These are old journal entries, logged just days before 9-11. The Pastor at my previous church is leaving, and I need to find a new church.
August 24, 2001
Who is my wife?
She loves God with all her heart and knows Jesus intimately.
She is a good hostess.
She would be a good mother for my children.
She is womanly.
She is sensible.
She is modest.
She is companionable.
She has passion for life.
She lives to serve the Lord.
She is alive right now, waiting for me to find her. She is waiting alone in her room right now, drifting off to sleep and praying for me. Dear Lord, I pray to you now to comfort her for me. Let her know that I am here, thinking of her.
I love you, my wife-in-waiting. It won’t be long now. God needs to teach me a few more lessons; I need to purge my life of a few more sinful ways before I am worthy of you. As you rest your head tonight, know that we are family, you and I.
We’re companions, joined by our mutual separation. Being together right now is not as important as waiting on God to reveal us to each other. Our time together may be fleeting on this earth, but we can extend that time if we do it now, perhaps before we’ve even met.
We both have been growing and learning since birth the skills we will need to make our union solid, and a family together that’s greater than the fruits we produce individually. Our abilities to make a Godly home will enable us to be the creators and stewards of new life and the nurture of our children.
I honestly don’t know how many we will conceive and how many we’ll adopt. But I do know that it is our responsibility to teach every new generation about our living God. New people are being born continually–they need to hear the good news.
Well. I know you will help me with that in our household and beyond. For now, these plans are an offering to God in the trust that He will desire for us the greatest service our abilities will allow. We will love each other and serve the Lord.
I can’t see you, yet I already know your heart. I pray that you are strengthened in faith tonight, and that you persevere in seeking me. I will do the same. We shall find each other, I know it. Just be patient and hold on to the pure love in your heart amid the darkness and confusion of this earthly world of flesh and inverted priorities. I will do the same.
With love in Christ, I remain faithfully yours.
August 25, 2001
How odd–in high school, the very things about my love life I deplored as pathetic were actually being used by God to protect me from sin and all kinds of temptations. Not having a girlfriend, not dating–I developed my inner character and came to value relationships.
There is a good reason, I now see, why I felt comfortable in a friendship with a girl, but felt awkward and distressed when trying to insert more into the situation. God was providing the discomfort, telling me to hold out for something better. Thank you, God, for protecting me. I am sorry for what I did with women that took away from our purity, Thank you for the gift of singleness.
August 27, 2001
“God doesn’t use our singleness to punish us. Every season of the year has its purpose. God created this season as an unparalleled opportunity to become a whole and holy instrument for Him.” “Don’t do something about your singleness–do something with it!”
Because of the present crisis, I think that it is good for a man to remain as he is. Are you pledged to a woman? Do not seek to be released. Are you free from such a commitment? Do not look for a wife.
But if you do marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned.
But those who marry will face many troubles in this life, and I want to spare you this.
1 Corinthians 7:26-28
Of course I am plagued with nagging fear that He wants to keep me single forever like Paul or C.S. Lewis. I freely admit I often have difficulty trusting God. I could not have served in Denver the way I did if I were with someone.
I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs—how he can please the Lord. But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife—and his interests are divided.
An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband.
I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord.
1 Corinthians 7:32-35
Jesus blew a kiss to me on Sunday, through my friend Hillary. I felt so heavenly blessed. My Pastor sponsored my baptism. I said a silent goodbye to my old church. I am hopeful about God’s future.
August 30, 2001
My Pastor’s moving day. I came in to work late after his wife called me and said that their moving truck still hadn’t arrived. At work, I practically finished the publications book for the conference, except the agenda… and then I can send it to the printers tomorrow morning. Got home, and hooray! The truck came. I hurried over and the truck was 2/3rds packed.
I was the relief pitcher, and stayed to help them clean up the empty house. I vacuumed all their carpets with a wonderful canister vacuum cleaner that reminded me of the one I grew up with. It was a good and fond farewell to my Pastor and his wife. I will certainly miss them. They gave me good skills I need to practice for marriage. I need to learn to seek God with others–like one-on-one bible study with family or a friend. I need more friends that share a love for Jesus and enjoy spending time together on projects that serve others.
September 9, 2001
Ahh! What a wonderful day! God, I love you so much! I visited [my new] Church and really enjoyed it. I liked all the people I met, I enjoyed the Pastor’s sermon, I liked and agreed with their Statement of Belief. No compromise, no doubt. Just helping the lost.
We believe that the Bible is the inerrant and inspired Word of God (2Tim. 3:16-17).
That is first on my list, and first on theirs. Their last: To belong to Jesus Christ is to belong in His Church. Amen, dude. They have single adult ministries on Tuesday nights. That pretty much clinches it–God has a plan for me and I truly trust it. It’s the little things that let me know this is my new church home: the Worship Leader said “emboss upon my conscience.” I love the imagery.
Our discomfort and guilt in our lives means we’re a believer. Those without God do whatever they want, and as long as they’re decent to people they think they’re okay. With God in our lives, we know we can no longer do things with impunity.
Great word, “impunity.”
When the Holy Spirit convicts us, first we fight. The unbeliever will fight and get worse first, because they want their own way, and are unwilling to change. We go it all alone, without asking for God’s help.
In work, I said to myself that I’ll just try harder. No, that won’t succeed. Trying will always fail. We always need divine intervention. Jesus is the connection, the bridge, the way, the truth, the life, my comfort, my shelter; a tower of refuge and strength. I will work outside my comfort zone, I will stop playing the games with myself and be open to real change. I know it will take time, but my boss has faith in me, and I am being given a chance to be redeemed. I will mobilize the Spirit’s power within me. Amen.
September 10, 2001
Yay! Praise the Lord! [my co-worker] is pregnant! I am so happy for her. A new life has started growing inside her, and I couldn’t be more pleased that she’s a mother. She is a sweet lady, and my friend, and she’s going to be a mother. I am amazed by it all. Life is such a sweet miracle–something that should be treasured and valued. I know she will do just fine as a mother. I really want to glorify God in that way with a child of my own. I “cannot wait” for that day, yet I wait upon the Lord and His will. What a wonderful day today, despite all its trials getting ready for the big conference tomorrow.
I received a letter a week later:
[My New] Church
September 10, 2001
We hope you enjoyed your recent visit to our church and want you to know we are happy you were in service with us. We trust you felt a welcome among our church family and hope you will be able to come again.
If we can minister to you in any way, we would be pleased to do so. Just let us know.
Yours because His,
[The Head Pastor]