Therefore the LORD longs to be gracious to you,
And therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you
For the LORD is a God of justice;
How blessed are all those who long for Him.
The key message to us in this opening verse is something I NEVER even noticed before. For over a year, every single day, I have read this verse but its true message had eluded me. It was not until I came to the place where I was able to say (and walk out in my life)—“You are all I need Jesus!”—its message? How blessed are those who LONG for Him!
Earlier on in this new journey, I had noticed that it says that He was waiting to have compassion, waiting to be gracious and even waiting to act, on our behalf, as a God of justice, but I never understood what He was waiting for—but now I know.
Our precious Bridegroom is waiting for us to also long and yearn for only Him! But instead, we long and yearn for someone or something else. We are unfaithful with our affections as our Beloved continues to allure us, to speak kindly to us, and does all that He can to remove the Baals (other gods we have put on an altar in our hearts) from our mouths and hearts. (Hosea 2:13–15).
In our society, the greatest god among women (from a young teen to an older woman) is their obsession with men. Young and old, never married, married, separated or divorced: women want and believe that they need and must have—a man in their life. The feminists chose their cure for this obsession by hating men and also trying to be like men, all so that they would not have this desire for a man nor be as vulnerable as women seem to be to men. This, however, did not solve the problem, because they did not go to the root or source of their dilemma.
Women were created to long and yearn for just One. It is when Eve sinned that she was cursed, “To the woman He said, ‘I will greatly multiply your pain in childbirth, in pain you will bring forth children; yet your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you’” (Genesis 3:16). Not only did Jesus break the curse of sin ruling us, He broke every curse once we believed. As women, we no longer need to suffer pain in childbirth (please read Supernatural Childbirth by Jackie Mize), nor do we need to long and yearn for a man, or any person who “doesn’t have it” just as we learned in the last chapter.
Instead, when we choose to turn our passion and thirst for the One who created us, and become His bride, then we will be filled with good things, all good things, since we are truly—His—His faithful bride. But sadly few women have reached this place of complete delight for Him. Instead, they chase after what they believe will bring them happiness. Remember in Psalm 37:4 it says, “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart”?
Whether it is a young teenage girl who’s missing her boyfriend or a wife who is separated from her husband (who has left her or she left him and now regrets it), there is an obsession of having a man that makes us, as women, especially vulnerable and prey to pain, rejection, suffering, loneliness, and the list goes on. The real tragedy is that the happiness that women believe will turn their lives around, which they believe is found in having a man, doesn’t even exist.
We women, even though we are grown and no longer children, believe in fairy-tale romances. We read the stories as little girls and later as young women in romance novels. We watch make-believe couples in movies and on television, and even sing to songs about love. But these kinds of romances do not exist, any more than the stories of Snow White or Cinderella exist.
There is only one real love story and that is what is found in the Bible and in our Creator our Beloved.
God created every woman to yearn for the kind of love that we read about as little girls— but it can NEVER be filled with human love. The kind of love we need could only be fulfilled with His love, the agape and unconditional love that He proved for us at Calvary. Nothing else will satisfy us, let alone make our hearts soar.
Over the course of this year, while meeting many church missionaries and even RMI members who live in other parts of the world, I have seen that most women have tears or longing for their husbands, but even as believers, not that same longing for their Bridegroom. When women speak about their husbands, even the most professional and powerful women, they are immediately reduced to broken, tearful females who are falling apart. These women long for a person who actually loathes them! It is this sort of pathetic female that the feminist movement has gained such widespread appeal with today’s women. This kind of yearning is nothing but tragic. To me, it’s heartbreaking. Now there are young girls who choose to stay in abusive relationships after watching their mother do the same.
Yet the answer is not to leave a marriage with an abusive man, but to instead find a Lover. The Man who will protect her, which I have heard happens again and again because He is faithful! On the other hand, I do tell young girls I meet to never settle for a man who will not cherish them, when I am able to share my own testimony.
As believers, we need to turn away from the horrible obsession we have for men by turning our hearts and our passion for more of His Love, to the One who is able to heal our broken hearts. The women who have been rejected, “‘For the Lord has called you, like a woman, forsaken and grieved in spirit, even like a wife of one’s youth when she is rejected,’ says your God,” need to not only hear this lesson but see it in our own lives.
Only when we turn to Him will we say, “Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready” (Revelation 19:7). When we can all hear, “The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ And let the one who hears say, ‘Come!’ And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost,” (Revelation 22:17) only then will we truly see what has been waiting and prepared for us who love Him.
When we, as believers, exhibit the kind of joy that He alone will give us, which follows from the commitment and faithfulness of wanting the Lord only, we will be capable of living a life and display a face that glows like a beacon in an ever darkening world. It is this kind of life that will draw every woman who is living in continuous and endless storms in their lives to want and yearn for what we possess, His love.
It is with unbelievable joy to see that many of us who discovered the ministry Erin founded, who are now able to focus on encouraging each other, move up even higher to this call, “for such a time as this” (Esther 4:14). Once passionate for restoration and in following the principles that lead to restoration, we are each now moving to this higher calling—only after becoming passionate for One only. Many women who find RMI confess they are no longer seeking restoration, but are instead pursuing the Lord only! And most women, at this point, result in being restored; yet some are not. And, I believe, some are not restored due them needing much more healing.
Just recently I read a praise report from someone who needed tremendous healing from her past of being molested as a child. Most people can never get over this, yet this brave woman became His lover and bride, and was even able to forgive her perpetrator. Had she not been left alone, even after losing custody of her own children, I am convinced, that she would never have found the healing she needed and deserved!
For those who are restored, and are like me, you may be called to lose your restored life in order to begin caring for the souls of the men in our lives who are also in need of our Savior. These men need to look to the Lord and have their needs filled by Him, because just as men cannot fill our needs as women, so too, we women can never fill a man’s needs either.
“‘If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake shall find it’” (Matthew16:25).
Once we each become the Lord’s bride, as His bride, we will radiate this love for everyone to see.
While in an airport just a couple of days ago, the lady at the counter commented on my beautiful ring. Prior to my divorce, I had prayed about a ring to wear so men would know I’m not available and I eventually purchased a gorgeous ring that in the end, cost me nothing. But this is an entirely different testimony that I hope to share later; maybe later at the end of this book.
The lady at the airport counter asked me if I was a “newlywed” because she looked down and saw the ring I was wearing was new. I said, “Well, sort of,” and I looked up and smiled. She then excitedly said she could tell right away that I was “madly in love” because my face just glowed! As I walked away, I felt as if my heart would burst from the joy and love that overflowed for the Lord due to His unlimited love He poured all over and through me. Then my mind jumped to the realization of how most women look and feel after a recent divorce—broken and aged, and again I wanted to share my newly found Lover with them.
For several weeks before I left to tour the northeast of the U.S.A., being sent by my church (for what feels to me like the honeymoon that I had only dreamed of), I had watched a series of shows on television whose goal it was to help make a woman look ten years younger. The show would always start out by showing pictures from the woman’s past (where she had once looked young and happy) and then they would ask what had happened that had made her look the way she looked now (downcast and old). Time and again, the woman said that it was due to “a painful divorce.” Each woman said that her dreams had been shattered when things didn’t turn out as she had planned. Precious one—they never do!
Once again, God created us to need to be loved by One, and only One. And when we are unfaithful to Him, we end up with the very same broken life as if we were unfaithful in our earthly marriage and had become an adulteress. Things may seem fun and happy in the beginning, but later they always turn ugly—just as our marriage turned ugly because we longed for the wrong man. Then soon our countenance and appearance have also turned ugly, often due to bitterness rooted in unforgiveness, as we foolishly sought love from those who didn’t and simply “don’t have it.”
Our pursuit, instead, needs to be for more of God and to become more intimate with our beloved Husband. To let Him be everything to us: Provider, Lover, Friend, Comforter, and Protector. It means moving from what we see, to the level of faith where we are living in the Spirit. For a woman who chooses this pursuit for her life, she will exchange her pain for joy and it will keep her immune to the ills, evils, and burdens of this world.
If Jesus died to give us an Abundant Life, then where is it, dear one? Certainly not in the lives of most Christian women today! And our lives, our compulsive desire for “our man” breeds this obsession in our daughters and the young women in our lives who are watching. We prove, through our tears and through our conversations (that ALWAYS center around the man whom we hope and pray will someday love us), that the goal in life is for a man, instead of the Son of Man. For women who have been rejected or abandoned by their husband, restoration and reconciliation are all that they can think and usually all they talk about, and this consumes every ounce of their energy.
Is it any wonder then why our Savior is still waiting on high to be gracious to us?
Dear reader, once you and I prove our love for our Beloved Bridegroom, then He will set the circumstances in our lives right to bless us in all areas of our lives: relationships (from your children to your siblings, parents, in-laws, husband and even in your workplace), finances (from always being short on funds to having even your heart’s desires, not just your needs met), health (because with joy comes feeling good and no longer being susceptible to disease; healing takes place in the spirit and in the body), and every other facet of our life.
No man in your life can do that! There is only One who has the power and resources to give us the Abundant Life as we truly become His beloved bride!
How did I let go of this obsession? It was simply getting more intimate with the One who was right there, alluring and speaking kindly to me—just as He is alluring and speaking kindly to you! There is no formula to intimacy. Just like everything else, it is just something you ASK Him for. For me, I simply told the Lord that I wanted to be closer, closer than any human who had walked the face of the earth…but I didn’t know how, and I asked Him to do it. As a result of my simply asking, each day I continue to fall more and more in love with the Lover of my soul. I can see each day how He provides not just for my needs, but also for the desires of my heart!
Another example was also while traveling. I spent a few days up in Canada in a beautiful resort, all alone, with my Beloved. He brought me there to rest from traveling to several cities in just one week. There I witnessed firsthand that He expected nothing from me, nothing but my love for Him. I didn’t spend my days reading my Bible or even praying. I didn’t go there to fast (though at home, I have recently been fasting almost every day, eating just an evening meal). All I did was be there to rest in Him and in His awesome love. When I watched a romance movie on my computer, I kept thanking Him that I was no longer in deception (believing that what I was watching was real), but was instead, enthralled with the feeling that I could have and experience only with Him, just as every woman could!
Beloved, we need to encourage every woman to move beyond her pain and help her find peace, and then move from that peace to utter joy—all due to knowing and experiencing Him. It is more than possible for each and every one of you to experience the same thing, especially if you are currently hurting or have been rejected. This means that we simply change our focus from the man in our life to the Son of Man and Lover of our soul. And as we begin pursuing Him, we will find that men will begin pursuing us! But I will never look back. No man will ever win my heart again (only to break it and leave me wanting), not when there is One who laid down His life so I can live again!! Even a woman who is married must keep her heart for her Savior steadfast. This means her desires, and every secret of her heart, should be told to her heavenly Husband, not her earthly one.
One of my recent conversations with my ex-husband had him, once again, pursuing me for reconciliation. Both he and I were surprised when I asked him how he thought that he could compete with what I now have with the Lord! He had nothing to say, and in my heart, I could see how right what I said was. No man on earth can compete with what you will have when you gain the intimacy, love, and protection that your Bridegroom will give you when you truly long and yearn for Him. And when our longing is for the right One, then a husband will long for us, and continue to do so. It’s not until a husband also longs for the only One who can fill his needs when he will experience peace and joy and the fulfillment most men lack.
This kind of love affair is a journey that begins with one step. All relationships are developed and grow based on the time and attention we give it. It may begin in reading your Bible, which are His love letters to you, or in singing love songs to Him. Though praise and worship songs are indeed wonderful, when you begin to move to love songs that foster intimacy, you are well on your way to a love affair that women will envy and will want to have too. There are many songs that are sung at Christian weddings that used to make my heart hurt; now these are the very songs that make my heart sing, knowing that I am loved and cherished for who I am by my Beloved.
Neither you nor I need to be any better or look any differently than we do—there is such freedom in knowing that! God created us just as we are and He cannot love us any more if we acted more in line with what a Christian ought to be. His love is the perfect love that casts out all fear. Then with that fear gone, it leaves more room for Him, and it will begin to show on your face.
Let’s have no more tears for your (future, present or past) husband or ex or boyfriend, but let all your heart be for the One to whom you are betrothed as His beloved bride.
Let’s put away the excitement for our earthly restoration, and focus on the relationship that we have right now with our true Husband—our Lord, Savior, and our Friend.
Let’s have no more tears about love lost, but instead look to the future with Him. No longer in need of finding love or understanding, we can begin to live each day as the gift He has given to us.
For each of you who are hurting, fearful or lonely—you simply need more of His love. That’s it. There is nothing else that will solve every problem in your life except more of Him.
Also if you have children, when they leave to visit their father, get excited because of how you’ll be able to spend more time with Him. Then, you won’t miss them anymore.
When my children went to visit their father recently and to get to know the other woman more, I stopped myself from telling them that I would miss them. Instead, I said, “Wow, you are going to have such a great time with Dad!” I told them that they never needed to worry about me, because they knew that I was always happy no matter where I was. And that because of the love we had for each other, they didn’t need to miss me either, and simply needed to just have the best time with their dad since they had him all to themselves. Do you know how freeing this is for a child? Not to feel guilty for having a good time and not being burdened with how sad their mom is, all alone, at home?
You may wonder, too, if I worry about their exposure to their dads’ lifestyle now or the other woman in my ex-husband’s life (and her influence). The answer is “No.” I know that God promises that everything will work together for my good and the good of my children! That’s enough for me to not worry or give it another thought. If I believe His Word and His promise to me about salvation, then I can easily trust Him with everything in this life. And that leaves me to enjoy my life and live an abundant life.
Traveling for my church or as an ambassador for Erin’s ministry, while being away from my children for extended periods of time, brings concern from many who question my sanity and even my love for my children. Being away half of every month is extreme, to be sure, but again God promised that He would bring good from everything I do. Not just because I am being obedient to where He is calling me, but even if I did accidentally mess up— He promised to bless me!! With that kind of assurance, why would any of us choose to worry when we can instead be joyful? And it’s also given my children ample time to be with their father who stays at our home while I am gone.
One bit of warning, be assured that the enemy will try his best to pour guilt all over your newly-found freedom with thoughts like: “You don’t really care about your children anymore!” Just cast those thoughts down. Instead, it is simply that your priorities are now straight and God is rewarding you with no more pain or worry. You may even hear this same thing from friends, family, and coworkers. Just resist going backward (by entertaining these thoughts) and use that time and energy to move up higher.
After living this kind of life for only a few months, there is no way that I would ever take one step back. Instead, I have pledged my life to encourage every woman in this world to say yes to God and to become the Lord’s bride. It is my prayer that this chapter, and the rest of this book, will spark something inside of you that will fan the flames of passion for the One who is whispering—“Marry me.”