Not Unredeemed

… living the beautiful tension between what is, and what will be …


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Marriage – Not Your Savior

A beautiful guest post by Nichole from “A Readers Rumination. Nichole is a mom of two, a passionate Jesus lover, friend, and former co host of the She Says Podcasts. Enjoy! 

“How are you doing?” my neighbor asked.

I burst into tears.

I had been married for a little over three years, but I was lonelier than I had ever felt in my life. My husband and I married shortly after I graduated from college. We had the textbook “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” courtship (not without it’s bumps and bruises-after all, most of it was a long distance relationship) complete with sharing our first ‘I love you’ and first kiss after he proposed. After we married, we moved a couple hours away from family, both started new jobs and bought a house. Our daughter was born a few weeks before our second wedding anniversary. I quit working shortly before that to stay home and care for her.

A few weeks before my meltdown outside my neighbors’ driveway, my husband had decided to try out for a role in a Christmas musical. He ended up landing quite a few roles and was gone most weeknights for practices. The show also traveled to different venues much of November and December, meaning he was also gone for many weekends. I had the option of Marriage, not your Saviortraveling with the cast, but I chose to stay home with our daughter.

I felt lonely, isolated from friends and family “back home” that I had know for years, and I was quite a bit resentful that I was “sacrificing” so much for my husband during this busy season in his life. I knew marriage wasn’t supposed to be an endless slumber party, complete with hot chocolate and heart-to-heart talks every night, but my husband was gone pursuing one of his dreams and making new friends in the process. I was a bit envious.

In the midst of my tears, my neighbor hugged me and graciously invited me over for dinner a few times while my husband was away on the show circuit. I’m thankful for that and the many other graces God gave me during that season of our life. Looking back, I can see now how God used the loneliness and bitterness I felt during that season to expose my selfish presupposition that marriage should fulfill all my longings for friendship and relationship without the hard and awkward work of making new friends in a new town.

I still have much to learn now, but more and more God is showing me how my identity is not wholly defined as “wife”. In fact, He often uses this identifier in my life to point out the many ways my heart is selfish and sinful. Being married has not fulfilled me in the many ways I had expected as a young bride. I still feel lonely and misunderstood sometimes, and like any close relationship often it is the people we live with that can hurt us (intentionally or unintentionally) the most. Marriage brings much joy, but also much pain into life as two sinners attempt to live with one another!

In the midst of every happy and sad season, it is imperative to look to Jesus as the one who understands you, completes you and defines you. Doing that puts the pressure off of your husband (or future husband) in the relationship to be everything to you, and you both can ground your identities and activities together in a way that glorifies Christ.

My husband is involved in the Christmas musical again this year. I have a four year old and a two year old to care for now while he is away most weeknights. Even though the cast is not traveling this year I know that this has the potential to be a busy, yet lonely season for me. What’s different now?

1. My perspective has changed. I see my husband’s time away as him using his talents of singing, dancing and acting to advance the kingdom of God and glorify Him. That helps me to have a happier heart while I care for my kids solo, and I find so much joy in my heart when I get to see him on stage and experience the finished production (I mean, hello, my husband is a triple threat. Proud stage wife right here!)

2. I am more intentional in my time spent with Jesus, asking Him to remind me of who I am. Jesus loves to remind us that we are His and that He has a plan for our lives. For some of us, that includes the roles of wife and mother, but do not think of yourself as lesser in God’s kingdom if He does not grant those desires in your life. As hard as that can feel, remind yourself that God can (and will) love you more perfectly than any husband could and that His plans for you will bring Him the most glory.

3. Speaking of a plan, I am also trying to be more obedient to the ways God wants me to advance the kingdom.It’s true that a husband and wife can work together to glorify God, but don’t discount the gifts He’s already given you as an individual. For me, that means writing more, singing more, taking more time in contemplative and intercessory prayer and reading books that spur my heart towards a greater affection for Jesus. I do my best to get together with friends (yes, I have friends now!) that encourage me and refresh my spirit. I am also in the process of starting a master’s certificate program, and I know my husband will be making sacrifices to help me (dishes, anyone?) as I embark on this new venture.

I’d encourage you to take those three steps in your life if you feel marriage is becoming an idol in your heart. Marriage is not your Savior. Honestly, it can be like a crucible at times. God may or may not bring it into your life not to make you ultimately happy, but if you trust Him He will make you holy. If we let Jesus meet us, define us and direct us, whether we are single or married, we can know we are being the best wife, friend, daughter, church member, etc. He has meant us to be.

That, my friends, is eternal.
– Nichole


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Entrust + Singleness and the Church

Dear Readers – my Friends,

Today is the last day in my 31 Days series on Singleness and Living Fully Alive. Thank you for sticking with me through this month and for all of your encouragement. You bless me! This was a tough series to write because it’s not just theory, I’ve lived it. Cried through it, rejoiced in it, and wanted to un-publish few posts. Vulnerability is not always easy for me when I cannot see your face. To show you my heart has taken courage that has only come from Jesus. Danny Silk says that displaying trust is like ripping your heart open and allowing others to see in. Friends, in this series I ripped my heart open and let you look in. I did it first out of obedience to the Lord, and then out of love for you.  I wanted to show you things I wish a friend had come alongside and shown me. Thank you for letting me entrust you with parts of my heart. In 2 Tim 2.2 it says:

And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others. (NIV)

Entrust: to give over (something) to another for care, protection, or performance.

Friends, I’m asking you, relying on you, if you have learned something from this series, or been encouraged by it will you pass that knowledge on to someone else in your life? Who around you could use encouragement in living fully alive in the blessings the Lord has given them today? I know you can do it. I believe in you.

My prayer for you, and for me, is that we would not put God into a box when it comes to our  lives, and that we would see ourselves as He sees us.

Remember friend,31 DAYS OF (13)

You are chosen

loved

known

your value is not dependent on your relational status

You are not abandoned

left out

forgotten or alone

You are single, not sick

singleness is what you make of it.

If you make a go of it with the Lord, you will never regret it.

I promise you that.

As we close,  I’m discussing Singleness and the Church today over at Kindred Grace. Will you join me?

What if we saw church as an identity and not an event? The first step to belonging and addressing singleness in the Church is to recognize people as individuals and people, no matter their status in life. (click here to continue reading).

While this is the official end of the series, my brain and heart keep running, so if you can handle a few more posts, I’m hoping to share a little more over the next couple of weeks before we return to programming as usual :). In the mean time, go check out the Singleness and the Church post. You’ll like it… I think. :)

Blessings friends. So long for now.

Go live fully alive!

-Katie

“Entrust is a part of the “Today’s The Day: Being Single and Fully Alive” a 31 Days Series. To read more from this series please click here.

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Invite, Encourage, and Your Words

It was a sunny afternoon, I was trying to soak up some Vitamin D in rainy Seattle when my married brother, B, called. Recently our conversations had become more frequent and in-depth – ranging anywhere from his wife & kids, marriage, hockey, relationships, writing, and work. That afternoon the conversation quickly turned to relationships, or my lack of them – with one of the most intriguing questions I have been asked by a married person.

“What are things that I say as a married person that hurt you? And what are something’s I can do to help you in your single life”?

My mind went rampant with what seemed like hundreds of ways that married people hurt singles, but went blank on how B could help me. As the conversation kept going I was able to formulate some thoughts to both of his questions; without ranting.

Invite Them into Your Home and Life.

As for you, Titus…Teach the older men to exercise self-control, to be worthy of respect, and to live wisely… Similarly, teach the older women to live in a way that honors God…These older women must train the younger women…In the same way, encourage the young men to live wisely. And you yourself must be an example to them by doing good works of every kind…(Titus 2:1-8)

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3 Foundational Books Every Single Should Read

Before closing out this series at the end of the week, I wanted to share with you three books that have had a huge and helpful impact on my life regarding singleness and relationships.

Sacred Search –  what if it’s not about who you marry, by why? – Gary ThomasSacred Search

What if we treated our search for a spouse as sacred? What if we looked at the importance of finding a sole mate (someone to walk with), not just a soul mate?  Gary Thomas, in Sacred Search, explores what it would look like to seek first the Kingdom of God, in our search for a spouse. When we realize why want to get married, that will determine the who.  Practical and straight forward, this is a book is a gift I’ve given to many. (Click here)

If you look at the question of why you want to marry before you choose who to marry, you’re more likely to make a wiser choice about the who. It’s not a choice between either why or who. It’s that asking the why question first helps you choose the best who. (Thomas, p. 250)

 

Passion and Purity – brining your love life under Jesus Christ’s control. – Elisabeth Elliot

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Marriage – Not the Ultimate Purpose of Relationships

“How are you not cynical? I don’t see that in you.” I paused from cutting up a tomato and looked over at my roommate. I didn’t know how to answer that. To my surprise, I realized that no, I wasn’t cynical – she was right.

But how? Because in the past I certainty have been cynical about singleness and relationships. And I’ve had a lot of good reasons to be. I walked away from our conversation with joy – the Lord can redeem and heal the pain and fear that cynicism masks.

I flashed back:

 I said goodbye and let the relief and peace of closure flood over me. Thank you Jesus I breathed. Five years. It was hard to believe it had been over four years since I had seen him. Since we had broken up. Marriage and maturity looked good on him. It was an honor to meet his wife. I’d prayed for her too. (Read the back story here)

Despite the thankfulness for unexpected closure, I drove away with a mixture of emotions. The Lord had answered my prayers for him! And yet, the human part of me grieved… One week before this my heart had been broken for the second time. I lamented ‘Father, why? When will I ever see fruit from the relationships I’ve sown into?’ Continue reading


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Single, Not Alone

Singleness may mean that you don’t have one specific, physical person to walk out life with you, but it doesn’t mean you are alone. Jesus, the most intentional, fully alive single, had not one but twelve people He did life with. Community is vitally important to living life fully and healthily. I’m blessed by an incredible group of people who love me, put up with me, fight for me (some days with me!) and we do life together. Some live near by, others are a phone call away.

You may be an Adam without an Eve, or an Eve without an Adam, but the Lord’s opinion still stands “it’s not good for man to be alone”.  As singles its easy to read that and get bitter at the Lord for singleness. (I’ve used that verse in a ‘but then why Lord…’ question a few times :) ) But the truth is we were made for relationship.That’s the long and short of it. And in every stage of life we need relationships, and these can extend beyond marriage and significant others. Relationships and community are the beauty of life. And sometimes in our quest for what we do not have, we miss what we do have. Continue reading


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Word Snacks and She Reads Truth

There are two little devotionals I’ve been wanting to share with you all for a while that have been a big encouragement to me. I’m taking a sabbath break from my normal content and have been waiting for a chance to share these with you. Enjoy!

The first is an other 31 Days Series by my friend Natasha Metzler. She is doing 31 Days of Word Snacks. They are short  devotionals and scriptures and this series has been a big blessing to me. Check them out here.

The second devotionals is on a website called ‘She Reads Truth’. It’s a community of women that are studying scripture together. The reading plans are simple, doable, and affordable. You can order a book if you want, but all of their reading plans are downloadable in their app. What I love about She Reads Truth, is that reading plans are short 2-3 week studies at a time, and they are easy to do with long distance friends! I just completed the Hosea plan, and it was perfect timing for my life as the Lord is showing me how much He pursues me. I will be starting their study on Hospitality in the next few days. Check them out here.

Truth when you only have a minute

Truth when you only have a minute.                www.natashametzler.com

Great prints and downloads from She Reads Truth, come with every study

Great prints and downloads from She Reads Truth, come with every study

 

 

 

 

 

She Reads Truth and Word Snacks” is a part of the “Today’s The Day: Being Single and Fully Alive” a 31 Days Series. To read more from this series please click here.

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