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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

to whom it may concern.

"i miss you, but i haven't met you..."

This song by The Civil Wars has been on replay for me lately.


A beautiful song, characterizing the longing of waiting for "the one"...the "Dear Whoever You May Be..." and waiting patiently for timing. (sigh...)

Tonight, after all the long stems of red roses have been submerged in tall vases of water and heart-shaped boxes of half-eaten chocolates are tossed aside, another Valentine's Day comes to a close. And with it's passing, some impressions and thoughts are left on my heart.
An Internet ad popped up on my screen earlier today. For one of those Internet dating websites (insert disclaimer - I'm not saying I think people shouldn't use Internet dating sites...that's another topic for another time. disclaimer ended. ha.)  A Christian one, apparently. And it boldly proclaimed, "Sign up today for a free profile! Find God's match for you - Mr. Right won't wait forever!!"

Mr. Right won't wait forever?? I thought God was sovereign? I thought He said in His Word, "For I know the plans I have for you....plans to prosper and not to harm you. To give you hope and a future." -Jer. 29:11. That He tells His children to trust Him, to rest in His timing. I thought He tells us that fear trips us up, but when we trust in Him, we are safe (Proverbs 29:25.) And that He is the God who "opens doors no one can shut and shuts doors no one can open" (Revelation 3:7)

I thought about this today. And mid-afternoon, found myself wandering over to my bookcase, dusting off one of my favorite old poetry books.

In it, there's a poem I love. My eyes fell upon it again today, remembering when I first read it about 10 years ago. Since then, I've prayed it along with the sweet author:

"Dear God, I prayed, all unafraid
(as we're inclined to do)
I do not need a handsome man
but let him be like You;
I do not need one big and strong
nor yet so very tall,
nor need he be some genius,
or wealthy, Lord, at all;
but let his head be high, dear God,
and let his eye be clear,
his shoulders straight, what e'er his state,
what e'er his earthly sphere;
and let his face have character,
a ruggedness of soul,
and let his whole life show, dear God,
a singleness of goal;
then when he comes
(as he will come)
with quiet eyes aglow,
I'll understand that he's the man
I prayed for long ago."

The young woman who prayed this? Ruth Bell Graham. The Lord answered her prayer. And (I imagine) exceeded her expectations. On August 13, 1943 she married Billy Graham. The evangelist who would become one of the most admired and respected Christian leaders in the world. The man who preached the Gospel in person to more people than any other person in history. The man who committed to guard against even the appearance of wrongdoing and so promised to never be alone with any woman besides Ruth. The man who said, "I saw her walking down the road towards me and I couldn't help but stare at her as she walked. She looked at me and our eyes met and I felt that she was definitely the woman I wanted to marry." Ruth once said, "he wanted to please the Lord more than any other man I'd ever met." (Needless to say, she is one of my role models. Her book of poetry is called "Sitting By My Laughing Fire" and it is lovely)


Her faith and trust, her submission to God's will and way. And the way in which her faithful God brought into her life a wonderful man - the one she prayed for (and more!) Her line, "as he will surely come" - how small, yet how full of faith.
My dears - if you feel that post lonely-Valentine's Day urge to set up an account on some dating website, call and ask your married friends to set you up on a blind date, friend request hot guys on Facebook, reluctantly say "yes" to a guy who's pressuring you (one you know is not good for you...) or just pace around the house, wringing your hands while trying to think of some way to meet the right one... wait. And remember something with me -

"We haven't even seen a God like ours
who acts on behalf of
the one who waits for Him."
-Isaiah 64:4


"Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed."
-Proverbs 16:3

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
and He will make your paths straight."
-Proverbs 3:5-6

"We humans keep brainstorming options and plans,
but God's purpose prevails."
-Proverbs 19:21
(the msg)

As my friends and I used to say in college whenever tempted to pursue a guy outlandishly or make something happen on our own: "God does not bless manipulation." I've found (through experience, unfortunately!) God's timing is best and when we try to make things happen and force things to go our way, we usually end up disappointed and unsatisfied. And this goes for more than just relationships, too.
In all the areas of life - relationships, romance, careers, ministry, things we want...it can be tempting to manipulate or make things happen in a way that speeds up the process, makes things easier for us. We may want something so badly we can barely stand it. Slowly counting down the days til we know the name of the one we will spend the rest of our life in love with. Waiting for the perfect job to come along. Aching for the dream to come true, the plan to be fulfilled. Yet, perhaps the Lord wants us to wait. To have faith, to pray. Like Ruth Graham did. To be faithful in the small things. Instead of rushing around, scheming, planning and trying to make things happen.

After all, He commands your destiny, doesn't He?

And who knows... your Billy Graham may be just around the corner.

(why, hello there little dear running around in the woods behind me.
seriously, had no idea he was back there...)
When we put our love stories (and life stories) in God's hands, there is no telling where He will take us. And that, my love - that is wonderful.

"The Lord your God is with you,
He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with
singing."
-Zeph. 3:17

XO

Erin

headband: my new etsy, sweetness shoppe (comin' soon!)
sweater: ann taylor loft. watch: michael kors necklace: forever 21
dress: diane's (surf shop in LA) belt: forever 21
tights: forever 21 shoes: boutique shoe store

Photobucket

31 comments:

  1. Oh good grief I hate those ads. They drive me bonkers - especially the ones that play music, or talk to me, because it always takes me ages to work out where the noise/voice is coming from so I can make it go away!

    I've done online dating before, and although I've never had success through it, I know some people who have, so I suppose it's not something that either works automatically, or can be written off automatically. So long as you are careful, and sensible, I think there is value in them.

    Oh dear - now this comment has become very long and rambling. Bedtime for me, I think!

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  2. "God does not bless manipulation." I've found (through experience, unfortunately!) God's timing is best and when we try to make things happen and force things to go our way, we usually end up disappointed and unsatisfied. And this goes for more than just relationships, too.

    WOW. Hellooooo beautiful truth! Thank you for sharing this post. It's amazing....

    and TWIN! You are gorgeous...and I want your headband. GIMME GIMME!! :)

    LOVE YOU!!!

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  3. great blog!
    i follow you now.
    Hope you will follow me back.
    www.greeklicious.de.vu

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  4. you are SO u-mazin' erin... and your outfit is too adorable!

    xo
    purposelyathome.blogspot.com

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  5. What a great post! I love it....and I LOVE your outfit! So, so cute. Can't wait for your etsy shop :)

    And you like The Civil Wars?? I so love them. I just went to see them and it's my favorite concert I've ever been to!

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  6. you are beautiful, and I adorrreeenyour outfit!!!<3

    I love this. :)

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  7. What a beautiful poem. Love it! You're gorgeous dear friend! Can't wait for your Etsy shop :)

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  8. I am so glad you wrote this!! It is something that NEEDS to be spoken about! When I read the first few words of the poem - I immediately got up & grabbed MY book by Ruth! LOVE HER. Thanks for sharing. I adore your heart!

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  9. this is such a sweet and encouraging post to all the single ladies! God's timing is the best and we can't rush anything.. especially relationships. you look so beautiful and love the outfit.

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  10. That ad can put a sock in it. And I'd also like to say you are very pretty!

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  11. what a very sweet post! i love the Graham references. Such a beautiful story! Also, i love love love the deer and think it's so funny that you didn't know it was there! haha I live in a place a lot like that.

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  12. I just love this! I have never heard that poem before, but I very much appreciate and adore it. I've often seen those christian dating adds pop up too, and I've listened to my friends talk about online dating, but it's just not my style. I want God to be the author of my love story. Not to say online dating doesn't work for others, but like I said, it's just not for me. You look adorable BTW!

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  13. So beautifully written. And you are right, we shouldn't try to make things happen our way just for the temporary quick fix. God knows what's best. :-)

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  14. What an incredibly gorgeous outfit!!! I loooove the feel of these photos and your hair/headband are absolutely gorgeous! I seriously can't wait to read more-following now!!! Xo Lori
    http://lorilynn-alittlesliceofspecial.blogspot.com/

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  15. I love this post =)
    So true!
    Love you Friend,
    L

    (allglorious-within.blogspot.com)

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  16. Are you talking about.... Christianmingle.com?? haha! My husband and I met on that site :) hehe True Story!

    Isn't it amazing to know that God has it already worked out for you? He has already picked out your future husband, so you don't have to worry girl! He's got this..and from what I read you already know that which is AWESOME.

    Great post!

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  18. Girl, this post is awesome! I was just going to inquire the whereabouts of your headband! Haha On a more serious note,I will certainly check out that Ruth Bell Graham book, she is definitely a role model! Admire your heart on such an important topic!

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  19. inspiring post. so very beautiful! and you are beautiful!!
    xo TJ

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  20. Civil Wars: To whom it may concern: One of my favorite songs, ever :)

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  21. I love that song! And what a great post! That God has a plan for us, that we must pray boldly about everything, that we should wait upon the Lord for His plan is perfect. What a blessing this is!

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  22. What a beautiful post, a beautiful prayer and... if i do say so.. a beautiful outfit!

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  23. YAYYYY! A sister in Christ!!! Amen!

    www.gingerrrtea.blogspot.com

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  24. Thanks 4 sharing this post!

    And, I love the civil wars...they are so good! Have you heard the song they are doing with Taylor Swift for the hunger games soundtrack? It's called Safe and Sound and its good. I'm not a Swift fan but I like that song.

    I love your outfit! Its cute! I don't know how you do it but I would never be able to wear heels like that. Hope you are having a nice start to the weekend!

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  25. hey girl! guess what?!?! i have a blog button now!! would you like to trade? i'm snagging yours right now. ;D

    xo
    purposelyathome.blogspot.com

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  26. i am brand new to blogging...stumbled upon this post and i loved all your pictures...but mostly i loved this :: "God does not bless manipulation." I've found (through experience, unfortunately!) God's timing is best and when we try to make things happen and force things to go our way, we usually end up disappointed and unsatisfied...

    so true... thanks for sharing your God inspired thoughts =)

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  27. those pics are great!

    **Jess

    www.thestylebakery.com

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  28. sweet post! My mother in law always tells me I am an answer to her prayers for her son. In turn I pray daily over my childrens' lives that they would be blessed with a spouse that loves God more than anything else...

    So just think right now someone is praying for you, for their son ;)

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sweet friends, share your heart.

"kind words are like honey...sweet..and healing.." -proverbs 16:24.

xo.

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