Single Parent Faith

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Divine Appointments— How God Reveals His Love for Us

“Give yourself fully to God. He will use you to accomplish great things on the condition that you believe much more in His love than in your weakness. “— Mother Teresa

How often in our doubtful minds we question how God can use us for His purpose when we may not feel strong enough, or faithful enough.

What is His purpose? If he’s God surely His purpose is magnanimous. Maybe we don’t feel we are strong enough for magnanimous duties? Maybe we do not feel good enough, or spiritually developed enough to be used for His plan?

But he uses every one of us, every day. He uses us exactly where we are. We do not have to be monks or people who spend most of our day on our knees.  In fact, I believe you may actually question God’s existence, and He will still use you for the good of humanity.

Each of us has unique qualities and life circumstances that can be God’s portal to delivering reassurance, hope, peace, and love to others.

A few weeks back I was sitting at Starbucks, writing. There was a couple (possibly in their early 30’s) asking themselves questions from a book. Their conversation was very profound and honest. Each answered the questions according to what they believe and together they looked for common ground. When they were in disagreement, they were respectful and explained their unique perspective based on their unique experiences. It appeared that they wanted to improve individually and as a family. I found them very refreshing.

I was so intrigued by their dialogue dynamics, that after a while I stopped writing and became more interested in them. Firstly, I was in awe that the husband was so into this with his wife. He sounded committed to the process. It wasn’t the wife dragging the husband whining through this, as often stereotypes lead one to believe. This couple was unified in purpose. This couple from Oklahoma was in town for the weekend and they wanted to take this time away from their daughter to discuss developing and strengthening their family vision. 

We began a conversation and it was the fastest three hours that have ever blown by. Their candor as they shared with me some of their struggles and concerns, was a Blessing to me. The mere observation of their time together, was a confirmation to me that I am on the right track to expect this as part of a healthy loving relationship. They were unified in their pursuit of growth as a couple, meanwhile together helping each other through some individual struggles. Differences were not seen as anything but expected since they are unique individuals with unique upbringings.

I saw a very mature and enlightened young couple. It was so encouraging to see in the flesh something so raw and honest as they worked through the process of dialogue. They were not shy to disagree, and were extremely interested in understanding how and why the other’s views differed. 

When I shared my glowing admiration, they chuckled and admitted they have been in marriage counseling for several years, and that these things did not come naturally to them because of how they were raised. The husband was quick to admit that he was raised in a home where a male showing emotion was highly discouraged.  

That day in the coffee shop, you never would have guessed that expressing himself was not natural to him. He was an advocate for communication and the necessity of it for a good marriage. Neither of them after 14 years of marriage felt they ran out of things to talk about and discover about each other. It was very clear that they were best friends, though they reminded me that it doesn’t mean they don’t have disagreements and issues to continually work through.

This afternoon our trajectories collided to reveal to me a living example of what a couple that is committed to each other and the relationship looks and sounds like. I carry that image with me. That is what I want in my life.

As we continued to talk, they shared their struggle with their faith. They each had bad experiences with religion in their earlier years growing up. I invited them not to give up on God, based on that. You see, I also experienced something similar during high school. In church, my younger sister was mocked by both children and adults because she stuttered and wore thick glasses. It was hard for my sister and I not to feel a sense of betrayal by the church.

That feeling stayed with us for many years. One day I realized that my relationship with God is something very personal that is not defined by a religion or a particular church. My relationship transcends anything human. It is not bound by a building nor is it diminished because church people may behave ungodly toward me.  Face it, church is full of a broad spectrum of people, and all of them are human and flawed (myself included). Hypocrites are everywhere, and church is no exception. Before I cast the first stone, I have to keep myself in check. I’m certain God weeps when his children behave unlovingly, but especially in a place of worship. I decided not to allow foolish people behaving unlovingly to keep me from a relationship with my Creator.

After our talk they appeared open to the possibility of checking out some churches until they find the right fit.

This afternoon, I felt that God used this couple just as he used me, to portray His love for us all. We each had something to replenish and rejuvenate in the other’s heart. That is the beauty of how God works. He can use us to connect with others, even through our weakness. His love for us transcends our feeble ability to love Him as fervently as He loves us. But because of His love for us, He still delivers what we need, often restoring us through the words spoken by another.  

His love is conveyed to us even through the most ordinary moments in a day. A chance meeting at Starbucks, was a divine appointment. Our loving God accomplishes great things in our hearts if we are willing to act on these ordinary moments.

How much more greater things can we accomplish for him (through us) if we are to believe much more in His love than in our weakness?

Ella Venezia
Copyright © 2012 Ella Venezia. All Rights Reserved. 

Image Source: © All rights reserved by Vicktor Abrahams


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