I stood in the bathroom mirror and struggled with my emotions. My ipod was blaring party music and it was my big day. But so many seemed as if they wouldn’t show and fear was overcoming my thoughts. Finally I heard the Lord.
“Nicole, you need to rejoice regardless of your circumstances”.
He made it very clear to me that I needed joy on the inside. He reminded me of an instance when I took my friends to a nearby restaurant. I had met the owner previously and really wanted to support him. He was a 20-something African from Paris who owned his own business. I was impressed. However the night my friends and I attended was a slow night and the crowd was less than half in comparison to my previous visit. That in and of itself was not the problem for us, we actually welcomed the quiet. But one look at the owner and it was easy to see he was not a happy camper. Not only did he look discouraged, but he looked downright mean. I felt he was giving us the evil eye even as we walked in. Still, we proceeded with our decision to dine there and made small talk with the waiter who was probably just a little too friendly. At the end of the night I decided to re-introduce myself to the owner, ignore his rude disposition and speak encouragement to him. He did receive my encouragement and that was that. I haven’t been back since. I learned from that experience how it looks on the outside when one allows their circumstances to dictate their mood. Before that night I viewed the owner as a quality young man with a good head on his shoulders and a bright future. But I was soon to find out as intelligent and driven as he was, his character was poor at best.
This season is an opportunity for me to grow in my own character and to practice being healthy emotionally. Just like the restaurant owner I too have sulked and allowed my unmet expectations and disappointments to skew my vision and cause me to be discouraged. Clearly there are times we must process pain and sadness. We should not skip over valid emotions and pretend everything is ok. But there are other times we must choose to not give in to false emotions. Ones that stem from false belief systems and lead to unnecessary pain. That is what Yeshua was trying to teach me on my birthday. Because, as previously shared, the party was a hit and really there was no reason to be afraid.
This time of being “alone” is an opportunity for Him to strengthen my weak areas. As difficult as it has been, I’m grateful He is taking His time with me to “balance me out” and develop me fully.
Below is a link to a teaching I found really encouraging in this area of maturity and being fully developed as a single. PastorTouré discusses that often we ask God to give us stuff but rarely do we ask to be changed on the inside. God has definitely used my journey to change me from the inside.