Tag Archives: Nancy Leigh DeMoss

A Lesson in Love…

I wrote this part of the blog post last night when God began to deal with me about love and the frustration I felt because I was convicted about my actions this past week. I didn’t finish the blog post because I was tired and went to bed, but now I know why I didn’t finish it. God had to work on me all night long to help me understand my frustration and what I was doing wrong and why I couldn’t love like I am supposed to love without failing. Here is how it began:

Two in a row. Wow! I don’t usually write this much in one day. It just seems like it should be about midnight right now, but it is only a little after seven in the evening and there are only so many Christmas movies and cooking shows that I can handle in one evening. The wind is whipping over the water and the temperature is dropping. I can feel a little cold air seeping in through the fireplace. All the holiday movies are playing and it is conveniently snowing on the screen which contributes to the overall chilly atmosphere the weather is presenting us with tonight. My previously injured knee is aching making me fully aware that I have developed a new weather alert system. The more intense the ache, the more likely a cold front is heading our way. I am comfortably nestled in the recliner with my warm, fuzzy pajama pants and a well-worn t-shirt. (Yes, the neck is cut out-for those of you who know I cannot stand those high-necked shirts.)

I have something on my mind. It has plagued me most of my life. I yo-yo back and forth with it and today, I saw something again that made me go right back to my previous thoughts and conclusions. You see, it is about love. I think I fail at that a lot. I justify some of my actions thinking that I am protecting myself from hurt or that I am not allowing people to take advantage of me, but I have a hard time getting past this Scripture:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, 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.
– 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

There it was again. The Scripture and a picture:

love

“Wuv. Twue Wuv”….Sorry. I had a Princess Bride moment.

I can’t do this. I fail all the time at loving people like this. I don’t trust. I notice when someone does me wrong. I get angry. I get hurt. I keep track sometimes…I have tried to let that go, but it is hard. I want what I want. I am self-seeking at times.

I have a hard time with patience. I saw a prayer on Facebook on one of those e-cards. The guy was asking God to actually give him patience and not the circumstances that cause him to learn patience. I can relate to that.

Sometimes I take things others dish out and don’t walk away because of this Scripture. Sometimes I endure a lot of hurt from repeated incidents because of this Scripture. Sometimes my friends get frustrated with me for allowing people to take advantage or for accepting them as if nothing happened when they return from a previous incident…but I do it because of this Scripture.

Back to this morning…

That is as far as I got last night. It is probably a good thing because I would have come to the wrong conclusion. I would have said “it can’t be done” and let it go at that. I would have said that I need to keep trying and I would have asked for forgiveness and continued in the path until the next time I felt convicted. That is what I have done in the past because I was looking at myself and thinking that I had to do this within my own power.

You see the key is not trying to love while really stuffing down your real feelings in order to take the hurt that someone may give you. The answer is not keeping your mouth shut when you want to tear into someone and tell them what all they have done wrong. The answer is not pretending you are not happy when you see someone getting what you think they deserve after they have hurt you. The answer is not manipulating a situation or making someone feel guilty until they do what you want just so you will be happy and it will turn out the way you think it should. All of that is not changing how you are really responding to the situation.  You are just hiding it and at some point it is going to implode or explode and the other person or you are not going to know what happened when it finally surfaces.  You may become violently, physically ill or you may go off into a nonsensical tirade on that other person when they have no idea where it is coming from or why you chose that moment to explode.  You are not truly resolving or letting things go if you are reacting in a way different from what you are feeling inside and you are acknowledging.  It is still there. You are just showing a mask to the outside world. Please don’t pretend you don’t know what I am talking about. We may not always show it, but we do these things.

God gently whispered to me that the answer is “surrender.”

That is it. Surrender to Him.

One of the songs that I have posted here previously and that has been played over and over and over in my car the last few weeks is Casting Crown’s “Just Be Held.” One part of the song says to stop holding on and just be held. It also says “your world is not falling apart, it’s falling into place.”

Sometimes we hold onto things and people and situations because we have to be in control when God really wants us to let go and just let Him hold us. He wants us to surrender to Him and lean on Him and let Him guide our paths. That is Scripture. We get so busy trying to figure it out and wondering why this twist in the path has happened when all we wanted was this other thing and we just think it is all falling apart, and sometimes we become angry at God and at others when we shouldn’t because the key point in the center of it all is that it is what “we” want.  God never promised it.  We just expected it to play out a certain way and became disappointed when it didn’t.  That is where I was this past week.  That is not where I am now….

Once He whispered that to me about surrender, it all made sense.

If you read my post yesterday, you saw a comment from one of my friends who NEVER posts a public comment (until yesterday), but who communicates with me regularly via email, phone, or dinner conversation. She introduced me to https://www.reviveourhearts.com/ website and a lady named Nancy Leigh DeMoss, now Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth. She just married last weekend at the age of 55. She wanted me to watch and listen to the unfolding relationship between Nancy and her now husband, Robert, and about how God brought him into her life.

My first reaction to all of this was that I am not her and I am not that spiritual and my life has been different, so that didn’t really relate to me. I related more to Robert, the husband, than to Nancy. Nancy surrendered her life to God at a young age and was not sure, but thought she might be called to singleness. She served God with all her heart and did not seek to have romantic relationships.

Robert was married and he and his wife were friends with Nancy throughout the years since he was in publishing and she was the author of many books. His wife passed away from a two year battle with ovarian cancer. It was after her death that he began to correspond with Nancy and their story plays out over a five part radio program on the website. I won’t tell it here, but God was in the middle of it and their wedding was more a reflection of God’s love and the references to the bride of Christ than it was about them.

I was overwhelmed with the spiritual journey and immediately told God that I couldn’t live up to that. I understood more about Robert’s journey and the moment when he realized that he had put Nancy in a place before God because he was emotionally attached in a way that God had to stop him and help him to remember who the Lord of his life should be. I have been there. That I can relate to.

From the time I was old enough to consider it, I thought I would be married and have a family and a big house with a wrap-around front porch and a place to adopt children who had no one. I still have this visual image in my mind of that. I was in a relationship when I was very young. It lasted two and a half years and it was my very first heartbreak. I realize now that I was way too young and that distance and parents played a part in ending it before it became too serious, but it was my first unresolved issue and it haunted me for many years.

I never really “dated” with the exception of three blind dates that were straight from somewhere I won’t mention and that I escaped from as quickly as possible. Dating has been foreign to me. I don’t understand its purpose as the world views it today. I don’t consider being in a relationship with someone unless I consider them to be someone that I could possibly spend the rest of my life with. I am lost on the concept of just dating to have fun. I don’t want to invest time and emotions in something in which I see no future. That may sound serious to some of you, but what is the purpose of dating except to find the one you are supposed to be with? If you can provide me with a valid reason other than that, I will listen. And even saying “find the one” does not resonate with me because I believe if God is truly in control in my life that He will bring the one person that I am supposed to be with into my life at His appointed time.

With that being said, I have really messed up in the past in the relationship department and I have taken situations that I thought God wanted me to be in and made them something they should never have been. As Madea would say, I took a person who was only meant to be in my life for a specific purpose or a season and placed lifetime expectations on them. I somehow took things into my own hands and lost sight of God’s purpose in trying to place someone in a position where they should never have been.  This scares me a bit, but I realize now it is because I had not surrendered in all areas of my life.  I didn’t know how to love outside of my own ability. That is a lot to think about.  I am still thinking about it as I write this. I am wondering how I can convey it to those who are twenty years younger so they won’t make the same mistakes I have made.

So, the few relationships I have been in have been a bit more complicated because they were friendships as well as romantic relationships. I can truly say that I have even been in a relationship that I viewed as a friendship and the guy had pursued me at first for physical reasons, but when he got to know me as a person, we became good friends and never dated. I had no idea what his original intent was until my pastor at the time counseled me because he was concerned about the relationship. I was stunned, but I confronted him and we talked through it and remained friends.

So, basically I have not really dated other than those three dates. I have been in three major relationships in my life, but those were friendships first.

I really don’t know why I am writing all this. I feel like I am digressing, but it is sort of pouring out of me. Perhaps it is because this all relates to love and how to love people and my frustration at failing.

So, let’s get back to that. Surrender. While I don’t think that I am like Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, I do admire her surrender to God. I know she writes about things for women that relate to me, but every step of this relationship, she was on her knees praying for God to show her what to do. She did not give her heart away or say “I love you” until she was ready to say “I will marry you.” The world would be a better place if more of us were like her. We would save ourselves a lot of pain if we were surrendered.

So, I protested about my friend saying that I was like her. I even told God that I was just not that spiritual and if I had to be that spiritual I would never be able to be in a healthy relationship. Then, I found that Scripture and poster on Facebook about love and it really bothered me.

I was really hurt this past week. I had a rough week. I sought a distraction that I thought would make me feel better and that ended up hurting me more. That is because I was not surrendered. I should not have needed to seek a distraction.

Okay. So, God spoke to me throughout the night. He said that if I was truly His and surrendered to Him that no weapon formed against me would prosper. Words spoken to me or against me that would pierce and hurt would not do so because I was His and I was trusting Him to guide my life in every category.

When things did not go my way, I would not be hurt because my way was not His way. When I saw others with things that I thought I wanted I would not be envious because I trusted Him to give me good gifts.

When I would be jealous of things, I would remember that He knew what I needed and in His time He would give me the desires of my heart, but first I must seek His kingdom and His righteousness.

His righteousness. I am so far away from that. I want what I want…or at least I did when I went to bed last night. This morning I have found that my eyes are leaking and my heart is saying…

“Lord, I surrender. That is the only way I will survive. I cannot continue to seek my own way and I cannot continue to be vulnerable to hurt like this. Please help me to remember you are in control and nothing matters except what You want and where you lead me. Help me not to defraud others by speaking words that didn’t come from you, but came from hurt harbored in my heart because I did not get my way. I don’t want to be selfish. I don’t want to be in something that You didn’t design for me. I won’t ever be satisfied with second best. I want the good gifts You send to me. Help me to surrender.”

So, while I am sitting here crying about the things I have said and done that have come from the core of my being and the hurt from not getting my own way, I need to say “I am sorry.”

I hope those I need to apologize to will read this blog post. I hope that I will truly surrender and not cause any more hurt. I hope that from this point forward I will truly be able to love like I am supposed to love and not notice when something is intended to hurt me, or seems unfair to me. I pray that I can let God hold my heart and not try to hold on to mindsets that cause me pain.

I hope the only reflection others will see in me is Jesus and not a jealous, selfish nature that confuses and causes people to want to keep their distance.

I don’t want to seek my own way or try to understand things beyond my comprehension. I want to realize that other people and their journey is not my journey and just because I don’t understand why doesn’t mean my life stops here. I know that where I am today is partly because of the consequences of my actions, but I want the place I will be tomorrow to be where Jesus wants me in a fully surrendered life.

So, please forgive me and give me a chance to start again and love you all with the love that comes from a heart that does not seek its own, nor has its own motive, but loves the way Jesus loves.

While I was editing this blog post a song came to mind.  I realize the meaning behind the original writing was an experience Matt Hammitt of the group Sanctus Real went through with his newborn son who has a heart defect.  While the context of the original lyrics refer to the experience with his son, they are lyrics we can all relate to and I have included the following excerpt and the song because I think it is relevant.  God wants all of us.  I am trying to answer that call and surrender.

I have a feeling that my new Scripture is probably going to be Paul’s statement: “I die daily.” I think that is the only way I will keep God on the throne of my life and lean on Him and not on my understanding. I am looking forward to the straight paths He has for me. No confusion. No hurt. Just trust and surrender.

I read something a friend posted and she mentioned advice given to her about “leaning into it.”  I think that speaks to me.  God tells us to “lean not unto our own understanding…” (Proverbs 3) So, instead of trying to balance on my own, it is time to lean and it is time to remind Him and myself that I am His…every. single. day.

Until next time,

C.

Afraid to love
Something that could break
Could I move on
If you were torn away
And I’m so close
To what I can’t control
I can’t give you half my heart
And pray He makes you whole

You’re gonna have all of me
You’re gonna have all of me
‘Cause you’re worth every falling tear
You’re worth facing any fear
You’re gonna know all my love
Even if it’s not enough
Enough to mend our broken hearts
But giving you all of me
Is where I’ll start

I won’t let sadness
Steal you from my arms
I won’t let pain keep you from my heart
I’ll trade the fear of all that I could lose
For every moment I’ll share with you

You’re gonna have all of me
You’re gonna have all of me
‘Cause you’re worth every falling tear
You’re worth facing any fear
You’re gonna know all my love
Even if it’s not enough
Enough to mend our broken hearts
But giving you all of me
Is where I’ll start

Heaven brought you to this moment
It’s too wonderful to speak
You’re worth all of me
You’re worth all of me
So let me recklessly love you
Even if I bleed
You’re worth all of me
You’re worth all of me

Here’s Matthew Henry’s commentary: “God has said it, and we may depend upon it, Seek and you shall find. We have a general rule laid down (Jer. 29:13): “You shall find Me when you shall search for Me with all your heart.” In seeking God we must search for Him, accomplish a diligent search, searching for directions in seeking Him and encouragements to our faith and hope. We must continue seeking, and take pains in seeking, as those who search; and this we must do with our heart, and with our whole heart, with vigor and fervency, putting forth all that is within us in prayer, and those who thus seek God shall find Him.”

 

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