies I tell myself is that Jesus affirms me moment by moment. I can list verses upon verses of this truth, but the first one that comes to mind is Isaiah 62:4

You shall no longer be termed Forsaken, and your land shall no more be termed Desolate, but you shall be called Hephzibah, and your land Beulah; for the LORD delights in you, and your land shall be married.

The word “Hephzibah” mean, “My delight is in her.” The Creator of all, Yahweh Himself has declared His delight in me.

Is there any greater affirmation than that?

Lord please teach my heart to rest in Your affirmation moment by moment!

*a note on physical touch: it only makes me socially anxious if I don’t really know you…again…please don’t test the theory 🙂

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Not Always The Bridesmaid

When I was 19 someone said to me, “I just don’t want you to always be the bridesmaid and never the bride.”

Mind you, I had just ended an on-again-off-again relationship that had spanned 2 years up to that point and would continue for another year. I was pretty sure I would never meet another guy that I could “see myself” with.

Did I mention I was 19 and, ya know, all of life’s big decisions are supposed to be made by that age?

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I may have lived a bit of a dramatic life back in the day.

Looking back I truly believe this was the point in my life when God starting chipping away at the idol of relationships/marriage that I’ve struggled with for so long. He began teaching me that I am already a bride and that Jesus has already become my Bridegroom. As cliche as it may be, this is truth that cannot be taken away from me.

And here’s the cool thing about having Jesus as your husband–He fights for you.

One of the more notable sections of Scripture addressing marriage is in Ephesians 5. A couple years ago my pastor preached on Ephesians 5:25-27. I don’t remember if this was a series in Ephesians, on marriage, or what. I just know that I took some pprreettyy good notes that Sunday. Here’s a little nugget of how great my scribe skillz are:
-Christ fights for His bride
-my worth isn’t defined by what I bring to the table…Jesus brings everything
-I am loved by Christ and that is my identity
-Jesus is at war against the spots and wrinkles in my life–covering them, cleansing them–to make me & present me as spotless & beautiful

I’ve lived much of my life thinking that I’ll be complete once I find “the one.” Thanks Jerry MaGuire.

But the beautiful, freeing truth is that I cannot be complete and spotless outside of Christ.

It’s a lesson I’m still learning. Some days I still think that I need something other than Jesus. Some days I think that someone else can fight for me in a perfect way and present me without blemish. Some days I let others dictate my value.

Jesus already has. Jesus already does. Jesus always will.

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When Purity is about more than just not “Doin It”

It should be noted that I’m not mature enough to type out the technical term for “doin it” yet. I still giggle a little when I say it out loud.

I may still be a middle schooler.

Since I’m a girl and I grew up in a conservative church, I’ve had the “purity talk” many, many times. My entire adolescence was filled with True Love Waits rallies, awkward discussions about sexual activity, and talks about saving myself for marriage.

The problem with all of this was that I never knew why. I knew that I wasn’t supposed to “do it” with anyone but my husband, but the only motivation I had to wait until marriage was that God would be unhappy with me and I’d never be able to be redeemed from that sin.

I recently read a book by Beth Moore called “So Long Insecurity.” I can’t recommend this book highly enough for all the ladies in the house tonight. In it, Beth discusses our roots of insecurity, types of insecurity, identity issues, and what it looks like to fight to overcome insecurity.

In my journal I have the following quote from that book written down:

Contrary to the claims of our sensual culture, we were not created merely for sexual gratification.

What I love about this quote is that it’s reaffirming that I was not created for myself. But guess what, I wasn’t necessarily created for my husband either. I was created to bring glory to God.

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.-Romans 12:1

My life–mind, body, spirit–is made to be a living sacrifice to the Lord.

But here’s the kicker. Purity in my life and relationships doesn’t mean just don’t have sex. (Ugh. I said it. And now I’m giggling) It doesn’t mean to find the line of what I can & cannot do with my boyfriend.

Purity goes beyond that. It means that I choose to chase after Jesus over chasing after a line that I may or may not cross with a guy. It means that I am held accountable to people around me that know my struggles of the flesh. It means that my motive is no longer to please myself, but to please God. It means that I was not created merely for sexual gratification, but that I was created to glorify God in my body (1 Corinthians 6:20).*

And for those of us that have struggled with sexual sin, guess what…we CAN be redeemed from that! We HAVE been redeemed from that!

Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:17

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

Jesus has made us–all of us–new. We can live in the freedom that He provides. We can chose to run away from the line and into the arms of Christ.

Purity is about more than just not doin it. Purity is about chasing after Jesus because He is better.

*I couldn’t have a post about sexual purity and not put something from 1 Corinthians in it. #typical

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Loving Myself More Than You

First of all, “Back Here” by BBMak just started playing on my Pandora station. Excuse me while I have a mental sing-a-long in the middle of Starbucks and revert back to a teenage girl.

Okay. I’m back.

I’ve found that I am a pretty selfish person. I like myself quite a bit. It can be easy for me to get so caught up in my “problems” that I neglect loving and serving those around me.

And when I say “problems,” I mean it in the loosest sense of the word. I get caught up in singleness, unhappiness, pride, things that you could dub #firstworldproblems.

When Jesus called me into His Kingdom, He did not call me to self-centered pity parties to be thrown on the regular. When I allow myself to get caught up in things like being single, it takes away from the service that Christ HAS called me to.

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.-John 13:34-35

Notice that Jesus doesn’t say, “all people will know you are my disciples, if you have love for yourself.”
He commands us to love one another.

I don’t know about you, but I find loving others pretty hard when I’m super caught up in my own junk and all I dwell on is how rough I have it.

Newsflash: I don’t have it that bad.

I have been redeemed by Jesus. Which, last time I checked, means that I have been called to freedom (Galatians 5:1) from feeling bad about myself. The Most High loves me enough to save me from my sins, and in return I am to love others. Not wade in the pool of self-deprecation that would be easy for me to hang out in.

It’s easy to rest in the misery of being single and watching everyone around you get married and start a family and go on awesome vacations and live in cool places and…[insert other things I’m not currently doing here]. (Also, I use the word misery in a sarcastic way. My life isn’t miserable. I had enchiladas for lunch today, so….yeah…life is pretty great.)

It’s harder to put others before myself and generously love them in spite of my emotions. But that’s what Jesus has called us to. Love of others, not love of self.

Question: how does being caught up in singleness/unhappiness/fill in the blank keep me from loving & serving those around me? How can I set my selfishness aside and love deeper this week?

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Wasting My Waiting & How I Don’t Like that Phrase

One thing I hear quite often as a single woman is, “how are you doing in your time of waiting?”

The initial sarcastic thought that comes to my mind is, “Well, it’s 3pm so I’m just waiting for supper…which is PRETTY ROUGH. I’m not doing well. Seriously.”

But what people are really asking about is, how am I handling waiting for my husband. I know the people that have asked me this question are well meaning. I know that they truly care about the state of my heart and how I’m handling being single. They love me enough to ask how my heart is, and whether or not I’m letting relationship status become an idol. Because I’ve let it become that in the past.

They don’t want me to “waste my waiting.” They don’t want to see me wallow in self-pity, wasting away time I could be using to serve and love those around me.

However, I really don’t like that phrasing, and here’s why: it implies that my life isn’t complete until the next season comes around (which is something I wrote about here). It implies that I’m waiting on something other than God.

Now, hear me out. I’m NOT saying that this type of phrasing is totally wrong. And I’m not saying others should stop asking the question. I need those questions asked of me. I need deep, Christ-centered fellowship in my life to rejoice with me when I rejoice, and weep with me when I weep (Romans 12:15).

As I’ve written previously, I think waiting is ingrained in who we are. We long for the next big thing. We desire the next step up whatever ladder we’re climbing.

What’s wrong is when I hear that phrase or question and fall back into that mindset of marriage being the ultimate end-goal. What’s wrong is when I ask someone that question and lead them to believe that something other than God is better than God.

A few verses before (what I’m assuming is) the most famous verse on “waiting”, Isaiah writes:

To whom then will you compare me, that I should be like him? says the Holy One. (40:25)

This is in a section of scripture speaking to the greatness of God. The Holy One Himself is asking, “who is better? Where can you go to find something that comes close to me?”

My season of waiting will last for the rest of my earthly life. I can go nowhere to find something or someone to fill the void of desire that only Christ can. My heart longs for the day to be united with Christ in His presence.

But for now, I’m going to try to not waste my waiting. I’m going to keep my eyes fixed on the prize and purpose of my waiting: Jesus.

And if I get married, we’ll continue to wait together for the glorious day when our Bridegroom brings us home.

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