I know you were blessed by Part 1 of Yvonne’s story yesterday…”I was so consumed with marriage that I did not always serve the Lord where He had me.
I was so focused on my own desires that I let so many opportunities pass me by. Opportunities to help others who had far greater burdens than I did.
And when I finally realized that, it changed my life! God showed me that He made me with a purpose! He made me for Himself! To bring Him the glory and take joy in Him! He made me for this time, here and now.
He carved a little niche in the world specifically for me, where I do belong…” And now, part two of Yvonne’s story…
He carved a little niche in the world specifically for me, where I do belong…Where I am needed and used. And because of my singleness, I can serve in ways that no one else can. I can stay up till 2 o’clock in the morning talking to a friend who is going through a rough time. I can drop everything and go when there is an emergency. I am the one that can pack my bags and stay with a family that is going through a difficulty. What a blessing this is! Not a burden as I used to think!
I have the time now to be fully devoted to the things of the Lord. He did not make us single that we would live for ourselves and our own desires. But that we would be wholly devoted to Him and serving others! And there is a certain blessing in being able to fill this space that no one else can! There is a certain joy that comes from serving others. No one may see the work that we do…..so often it will go un-noticed. Yet the Lord knows….He knows the sacrifices we make. He sees the work that we do in secret and He is well pleased with it!
The Lord changed my heart in many ways. He brought me to a new church that welcomed with open arms, and for the first time I felt the love of Christ in ways that I had never before! I felt as though I truly belonged somewhere, that I was part of the Body. I started going to weddings again and was able to rejoice with others. I began fellowshipping with families again. I enjoyed being around their children and took any opportunity to love on their babies! It brought unity within the Body where my singleness had once caused me to stand afar off. There was a new found joy in this peace with the Lord’s will! I even began working with children again.
And there is something precious that I have learned while working with children. I have learned what love looks like. I’ve seen it’s patience, and mercy, and sacrifice, and it’s protection as well. I have grown to love the children that I work with as though they are my own. And because I love them, it brings me great joy to see them happy! I love to give them little treats once in a while, or do things that make them smile. It warms my heart with such delight! Though, there are times that I have to be the bad guy. I have to keep them from doing certain things that are dangerous. And, I may keep them from eating too many sweets because I know it will make them sick. And on days when it’s raining and cold, I may not let them go outside. At times, they think I am unfair and that I’m too harsh. They think that I don’t love them. But it is actually my love for them that causes me to do these things! I know better than they do and because I love them, I protect them! And so it is with the Lord.
So often we think that God is harsh with us. That He is unfair and unloving. But it is actually quite the opposite! God loves us SO much that He often strips away our earthly comforts only to bring us to Himself! He knows which particular lot is best for us! And He withholds no good thing from us! He desires to bless us but He is MOST concerned with making us Christ-like! And if that means temporarily withholding something, then He will do it! We desire to be made holy. We desire to grow nearer to the Lord, and yet so often we despise the means that the He uses to do just that!
“No words can express how much the world owes to sorrow. Most of the Psalms were born in the wilderness. Most of the Epistles were written in a prison. The greatest thoughts of the greatest thinkers have all passed through fire. The greatest poets have “learned in suffering what they taught in song.” In bonds Bunyan lived the allegory that he afterwards wrote, and we may thank Bedford Jail for the Pilgrim’s Progress. Take comfort, afflicted Christian! When God is about to make pre-eminent use of a person, He put them in the fire.”
Holiness is its own reward.
I have learned that marriage is not a reward. It’s not a certain place that we graduate to, once we’ve completed other things. It’s not a place for those that are more mature or spiritually holier than others. Marriage was designed by God primarily for mutual sanctification. This is one of the most important things that God desires in marriage. For some, marriage will be the primary means of sanctification and for others our singleness will be our refiner’s fire. God has seen it best for me that I should be single for now. And He knew that this was the very best way to sanctify and grow me. I have seen the ways in which God has used my singleness to purge sin out of my life, and draw me closer to Himself!
And, I know that it has been for my own good! I am thankful for this!
I think one of the greatest things we could ever render to the Lord is our hearts! When we are completely still before Him. When we have fully surrendered our heart’s desire to His will and trust Him with it. When we are at peace with His plan for our lives. And, we finally come to that point of saying in our heart, “Thy will be done!” What greater thing could we ever render to the Lord, apart from our obedience?
These last few years, I have learned so much of the sweetness of the Lord and His mercies! I can tell you that if you seek Him with your whole heart…..you will find Him! And, I can tell you that the Lord gives freely of Himself! He gives in ways above and beyond all that we could ever ask or imagine! He has brought me into such a close communion with Himself. He comforts me when I do feel lonesome. He upholds me when I feel weak and weary. He gives me peace when I begin to feel anxious. And whether I get married or not, I will have lacked no good thing!
My prayer is that other single women will hear my story and realize that they are not alone! If there is anything that I want to tell other women, it is this: God DOES love you and He has NOT forgotten you! He HAS heard the cry of your soul and He IS working it all together for your good!
Don’t let your hearts be troubled! Don’t let your longing slay your living! Don’t let these precious days pass you by! Love Him now, serve Him now, taste and see how good He truly is!
“I was bound to my God and Saviour before I knew a sorrow, it is true. But it was by a chain of many links; and every link that dropped away,
brought me to Him, till at last, having nothing left, I was shut up to Him, and learned fully, what I had only learned partially, how soul-satisfying He is.” ~Stepping Heavenward