Beloved – Anna

IMG_9602Anna Schaeffer is an author and blogger who writes to inspire teen girls and women to embrace God’s purpose for their lives. She’s the author of All of This, a YA novel, and is earning an M.A. in Ministry to Women at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. You can usually find Anna on campus or in a coffee shop, jotting story ideas in the margins of her class notes. She’s also into laughter, random adventures, and all things bread-related. Find Anna on social media (@aschaewrites) and hang out with her online at www.annaschaefferwrites.com.

I’d known Him since I was seven, but I kept pushing Him away. I wanted independence, wanted to prove I could do everything on my own. I wanted to take credit for it. I wanted Him to look at me and be proud.

All along, Jesus was right there waiting for me. He listened as I complained about how no one would ever want someone like me. He listened while I ranted about the life I had and wished for a different one.

He stayed. He patiently let me take my time and come to Him. And that’s when everything changed.

See, every girl wants to be pursued. Every girl wants someone to win her heart. Yet our natural instinct is to run.

We want true love, but it scares us. So we turn to imitations that only let us down. We want the real thing, but it feels like Prince Charming forgot to update the GPS on his white horse and we’re surrounded by plenty of frogs to kiss.

We want that tale as old as time, but we’re afraid we’ll be as old as time when it finally happens for us. So we start to feel sorry for ourselves, start to wonder if there’s something wrong with us, start to take inventory of every single flaw.

Here’s the thing about my relationship with Jesus: I didn’t always know what it meant to be His. I thought I needed to do the right thing, say the right thing, be the right thing and I was good to go to heaven.

Oh, no.

Jesus doesn’t pursue us so that we can earn that pursuit. He doesn’t rescue us so that we can work as though we’re desperately trying to save ourselves. He doesn’t call us friend so that we can try to prove we’re worth hanging around.

He saves us so that we can be His. And with that comes a deep knowing that we are never alone and His plans are for His glory and our good.

If you want to see Someone relentlessly pursue the one He loves, look no further than Jesus.

He came as a baby. Became a man. Walked around in this dark, devastated world. He was mocked and hated and, ultimately, He gave His life. He died in our place.

Then, in coming back to life, He gave us life. So if we turn to Him, He makes us His own.

“When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.”
– Romans 5:6-8

And do you know what He calls us? His beloved. His chosen ones. His bride.

You may not be married, but you have a Groom who has gone to prepare a home for you to live in forever.

He’s coming back for His beloved.

“When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.”
– John 14:3

In the meantime, we wait. If we’re His, His Spirit lives inside of us so that we’re truly never alone. Like an engagement ring, His Spirit is a reminder of the promise our groom is returning for us.

“…And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago. The Spirit is God’s guarantee that he will give us the inheritance he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify him.”
– Ephesians 1:11-14

Sometimes the waiting is just so hard. We wait for the day when He comes back for us, but we also wait on things our hearts desire in the meantime.

But our waiting isn’t wasted.

While we’re waiting for what’s next – whether we’re longing for a husband or a family of our own or even a true friend – we’re called to tell the world about the Groom who defeated death so we could be His bride.

It’s the ultimate kill the dragon, save the girl scenario. Except the Knight in Shining Armor became weak. He came as a servant. He came as one of us so that we can be confident He understands every single struggle, temptation, and doubt we face.

If you don’t belong to Jesus, know that as long as you have breath, it’s not too late. Know that His death paid for every mistake, every wrong decision, and every struggle you’ve ever given in to. Because of Jesus, you don’t have to be separated from God for another second. You can be His. Just come to Him. Tell Him you’re finished waiting for happiness because you believe ultimate joy comes from Him. Tell Him you realize your sin keeps you from Him, and ask Him to forgive you. Tell Him you want to live for Him for the rest of your life and be His girl, whether you’re single for a while or you get married next semester.

Single girl, you’re His. Spend your beloved, precious life telling others about the truest love we’ll ever know.

It may seem strange, but your waiting can be worship. Your single days can honor Jesus as you live fully right where you are.

Here’s the truth, single friend: If you’re loving Him and living in a way that honors Him, then you can know you’re right where He wants you. You’re in the place that brings the most glory to His name.

That’s the ultimate goal of everything: His glory.

So if you truly want Him to have the most glory possible out of your life, and you’re single, then you can trust this is His very best for you. This is the way He wants to show the world who He is through your life.

I often bristle when someone says singleness is a gift. But when I think about how God chooses to shine His glory through my single life, how can I disagree with that?

One day, this may all look different. But for today? Know God is working all of this together according to His perfect purpose.

“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” – Romans 8:28

He’s got His glory and your ultimate good in mind. You’re His beloved.

You are deeply loved. Adored. Cherished. Prized. Treasured.

You are His. And though some days may be difficult, and some days you may find yourself on your knees asking how He can really be honored in your longing, know this: His church is His bride. And one day, the groom is coming back for His bride. He’ll sweep her off her feet and carry her to a forever home. A home where there’s no more wondering. No more weeping. No more waiting.

Until then, worship in the waiting. Honor Him with your one, single life. Live out His love wherever you go and in whatever you do.

Because there’s no greater joy – no bigger comfort, no deeper satisfaction – than getting to be His.

By His grace and for His glory,

Anna

P.S. This is the final post in “To Be His – A Series on Singleness.” To read previous posts, click here.

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Beloved – Anna

  1. The depth of truth in these words gives us a glimpse of the real struggle you have wrestled with and won!
    The vulnerability of you and your friends has been a blessing. Thank each one.

    Like

  2. Pingback: To Be His | Anna Schaeffer's Blog

Please feel free to comment. I'd love to hear from you!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s