Friday, February 27, 2015

A Christ-led Love Story ~ by Ashley

My story is not an unusual one.  Like most girls, I grew up dreaming of Prince Charming and longing for the day he would come sweep me off my feet and make me his forever.  From the time I was old enough to understand what love and romance were, I couldn’t wait for the day when it would be my turn to have that “special someone” in my life.  However, in His perfect faithfulness, God didn’t bring a relationship into my life until recently, for He knew how much I needed to learn first.

It was during my high school years that the Lord began speaking to my heart in regards to relationships.  I distinctly remember Him challenging me to surrender my desire for marriage to Him and allow Him to have complete control of this area of my life.  He asked me to leave my longings for a Godly man and my desire for an earthly relationship in His capable hands.  And He challenged me to focus on making Him my first Love - to find my satisfaction, contentment, and fulfillment in Him alone.  

And to be completely honest, it scared me.  It's not that I doubted God's ability to bring a guy into my life, but I feared that surrender might lead to singleness.   I questioned how I would ever meet someone if I didn't make myself "available."  Yet, the more I sought the Lord and focused on making Him my All in All, the more He gave me the grace to trust Him and rest in His promises.  It's not that all my fears suddenly disappeared - they didn't.  And my ache for a Godly man that I could follow and serve God with only increased.  But as I finished high school and prepared to begin a new season of life at college, the Lord only pressed the need to wait on Him deeper into my heart.  

As I entered college life, my desire to allow God to orchestrate my love story in His perfect way and time was tested.  Suddenly, countless single guys, dating couples, and relationship drama surrounded me each day.  I could sense my heart growing impatient and discontent as I struggled to wait on the Lord and make Him my first Love.  My journal entries from this season of my life reflect thoughts, questions, and struggles very similar to the entry I am about to share.  I knew that God had a purpose for the season of singleness I was experiencing, but it was often a daily battle to remind myself of the Truth I knew and the character of the God I served.

Lord Jesus,

You are not keeping me from the greatest “happiness.”  Rather, as Your beloved daughter, You are giving me exactly what is needful for me: a season of singleness.  A season to be “undivided and anxious” about the things of Your Kingdom.  Had any other condition been better for me than the one I find myself in, Divine Love would have placed me there.  No, Lord, it sometimes doesn’t make sense to me. Sometimes my heart does ache when I see all my friends dating.  Sometimes, I do struggle with not doubting Your plan, purpose, and timing.  And sometimes, the thought of being alone does frighten me.  Yet, even as I write these things, I am rebuked.  What am I thinking?  What kind of God do I think I serve?  Do I really think that I need to fear a future of being single?  I know You are good, and even if I am single for a while longer, it won’t be drudgery or misery if I find my fulfillment in You.  It’s when I take my eyes off of You, my Jesus, and place them on my circumstances, that I become discontent and disillusioned; for I forget that it’s not an earthly man who will fulfill the longings and desires of my heart, but rather You, Lord!  And so, here I am again.  Laying my hopes and dreams at Your feet in broken surrender.  I let go, Lord.  I can’t hang on to them.  I give them back to You, for You were the One who gave them to me in the first place.  You are my Sun and my Shield, the One who bestows favor and honor.  No good thing do You withhold from those who walk uprightly.  O Lord of hosts, blessed is the one who trusts in You!

    The Lord was so gracious to continue working in my heart, teaching me to seek Him daily through time in His Word and prayer.  He showed me that this season of singleness was really a gift - a time I could learn to make Him my first Love, build fruitful relationships with those around me, and pour myself into ministry in a way that wouldn’t be possible if I were dating.  And even though my desire for a Godly man continued to increase, God continued bringing me back to Himself and enabling me to trust His way and His timing.  It was far from easy, but the Lord was faithful to draw my vulnerable heart ever nearer to Himself.

            Fast forward to January 2014.  I had finished college and moved back home to intern at a Christian school in the area. There were absolutely no available guys around me, but I was determined to continue making the most of the season God had me in.  It was around this time that a young man named Jordan Gross began contacting me.  He was someone I had known since my freshman year of college, but I’d never considered him as anything more than a mere acquaintance.  As he started showing interest in me, I prayed earnestly that God would make it clear whether or not we should begin a relationship.  As I got to know Jordan, it became very obvious that the passion of his heart was Jesus Christ.  He loved His Word, he loved talking about what God was doing in his life, and he loved investing in the people around him for the sake of the Gospel.  I saw in Jordan a young man who was committed to being spent for the Kingdom, who was a strong leader, and who had a vision for life and ministry that was both encouraging and convicting. Not only was Jordan a Godly man and strong leader, but he was also someone I connected with on practical “life stuff.”  It wasn’t very long before I realized that Jordan was everything I had ever prayed for in a guy, and more.  As God led in both our lives and our parent’s, giving us peace to move forward, Jordan and I began dating in May, and were recently engaged this past January!  We are so excited to be married this summer and get to live, serve, and love the Lord together. 

            As I reflect upon how God brought Jordan and I together, more than anything, I see His faithfulness.  There were so many times I was tempted to rush ahead and do things my way; yet, in His grace, the Lord saved my heart for Jordan, and his for me.  May He receive all the glory, for He is the One who prepared our hearts, led us together, and will continue guiding us as we live for Him! 

No comments:

Post a Comment