Waiting

Behind The Veil: Hidden In Singleness

veil
I’ve been single for a little over three years and sometimes I feel like I’m in hiding. Not on purpose or by choice. I just don’t get approached my men who are looking for relationships. I’m not going to lie; singleness can be lonely and even frustrating. I have experienced a roller coaster of emotions. The highest point is when I was Miss Independent. You know the kind. The type of woman who claims she doesn’t need a man. She’s good on her own. Then at my lowest point when I was feeling down, insecure and believing the enemies lies that I was unlovable. Then I’d have months of coasting going through the days of singleness trying to “cope.” I’d sometimes pray for my future husband to appear the next day as if God was a genie in a bottle.

In a women’s Christian conference I attended called Pinky Promise, one of the speakers, Allyson Rowe, did a sermon about singleness. One thing she said that hit me was that “there is a spiritual attack on the identity of a single women.” Society may look at single women as if we are defeated or pity singles for the lack of a companion.

This causes discontentment and I sometimes find myself trying to fix myself as if I am defected. In an attempt to “fix” myself, I signed up for an online dating site. I knew the minute I finished my online dating profile and went “live” that I was working outside of God’s will. It was solely my flesh and my discontentment that got me to this website to begin with. My flesh convinced me that I was missing out and I needed to put myself out there. The first night I got so many likes, messages, and views. For me, someone who was in hiding for three years, this was an overwhelming experience. My spirit was unsettled and I was not really at peace, but I decided to test it out a little longer.

I got messages from men who were not looking for anything serious, just a good time. Heather Lindsey would call these men – randoms. These are men who were set in my path to cause distraction and to get me off track with God. I had my profile up for two weeks before I deleted it.

Then I realized God did not just hide me from these randoms, He was protecting me from the enemy’s distractions, lies, discontentment, lustful desires, sexual immorality, fornication and ungodly dating. He was covering me from all the spiritual turmoil that comes in an unequally yoked relationship (2 Corinthians 6:14). These experiences also made me think of 1 Corinthians 10:23:

“‘All things are lawful,’ but not all things are helpful. ‘All things are lawful,’ but not all things build up.”

This made me think of a wedding veil. It hides the brides face during the wedding until her husband lifts it up to seal the vows with a kiss. Just like that veil, God is covering me until my future husband finds me. Until then, I will trust and wait patiently for my Mr. Right.

XO,

Patrice
patrice@areyoushe.com

Check out Allyson Rowe’s YouTube Video on singleness-


Pic credit- Unsplashed

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A Prepared Place For You.

Have you ever had a moment where you couldn’t receive a word?

That’s what happened to me the other day while I was sitting on the steps at Point State Park.

Even though I have recently experienced one of the biggest breakthroughs of my life with a new job, somehow I still found myself in a state of depression and doubting God.

I was reminiscing on a past love, questioning God why things hadn’t turned around yet. While writing in my journal and desperately trying to hear the still small voice speak, my emotions got the best of me. As I discreetly wiped away tears from underneath my sunglasses as I baked in the sun, fervently I scribbled down words, which is like my own personal way of yelling at God.

Sometimes I get frustrated in His timing and don’t want to wait anymore. I want answers but all I seem to get is silence.

In the midst of my mixed emotions, the Spirit led me to John 14:1-3 which reads:

“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. ” 

It’s a really encouraging word, but in the moment at the park (and I hate to admit this) I couldn’t receive it because I was so caught up in my emotions. I was so focused on what wasn’t going on in the natural that I ultimately began to lose sight of God and His promise to me through the sacrifice and grace of His Son.

preparedplace

No matter what it looks like, whether life seems at a standstill or there’s perpetual chaos all around you, Jesus’ promise to you is this: He has prepared a place for you. Jesus not only went to Calvary to set us free, but to give us peace knowing that there’s space already allotted for us in the Kingdom and eternity. All He’s waiting on us to do is walk by faith, exercise the fruits of the Spirit and to not lose hope.

Take your biggest worry and insert it (here). Whether it’s over your family, your boo or a job, know this: God already has all things worked out on your behalf. Jesus has already gone ahead to prepare a place just for you. There is a chapter and a story being written in the Lamb’s book of life. Just like Romans 8:28 says, “All things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose. ” 

If you’re walking in alignment with Christ, seeking Him everyday, despite the times when you slip and fall — God is in it all.

When you’re coming down with a case of a downcast soul, remember God is already running ahead of you, marking out a spot just for you.

That’s the revelation I had after meditating on the fact He has prepared a place for me. Even though my heart was troubled and concentrated on futile things, God still gave me a word to let me know He loves me. And that’s His desire for all human beings — that we would know He is truly in control of everything, even in the things we cannot see.

By Sydni Grant
sydni@areyoushe.com
Photo: verrylj.com

Why I’m Happy Russell Wilson Is Waiting For Ciara’s Goodies.

It’s not everyday abstinence becomes a headline.

But when it involves a Super Bowl winning Seattle Seahawk quarterback and the Princess of Crunk — it gets everyone talking.

When news broke Russell Wilson and Ciara weren’t having sex, social media exploded. wpid-wp-1436295373225.jpeg

During an interview at The Rock church in San Diego, Wilson explained they decided to practice abstinence after God spoke to him. Wilson says God told him, “I want you and need you to lead her.” After he heard from the LORD, Wilson asked Ciara, “What would you do if we took all that extra stuff off the table and just did it Jesus’ way?”

And for many of us, that’s what we would love to hear a man say.

Just take the extra stuff off the table and do it Jesus’ way.

No sex just hand holding and a hug in between. Maybe a kiss but no humping and fornicating.

To some it may sound old fashioned, but it’s the way God intended things since the beginning.

In our culture, there’s so much pressure to have sex and do it right way so a man will stick around and stay. Could you imagine being with a man who didn’t want to work your body but get to know you, the fearfully and wonderfully made human being?

By taking sex off the table, it not only opens doors for a new way of dating, but it gives a man a chance to lead you in the right way.

And that’s the kind of love Ciara taught us to wait for back in the day.

When her debut single “My Goodies” dropped in 2004, it became the anthem for millions of teens and young girls. Her words not only empowered us, but taught us the importance of keeping our goodies in the jar and not giving into every man that we see.

Now sing along…

I bet you want my goodies

Bet you thought about it

Got you all hot and bothered

Mad cause I talk around it

Looking for the goodies

Keep on looking cuz they stay in the jar

Ciara warned us about the wolves and why we shouldn’t throw our pearls to the pigs. (Sorry fellas if that was a bit harsh). But even though a lot of us didn’t heed her wisdom when we went off to college and entered the real world, there’s no doubt there’s a lot of truth in that song.

And that’s the reason why I’m not surprised God called Russell Wilson to lead her to abstain from sexual immorality. God’s giving Ciara something back that she and many of us have lost along the way.

Faith to maintain purity. 

When we were younger, it was cool to wait. (Okay, maybe at least at my school). But once many of us went off to college and got caught up in romantic rendezvous and relationships, we felt the pressure to give it all away. Many of us have regretted it and would do anything to get it back. Others feel they’ve messed up so bad, there’s no way God can restore their past.

But I think Russell and Ciara’s decision sends a very strong message to young woman: it doesn’t matter if you’re a virgin or had sex a hundred times; you’re still worth the wait and there’s men out there who want to lead — not lust after you.

This kind of leading without lusting is biblical, too. We see it in a love story between a prophet and a prostitute. God called Hosea to marry Gomer even though she ran off and cheated with other lovers. Despite these setbacks, Hosea’s love and commitment to Gomer didn’t change because of her choices and circumstance. And that’s the same kind of love God wants for Ciara and us, too.

For many people, it’s hard to believe why Russell Wilson wouldn’t want to go ahead and have sex with a woman like Ciara. She’s a beautiful and talented superstar. But I believe their decision to wait is creating a platform to show the world what Christ-centered relationships really look like.

Because at the end of the day, love isn’t about how many times you lay down with a person — it’s about how many times you lay down your life in order to do right by them.

So Ciara and Russell, I’ll be praying for you because I know how hard it is not to give up your goodies and remain intentionally abstinent in a relationship.

Here’s some words of encouragement I have for the both of you as you continue down this road of celibacy together:

Set boundaries. “A person without self-control is like a city with broken-down walls.” Proverbs 25:28. If you don’t want to have sex, you have to take practical steps to prevent it. Spending the night and spending long periods alone will only tempt you. The good news: the boundaries will build stamina that will benefit your relationship in the long haul.

Get accountability. “Where there is no counsel, the people fall.” Proverbs 11:14. Just because you’re grown, don’t think you can do this alone. Ask for pastors and other spiritual mentors to pray and check in on the both of you. Accountability will not only help you have respect for one another, but grow an even deeper reverence for God.

If you can’t wait, set a date. “It’s better to marry than burn with lust.” 1 Corinthians 7:9. It’s no secret waiting is hard. But if holding out is getting to be too much for you, seek the LORD on whether or not to move forward with marriage. There’s no denying men and women have needs. If God gives the green light to jump the broom, there’s no need for a long engagement. The wedding is a covenant and celebration of how God brought together the two of you.

By Sydni Grant
sydni@areyoushe.com
Photo: people.com

Waiting On God Won’t Cost You More.

You ever put on a dress that was the perfect fit for you?

That’s what happened to me in Atlanta this weekend.

While shopping for a graduation dress with my cousin Jordan, I found a super cute dress at the Gap. With gray and blue stripes and pockets on the side, when I put it on it just screamed Sydni.

But there was only one problem.

The promotional advertising in the store was misleading. I thought when I saw the signs in the store that said 40% off that meant everything in the store. So when I got to the cash register and the sales associate rang up the dress and it came to $31 which included sales tax, my jaw dropped to the floor. As I thought about the state of my bank account and the other bills that needed to be paid, sadly, I told the sales associate to put the dress back.

I’m not gonna lie — I felt a little tear well up inside of me as I parted ways with the dress.

Being the bargain shopper that I am and a former Gap employee, I couldn’t come to terms to paying that much for the dress. Instead of dishing out $30 dollars, I trusted my instinct, believing the dress would eventually be marked down again.

Before leaving the store, I asked the employee to see where the dress was in Pittsburgh. She told me there were two dresses in my size at Ross Park.

So I took a chance and waited until I got home to Pittsburgh. (Plus, I wouldn’t have to pay sales tax).

After I got off work today, I went to the store at Ross Park Mall. When I went to the rack, I saw the dress was marked down even lower than the store in Atlanta at $14.99.

But God had an even bigger surprise for me. When I swiped my debit card at checkout, the dress came down to $10.49. I smiled and thanked Jesus.

That sale really touched my heart.

As I was driving home, thinking about how cheap I got my new dress, God dropped this in my heart: When you wait on God, it won’t cost you more. 

wait won't cost

Waiting is a word God has speaking to me a lot lately. It’s a principle that not only applies in shopping but also in our spiritual lives. When God puts it in our hearts to wait, He knows the cost and what you’ll save if you just follow Him. It’s not always easy to wait especially when you’re anticipating a breakthrough. But despite it all, putting your trust in the LORD is key. 

When He gives you a vision or a promise, you have to believe He’s going to manifest everything He promised. Over and over again, we see men and women of God in the bible put to the test when it comes to waiting on their promises. Whether it was Abraham trusting the LORD for a son or Mary believing Joseph would be the one to help father the Son, they both went through a season of waiting.

If we don’t wait, we can easily become like the Israelites, wandering the wilderness for 40 years instead of getting there in 40 days.

When we don’t wait on the LORD, we end up paying $30 dollars for a dress that God wanted to give to us for $10. Don’t go over your budget and into debt because you’re tired of waiting. Galatians 6:9 says, “Don’t grow weary in doing good.” In other words, don’t grow weary in following the LORD. Don’t grow weary when He tells you to hold off on something you really want to do.  Don’t grow weary in listening to God’s voice for direction. God’s word has to come to pass. But our patience determines the path.

By Sydni Grant
sydni@areyoushe.com
Photo: monkontheroad.com

Yada, Yada, Yada: Why God Wants You To Wait To Have Sex

I almost gave it all away because I didn’t want to have to wait anymore. Sick and tired of the waiting game, I contemplated compromising my purity. Tired of watching the world fornicate around me, I thought about what it would look like if I went into uncharted territory and explored the forbidden realm I had roped off for holy matrimony. I was nearing the age of 23 and still, no one wanted to be committed to me.  I thought living in Philadelphia would in fact increase my chances at a shot of love since there were so many men walking around. But instead, it was the opposite.

It seemed everyone got into a relationship by just hooking up and I was just standing on the sidelines, waiting to get into the game. Even if I did get the chance to get on the field, the quarterback never threw the ball to me because there was some other girl down on the field wide open.

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One day as I was walking down Broad Street on Temple’s campus, talking to my friend named Shannon, I told her everything. I told her how I felt and that I was sick and tired of waiting. I told her I loved God but this was just getting too hard. I told her how I was frustrated and tired of not knowing what all the hype was about. But the truth of the matter is, I was beginning to lose sight about what my purity was all about.

Then the LORD spoke through Shannon and her words made me change my mind about everything. She said, “Sydni, the right one is going to wait for you.”

Sometimes we lose sight of the promises God has spoken over our lives because we base our reality off of what the world looks like around us. Even though it seemed everyone around me was hooking up and having sex, Shannon’s words reminded me of why I took my vow in the first place — for my husband. I wasn’t waiting for a boo or just some dude who would just be my boyfriend. I was waiting for the man I knew would be called to be my husband.

Abstinence is more than just saving yourself for marriage. If anything, it’s more of a spiritual journey. When you take something out that the rest of the world is doing, God removes the scales from your eyes and you begin to see everything from a new point of view.

Instead of being caught up in one night stands or men who were simply just friends with benefits, I drew closer to God. He became more than just some big man in the sky and I learned He was so much more than just an all supreme deity. He was my Creator, my Savior, my Master and my Friend. Through Him, not only did I discover my gifts and calling but He also gave me my identity. He set me free from mental enslavement and carnal captivity. When I was stuck in a rut or down in the dumps, I would call on His name and He would answer.

Abstinence became less about waiting and more about drawing closer to God. I realized refraining from sex was all about my relationship with God. And if we think not having sex is just because God said it’s reserved for marriage — we’ve missed the whole point. It’s so we can know God.

In the Bible, the Hebrew word for “know” is yada. (You’ve probably heard it used before with the phrase “Yada, yada, yada”)

The word yada is used in Genesis 4:1:

“Adam yada’d Eve and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain”.

Some translations say “know” others say “lay”, but they all stem from the understanding of the word yada.

The Hebrew word “yada” has five distinct dimensions:

  1. To know God’s nature, personality, attributes and ways.
  2. To know God’s wisdom
  3. To know God by personal experience
  4. Having a face-to-face encounter with God
  5. Sexual intimacy

Before Adam had sex and made love to his wife, he got to know God. Way before Eve came into the picture, Adam was walking and talking with God, fulfilling part of his purpose to name all the animals on the earth.

“Out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called every living creature, that was its name.” Genesis 1:18 NKJV

Adam got the chance to not only know God, but know himself. And God has the same desire for you. Your singleness is not only a time of self-discovery, but a chance to encounter His presence. God has you right where you are so you can know Him and not be defined by anything or any man.

Ladies, God wants to yada you. He wants to know you fully and deeply and every part of you. He wants to meet you face to face.  But above all us, He wants to show you His deep love for you.

Whether you’re waiting or celibate, singleness is the best time for God to yada, yada, yada you.

By Sydni Grant
sydni@areyoushe.com

Photo: gettyimages.com

Patience: 3 Things To Remember While Waiting

Waiting.

Just the thought of simply waiting can cause us to be anxious or impatient.

In a world where there are so many methods to get things done quick, no one likes to wait.

With minute meals, fast food, and get rich quick schemes, everyone wants things done in a quick, timely matter.

Let’s face it, we don’t like waiting.

Waiting

I’ve made plenty of decisions because I was impatient and did not want to wait. Whether it was switching long lines in a store to a shorter/fast pace line or simply being impatient in my conversations or relationships.

Sometimes I get upset when things do not go my way or in the time frame I want it to. This can definitely be an issue for me. I have to remember that everything is not going to occur the way I want it to and when I want it to.

What happens when we don’t get what we want? How do we react?

What if we prayed and prayed and prayed, yet what we prayed for doesn’t occur?

How often do we move before God tells us to move?

3 Things to Remember While Waiting:

1) God operates differently than we do. 

“‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,’ declares the LORD. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.’” (Isaiah 55:8-9 NASB)

God is Omnipresent. He sees the past, present, and future. Whereas, we see what already occurred in the past, and right now. Sometimes we simply can’t comprehend what He’s doing or how He’s operating. Remember God’s Ways and Thoughts are higher than ours. God is the Author of Time. Although we may not understand what He is doing, He has everything all under His control.

2) Have courage and patience while you wait. 

“Wait for the LORD; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the LORD.” (Psalms 27:14 NASB)

God is in control. This scripture encourages us to be strong and have courage. God will not leave us in the dark. While He is operating in His Timing, this scripture is a reminder to be patient and wait for Him. While we are waiting, He is working.

3) Even through tears, God is near.

“Those who sow in tears shall reap with joyful shouting. He who goes to and fro weeping, carrying his bag of seed, Shall indeed come again with a shout of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.” (Psalms 126:5-6 NASB)

God sees our tears. He sees how hard we work. He sees what we go through, and He hears our prayers. After all the seeds are planted and produce crop, we’ll have joy. We will be able to smile looking back during our season of waiting with our crop/harvest.

So during seasons of waiting, let’s remember to stay encouraged and faithful. Know God is near and He will not abandon us. Keep pushing through! Wait for Him. He is Faithful.

Will you wait for Him?

“The LORD is near to the brokenhearted And saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (Psalms 34:18 NASB)

By Ashley A. Johnson
ashley@areyoushe.com

Photo: Gratisography