Saturday, November 13, 2010

dear sisters.

inspiration: this is for all my sisters in Christ

I had a brief conversation about relationship woes with Joyann, my younger sister-from-another-mister, last night that almost broke my heart. We have been friends for almost half my life (and 2/3 of hers -- 12 years, to be exact...and it’s crazy to put it into that perspective) and she was my biggest fan and strongest support this time last year when I was bordering depression over a breakup.

I never (until recently) admitted to anyone just how far away from Christ I was, how lonely I was, and how bad I felt about myself post-breakup. But at that time, Joyann really helped me battle my demons and overcome all the anxiety, guilt, frustration, anger, etc. that I had experienced regarding everything about life and relationships. She brought so much joy and grace (LOL seeing as her middle name is Grace – Joyann Grace ;)) and shed so much light into the darkness that had become my world. And despite the fact that I’m 3 years older than her, I look up to her so much for being a true spiritual leader in our relationship/adopted-sisterhood that it really, really broke my heart to see her wrestling so much. Well, it always does (no one likes to see their little sister upset), but even more so last night, because it was my turn to share my “been-there-done-that” scars...

Part of our conversation entailed questions like “Do you think fairytales exist? where it really is something beautiful?” (which I will address later) and the statement was made that really struck a chord in my heart and it made me cringe when I read it: “I feel I need to go around the block and figure things out...learn the hard way. it seems to be the only way I learn anyways.”

I had been lying in bed and literally jumped to sit up to reply, but my response was: “Don’t let Satan take hold of you like that. Guard your heart. Take it from someone who has let her guard down far too many times. I don’t want you to end up heart and broken like I’ve experienced. Innocence is something you can never get back…”

So this is for all my sisters in Christ struggling with keeping our hearts protected from the temptations of the world, for all of us who struggle walking in the light when the darkness lurks around us, heed my advice:

Guard your hearts; Protect your innocence; Walk in the light, not in the dark.

Proverbs 4:23: “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” (my NIV Bible)

The NLT version says: “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.”

The latest NIV version is closer to the NLT version and states it this way, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

But no matter which version you read, the principle is the same. Our hearts need to be protected; they are precious, they are valuable, and they need to remain as pure as possible. Think of it as a diamond or pearl. The more we freely give it out to the world or to guys, the more it becomes worn and fades. My heart lost a lot of its luster and beauty and it has definitely affected me in ways that are too personal for a blog.

But I will say this: God restores! It’s hard to see sometimes in the midst of the world and a media frenzy telling us we need to be in a relationship to be loved, but God loves us far more than any man will. We are a reflection of His image and we, as women, feel very strongly about relationships because God feels strongly about relationships. But we have to get it right: our relationship with HIM must be first in our life! Any and every other relationship must be built on the foundation of Christ, friendships, dating relationships, marriages, all of them!

Now to address the whole “fairy tale” thing, my response was my typical response: “Any God written romance is beautiful” and went on state how I’m here to glorify God and I want to make sure that I am fulfilling that purpose by keeping Him as my #1 relationship.

Something I have to constantly remind myself is that I am in a season of singleness for a purpose. I refuse to miss the opportunities and blessings God is pouring out for me because I’m “waiting”. It is up to me to “make the most of every opportunity” (Ephesians 5:15-16). It’s a constant battle against Satan and the world to stay focused on my relationship with Christ; I am often struck with bouts of doubt and worry about finding my future husband, but I have to always remember to walk in the light and not in the darkness.

God’s plans will always come to fruition and everything will work out on His timetable. When we are struck with adversity and doubt, we must combat them with Truth. We must surround ourselves with people who build us up in Christ, who accept us where we are, and who love us despite our brokenness and pour out mercy on us rather than condemnation when we make mistakes. I am lucky to have friends and sisters in Christ who do that for me. But most of all, I’m beyond blessed to have a relationship with God, who meets me where I am and strengthens me for His purposes and who sees beyond all my mistakes and failures! He loves us more than any friend, sister, boyfriend, or husband will. That is why we must put Him first and let His blessings fill us and let His plans for us take precedence over ours.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

“In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9)

3 comments:

  1. I am so lucky to know you Nikki.
    Thanks for the words of truth and inspiration. You touched me with this blog, and doubtless you'll touch others as well.

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  2. ily Brooke.
    but they're not my words: they're Christ's. I knew what I wanted to say, but I had to think and pray hard for guidance of how to say it and He laid these words on my heart :)

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  3. Wow Nikki, this blog is amazing. I really took these words to heart. Thank you so much for writing it :)

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