How are you spending your waiting season?

If You Always Maintain Your Faith, God's Timing Is Always Perfect

You might be closer to a blessing than you think

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This story is embarrassing, but the lesson I learned from it is too good not to share.

The weekend before Trent proposed to me, I had a total meltdown. It was a few days after Thanksgiving and I thought for sure I would be engaged by then. And I wasn't. Of course, it was around the holidays so it seemed like every time I got on social media someone was posting an engagement announcement. I was going crazy!

To make matters worse, I didn't want to get married too far into the summer. I live in Florida. Summers are hot, humid and rainy! If Trent didn't propose to me soon, all the venues would be booked and we would have to wait so long to get married. It was also seemingly impossible to enter a social situation without being asked "when are you guys going to get engaged?" Which, if you've been there you know, makes waiting so much worse. But the thing that made it the hardest was simply that I was ready to be Trent's wife. I was excited. But I let my excitement turn into panic. Panic turned into worry. Did I do something wrong? Have I given Trent the opportunity to propose? Questions flooded my mind day in and day out, wasting my time and energy.

The Sunday after Thanksgiving, I was so upset that I wasn't engaged. It was my lowest low of the waiting season. It was one of those times when it felt like nothing could make me feel better. I was just tired of waiting. Quite honestly, I was throwing a fit and being a brat.

I didn't know that 5 days later was the Saturday Trent had been planning to propose to me all along. He and our families had this planned for months. They put so much thought and so much effort into making in the most spectacular moment. And it was! Man, if I only knew what I wanted so badly was less than a week away.

I wonder how many other blessings in our lives are less than a week away. Maybe you're one handshake away from that job you've been so desperately searching for. Maybe not this time but the next time you ask your sister to come to church with you, she will say yes and give her life to Jesus. Maybe you need to face one more trial to shape you before you meet the love of your life. I don't know. But I think blessings are closer than we think.

To be totally honest with you, I hate that I ruined that weekend. I ruined some other moments too. I didn't trust God's timing. I can tell you now, God's timing was actually perfect. We got the venue we wanted, the date we wanted and the vendors we wanted all within the first few weeks of being engaged.

Are you ruining the moments during this season of waiting? Here's your reminder: God's timing is perfect and He promises good plans for your life. Your blessing might be closer than you think.

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17 Empowering Bible Verses For Women

You go, girl.
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We all have those days where we let the negative thoughts that we're "not good enough," "not pretty enough" or "not smart enough" invade our minds. It's easy to lose hope in these situations and to feel like it would be easier to just give up. However, the Bible reminds us that these things that we tell ourselves are not true and it gives us the affirmations that we need. Let these verses give you the power and motivation that you're lacking.

1. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed with strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future."

2. Psalm 46:5

"God is within her, she will not fall."

3. Luke 1:45

"Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her."

4. Proverbs 31:17

"She is energetic and strong, a hard worker."

5. Psalm 28:7

"The Lord is my strength and my shield."

6. Proverbs 11:16

"A gracious woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth."

7. Joshua 1:9

"Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

8. Proverbs 31:30

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised."

9. 1 Corinthians 15:10

"By the grace of God, I am what I am."

10. Proverbs 31:26

"When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness."

11. Psalm 139:14

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made."

12. 1 Peter 3:3-4

"Don't be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God."

13. Colossians 2:10

"And in Christ you have been brought to fullness."

14. 2 Timothy 1:7

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."

15. Jeremiah 29:11

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'"

16. Exodus 14:14

"The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm."

17. Song of Songs 4:7

"You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way."

Next time you're feeling discouraged or weak, come back to these verses and use them to give you the strength and power that you need to conquer your battles.

Cover Image Credit: Julia Waterbury

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You Ain’t Waiting For God To Bring You Your Dinner, You Get Up And Go Cook It

My words often get jumbled and don't make sense, so I figured writing it would help me come across clearly.

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Dear guy friends of mine,

I want you to know how grateful I am for your friendship. Having close guy friends has helped me better understand men and learn how the male species operates. I've been able to ask you so many questions and you've responded with thoughtfulness, kindness, grace, and honesty. I appreciate your willingness to talk to me.

I want to encourage you in something, and with some of you I have tried, but I think I came across as a little crazy. From what I've been told by married women, guys are very afraid of actual crazy. You want your girl to have some crazy (because all women have at least a little bit of crazy), but you don't want her to be, like, crazy. I get that and respect that.

I want to encourage you to ask girls out. It's scary. You're afraid of rejection. I know this because several of you have told me so. I recently spoke with a guy who's been married for a few years and has a baby daughter. He told me that you guys are scared, you don't want to put your heart on the line and have it crushed. That's a good reason not to pursue girls: you'll remain safe and free from hurt if you don't put your feelings out there.

But here's the other side of it: You'll never find that girl if you never search for her. Now, I know that all things happen in God's timing and as imperfect humans, we can't force things to happen outside of God's timeline. However, Pastor Matt Chandler of The Village Church in Dallas, Texas said this in a sermon several years ago:

"But something's happened in evangelical circles where if you're single you're supposed to not want to be married, but be content in a spot and that's somehow more glorifying than following God's wiring of you to want a mate. And so in the end what happens is that you walk around like a liar. I mean, poor young ladies! Almost all of them have been told, "As soon as you're content, God will send you a man." So you've got hundreds of thousands of women running around acting content! "I'm content, where is he?" You've got other guys going, "You know, I'm just gonna wait for God to bring me the right one." Well, you ain't waiting for God to bring you your dinner, alright? You get up and go cook it."

Pastor Chandler goes on to say that he's not telling the guys to go on the hunt and prowl. No! He's telling guys that they have a role to play in pursuing a woman to marry. Girls have a role to play, too. Girls can't just hang out with their girlfriends in hopes that they'll lock eyes with Prince Charming while in the grocery store or walking their dog in the park. No, girls need to build up the guys in their lives and respect them by letting the guys be guys and giving them opportunities to be gentlemen. That's what I appreciate about you guys, my guy friends. You are such gentlemen and I love that. Don't be afraid to ask out the girl that you think is sweet, cute, pretty, funny, kind, silly, honest, loyal, and the right amount of crazy. You've got this!

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