True Love ❤️

         True love is not something that suddenly comes to us like we think. Instead, it is something that is built inside of us.
          With every surrendered dream, every sacrifice we make to put Christ first, with every bold letting go of our own desires to pursue His desires, we begin to get a glimpse of what Calvary love was all about.
         As a single woman, so many of us are looking to someday find that guy who will love us with the true love that we have waited for our whole lives. But, what we don’t fully understand is that in order to have a mutual true love in marriage, we have to be the first to practice that kind of death to self and submission to Christ that is required for true love to be fully born in us.
         I was thinking last week about the pain found in relationships. All my life I have tried to protect myself from the pain found in relationships. Somehow pain meant that something was wrong. But, over the past two months, God has shown me that there is pain found in relationships when we love people, and it is GOOD. To think that pain can be good was breaking boxes for me. It may for you, too. There is a pain found in laying down our lives for others, in allowing ourselves to be stretched outside our comfort zone, in finally facing our weaknesses through the eyes of another life we truly care about. This kind of pain is actually GOOD because when we encounter it, we know that something is being changed in us for GOOD. We shouldn’t shrink back from it, we shouldn’t try to run from it. We need to rejoice in it, by simply taking it all to the feet of Jesus and spending time with Him, talking to Him about it. He knows why He allows GOOD pain in our lives. He faced pain, too, when He was practicing true love. He knows how to help us experience the JOY found in the moments of crucifixion that is required in true love.
        This weekend was one of those moments for me. Because of some my childhood brokenness that I now realize God is still healing in me, sometimes when it comes to relationships, I either cocoon myself from them, or I just expect them to be pain-free and all joy. But, but, but…the reality is that some of the best relationships are ones that help us grow in Truth and Love. They stretch us. They force us to rely on God. When we rely on God, then we get Truth in our inward members, and it’s that Truth that builds our lives in love toward God and others.
        That is the true love we are waiting for. It’s this amazing ability to suffer as Christ suffered by laying down our lives for the sake of others. When a man and a woman learn this practice in their own lives led by the Holy Spirit, they are better prepared for the marriage that reflects Jesus and His Bride.
So, be willing to be built by True Love.
        This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. 1 John 3:16
Advertisements

Within One Day, One Month, One Year…

Today marks a year since I found out for real that my dad had cancer.  To be honest, I just couldn’t believe it.  He passed away within the week.  A part of me at times is still very mad at the hospital staff.  Why didn’t they work to save his life?  What does a DNR have to do with it?  Aren’t doctors supposed to do everything they can to save a person’s life?  Of course, I didn’t attend the meeting with the doctor, so I don’t honestly know how terrible my dad’s cancer had progressed. But, I had just seen him in April, and there was no talk of cancer then. How can doctors suddenly find a gross stage of terminal cancer when they failed to find it all along?  These things perplexed and angered me.  All along, I had hoped that none of it was true. I prayed he would be well.

I can still remember how just last year I was crying out, “Jesus! Jesus!” over the phone as my brother was telling me the news–for real.  There was no way to deny it anymore. But, shock does that to a person for a season.  I was in shock, and I couldn’t accept it.  But, I remember that after writing a five page paper for my American Politics Class, suddenly truth settled it.  I had to go home.  Everyone else was there at the hospital already.

Within the week, dad passed away, and within the month, we buried him. All that within this year.  Nobody talks about it anymore.  And, I try to tell myself to not rehash it all.  But, I’m a writer.  This is my way of grieving.  After all, June is his birthday, and he passed away a day before his birthday. June is also Father’s Day.  No wonder it’s all hitting me right now.

Since last June, I’ve moved from Texas to Virginia.  I’ve finished 2 Constitutional Law Classes and a class on Presidency.  I have also become part of a wonderful church, and I now live in Chesapeake.

Since last June, I have also learned to care for someone to find that God had others plans, and I have, instead, poured my life into teaching 6th graders in a Title One school.  More are the children of the desolate woman, the Word says.  Somedays, I wonder if God will ever allow me to marry and have a family of my own.  Then, I realize how He has filled my lack with His Presence and allowed me to minister to a lot of hurting families.  Maybe in heaven that is how family works.

Today, I watched the Norfolk community serve its community by providing food, shoes, and opportunities for families.  It was amazing to see churches, businesses, and non-profit organizations coming together to serve the area.  I also got to have some heart to heart conversations where I heard myself speak about my heart’s desires.

Yes, a lot has happened within this year. But, these are the things I know.  I know that dad gave his heart to Jesus Christ; I will see him again at Home.  I also know that God has brought me here to Virginia to continue trusting in His Promises, and He has been faithful to use me in the schools and community.  Furthermore, I know He is with me.  He is with me in every sweet word of encouragement I receive from new friendships and from my older friendships.  He is with me in the provisions He has granted me here on this ground.

I bless the Lord.  I know He is going to do something truly amazing in the coming days.  When we choose to say yes to Jesus, He is able to do extraordinary things in and through our lives.

I decided to get back into blogging again.  I hope this entry blessed you.  No matter where you are in this season, I understand how within one day, one month, one year—so much can happen. Imagine how God sees it all! To him, one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years, like 1 day.  I love that HE is the constant in all of this.  That’s what makes everything hold together for good.

Blessings in Christ,

Christine

We Belong:  A Part of His Body

Oh, I get it.  I get the liberal.  They have “atomistic” thinking.  Hear me out.  They don’t believe they are whole within a society.  They believe their whole societal concern is within themselves.

If I were not a Christian, I would be a tree-hugging liberal who would believe we are all individual and unique and we should just focus on that.  I would probably be asocial.  Some of it has to do with being hurt by institutions like family, school, church, and even the closest of friends.  Sometimes it’s safer to not lean on anyone else, but ourselves.

But, I thank God I am a Christian, and God will not let me be alone.  He has told us we are part of His body.  We are not the whole body, just a part.  That takes humility and dependecy.  We need others in this life.  We need God above all.

But, this is the pain of this generation. They lack moms and dads committed in marriage. So, many have learned to trust in nobody else, but themselves.  The idea of God being Lord through Jesus Christ means they have to let go of their personal power which is the one safe thing they KNOW they can depend on. 

Oh, we need to pray.  God wants to heal our society, community, our churches, families, marriages.  God cares about our part in His whole picture.  He created us in community. In Christ, we are His body.  He has more He wants to be in His body.  He died for us ALL, after all. ❤

So.. Yeah.  I got this whole revelation by looking up the word “atomization” today in my reading because I didn’t understand how that scientic word would fit politics.  But, I get it now.  And, it burdens me to pray for this generation, causes me to praise God for placing me in His body, and I look forward to how He will set this girl in His beautiful plan someday to understand the fullness of what marriage and family means.  Jesus heals.  There is HOPE for ALL OF US IN OUR NATION!!!!!!!! ❤

The whole body depends on Christ. And all the parts of the body are joined and held together. Each part of the body does its own work. And this makes the whole body grow and be strong with love.

Ephesians 4:16

You Can Be Honest:  Dealing with Fear and Marriage

​Some girls get married because they are afraid. Afraid of being alone. Afraid of never being loved. Afraid of being rejected by society. Afraid of becoming an old spinster, sitting in a rocking chair, surrounded by a thousand cats.  Haha. Yeah, fear can be ridiculous.

And, then, some girls don’t get married because they are afraid.  Afraid of losing their freedom. Afraid of being controlled by someone who will hurt them. Afraid of losing their relationship with God. Afraid of choosing the wrong man. Afraid of being abused. Afraid of being barefoot and pregnant with no identity and surrounded by loneliness in the midst of collected needy bodies.  Yeah, fear can be ridiculous.

I have been in both of these camps. 

In my 20’s I stayed in a relationship I was never meant to even begin because I was afraid of being alone and having nobody love me.

Then in recent years, I moved to the other camp without realizing it. Until yesterday.  

With all my talk about preparing for marriage, I hadn’t dealt with the actual fear of getting married.  Not until yesterday when the Holy Spirit unveiled it to me in worship.  As I unpackaged it, I saw fear of losing freedom, control, and identity at the root.  I now know why, and I can deal with it.  God is so gentle, too, to work with me on uprooting these lies with His truth. Because fear is a lie.  God never created any of His daughters to live in either camp.  

He has a different camp for His princesses. I now choose to abide with Him there in His Truth.  Let me tell you about that…

He is Love.  He ordained marriage.  He is the one who draws two into Holy Marriage by His Spirit of unity, when we are surrendered and open to Him, according to His will.  His desire for marriage is a desire that it be a testimony of Jesus Christ’s relationship to His Bride, the church.  Just from that, we can infer that God sees marriage as a beautiful, covenant, lifegiving, strengthening, and loving union.  This is the camp we want to be in when the season of marriage calls us.

I wrote this because I know my sisters needed to hear this.  Don’t be afraid.  But, if you are, you can be honest and tell God.  He will help you to move away from fear to see marriage as God meant for it to be.

Where God’s love is, there is no fear, because God’s perfect love takes away fear. It is punishment that makes a person fear. So love is not made perfect in the person who has fear.

1 John 4:18 ICB

Much love, 

Christine ❤

Singleness in Christ

​When I was in college, I went through a season where I was so afraid of God asking me to be single my whole life.  

I now realize such a question regarding singleness is not something to fear but honestly assess before the Lord.  Does Jesus want me all to Himself?  Is it God’s will for me to never marry?  I never really talked about this, afraid that lifetime singleness might happen if I gave voice to the possibility.  Lol.

But, today I am no longer afraid of WHATEVER God has planned.  Marriage or no marriage, it is no longer my idol or hope.  Jesus is.  I believe if God wants me single my whole life He will keep me and sustain me, and He will use my life for His glory.  I also believe if God wants me to marry, He will provide a man after His heart who will understand the call of marriage and submit to Christ with his whole life and love me with Jesus’ passionate, real, holy, pure love all the days of our lives.  

All I know is that I have incredible peace now.  I truly believe God knows what’s best for me in this area, and I am submitted to His best.  Freedom from fear happens when we really know His love for us.  Nothing on earth compares with God’s Love and His Presence.  He is so real!!!  He fills our lives with His good gifts taylored just for us!!!  Loving Him back is such an honor. ❤

True Love

Whoever thought that love was just a wimpy emotion has not tasted of True Love. And, unless one tastes of True Love, one does not know how to Love.

I’m not talking about sappy romantic love that promises sunlight and roses that end up wilting at the first sign of a shadow. Feelings aren’t love. Feelings are simply roller coaster-like emotions that people of all generations across the ages have mistaken for Love because it’s easier to feel a feeling than it is to wait patiently bearing the cross on behalf of another. 


But, that’s just it. Love isn’t Love until a cross has been born for the sake of another, by choice. Jesus bore the cross for us, so that we may now bear that cross for Him and others. He became the way of Love for us. Through Him, we now show the Way of Love to others.


The truth about Love is that it is so powerful and strong. It wins. There is nothing that can overcome True Love, because True Love overcomes the world. It overcomes every slight, every sin, every offense, and covers it, saying, “You may have meant to harm, but it didn’t harm. I love you. I choose to cover you.” It’s that powerful.

Love is also unyielding in protection and valor. For example, one may want his own base way that could harm him, but Love will boldly speak up and say, “no.” And, Love will stay that true course. Even through being misunderstood, being blamed, being rejected, being mocked, Love is unwilling that anything harm another, so Love, instead, is willing to be hurt, that the other may be free from pain. 

In the end, Love is brave. Brave enough to speak the Truth. Love can only speak with humility of heart, with a bowed life at the foot of the cross, knowing that it is there in the Great Exchange, His Life for ours, that we will come to know what True Love is. Who True Love is.

In short. God is love. It says so in His Word. And, we, His people, full of His Holy Spirit, are full of His Love.

So, brothers and sisters,”… let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. ” 1 John 3:18 

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”

My “Spoken For” Ring

BeautyPlus_20151226213709_save

This early winter, I found myself wanting a new purity ring.  Over Thanksgiving, I went looking for a ring, but I never found one.  Instead, at the end of Thanksgiving break, I ended up buying 5 costume rings that looked pretty, but weren’t real.

One of the reasons why I wanted a ring, was because it seemed like lately, guys were starting to take interest in me, and someone was even trying to set me up.  I wanted something on my hand that would tell them that I’m taken. The current purity ring I had, had a heart that fell out. This time around, I wanted something that would look like a wedding ring of sorts, something serious that would send a message to the guys that I’m not interested in dating anyone.

I know it seems crazy that I believe I will marry, and yet I want to send off a signal that I’m not available to date…

But, that’s just it.  I’m not interested in dating.  I have known since I was 16 that if I marry, I will marry a man God brings into my life, a husband of His promise.  Our meeting, engagement, and marriage will all be divinely orchestrated by the Holy Spirit.  Unless the Lord builds my house, I have no reason to do so because it would be in vain. So, either God Himself will bring His promise, purpose and will in my life with HIS choice of a husband, or I will remain single for the rest of my life.  Both options comfort me because my heart wants God’s will and His Presence always above all, and my heart is already taken by Jesus first.

So, tonight, when I opened up my present from my brother’s family, I was blown away…speechless.  My brother’s  words after I unwrapped the ring was, “This will keep the guys away until it’s time.”  My sister-in-law hugged me and told me that God had put on her heart to get me a ring.  I could only cry, while trying to say thanks, still in shock.

Later, when I was trying to think of what to name my special ring – was it a purity ring? Promise ring? Family ring?  My brother called it my “Spoken For” ring.  Yes.  It is fitting.  First and foremost, I am spoken for by my Lord Jesus Christ, and He is the whole reason why I wanted a new ring anyway. I love my relationship with Christ.  It’s real, lifechanging, adventurous, and full of life, love, and peace.  What I have with Him is covenant.  Knowing that, I know I’m entirely spoken for, as He has my heart forever.

I’m also convinced that if God ever wants me to marry, there will be an amazing man of God He will bring my way who will understand covenant in Him, as he will have his own personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Yes, I believe that if I’m to marry, God has already decided at the foundation of the world whom He will allow to be my husband. Therefore, “spoken for” fits, because the man I marry will be God’s choice.

Yes, in Christ, I’m already taken, I’m already spoken for.  ♡

Look in the scroll of the LORD and read: None of these will be missing, not one will lack her mate. For it is his mouth that has given the order, and his Spirit will gather them together.
Isaiah 34:16

BeautyPlus_20151226232846_save