Five Little Nuggets

I’ve been learning a lot lately.

The learner in me tries to grow from every experience in life. I am always seeking out new things to learn about myself and about life. I love being able to look back on a season of life and saying that I learned something…I’m encouraged by the feeling that it wasn’t in vain but it had purpose and intention even when I wasn’t aware of it.

My most recent learning experiences, as you may guess, have been from dating.

I will generously share the wealth of wisdom and revelation that I feel I’ve gained from the last four months. It will probably sound familiar…but something powerful has happened to me where I no longer just ‘know’ these things with my mind, but I actually believe them wholeheartedly. So, drumroll please…

MY FIVE NUGGETS of dating wisdom (so far):

1. Patience is a virtue.  I used to say that it was a virtue that I didn’t have. Well, when God makes you wait long enough…you begin to learn how to value patience and see it as a blessing rather than an annoyance.

2. I am not my own.  One day, I realized that my heart was not mine to give away as I pleased. A long time ago, I gave my heart to God and trusted him to protect it. He has set up watchmen on the walls of my heart. Only he has the authority to allow or refuse the entrance of another heart.

3. Don’t be afraid of rejection. Giving AND receiving.  I know, way easier said than done. But huge lesson here…you can’t be afraid to hurt feelings. It is only temporary and there are more important issues to deal with than feeling uncomfortable by potential rejection. Don’t avoid it, don’t dress it up real nice, don’t pretend…just face it head on.

4. Know what you want, what you value and what matters.  I sat in a hotel restaurant by myself for hours on Easter Sunday in Johannesburg, South Africa. I drank coffee and starting making lists. It was the first time I felt the courage to write down what I actually wanted and could articulate what really mattered to me. It changes everything! Also, save yourself some energy and have the wisdom to not invest deeply into someone who doesn’t also know these things.

5. Finally, self-worth.  I had no idea how little I truly understood on this topic. Something that is worthy and valuable costs A LOT. It takes sacrifice and effort. It doesn’t come easy. I was thinking about how Jesus didn’t feel bad or awkward that the poor woman gave her very last two coins as an offering to God. (Mark 12:43-44) But he received it with joy knowing his worth and value. It wasn’t rude or impolite for God to take her entire gift. She saw his true eminence, counted the cost and gave everything she had – she determined him to be worthy; the rich who gave out of abundance dishonored and devalued God by sacrificing little – he was not worth it to them.

When the revelation of our true worth and value really sinks deep, to receive empty flattery and charm is as ridiculous as trying to buy a mansion with ten bucks. It’s humorous and slightly offensive. Don’t bother bringing that which costs you nothing and expect to receive abundant riches.

I said that this year would be about risk and it certainly has stepped up to the plate. Risk means you win some, you lose some. But you learn through it all. Onto to more learning and growing….so, I need a MAY DATE.

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Not So Fast

I like to do things fast.

I typically speed when I drive (sorry, mom). On Christmas morning, I want to open all my presents at once – but I restrain the urge. When I get new things, I want to use them immediately – and I usually do. If I know what I want, I’m going to get it. What’s the point in waiting around? I often make fast, impulsive decisions. My emotions and feelings dictate much of how I choose to live life.

This is not a surprise to anyone who knows me.

I woke up this morning with a thought…“I’ve never really had to wait for anything in my life.”

I must sound like such a brat, but I admit that for most of my life I have usually been able to get what I want when I want it. But the sweet mercy of God doesn’t let this happen forever and reminds me of his sovereignty. He holds onto things until the time is right. And he’s not slow…as I would count slowness.  But he’s so patient and merciful with me, seeing the value in waiting.

The waiting makes me dependent. It makes me live by faith. It removes me from the throne of my life and exalts the only one worthy. It humbles me. And it challenges me to hope for something more.

Today these verses hit me like a sword straight to my spirit:

“I will take my stand at my watchpost and station myself on the tower, and look out to see what he will say to me, and what I will answer concerning my complaint.

And the LORD answered me: “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it. For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end – it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.

Habakkuk 2:1-3

I’ve found hope in the waiting and the slowing down, even though it’s not my natural tendency. And I’m reminding myself to not go so fast and practice a lifestyle of patient surrender.