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.