By Tina Mitchell
At the tender age of 16, and upon the advice of my Mother, I began to pray for a mate. Marriage was far from my thoughts cluttered with friends and plans for college. I knew Mom was right, though, and so I added that petition to my prayer list. The years of my youth sped by, the petition dropped off the list, and as I turned on my heel I found myself over thirty and unmarried.
A lifelong learner at heart, my thirst for knowledge and grandiose goals took me down many paths, yet none of them led to matrimony and family ties. When asked, my reply was, "Of course I want to get married and have children. Doesnít every woman?" All the while my motherís voice whispered to me, "For a woman, there is no higher calling than motherhood." Yet I remained single and childless.
I joined a worship team and decided to attend night classes at a local Christian university. I placed my petition for a mate back on my prayer list and prayed diligently for God to send the man that he intended for me. Over coffee one night, I shared my prayer petition with my study partner, another single woman and a good friend.
"You Ö you are not married because you are emotionally unavailable."
"You think so?" I replied and she affirmed with a nod.
On the drive home, I asked myself, "Am I really emotionally unavailable? Why?"
The answer was simple. It was fear. From all my adventures, I had yet to meet a conservative Christian male, a man that shared my values concerning God, family, children, and love. I resigned myself to singleness and was afraid to give it another thought. Five more years went by.
Then, I met him. He was everything that I prayed and asked the Lord for him to be. I could not believe my eyes, ears, heart, soul, or trust my own thoughts. He was a real flesh and blood answer to my prayers.
Through that relationship I met with the joy of upcoming marriage and the despair of disappointment when my answer to prayer became noncommittal after so many blissful months. The dreams of a family unit went south and once again, it was just me and Jesus.
In my search for solace, for peace, for contentment with the state that I was in after being so high on what seemed to be Godís answer, I turned to the Scriptures and to prayer for guidance. Psalm 46:10 (KJV) says, "Be still and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth."
In the days that followed, as I cried and prayed and poured my heart out to the Lord, He whispered to me, "Go home."
Home was 500 miles away and I had not lived there in almost twenty years. Why now, Lord? I was unsure why He led me back but I packed my belongings, gave notice at work, and set off to find the Lordís will for my life as a single Christian woman.
In the weeks after I arrived home, I found peace in the rolling hills of my birthplace, the majestic harmony of birdsong, and sweet country air. I sat alone with the Lord and drank in His creation, His Word, and prayed for a hug.
Then I remembered Mary Magdalene; a single woman that loved the Lord with all of her heart. Scripture does not tell us if she married after Christís ascension but we know that she was single while Christ walked the earth. During Christís ministry, He cast seven demons out of Mary Magdalene and she displayed her heartfelt gratitude through her undying love and service to the One that made her whole (Mark 16:9 KJV). I found it paramount that Christ chose to appear first to Mary Magdalene. Christ had a special love for this single servant.
That is when I realized that Christ had a special love for me and a purpose for my life in service to Him. My purpose is to serve Him with all of my heart.
He has to be first in our lives. The love that Mary Magdalene had for Christ was all-encompassing, unselfish, and pure. He singled us out that we might see the glory of the Lord firsthand.
In my desolation of spirit, He lifted me up and I felt the welcome arms of my Savior fold around me. This test of my faith came that He might reveal Himself to me, to let me know that He loves me and wants my love in return and in full, that I am not my own but bought with a price. He had to get me alone to do that. In the hustle and bustle of my life, I had not the time to be still, to look into His face, to prayerfully seek His purpose for me.
Has Christ singled you out too? Seek Him early that He might show you His glory and seek renewal in the fountain drawn from Immanuelís veins for the peace that passes all understanding. I know now that in the fullness of time all things will be revealed for my life according to His plan and He promises the same for you. Yet, while I wait I will serve Him. I pray that you will do the same.
Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace.
~ Helen H. Lemmel, 1922 ~
Tina Mitchell is a freelance writer and business consultant. She is currently working on a collection of short stories and a Bible study. A writer from the age of ten, her sincere desire is to glorify God and edify the body of Christ. She resides in northern Kentucky.
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