On Being a Man or Woman of God
For 2013, I was expecting to see a lot of changes in my life. God told me it was going to be a year in which I would see myself grow and truly begin walking as a woman of God, the woman He created me to be at the beginning of time.
Of course, in my head, I thought this was going to look like growing in love towards people and (really) seeing many more miracles flow from my life than what I had previously seen. I also thought it meant my true passions emerging: being outdoors more, getting healthier, growing in the skills and gifts that He has given me. That seems like heaven on earth, doesn’t it? That seems like a pretty good description of a true woman of God, doesn’t it? Well, yes, but not fully. My God did so much more in me. These are just my beginnings…
Though my eyes are continually opened to more, something really hit me yesterday at church. I had a 4 year old on one side of me, and a 6 year old on the other. Both of them kept holding onto me (as they always do), hugging me, grabbing my hands, you name it. A couple of years ago, it would have bothered me that I was ‘trying to worship’ and kids kept ‘interrupting me’. Yesterday, I realized in a much more real way that worship is not singing, and life isn’t about me. I get to sing and adore Daddy God all week long, so I don’t ‘need’ it on Sunday mornings anyway. He revealed to my heart that worshipping and adoring Him was letting the little ones come to me, whenever they want, even if it is ‘inconvenient’ (Matt 19:14). Sometimes their parents tell them to not hold onto me so much, to give me my space. I understand wanting to teach personal space, but I never turn the children away anymore. I have something they want and need, Someone they want and need, and I will not deny them of experiencing Love. Yesterday, God showed me how beautiful it was to worship Him by loving these little ones.
Is being a woman (or a man) all about having children one day? No, it’s not. BUT — if you have children, they should become your greatest dream amongst the other dreams He has given you. If you have children, they must become your greatest honor, otherwise something will become more important than them. Who else is going to raise and teach them, help them become amazing men and women of God during the first 18 or so years of their lives? God entrusted us to do that, to partner with Him to mold these beautiful babes, especially in the hard times.
Now, I’m not married yet, and honestly I am so completely satisfied in this beautiful gift of singleness He has given me (explaining that would be for another post), but I am a nanny of a 2 year old, with another on the way, so I have had my fair share of tantrums, fits, ‘inconveniences’, etc. Teaching our children should never be an inconvenience. If you have children, it is probably the second highest honor I can think of (first being the gift of housing Holy Spirit). But even if you don’t have children yet, it doesn’t change the importance of loving others well and what a precious privilege it is to do so.
We often get frustrated with people when they ‘inconvenience’ our lives. In pertaining to children, it’s not about us anymore. I have learned how to help the little girl I nanny to learn. When she throws fits, is screaming and crying, I have learned that this isn’t an inconvenience to me, the mess she made isn’t an inconvenience to me, but it’s selflessness for me, and it’s a learning opportunity for her. It’s another opportunity I get to help her grow into a woman of God one day and help her learn how to live life successfully.
In pertaining to adults, it’s still not about us anymore. We often get frustrated when we cannot control a situation or a person (thus causing the inconvenience), and then we immediately withhold love, either by reacting to them or by stepping away from them. However, these situations are the perfect opportunity to deal with the challenge at hand by choosing to gently love and move forward with the person, placing relationship above hurts or being right or wrong. This can also be a learning opportunity for people, to show them they are worthy of love, don’t have to be punished for their mistakes, and can renew their minds to walk in Truth in the future. Is it ever too inconvenient to love people? I’m sure Jesus didn’t feel like dragging a cross, being nailed to it, and dying on it… but isn’t it worth it all to love? It was for Him. It can be for us.
Truly loving people well is our greatest call in this lifetime. Did I see miracles, and all of those other things I named during 2013? Yeah, and it was all remarkable. But even miracles are just one way love can look. This is sort of a joke with one of my best friends Salem, but yet it rings true: “If you can’t make a meatloaf [for someone], but you can pray for healing, maybe you aren’t loving.” Miracles are beautiful, but they are simply a sign of love and an invitation to know the Lover. They are not a sign that you or I have ‘reached the ultimate level with God’. Intimacy with God will cause you to love people like they have never experienced before.
If this post does anything, I hope it provokes you. There is absolutely nothing wrong in wanting to see more of the miraculous and supernatural in your life this year and the years to come. But, keep in mind, loving people with the love of God is supernatural. Loving people well can and will literally change their entire lives.
So really, being a true man or woman of God all boils down to being able to love tirelessly. It means people can feel safe with you, even when they have directly sinned against you. It means you will be known for consistency and Godly character, not just for the fruits of what love can sometimes look like. It means your intimacy with God will overflow to every single part of your life, and everyone will end up being touched by Love Himself. Being a true man or woman of God is being Love made manifested on the earth.
Let us go to Him in the secret, and truly learn to love.
Here’s to 2014… :)