Single Parent Faith

Friday, April 15, 2011

Season of Expectancy

Source: Google Search Images
Sitting with my friend at a local coffee shop, someone she knows popped in to talk with her. She was brimming with enthusiasm, so much so that I began to wonder if she was on drugs. How could someone be this happy?

She burst out declaring: “This is now my season to meet my husband! After now being divorced over 8 yrs, I am ready. This is my time.”

“What makes you so sure of this?” I blurted.  Here I am, divorced much longer than her, younger, and dare I say, more attractive than her! (Excuse me, but is my ego showing?) Don’t I deserve this season too? Truth be known, I was a bit irritated (okay, I was jealous) of her assuredness and zeal.


She continued, “I've finally forgiven my ex-husband. I’ve been in daily deep prayer and feel God has planted in my heart this desire, which keeps growing stronger. “

“You sound so jubilant and happy!” I had to contain my sarcasm.

“Stay expectant and hopeful.  No matter the past, God restores all.”

She paused, adding: “Do you believe you have the shield of favor from the Lord?”

Those words stung. I reflected privately on them, realizing that at some level I must feel I do not. 
  
Later when I got home I rushed straight to my bible and I randomly opened it to Matthew 7:7- “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you shall find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”  I have read this countless times throughout the years. I thought I believed it, but years of asking, and no apparent answer manifesting itself, has caused me to wonder why. 

I once had that same hope and fire in my belly. Where did it go? Replaced with the duties of the day, the daily grind of single parenthood, a demanding job, the relentless demands of life and home ownership, and the trials of parenting through the teenage years. So many reasons for distracting me from my dream, and letting it slip through my fingers. 

Why have I let go of a dream because it hasn't yet visibly manifested itself? It’s so human of me— So understandable after waiting for many years. Over the past few years I have prayed and prayed, shed many tears, and had countless moments where in surrender to His mercy I  dropped to my knees. So many years desirous of a divine partner’s support, yearning for the joy of being held in the arms of my loving husband, with still no trace of him.

Faith is tested in the wait. I fail terribly most of the times. But then I have my moments of ecstasy, where I am in perfect harmony with God and realize he is preparing me. He is working on me, perfecting me. And then, I humbly submit and practice obedience.  As I wait, I am not standing still. I am in motion.  The very essence of my imperfection is like a dance, where doubt pushes me away from Him, and then I draw nearer to Him, to feel his heartbeat.

As I reflected, I glanced upon Matthew 6: 33-34, “But seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

I have used this season of my life to grow nearer to Him. Realizing it is He I need to seek, rather than a spouse. I have tried to be obedient to His will. I try to be fully conscious and aware of what’s occurring in front and around me during my day—trying to listen when he urges me on toward action.  

It’s humanly impossible to maintain a constant vibrant level of hope every day for so many years. The human fallible me stumbles and loses grasp of hope from time to time. Sometimes hours, days, weeks at a time. Working to trust His will—and not my impatient one— is difficult to continuously maintain.

At times I am blissful in His love and I feel that’s all I need in my life to thrive. During these moments I feel I can live without a Godly partner. I am drunk on God’s love.  Then there are moments where I feel the void—the absence of my partner—and capitulate to my humanness.  I implore that He make me strong enough to accept living out my days single, if this is His will. But a sad regret traces through my being, truth be known.

It doesn’t help that when I recently went to a hardware store, a guy trying to hit on me asked if I was dating someone. Upon my answer of no, he wistfully said, “What a waste of a beautiful woman,” as he sized me up and down. I wasn’t sure how to take that— though it confirmed his intentions—it acted to me as a jab, a mockery of my unanswered prayers.

Yesterday this stranger walks into the coffee shop declaring with such certainty that this is her season to meet her husband, and it stirs inside me renewed hope. Today, in church as I was walking up the steps of the balcony, I noticed a man with a teenage daughter (I assumed) and as my daughter and I took our seats our eyes met, and I made it a point to smile at him. He smiled back. Better news was that he had no wedding band! I can’t tell you the overwhelming number of disappointing moments where there is a wedding band. So many of these moments that I began to wonder if these were signs (slaps in the face) from God, informing me that the door is closed to me.

After the service ended, he moved to exit, never looking to me again. Surprisingly I didn’t feel disappointment. Perhaps it was because I saw him picking his nose. And maybe it’s a deeper reason, this moment worked to stir me, to remind me, that my dream is still alive, and that my desire is also.
Ella Venezia
Copyright © 2011 Ella Venezia. All Rights Reserved.
I dedicate this post to Merana and all the wonderful men and women out there exercising faith and surrender, that our Heavenly Father will provide our Divine partner in His divine time.    

“Unwavering trust is a rare and precious thing because it often demands a degree of courage that borders on the heroic.” —Brennan Manning, from his book "Ruthless Trust" 

4 comments:

  1. My dear, sweet friend! You make me laugh out loud (literally!), ponder, cry, and you make me feel bewilderment at my own emotions & your faith when it seems mine is failing. You came away with "hope" after your friend's revelation...I would have wanted to smack her! LOL! Or say, "yeah, your season....just wait 'til winter comes...cold, frigid, ALONE winter". And then I realize it's all about Jesus. And I ask God A-G-A-I-N (wish I could bold, underline, highlight, increase font on that!) what it is He wants me to learn in this waiting with no one period...and does He plan to get around to teaching me those things???!!! I continually ask that He just put out the fire of my yearning for a mate so it doesn't feel so consuming sometimes. It's so hard....waiting....
    (Thanks for the dedications...and inspirations!) Hugs ~ Merana

    ReplyDelete
  2. Merana- I am humbled to read that I stirred all these emotions in you- In particular, laughter. Our humor and the lighter side of this experience is what we should never lose sight of.

    I try to find the kernel of hope in the midst of an experience. Sometimes I have to look long and hard. Sometimes it doesn't jump out at me. In fact, much of the time it's a process.....to get to it. To discover the hidden treasure of this (and any other seemingly negative) experience. But I assure you, always, there is a reason to cast our eyes toward hope.

    Thank you for your recent posts on your site, as they served as inspiration for me to share this story. We are so connected how we cue off of each other and inspire each other.
    Hugs and Blessings Merana!- Ella

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Ella,

    As I read this, I thought about the scripture in Genesis 2:18, when God says, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” -- I have to believe this is true for both men and women.

    I know some people say, that God may have a purpose for you to be single, but I refuse to believe that. If it is not good for Adam, it can be no better for me. God is no respecter of persons. So I wait with hope and expectancy. I can't see her, but she is there nonetheless. When I do, I will love her with every ounce of love, passion, joy, and gratitude within me; because she comes as a gift from God to me. She has become..."bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh..."

    She is everything that I'm not, but aspire to be. She is graceful, kind, caring, compassionate, patient, and loving. And when there could have been another, she chose me; she only wants me. She sees something in me which I've never saw in myself. She inspires me to be so much better that I thought possible. I understand now how Jocob could love Rachel with such passion and desire; nothing else mattered! Deceived into marrying Leah...Check! Work fourteen years for Laban...Double-Check! Rachel's infertility...Triple-Check!

    Love compels a man to do things which seemingly make no sense to others; he doesn't care what others think. All that matters is what she thinks. Does she feel what I feel.

    At the moment, the love of my life has no name, she has no face, no smile, no eyes to behold. But I will know her when I see her face to face. God will not have to cause a deep sleep to come upon me, my love is already formed; she awaits me.

    When I meditate on the Song of Solomon, I am reminded how wonderful it is to completely love someone without regret. John writes, "What marvelous love the Father has extended to us!" (1 John 3:1, Message) -- I'm blown away as I try to comprehend the expanse of God's love for me. To love with such depth and clarity goes beyond all I could ever ask, hope or think.

    Prior to reading this post, I would have said, "I want to love again", or "I'm ready to love again." But I realize that this is not true. I'm not waiting to love...I'm already in love! Family and friends may argue with me that I can't love someone I've never seen, but my faith is relentless. I'm calling out to her just as Jacob called out to Rachel, reminding her that nothing would come between his love for her. And you know what? Rachel believed Jacob loved her, even when he was married to her sister. Even when he worked all those years for her father. Even when she couldn't bear him children. The one constant, was their unending love for one another.

    Thank you for inspiring me Ella. Not to sit on the outskirts...waiting...standing still...I find favor as I move toward God. I choose to remain in motion. I want to dance as David danced....with unbridled joy, passion and gratitude.

    Blessings and peace.

    MTJ

    ReplyDelete
  4. MTJ-
    Thank you for your enlightened and inspiring words. I especially like your declaration that you intend to "remain in motion...with unbridled passion and gratitude."
    It is this being in motion, that I believe reflects your expectation that God is faithful to you. That you are already in love, is something that I agree should be the way we see things. We cannot wait to someday love again. We must be love "now"....we must deliver and gift our love "today" to those around us.
    God's Blessings to you MTJ!
    -Ella

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for your comment! Pardon the inconvenience of waiting for my moderation of comments. -- This is to prevent advertisers from embedding their commercial links. (Which has happened)

HAVE A BLESSED DAY!