what’s wrong with me?!?

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I was having a conversation with one of my sister-friends, and I was talking about how someone I met had so much potential, but then he just fell off the radar. I was disappointed because I liked a lot of the qualities he had and we had several things in common. For the life of me though, I couldn’t figure out why I was having to guess whether he was interested. His actions and his words were polar opposites!

So in our girl’s talk I continued with, “I can’t help but think, what’s wrong with me?!? But I know there isn’t anything THAT wrong, I’m not crazy. I have a lot to offer!”

After we talked a little about it and got off the phone, I had to encourage myself just a little more, and I did so in four steps!

Step 1: 

There is nothing wrong with you because you’re single!!!

Singleness is not a curse!

The longer we think of singleness as being a curse, the longer we will focus on a desire that God has chosen not to fulfill yet. God tells us, He knows the plans He has for us (Jeremiah 29:11), just because we don’t know every step of His plan does not mean that our desires have gone unnoticed.

Step 2:

“A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.”

Are y’all ready? I’m calling this step the “Ruby Principle”

Just because someone takes a ruby to the pawn shop because they needed something the ruby wasn’t providing at that moment, doesn’t mean the ruby is any less valuable.

It means the person who owned the ruby didn’t see the long-term value in what they had. They needed something quick. They couldn’t see the value of the gem because they were focused on what it didn’t give them at that very moment.

Your worth will not diminish simply because someone doesn’t see it. 

Step 3:

What is your purpose?

We are each on this journey to fulfill the purpose (or as I tell the kids at church, the job) that God has given us. That should be our number one priority. In that process, we are going to impact lives, save souls for Christ, show love to those who are feeling unloved, and be Christ’s hands and feet! Some of us have put our whole lives on hold waiting to “do” life with a mate. When that wasn’t God’s intention for us. He never said, “Women, you can’t live up to your purpose without a husband.” Or “Men, you’ll definitely need your helpmate to fulfill your calling, so don’t even try until you find her.”

Are you occupying yourself in the Lord?

‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭7:32-34 says, “An unmarried man is concerned about the Lordʼs affairs—how he can please the Lord… An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lordʼs affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit.”

I don’t know about you, but my purpose has me really busy right now… that’s not including my girls and what they have going on, do I really even have the time to entertain someone?

Step 4:

Scripture. 

Reading God’s promises to us. His word that never changes. 

If you think you’ve never gotten a sweet note from an admirer, you’re wrong, the Bible is the sweetest letter you’ll ever read. And although it was transcribed by people, it is from God himself, and unlike man, God will never let you down. 

Here are some scriptures I went to for encouragement:

“But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” 2 Peter‬ ‭3:8-9‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun.” ‭‭Psalm‬ ‭37:3-6‬ ‭NIV‬‬

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

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord…” ‭‭Jeremiah‬ ‭29:11-14‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Just to name a few. 

God knows what He’s doing. For those who desire to be married, singleness is a situation where trusting Him and His plan are of the utmost importance. Especially considering “desperate times call for desperate measures.” You’re not desperate because you’re single, that leads to acting in ways that you normally wouldn’t to get attention, or get someone to stay. This goes back to the “Ruby Principle.” It just takes being reminded some times, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that!

Be strong. Be focused and as always,

Be encouraged.

How I Knew He Wasn’t “The One”

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For some women, dating is this awkward period of time where we are constantly questioning whether the man we are presented with is “the one.” I’ve experienced this myself with practically every man I’ve dated. The routine is the same:

1. Meet

2. Ask if he’s single

3. Begin talking on a consistent basis

4. Find qualities you like about him

5. Find out if he has a desire to be married

6. Then exclusive dating

7. If everything has run pretty smooth up until now, you ask yourself and God, “Is he the one?”

8. Either God responds immediately saying “No,” or things begin to fall apart between the two of you OR God doesn’t respond right away, and you take matters into your own hands.

It seems to go this way every time, without actually thinking about it. It just happens.

Well I am here to help you out a little bit.

Three times I knew he wasn’t the one.

One: We had been dating for a good length of time. Longer than I had dated anyone up to that point. We were sexually active. God was really trying to do a work in me, but I wasn’t yielding my whole life to Him, so it wasn’t coming to pass. I knew the battle I was facing, and I explained it to “the one.” I told him we needed to be celibate because God is not pleased with us. Even though  what we’re doing in life is flourishing, He wants so much more from me. He argued that removing the sex from our relationship would change our dynamic. I argued that sex was a bonus, and if it’s that important to him, and he knows he wants to be with me then we needed to get married. He wasn’t ready. He understood my points, he even respected my reasoning, but he didn’t agree that we needed to be celibate.

Why wasn’t he the one?

As Believers, we ought to strive to walk like Christ walked (see 1 John 2:6.) Christ was without sin. And we were deliberately sinning. I could appreciate that he respected my decision, but he didn’t agree. So if things got steamy, he wouldn’t stop and say “we shouldn’t be doing this.” Or if I said “Stop, we shouldn’t be doing this,” he wouldn’t be upset. He wasn’t willing to set up those necessary boundaries to prevent falling into temptation, but he also wasn’t willing to marry and have the approval of God to keep doing what we were doing.

Two: Handsome, “Man of God,” (I said that in quotes because that’s how he introduced himself to me.) We hadn’t known each other too long, but we hit it off. The conversation was great, we had similar interests, and we could literally talk about God on a regular basis without it being odd or “preachy.” Then temptations became known, and took over. We fell. Afterwards we said it wouldn’t happen again because it should have never happened. We individually went into our prayer closets, asked for forgiveness and set boundaries so that it couldn’t happen again. While hanging out a little too late, temptation came on the scene again. I said, “No” he said, “C’mon!” In my mind I justified it, and we fell again. As time went on that became our relationship, until he moved away.

Why wasn’t he the one?

Regardless of the fact that he moved, he wasn’t honest about his intentions with me. In a conversation I had later down the line, it was apparent that his intentions weren’t to properly court me, propose and then marry me. His intentions were to sleep with me, and leave. But he lured me in with his “Man of God” persona. For some of us who are struggling to wait on God in this pool of single-emotionally available-working-heterosexual men who love God, that feels extremely shallow, we become anxious and jump at the first opportunity that presents itself, instead of waiting for God’s green light to proceed. Then the next thing we’re cooking for and taking care of him as though he’s our husband because we want him to stay. When we never received confirmation that God wants us to be where we are. Philippians 4:6 says “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (NIV). He knows the desires of your heart. He sees your obedience, if both of those areas are in check, He’s got you covered (see Psalm 84:11.)

Three: Dating lead to sex (again, yes I know – I’ll talk about underlying issues later.) God grabs a hold of me and says, “Come back to Me!” So I told  “the one”, “Look, I have work to do, and I can’t get it done while sinning. We need to stop.” He’s upset and wondering why. I told him how I felt. “I love you,” and proceeded to tell him that I not only cared about him while he’s here, but also his salvation was very important to me. We’re not pleasing God in what we’re doing, and I know this hurts, but I have to step away.

Why wasn’t he the one?

In all that I was saying relating to his salvation, my salvation, our individual relationships with God. His only rebuttal was that’s not what he wanted. It’s like he wasn’t even understanding what I was telling him. All of that “God stuff” wasn’t as important as his desires. The bible tells us the man is the spiritual covering/ head of his household (see 1 Corinthians 11:3.) I don’t know about you, but I don’t want a husband who is not willing to acknowledge that God’s will should come before our desires.

It is awfully hard to expect someone to act in a way that you don’t act yourself, and for that I cannot fault any of these men that were not for me, but like the popular quote, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” If you both have a strong desire to please God in your life and relationship, you will both be diligent about ensuring it gets accomplished. Had I waited on God instead of jumping because the response wasn’t coming quick enough for me, these men would have naturally shown themselves to me, and I would have backed away knowing he’s not what God had planned for my life. I know it’s hard waiting. But that’s where faith comes in. Faith in knowing that God hears you, He sees you, and He knows His daughter’s desires. And by doing His will, your thoughts will align with His thoughts and you will find peace in knowing He has you in His hands. He will carry you. He will see you through the difficult times just like He did with David, Moses, Abraham and so many more!

Be encouraged.

To the woman with low self-esteem: How much are you worth?

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I am so glad this illustration does NOT depict our worth!! I’d rather be poor than defined by these things for the rest of my life.

This low self-esteemed girl used to be me though. I would put my value in ALL of the wrong things. I still struggle some times, but I am on the road to recovery and it feels great.

Once I thought my value was determined in how desirable I was. So I made sure my clothes were tight, cleavage out, dresses short, and boundaries/morals were non-existent. All of the valuable girls were like that, I wanted to be one of them!
So… That didn’t work.
Instead, I got one night stands with guys I would never hear from again. Random hands slapping my butt or groping my breast as they walked by. I even left a club in an ambulance because my drink was drugged. I had no idea who did it, or why. But I woke up in the hospital confused.

Where’s the value in that?

Ok, so another phase in my life I was sure my worth came from a man. Of course if I were taken, I was valuable because he would keep me safe. He would love me, provide for me, he would genuinely care about me.
I found out that wasn’t it either.
Instead of feeling all of those things, I felt neglected, played, lied to, not to mention cheated on by every guy I dated. One didn’t like to work, one I have no idea if he actually worked he lied so much, one was a drug dealer/ hustler (we never went anywhere – for good reason I’m sure), and one worked too much (or that’s what he told me he was doing).

*Sigh*
So my value doesn’t come from my body or sexuality, nor does it come from a male’s attention. WHERE DOES IT COME FROM?!?

My value comes from being a daughter of the Most High! A daughter of the King. God almighty Himself, and ONLY Him!

I cannot put my value in my job. Companies close, positions get removed, pink slips are handed out. If you lose your job, you then have a sense that you’ve lost yourself. And that’s a far cry from the truth!

I cannot put my value in my children. Although I love and adore them to the moon and beyond, they will grow up. They will leave the house. They will make mistakes. If I base my worth in their presence or success when they leave the nest I’ll be miserable! Or if they take the scenic route in life I’ll feel I’ve done something wrong.

I cannot place my worth in my looks. Let’s face it, we all get older. I’m pretty sure in 40 years I am not going to look like I do now. If I put my worth in looks, I’ll have a severe mid-life crisis when gravity takes hold of everything for the worse.

But I can ONLY place my worth in the most consistent being: God!

He will NEVER leave nor forsake me (Hebrews 13:5, and several others)
He wants what is best for me
(Jeremiah 29:11)
He answers me when I cry out to Him
(Psalms 118:5)

Let’s be honest; friends and family get busy, they’re dealing with their own things and don’t necessarily have time or energy to sit and listen as we vent to them. But God always has His ears open, waiting to hear your voice. You just have to start talking!

He is so good! I am relieved that I have found my worth in Him and Him ALONE! No more sacrificing my body for some guy who gave me a glance, but could care less about my heart. No more feeling useless after a break up. No more feeling inadequate because I don’t look like the girls in magazines.
No more hating myself because I’m not perfect!

We were ALL bought at the price of our Savior’s blood. We are WORTH the blood of an only child. We are WORTH taking lashes for our iniquities, and none of His own! We are WORTH IT! We are VALUABLE! Don’t let anyone, or anything take that away from you!

If you first identify and find comfort in your worth, you WILL NOT be shaken by ANYTHING that comes your way. You will press on knowing God has a strong calling on your life and He will deliver what He has promised.

In case you haven’t heard it in a while,
God LOVES YOU!!!
You’re beautiful.
And you’re WORTH IT! (Whatever IT may be!)

You’re worth that promotion, that ring… Don’t let anyone deter you from obtaining your God-given blessings or make you feel as though you’re not worthy of greatness!

Be encouraged!

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” 1 Peter 2:9 NIV

Hidden.

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This is an interesting way of starting off my blogging history… A blog about being hidden?

Yes.

One of the hardest things to cope with in my singleness so far is being hidden.
What do I mean by hidden?
Simple, not visible.

I don’t know about other women, but it has always made me feel good, beautiful, even desired when I would get hit on by random guys. Whether they were attractive to me or not. Ballin’ or the lack thereof. Just getting a male’s attention was invigorating! It could have only been the lust in his eyes watching my butt as I walked through the store, but I LOVED it!

I felt wanted!

Even after breaking up, when my ex would tell me I was beautiful, how attracted he was to me and how he would “do this, that and the other” if he was in my presence, I was in pure bliss.

Then it all stops!

You don’t even get a glance from the skater boy as you walk in the grocery store. The guy with the sagging pants doesn’t yell at you “Hey momma! How you?!” NOTHING! Why is this happening? Have I lost my sex appeal? Is light-skinned no longer in and I didn’t get the memo?! I must be clearly missing something. The curves that were once irresistible are still there, more defined than once before, but that makes them better right?!

No.

None of that is the case.
That attention you once had was lust, but you’re worth more than that. Those men boys only wanted you sexually (maybe because of your tight revealing clothes, or that your bra/ panties were visible through your clothing), but you’re better than that.

You dress with MODESTY. You walk with your head HIGH. You have a GODLY aura surrounding you. And those random boys that yelled at you from across the parking lot before see that, and know you wouldn’t stoop to their level of immaturity so they keep quiet when you pass.

The Lord is hiding you. You’re HIDDEN!

He’s hiding you from any unnecessary hurt you may not be aware is out there. He is hiding you from any distractions that may get between the relationship that you are developing with Him. He is jealous for you! He wants to comfort you, heal you, repair you, and rebuild you to be the best disciple for His kingdom.

You’ve cried out to Him, that you desire to love Him more than anything. So He is helping you.

Too many times we “relationship-hop” out of one and jump right into another. That’s unhealthy for so many reasons, we haven’t healed from the past hurt regardless of being the breaker or the breakee – breakups are not fun! He is making sure you don’t have any opportunities to jump into another lake with a hole still in your boat…

For us women, He wants you to feel beautiful because you are His daughter. You’re ROYALTY! Not because some saggy-pants wearing, no job having male thinks your body resembles that of a porn star, or some sex toy. He wants you to not validate yourself by a male’s reaction to the way you walk, but validate yourself by the blood that was shed for you!

There’s no need to feel unwanted, unattractive, unloved – simply because you’re not in a relationship (and it seems like EVERYONE around you is). Instead, enjoy this season in your life. Love God for who He is, not just because you want something from Him. There comes a time when you have to ask yourself “Do I love the Lord because I am expecting Him to bless me in a certain way, or do I love Him for what He has already done?”

You’re not missing anything worth having, otherwise you would have it…

“For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
The Lord will give grace and glory;
No good thing will He withhold
From those who walk uprightly.
O Lord of hosts,
Blessed is the man who trusts in You!”
Psalms 84:11-12 NKJV

Be encouraged.