Do You Trust Me?

2 NOTES:  1) Starting next week, we’ll be switching the blog host!  Hopefully, it will be a smooth transition.  But we just wanted to give you a heads up.  We’ll keep you posted.  And 2) on September 29, 7:30, we’ll be having another fast.pray. evening in DC on Capitol Hill.  You are welcome to join us.  Just RSVP to http://www.pingg.com/rsvp/y32z25hi3yq4ytj6q.

Dear Fast and Pray-ers,

This is your reminder that we are fasting and praying for 1) marriages for those who long to be married and for 2) the courage to become the men and women God has created us to be, especially within relationships to the opposite sex.  As you pray and fast, you might consider the words from Kirsten, one of our new contributors….

Hello! My name is Kirsten Harnett and it’s with grateful excitement that I contribute here for the first time.  I am a 35-year old single, professional, Jesus-loving woman who was deeply touched by Connally’s book.  Touched enough, actually, to track her down, get her on the phone, and spend time chatting about the realities of this unexpected life of current singleness.  Working through this unique life space with clients is my specialty as a therapist, which, combined with my interest in writing, prompted Connally to extend an invitation to share some of my thoughts with this blog community.

My instinct today is simply to share from my heart a bit of where God has me on the journey. Like most of you, I never expected my life to look quite the way it does.  By 35 I assumed that I would be married and have at least two children, preferably with a tall, dark, handsome, chiseled (but not overly so) masculine yet sensitive man with unmatched spiritual depth and maturity.  But the years have passed, and while God has richly provided and blessed me in so many ways, these specific longings and unmet desires are still longed for, and unmet.

I find that at this stage I’ve had to become comfortable with what feels like a regular pendulum ride between states of contentment and frustration at not having the relationship I’ve hoped for.  I strive for contentment and sometimes even feel pressure from both internal and external voices to be at peace regardless of my circumstances, yet confess that often I am not.  Lately I’ve spent regular time in the land of discontent, unplugged from most hope that God will bring me a good man with whom I can partner in love and friendship on the road of life.  When the millionth eharmony date or set up doesn’t come through, when efforts at pro-activity in my dating life fall flat, even when stepping back with the reasoning that “God needs space to work” and then nothing happens, it becomes increasingly hard to believe that good things will come.

Recently, on a particularly emotional evening, God and I wrestled over His presence (or seeming lack of presence) in this area of my life.  In prayer and tears I found myself in the last verses of the book of John (21:15-23), where Jesus solicits Peter’s confession of love three times and appoints him leader of the church.  Jesus asks, “Do you love me?” but what came to me as I read the words was my own name and not the word ‘love’ but ‘trust’:  “Kirsten, do you trust me?  Do you truly trust me?  Do you trust me with your deepest longings and desires, that I am present in your waiting, and that regardless of what your life does or doesn’t look like your job is to follow me?”

It was (and continues to be) a moment of soul-searching.   Can I trust Jesus with the things that are unclear, that aren’t yet determined, that may or may not be realized in the way I hope or long for?  Can I trust him when friends around me are in relationships or planning weddings or having children and seem to have it all?  Can I trust him when years go by and certain questions remain unanswered?  Can I trust that He is good?

I wish I could respond with a resounding “Yes!”.  The truth is that it’s a process.  But something about the clarity with which He spoke to me in those moments points to the reality of God’s presence in the midst of cynicism and jadedness.  I can’t know where the road will lead in regards to my or anyone else’s relationship future.  What I do know is that God desires us to lean into our current life space with energy and gusto.  Doing this involves accepting the moments we feel discouraged but embracing the moments of peace, harmony and joy.  In the end it may not resolve every bit of unmet longing and feeling of discouragement.  But it can renew hope.  And, thankfully, hope is where God lives.

Blessings,

Kirsten

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11 Responses to Do You Trust Me?

  1. kinw says:

    I appreciate the honest candor. I get tired of the “pat” answers and want honesty revelations. I am happy to be a reader!

  2. Chris says:

    Hi Daniela. Thanks for sharing. I will be praying with you over the next few days for God to really heal this man’s heart and open him up to new possibilities if it is God’s will be you to be together. Not that there’s anything wrong with it — a man at 39 who’s never had a woman who he loves is unique, so let’s pray for discernment in knowing whether he thinks he’s met the woman for him , in you too. Love and companionship is a wonderful thing, and our careers reward and fulfil us only so much and for so long. Blessings. c-j

  3. Vernica says:

    Very encouraging. I think we lie to ourselves if we say we don’t have moments when our hope is fleeting. But God is faithful and He will always remind us of how much we are loved. Thank you for sharing your heart and being transparent.
    Veronica
    p.s. I would like to email something to Conally that God has showed me. How would I go about doing that??? Does anyone know, lol???

  4. Kristin says:

    So thankful to have stumbled across this blog this week.

    So well said!

  5. Daniela says:

    Thank you so much for your contribution Kirsten – you speak right from the bottom of my heart! Oh how can I relate to this “unexpected life of current singleness”! My life also turned out so much different as I had planned and dreamed of when I was younger – but you know what, even though I’m 39 now and I don’t have all the things I thought I would have at this age, I can now say that I’m truly thankful how the Lord has been leading me so far. Indeed, if somebody had told me about 16 years ago (when I fully gave my life to the Lord through baptism) that I would be still single in 2011, I would have certainly run away (and probably back into the arms of my non-Christian ex-boyfriend!). One of my favorite quotes is found in the book “Desire of Ages”, p. 224:

    “God never leads His children otherwise than they would choose to be led, if they could see the end from the beginning, and discern the glory of the purpose which they are fulfilling as coworkers with Him.”

    Indeed, when I was a teenager, I had planned on having my first child at least at the age of 25, but then I not only didn’t find a husband, but I also kept putting off this concept of having a family – because of all the opportunities the Lord opened up to me, i. e. a very interesting career with the European Commission in Brussels, as well as the opportunity to spend three years in the United States (from 2006-2009), mainly to receive some medical missionary training. Of course, the God-given longing for a life companion has never disappeared over time. However, at this point I can affirm that the Lord definitely knows what he is doing – and even if I get married some time in the near future, I have made up my mind as for not having children on my own. Not that I don’t consider it a blessing and a very important task to be a mother, but this is not every woman’s vocation. The Lord has called me into a very unique mission field, and I’m so thankful about how He has “enlarged my territorry” (1. Chron 4:10) – especially in the past few months.

    I mentioned in a previous post that it now appears to me that I have met the man of my life. Indeed, there are so many indications that the Lord has prepared us for each other. We not only share the same beliefs and similar backgrounds (cultural/educational, same age, etc.), but we are also both heavily involved in the same type of ministry work – and above all I feel very attracted to this man. The thing is that he has never had a girlfriend and that he is kind of cautious when it comes to relationships. I can’t say he is shy (we have been getting along very well), but it his definitely him who has to make up his mind and who has to pursue the relationship. Thus, I can’t be sure at this point if there will ever be more between us than mere friendship. We do have some common ministry projects, and we have been staying in touch; but again, I have to wait. The man is supposed to be the spiritual leader in the home, and he is also the one to initiate when it comes to a closer relationship.

    But you know what? Although I can’t know for sure at this point, I have peace in my heart. I think it’s very important that we as godly women come to the point to say: “Lord, even if it doesn’t happen, even if the right one doesn’t come along, and I have to remain single; I still want to serve You with all my strength and with all my heart!” After all, we are not defined by our marital status. When our Lord Jesus comes back one day (which will be hopefully soon), to take His children home, we will definitely not be asked whether we have been married in this life, but rather what we have done for HIS Kingdom. In theory, I could get married tomorrow – and become a widow the day after tomorrow. Of course, this is one of the most terrible scenarios I could ever imagine, but such things happen on this earth! And if you have children you may also loose them (at least for a time).

    “Like the stars in the vast circuit of their appointed path, God’s purposes know no haste and no delay.” (The Desire of Ages, p. 33)

    So my advice to every longing woman out here is to just shine in your little corner, enjoy the moment for whatever the Lord has in it for you, and see if He doesn’t do exceeding, abundantly, above all you ask or imagine! (Ephesians 3:20)

    Blessings,
    Daniela

  6. Neelam says:

    Ditto!
    Honest, authentic, encouraging. Thank you!
    Look forward to reading more of your posts.

    • Kirsten Harnett says:

      I’m looking forward to writing more! I’m glad my words were encouraging…we all need to be lifted up. Blessings!

  7. Jessica says:

    Well said. Thank you!

  8. smvernalis says:

    Thanks for sharing these thoughts, Kirsten.

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