I met Scott in one of my college classes. A starting tackle on the football team who was a special education major, I thought him a tough teddy bear. Scott was quiet, kind, respectful and had a smile which brought out the pink in my cheeks.
He escorted me to a sorority ball impressing me with his charm and easy-going nature. It was a beautiful night complete with a sweet kiss when he brought me home. I went to bed thinking maybe God FINALLY brought someone along for me.
A week passed and I heard nothing from him. I dismissed it thinking he was busy with school and football and work, but my friends saw it eat at me and told me I should call him. Just ask him to go get ice cream with you or something, they said. Though it wasn't my style or even slightly in my comfort zone, I took their advice.
But the ice cream outing was uncomfortable and forced. He didn't say much and I tried to pick up the slack. After an awkward goodbye, I understood perfectly.
He was only being nice.
I was crushed. What was God doing? Why get my hopes up only to be squelched again? I chose carefully. I followed His guidelines, yet time after time God slammed the door to any romantic life for me. Scott was the last straw sending me into a crisis of faith.
I cried my eyes out laying prostrate on my bedroom floor.
What is wrong with me?
Why can't I have a relationship?
What do You want for me, God?
Are you telling me You want me to be single?
Are You asking me to give up the only thing I'm sure I want, to be married?
Only when we understand that God has ordained our suffering can we begin to make sense of it. Only then can we be certain that He has a purpose in it. When tragedy comes, when adversity strikes, we will not be shaken. Yes, we will cry. Yes, we will grieve. But we will move on confidently knowing that God is on His throne, that we are in His hand, that our circumstances are His doing, and He is working them for our good.
Terry L. Johnson, When Grace Comes Home
God let me cry it out (or were we wrestling like He did with Jacob?) until I finally gave up and said it.
If You want me to be single, I'll be single. You are God. What choice do I have?
I've always thought that moment nearly as significant as the day I told Jesus I needed Him in my life. For in one statement of surrender, I put my money where my mouth was. I ACTED on my faith. I let it take priority over my own desires. The suffering sent me to surrender. Was it easy? If I still remember it twenty-seven years later, what do you think? That night I understood what real trust is and began an authentic relationship with God.
What is God asking you to walk through today? What suffering has He put in your life? Is that pain His way of calling You to begin a real faith journey with Him? Don't let the pain deter you. Don't believe the lie that God doesn't care. Let your sadness lead you to experience God in a new way.
Visit Jennifer at Scraps and Snippets to see how others interpreted this quote.