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Season of Romance

February 15, 2017

Hey Ladies! Check out this post by Asia Major-Waithe who was willing to share her story about God drawing her into Him in a deeper way as her Bridegroom and Husband. Valentine’s Day might be over, but our relationship with God can continually grow deep, even as single ladies!

By: Asia Major-Waithe

It can definitely be difficult to be single these days… sometimes it feels like you are the only one out of your friends, especially for me as most of my friends are married now. There are times where I really struggle with my singleness, and the enemy makes me question if there is something wrong with me.

The Truth is that Jesus is my husband and the lover of my soul. And to the Church, He is our bridegroom. Sometimes that revelation doesn’t necessarily bring the comfort needed- but it is true, and as believers we need to stake our lives on what is true rather than what we feel, think, or what Satan tries to throw at us.

I have been in a season where I’ve heard God say multiple times that He is the only thing that will truly satisfy my heart (Psalm 63:5, John 4:13). When you look up the definition of satisfy it literally means to fulfill a desire or need. It is ingrained in our DNA to be with God… It’s a deep soul thirst, and He truly is the one that can make things complete. I see shadows of this when I listen to moving music, see beautiful art, or stand in the midst of the majesty of creation. These aspects of life stir deep within me, but only point to the One that created it.

The Creator designed us to be with Him so intimately, that when we step into that place of intimacy…nothing else can touch it. Our world puts such a high value on the physical world of what is seen and felt like art, music, or nature- but as believers we need to live in what is unseen and known pointing back to Him. As you come to know this Holy Being that came and died for you, please consider the amazing romance He offers to you.

And He is the most Romantic… He left everything He had in Heaven, majesty and all. He came to a world that scorned and mocked Him. What bigger way is there to show His love? The world still turned its back and spit in His face- more broken than it had ever been… and yet the choice of Jesus was to Come, Teach, Serve, Love and Die all because He knew He needed to fulfill His greater purpose: to reconcile the ones He loved most to the Father, so that they would not live in forever brokenness and despair, but in Glory and Restoration.

That, my friend, is something beautiful and worth fighting for!

This last season I repented for being a “fickle wife.” Jesus is so tender and sweet, as He brings the hard things up not to hurt us but to heal us (Hosea 6:1). And in this season, He showed me my weakness, my sin, and my shame. He showed me when things got hard I would run away rather than toward Him. And he pointed me to a book of the Bible where this idea of running from my Bridegroom is so clearly illustrated.

The book of Hosea has spoken to me in many seasons of life, this last one I had the realization that I am Gomer, a prostitute taken in by her husband but left him to go back to her lovers, but her husband found her in the desert and wooed her back to himself there.

After reading Hosea, I realized that I am the one that gives herself to other lovers, other masters, other people. And He so lovingly and graciously draws us back to Himself by sometimes putting us in positions that are hard. He fences us in. He brings us into the wilderness where all we have is Him. (Hosea 2: 14) It’s in the lonely, tough times when you have to choose what you believe.

I thought my other ‘lovers’ (exercise and relationships) would save me, but the truth is those things only provided momentary comfort and were ultimately distractions from the greatest romance of all.

Ladies, my prayer for you is to seek the One whose hand stretched beyond the cross and into your life to be with you. Solely because He loves you. I pray that you come to know this Lover of your soul, this Bridegroom, this Husband of yours in a more real way than you ever could before. I pray that His pursuit makes your heart beat faster. And that His delight in you makes you overwhelmingly delight in Him. I hope you turn to Jesus when you are in the desert because He will sustain and romance you in a way that no man ever can.

Photo Cred: Rachel Crowe

 

Asia Major-Waithe grew up in Elmont, NY. She’s been an athlete her whole life and now trains other athletes. She loves Jesus and came to know him during her college years in 2010.

 

Trusting Completely

February 3, 2017

By: Danielle Kingsley

“How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. For nothing is impossible with God.”

“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. May it be to me as you have said.” – Luke 1:34-39 (NIV)

Mary must have been stunned by such a breath-taking appearance that delivered such an unbelievable message to someone so unsuspecting. Take a moment and think about a time that literally took your breath away, and multiply that by a thousand! I am not sure my response would have been that of Mary’s. Her trust in God was so evident in her words. I know, if I was in Mary’s place I would have stumbled over every single sentence, made some sort of awkward facial expression, followed by a million, long-winded questions, then I would have Gabriel go and explain this whole situation to my parents and fiancé. Then, alone in my room, it would all be followed by a whole Why Me God moment with all the waterworks. It wouldn’t have been one of my proudest moments.

Trusting in God completely, like she did, likely cost Mary her reputation and more. She was young, unmarried and pregnant – and not only was she pregnant, but she was telling people she was carrying the Savior of the world in her womb. How could it be? Her life, as she knew it, would never be the same. Her future was unknown. Yet, she trusted fully in God and sang His praises:

“My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me—holy is his name.” – Luke 1:46-49

Mary was told she was to be the mother of the King, but she did not know what came next. She rested in knowledge that her life was safe in the hands of the Lord- because she knew that nothing was impossible with God.

Growing up, I was always the last person to volunteer to take part in The Trust Fall Game. Whether it was in Sunday school or Girl Scouts, I had no desire to demonstrate my trust in that manner nor in front of a group of people. I would watch as my friends would start to fall backwards into the arms of others, but then eventually chicken out and not fully submerge into the fall. I sometimes still catch myself doing the very same thing to God. Do you? Trusting is hard. Trusting is a a daily journey of surrender. It is realizing we are not in control. Trust is where we simply place our lives in the hands of the One who is not only in control- but also knows what is best for us.

Having faith in God means we trust Him in the joy and in the sorrow. It means we trust Him in the little details and with our big dreams. Having faith in God means we trust in Him in everything because we know He is always working for our good. We can trust in our God because He is trustworthy. May it all be as He has said.

Is there something you need to trust God with in this season?

Maybe it’s a financial struggle.

Nothing is impossible with God.

Maybe it’s a broken relationship.

Nothing is impossible with God.

Maybe it’s your singleness.

Nothing is impossible with God.

Maybe it’s your job.

Nothing is impossible with God.

Lord, we know that You are a God of miracles. May our trust have no limits. May we have faith in You in every season for we know You are always working for our good. No matter the circumstance, and no matter the outcome – You are good. May it be as You have said. Amen.

 

Photo Cred: Jenn Richardson

 

Danielle Kingsley, a Southern California native, served as a missionary and worship leader for ten years at a growing church planted by her family in Salt Lake City, Utah. In 2007, Danielle moved to Nashville, Tennessee where she was provided the opportunity to be the original vocalist to record the now popular worship song, Your Great Name. In 2013, she released her first EP Falling, that generated two #1 singles on International Christian radio.

Since the recent loss of her father to a brief battle with cancer, Danielle has been sharing her story about finding hope through loss and the peace that is found in Jesus at a variety of conferences across the United States. She is writing her first children’s book and devotional, and is currently on tour with Secret Keeper Girls. Check out her blog at www.DanielleKingsley.com. Follow her on Instagram, Facebook & Twitter @DKingsleyMusic

Don’t Be A Settler

August 15, 2016

“But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.” – Romans 8:25

You may have seen a DirecTV commercial recently where it depicts pioneer-clad people “settling” for cable television instead of choosing to use their satellite service. The tag line at the end of the ad is simple – “Don’t be a settler.” I usually don’t pay attention to commercials, but this week a simple tag line for a satellite company kept popping up in my head – don’t be a settler.

Why is it that we settle? Specifically, why do we settle in our dating relationships? If you have to add a “but” or two…or three to your sentence when describing the guy you are dating – you are probably not going out with God’s best for you. “We’ve been dating for a six months, but he doesn’t want to put a label on it, but he’s just so great.” Let’s just stop that. Let’s just stop settling for mediocre relationships when God has the absolute best planned for us. You are a daughter of a King. You have worth. You have value. Let’s actively believe that, my sisters. Let’s not just date for the sake of dating.

I know it is hard to wait. I know it is frustrating to check your Facebook and Instagram feeds and see endless photos of friends and family getting engaged, married and having sweet little ones, but I also know that settling for the wrong guy fills your heart with a false sense of fulfillment instead of peace. Waiting patiently can be hard, but know that settling for a guy just because you are lonely or you are searching to be “complete” will only cause you heartache in the end. It is important to find our completion in Him first, and He will be faithful to finish our story page by page. While we are waiting in hope, let’s dig deeper into our Father’s plan instead of fighting our way into the wrong guy’s heart.

If he walks ahead of you, wait for the man who will walk beside you.

If you’re the punchline of the jokes your boyfriend tells, wait for the man who knows how to make you laugh, and not at your cost.

If he rarely compliments you, wait for the man who sees and appreciates you and your beauty – inside and out.

If he is not up front about details or feelings, wait for the man you can trust with your whole heart.

If he doesn’t take you around his friends, wait for the man who can’t wait to introduce you to everyone he knows.

If he’s wishy washy with his feelings for you, wait for the man who can’t wait to commit to you.

If he doesn’t love you the way that God loves the church, wait for the man that will.

I would rather be a woman awaiting God’s best, than a woman compromising my worth for the sake of time or convenience. Don’t be a settler.

 

about the authorDanielle Kingsley, a Southern California native, served as a missionary and worship leader for ten years at a growing church planted by her family in Salt Lake City, Utah. In 2007, Danielle moved to Nashville, Tennessee where she was provided the opportunity to be the original vocalist to record the now popular worship song, Your Great Name. In 2013, she released her first EP Falling, that generated two #1 singles on International Christian radio.

Since the recent loss of her father to a brief battle with cancer, Danielle has been sharing her story about finding hope through loss and the peace that is found in Jesus at a variety of conferences across the United States. She is writing her first children’s book and devotional, and is currently on tour with Secret Keeper Girls. Check out her blog at www.DanielleKingsley.com. Follow her on Instagram, Facebook & Twitter @DKingsleyMusic

When You Invite God Into Your Breakup

July 5, 2016

By: Danielle Kingsley

I recently dated a great guy for a few months. He had all the key qualities and character traits I’ve ever wanted in a godly man, and on top of that, he was all kinds of handsome. On paper, we were perfect for each other. We had so much in common, we made each other laugh, we served together, and we challenged one another. I thought I’d finally met God’s match for me, but I was wrong. After a few months it was apparent that we were not meant for each other despite trying to make it work, and ultimately he said goodbye.

Dating relationships begin and end every day. Most of us have gone through our share of heartbreak. It’s hard to say goodbye to the hope of a future with someone. It hurts our hearts to see a relationship end when we didn’t want it to. Heartache can be brutal.

When we invite God into our breakups, we can see the gift of failed dating relationships. Here are three things God has taught me through this breakup.


1. End with grace, not bitterness.

Saying goodbye with grace gives more closure than any Taylor Swift or Kelly Clarkson anthem can ever give. You don’t need to resent the person you were dating just because it ended. You cared enough about him to enter into a relationship, so care enough about him to exit the relationship in a way that glorifies God. You don’t need to be bitter to move on. Be thankful for the good times you two shared, learn what you need to learn, let your heart heal, and move on to God’s best for you.

2. Checklists aren’t everything.

Like most girls I know, I too have a “Husband Checklist.” Let me tell you, checklists aren’t everything! The man I was dating checked off every quality on my list, but he wasn’t meant for me. I want to be surprised, and allow God to orchestrate my love story with a man who possesses qualities I never knew I wanted in a husband. Don’t you?

3. Thank Him for your breakup.

This is a tough one, but I believe it’s vital for growing and healing during this time. God doesn’t waste heartbreak. He is working all things together for your good, so trust in God’s plan and rejoice in this season he has you in. One day, you and I will both look back at this breakup and have nothing but thanks to give to God because he saved us for His very best!

 

Photo Cred: Danielle Kingsley

about the authorDanielle Kingsley, a Southern California native, served as a missionary and worship leader for ten years at a growing church planted by her family in Salt Lake City, Utah. In 2007, Danielle moved to Nashville, Tennessee where she was provided the opportunity to be the original vocalist to record the now popular worship song, Your Great Name. In 2013, she released her first EP Falling, that generated two #1 singles on International Christian radio.

Since the recent loss of her father to a brief battle with cancer, Danielle has been sharing her story about finding hope through loss and the peace that is found in Jesus at a variety of conferences across the United States. She is writing her first children’s book and devotional, and is currently on tour with Secret Keeper Girls. Check out her blog at www.DanielleKingsley.com. Follow her on Instagram, Facebook & Twitter @DKingsleyMusic

Tips for Preparing for Wedding Season

May 22, 2016

By: Rachel Brown

Wedding season is upon us, and for many of us, that means we have several back-to-back weekends that will be spent celebrating brides-to-be at their bridal showers, bachelorette parties, and the actual weddings themselves. Whether we’re a member of the bridal party or not, we all have supportive roles to play as our dear family members and friends enjoy this exciting season of their lives. Below you’ll find some tips for preparing for the upcoming wedding season, and we’d love to hear if you have any advice or ideas to share!

Bridal Shower Etiquette

If you’re a bridesmaid and no one has stepped up to plan a bridal shower yet, consider asking the other women in the bridal party to host the event with you. By sharing in this responsibility, you’ll cut down on costs as well as the length of your to-do list. Make sure to consult the bride on her vision for the shower—some ladies may want the whole thing to be a surprise while others will have a specific vision for the event, giving you some helpful direction while you’re planning the party. Even though the shower itself is truly a gift, hosts should still plan to give the bride a little treat on the day of the event. It needn’t be large—it can be something small from the bride’s registry or it can be something sentimental or handmade—but there should be some special gift for the bride to open on her sweet day.

As a guest, the best thing you can do is reply to a bridal shower as soon as you receive the invitation. It’s no fun for hosts to track you down to get your response. In regards to a gift, the registry really is the best place for purchasing a little treat. Typically registering is a fun process for a bride and groom as they plan their future together, and by sticking to the gift list, you’re giving the couple an item that they really want or need.

Bachelorette Party Etiquette

For bridesmaids and friends alike, the bachelorette party should be a time of fun, not stress. Traditionally the Maid or Matron of Honor plans this event, but if you’re not in this role feel free to offer to help in small way (by making a reservation at a fun restaurant or gathering up party favors, for example)—regardless of whether she takes you up on it, the MOH will certainly appreciate the gesture.

Bachelorette parties are increasingly becoming an opportunity for a fun weekend trip at a special destination, but costs can add up quickly. Do not be afraid to say no to a trip if it’s not in your budget, or to just participate in one day’s events instead of a whole weekend-long shebang. Don’t offer up lengthy excuses regarding why you can’t come or participate the whole time—even though our intentions are good, sometimes these detailed explanations can come across as hurtful to the bride. Do clarify why you can’t come if you’re in the wedding party, however—as a special member of the bride’s posse, it will help her feel cherished and loved if you are open and honest regarding why you can’t participate.

The bachelorette party can sometimes be a sensitive subject, as brides-to-be tend to invite smaller groups of friends to this event than to her shower. Some brides only include their wedding parties. If you are not invited for some reason, don’t take it personally. Remember that this season is a special one for your friend and she has her reasons for limiting the size of a group or choosing to curate a guest list in a specific way. If it bothers you enough to say something, wait until after the wedding, as the months leading up to the big day can be filled with stress for the bride. Be gracious and gentle in your understanding that you may not be able to see the whole picture right now.

Wedding Etiquette

As with the bridal shower, replying to the invitation on time is so important. Brides are fervently planning every last detail of their special day and it’s crucial that they have an accurate head count when reporting information to venues and caterers. So help them out by sending in your RSVP in a timely fashion.

Regarding gifts, you may feel like your wallet has been emptied out if you’ve already participated in the bridal shower and bachelorette party (and purchased presents for both events!). Traditional etiquette may dictate that a gift is required at a wedding but most brides these days are most grateful for your presence, not your presents, on their wedding day. Especially if you’re in the wedding party and you’ve purchased bridesmaid’s attire, you have probably already shelled out plenty of cash in honor of your friend. But writing a thoughtful card is a really nice touch, regardless of whether or not you decide to give a gift, and offering last-minute help (picking a grandparent up from the airport, overseeing the signing of the guest book, ordering lunch for the bridal party) can be a huge blessing for a bride on her big day as well.

 

Photo Cred: Sweet Ice Cream Photography

about the authorRachel  is the Director of Project Development for Touch A Life, an organization committed to the rescue and rehabilitation of children who have been exploited and trafficked in West Africa and Southeast Asia. Though she loves working in the non-profit world, Rachel has always been passionate about writing, pursuing opportunities to put pen to paper outside of her day job. Aside from writing for Darling Magazine, she maintains a personal blog, Coffee & Tacos, where she connects with others through food, travel, faith & community. Rachel lives in Dallas, TX, with her husband and their adorably large English mastiffs.

Father Knows Best

February 24, 2016

For too long I’ve been concerned about the desire to be in a relationship. When I start to think about what it would be like to have a boyfriend, quite quickly, my mood can flip, on the verge of becoming completely obsessed with the idea. So why is it bad for me to make these things at the forefront of my mind? Why is it an issue for me to long after something that God has wired us to desire? It is an issue because without even realizing it, my desire has not become a desire of the Lord, but an idol. We must be cautious not to warp the intention of the things that God has designed for us. The Father knows best, I’ve trusted Him this far with my life, why would I doubt now that He will not take care of this area in my life? 

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and He will make your paths straight.” Psalm 3:5-6

My mind is always blown when I take time to think about God’s declaration over each of our lives. He knew us before we were even born. God took time to create us, in His image, to dwell in the world, and live a life of adventure, creativity, and purpose. He knows the number of hairs on our head and even before we can decipher what our inner most thoughts and desires, He already knows them. So why don’t we give Him more of ourselves? Why do we think we know what is best for ourselves, when He is our God, all powerful and omniscient? Our arrogance tends to get in the way and we often think we know best, but if we can be truly honest with ourselves, we don’t. God has made a promise for us that reigns true. He offers us a life of grace and hope. We have the gift to live a life of freedom, full of surprise and surrender. 

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do Ephesians 2:10

To be completely candid, it has been a battle to live a life full of complete surrender and trust. Too often, I find myself finding reason to justify that I know more than my Creator and Savior. That is when I know the enemy is trying to distract me from the Lord’s voice. Even in the silence, His sweet, soft whisper is just what I need to pull me out of the lies and temptation to do wrong. It is His word that I need to run to, not the craving to emotionally eat my feelings away, worry until I drive myself crazy, or seek out attention that really I do not desire. He reassures us we have nothing to worry about. The more I dive into the truth, the closer I find myself to the living Father, who wants to be in deep relationship with each of us. We are His handiwork and he is our strength. We are His handiwork. Designed to further his Kingdom. What an incredible responsibility and opportunity we are entrusted with! God can work in you, no matter where you are in life. God can use you for His glory. When we are weak, we are instead stronger because of Him. Isn’t that amazing?! 

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will not boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

No doubt about it my prince will come, but for now, I have been given this time to be in complete devotion to the Father. This is something I need, and most of us need to take advantage of! It is a blessing to have this time to invest in other girls, encouraging them, and building them up. My pursuit after Jesus’ heart continues to grow more and more each day. More and more I fix my eyes on Christ and His most precious and perfect word. I am working more to give Him complete control. He knows my thoughts, and all of his thoughts, trust his timing. This reigns true, Father knows best.

Photo Cred: Liane Metzler

about the authorKelsey Lynn Alexander is an artist at heart. Whether is it through choreography, latte art, or conversation, Kelsey seeks to create and appreciate beauty wherever she goes. She has a passion for helping girls know and understand their value and worth as precious daughters of the most high King. instagram & twitter: @kelsshie_lynn

Stand Above Judgement

January 13, 2016
By: Kelsey Alexander
We aren’t always as nice as we seem. Sure, we may smile and give a girlfriend a compliment, but every so often there is a rush that runs through us of jealousy or contempt. If any of us can let go of our self-righteous pride, we can relate one way or another to the ever so popular “Mean Girls.” We say things just to sound pleasant, but in the very next breath mutter a nasty comment about the same person. We are all guilty of this, and quite frankly, it drives me mad!
Our lives were not intended to be so sour or sweet that it is unbearable to be around. Instead we are to live a life that is full of Christ’s love. He is the one who gives us the endurance and encouragement that we need to face the day. We should all be united through Him as His children, not divided and judgmental.
Recently, I was reading through Romans and  stumbled upon verse four. It hit me so hard, I nearly fell out of my chair. “Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand.” (Romans 14:4) 
Think about it. Who am I to judge? Who benefits from such behavior? And, what authority or power do I have to knock my sister and brother down when the Lord can make them stand?
I have no authority. I have no power. I have no room to judge.
Jesus reminds us that we have to remove the log out of our eyes before we can try to clean out the dust from the eyes’ of our neighbors (Matthew 7:5). Time and time again when we fall, the Lord helps pick us up to give us the strength to keep going. He allows our weaknesses to work for his glory.
Somehow, sometimes, when we are at our lowest point, God is able to make us stronger than we ever imagined. He wants to take you out of the pit and show you hope. That being said, why would we want to interfere with God’s sweet intention for his precious children?
“Therefore let us stop passing judgement on one another. Instead make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister.” (Romans 14:13)
Pray for God to remove the jealousy from your heart. Ask Him to fill you with a love that overflows from one person to the next. You might be surprised to see how God will honor your prayers and transform your heart. Let’s be known as a generation of women that builds each other up for the good. Sure, you do not have to, nor do you have time to be best friends with everyone, but you can treat each person with the respect they deserve; we are all designed by a Creator who instilled value into each of us long before birth.
“Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.” (Romans 15:7)
It may take some time, but I promise, darling, that you will see God working in your heart, transforming it beautifully from the inside out. Like a baby learning to walk, practice is involved. You need to physically stand up and take a step. You may be shaky and uneasy, but the Lord will make you stand.
Photo Cred: Chelsea Steller
about-the-authorKelsey Lynn Alexander is an artist at heart. Whether is it through choreography, latte art, or conversation, Kelsey seeks to create and appreciate beauty wherever she goes. She has a passion for helping girls know and understand their value and worth as precious daughters of the most high King. instagram & twitter: @kelsshie_lynn

Spoken Word: Single and Awesome

May 13, 2015

by: Arielle Wilburn

There are many nights
Where I have sat crying on my bedroom floor
Loneliness weighing on my shoulders
Blinding me from remembering that worth and singleness
Did not go hand in hand

I have written countless poems
Love letters to boys who never loved me back
Love letters to men I wasn’t sure existed anymore

I have questioned
When my love story would ever come into fruition
Was I someone he’s called to live a life of singleness?

I cannot count the number of conversations I have had
Sounding a lot like “I just want to go on a date
I just want to dress pretty and be looked at like I was the only girl in the room
Was that so wrong?
Was it supposed to hurt this much?”

I gazed longingly at the true love waits reminder on my finger
But soon—it became more of a burden than a whisper of what could come

So one day,

I Left it behind me and said I’m tired of permanently waiting
I took off my purity ring
Not because I stopped waiting for true love
But because I wanted it to come find me

I had a conversation once with two elderly ladies
And after spilling my heart about who I was and what I do

The final question they asked me was, “So you’re dating someone?”

That same day I had a conversation with two pastors and they too responded ,

“Wow. You’re such a solid girl with a good faith but you don’t have a boyfriend?”

My reaction to both of these conversations was,

Wait…why couldn’t I be single and awesome at the same time?

See the misunderstanding that comes with singleness
Is that it’s assumed it’s a place in our lives where we walk
Around aimlessly twiddling our thumbs
Waiting for someone to come save or complete us

But I cannot be completed, when I’m already a whole person to begin with
I will not wait to be saved because I’m not in need of saving
I cannot sit idly by because I have work to do-
these hands have people to hold and this mouth has stories to tell

Your hands have people to hold
And your mouth has stories to tell

You have a purpose
not to be woman waiting for man
Your purpose
Is to be all that God has created you to be
To take the gifts he has given you and sprinkle that mess like glitter
Every where that you go
You have dreams, passions and goals
You are already complete,
You are already whole
You are your own captivating galaxy

You see,
the God of this universe wants to be in relationship with you
Is that enough?
The greatest love story ever told
Already written with your name as the main character
And a man who decided that he would rather die then stop loving you

So stop twiddling your thumbs,
stop waiting in your towers and your slumber for someone to come save you
No more Adele—unless you really need to
Put Sam Smith on hold for a little bit
Put down the chocolate, get up and do something remarkable with this life you have.

Photo Cred: Juskteez Vu

about-the-authorArielle Wilburn is a spoken word artist, author and blogger. She blogs at chroniclesofalioness.com. 

A Marriage for Christ

June 21, 2012

by Victoria Cumbow

After a long-term relationship ended last year, my heart was broken. It was an amicable parting, or as amicable as something like that can be. After finally handing my heartache over to God, I began to feel the kind of healing and strength that can only come from His hand. In those months, I began to pray about my future and the things I so desperately longed for, like a husband and a family. The closer I grew to God, the stronger my desire for a family became. While I thought my former boyfriend had been the person I’d spend my life with, the Lord made it clear he wasn’t the one.

Through prayer, God’s word, and Christian counsel from friends, I realized what I wanted in a husband and a father for my children. I prayed about what I wanted his heart to look like and what I hoped our relationship would be. Before long, it consumed my prayers. During these months, I began a new study on Philippians and verse 4:19 held my attention for several weeks. The verse reads:

“And my God will meet your needs according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus.”

While I believe praying for a husband was and is the right thing to do, I wasn’t going about it the right way. I was praying for my needs, my desires and my wants. None of my prayers centered around what God’s plan for my life included.

You see, I believe God gives us the desires of our hearts and when we seek Him truly and wholly, he will fulfill those desires. I believe that because it’s a promise made in His word. When we pursue His will for our lives daily, our will morphs into His will—which is where the whole “desire” part comes into play. Our desires become His desires. Yes, I want a Godly husband. And yes, my age makes me more anxious to find him. But if I found that man—the right man—at the wrong time, he might as well be the wrong man altogether.

I still pray for a husband, for my husband. Without being sure who or where he is, I pray for him almost daily. As someone who journals, I often write out my prayers to him in a letter to share with him one day. But my prayers for him now are vastly different than they were a year ago.

I pray for the Lord’s will and the Lord’s timing above all else. I pray for a relationship that fulfills His purpose and not my own—no matter what that looks like. I pray for a man that will lead me and strengthen my relationship with God, not pull my focus away. I pray for a relationship where others will directly see the light of Christ as a result. I pray that I will be open and receptive to a relationship that doesn’t fit perfectly inside the box I always imagined it would fit. I pray I can be a wife that encourages, builds up and supports her husband, helping him to draw closer to Christ. I pray for a marriage where God will receive the glory through Christ Jesus, just like Philippians 4:19 promises.

I pray for my focus to remain on God and that only through my relationship with Him will a marriage come. I don’t want it any other way. I pray for boldness and clear direction when I meet my husband, and I pray that it be an encounter so divine that if you took God out of the equation, it wouldn’t be possible.

I love my Lord, and I love Him more than anything else in this life. I want His hand at the center of my marriage—I want it to be His marriage. I’d rather be single the rest of my years than have a marriage that wasn’t handed to me from Christ. All those prayers for a husband were genuine when I first whispered them from my lips. But now, they’ve molded into a love story with Christ as the main character. I want to be His bride; I want my husband and I to be Christ’s bride. I no longer want a marriage for myself, I want a marriage for Christ.

How do you pray for your future marriage, spouse and family?

Victoria Cumbow is a freelance journalist and a communications specialist in Huntsville, Ala. She shares her journey with Christ and life with type 1 diabetes on her website victoriacumbow.com. A native of Tennessee, Victoria’s favorite pastime is being outdoors, usually in the company of her two dogs. You can follow her on Twitter at @victoriacumbow.

Waiting for Mr. Darcy, Wesley or your very own Gilbert?

May 31, 2012

by Anne Manduka

As a girl, I know very well the dreams any regular girl has. Who hasn’t dreamed of being swept off of their feet by their very own Mr. Darcy? If you ask any girl, she will say that yes, she would like to be pursued and by that I mean a guy who will go out of his way to make it known to her that he likes her and is interested in her.

One day back in 2009 I was talking with one of my mentors and we came up with a wonderful illustration of what a girl’s life is like. Imagine with me here for a minute…

A girl’s life is like a large house. There is a door, through which she lets in her friends and those that get close to her heart. Inside this house everything happens; life, school, work, social activities, family, anything and everything that happens in her life plays out inside this house. Now someday there might come along a guy who dares knock on her door asking to be let in. He is interested in her and gets up his courage to knock on the door to her house. Now what do you think happens? I think it could go one of two ways:

1) In the first version she might be waiting by her door for just this moment to come along, neglecting everything else inside her house. When he arrives, she runs to the door and opens it (much to the guy’s surprise). He didn’t really knock that hard, but because she was so worried about missing this knock on her door, she heard the faint noise and jumped at the opportunity.

2) In the second version, this young woman might be busy inside her house. She might be living life, spending time with her friends inside, concentrating on her schooling, building stronger relationships with her family and so she doesn’t hear him. The guy who knocked gets tired after only one try and leaves.

In the first scenario, she lets in someone who wasn’t all that serious and will most likely not treasure the sensitivity of her heart. He might leave again because he wasn’t all that interested about being in her life to begin with. The girl is left disappointed and hurt. In the second, she was so occupied with living a full life that she didn’t hear that feeble attempt of this guy to get in to her life. There is no hurt or disappointment.

What is the point of all of this?

Girls, wait. Don’t hang around the door of your heart for just any guy who might be slightly interested in you to come along and knock. If you don’t even listen for it, all those that are not meant for you will pass over and you won’t get hurt. When the time does come and a man knocks on your door—someone who is worthy of a daughter of God—he will persevere. He will knock hard and long until you hear it over all the other things going on in your house, in your life and because he took so long to get your attention he will stick around because in his eyes you were worth the wait.

My prayer is that I would not get so busy waiting at my door for a guy to come and knock on it, that I neglect what life really is about, becoming a woman after God’s heart. With his guidance and strength I want to fill my house with good things; people who love me and support me, activities that draw me closer to Him and away from that chair by my door that’s already been worn from sitting in it for such a long time waiting for my very own Gilbert.

To you I ask this, have you been waiting by your door? Are you ready to stop and move away and fill your house?

Anne is 23 years old and currently lives in Lancaster, PA. She is a senior at Lancaster Bible College and is going to school to become an Early Childhood Educator. Growing up in Germany with her missionary parents, there weren’t many good role models she had to look up to because her parents were in church planting. She has a passion for teenage girls and hopes that by living like Christ for them and pouring into their life she can help them avoid certain issues and pains she had to deal with.