When I write or speak in public, I pray wholeheartedly for God to speak through me. I ask Him to make my words His words. I find when I don’t pray, when I don’t ask him and truly mean it with all my heart, I sound like a fool.
This morning I went to Him in prayer as I did my devotions and quite honestly, what He is giving me is not something I really want to tackle today. In my mind was the idea “Inward, Outward and Upward”. Not really having a firm sense of what that meant, I googled it and found it attached to James 4. So I opened my Bible to James 4.
“What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you? You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong-you want only what will give you pleasure.” James 4: 1-3
There is a lot to tackle in that one paragraph. But before I do, let me share about a personal journey I’ve been on.
My entire adult life I have searched for my identity in men. It’s rooted from young in my childhood with my relationship, or lack thereof, with my dad. Please hear me – I am not blaming him. I am being real with my battle.
This led me to two failed marriages, feelings of unworthiness and failure, no self-esteem which all eventually led me to seriously contemplate suicide on a few occasions. Thank God He has a plan for my life…thank God He gave me strength on those few occasions.
After my second failed marriage, I rebelled. I couldn’t stand who I was in my skin so I used alcohol, drugs and men to numb me. A slow downward spiral I was already in quickly became out of control. I could see my train wreck happening but I didn’t have the courage to put the brakes on – as that would mean getting real with who I am and facing what I’ve caused.
Thank God He had a plan.
I believe God uses people and things to capture our attention. Because He knew my love for my vices, I believe God allowed me to spiral to a point with my vices so that when I hit my personal bottom, the only way out was to rely on Him, and there would be no way for me to deny to myself it was only by His Grace I was saved from myself.
And so I did.
When I finally admitted alcoholism, I still was at a point of using men to fill the areas of my heart where only God could. He knew that. I’m sure many people around me knew that. It was my mentor’s challenge to stop dating in November, 2010 that got my attention.
I’ll get into that another time.
Since then, I’ve found this to be a harder challenge to conquer than giving up drinking. But I’m doing it. Mostly.
So back to the verse.
” You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them.” James 4: 2
Last weekend, I went to an event out of town. My primary purpose in going was because someone I wanted to get to know better was going. A man. When I got there, it didn’t go how I had hoped. He had many friends there and I was lost in the crowd. I KNEW my intentions were wrong in going. The man and I had a very clear conversation where I had told him we were just friends and that I am not dateable right now. But that didn’t mean I didn’t want him to want to date me. I knew if he knew this about me and still chased me, I would find worth in that.
But he didn’t chase me.
And so when I saw him connect with someone else, my pride was affected and my self worth was lowered.
Hear this – I didn’t want to date him right now, I just wanted him to want me…so I could feel worthy.
“Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong-you want only what will give you pleasure.” James 4: 2-3
Is it possible I struggle so much with not dating because I haven’t asked God to take the desire from me?
I’m thankful things worked out how they did. I wouldn’t change a minute about my weekend and the lessons I’ve learned about myself. I pray anyone reading this post will see the heart behind my transparency. But I trust these words are God’s Words. I trust God has a purpose in this.
My facebook status shows I’m in a relationship. And I am. With God. Finding my identity in Him. The right man.