By Danielle C.B.
During LDI God has been teaching me so much about His character, my worth in Christ, His sovereignty, and His goodness (among many other things)! One big thing for me is that I find my worth in relationships very easily, and I often will feel pangs of loneliness because I’m not in a romantic relationship. God has shown me that this stems from a lack of faith in His plan for my life. I may not know what the plan that God has for me is, or even be entirely hoping in Him at all times of my life, but I do need to know that God is good. I need to meditate on the truth that God has a great plan for me, and that He will bring all things together for my good so that I may more fully and effectively worship Him and further His kingdom on earth. Romans 8:28 says “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
While I can easily say that God is good and has a plan for me, I have to ask myself daily if I am living in a way that reflects that truth. Do I really believe that God is big enough and good enough and loving enough to have a great and perfect plan that has me single at this time of my life? If so, how is that being reflected in my life? Dallas Willard (author of Renovation of the Heart) says, “The single most important thing in our mind is our idea of God and the associated images.”
What is my idea of God and what images do I associate with Him? Through all of my work and reading associated with LDI, my false ideas about God are being slowly but surely (and sometimes very quickly) destroyed and replaced with new, good, Bible-based ideas of God and His character. While my knowledge of God will never be totally complete, I’m at least making steps toward having accurate (though not all-encompassing) ideas of God.
I don’t want to be stuck in patterns of behavior that allow lies to take root in my life, and I don’t want to be stuck in patterns of behavior that lead to me finding my worth in my relationship status. To prevent that from happening I need to continually be built up in the Spirit and allow God to change parts of me that might be hard to change. I need to expect that pain will be associated with this change, and that it’s going to be hard sometimes, but that ultimately God will produce characteristics in me that will take away some of that pain, and the pain will become a memory instead of a present truth. Romans 5:3-5 “More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”
If I expect never to feel worthless or lonely again (whether single or in a relationship), then I am fooling myself, and I will fall harder the next time. I need to be proactive by preparing myself for those lies to creep in. I need to have a tool kit of verses and truths in my memory bank, and I need to have people to hold me accountable. I need to find my entire identity in Christ before I get to a point where I am struggling with unhealthy thoughts again.
I also have to acknowledge that I can do nothing without God, and it is only through Christ in me that I will find even a small amount (let alone a large amount) of victory over lies that have crept in over the years. “Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.’” (Matthew 19:26) Even though I must do work and be active in my pursuit of the Lord and my victory over sin, it is ultimately God who will bring about any victory.
I have been finding great victory through accountability, as well as alone time with God and reading the Bible, in my feeling of self-worth. As much as I would welcome a husband if it is of the Lord, I will also welcome singleness knowing that it is of the Lord. All I can do is pursue God fully, and He will take care of me. He will bring someone along when and if He sees fit, and if He does not bring someone along He alone will fulfill my emotional and spiritual needs. I must first learn to rely only on God for that kind of support before I would be even close to ready to be a wife, and I feel that I am learning more and more what that looks like. I am, day after day, learning to put my worth, identity, and confidence in the Lord rather than in what people think of me or my relationship status.