Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Love is Patient.

Love is Patient.

I write that sentence and then just sit here, staring in awe of it. I’ve been pondering, praying, considering, and diligently digging into this phrase for almost two months now. A month ago, I was convicted to dig through all of 1 Corinthians. (There is so much goodness there beyond the “love chapter”, FYI). And once again, I came upon this sentence.

Where to even begin with that?

GOD is LOVE. First and foremost. There would be no love, without God’s love. We can only love Him, and each other, because He first loved us (1 John 4:7-10). But not only does God=Love, but the word for love used here is AGAPE. Agape is selfless, unending, sacrificial and unconditional.

IS. Present tense. It is currently happening. Right now. And it is continual.

Patient. There are several definitions for patient:

· Bearing pains or trials, calmly and without complaint

· Steadfast despite opposition, difficulty or adversity

· Able or willing to bear

But for fun, I also LOVE the word used in some translations instead of “patient”—longsuffering.

Love is patient. Love is longsuffering. Love endures.

This is an action that God is currently teaching me and has been for a while. I have been learning to be patient with people for most of my life. Like most things, some days you are good at it… some days you probably should have just stayed in bed.

But LOVE is patient. GOD is patient.

I sat around at a bible study last night and listened to girls share their stories of how God has worked in and through their relationships to bring them closer to Himself. There is no denying that God uses relationships to do that. Most of the time this results from us holding on so tightly to what we want, because we are scared of what might not come along, what might not happen, or what might happen. We cling to those idols and selfishly say like a two-year-old, “but what about what I want?!”

I began to think though: I don’t have stories like that. At first it was a pride issue: “I’ve only dated two people. Two. These girls are talking about engagements, and things they RECENTLY have come through. My last relationship was almost 4 years ago. How embarrassing.”

God, in all His awesomeness however saw it differently… saw me differently.
“If you keep yourself pure, you will be a special utensil for honorable use. Your life will be clean and you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work.” 2 Tim 2:21 

He kept me from having relationships like that. He's kept me for Himself, until the day He allows me to also serve a husband. He's protected me.

The two relationships that I did have were not perfect… at all. I mean, I was young and had no idea what a true, Godly relationship was supposed to look like. Yet, I haven’t had a relationship since I broke off my last one, almost 4 years ago. And I’m ok with that. I know that when God does bring a relationship into my life, it will be of Him, and we will have both sought after God and His wisdom and guidance. He is after all, Jehovah-Jireh.

Cue patience. (And maybe/maybe not an eye roll)

I want what I want, right now. That is the world we live in. I see something… I can have it. Right?

We have cell phones that can access pretty much anything in the blink of an eye. Constantly getting faster and faster. People have sex on the first date. They get married after a month (sometimes not even) of knowing each other. It only takes 90 days to file and become divorced in the State of Tennessee (shorter than most people take to plan the wedding). Not to mention—drive thru anything!

Love is patient.

Here’s the truth of the matter when I really pray, and really seek God: I don’t want a movie type romance or love story.

I know God is love. I know His ways are infinitely better and wiser than mine will ever be. (Remember all the good stuff I said was in 1 Corinthians? Check out 1 Corinthians 1:25). So I want what He wants. (And when I say know… I mean feel it with a burning passion deep in my heart. This isn’t just a head knowledge issue).

I want the slow, methodical, only-way-it-could-happen God written love story, which can only possibly be for me. If that means being patient, then I will be patient. I’m not very good at it…but the cool thing about God being Love, is that He is patient. With me and for me.

On my weak days, I am so thankful He has provided me with a mother, who will pray for me over the phone, best friends who pick me up and wipe away my tears more times than they should have to, and opportunities He keeps revealing to me to grow deep down in His love and wisdom, along with areas in which I can serve those He loves and who love Him.

Until then, I will keep running whatever races He puts before me, serving Him (watering the camels), loving Him passionately and anything else He asks me to do. He’ll take care of the rest. He loved me enough to save me through His only Son after everything I’ve ever done and will do… why would I ever doubt He wouldn’t come through in every other aspect of my life?

 “I pray that from His glorious, unlimited resources, He will empower you with inner strength through His Spirit. Then Christ will make His home in your hearts as you learn to trust in Him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish exceedingly abundantly more than we might ask or think.” Eph 3:16-20 

Friday, August 26, 2011

Journeys of Faith: Through the Silence

I've been praying for months and months for an outlet to serve God: a ministry, a way to help others, some way to use my abilities and talents to help Him become known to others.

And for months… silence.

I read this week that “God is in the silence, but He is NOT silent”.

I love that thought. (Thank you Max Dubinsky, if you ever read this).

God isn’t silent. He isn’t just sitting up there hitting the mute button on me. He doesn’t just look at me when I am on my knees, begging--pleading really, to know…to understand…to get it. He turns to me. He hears my cry. And in those moments that He turns, He answers.

I have found that most of the time these answers are not what I want to hear. So I blame Him. I tell people He is silent. I look for answers elsewhere. Worst yet, I take matters into my own hands and try to do things MY way. (That works out so well, let me tell you).

But. There is always a but.

But He does answer me. Lately and, for most of the last two years, this is what He has said:

“Wait, My darling… “

“Not yet, My love…”

“Am I not enough?”

“Don’t you see Me?”

“My timing, not yours.”

“I love you.  I will never fail you.”

So why is that not enough for me? Why do I not take Him at His wonderful, beautiful, living word?

Because I’m scared.

I’m scared I’ll make a mistake and miss the road marked “DIANA”.
I’m scared I’ll never make a difference in this world FOR HIM.

That is the cruelest form of disobedience of His calling on my life: being scared.

It’s time to put away my fears.  It’s time to use what God has given me and have faith.. even if it is as small as a mustard seed.

I’ll let you in on a little secret: I LOVE to write. I have journals, upon journals of letters and notes to God. I can write you a more eloquent letter about how I feel about you than I could ever express in true words to your face. I love texting… LOVE texting. Don’t ever call me. Just text. It’s so much easier for me. Seriously. And I promise, we’ll both feel less awkward because I EXCELL at making phone conversations awkward. (Gold medal winner right here if that ever becomes some sort of strange sport).

But I’m scared.

I read blogs all the time of ordinary people who love Jesus and want to share about Him and what He is doing in their lives. I follow about 40 of them on Twitter. I gain encouragement, pass on their kind words, and even envy the fact that they can do that.

I wrote a letter to a friend, who I had not been close with that long, as he was struggling with sin in his life. I will never forget him looking into my eyes and telling me I should be a writer after reading that letter. My heart felt a tug.

I pray… all the time, day after day, night after night, that God would show me what it is He wants me to do with my life. And yet… silence.

But. There’s always a but.

Tonight, I attended a gathering of friends to get together and worship and praise God called “Prayer on the Porch”. (Stephanie and Tim—you guys are awesome). And I prayed. And others prayed. And here are the things I prayed for:
  1. That God would allow me to serve Him.
  2. That God would provide me with a Godly husband, that is more in love with Him than he would ever be with me.
  3. That God would give me wisdom and understanding to be able to recognize and move along the path’s that He is lying before my feet. 

Tonight when I came home and sat here thinking and praying to God to just use me… I suddenly just felt it. My heart felt a tug.


I just looked at my computer sitting beside my TV. I hate this thing. It’s old and slow and doesn’t really work half the time. But I grabbed it. And I waited 15 minutes for it to boot up.

And then I wrote.

I don’t know what God has in store for me. The bible tells us “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind can conceive what God has prepared for those who love Him” (1 Corinthians 2:9). But He knows I love him. I desperately, whole-heartedly, passionately love Him.

If He says write, I’m going to write. As long as He provides me with words.

So welcome to the journey. I hope you’ll read, comment, and tag along with me. This journey isn’t about me. Quite frankly it isn’t about you. But I guess we’ll both figure that out as we go.