Lent Hurts

I don’t have a whole lot to say tonight cuz, frankly, I’m pretty tired and I’m still trying to get over this flu that’s been going around. B.T.W. (By The Way) if you haven’t read Kenneth’s blog for yesterday, check it out. It’s awesome! There is a link on my sidebar that you can follow (There & Back). My thoughts were pretty crummy today until God smacked me in the face. Normally I wouldn’t tell you guys about this but to be honest, I want my life to be transparent for everyone to see. I want you to see my weaknesses and how God uses those to strengthen me. Last night, my girlfriend told me that she was giving me up for Lent. My first reaction was something like, “What!? That’s crazy! Why would you give up something that’s going so well? Doesn’t God want us to be relationships that challenge us to seek Him, and are fruitful? Doesn’t He want us to be happy, especially if we are impacting each other so well spiritually. He doesn’t want us burying out talents, right?”

My girlfriend lives 12 hours away from me. WOW! Just thinking about that seems like forever away. Neither one of us are very good “phone” people but we’ve done so well, and the phone has really been the major vehicle for our relationship. Good, long, fruitful, fulfilling, and challenging conversations on the phone are all that we have had to grow on these past five months. So when she told me that she had to give up talking to me for Lent because that is what she felt God wanted her to do, my mind was racing with a ton of PRACTICAL objections. (b.t.w. God doesn’t work practically) I mean we were talking about the extent of our relationship—PHONE CONVERSATIONS. Take our phone conversations away and you have no relationship, right?

Again I tell you guys this because I want you to see how wrong I have been in approaching this scenario. If she knew I was posting this on my blog for everyone to see she would probably not be very happy. Good thing she is computer illiterate. HeHe. My initial response to her, though, was shock and dismay. Why would she want to give me up for Lent? She proceeded to inform me that I was the only thing in her life that she would really notice and suffer over if I was gone because she cares about me so much. “That’s flattering, so why are you giving me up?” And as flattering as that is, selfishly (my human nature kicked in) I didn’t want to give her up for forty days. That’s a long time! Initially, my thought was that she was just over-spiritualizing things and that she just wanted to find something that she could suffer for to show Jesus that she is willing to suffer for Him.

THAT’S WHEN GOD SMACKED ME IN THE FACE!! I could not have been more wrong. And I want to apologize to her before everyone. Because while inside I was accusing her of having wrong motives, I was having the worst motives of all! I’m so blessed to have a girlfriend that would follow God’s direction before her own agenda. I’m so blessed to say that my girlfriend loves Jesus with her whole heart and she’s not going to let anything stop her from being obedient to Him. I’m so blessed that she is only reliant on God and not our relationship!

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised." -Proverbs 31:30

And while I’m affected by this decision, it shouldn’t matter! The Matt Redman song keeps popping in my head. “You give and take away. You give and take away. My heart will CHOOSE to say. Lord, blessed be Your name!” God blessed me with this amazing girl in the first place. Who am I to say that He can’t have her back any time He wants her. Amanda, if you’re reading this, I commend you and fully support you in your decision. And while these next forty days are going to be difficult, I know that God is going to reveal Himself in extraordinary ways—ways that He would never have been able to had we been wrapped up in each other during this time. Thank you, Amanda, for being sensitive to the Holy Spirit and for being bold in approaching me about it. “Stay off the paved road!”

BASEBALL UPDATE: Be praying for us this weekend as we're going to Cleveland, TN for a conference series. We will be very purposeful in our conversations, and we will be praying that God will continue to reveal Himself to these guys, that they will recognize their need for a Savior. We have a handful who are teatering on the edge of accepting Christ and we don't have the words for them. But God meets us in our weaknesses. Keep us in your prayers and I'll let you guys know how things go when I get back on Sunday.