From ashes to beauty: Choosing to be visible again

Editor’s Note: This is the dating testimony of one of my dear friends. She is the example I look to when I consider how I should put my relationship with God above all others. I hope you take the time to read this post, Part 1, and tomorrow’s post, Part 2. It will be more than worth your time. 

PART 1

god-can-bring-beauty-out-of-ashes

After a four-year hiatus, I recently took a step of faith back into the dating world. During my four years of singleness, God has allured me into the wilderness and spoken tenderly to me (Hosea 2:4). He has whispered my worth and value in His eyes, and He has faithfully revealed broken places in my heart in need of His restoration. It’s been a valuable time of learning who God is and I who I am in Him. It’s been a time that could never be replaced or substituted for anything or anyone else.

But recently, I’ve felt God calling me out into a new season. So far, it looks like a season of learning to trust and live from my heart once again, which includes being willing to share who I am with others and being open to a Christ-centered relationship. To step out into this journey, I joined one of the co-ed fellowship small groups of my church.

As with every new adventure, I was excited and thrilled to be at this place. I thanked the Lord for healing me to the point that I felt ready to share my heart with another person once again, except this time from the beautiful place of knowing my identity in Christ. I could visibly see the confidence and hope that the Lord has instilled in me while learning to trust and lean on Him these past several years.

During the first night of our co-ed small group, an attractive man sat next to me. Initially, I was enjoying myself and felt no pressure. After talking for a few minutes, I could see that he was a seasoned man of God, a mature person in his faith. Quickly, I became distressed internally. What had previously just been a fun moment of enjoying myself in conversation and those around me became a moment of panic and dread within. What in the world was going on?

Suddenly, my heart was shutting down and I had stopped being the responsive, lively person that I was just moments ago. All I could do for the remainder of my time around him was simply try not to look too uncomfortable.

Before I even had time to realize what had happened, that message of rejection was confirmed when this handsome stranger found someone more confident and interesting to speak with instead. The attacking thoughts of my enemy assailed me on every side, bombarding my mind with vicious lies.

I shouted/cried to God on my way home that night. “But I’ve made so much progress! Why am I still struggling with these issues? It shouldn’t hurt like this anymore … I am confident in my identity in You!”

Suddenly, I feel as though I am reliving childhood days and the familiar voice of my enemy’s condemnation attacks me to convince me: “You haven’t made any progress. You’re not mature in your faith. Look at you — you’re still struggling with this and you always will. What kind of woman are you? You can’t even be vulnerable enough to show who you really are to people.”

And then briefly I believe his lie: “I will never be able to enjoy the intimacy that God has called me to in relationships, because it’s just not for me. Nobody can love someone who is so broken.”


To read the rest of her story, come back tomorrow evening. 

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