Don’t Miss It…

The snow came through Nashville yesterday and I sit cuddled up in my “window seat” with my (now) cold coffee and my Christmas tree still lit <– I have no shame–> As pictured, Bailey thoroughly enjoyed her first snow! I woke up this morning with a message on my heart and I could not wait to put my pen to paper (yes, I still do that!) and hear what God was writing on my heart.img_7287

This message is for the 20 something girls both single and in a relationship as a plea to not left your life pass you by. As I write this, I pray you take this as a word of encouragement from a big sister. The one who is still processing and learning from the mistakes I made in my early 20s. The one whose heart and true intent is to inspire, encourage and to empower women to seek God’s best for your life over all of the things that this world – both the secular world and Christian world – say is best for you.

Sweet girl, I say this with so much sincerity and truth:  your singleness is not a disease. Some of you are rolling your eyes at me and that’s fine, I get it. It’s hard to hear that from the girl that’s married with her cute little Nashville house and her perfect dog… I get it. But really lean in and listen close. God has gifted you WITH this season for a purpose. I hear you say that you’re just waiting for God to bring the perfect man into your life but your worth is not in the love found in a man that may one day be your husband. And I’m afraid that if you are not careful, you might miss out on a whole big, full life you could have because you were waiting/searching for a man.

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Sister, you were created for more than that! You have gifts and passions that are in you for a purpose! Don’t waste them or this time you’ve been given. God gives us seasons of waiting but it’s what we do in the waiting and what we learn in the waiting that are often the lessons that really stick with us if we’ll take the time to just listen.

I went off to college with a feeling in my gut that I would find my husband. I had my list of qualities I wanted in a man practically laminated in my back pocket ready to whip out against any guy that made a pass at me like a 20 questions measuring stick. Yall, I WAS THAT GIRL and maybe that’s why I feel so inclined to write on this topic. But it’s not just to the single girls. You may be in a relationship right now but I beg you, listen in. This message is for you too.

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So here’s the thing, that purpose that I keep talking about that has been crafted within each of us… it’s so much greater than just being someone’s wife. And when we are living out the purpose that God has for us, sometimes our paths cross with someone else who is also living out God’s purpose for their life and you might come to a place where God shows you both that maybe you’re supposed to live out this journey you’re on together. {Because the man you’re praying to come into your life to be your husband was created for more than that too.} And it’s not a guarantee and sometimes we think that we are entitled to a spouse and we get frustrated that God hasn’t brought that person into our lives and what we’re doing is putting all of our hopes and dreams and all this stock into another {imperfect} human being when God is looking down at your sweet face saying, “My beautiful child, won’t you just lay all of that down at my feet and follow me?”

At the age of 20, I met a guy who I thought would be my husband. I had everything planned out, my whole life around this guy. Everything was perfect until a year later when he ended it out of no where. And then for another year, I held onto this hope that our story wasn’t over. I look back at that time of my life and I don’t even recognize that girl! That was until the summer after I turned 22 when I went and served in Argentina for two months. I lived with 5 other college students from 5 different states and all with different gifts. We had no internet, no cell phones, we had a roof over our heads, running water (most days), no appliances, no real beds – just leaky air mattresses and a pump without working batteries. We walked everywhere except when we took a bus to the city. And every day I wonder what it would be like to go back to my little village and live in my concrete hut where all I had was Jesus, His word and the purpose he had given me.

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That summer, I fell in love with myself,  who God had created me to be and the life God had created me to live. And when that old boyfriend emailed me after I returned and eluded to the idea of us getting back together once he returned from his time abroad, I heard God remind me, “You were created for more than waiting on a man.”

So I didn’t. Instead I lived the life God called me to live. I got plugged into a new church where I was loved and empowered to serve. I invested in others like I never had before. I made strong friendships with people who still today are the ones I refer to as “my tribe”. I spent the next summer in Nepal with sweet friends telling precious men and women about the love and redemption of Jesus Christ. It was there that God prepared me with His strength for the hard journey that awaited me when I came home where I lost my mom, and then my dad, and then both grandmothers and an uncle all in 3 years time but He never left my side. And neither did that tribe of folks He gave me – one of which became my husband way down the road but it wasn’t because I sat around waiting for a perfect man – No, it’s because I got up and followed a perfect man who walked me through some high highs and some low lows and he hasn’t left me yet. Me and my Jesus have been around the globe and this ride I’m on as a daughter of the Most High King, living out the life he created me to live has been so much more than that perfect fairytale love story I was striving for. Even now that I’m married, living out this #wifelife for Jesus is so much more than I had ever dreamed before.

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So sister, don’t miss it. Don’t miss the wild adventures that God wants to take you on whether you’re waiting on a ring or a man himself. All of those passions that are like a fire in your belly – don’t ignore them. Seek Jesus and the journey He wants to take you on and I promise that He will show you that a life more abundant doesn’t start with our eternal life promised in Glory but in letting His abundant Glory transform your life today. Don’t miss it.

You can spend your days just going to class or work or binging shows on Netflix just waiting for your chance to be someone’s wife, maybe even “preparing” to be someone’s wife or you can recognize the beautiful life God has already promised you as His child. Go live your life and do it fiercely in the light of God’s grace! And if along the way, you find that your road intersects with a man also seeking the life God created Him to live and you both feel God leading you to do this thing together, then do that. And do it fiercely. But the more time you spend searching for a husband is time your eyes are not on Jesus and girlfriend, that’s not living in the freedom of God’s grace.  Live out your life with the purpose God planted inside of you and I promise, it will be so much more vibrant than you could ever capture on instagram or save to your pinterest board. You don’t want to wake up one day, take a look around and wish you’d lived a little more in your 20s while you had the chance.

You were created for more, sister. Don’t miss it. img_7205

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