Change, Honesty and the Gospel

This is your weekly reminder that we are fasting and praying on Mondays for the Lord to bring men and women to Himself, for men to walk boldly into relationship, for women to see where we need to change, and for God-honoring marriages to be given to those who desire them. 

So I have known for quite a while that 2012 would be full of change…I knew my dear roommate would be getting married, I’d be finishing grad school in December (fingers crossed), and moving to a new apartment.  All good things, right?

But somehow knowing that these are good things doesn’t stop me from silently panicking about my life on the other side of change, or from lecturing my roommate that she’s not packing quickly enough (not my finest moment).  And today as I was driving home from church, the stress surfaced in unbidden tears and honest questions and simple prayers about life, my future, my purpose….and about His plan, His goodness, His love.  As I drove (occasionally hitting the steering wheel for emphasis and trying to find that stash of Chipotle napkins to wipe my eyes), I felt like everything I was saying got summed up in three adjectives:

Lord, I feel alone.  I feel afraid.  I feel ashamed.

Yep.  And my grand plan had been to get married and kill those three birds with one stone.  (Ideally an obnoxiously large, cushion-cut diamond-type of stone….but I digress.)  A husband would prove I’m not alone, I have someone to protect me, and I don’t have to be ashamed of failing at life because no one picked me to be on their marriage team.

Somehow, I think this is a microcosm of the Gospel.  All humanity since the Garden of Eden (get the whole story from Genesis 3), has been separated from God, afraid of being seen by God, and ashamed of our brokenness.  That we search for anything and everything (marriage, perchance?) to feel unalone, unafraid and unashamed, and yet never find anything to truly satisfy.

That in Jesus Christ, God sends us His very own son, Emmanuel (God with us).   That Emmanuel lives a life of perfect grace and truth, and then dies a brutal death for all our fear, all our hiding, and all our shame.  That more importantly, on Easter morning, all the price was paid for the rest of time and eternity.  That I can be ransomed, forgiven and adopted into a true relationship in which I am not alone, in which I do not have to fear, in which my shame has already been addressed and buried.

So if any of those adjectives also apply to you this Monday, take a moment to sink deeply into the truth of His gospel — We are not alone.  We do not have to fear.  Our shame was handled at the cross.  So tears may still come unbidden,  and learning to live fearlessly, unashamedly with Emmanuel is a long process, but we can be confident that He who began a good work in us will carry it on to completion.  Even in the face of moving, finishing school, someone else’s wedding, and crying in my car.

In His Grace,

Amy

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27 Responses to Change, Honesty and the Gospel

  1. whispersofgrey says:

    Thank you for this post! I just found your site and the Lord has used it to encourage me. I had no idea there were so many of us facing this hard season of singleness together. So good to know that we have the Lord and the Body of Christ! Many blessings to you.

  2. janakaye says:

    Thank you, Amy. I have been walking a similar path. really appreciate this. thanks for being faithful to write honestly.

  3. Sheila says:

    Thank you, Amy, for your honest and timely post. I’m glad to know It’s so good to know we’re not alone in our fear, shame, and loneliness. Blessings on you, sister!

  4. Thank you for sharing Amy! I too have been there but I do believe that God is control and He will work things out for me in the end. But yes, I have my moments when I let my human emotions come out for a little, wreck havoc and then I move on! It’s good for us/women to know that we aren’t the only ones feeling the heaviness of not having solid, stable, healthy christian relationships!

  5. Kirsten says:

    Thanks Amy. So well said…

  6. Katy says:

    LOVE this post 🙂 I find that actually letting myself feel these emotions and cry these tears is the best thing to do… I’m not encouraging dwelling, but oftentimes I feel so ashamed by my feelings of loneliness and fear (and so encouraged to by others to hide my feelings) that I try to distract myself and move on.

    No, I should let these feelings point me to my Savior. My tears when lonely or longing for marriage do not surprise Him, so there is no need to hide them, but instead taking my longings to Him.

    And, I actually “feel” better when I do…when I let myself have the occasional breakdown and tear filled prayers….In a world where we have to portray ourselves as STRONG and pretend to be okay, its nice to have a Savior who does not require that.

  7. I have had a rough morning emotionally, and your post really spoke to me, Amy. I wonder why as a saved, spirit-filled Christian, we have those moments of emotional pain and anguish, but then in 2 Corinthians 1:4, it says “He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” You have shown that today that in sharing your anguish, you have helped your other sisters in the Lord in their own pain. Thanks for letting the Lord use you.

  8. KarBar says:

    This was wonderful!
    I was just feeling this way on the drive in this morning. I feel like a failure, I feel completely alone and I am scared that this is what the rest of my life will be. Yes I have hope but that doesn’t stop me from feeling fear. Even Jesus was afraid! So I pray, study, sing praises to the Lord and get with like-minded people to cast out whatever has a hold on me. Remember when you cast out one, seven more come for you even harder. Stay in prayer. stay in faith and encourage yourselves my single friends, the best is yet to come!

    • amy says:

      awesome – love it!

    • Janissa says:

      What you’re saying sounds good, KarBar, but you have to walk the walk and not just say what you think we want to hear. Your blog is um..interesting. You may want to read THIS blog from the beginning to get what it’s really about. You can’t continue to live in extreme disobedience and then expect blessings.

  9. smvernalis says:

    Beautiful words, Amy. Thanks for sharing your heart and helping each of us name all our shame and bring it to the only One who can take it away. xoxo

  10. J says:

    Joanne, I have recently been feeling the same ashamed feelings at 37. And wanted you to know that you are not alone! This post is great, and I love how you’ve applied the Gospel to being single.

  11. Joanne says:

    I’m so glad you mentioned being ashamed because no one “picked you to be on their marriage team.” Having recently turned 40, I’ve been assaulted with these feelings but haven’t truly found anyone else who’s felt the same thing. As single women, we have nothing to be ashamed of. It’s encouraging to hear of others who are seeking to live fully and redemptively in Christ and not in the identities of the world or flesh. Thank you!

  12. Karen says:

    Amy–thanks for your tender vulnerability, dear. That you drew so beautifully the analogy between your tri-level angst (aloneness, fear, shame) and the gospel message of relief of these troubling emotions common to us all was a gift. Echoing your thought “that we search for anything and everything (marriage, perchance?) to feel unalone, unafraid and unashamed, and yet never find anything to truly satisfy,” I hearkened back to the Lord’s reproof through Jeremiah: “My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.” (Jer. 2:13) That you have drawn us to consider once again that Jesus is our true well of Living Water and that all human relationships should be subsumed to this primary one is life abounding.

    • amy says:

      so glad it was useful…that verse from Jeremiah is so true…not only do we run from what God offers us, but then we make up poisonous substitutes…

  13. Sue Taylor says:

    Thank you for sharing your experience. I was travelling along beautifully until this week, then BOOM! – pretty much the same events in my face as yours. My counsellor(Christian psychologist) told me there’d be days like this. But I had no idea how painful they’d be.

  14. Olivia says:

    Wow Amy…I am in the same place this week. I’m moving to grad school this week and far away from home. I have no one where I am going but God definitely used you to tell me that I am not alone and this is only one piece of a very big puzzle called life. God bless you!

    • amy says:

      aww, yay for grad school adventures! you’ll be great and I’ll be praying for the friends He provides for you in this new phase 🙂

  15. andrea csia says:

    67,781 hits on this blog? No, we’re not alone. And for the hundreds of people reading your post, Amy, you are living a fruitful, caring and genuine life. You have impact. You have very positive impact on many. Thanks.
    And I hope He brings you a husband worthy of you someday. I too am longing, waiting…

  16. Beth says:

    Thank you, Amy, for reminding us that we are not alone, and we don’t have to be afraid nor ashamed, because of Christ.

  17. Carrie says:

    I had a week of tears and questions so this hit home in ways you couldn’t imagine. God reminded me that He is the ultimate Comforter and I’m not alone. Thanks for sharing. This is always a blessing.

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