A Letter To My Future, To My Love – Thank you for catching the stick!

 
The words bellow are a summary of encounters and experiences.  This is not a reflection of, nor is this directed to any one person, except for “My Future, My Love”.  
 
She’s not aggressive , so she quietly waits and watches to see who will pursue, who will not drop the stick.

May I rise above being dumb as sheep to soar with the wisdom of the winged.

 We are often compared to sheep in the scriptures.  Sheep need a Shepherd because, well frankly, they are not very bright.  If they do not have constant watch they will be devoured for sure.  They will either end up as dinner for their predator, they will kill themselves by falling over and not being able to get back up, or they can possibly have their brains taken over by bugs.  It’s true – Shoo Fly, Don’t Bother Me!  Sheep need the constant watch and care of their shepherd.  Thankfully, God also tells us that if we wait and trust in Him we will soar like the eagle.  Getting those strong wings is a tough process, but there’s even more that I’ve recently learned about this beautiful mighty bird.  They are wise!

How an eagle finds her for-life-mate.

 
HOW THE FEMALE EAGLE CHOOSES HER MATE
(As told by the Wintu Tribal Elders of California)
 
“When it comes time for the female Eagle to choose her mate, she prepares herself for many suitors.  And many come before her.  She looks them over quite well and then picks one to fly with for a while.

If she likes the way he flies she finds a small stick, picks it up and flies high with it.  At some point she will drop the stick to see if the male can catch it.  If he does, then she finds a larger stick and flies with it much higher this time.  Each time the male catches the sticks, she continues to pick up larger and larger sticks.  When she finds the largest heaviest stick that she herself can carry, the stick is at this point almost the size of a small log!  But she can still fly very high with this large stick.

At any time in this process, if the male fails to catch the stick, she flies away from him as her signal that the test is now over.  She begins her search all over again.  And when she again finds a male she is interested in, she starts testing him in the exact same way.  And she will continue this “testing” until she finds the male Eagle who can catch all the sticks.  And when she does, she chooses him, and will mate with him for life. 

One of the reasons for this test is that at some point they will build a nest together high up and will then have their Eaglettes.  When the babies begin to learn to fly, they sometimes fall instead.  It is then that the male must catch his young.  And he does!”*

Woman's Hand Writing

A Letter To My Future, To My Love,

Dear Love,

There have been a few times that I could have remarried by now, but believe me, this is not said with a voice of arrogance.  The term, ”It’s a jungle out there” is no understatement.  To be sure, not all those I’ve met have been toilsome.   I have met some amazing people, but they simply were not you.

Now, back to ”It’s a jungle out there”.  I have met some real jerks!  So many times I wished you were by my side to protect me, but our God is good, He has kept me safe for you.  I will spare you great detail, but if you don’t mind, I’d like to sum up my experiences with a few words to those to whom this should apply.

To those who have dropped the stick or were never asked to pick it up to begin with, let me make myself very clear.

Unless you are under heavy lights about to do a photo shoot, Yes, I do mind if you wear eyeliner!  If you’re under investigation for your wife’s “suicide”, and if you practice out-of-body journey’s or levitation, we are not a match.  I’m not ok with being a secret, and to be clear, I cannot rescue you.  If you run when things do not go the way you’ve played it out in your head, I will let you run.  Mind reading is not possible and trying to guess what expectation I am to live up to is exhausting, not to mention impossible.  Also, If you say you do not want to grow up, I will run as fast as I can from you.

If I hear the words, “You’re too good for me” with a pitiful downward gaze, I’ve come to realize, you’re probably right.  You know you better than anyone else and you know what other secret life you are living.  I will heed your warning.  Anything kept hidden is a bomb waiting to go off.  Let me assure you, when I hear the words “I just wish you would let me do you” I am NOT flattered!  Are you kidding me!  Really?  Does that line really work?  It may be endearing to some, but it is an insult to my character, and extremely selfish on your part.

Regarding the classic and my all-time favorite, if “God told you to tell me” something that involved me, then He would have told me also.  God does not gossip.  If God has not told me the same thing, you are free to move on. 

You see Love, It truly is a jungle out there!  I’d like to think I’m not completely naive, though I would prefer to remain so on some things.  Being thrust into the dating world again, and standing face-to-face with wolves wrapped in human skin, has left me astonished.  What’s even more frustrating is the fact that all but one of the examples above were from those claiming to be a follower of Christ.  I wish I could promise you perfection on my part, I am far from having it all together, but to purposefully disregard the standards that we claim to believe, or to expect from others what we ourselves are not willing to give, is hypocrisy.  It’s living a lie.  Though, I am thankful for the encounters.  They’ve allowed me to appreciate you more. 

For the very reasons stated above, I’ve chosen not to date all that much.  Some have told me that I’m way too picky.  Maybe so, but I feel I’ve had to be.  Though, I prefer to call myself selective.  I think I should choose wisely who I spend precious time with, especially when you are the one that’s always on my mind. 

True, I was married for 9 1/2 years to a good man.  Warren was not perfect and I won’t pretend either of us were, but because of his life and experiencing his sudden death, I can love you better today.   I promise you, you are never expected to measure up to him.  You are unique and stand alone.  You have your own strengths and I honor them.  Besides, I have been praying for God to give me eyes for you only!  As my dear friend,Kimberly Wyse, so sweetly stated, “Perfection isn’t the goal – just appreciation.” 

I know that God’s ways are so much sweeter than anything I can dream up, so I will be content to trust Him as I wait for you.  I won’t give in, or settle for less than the desire God has placed in my heart.  I won’t settle for less than you.  With God’s protection and grace, I promise not to surrender my lonely season for a temporary high.  I do not want to rob God from the joy of blessing us.  I don’t want to rob you, my love, my Partner in life, of the assurance that you are worth more to me than to be a simple temporary emotional fix.  You are worth waiting for and deserve someone you can trust.

Oh how I long for the day I can look into your eyes and whisper my promise to you, “I do” because I do cherish you already.  I do promise my devotion to our God and to you – with all my heart.  Thank you for catching the stick!”

So My Future, My Love,
I offer you an I.O.U. me.
 
~Sincerely and Already Yours, Shannan
 
From the frailty of the sheep to the wisdom of the winged, ”She prepares herself for many suitors”, but only one will she give herself to.
 
So yes, I could have remarried by now, if I were willing to settle for the bad boy, the emotionally absent, the one needing a cover for another life, or simply for someone who I do not love with the deep devoted love a wife should have for her husband.  Am I too picky?  Maybe to some, but I am willing to bet that my future will be glad that I am so picky today.
 
What I am sure of is that God holds my future, so it is secure.  I will live out whatever today brings with joy, and like the wise eagle, I will prepare myself for my dreams of what tomorrow might hold.  Until tomorrow unfolds itself, I will choose contentment, for I know Who holds it.
 
Dumb as sheep or wise as the winged?  It’s a choice.
“she quietly waits and watches”
 
Open Scroll
*Kerry Shook – From Checkmate to Soulmate, video time marker 9:30-12:59, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ghXBQSj5uT8
~
A big thank you to my dearest of friends, Kimberly and Lori.  Thank you for walking through life with me, for all the laughter and tears we’ve shared, and thank you for helping me finish this monstrous writing.  I love you dearly my forever friends!

Are You Ready To Drop Your Fig Leaf?

“Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.”  John 14:6

There is not a good deed, a job well done, a self-sacrifice, or a self-condemnation that can cover our sin.  There’s not a fig leaf fancy enough that can atone.  It is God alone.  His boundless love for us propels Him to relentlessly pursues us.  He can’t help but to call for us.  Our job, our sacrifice, is to humbly accept His offer of forgiveness and allow Him to restore all that we have forfeited.

He can & He does!

Moses murdered a man.  David had an affair, got the girl pregnant, and then had her husband killed.  King Nebuchadnezzar, of Babylon, was an arrogant and bloodthirsty man.  He liked to watch people burn alive!  Peter walked side-by-side with Jesus, his friend, and still denied Him when things got a little scary.

BUT GOD!

God passionately pursued them all.  When a heart repents and turns from wrong, God restores.  God gives new hearts.

After 40 years of living a quiet hidden life, stripped of all titles, Moses was chosen to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt.  God even allowed Moses to see His glory.  God sheltered Moses in the cleft of a rock, because our physical selves cannot handle the weight of His full majesty, but God still allowed Moses this intimate moment.  He was Moses the murderer, but now he is Moses the forgiven and the redeemed.

There were some tough consequences for David’s sins, but there was also amazing redemption.  When David repented, God continued to bless him with many victories.  David, a mighty king, was named by God with an honorary title, “a man after God’s own heart.”

God loved the wicked King Nebuchadnezzar so much that He stripped him of every earthly blessing, all his social status and his power, to get his focus on what is truth.  Through the storm of losses, God already had a plan in place for Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom to be restored.  After 7 years of eating dirt this earthly king lifted his eyes to heaven, and then his “understanding returned”.

“My reason returned to me…  Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all of whose works are truth, and His ways justice. And those who walk in pride He is able to put down.”  Daniel 4:36-37

Can you see now?  Do you realize that you and I are not so special that God cannot redeem us too?  It’s pure arrogance to think we’re beyond His reach.  But do you also understand just how uniquely valuable we are?

“Then the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?””  –Genesis 3:9

God came walking in the garden like He did every day.  God already knew the choice that Adam and Eve had made, the choice to ignore His warning, the warning any loving parent would give a child, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat,”.  God tried to protect them from harm, but instead they chose to listen to the voice that led them to believe a lie.  Thinking God was holding out on them, they reached for what appeared better than what they already had, and they ate.  Their eyes were opened.  That voice did not tell a complete lie, because now they did understand more than they had before, now they knew the weight of shame.

So often we trade the whole garden for the knowledge of shame.

Shame’s voice always sounds just like the voice that reasoned us away from God in the first place – the voice of the thief.  The thief’s voice also mocks us after we concede to his tempting.  Why does he temp us?  It is his hatred for God not his want for us.  God loves us, so the thief reaches to take from God what God holds so dear – YOU!

BUT GOD!

But God already had a plan in place to free Adam, Eve, and all of us who’ve been tempted and shamed.  The very moment He comes calling, “Where are you?”  He’s ready to show us the way back to fellowship with Him.

“But God shows and clearly proves His [own] love for us by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” – Rom. 5:8, (amp)

“Where are you?”

At one tree we picked shame up.  At another tree we can lay shame down.

“I am the way, the truth, and the life.” ~ Jesus

Are you ready for a new heart?  Are you ready to drop your fig leaf?

Fig Leaf

It doesn’t cover much anyway!

God already knows where you are.  Nothing is hidden from Him.  Love stands waiting for you.  Are you ready to follow the voice of truth?

“For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” – John 3:17

Jesus left heaven for you!

We’re not so special yet we’re so uniquely valuable.  So let’s drop our fig leafs and come home.

Are you ready yet?  Are you ready to allow God to restore all that’s been forfeited?

~ Shannan

~ A big thank you to my editor, Kimberly Wyse.  I could not be so clear without her.