(Still) Walking by Faith

Monday reminder: we’re praying and fasting for God to change us, change men, and provide marriages for those who desire it.

My pastor closed a recent sermon in his series on faith with the following snippet:

A lumberjack is clearing a forest and notices a bird building her nest in the top of the tree he is about to cut down.  So he takes his ax and hits the tree trunk until the bird is flustered, flies off and starts building her nest in another tree.  Knowing the entire forest will be cleared, he follows the bird and does the same thing again. He pushes the bird out of tree after tree, until the she flies from the forest and builds her nest in the rocks.

Our pastor closed the story by noting, “What looks like cruelty to the bird is actually mercy on the lumberjack’s part, because he won’t let the bird settle where he knows it is dangerous.”  Wowza.

When I know He’s pushing me out of the places I want to build my nest, my usual response is not gratitude for His mercy.  Quite the opposite, in fact.  This makes no sense, Lord.  Do I really need to move apartments again?  Does my boss actually need to be this miserable?  Why can’t this guy work out?  I know my gut is telling me this isn’t quite right, but at least he’s a Christian and taller than me (a rare find in my dating life, btw).  Isn’t that enough?  Can’t we just skip to the part where I’m happily married?  I’m kinda over this singleness thing.  In fact, I’m beyond over it.  Just don’t make me single forever, pllllllllllllllease.  And if you’re going to, can you at least quash these painful longings in my heart?  K.  Thanks. 

Maybe you can identify, or maybe you think I’m officially crazy (probably true). Regardless, tucked inside such “logic,” are a number of false assumptions, such as:

    • Longings are useless if not fulfilled how/when I think they should be.
    • The point of this journey is to get married to a tall, Christian guy, at which point all my desires will obviously be met all the time.  (Every married woman reading this is now laughing and/or crying at such nonsense.)
    • If it doesn’t make sense to me, I must be on the wrong track.
    • This is about me.

I know, embarrassingly obviously not-true stuff.  Fortunately, this week I got owned by Romans 5:3-5:

Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

I had to be forcefully reminded that singleness per se is not the main issue here.  Maybe the bigger issue is learning to trust a sovereign, faithful God, no matter what.  To take Him at His word and live on faith, not sight.  Maybe He’s developing our spiritual muscles and right now that might mean learning to wait, learning to trust, learning to pray, not building nests here.  Yes, developing spiritual muscle might also eventually occur in the context of a marriage, and I hope it does, but right now – I’ve got more than enough to learn!

Praying with and for you gals,

Amy

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20 Responses to (Still) Walking by Faith

  1. Matt says:

    Amy, I learned about this forum/site from Connally. Are you open to men visiting the site, and praying along with you women? I’m working through various issues in my life, one of which is letting my defenses down around women. My counselor says this happens best in the context of relationship, but when I have had made so little progress in the limited dating I’ve done, I am occasionally believing the lie that marriage is not for me. But it feels impossible sometimes to consciously let down my defenses.
    Thanks,
    Matt

  2. Riss says:

    Thank you Amy for this post!!!!!

    I am learning to continue to wait, trust and to grow. It’s been a 10 year struggle of singlenes for me and I’m trying to learn how this experience is supposed to garner endurance. I’ve also had the wrong thinking that if it doesn’t make sense I must be doing something wrong.

    I’m trying to let go–to let God…and to fully trust my situation is God’s best for me now.

  3. Miss R. says:

    Thank you for another encouraging & relevant piece. On a side-note, I chuckled at your repeated use of the adjective “tall,” in describing your ideal man. I sensed that a tall sister in the Lord had written that comment. We amazon Christian women know how doubly difficult it is to find a man who both loves the Lord AND is taller than us. I’ve since concluded that I prefer a man to whom I look up whether or not he exceeds me in actual height 🙂

  4. Anna says:

    Yep. The end. ❤ you, Amy!

  5. Mary K says:

    Thanks. This is exactly what I needed today after a struggling weekend. It is ALL about trust if the Faithfulness of our God.

  6. Lyn says:

    I also had this verse hit me powerfully this week. Another one that hits close to home is:

    “My grace is sufficient for you.”

    So often our feelings as unintentional singles becomes a real ‘thorn’ so to speak, a great deal of it (in my case) self inflicted. Thank you for your understanding and willingness to be so open about your feelings. It helps me to know I’m definitely not alone or crazy as a single Christian woman.

  7. Carmen says:

    I’m continually griped by the Monday emails I receive from fast.pray. Thank you for the reminder that the issue is not singleness but faith.

  8. Ray says:

    What one learns in marriage (48 years and counting) is that when we make anything other than deep union and intimacy with God in Christ the ultimate thing, it will fail to satisfy our deepest desires. Loneliness can hit at any time and it is always a reminder to me of the precise point you made, Amy. Good wisdom here, hard earned. Keep persisting all of you great women.

  9. Melody says:

    I like what you said Amy about singleness not being the main issue. Sometimes when I’m feeling frustrated again about being single I remember that God has been working on me. On my wholeness. I can look at this frustration with singleness and realize it is probably connected to something much deeper. I also liked your list of “false assumptions” (and no I don’t think you’re crazy). They are good reminders I needed to hear!

  10. Becca says:

    Amy,
    I just recently started following your blog–this is so “lightening strike” right now because God is bringing me out of a deep wilderness and the little doors and windows I used to be able to ‘crawl through’ and hide behind (sin–whether presumptuous or not) are closed & sealed. And in another sense everything is changing, I’m moving tomorrow, and ultimately planing to move 1/2 way across the country in school. Thanks!

    • Amy says:

      that’s awesome!! hope the move went smoothly! coming out of wilderness (literally or figuratively) is a good, good thing…may God continue to pull your heart toward Him!

  11. Claire says:

    Thank you, Amy! You would not believe how badly I needed to read that today. Actually, I am sure you understand. 🙂

  12. fast. pray. says:

    great, very true post amy. thanks!
    connally

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