The moment my boyfriend was offered a place in Heartland's traveling men's quartet, our lives changed forever. What was once a summer to look forward to instantly became an object of dread and uncertainty; the man who was once all mine I suddenly had to share with everyone and their cousin; what was at one time a secure, predictable future transformed into one of unpredictable challenges.
Surely these feelings strike a chord? Although GloryBound Girlfriends are limited to a handful, universal feelings like fear, discouragement, and insecurity haunt every person on the planet. The Lord has taught me so much through this experience, and I want to share as many as I can remember, but in short form.
Let go and let God. It's so easy to take life into our own hands when something happens that we don't like. Did you ever burn or cut yourself on something when you were little because you were sure you could do it just as well as mom? Just keep your hands off of it -- you'll mess things up and end up hurting yourself. God will take care of the little things (and BIG deals) that irk you, if you just let go and let Him handle them.
Circumstances don't make you miserable; discontent makes you miserable. Why was Jonah so depressed, even after He finally went to Nineveh? Because, even after he "obeyed," he was still kicking and screaming against God's will. Taking into consideration that murmuring and complaining are an affront against God's care and leadership, it makes sense that fighting God's will makes us miserable.
Don't sweat the small stuff. Most pet-peeves and annoyances just aren't worth getting upset over. If it's not a life-or-death situation or close to it, leave it alone. Tim and I have always struggled with jealousy, and though we're still working on it, we've learned to let petty things go. Don't completely go loose or anything, but don't be so uptight that you can't enjoy life!
Somebody out there needs you. One of the best things you can do in a time of discouragement is to be a friend to someone. We have the tendency to lean on someone just because we need to be encouraged, but don't give into it! Be an encouragement, and you'll find yourself feeling better.
Be patient. At the end of Tim's first year on GloryBound I had high hopes of him returning to normal life, but no. After his second year on the group, I couldn't imagine the thought of him going a third year. But when it's God's will, you just have to stay out of the way! Try occupying your time with constructive hobbies (like writing a blog!); it might change your perspective.
Contentment is a learned behavior. There's a reason Paul said, "I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content." You can only be happy when you learn to live with your circumstances. Trust God -- He knows exactly what He's doing. You might even start enjoying your lot in life. As for me, I actually LOVE being a GloryBound Girlfriend now! Two years ago I would've never thought I'd feel that way, but I've discovered the key to contentment.
Your timing and God's timing: not the same. So what if Tim and I have been dating for four years, with one more to go? Life is a journey, not a destination! Many people ask me, "Four years?! Isn't that hard?!" Um, yeah... we are human, after all! But in order to find joy in the journey, we all must conclude that if God's not in a hurry, why should we be worried? You might not know about tomorrow, but you know Who holds tomorrow.
God keeps His promises. "I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee," is really real! "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me," works for me! Find a promise, cling to it, and don't let it go. It'll carry you through some tough stuff. Friends will fail you, but God's Word never fails.
God is always good, and God is always right. I got that quote from Bro. John Bishop as he preached on the goodness of God. I knew I'd need that quote eventually, and sure enough, I did. This simple truth will bring us through many hurts, fears, and disappointments. Have faith -- God makes no mistakes.
If your future is uncertain or you're not sure if you can trust God with your problem, let me assure you that He is completely trustworthy. Through this challenging time in my life I have grown in the Lord more than I have in years, and I know it will be the same with you. Only trust Him.