I had one of those moments about six weeks back where I looked at what was going on in my life and noticed that it was very messy. Very. I know the path that led me here, and I know how to get out of it. I just don't know how long it's going to take- months... maybe years. As I look around at the unstructured, somewhat chaotic life I have found myself in, I can safely say that I am living in the very tangible consequences of walking away from the Lord and seeking to live my life for myself- often living in the moment and trying to heal myself.
About five years ago, I felt a strong calling to be a wife and a mother. So, I felt the right thing for me to do was to seek out a husband. Ha! First of all, I didn't seek the Lord in this at all. I was so excited about this new calling on my life that I just wanted it to happen right then and there. My eagerness led me to date the wrong men and even be engaged to one... which then led to the mess I am working on cleaning up now.
I still feel this strong calling to be a wife, but seeing clearly that although I may be able to emotionally handle a relationship, I cannot imagine inviting someone into this clean-up process. It wouldn't be fair to put that on him, and if I were to love someone as myself- love would prevent me from asking anyone to bear this burden for me.
So, in my lament to the Lord that went something like, "Lord, my life is messy! I don't know what to do! I could never invite someone into this life!" He could have given me practical ways to get back to where I should be. Instead, He said to me, "Don't date." My response was the randomness that follows: "What? Excuse me? I think I misunderstood. It sounded like you told me not to date. Oh, I think maybe I heard you right. So, okay. I can do this whole 'not dating' thing. I'm not dating anyone right now, so it's not like I would have to break up with anyone. When should I start? My birthday? Sounds good to me- that way I can remember when I started this commitment. Okay, Lord- how long should this last? A year?" Then, the Lord did His tricky little thing where He tells you what you need to know instead of what you want to know. He said, "You shouldn't date because before you are to be married- to share your whole life with someone- before you can be a successful wife and mother, you need to be successful at being single. You keep trying to better yourself because in your mind, every step forward in your walk and in your maturity as a woman is one level up in the 'wife of the year' competition. Stop thinking about making yourself better for some man that you don't even know. Work towards maturity so that in that, you might glorify me."
See what happened there? I saw a messy life, and the Lord saw potential for restoration if I took the proper steps. Dating someone would distract from the work that He is trying to do. There is just no room for another person in the season. Am I upset about that? Nope. Was I at first? Heck yes! I think that a part of me that was holding onto any hope of marrying some mystery guy that swept me off my feet died. I had to mourn that loss and understand that it shouldn't matter if I am single forever. I should relish in the years where He says walk and I don't ask how fast, I just step out. Where He says jump and I don't ask how high, I just leap. Where He says go and I don't ask where, I just move.
Do I still have a desire to be a wife? Absolutely. But, the difference is that now, it's not who I am. I am not the "future wife of an amazing Christian man." No, I am Lindsay Marie Yates, lover of Jesus, follower of Christ, daughter of God, and His beautiful workmanship.
Amen to the Truth He has implanted in my heart. Amen.