What a whirl wind the last few weeks have been. I've been somewhere between being in a complete state of awe to basking in the goodness and faithfulness of a God who fulfills His promises.
As I have been reflecting on my recent engagement to the man of my dreams, Corey M. Jones, I have also been reflecting on just how close I came to missing out on him because of a willingness to settle for 'good enough.'
Once upon a time I was a girl convinced I was unworthy of anything good. As a result I found myself time and time again in situations and relationships that reinforced this idea. I tolerated disrespect, mistreatment, and abuse. I gravitated towards toxic people and vices. I thought that someone like me, who experienced the kind of traumas I experienced, who did the kind of things I did was simply bound to a life of sorrow and misery.
Then, this girl who strayed so far from God in college rededicated her life back to Him in her early 20's and began the process of healing. I healed from the wounds of a strained relationship with my dad (a relationship that is now transforming and in repair thanks to the power of a mighty God). I healed from the wounds of a physically abusive relationship. I healed from the wounds of sexual assault. I healed from the wounds of rejection and abandonment. Yet, despite all that healing I failed to realize that what had gone unaddressed was the toxic thought that I wasn't worthy.
I came to know I was forgiven. I came to know I was healed. I came to know that I could be restored. I came to know I could be used by God. BUT, I failed to accept that this forgiveness, healing, and restoration also meant that God deemed me worthy.
And so in the few years prior to meeting my fiancée I found myself in what I'd describe as a 'situationship.' You know the kind of situation where you both like or have interest in one another, but you don't give it a title so as not to complicate things. You know the kind of situation where you spend time together alone but never bring each other around friends or family because of privacy and not wanting people in your business (also known as I don't want people to know we're together because I'd like to keep my options open). You know the kind of situation where you go periods of time talking daily and then can go months without speaking at all. You know the kind of situation where you guys kind of just exist in this foggy, gray area with no clear purpose or direction. Just kind of co-existing for the sake of not being alone and not much else.
Yep, I was there and despite my dissatisfaction with the situation, I was trying to convince myself that this was okay because I genuinely believed it was the best I could have. After all, he was a Christian and that was more than I could say for others I had dated in the past. After all, he never laid a hand on me and that was better than what I'd experienced in the past. After all, he never raised his voice or called me out of my name and that was more than I had experienced in the past. After all, when we spent time together the interaction was loving, sweet, fun, and enjoyable and that was a good thing, right?
Perhaps his hesitance to give us a title wasn't shame or uncertainty. Perhaps he was just a private person. Perhaps his resistance to bring me around family/friends wasn't about secrecy. Maybe he just enjoyed one on one time. Perhaps his ability to ghost me for a few months at a time here and there wasn't disrespect or a lack of consideration. Maybe he was just going through some things and needed space.
And so I remained in that vague and increasingly uncomfortable place because it wasn't horrible. It was better than anything I'd had before, so it was good enough. I envisioned a life with him, and honestly I believe it would have been good. Or as good as good can be. We would have been two Christians (willing to compromise our faith and give into temptation) who loved God (when it was convenient), who had some kids (that by our example we would teach to settle), and who lived somewhat happily ever after (at times, while other times basking in the sorrow of knowing we could have done and had better).
But praise God for the Holy Spirit who stirred my spirit. The Holy Spirit who showed me He had a better than good enough love for me. The Holy Spirit who led me to God's Word and reminded me that the love God has for me is the best love there is and that the man God had for me would mirror that kind of love.
A man who didn't hit me or speak down to me was good. But a man who affirms me based on the truth of God's Word as naturally as he takes a breath is God's best. A man who spent one on one time with me behind closed doors was good. But a man who sees my value and worth and is proud to quickly and loudly claim me is God's best. A man who conversed with me when he could was good. But a man who makes it a priority and not an after thought to start and end his day with me is God's best. A man who told me how he felt was good. But a man who shows me how he feels every single day in every single interaction we have or moment we spend together is God's best for me.
So Do Not Settle!
You Are Worthy Of God's Best!
Your Past Doesn't Disqualify You!
Your Mistakes Don't Disqualify You!
What Happened To You Doesn't Disqualify You!
God deemed me worthy of the God sent man He had created just for me.
When you look up the word worthy here are some of the definitions you'll find:
- having or showing the qualities or abilities that merit recognition in a specified way
- deserving effort, attention, or respect
- person notable or important in a particular sphere
Here's an important distinction to make. When God deems us worthy it is not because we have the qualities or abilities that merit recognition or attention. Romans 3:23 tells us that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. We were born into sin. There's nothing we have done or can ever do to earn worthiness or merit from God.
God deeming us worthy is because we are notable and important to Him. Why? Because He created us in His image. (Genesis 1:27 So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.) Why? Because when He created us He deemed us good. (Genesis 1:31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning--the sixth day.) Why? Because we are His children. (John 1:12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.) Why? Because His love for us is unconditional. (Psalms 103:11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.)
You deserve the best and God has that for you, you just have to trust God enough to wait on Him. You deserve the best and you are worthy of the best because God says so, and God is not a man that He should lie (Numbers 23:19).
Love yourself enough to wait for God's best. It won't always be an easy task, but God has graced you to navigate your single season with integrity, self-control, and wisdom. More often than not you'll find that when you develop an "I don't mind waiting" posture, that becomes the key to unlocking your next season.