Monday, June 6, 2005

Proverbs 16, part 2

I remember when things changed for me (regarding the marriage issue mentioned in part 1).

I was on a bus in Louisville, Kentucky headed home from a Singles conference. The weekend had been both painful and amazingly healing. It all began to break down during the last session of the last night. As C.J. Mahaney began to speak from James 4:1-2 about the cause of conflict, the Holy Spirit began to open my eyes and prepare my heart for that moment on the bus a few hours later. Sadly, I didn’t really get to hear C.J.’s message for all of the internal stuff…but I did listen to it a few times afterwards on CD and it was very good. It is essential I think for anyone to listen to…single or married. If you intend to be around people at all it is vital! You can get a copy of the message (called “Cravings and Conflict”) here...

Anyway…I had gone to this conference with somewhat of a bad attitude (Ironically, the conference was called "New Attitude"). It was a singles conference and the theme for the year was “Is He Enough?” I was immediately defensive. "Just what I need" I thought…"someone else telling me that because I REALLY want to be married, God isn’t who He should be in my heart and life."

As I sat on that bus waiting to go home, I realized how true that was.

Marriage – not God – was the center of my universe, was the motivator behind all I did and consumed my thoughts. It was not until I admitted that and repented that I could hear the three words that would turn things around for me…

”Let it go.”

Now I call it “the great letting go” (the gluttony thing is called “the great turning”…I like titles!) The “it” was, in the natural, the hope of a relationship with a specific man (who was on the trip with the girl he was pursuing instead of me) and in the spiritual it was a strike to the clay feet of the idol I’d made of marriage. As it came tumbling down, I literally felt lighter. I hadn’t realized what a weight this thing had been until it wasn’t on me anymore.

I had been expecting to have to let go of the idea of this man…but I expected it to be ripped away and for it to be very painful. Honestly, what I expected was an engagement to be announced and to feel something akin to being knocked over by a wrecking ball. But that was not what God did…and not how I felt. I didn’t even cry. I was just at peace…content…even happy and somewhat excited about what might come next.

I’d spent over a year thinking about this man, dreaming of this man, arranging my life to put myself in a position to get to know this man…and though doors slammed in my face one after the other, I was determined that this was the plan and I was going to succeed. Which reminds me of another nugget from Proverbs 16…

The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps (Proverbs 16:9).
And establish them He did. Both in denying something and leading me into what He had for me. I left that conference changed...and with a "New Attitude".
Now I just had to walk in it. :)

To be continued…again…


  1. About 11 years ago I KNEW who I was going to marry. I was convinced that I knew what God's plan for me was. It was like a terrible roller coaster ride and all along I couldn't understand why things weren't working out between us. When I finally let it go while praying with the youth pastor's wife (who was my really close friend)I felt such a peace. And that peace came because I realized that the certain guy might not be God's choice for my husband, and I trusted God enough to bring me down a different path - even though I couldn't imagine which path that might be.

    And wouldn't you know that Eric (my husband) was the other guy's very close friend. You see, if I hadn't had that other relationship (even though it was very painful) I would have never met Eric. The other guy was part of the plan, but only a stop along the way. God wanted to do something amazing, but he couldn't do it until I let go of what I thought I wanted. Why settle for less than what God's perfect will is?

    On Wednesday, Eric and I will celebrate our 9th wedding anniversary. And I wouldn't trade him for anything in the world.

  2. Hi! You shared this story with me as it took place in your life...and even though I know the ending...I can't wait to read your "continuation." You put into words so eloquently what the Lord does/and is doing in your life...that is truly a gift...and I'm glad to see you're using it.

    You are a blessing to me. God will honor your patience in waiting for His man of choice to come along. It's been an exciting journey...can't wait to see the destination that God will bring you to.

    Love Ya!