Monday, February 22, 2010

Dating God

I love it when I find little things that encourage me. I was going through an old notebook of sermon notes and letters and whatever else I collected in that notebook, and I found a little card from Linnette.

"One of my prayers for you Carrie is that you will wait on God's guy. You have been through so much with your parents divorce. You don't want that for your life or children. So the question then is will you wait for God's timing and not your own? Don't take a temporary problem and make a permanent solution. Just because you are lonely or long to be with someone don't settle. Carrie, you are such a loving, kind, gorgeous young lady. Don't sell yourself short. You may have to wait awhile to get your prince charming but it will be well worth the wait. In the mean time make sure you are dating God. Know His voice, search for His character. He will never let you down.
Psm 139, Jeremiah 29:11-13, Zeph. 3:17, Phil. 2:21.
Keep your eyes on Him. I can't wait to see what God's going to do through you these next four years."

I remember I got that card and I read it and I was very appreciative for what she said, but my issue was that I was settling, and I kept denying it. This was during my senior year, and I was with a guy and I really thought we were going to get married. I just remember thinking that I was already with "God's guy" and it was weird how she would write that. Looking back, I should have known better than to be with him, but that's the past. What can ya do? I know better now, and that's what mostly counts, right?

Anyway, I just found this and reread it and I am just so encouraged right now. I want to wait on God's timing. I don't want to jump into anything without dating God first. For the past couple weeks I've been working on "dating God." This was a concept I knew about before and I didn't really think it was a big deal. I mean, I loved God, so why would I have to ditch dating to date God? What more could I do than what I was already doing with God? I already had quiet times, I prayed, I read my bible, so what does it mean to date God? It never really made sense to me. Yeah, I heard cool stories about how a woman dates God and goes on walks with God or has a picnic with God and does things that she would like to do on a date, but with God, and then she meets a man who enjoys doing the same things that she did while she dated God. Those are always beautiful and heart-warming stories, but I just never could see it happening that way with me. I wanted to find the right guy without taking the time to date God. I should have known that I will never find the right guy until I seek God first. Sometimes I wish I could go back in time and slap my high school self around a little bit, but I can't, so I have to learn to deal with my mistakes.

Sorry I keep ranting off subject. So, I am dating God. I thought about it a couple weeks ago, and I really do want to grow more with God and get to know God's character and His voice personally, even more than I do now. I want to fall in love with my creator. I can't imagine loving God more than I do now, but I know it's possible and I am super excited for what will happen because of this. It started when a group of us went ice skating in Michigan the other weekend. I remember skating around the rink seeing couples and just getting annoyed at the fact that there were so many couples. (I'm not bitter, I promise) Even though I was having fun with the few of us who went, I found the time to turn that situation into a date with God. My bitterness completely changed into seeking after God. I went around the rink a few times just talking in my head with God, and that was absolutely amazing. It wasn't like I heard God say anything. It was more along the lines of acknowledging His presence and knowing that He wants to spend time with me, that He is jealous for my love. So instead of being bitter about all of the couples, I was able to just fall more in love with God and take pride in God's love for me.

So, I am trying really hard to not be paranoid about "the right guy" and to not worry about whether I should try talking to someone or not. There's no use in getting nervous because I know God has a guy for me out there somewhere, and until we meet, I will wait patiently upon the Lord. For now, I am dating God, praying for my future husband, seeking God's character and voice, and I pray that whoever my future husband is will also have to seek God first before he finds me, and have the guts to come to me first so I don't have to worry about being nervous, ha. just sayin.

P.S. Coffee dates are the best! :)

Sunday, February 21, 2010


So, I realized that I critique myself way too much. I try to find every fault in my life so that I can work on getting better. There's nothing wrong with wanting to be a better person, but I have to remember that I won't ever be as good as the standards I set for myself.

Oh, I'm too quiet. I worry too much. I am prideful. I compare myself to others. I don't always put God first. Sometimes, I only spend time with God when I feel like spending time with God. Sometimes, I put off spending time with God until I get everything else done first, and by that time it's already time for bed, so I put it off until the next day, only to fall into the pattern of repetition. I don't have the eloquence of speech as much as others. I want to put into words what I am thinking, but it's like there's so many colliding thoughts that the only way I can get it all out is by venting on paper (or computer).

I am not perfect, nor will I ever be perfect. So why do I keep trying to be perfect? Is there a problem with wanting to be the best you can be?

I feel like I need to prove myself. To make up for all of my faults.

Geeze, I'm even critiquing myself right now about critiquing myself! Ironic, huh?

Lord I'm tired
So tired from walking
And Lord I'm so alone
And Lord the dark
Is creeping in
Creeping up
To swallow me
I think I'll stop
Rest here a while

And didn't You see me crying?
And didn't You hear me call Your name?
Wasn't it You I gave my heart to?
I wish You'd remember
Where you sat it down

And this is all that I can say right now
i know it's not much
And this is all that I can give
That's my everything

I didn't notice You were standing here
I didn't know that
That was You holding me
I didn't notice You were crying too
I didn't know that
That was You washing my feet


I love Sundays. It's a day of celebration.
I know I usually end up doing homework and cleaning and laundry and getting ready for the upcoming week, but I always try to make time (besides going to church) to reflect on Christ and what he did for me. That's what we do on Sundays. We go to church and worship our Father and celebrate Christ's resurrection. The celebration shouldn't stop after church. It should carry on throughout the whole day. I try to be in constant meditation on Sundays, while I am preparing for the week. I want my actions to glorify God. I want the words I say to build others up and be words of encouragement.

God, consume me.

During the week help me to stay focused on You and grow closer to You. Help me to stay diligent in my studies and in the Word. Help me to not become lazy or distracted this week.

You are my joy.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

I am sick of basing my relationship with God off of emotions.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Today, I came to the realization that I need to stop only focusing on the issues happening across the world when there are people here who need to be shown God's love as well. At the Faith and International Development conference this past weekend, I learned so much about social injustice in other countries, and my heart cries out for those countries. It's just not fair how so much wealth and so much poverty can coexist under God's authority. The same thing with Haiti, it's not fair. I feel like America is such a blessed country that I tend to only cry out for those across the world, and ignore what's happening here.

Today has been a strange day. I became aware of how much suffering and pain there is amongst my peers. I am looking at people with a new perspective. I am asking God to give me his eyes to see the world and people the way he sees, with love and compassion. So, I laid down for a nap before my western civ class, but instead it turned into laying down before God in meditation. I had the song Desert Storm by Hillsong stuck in my head, so I was reflecting on the words of the song, basically saying that no matter what I may be going through, I will always have a reason to praise God. I laid there in silence, asking God to come into my heart and consume me, and fill me with love to love others the way he does. I ended up not sleeping at all, but the neat thing was that I still felt awake in class. I didn't doze off at all, even though I was so tired before. God sustains us, and He did to me today.

I feel like I have been taking in so much information, especially from the conference and from the "Celebration of Discipline" by Richard Foster (the book I'm reading for COR), and I've been asking God what I'm supposed to be doing with all this information. Later, a friend calls me asking if I could talk. I knew I had homework I had to do, and a bible study to go to later, but I felt lead to put everything aside and listen, so I did. She is heart-broken right now, and it turned out that she needed someone to listen to her. I was able to talk to her through her situation and help her calm down a little bit, and then I prayed for her. Then, it was almost time for dinner, and I realized that I didn't have time to prepare anything for this bible study that I started, not to mention it was our first meeting. I turned to God, asking that He would guide us through the study, and He did. Everyone was very involved, and we have an awesome time in fellowship and studying and analyzing God's word.

I also have another friend who said he was going through a rough time today, and so we prayed for him along with the other prayer requests in the bible study. Then, later this same night, another friend was upset and also going through a rough time, so I sat down and talked with her for awhile. After asking God to fill me with a compassion for others, I feel like more and more opportunities are being placed in front of me, and I do not want to pass them up. I'm supposed to be reading a book for my COR class, but I feel like God has been challenging my faith a lot, seeing if I will take the opportunities presented to me.

It would have been so much easier to ignore my friends and focus on getting my homework done, but it is much more rewarding doing God's work and making yourself available to be an example of Christ to others. It comes down to the question, do I trust that God will provide/sustain me with the energy I need to focus on my homework if I make myself available to be used by Him first? We are called to be missionaries, and witnesses, and if we think that we don't have time to do God's work because other things are more important, than how dare we call ourselves Christ followers?

It took a leap of faith to make God and others my top priority, but it was definitely worth it, and I have faith that God will send blessings to those who do so. I fear not being able to be used by God to the fullest because of the interference of my own human desires. When we receive the same amount of joy from helping a friend or stranger where we are now than helping someone across the world, that is when we can experience true love and compassion.

Sunday, February 7, 2010


I waited patiently for the Lord;
He inclined to me and heard my cry.
He drew me up from the desolate pit,
out of the miry bog,
and set me feet upon a rock,
Making my steps secure.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a song of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear, and put their
trust in the Lord.
- Psalm 40:1-3

Usually when I read verses about how if we wait patiently on the Lord He will answer our cries, and my first reaction is one of frustration or anger. Patience has got to be my weakest attribute. It's one of the hardest things for me to deal with, and when I read about God giving people the desires of their hearts, I want to think, "It's not fair! I want MY prayers to be answered. I want to be secure. I'm sick of waiting." Why is it that God takes care of David's desperation and not mine? I try to be a righteous person, and I know I fail at that, but my desire is to be a Christ follower. That should mean something, right? And it does. I've always had a passion for the Lord, but recently I've been convicted that I don't have the patience for the Lord. I never fully understood why God is making me wait so long, but through some serious prayer and meditation I think I figured it out. He wants to spend time with me. He wants to speak to me. I wasn't listening. I was always one step ahead of God, thinking I have everything under control, but in realty, I am lost.

Yes, I am a born again Christian, and I love learning theology and I strive to be Christ-like, but my steps are anything but secure. There was always a fight or struggle between me and God. In high school, I had sometimes thought God's love wasn't enough at the time and I needed something else to fill that desire. Love has always been something I struggled with. My parents divorced when I was really young, and I hardly ever remember feeling a sense of family. I would go to friends' houses and spend time with their families, eventually calling them my own family. But in the house I grew up in, it was hard to feel that sense of family. I'm not writing this to gain sympathy. I'm not depressed over this. If anything, I have learned a lot and grew a lot stronger in my faith because of those circumstances. I'm writing out of a desperation to experience God's love to the fullest and let that be enough in my life. I want to say his love is enough, but it's another thing to believe it from experience. So that's what I'm doing now. Experiencing God's love to the fullest.

As I think about how unfair it is for David's cries to be heard and answered, I have to ask myself, what am I doing that is different than David? We have the same desperation, so what makes his better than mine? The reason is because of our spiritual disciplines. This past semester I have realized that I am very dependent on spiritual mentors and accountability partners, and when I left for Greenville, I left all my dependency behind. It became easy to become distracted and to neglect my spiritual disciplines. I tend to turn to other people before turning to God, and this is something I still sometimes struggle with, and it’s also why I am so frustrated with God at times. He is waiting for me to turn to Him in silence and to listen to Him.

The first half of my half hour meditation was me letting out my frustration at God, about how He’ll “give us the desires of our hearts if we commit to the Lord.” I was impatient because I felt like I was committed and I desired godly things, but I wasn’t receiving. The second half was mostly focused on submission and revealing that I just need to be silent and listen to God. David talks about being still and knowing that God is God. I am learning to trust that God will do great things in His timing, and know that His timing always perfect.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


"Maybe there's a connection between the amount of noise in our lives and our inability to hear God." I decided that I'm not going to watch Lost tonight and instead spend some time in silence. It was a tough decision, I'll be honest, but this is what I've been needing to do for a long time now. For the longest time, I couldn't figure out why God felt so distant. Last semester I was so far from Him that I wanted to be closer but everything I tried to do to get closer to God didn't work. Over break, I prayed a LOT, and I talked to my mentors a LOT, and I surrounded myself around good Christian people. I learned quite a bit, and I regained that passion in my heart to want to serve God. So that all happened.

Then I got back to Greenville. I got back into a routine, a daily schedule, going to chapel, worshipping my Lord and Savior on a daily basis. Awesome, right? Right...well yeah, it is awesome, I love worshipping God, I love learning more about Him. But today, I couldn't help but weep. I am realizing that I have been missing out on God. I haven't been listening. He is waiting to speak to me, and I just sit here and tell Him how I am frustrated with life, or how much I love Him, or intercede for others, and I leave it at that. He wants to hear all of my requests, but He also wants to speak to me, and I wasn't allowing Him to do that. This is why I felt so distant. It all makes sense now.

I really feel like God has put me in this Cor class that I am for a good reason, to learn to listen to Him. He's been trying to speak to me and I haven't been allowing that. I woke up this morning in a really weird mood. I feel like something is missing, but I couldn't figure out what it was. I started reading the Celebration of Discipline for Cor, and as I was reading it, I was just taking everything in. I felt everything finally made sense. Sure, I have learned all this stuff before, but I am learning to not be prideful in that I already know this, but to have an open heart and know that it's something I need to continue to apply to my life on a daily basis.

I am learning spiritual disciplines. I can't neglect my daily devotions. "Discipline is the price of freedom." - Elton Trueblood.

Jesus said "I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." John 10:10

The deeper you are in understanding God's word, the more abundant you are. As Christians we go through phases where we long after God, then sometimes we don't. I feel like our emotions guide us too much in our relationship with God. We have to remember that emotions are not the primary motivator for spiritual discipline. It takes effort. It's the same thing as being in a relationship with someone, it takes effort. You just CAN'T base a relationship off of emotions, and the same thing goes with God too.

I am truly blessed to be in this COR class, and I am learning SO much about myself and things that I need to do to spiritually discipline myself.

Resist the temptation to feel that meditation is unproductive.
I am so scared that I am going to miss out on ALL that God has to offer to me. My heart is breaking knowing that I haven't taken the time to be still and to listen. I am going to be focusing on silence for awhile. Yeah, I'll still talk to friends or whatever and have fun, but I do need to back off and come face-to-face with God. I need to confess to Him that I've been doing it wrong. My heart wants to serve God, and wants to be close to God, but I need to rerealize that ONLY God is God.

Monday, February 1, 2010

College, stuff.

So, I haven't been writing very much at all since I got back to school. I've been so caught up in seeing my friends I haven't seen in so long and reconnecting with people. It's been awesome.

But I can't loose my focus.

Lord, draw me closer to you.