Saturday, September 24, 2011

Waiting On Him: Marli's Story

Marli's Story

The day was November 23rd, my 10th birthday. I remembered the night well. A special night had been planned for me, just me! Mom and Dad had reserved the evening for the three of us to have dinner at a elaborate restaurant, while my brother and sister stayed with my grandparents. I anticipated the evening with enthusiasm!

After arriving at the restaurant, Mom and Dad began talking to me about remaining pure as I waited on my prince charming. They had also suggested, as I was growing older, my first kiss would be a special gift. They encouraged me to save that kiss for my husband on our wedding day.

At one moment during the dinner, I remember asking my mom for a Tylenol. She told me, “Okay, you can get it out of my purse.” I looked in her purse and there it was lying among the other purse items, a tiny wrapped package. I looked at Mom and Dad. They were both smiling. After confirming that the gift was for me, I pulled it out and opened the small package.

It was a little ring box which contained the most beautiful, gold ring displaying a petite diamond on top. I was pleasantly surprised. Mom and Dad told me this ring would become a symbol of our evening together, representing the promise I had made to them and to my future husband. It would become a constant reminder that I was to protect the unique and irreplaceable gifts God had given me - that were intended for my husband, and him only, on my wedding day.

I have been blessed to live in a Christian home my entire life. This was not the first time I had a conversation with my parents about purity. I have always acknowledged that saving my first kiss would further delay the sexual act and help prevent the hasty giving of myself emotionally to a guy.

It makes me sad to think that in today’s world that so many young ladies are not virgins anymore. When others see my purity ring and ask what it symbolizes, I consider it a privilege to explain to them the promises that I am keeping. Some find it shocking and hard to believe. But, I look forward to the day that I can present myself to my husband as an anticipated “unwrapped gift.”
Another representation of my purity ring is in the area of my relationships with guys. I have made the commitment to replace dating with old-fashioned courting. Courting isn’t a bad word, it is actually a very safe word. My definition of courting is getting to know someone in the company of family or friends. This is another principle that I adopted in my teen years.

I want my parents involved 100 % in the process of me choosing a mate. Many of my friends’ parents do not even know who their children are associating with, much less, dating. I don’t want that to be my circumstance. I want it to be a family affair, even with the brother and sister involved. It can actually be a lot of fun! Having an older brother who is courting has given me a positive view of what it can be like. I have also come to realize how important boundaries are in a relationship. I have read numerous stories of courtships. Most courtships are adapted to their personal expectations, but most happily choose the safety of physical boundaries and getting to know each other within a family setting versus being alone in a dating situation.

One of my greatest struggles is remaining content as I wait for my special someone. Handing the pen over to Christ and allowing Him to script my love story is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. As I watch other couples walking hand-in-hand, I occasionally feel discouraged. However, I constantly remind myself that God has the perfect love story planned for me. In my opinion, shuffling from guy to guy just for the sake of companionship would not be part of His perfect plan.

So, what’s a girl to do? Taking advantage of this phase in our lives to be an encouragement to our male friends in the faith, would be beneficial to all those involved. As I treat them as my brothers, “with all purity,” I can strengthen them spiritually and display to them characteristics of a true female friendship(1 Timothy 5:1, 2). The characteristics of flirtatious girls are described in Proverbs 7. This type of conduct should be avoided, as it creates hardships on our guy friends to remain pure gentlemen. As we adopt the practice of building our male friends up in their everyday accomplishments, instead of seeking them as a potential mate, they will appreciate our chaste behavior. If our actions are mature in dealing with our guy friends, the more respectful they will treat us.

It may seem difficult remaining pure and spotless in a polluted world, but we can be the one who goes against the flow. We should not be bashful about reclaiming a commitment to purity. Saving your special kiss, allowing your parents to guide you through a healthy relationship and treating guys with brotherly kindness will persuade others to demonstrate a more perfect Christian walk. I pray that we all can live a life of purity…with no regrets.

Have a testimony to share about how God is writing your love story?
Want to encourage others to wait on His timing?

Share it with us by emailing it to:

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Waiting For You

Back in 2009, two friends became engaged. Jason and Jessica. Their story is featured here on King's Bride. As I eagerly awaited their wedding, I found myself penning the following song down. Later, I ended up recording a demo and sending it to them, it having been inspired by their story. At the time, I was seven months away from my own wedding and anxiously awaiting the day I, too, would be able to say to my groom, "I've been waiting for you!"

I hope you are encouraged to continue to wait.

Click here to listen to "Waiting For You"

He was running through the fields
She was picking flowers
He was fishing in the pond

She was playing house
Now they're standing at the alter together
They're about to exchange their wedding vows

As they look into the eyes of one another
You can almost hear them as they say...

I've been waiting for you
I've been praying for you
And now I'll spend my life with you

God sent you to me after faithfully
Waiting for you

There were days
When he almost gave up hoping
There were nights
When she wondered at God's plan
But they waited and they both remained faithful
Entrusting their lives into God's hands

Now as loved ones and friends all gather 'round
You can almost see the Savior smiling down
As they say....

I've been waiting for you
I've been praying for you
And now I'll spend my life with you
God sent you to me after faithfully
Waiting for you

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

God Hasn't Forgotten You

Home from Wednesday night youth meeting, she walked into her room, tossed her purse and Bible on her desk, then dropped to her bed. With a tired sigh that went beyond physical fatigue, she just sat there silently, lost in thought.

Another night with Church friends who were more like acquaintances....

Another night having to ignore the silly giggling from "that couple"....

Another night of being given scowls and glares when she spoke anything remotely concerning set-apartness....

With a pounding headache and an aching heart, she sat there, silently, wondering what she should do. Nobody wanted to live differently. Nobody really even liked her. Oh, they liked parts of her, I suppose, but nobody truly wanted to be her friend....and she knew why. She was different. She believed different things.... like love being worth waiting for; like purity being something to prize and protect. She dressed in a different way.... no miniskirts or plunging, low necklines. She acted differently too. She didn't shameless flirt with the guys around her. She didn't let out the cute little giggle when a guy made eyes at her. She didn't bat her long eyelashes their way or sway as she walked pass them. She was far different from those around her and though she was proud of that fact, the frustration of being utterly alone in her pursuit of "different living" was beginning to weigh on her.

"Lord," she prayed. "Have you forgotten about me?"

With tears in her eyes, looked down at her bedspread. "God....were you watching tonight? Did You see them sneak that kiss with the youth director left the room? Did You hear what they were whispering to each other and writing about all throughout the lesson? Do You see how they treat me?
.....God, they all act like they are so happy with their significant other. I know I have chosen the right path and the right way, so why am I hurting right now?? Why am I lonely tonight when they are giggling like crazy?? God, are You still there??"

I remember that night. Actually, I remember many nights exactly like that. Sadly, in my pursuit of purity, I had no support system outside of my parents. If it hadn't been for them, I could have possibility been driven to lowering my standards. But oh, how I wanted to be different! I wanted to be truly set-apart. Because of the fact that practically everyone my age thought I was crazy in that area of my life, there was no one to encourage me to hang in there other than my mom and dad. At that time, I was having so many attacks from friends, Church people, and even family members who thought that my "set-apart" way of living was unrealistic, old fashioned, outdated, lame, a form of abuse from my parents, and the like.

It hurt.

I remember that night as I sat on my bed, trying to keep my tears from pouring down my face. I felt lonely that night. I felt forgotten by God. And it was then that He gave me these words:

Come back to me.
In moments of doubt and frustration and loneliness, instead of wallowing in self-pity, what we SHOULD do is run back into the comforting arms of the Lord. His strength is made perfect in weakness. When we stray a bit from Him, we begin to feel its effects. We grow stale in our faith. We begin to doubt. We get lonely. We even wonder, as I did, if God has forgotten all about us. After that night, I tried to take those moments of loneliness as a call from my Father to come back to Him. HE never leaves. We do the leaving; we do the straying. And though WE may forget the many promises that He has made, He never forgets.

When we hurt, He feels that hurt and longs for us to allow Him to comfort us.

When we are lonely, He aches with us, yearning to wrap us up in His arms.

When we are tired of waiting, He is there, ready to sustain us with His strength.

In your pursuit of purity and in your season of waiting, I want to encourage you to, as Mary Slessor once said, keep close to Jesus. Do not stray from His presence. In those moments of loneliness, please remember that God has not forgotten you, nor will He. He sees far beyond what we see and is scripting a beautiful love story for you....all you have to do is give Him the pen and trust Him.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

A Bride's Walk

To me, one of the grandest moments of a wedding ceremony is when the bride makes her entrance and begins walking down the aisle. The music swells, all heads turn, the crowd rises, the groom is full of emotion, and - THERE SHE IS!

Slowly, she begins walking down the aisle toward her groom; her beloved.

I remember my walk.

I had been choked with emotion listening as each song was played. The candles were lit during "Sunrise." Then "Great is Thy Faithfulness" began as our grandmothers and mothers were escorted to their seats. Then my groom and his groomsmen entered. After that, everyone was still as Grant's and my song began to play. As it ended, I took a breath. The processional was about to begin. I listened as the music began and watched as my friends and sisters made their way down the aisle. I remember being momentarily distracted by the timing and made a motion for the ring bearer to begin walking. Then, it hit me. It was time. This was it. I took my Dad's arm and made my way to the aisle, quickly pausing before we began our walk.

As I stood there, I searched for my groom's face. There he the end of the aisle, waiting for me to join him. I gave the biggest smile I could muster and began to walk, keeping my eyes focused on him. Though the crowd stood to honor me, and though my uncle loudly blew the shofar horn, through all the commotion, I fixed my eyes on Grant knowing that if I could just keep looking to him, I would make it. A part of me was afraid. "I'm getting married. My whole life is about to dramatically change." A part of me wanted to burst into tears, thankful and grateful for all the blessings. A part of me wanted to run down the aisle towards him before he got cold feet and changed his mind! But I kept a steady walk and focused on his face, on his eyes.

Finally, we made it to the alter. As I looked at my groom, I saw a mixture of joy and awe. He gave me a small smile and nodded, telling me that he thought I looked gorgeous. Then, he took my hand and the ceremony began!

Obviously, the bride's walk is one of everyone's favorite parts of a wedding day.

As I began to think back, I couldn't help but think that our walk, as Christians, should be very similar to a bride's walk down the aisle.

I cannot say that every bride does what I did, which was focus in on my groom, but I do know that that is exactly what every Christian needs to do when walking through this life.

In this world, there is pain and trials. There is hardship. There are sometimes roads that are long and lonely. Sometimes the cross we carry is exceptionally heavy to bear. But, sisters, LOOK to JESUS.

When you are afraid, focus your eyes on Jesus.

When you are tired, fix your gaze upon His face.

When you are weary, keep walking steadily onward towards Him.

When you stumble, get back up and continue on.
Hebrews 12:1 says, "Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us." Then comes the best part that gives us hope....

Hebrews 12:2a - "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith...."

Looking unto Jesus. Looking unto Him.

As the bride of Jesus Christ, let us lay aside all the things that so easily hold us back and let us steady our eyes upon the beautiful face of our Master and walk towards Him. Sometimes, there will be the commotion of life that will threaten to deter us. Sometimes our own fears may tempt us to pause. But if we will keep our eyes focused on the throne and upon our beloved Bridegroom, and walk on, we will make it one day. And what a wonderful day it will be when we finally reach the "alter" of Heaven and be with our Beloved for all eternity! On that day, we won't be thinking much of the long walk down the aisle. We will only be basking in the love of our King!

Ephesians 4:1
"I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called."

Ephesians 4:17
"This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind."

Ephesians 5:8b
"....walk as children of light."



Related Posts with Thumbnails