Thank you all for participating in my Facebook Fan Giveaway! The winner of the puritan writings is…
James N Brittany Barrett!
Please email me with your postal address at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And I have a special treat for you today! As a continuation of our Titus 2 Single Woman series, I would love to introduce you to my dear midwife. I hope that Amy’s testimony will be a huge blessing to you all…
First let me say this: I am not speaking from the heart of someone who has arrived, and who has all the answers. I am sharing from a heart that has struggled fiercely with the God given desires for companionship, friendship, the love of a husband, and the love of a child… MY child.
However, God has a different plan for my life at this time. A plan that at times seemed to be more lonely than I could bear, a loneliness that just seeped into every corner of my heart and soul, that chilled me to the bone and left me feeling empty.
Added to this was the pressure of my current vocation, a midwife: One who participates in one of the most intimate and joyous times in the life of a family: the arrival of a little one, a PRECIOUS gift from God.
And yet, I was commanded to “give thanks in everything” to “rejoice in the Lord always” and Paul said… “ I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therein to be content.” (Phillipians 4:4, 10, 11)
I battled with this.
I BEGGED God to help me find contentment with my life. I read every book I could get my hands on about contentment, being single, serving God etc.
I listened to sermons, went to seminars, found articles online… all the time DESPERATELY seeking for the “secret” to that contentment. I can’t begin to tell you the times that I drove home from births with tears pouring down my face, saying “Why God? What am I supposed to be learning?”
Then, I hit a different stage in the battle, a stage of being angry at God. (Gasp! Angry with God? A Christian? What?!?!?!) Yes, I freely admit it. I was angry at God. My heart said, “God… Your Word makes it clear, over and over that marriage is a good and beautiful thing. You say that children are a gift from the Lord. (Ps. 37:26, 127:3 Prov 17:6, Ps 84:11 are just a few of MANY verses that bear this out.) You say that it isn’t good for man to be alone. I know you said “man” but surely it isn’t good for a woman to be alone either. Your word says ‘No good thing will you withhold from those who walk uprightly.’ and yet, no matter how hard I try to walk uprightly, and live a life that is pleasing to You, You continue to withhold something that You Yourself have CLEARLY indicated is a good thing.”
I think that portions of Psalm 73 reflect this time in my life VERY well…
“Surely God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart! But as for me, my feet came close to stumbling, my steps had almost slipped. For I was envious of the arrogant as I saw the prosperity of the wicked.” I truly started to think… “Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure and washed my hands in innocence; For I have been stricken all day long and chastened every morning. If I had said, ‘I will speak thus,’ Behold I would have betrayed the generation of Your children. When I pondered to understand this, it was troublesome in my sight until I came into the sanctuary of God.”
In an effort at transparency, I’m going to be really, REALLY painfully honest here. This was my thought process. “I’m in my 30’s. I’ve chosen to walk uprightly. I’ve kept myself pure for the man that God has for me. I’ve attempted to submit EVERY area of my life to God, and where has it gotten me?”
Well, let’s take a look at my life. To the world, I was a successful, confident, professional midwife. I smiled, I laughed, I listened to mama’s joys, struggles, problems, triumphs, and pregnancy woes with compassion. I delivered their babies, I loved on those babies when I did follow up visits, I even babysat for some of “my” babies.
But on the inside, I was a 30’s something virgin, who felt like I was dying inside. I’ve never held a man’s hand romantically, I’ve never been kissed. I’ve never had a man look into my eyes and make me feel like I was cherished, loved, even desirable.
I worked in the office and when evening came, I would stay at the office because I COULD NOT BEAR the thought of going home to an empty house, an empty bed, the reminder that I was alone. Before leaving, I would lay my head down on the desk and cry my eyes out because I didn’t want to go home. Sometimes, I spent the night on the couch at the Birth Center because I truly didn’t have the emotional strength to go home.
Other times, after spending a day giving of myself at the office, I had a desire to be around people… anyone… just someone who didn’t “need” something from me. Well, where’s a gal like me to go late in the evening, when sheer loneliness is driving her out? I don’t hang out in bars… so I would go to Applebees, sit in a corner and people watch.
I spent so much time in Applebees, that the waitresses knew me by name. I would get hugs from them, they would sit and talk to me when things were slow… and once again, I found myself ministering to others while my heart felt empty. Or, I would call up a friend, and offer to babysit. “Baby therapy” is nice, but temporary.
“…When my heart was embittered and I was pierced within, then I was senseless and ignorant. I was like a beast before You.” Ps 73:21-22
This was where I was, and in my pain, my heart said along with the psalmist in verses 13-14… I have kept myself “in vain.” I have kept my heart pure, I’ve washed my hands, and my mind in innocence… for what? I’m alone, Alone, ALONE!!!”
During this time, I have NO DOUBT that the only thing that kept me from doing something foolish, something that would have left some incredible scars in my life was the prayers of my family and my friends. God was gracious to me, and kept me safe even through this dark time in my life. Honestly, He kept me safe IN SPITE of myself…
Click here to read Part Two!