Let’s just “settle” the issue, so we don’t end up “settling”

It’s a chilly autumn day, so good thing I have a cup of tea (with milk and sugar) and my fuzzy socks on.  I’ve wanted to take a day like this for awhile.  Just me, refills on hot drinks, alone with my heart, and time to write.

 

I usually don’t pick what I want to write about.  It picks me.  Something grabs my heart or I’m wrestling or pondering something.  Then I have to write about it to get any sort of relief.  HA! Right now it’s the issue of settling.  I find it’s directly linked to how we view God.  When I am nestled into his embrace and the issue of his goodness is a fixed thing, then I tend to be able to wait.  There’s grace to not make things happen how and when I want.  But, add a little disappointment, desires unmet, and COMPARISON with what others have (that’s a big one), well then “thanks, but God, I’ll do this better and FASTER than you can.”

 

Let me give you a bit of insight into my past 10 years to help you get a sense of where I’m coming from. I’ve moved a lot, been in many weddings (not to mention maid-of-honor 3 times), and seen most of my friends get married.  A few close friends remain  single, but as a whole most are married with children.  I’m ok with that.  I haven’t always been, and I’ve had my share of pity parties, cynicism, and jealousy.  That was before…
Before I began to understand the goodness of God.  He has allowed me many adventures and I’ve met the best of people and have been richly blessed.  AS A SINGLE WOMAN.  I find I’m full.  Whole.  Complete.  Yes, I want to be married, but I don’t have a romanticized view like Giselle did (Enchanted, the movie).

 

Why?  Because God has a sense of humor.  He has given me the opportunity to nanny for several families.  I have close friends that have little kiddos.  Just this year I lived with a friend and her husband and their FOUR CHILDREN.  And their little yappy dog, too! Oh yeah!  I tell you, it was non-stop laughs.  I love this family that opened their home to me, but I must say any bit of romanticism I may have had before living with a family, was definitely gone by the time I moved.  And they are a terrific, healthy, vibrant family.

 

I feel sometimes like I’m an under-cover agent for singles so God puts me in close proximity to others my age who are married with children =)  The learning curve has been fantastic and I’ve been so blessed to have all the experiences.

 

That is the background. Lots of chances to see the “behind the scenes” into family life.
I’ve talked extensively to my married girl-friends who have amazing husbands and I’ve heard the joys and the struggles.  Each has her really classic love story.  And….poopy diapers to change, car pooling, and sleepless nights.  Hee hee. Hey, just sharing the realities of marriage and kids.

 

The common thread for them has been that their spouses have put God first and he has continually been the center of their relationship. Hmmm….that’s worth giving a moment to.
Sadly, I know many more (especially women) who are hurting and lonely.  These are MARRIED women!!!!  I’d say this blows the myth of marriage removing loneliness.  Several women I know are more lonely NOW that they are married than when they lived the single life.  I find this to be the worst kind of tragedy.

 

Two friends that I know.  It’s a common scenario.  But true.  One is older (in her 40’s).  One is younger.  Both beautiful.  Love God.  Desire marriage.  My discovery that both are in serious relationships now is quite intriguing.  Perfect blogging material.

 

I love them both dearly.  I will not criticize but just want to share my heart.

 

The older friend.   I’m not wanting to over-emphasize her age; merely point out that it’s easy to put limits on possibilities because of any number of things.  When you are single, age is definitely a factor. So about this beautiful, stunning, hilarious, and very gifted friend… I have known her desire for marriage and longed with her to see a Godly man pursue her ; to see the treasure that I see.  I’ve seen her make hard choices, lonely ones at times.  She has chosen to do things God’s way.  This means she has surrendered her desire for marriage and chosen to follow her heavenly Father’s plan and not take matters into her own hands.  This path has taken her to foreign lands where she has been able to see the gifts of God in her released and strengthened.  I’m so proud of her. She has carried singleness with beauty and joy.  And vulnerability.  So when I heard her story in full last week I was overwhelmed by how when things are done God’s way, we can trust the best for our lives.  I know beyond a shadow of a doubt, that had she decided she was missing out and taken things into her own hands, she probably wouldn’t be telling me about this amazing man who is now in full pursuit.

 

She knows the goodness of God, and THIS is what kept her from settling.  Her story strengthens the hope level in my own heart.

 

The other friend.  My heart is aching for her right now.  She is with a christian guy but she has admitted that God is not the central point for them. They are headed into a relationship with compromise, possible addictions, and a relationship built on romanticism –with very little substance.  I can’t help but wonder if she has this idea that all those “things” will just vanish, poof, after marriage.  I know from all those many many many talks with my married friends that problems before marriage don’t just go away after the “I do’s”. They intensify.

 

I’m probably speaking to women (there may be a guy out there reading, I don’t know!), but have you noticed we do this?  It can be marriage or anything else in life.  We aren’t fully convinced in the goodness of God.  We may not admit it, but we live like it. God is good and “no good thing does He withhold from those who walk with him”. Simple math, my friends.  When a longing in my heart is still looking for its promise, then it’s just not time.  But who is to say that tomorrow won’t be the day?  Or in the near future.  Nevertheless, the timing for God’s best is always fulfilled on his clock.  Sorry =)

 

The scary thing about making things happen according to our timing and our genius, is that sometimes we get what we thought we wanted.  Yikes.  Help us, Lord =)  Perhaps, the only safe place, then, from controlling our lives is to put them into our Father’s hands.

 

Or we will settle.  Every time.

 

I wish I could tell you….no…..look you in the eyes and convince you that God IS GOOD.

 

So, don’t be settling.  Don’t be rationalizing why you are eating crumbs under the table when you can smell the pot roast right above your head.  You are worth more than that.  You are a treasure.  You are the apple of your Daddy’s eye.  If you dare to LET GO (key words, here), then he can show himself trustworthy.  Crumbs? Pot roast? Crumbs? Pot roast?  Let the feasting begin!!!

10 thoughts on “Let’s just “settle” the issue, so we don’t end up “settling”

  1. Oh, Liz –
    What can I say?
    With passion, honesty and love – you have written your heart again –
    Thank you…
    May everyone of us know in our hearts that Father has only the best in mind for us… AND WE DO NOT HAVE TO SETTLE….

  2. Very well written, Liz! Tho I am older than you, I can truly say that looking back on my life's journey I have, at times settled, rather that trusting in God's goodness. Some of these decisions have caused great pain & heartache. Heavenly Father has graciously restored & redeemed, but life might have been a little simpler if I had just trusted In His best for me! Keep writing, & I pray that those who have ears to hear, will hear!

  3. that was very nicely said, as usual, by a very bright and beautiful woman:) i couldn't have said it better if I tried. I might have thought and stared and written a little while… and never made a point. you are a very gifted writer. so glad u will one day go into marriage with your eyes wide open because one of the biggest causes for divorce is disappointment. u have been enlightened:) marriage and family are two very beautiful things. they are not , however, always perfect:)

  4. Liz,
    How did you come to such a deep revelation of this, sometimes it seems like all of the bad things in life that have happened say that God can't be trusted. Even tho it says different in the Bible of course.

  5. Lonliness in marriage is a reality at least a few times, for some many times…In America we have a fairytale image of marriage, when in fact it is a very challenging relationship. You can't just move every few years to change up the content. Its about going deep, staying in when you'd rather just move out. Relationship/intimacy in marriage takes years for most.
    Recently I've been told how lovely the images of love between my partner and me. Its a surprise to me, as I am not easily settled and not very demonstrative about affection. But time and commitment have won ( a great deal of stubbornness too). I love the image of that person, etched in my heart, my mind, my will. I would not know how to live without him. I do not want to know. He has become my better part and together in Christ we die together. We still disagree on subjects, but we often forgo options, choices due to the others preference. We CARE for another more than ourselves, THis did not happen easily, it took years of the waves of life breaking over our shores, slowly moving the land mass, impressing its constant movement against the hard places in me, in him until we are changed. We curve and bend into His landscape. Into a beautiful land where peace and love dwell in harmony. Fairytale, no real, rugged craggy, cliffs of human will, and emotion. Heart felt tears, ideas shared and thrown with force on anothers sandy shore. Brilliant and dull, smooth and rugged; working deep into the souls of two vital people. Slowly making them into something they can not put into words, but from the beginning God/Abba/has known they were to become. Side by side in loneliness and fellowship these two are married (one)!

  6. Liz, I was just thinking: Settling could be an inner state of mind as well as an outward position? We could be in motion or in a period of transition, but still be settling inwardly for what may not be God's best for us.
    What do you think?

  7. Thanks for your comment, Jen! I did my share of staring at the screen hoping for the words =)

    Thanks Maggie!

    Anonymous–(after Jen)–I guess I've just observed a lot of marital relationships. And talked to a lot of close friends who are married. And listened/read things concerning the issue. About the goodness of God—well, He continues to show his goodness to me. He's very personal towards us and knows what we need. He can do the same for you.

    Anonymous that shared about marriage (starting with: loneliness in marriage)…I appreciate your openness in sharing. It's people like you that I've learned from—keep sharing with other singles (and marrieds). I know that sharing our own journey is very helpful to others.

    Last anonymous (ha!)–I don't know exactly how to answer your question, but it sounds like you are also processing this issue. I guess settling starts on the inside and works it's way out. That's why if our mindset is that we are tremendously loved,we won't settle. If we don't know it, well….I was primarily focusing on the issue of settling in our relationships in dating, but maybe it speaks to someone else about settling in general.

    BTW—I write these things not because I've always done it perfectly and have never settled. Thank God for friends and family who have encouraged me and at times “smacked” me (not really!) with a wake up call. So, it's by the grace of God and his faithfulness. It's never too late to “sign up again” so to speak and to give him access and permission to your heart.

  8. Thank you Liz. Thank you. This was one big confirmation for me. You're an amazing writer. I'm not even sure how I ran across this but I am SO glad I did. 🙂 Signed, Anonymous or Matt Davis Seymour Tennessee

    Many thanks Liz

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