“He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.” “I have no husband,” she replied. Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband.” John 4:16-18
It had all started after my baptism in the summer of 2014 when I was led into a 40-day fast. The idea of sustaining from food and water for an entire 40-day period terrified me. In efforts to be as obedient as possible, I gave up choice foods, drinks and activities instead.
During my fast, I did not consume meat or any meat products. I gave up coffee as well. I did not watch tv at the time, but I was very much in to social media. So that meant no social media. Down-time became spending quality time in reading God’s Word and daily devotion to prayer.
The fast was incredibly eye-opening. It had felt as if I had freely invited Jesus Christ into my life. The Word had given me a strong sense of clarity. I had faced opposition during this time as well. Colleagues challenged me in ways I had never image. I lost friends and strong relationships within my own family. However, one thing I was most intrigued by was the effectiveness of God’s Word and the results of many answered prayers prayed during that time.
The first few months after my baptism, my mentor (discipling partner) helped me understand the scriptures further. I relied on her a lot. As far as I could tell she was to be around forever for me to call on. Or so I thought. In an unexpected, yet great, turn of events she was accepted into a graduate program in another state. This was something she and the church had been praying about. The news excited us all. I was sad to see her go, but also excited for what God was doing in her life.
To give you a better depiction of our relationship, I have attached a photo below:
…Actually picture the character, Ms. Clara (left) as a woman in her early 30s, and the character, Elizabeth (right) as a woman in her early 20s.
My mentor left New Jersey shortly after getting accepted, and I soon felt alone. I thought: “Who can I turn to when I do not understand The Word?” Well, of course God, through His Holy Spirit reassured me that He would answer any and every question I had whether I asked or not. Our relationship grew very close (God and I). For an entire year and a half without a discipling partner, I was able to have deep, intimate time with Jesus. Not that discipling partners are bad. I struggled with replacing God with people back then, and I needed to be alone with Jesus. My prayers grew stronger, and I studied The Word with great anticipation of hearing from the Holy Spirit. It makes me smile just thinking about it.
During this piece of the wilderness season, God taught me about marriage. Marriage was a topic I was not a fan of. In the world, before getting to know Jesus, I did not believe in marriage. I did not have the best “role model” relationships and/or marriages to look up to growing up. In the past when I learned of the cost of a divorce (among other information), it sent me on this rollercoaster of anger toward to the concept of marriage and anyone who supported it. Back then I had a well-calculated argument for anyone who opposed my newly found conviction.
Knowing my heart, it was important that The Lord and I went through what marriage meant to Him, and why He does not want me to have sex outside of marriage. Any of us for that matter.
In 2015, the movie, War Room , by the Kendrick brothers hit theaters. I must have seen it in theaters twice and I purchased two copies of the movie on DVD. After my first time seeing it, I went out to buy washi-tape, note cards, and sticky notes. I cleared out my entire bedroom closet and hung up Christmas lights. I could not fit a chair in the closet, so I settled for a pillow. Then, I went to war.
My prayers did not start on marriage. It started at the beginning: My dad. My first example of a male figure. Then it went on to the grand father who I knew most. There was a point of when I also went through a list of my uncles. I prayed for them specifically by name because whether they knew it or not, they were setting an example for me my entire childhood. I picked up on behavior patterns in my youth and accepted things in my adulthood.
I did not know it at the time, but God was preparing my heart to pray for my exes. I prayed for each of my ex-boyfriends wholeheartedly. I asked God to forgive me for those I hurt as well. I even prayed for the one who hurt me most. Which was really hard for me. Week by week, I took it just a little further and I began to pray diligently for the women in their lives. I prayed and begged God not to allow those who hurt me, hurt the current women in their lives.
The Holy Spirit soon led me to ask God for a divorce from my exes. This was challenging for me to do. I wrote each of their names down on a piece of paper, and I prayed with all my heart. This included so much more, but prayer was vital. By this time I had known that I was forgiven at my baptism, but there was something I needed from this.
I held on to things from my past even after my baptism that I needed to both acknowledge and work through. I had to get on the path to healing. Not that I have fully obtained this. I had to be able to tell my story without it hurting. I had to have a healer’s perspective. From there I decided after my first two (encouragement) dates to not date in the church. (I had already stopped dating outside of the church.) My mission was to unlearn the negative things the world taught me about men, women, children, marriage, and family. Most of all, I had to unlearn what the world taught me about myself and get to know the real me. I am still learning.
To find out where I am now:
Have I started dating?
How’s my relationship with God?
Be sure to catch my next post next Sunday night.
The things I have mentioned were not posted for anyone to run and do what I have done. The things mentioned were through the Holy Spirit; I was led personally. There were things I battled with. However, I encourage you to invest serious time into your relationships with Jesus Christ. Build a deep, intimate relationship with Jesus and go to Him with your concerns about your dating life: regardless of whether or not you’re waiting on marriage, a virgin or simply not sure whats happening within your sexuality. Allow Jesus in. He’s the One who loves you deeply–not even the sea can understand His love for you.