Temptations, Trials, and Testings, Day 2

Age 31

Age 32

I haven’t had a lot of crushes since trusting God with my love life, because my standard for the man I want to marry became someone who loves Jesus first, who I could see myself loving and who could love me, and who loves Japan and would live in Japan, so not a ton of guys fit the criteria!

But I met someone who seemed that he could fit those criteria! And there were so many other things… his ethnic background was the same country as that of my high school first love. Our birthdays were in the same month (born the same year!). He had lived in Canada. This is both of our third times living in Japan. My heart was singing with the myriad of ‘signs’!

For five weeks I crushed hard. Wished he would friend request me on Facebook. Went to his church a couple times. Told myself over and over to surrender this crush and desire to God. 

Last week, I knew God was asking me to surrender this crush to Him. I knew that in my head, I was surrendering it in principle, but my heart was still clutching on this possibility. I went to his church’s mid-week Bible study and made sure I was in the group he was leading. The topic of the discussion? Surrender. The last question on the discussion sheet? “Is there anything that makes it difficult for you to truly surrender to God? How was your past week?” During the discussion he was leading, when we got to the last question, he looked at me and asked me directly, “What has God been asking you to surrender this past week?” It was hilarious… in my head I was like, “YOU!” but instead I shared something super vague. I heard You, God! Unmistakably!

But still… this desire to be married, this 9.5 years of singleness, the signs! The criteria! My heart was still clutching to the possibility that this was the answer to my desire and my hopes and dreams.

Four days later, I was back at his church. That night ended up very differently than what I could have imagined. I ended up having dinner with one of his female friends and ended up sharing about my crush. And in the process of talking about him, I accidentally shared something that I knew about him that was not public knowledge. I knew I had to tell him before he heard about it from someone else. So I messaged him on Messenger, and he was pretty mad at me and was like, “Why were you talking about me in the first place?” and I had to sheepishly make up some vague excuse. Awful. Before we even became friends, our ‘becoming acquainted’ ended in a bit of a fight. Had I listened to God four days ago, this terribly awkward situation where I made him mad at me would never have happened! Needless to say, the crush was completely finished that night.

Oh, that I will hold everything that comes my way in a posture of open hands. Open to receive what God has, open for God to remove what is not what He is giving to me. Keeping my heart unfettered. As soon as my heart ‘clutched’ onto this, I couldn’t hear God anymore cuz my heart was just saying, “I want this, I want this, I want this”, drowning out the gentle leading of the Shepherd saying, “This one is not for you, my child.”

In several portions in this section, you will see a collection of verses focused on themes of running to God and waiting on God, and standing on His promises. If you find yourself in a difficult season of needing to trust God, would you pray these verses to God, thank Him for what He shows you about His character through these verses, and express your desires to Him?

“I will wait for you… I will run into you! I will refuse to doubt who you are and your love for me – regardless of what I feel or see. In times of scary doubt I won’t linger there for even a moment but immediately run into you.”

Today’s theme: Running to the Lord, our refuge.

Guard my life and rescue me; do not let me be put to shame, take refuge in you. Psalm 25:20

In you, Lord, I have taken refuge;
let me never be put to shame;
deliver me in your righteousness.
Turn your ear to me,
come quickly to my rescue;
be my rock of refuge,
a strong fortress to save me.
Since you are my rock and my fortress,
for the sake of your name lead and guide me.
Keep me free from the trap that is set for me,
for you are my refuge.
How abundant are the good things
that you have stored up for those who fear you,
that you bestow in the sight of all,
on those who take refuge in you.
In the shelter of your presence you hide them
from all human intrigues;
you keep them safe in your dwelling
from accusing tongues. Psalm 31:1-4; 19-20

Have mercy on me, my God, have mercy on me,
for in you I take refuge.
I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings
until the disaster has passed.
I cry out to God Most High,
to God, who vindicates me.
He sends from heaven and saves me,
rebuking those who hotly pursue me—
God sends forth his love and his faithfulness. Psalm 57:1-3

Yes, my soul, find rest in God;
my hope comes from him.
Truly he is my rock and my salvation;
he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
My salvation and my honor depend on God[c];
he is my mighty rock, my refuge.
Trust in him at all times, you people;
pour out your hearts to him,
for God is our refuge. Psalm 62:5-8

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.” Psalm 91:1-2