Don’t waste your time waiting for someone. Don’t settle for your crush and don’t think that he is your “the one”. Don’t date someone because you are desperate to have someone in life. Don’t waste your time and emotions with someone who is not serious with you, who tells you to “just go with the flow”.
Don’t settle while dating. You are dating because you want to get to know each other. Don’t conclude that you really love him while not knowing him better. Think twice. Maybe you do not really love him. Maybe you are just in love with the fantasy.
Hey, do not waste your single life. Do good to yourself. Do good to others. Invest in yourself. Invest in people. Invest in your future.
Worship God while you are single. Focus on elevating your faith while your “the one” is not yet coming. If having “the one” is really for you, God will give that to you in the right time, right place, right reason. Pray. Always pray. Be in love with God, with His goodness.
Prepare yourself to be “the one”. Prepare yourself to be someone who is looking for by someone. Be confident. Be empowered. Be happy with your life.
Being single is a way of God to help you realize that He is the only One who can absolutely satisfy your heart. No, He is not greedy. He just wants you to save from falling in worldly desire. He just wants you to have the right mind and heart especially when you are already with your “the one”. No, he is not late. He is not early. He is just helping you to be prepared for His special gift for you.
Now, smile. You know now that being single is God’s purpose maybe for this time, for awhile. He only knows. So, trust in Him.
I met with my counselor the other day, a semi-famous mega-church pastor here in town, and I had really forgotten what it’s like to be around someone who is so comfortable with himself that it made me comfortable with myself.
My counselor is one of those cool pastors who smokes cigars and uses dirty words and he used to be a rich drug dealer, so he owns this huge house and hosts these extravagant church parties with hundreds of curious people looking for real spirituality. He does this without even really trying to impress anyone, and with sort of a wink. Once I was leaving his office after a meet and he yells down the hallway of his church, “I’ll keep praying about your porn problem.” The very conservative staff glanced at me and I ran and he couldn’t stop laughing. My counselor reminds me of Jesus.
So I told him everything. How I blew up on someone the other day. How I was juggling multiple ministries plus a growing blog. How dissatisfied I was with the mainstream church. How I haven’t talked to my dad in over a year. How I was fighting anger and unforgiveness and lust. How I always felt like I was pouring out of an empty cup, and that the same grace I preached for others was almost never reserved for myself.
I told him I had this monster inside me, barely underneath the surface just coiled around my guts, and just when I thought I was making “Christian progress” and it was dead, it would lash out and destroy everything I love and then go right back to hiding. I wanted this thing inside me to really, truly, eternally die.
Then he looks at me and says, “You’re not really walking with God.” I was almost offended. But he was right. He went on.
“You’re doing so much, just do, and you lost who you are. You find who you are, then you can do again.”
“So what do I do now?” As soon as I said it, I heard it. I said “do” again. He said, “Pray. I mean we’re both in ministry, you already know that. But you see how we’re talking? How you can tell me anything? How I can just be me around you? That’s prayer. Praying is like breathing. It’s a way of life that can happen all the time. That’s walking with Him.”
I think I was trying not to weep. I remember when it was like that, when I felt like I was walking with Him all the time. When being with God was like breathing. I did want that again. And it was not a matter of doing, but being.
He said, “It’s okay to pour out when you’re empty. You can’t do that for a long time, but that’s grace. You can preach grace all day and be a legalist to yourself. Quit listening to yourself and listen to Him. And don’t preach too far ahead of yourself. If it’s been hard, then preach that it’s been hard.”
We hugged for a long time. He told me he loved me. Before we parted, he said, “I wish I could tear that monster out of you. Let God inside, and He will.”
The true believer has also a loving spirit as the result of Jesus’ grace. He loves God, therefore he loves God’s people and God’s creatures, and having this loving spirit he has next a zealous spirit, and so he spends and is spent for God, and this begets in him a heavenly spirit and so he tries to live in heaven and to make earth a heaven to his fellow-men, believing that he shall soon have a heaven for himself and for them too on the other side of the stream.
i doubt my words will do it justice but i can try.
i was 16, in a very low place, and susceptible to doubt. the idea that God didn’t exist broke my heart but after weeks of questions and wondering, i chose to believe he didn’t and began to accept that. i became very anxious and depressed and it got to the point where i was so desperate that i wanted to be wrong about him so that he could take away my emptiness.
so i asked him that if he was real, to prove it to me so i knew i wasn’t just talking to air. i remember the prayer being very simple, neutral, disbelieving - “i know you aren’t real, i know i’m talking to no one, but i mean if i’m wrong, you have to prove it” that sort of thing.
and he did so in a dream. king of queens was playing on my left, i was laying on my back in the same way i fell asleep in, it was such a vivid and clear dream that, at the time, it was like i hadn’t even fallen asleep, like i never closed my eyes, i was still watching king of queens and laying with my hands on the back of my head. it just was really real, i imagine it like it is a memory i experienced, like talking about a vacation or funny story, not a dream that was in my head. i remember seeing things with my eyes, even when i woke up, it was not in that funky dream state, but like everything was really happening. king of queens was really playing before i fell asleep, carrie and doug were in their kitchen and i remember doug was talking in the dream, and i was laying in the same position i had gotten into bed in.
i started asking the questions i usually asked. “how do i know you aren’t real? what if everything i believed is a lie?” in the dream, it was almost like a reply, a “sun” sort of image was on my cieling, like looking at a far away planet in a telescope, and the rays were reaching out and getting closer and closer and bigger and bigger, until it became more like sitting on the beach with the sun right above you, and you can see a purplish outline that starts making you see spots but then it was getting even bigger and the rays shined on the right and on the left of my bed until this beaming light was right at my ceiling
this took five seconds, like my question for proof was me flipping on a light switch, but it’s the best way to describe it. anyways it was blinding and overwhelming and burning and difficult to breathe and i remember being very afraid. i was scared i was going to die. i know that sounds bad because it’s God but you have to understand, i mean, my flesh can’t stand it. it was painful
as i turned my head to the side because it was burning my eyelids, and the pressure was so forceful that i was being pinned to my bed, it was like i was being shaken by the shoulders, like he was showing off, like, “you asked for it so here it is” sort of pressure that made it difficult to breathe. i could feel it on my chest, i had to forcefully lift my chest up and down to breathe. i know this is crazy, but i was actually wishing it was over. i can’t use words to explain how intense it was and it was way too much. my body couldn’t handle it. it was a struggle to function or think, it was too overwhelming. and when it finally registered in the span of those intense couple seconds, i remember the exact words i was repeating in my mind,“okay, okay, i get it, God is real, God is real, God is real. God is real.”. i squeezed my eyes shut and that’s all i got for ya before i remember being startled awake.
i woke up with my sheets wet, i was sweaty and shaking and gross, and tears on my face and my heart was pounding so loud i could hear it. my lips and nose and chin and cheeks and hair and neck were all dripping wet, i was just gross and overwhelmed.
i started crying and fell back asleep and the next morning i woke up very tired. i was a writer back then as well, so the second it registered what happened, i jumped from my bed, grabbed my computer, and wrote down all of the memories and details while they were fresh. (unfortunately, the computer crashed so i lost the original document. bummer.) they were just bullets of everything i remembered and sensed and felt and i was so excited and joyful, so happy i began crying. it was like God not only took away my doubt, but revived me completely from my depression and anxiety.
then i got on my knees and surrendered, thanking him for hearing me in my doubt and revealing himself. i also remember kicking myself for not “liking” the experience at the time, because i was so rejuvenated then that i begged him to give me that again. it was like a high i couldn’t handle but i desired more than anything
i get just a taste of his glory when i pray and read his word but remembering this makes me wonder of heaven and how wonderful it will be, to see him face to face. but i’ll be in a new body and i’ll be able to reach out to him and touch him without wanting to die.
though my flesh would never ask to be pushed around in glory like that ever again, it is something my spirit craves daily.
that’s how i know it was God.
Since you are answering asks, I wanted to tell you that I started reading the bible because of you. And even if I can't reject my attraction to my same gender, now I look for lasting relationships instead of one nighters, and I think that is a great thing and I am grateful.
I was seven years old when I got in my first street fight in the only
tenements that my parents — struggling poor Koreans they were — could
afford. I had fought a much older single mother and lost. To my credit,
she started it. At twelve years old, I decided I was an atheist. At
fourteen, my parents divorced, as if to confirm that God couldn’t exist.
At sixteen, I had my first drop of an ensuing ocean of alcohol. That
same year, I went to what they called a “Gentleman’s Club” and stumbled
upon a terrible addiction. By nineteen, I had lost my college
scholarship and dropped out with a 0.9 GPA. By twenty-two, I had
swallowed a bottle of pills over the girl I was living with, who had
cheated on me twice. I spent time in what they call a “mental
institution,” which was perhaps an improvement over the Gentleman’s
I understand these problems do not compare to those of the world
over: but the contrast was that I hardly felt anything. I was following
the latest, loudest emotion, just the exit ramps to the bigger neon
sign. And soon I was staring into the mouth of a senseless life with
little purpose and no meaning — and it was all rather hilarious.
In my apprehension towards all-things-God, I would stay up until
three in the morning watching the ceiling fan, knowing there was more to
life than the empty vacuum of sweaty drunk faces and the smear of
red-and-blue cop car lights. At some point in college I was certain that
God was at least a real being, if only because I had looked into the
face of nothingness and knew that no one could possibly sustain a life
in that direction. But I didn’t want there to be a God, not with a
capital G. It was horrifying to think so. It was crazy to think I
couldn’t call my own shots and that I was somehow not the main character
of my own existence.
I went to church anyway. Quite faithfully, too. I got caught up in
the music, the messages, the social fervor, that moment after the
sermon in the lobby when no one talks about the sermon. I started
bringing my friends by the dozens because I was good at that sort of
thing. And somewhere along the line, almost imperceptibly by degrees, I
started hearing the messages. I really started listening. I heard about a
God who loves us and became one of us and died for us and defeated
death and invited us into the best relationship there is. Not a God who
gives us everything we want, because that would be no better than Santa
Claus with a pager. But a glorious, grand, dynamic, pulsating God, who
was writing this incredible drama with His Son at the apex of history
and letting us all in. Even letting me in. Almost by accident, to my growing disdain, I was feeling alive for
the first time.
A few years in, I went to this huge conference. There
were probably 10,000 people. I was both excited and uneasy because it
rubbed against my dislike for the institutional manufactured hype of
religious emotionalism, but then it was quite a sight to see so many
Christians singing and praying and even taking notes during the sermon.
The praise leader, Matt, was apparently famous and he shared his
testimony. He said when he was just a kid, he had been molested by his
uncle, and in that same bed, Matt had written worship songs.
comprehend this sort of resilience. That sort of hurt would’ve turned me
off God forever. And I came around to thinking that my hatred against
faith was merely a conditioned childish rebellion against Santa Claus
and not the real God, because my childhood was all kinds of unfair and
screwed up and wrong. I had been shaking a fist at a phantom of my own
trauma, wrought by a misconception of “God” who I could blame any time I
didn’t get what I wanted . I thought my objections were intellectual
and foolproof and full of scientific defense, but really I was just
regurgitating the same anger that the human race had displaced from
their disappointing parents onto the easy target of a
There was suddenly the invasive uncomfortable idea
that perhaps God was real and He had a name and He actually wanted to
know me — and He didn’t wave a wand to make everything easier, but He
did promise Himself inside the furnace of our broken chaotic mess.
Predictably enough, I began to cry. I couldn’t stop. I was with my
friend and he began to cry too. We were both really embarrassed but we
prayed for each other, and I think I heard God say, “You have a story to
At the end of 2007, I applied for my seminary. Despite my
really weird school record, they graciously accepted. It turns out that
ministry is not a picnic, at all. No one told me how hard it would
really be. But as I took those first baby steps into loving the unloved,
I found that this was the path I never knew I wanted but had always
been made for. I began to believe God made me to share a story: namely,
His. I went feet first into the places where no one else would go , to
wretched doubters and picketing haters and the impoverished and
ostracized and fatherless, and there I would tell them about grace and a
mission and a final home, and that this earth was not it. I embraced
the calling to give away my life so that others may see life. I’m not
saying that you need to be a pastor. I’m not saying that you need a wild
story to be “useful.” I’m not saying there’s a binary choice between
the world and your soul.
I’m not saying I’m better than anyone else. I just know what God can
do through people like me, and like you.
I’m still not sure that God
uses such pain to make us stronger. But I believe He can make us
stronger than the pain.
This is our testimony.
When you call out to Him: He has been calling to you all along.
There was something in the air that day.
Like God was shaking the o-zone layer
anticipating the moment my eyes would be opened.
And when they finally were, it was a sudden shock, my bones went from being a treasure trove for my sins to a vessel for the One who makes every tomb empty by sacrificing Himself instead.
I couldn’t contain the mighty pound in
my chest, like God was punching me
back to life, making me feel something again.
It was too much, and yet not enough,
I scratched at my ribs and ripped myself open. Begging Him to resuscitate
every heart beat that was stopping.
They say it looked like a crime scene
when I bled to my hearts content
but I see it as a final release
a deliverance in the messiest of ways,
redemption from my old rusty blades.
An epilogue of glory, from death to saved.
So many angels sang that day, you’d think
they all gained wings.
But it was me, I gained angel wings.
Knee deep in the shreds of my old life fading,
I found sight of a love that never wanes,
never fails, never loses its step.
This love never forgets my name
and in a ravaging storm and peaceful way, it promised on this day
to save me always.
A young man attended a Wednesday Night Bible Study and the Pastor preached about listening to GOD and
obeying the Lord’s voice. The young man couldn’t help but ponder, ‘Does GOD still speak to people?’
After service, he went out with some friends for coffee and pie and they discussed the message.
They talked about how GOD had led them in different ways.
It was about ten o'clock when the young man started driving home, and he prayed; ’ GOD…If you still speak to people, speak to me. I will listen. I will do my best to obey.’ As he drove down the main street of his town, he had the strangest thought to stop and buy a gallon of milk. He shook his head and said out loud, GOD is that you?’ He didn’t get a reply and started on toward home. But again, the thought, buy a gallon of milk came. The young man thought about Samuel and how he didn’t recognize the voice of GOD, and how little Samuel ran to Eli. 'Okay, GOD, in case that is you, I will buy the milk.’ It didn’t seem like too hard a test of obedience. He could always use the milk. He stopped and purchased the gallon of milk and started off toward home.
As he passed Seventh Street , he again felt the urge, 'Turn Down that street.’ This is crazy he thought, and drove on past the intersection. Again, he felt that he should turn down Seventh Street .At the next intersection; he turned back and headed down Seventh. Half jokingly, he said out loud,’ Okay, GOD I will.’ He drove several blocks, when suddenly, he felt like he should stop. He pulled over to the curb and looked around. He was in a semi- commercial area of town. It wasn’t the best but it wasn’t the worst of neighborhoods either. The businesses were closed and most of the houses looked dark like the people were already in bed. Again, he sensed something, 'Go and give the milk to the people in the house across the street’ The young man looked at the house. It was dark and it looked like the people were either gone or they were already asleep. He started to open the door and then sat back in the car seat 'Lord, this is insane. Those people are asleep and if I wake them up, they are going to be mad and I will look stupid.’ Again, he felt like he should go and give the milk. Finally, he opened the door, 'Okay GOD, if this is you, I will go to the door and I will give them the milk. If you want me to look like a crazy person, okay. I want to be obedient. I guess that will count for something, but if they don’t answer right away, I am out of here.’ He walked across the street and rang the bell. He could hear some noise inside. A man’s voice yelled out, 'Who is it? What do you want?’ Then the door opened before the young man could get away. The man was standing there in his jeans and T-shirt. He looked like he just got out of bed. He had a strange look on his face and he didn’t seem too happy to have some stranger standing on his doorstep. 'What is it?’ The young man thrust out the gallon of milk, Here, I brought this to you.’ The man took the milk and rushed down a hallway. Then from down the hall came a woman carrying the milk towards the kitchen. The man was following her holding a baby. The baby was crying. The man had tears streaming down his face. The man began speaking and half crying, 'We were just praying. We had some big bills this month and we ran out of money. We didn’t have any milk for our baby. I was just praying and asking God to show me how to get some milk.
His wife in the kitchen yelled out, 'I ask him to send an Angel with some. Are you an angel?
The young man reached into his wallet and pulled out all the money he had on him and put in the man’s hand. He turned and walked back to his car and the tears were streaming down his face. He knew that GOD still answers prayers.
Hurting For The Hurting: To Lay Down Our Necessary Armor.
Each week, part of my chaplaincy training is to write a reflection
on how it’s going. Here’s week number ten. Some identities may be
altered for privacy. All the writings are here. **Edit: a self-correction for this post.**
I worry a lot about getting jaded in the hospital.
Sometimes it looks like no one cares in there.
This trauma alert came in, a married couple who had been assaulted. The husband was hit by a two-by-four and the wife had a black eye — but the doctors and nurses were upset that the incident wasn’t more serious. The usual frantic pace of the trauma team was replaced by eye-rolling. One of the nurses yelled, “Boring.” Someone yawned really loud. Two doctors ripped off their gloves and stormed out. The couple was downgraded to another part of the hospital. I visited the couple, and they couldn’t speak English, and part of me was grateful for that.
There was an even worse situation, when a man’s heart had stopped and his chest was cut open and a doctor reached in through his ribcage to pump his heart back to life. The man didn’t make it. Someone said, “The floor’s ruined, what a lot of blood.” Two nurses high-fived over the dead body: “That was fricking awesome!” A doctor raised the roof. The body was wheeled out quickly.
All this sounds awful, but I really do get it. I was amidst professionals who had been doing this a long time, and they had created this safe, hovering, compensating distance in order to be effective. It’s why medical staff can’t work on their own family members — there’s too much at stake, and that desperation can fog up somebody’s thinking. Clinical work is clinical. It’s the only way you can reach inside a man’s chest and grab his organs in your fist.
I mean we can get mad about this sort of thing, about detached people at their jobs who should be sincere and all, but if you invest too much, you’d go crazy. It’s hard to balance, because too much one way and we’re high-fiving over a dead body, or too much the other way and we’re binging on a bottle of vodka for breakfast to numb what we see every day. I don’t want to get jaded, but I don’t want to go crazy, either.
Our hospital has this practice called Code Lavender where the chaplains bring cookies and tea to a certain floor for the staff. This one unit had a rough week: patients kept dying in this particular room, a “cursed room,” and the most recent death was a guy named Tony in his thirties who had been fine only hours before he died. Tony had been on that floor for three months; the team was hit hard. One by one, the nurses came in to unwind and talk about their patients. And one by one, every nurse, no matter how tough they looked, both male and female, would lose it in between eating cookies and drinking tea. They talked about Tony, but there was also Tina, and Derrick, and Lisa, and Maddy, and their families. The nurses called them friends.
Some of the nurses might have acted tougher than others, but the
baggage was in their faces and they needed somewhere to set down their
bags. They had held it together for their patients and for each other,
but in their quiet moments, they remembered the deceased and the hours
they poured into them and the lives they touched as they wheeled one in
and wheeled one out, another memory to grieve and one more goodbye they
could hardly endure. The nurses were waiting to share their hurt
somehow, to unpack and tell it like it really is.
Deep down, no one was truly jaded. Nobody was as mean or as cold as they had put on. They cared so much it hurt, enough to bottle it up and deflect with inappropriate humor or stoic coolness — because it was necessary armor, and it’s scary to talk about how close we get to the strangers we help, like it’s silly or weak or unsafe. But it’s even more scary not to admit that we care. And they needed a place to talk about it, to honor their fallen friends.
“We love them, you know,” a nurse said. “Some make it. Some don’t. And then we do it all over again, the next day, every day. My life is to love them.”
C.S. Lewis was right: To love at all is to be vulnerable, to open up the fortress of our guts and to give our lives away, and it requires everything. Healing people can look like a routine, with paperwork and prescriptions and stacks of numbers on a screen — but it never really is. The patients become family, and we give our best for them, the next day, and every day.
The only kind of people who could do this are those who are already jaded to being jaded. That’s carved from the purest place in us, a fountain that keeps giving, and sometimes we need a moment of cookies and tea to do it again.
Sometimes it means telling it like it is, just between you and me, between friends.