Another night with Church friends who were more like acquaintances....
Another night having to ignore the silly giggling from "that couple"....
Another night of being given scowls and glares when she spoke of anything remotely concerning set-apartness....
With a pounding headache and an aching heart, she sat there, silently, wondering what she should do. Nobody wanted to live differently. Nobody really even liked her. Oh they liked parts of her, I suppose, but nobody truly wanted to be her friend....and she knew why. She was different. She believed different things.... like love being worth waiting for; like purity being something to prize and protect. She dressed in a different way.... no miniskirts or plunging, low necklines. She acted differently too. She didn't shameless flirt with the guys around her. She didn't let out the cute little giggle when a guy made eyes at her. She didn't bat her long eyelashes their way or sway as she walked pass them. She was far different from those around her and, though she was proud of that fact, the frustration of being utterly alone in her pursuit of "different living" was beginning to weigh on her.
"Lord," she prayed. "Have you forgotten about me?"
With tears in her eyes, she looked down at her bedspread. "God....were you watching tonight? Did You see? Did You hear? Father, I know I have chosen the right path and the right way, so why am I hurting right now?? Why am I lonely tonight when they are not? God, are You still there??"
I remember that night. Actually, I remember many nights exactly like that. Sadly, in my pursuit of purity, I had no support system outside of my parents. If it hadn't been for them, I would have probably been driven to lowering my standards. But oh, how I wanted to be different! I wanted to be truly set-apart. Because of the fact that practically everyone my age thought I was crazy in that area of my life, there was no one to encourage me to hang in there other than my mom and dad. At that time, I was having so many attacks from friends, Church people, and even family members who thought that my way of living was unrealistic, outdated, lame, a form of abuse from my parents, and the like.
I remember that night as I sat on my bed, trying to keep tears from pouring down my face. I felt
lonely that night. I felt forgotten by God. And it was then that He gave me these words:
Come back to me.
In moments of doubt and frustration and loneliness, instead of wallowing in self-pity, what we SHOULD do is run back into the comforting arms of the Lord. His strength is made perfect in weakness. When we stray a bit from Him, we begin to feel its effects. We grow stale in our faith. We begin to doubt. We get lonely. We even wonder, as I did, if God has forgotten all about us. After that night, I tried to take those moments of loneliness as a call from my Father to come back to Him. HE never leaves. We do the leaving. We do the straying. And though WE may forget the many promises that He has made, He never forgets.
When we hurt, He feels that hurt and longs for us to allow Him to comfort us.
When we are lonely, He aches with us, yearning to wrap us up in His arms.
When we are tired of waiting, He is there, ready to sustain us with His strength.
In your pursuit of purity and in your season of waiting, I want to encourage you to, as Mary Slessor once said, keep close to Jesus. Do not stray from His presence. In those moments of loneliness, please remember that God has not forgotten you, nor will He. He sees far beyond what we see and is scripting a beautiful love story for you. All you have to do is give Him the pen and trust Him.
Originally posted at The King's Bride