last week was an absolute emotional rollercoaster and i feel as if i have just gotten off the ride trying to figure out if i liked it or if it's just going to leave me feeling sick. a lot of my pride and selfishness came out onto the table and i was forced to admit some things that i had been keeping inside.
"what people don't know won't hurt them" became my attitude. but the Holy Spirit quickly convicted me of that mindset. i had to come clean.
and i did.
and in the midst of me coming clean of pride and selfishness, i also learned of others struggles.
i learned that a lot of my best friends are struggling in their lives too, with similar things that i'm struggling with. i realized that i didn't have to endure this alone as i had let myself believe.
i didn't want to be a burden to them; but as much as i write and proclaim the importance of community, it finally dawned on me that God placed these girls in my life for a reason.
and after talking with many of them and sharing my heart and us conversing through a lot of things, i realized that God revealed Himself and His promises in my life through my complaints.
1. "God, i'm tired of being single" --> "Nikki, you're not ready yet"
sure, i want to pretend that my devotion to Jesus has completely quenched the desire of pursuing a relationship. but it hasn't. while i'm in a different place than some of my friends in that there is someone in my life that i want to pursue, i know that i'm not ready yet. i have so much going on in my life and he has so much going on in his that it's apparent that the timing isn't right on any front.
...but it still sucks.
i'm re-reading Lady in Waiting and truly trying to meditate and apply its principles rather than just trying to read it to say i have and came across this scripture:
"Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain." -1 Corinthians 15:58...and I'm constantly reminded that right now (and all the time, really), I am to be devoted to fully to the work of the Lord. I may think I'm ready, but God has placed me in this season of singleness for a reason. Like a farmer who clears weeds, tills soil, and prepares the land for a crop that he can't see yet, I must prepare my heart for someone who isn't mine yet, either.
we are made to complement each other, not complete each other.
when we try and find our identities in each other rather than placing them in Christ, we are not made whole.
two people who are not made whole in their relationships with Christ will never complete each other.
i thought i was whole, but right now, i'm still missing some vital organs.
i have to pray for who God has planned for me; i am continually praying that whoever it may be, whether it's who i want or whether it's someone completely different, that they are seeking God wholly and passionately.
2. "God, Kenya? Really?!" --> "Nikki, really."
for several months, i've heard about the ministry in Turkana, Kenya that Bread of Life Mission has established. for several years, theWell at Seacoast Church has taken a team of college/20s to continue to pour into and bless the people of Turkana. and i always wrote it off.
Me: "it's a two-week trip. i can't take that much time off work"
God: "Commit your work to the LORD, and your plans will be established." Proverbs 16:3
Me: "it's a lot of money! you know i have bills, rent, car, food..."
God: "And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:9
Me: "People will think I'm crazy! What if my family doesn't support this trip? What if people think I'm doing it for the wrong reasons? What if it doesn't make sense..."
God: "For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ." Galatians 1:10 and "In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven." Matthew 5:16
talk about waking up to the fact that when (not if) God wants to use you, He will provide. He will give you peace about the situation (even if it still terrifies you...umm, being out in the bush of Africa isn't exactly something I feel comfortable with); but it's definitely something that will draw me closer to Him.
we never want things to be hard.
we want the answers.
but it's during those moments of faith when we grow.
they're our blessings in disguise and we must see them as such.
our hard times actually draw us closer to God and closer to each other (as i have experienced in my relationships with some of my small group girls).
i'm not certain about the future relationally and missionally, but i'm excited to see how God is going to use me.
it's in the darkness where our light will shine the brightest.