As many of you may have heard by now, I went to Ecuador on a mission trip. In preparation for these trips, everyone is asked to prepare a personal testimony that can be shared overseas. Often people tell of their life’s journey that has brought them into God’s family. People speak about God’s faithfulness and love; some speak about a time when they weren’t following God and so can testify to his forgiveness and grace. Preparing a personal testimony gives you the opportunity to truly reflect on your spiritual walk with God and where it has brought you today. Initially the testimony I had written was about growing up in the faith and how that affected me as I got older and entered the real world. I wouldn’t say it was a bad testimony, because all of our stories no matter what they are, are beautiful and a reflection of God’s work in our lives. However, as I was writing it I began to ask myself, is this really my testimony? Is this the thing in my life, today, that is a reflection of my relationship with God? If I’m being honest with myself, the answer to that question would be no. What has become a reflection of my relationship with God is the fact that I don’t have any relationship besides the one I have with God. My true testimony is my singleness. This struggle in today’s world is a bit of what I’ve written for all of you today. I’m going to share some of my story in hopes that it helps you, whether you’re a teenager, a young adult like myself, a parent, guardian, grandparent, etc.
Now, I’m not necessarily saying that I’m planning on being single forever although that possibility has crossed my mind. What I am saying is that I’ve come to a place in my spiritual journey where God has been put first above everyone else. Our culture today is saturated with sexuality and the permissiveness of promiscuity. I do hope that that, in itself, is not news to any of you. Sexuality and the idea of sex before marriage has become so common that it’s an everyday occurrence in our culture today, it is the rule not the exception. I’ve heard stories that truly break my heart because this next generation of adults simply don’t know any different. Being a single woman in her late twenties has exposed me more to this issue than I have cared for it to. I, myself, have been hurt, healed, and grown more in my spiritual faith due to this issue than any other. It has taken me years to understand and discern the yearnings in my own heart of those given to me by God from those given to me by the world around me. Everyone wants to be loved and accepted in some shape or form, God has created us this way. However, this can be manipulated and distorted to become some of our greatest sorrows. So without further ado, here’s a portion of my testimony that I pray could be used to help maybe just one of you reading this:
The Bible tells us that God is love. We are to love God with all our whole mind, body, and soul. We do this because God did it first and showed us how. While we were still sinners, Jesus died for us. This is love. This love is our purpose in life. This relationship with God is what our hearts truly desire. Earlier I said, “everything we want and desire, all this can be found in love, in our perfect person.” This is what I believed when I was younger and it was a lie because we are only fulfilled, content, and complete in Jesus. He is the perfect person we all need. All the pain and brokenness that comes from love and relationships today is because we try to put a person above God. We look toward an imperfect and sinful person to bring us joy, happiness, and purpose. This may be a boyfriend, girlfriend, spouse, child. For me, it was a boyfriend once. I had my person, this relationship, and yet had never been more lonely, because I did not have a relationship with God. What I found is that only God can provide the joy and peace that I desired. God has loved me, will love me, forever no matter what I do. God’s love is a fact. People are imperfect but God will never fail us.
Sometimes I still struggle because my life does not include a family and children and that this is not my purpose in life like it is for others. Instead I trust in God and ask for him to give me his purpose. Relationship with God is more important than any relationship with a guy. I trust in God’s timing. In the meantime, I tell God my struggles, I tell him my desires, and ultimately I look to him to provide for me and I trust in that. I will not compromise my relationship with God for a relationship with someone who does not respect me and, more importantly, does not respect God. He is my one true love and, with him, I know I will live happily ever after into eternity.