A good friend of mine suggested this to me a while back:
http://www.makeitmad.com (which I highly recommend, I love Max’s writing, and it’s nice to read about certain things from a guy’s perspective)
which led me to find his wife’s blog (she has a very strong and honest female voice):
which led me to discover that she founded the Good Women Project:
Basically, Lauren (yeah we’re on a first name basis) founded this site as a way to bring women (and men) together, single, married, or anything in between, to talk about subjects that may be difficult to discuss especially among Christians. I really appreciated how raw the stories were, those written by both men and women that discussed topics such as marriage, singleness, dating, daily life, and much more.
But the thing that got to me the most was how broken every single person was. No matter how many blog posts I went through, I saw the same theme running through all of them: brokenness in their identity, their struggles, past hurts, etc. People who endured rape, “daddy issues,” bad relationships, all of them had to face their brokenness head on. It hurt to read about some of the things these people had to go through, and it hurt even more when I realized how much their pain and struggles resonated with my own. I read some more and found comfort in the ways these people have begun the healing process by turning to God and His truths. I don’t want to say that they’ve completely overcome their pain, but rather, they’ve acknowledged their weakness and brokenness, brought it before God, and through His grace, they’re slowly experiencing healing. And that’s the beauty of it all: the strength that these people embodied through their acknowledgment of their weakness and their willingness to work through them. It sounds like such a contradiction, I swear it made sense in my head.
Anyway, I wanted to compile a list of quotes that I found through the Good Women Project, quotes that were beautifully written by strong women and men. Hopefully I’ll be able to turn to this post to remind me that even though I’m not perfect and I struggle more than I want to, God’s love prevails and heals all. And it means so much more to know that there are people out there who go through the same things that I do, who have come out stronger than before and are able to give their testimony to millions of strangers through a website, providing living proof for a God who loves us more than we love ourselves sometimes. His immeasurable love for us no matter how we view ourselves is what leaves me completely in awe.
1. “There is a Love that was purchased for me on the cross, a Love that determined I was worth dying for. Single, married, or anything in between, Love always has been and always will be passionately pursuing me.” As much as I struggled with finding this “perfect guy” and overcoming this messed up mentality, I know that in the process, God is pursuing me. He has been looking for me, hoping for me to instead turn towards Him and find myself through Him. No matter where I am in the stages of life, I can be grounded in the truth that He is the constant in my life, whether I’m single or in a relationship. I just need to look towards God and allow Him to work through me; whether I can serve God more furiously single or taken is up to Him.
2. “Until I bring to Him all the broken pieces, He cannot begin to put them back together. He is a God who creates beauty from the brokenness.” Again, the theme of brokenness. I cannot emphasize how heartbreaking it is to hear about these struggles and pains of simply being human in this dark world. Yet, it makes it that much more amazing when God redeems us through our brokenness and makes us new. As long as we are willing to go before God and give Him everything – our pains, sorrows, hurts, frustrations, and pure brokenness – He will be able to heal us like no other. Our brokenness is beautiful in the sense that we can use this as a growing experience, edifying those around us with our testimonies and the beauty that is God’s grace and crazy good love for us.
“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.”
3. “It is a daily struggle to choose God’s truths over the world’s lies.” I still find it difficult to turn away from the lies that society and the media feed to me on a daily basis. It’s easy to believe what people say about women who aren’t pretty enough, skinny enough, emotionally stable enough, etc. Yet, God loves us all the same. We are perfect in His eyes, and it takes faith to turn away from these lies and turn towards Jesus instead, to know that we are loved and have been loved since the beginning of time.
“I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”
4. “God cares about my holiness and whichever man can help me grow in the holiness department will be on God’s list.” It was never about my checklist of requirements that I so naively put together as a means for hopefully finding my future husband. It was never about what I could control about my fate and future; it was always about God’s timing and His plan for me. This quote put it all back into perspective for me: God will bring a man into my life who can help me grow in my faith, and it is only this man who will be the best candidate no matter what my requirements or criteria are. I would want my future husband to love God more than he loves me, and through that, we can learn to pursue Christ together. God cares about my relationship with Him, and I’m sure that He would want me to be with someone who can strengthen that relationship. In the same way, I would want to be the woman who can encourage a man to be a better person, a better lover, and a better Christian. I need to remind myself that it’s not about who I want to be with; it’s about who God wants to match me up with, and I have to trust that He will provide the best match for me to help me grow, mature, and become the woman in Christ that I am destined to be.
I have been so encouraged by the testimonies of the women and men who have so proudly and boldly shared with the Good Women Project. I’m still praying for God’s healing in my heart and mind, but I will never lose faith that it will. be. done. Everything will fall into place in God’s time, and in the process of reaching that feeling of contentment and a confident sense of self, I can only praise God for the ways He’s already blessed me and provided for me. In the midst of my brokenness and struggles, I know that God will fulfill His promises for me, and I can only smile and look forward to another day of walking with the Lord.