“It’s wicked to throw away all your other gifts because you can’t have one” — Little Women
On long road trips, I like to listen to audiobooks. It has become a tradition that I listen to Little Women at least once. I grew up watching the movie dozens of times. Since I have four sisters, it was like watching us (a century behind and one less sister).
As I was driving from Virginia to Florida, I heard this quote by Amy: It’s wicked to throw away all your other gifts because you can’t have one. It hit me so hard that I rewound that section of audio and listened again. Conviction set it.
How many times have I done this? As a single person, there is a tendency to throw away our other talents and gifts because we can’t have “the one.” We sit around dwindling while waiting for “the one.” I am talking to myself here. I have been there and done that.
At one point in my life, all I did was work and wait for someone to come along. Call me crazy, but I thought it would only be a matter of time until he came around. Well, after about 3-4 years of “waiting,” no one was even “on the horizon,” as my dad said.
God helped me take a leap of faith, and I decided to do something besides work and wait. When I took that step, it was a whirlwind of an adventure. I was using gifts that I didn’t know I had. I was learning new things right and left. I was going places I never dreamed were possible. It was an exciting time and challenging time.
That time He created a hunger to learn more. Life can be extremely challenging, but it also can be absolutely amazing! God is greater, kinder, and more beautiful than we can imagine.
I was listening to the audiobook by Steven Curtis Chapman, Between Heaven and the Real World. After the death of his daughter, Maria, his wife asked them to remodel the house. It was too hard to live in after Maria’s passing. Steven struggled with the idea of how much money it was going to cost and if it was a waste of money because their house was fine.
He prayed about it and felt like they should move ahead with the idea. The day came, and the demolition crew started their work. Steven looked over at his wife, Mary-Beth, and saw tears running down her face. He walked over and asked her if she was okay. “I needed to see this,” she said. “This is what happened to our family the day Maria died” Their family took a devastating blow. Yet, Steven saw God’s love through the tearing down and building back up. He felt the Lord told Him that sometimes His love appears extravagant and wasteful.
Isn’t that true? I was pining away for marriage when God wanted to show me more. He literally allowed me to travel around the globe. It was extravagant, and sometimes it seemed wasteful. Because I had the budget information, I would often say, I can stay behind. However, God allowed me to go on one trip after another. I learned so much not just on the trips but over five years; I saw God in ways I never knew I could.
My encouragement to you who are single comes from a 10th-degree black belt: Act on life. Don’t let life act on you. You are not a victim to life or anyone.
Use your gifts. Use your time wisely. Live well. Love fervently. Give fearlessly. Life is short, and we only have one life to live.
John 10:10 says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
Don’t let the enemy steal any more years. Don’t let him steal your joy, your affection, your devotion, or your desire to grow and learn.
There was a 2nd-degree black belt who I would train with, and he told me, “Christi, I’m trying to help you be the best you.”
Sometimes it felt like he was trying to kill me, but he was pushing me to be better. Isn’t that what God does for us? He allows challenging things because He is strengthening us. Elisabeth Elliot once said, “God will not protect you from anything that makes you more like Jesus.”
Life is meant to be lived, not just survived. Sometimes surviving is the only thing we can do. Other times, surviving has become our comfort zone. Living on purpose often takes us out of our comfort zones. But today, remember to thank God for all that He has already given you. Thank Him for the friends you have, the job you have, and the opportunities He has opened up for you — instead of focusing on the one thing or person you don’t have.
Sometimes, when I wish I had someone, I remind myself that I do have someone. He is my closest friend. He says that He is my husband. So, instead of wasting time wishing I had someone else, I try to look for ways to love Him. I do not do this as much as I would like.
We are God’s children. He knows we are incapable. He wants to make us laugh and wants to spend time with us. He wants to be close, but oftentimes, we are so preoccupied with other things or wishing for the one thing we don’t have.
Think of a friendship that may morph into something else. Think of the little glances shared back and both. Think of the sweet gestures: a hand to the side as he walks behind you, a gentle touch to the elbow, a goodbye hug, exchanging eye contact, and a laugh over an inside joke.
I know for me, I think about each thing over and over again. I think of what they said or re-read a sweet message they sent. Imagine if I thought of God that way.
Imagine if I mulled over in my mind the MANY things He has done: The opportunity to travel, learn all kinds of new skills, learn martial arts and writing, be near family, and have amazing friends. More importantly, my relationship with Christ. He is the only one who is enough for my sin-scorched and desperately thirsty soul. I should be on cloud nine all the time.
So, I am challenging myself to think about Him this week. To think of the ways, He has blessed me. He is too good and has done too much for me to waste more time.
The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. Jeremiah 31:3
Song of the week: King of my heart, by John Mark McMillan & Sarah McMillan