Throughout the next few months we will feature posts submitted by readers of the FastPray blog. It’s encouraging to know there is a whole community of Jesus followers fasting and praying on Mondays.
We fast and pray asking for the Lord to bring healing in our times: for men to be bold and to walk in to relationships with women, for women to be soft and willing to be molded by God’s gracious plan in their lives, and for God to give the good gift of marriage to those who desire it.
The year began with my boyfriend abruptly and very unexpectedly breaking up with me instead of proposing to me. This was a godly man I had been best friends with for six years, and until the breakup, I had wanted to spend the rest of my life with him. He was the person who could make me laugh in the bleakest circumstances, who could challenge me in ways no one else could, and always pointed me to Christ. When I imagined myself in that white wedding dress, he was on the other end of the aisle, and with that dream shattered I had no idea where to go from there.
God graciously opened my eyes to many things that I was blind to before my break up. He performed a deep, soul-healing work over the course of the year that exposed roots from my childhood that were making me repeat unhealthy patterns in relationships. God gently took me through the healing of old wounds and helped me to understand certain behaviors and life choices. As God unearthed things, He revealed to me how my whole life I had been making decisions based on how I felt I had to earn love and approval and I had been living a life untrue to my authentic self, the unique person that God created me to be with a plan and a purpose. I had created a false self in my futile attempts to earn the love and approval I felt that I needed.
As God began to peel off all the masks that I had worn for so many years in my attempts to earn love, I began to know myself for the first time in my life: my passions, my calling, and what He created me for. He began to show me who I really was-my identity in Christ as His daughter, but also my unique personality and design in His plan. I realized that for many years in my career I was biding my time and waiting for things to change, to become a wife and mother and work part-time to make my life bearable. I had been waiting for my life to change from some external source instead of making the changes I needed from the inside out. I felt God calling me to something radical: to quit my job and travel the world with Him for an indefinite period of time.
Leaving behind everyone I knew and traveling the world by myself without the security of regular paychecks or tangible support from loved ones, having only a backpack on my back, was frightening and exhilarating all at once. I bought a one way ticket to Iceland and left without a return date. Over the course of the next four months, I journeyed around the world with God and traveled to nine countries.
During that time He taught me what an amazing adventure life can be when you give up control of your own life, He showed me how all the provision I received on my trip was not because of earning it, but because of who I am in Christ, and He also taught me how many doors He flings wide open when I follow the dreams and desires He’s placed in my heart instead of stuffing them and hoping for them to go away. I learned how I don’t have to fear my dreams and desires if I am abiding in Christ, but to the contrary, that when I do follow them, He is able to put me on the right path for the plans that He has for me. Prior to my complete surrender to Him on this grand journey, I spent my life fighting the very nature that He had given me, and therefore it was impossible for Him to put me on the path to my God-given purpose.
2015 has been a year of unimaginable loss, and gain. I lost my best friend and person I thought I wanted to spend the rest of my life with, but in the end, I gained myself. I have spent so much of my adult life desperately praying for God to fulfill my desire of a spouse. It’s only after this past year that I’m praising God for unanswered prayers and seeing the wisdom in His timing and coming to trust that He truly knows what is best for me. I can finally say after journeying the whole world over with God that I trust Him: to use everything in my life for good (Rom 8:28) and to do exceedingly abundantly above all that I can ask or imagine (Eph. 3:20). I trust Him even more for the good things to come because of the prayers He doesn’t answer.