I have the pleasure of introducing you to my dear friend, Amber, who is the next guest writer in the series Modern Women of Faith. Amber just graduated with a degree in Nutritional Sciences from Pennsylvania State University. She loves to cook and she's gifted at it! (Her chickpea cookie dough recipe is da best!). I had the privilege of walking along side Amber as we both grew in our faith during college, and I'm delighted to have her share and walk along side all of you.
I am so honored that my dear friend Madi asked me to contribute to her blog series about being a Woman of Faith! Our friendship began when I was not a believer, and today, by Gods grace and mercy, I have been saved. I can’t help but praise God for Madi and her influence on my life.
When Madi first approached me to write a post about what it looks like to be a woman of faith, to be honest, I was stumped. I prayed often and felt the Spirit was calling me to be honest about a part of my life that I don't speak of often.
During the past year, the Lord has challenged me more than ever to surrender my idolization of relationships. As a 22-year-old woman, I have yet to experience what it looks like to be pursued by a man or a godly man at that. As long as I can remember, I’d cry and question the Lord's intentions. I saw my sister, family, and friends in relationships and getting engaged and married. I felt like the Lord was withholding something my heart so desired and still desires. I sought to feel wanted, chosen, loved, and pursued.
Today, however, the Lord continues to redeem this area of my life. While I look back through my journals, think about my thoughts, conversations, and prayers, I am so grateful for this period of my life. I know now that I am wanted, chosen, loved and pursued by the ultimate husband: Christ. Although I thought the Lord was not providing for me, I can see now how he protected me from heartache, tears, and disappointment.
As believers, living by faith simply means to have complete trust or confidence in someone or something, that someone being Christ. Trusting that singleness isn’t a curse, but rather a blessing.
It’s not about being married or single. It’s about trusting God in whatever state you are in. Single. Engaged. Married.
If you seek fulfillment in Christ, you will find it. Singleness is an incredible and exceptional privilege, a period to build and strengthen your relationship with Christ. A privilege I am so glad I get to experience.
In 1 Corinthians 7:32-35, Paul writes to remind those in the Corinthian church that singleness is not to bring shame or discontentment but rather lessen distractions. He is not saying to not marry, but rather enjoy the season the Lord has put you in and strive to honor him.
In all you do, I want you to be free from worry. An unmarried man can spend his time doing the Lord’s work and thinking how to please Him. But a married man can’t do that so well; he has to think about his earthly responsibilities and how to please his wife. His interests are divided. It is the same with a girl who marries. She faces the same problem. A girl who is not married is anxious to please the Lord in all she is and does. But a married woman must consider other things such as housekeeping and the likes and dislikes of her husband. I am saying this to help you, not to try to keep you from marrying. I want you to do whatever will help you serve the Lord best, with as few other things as possible to distract your attention from him.
In this seemingly forever season, I have come to realize that the Lord has already given me everything I need. He has given me Himself. If I could serve the Lord better as a married woman, then I would be married.
No longer am I ashamed, but I do have times of struggle where my desires overpower the truth; nonetheless the Lord continues to shower me with grace and mercy as I learn to grow in wisdom and discernment. My heart will always desire to be married, a desire that the Lord has freely given me. Now it’s up to me to use this season to most glorify him through faith.
His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.
2 Peter 1:3
To you, a woman of faith, during your period of singleness, trust in the Lord and his good works. Don’t be anxious or envious. He has not forgotten about you. He hears your prayers and knows your heart's desires. He is your ultimate husband. Turn and surrender to him.
From an amazing poem that speaks so much truth: I Will Wait by Janette McGhee
But to my Father,
my Father who has known me before I was birthed into this earth,
only if You should see fit.
I desire Your will above mine.
So even if you call me to a life of singleness,
my heart is content with You—the One who was sent.
You are the greatest love story ever told,
the greatest love ever known.
You are forever my judge and I’m forever Your witness,
and I pray that I’m always found on a mission about my Father’s business.
I will always be Yours,
and I will always wait for You, Lord.
More than the watchmen wait for the morning,
more than the watchmen wait for the morning,
I will wait.
I am tickled to introduce you to my dear friend, Chelsea. She's my soul sister from Louisiana, and she just recently married the man who is her best friend. A month ago, Chelsea gave me the opportunity to write a post for her blog, Go Giver, and we loved partnering in blogging so much that she's now guest blogging for She Laughs Without Fear in a new series called Modern Women of Faith. Kindly lend an ear (or an eye) to Chelsea's honest words about being a woman of faith.
Woman of faith.
Such a simple term and thought, yet so much harder to put into practice. At least, it is for me anyway.
When Madi asked me to write a blog post about what it means for me to be a woman of faith rather than fear, I was so excited! Then, as I began thinking of the topic, I honestly started to become a little nervous and worried... I feel very inadequate and almost like an impostor talking about this.
This year for me has been such a hard struggle with matters of my faith in the Lord. Some of my biggest fears became a reality for me this year: loneliness, not finishing university on time, and losing touch with who I thought God was.
My biggest fear, ever since I was young was that I would be alone or without anyone who cared about me. This is a common fear among many people and became real for me this year with my time off of my normal activities (My Year Off From Titles). My friendships were abandoned and I felt forgotten and unwanted by many. This was the beginning of my spiral in my lack of faith. I could not trust that people who claimed to love me with Christ's love would be there for me. I felt alone in my struggles and very afraid.
With this lack of trust in the Lord and many months of doubt, my health and my school life became an added pressure. I started gaining weight and could not seem to have self-control to be the healthy girl I used to be. My grades fell behind, and I had no drive or passion for school work.
I was just floating through life... and no one knew about it.
I was living in sadness and fear. It was hard to go out. It felt impossible to go to events where my old friends were because of the awkwardness that pursued. Loneliness.
My year hit its lowest during the middle of April. My wedding was approaching quickly, I had several issues with my professors and classes, and I was losing my mind. One morning before heading to meet with my then fiancé, I found myself struggling to breathe. I had just gotten in the shower and all of a sudden my chest became extremely tight. Tears streamed down my face and sobs escaped my lips as I tried desperately to suck any air that I could into my lungs. My stress and fear had entangled me and was suffocating me. Trying to think of what to do, I looked up, and there on the wall of my shower I saw the answer.
"For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind."
-2 Timothy 1:7
Earlier in the school year I had placed a sheet of paper with this verse on it in a paper protector in my shower. While my intention had been to memorize the verse and commit it to my heart; I had completely ignored this sound encouragement. ALL YEAR.
Repeating the words over and over in my mind, I slowly started to control my breathing.
The way I felt laying on my floor, repeating these simple words, was the most peaceful and strong I had felt in months. I no longer felt alone. The problems of school and worry of the future melted away.
Since then, my life has not been easy. It is a struggle to form good habits and find strength everyday. But when I seek for these things in the Lord, they come much easier. When I search for goodness and strength in myself, it is impossible.
Friends, absolutely nothing is impossible with God. He brought me to a place of absolute need for Him in order to feel free; and He does this repeatedly in my life. Because of His consistency and the desire He gives me (that I pray for often) to learn about Him.... I can laugh at the future without fear. Without loneliness. Without doubt. And with unfailing love.
Chelsea is the founder of the blog Go Giver where she talks about life as a new wife, what she's learning about life, and how to be a go giver instead of a go-getter. Her blog is like a breathe of fresh air on a misty Saturday morning in the summer. Share the love and visit her blog!
Shalom! I'm Madi, a laughter-loving, movie-going, spontaneous-dancing, follower of Christ. Join me as I seek glimpses of God's grace in the ordinary and everyday.
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She Laughs Without Fear