Do You Trust Me?

Lately, I’ve been having a sort of identity crisis. Only a few weeks ago, I had a very clear idea of what I wanted in life. I was going to be a writer and a homemaker, have two children (at least one girl), and be a homeschool teacher for them and for other children. Recently though, I haven’t been sure of much of anything. I’ve started to question whether I even really wanted to have kids. Between the childbirth, the 24/7 job of taking care of children, the potential for heartbreak when they mess up in life, and the difficulty of raising them well, I’m just not sure anymore. Which of course, puts a kink in my plan for being mainly a stay home mom.

Besides the whole motherhood debate, I’ve also been questioning my potential as a writer. Basically, it is very difficult to make a living as a novelist. It doesn’t provide a dependable salary, and you could very well write an entire novel and then not be able to get it published. Then, if you do manage to get it published, there’s the problem of selling it. There are so many books out there, and a lot of them are really good! Who on earth would even notice mine, let alone be persuaded to buy it? My fear is that nobody would.

Even if people did buy my books, I’m not confident that that could ever be enough to fully support me. Living costs a lot, and novelists don’t usually make that much off of their books. Thus, the ends don’t meet.

This train of thought has me deeply questioning what I am going to do with my life. After all, if my husband and I decide not to have kids and it’s not likely that I can make a living as a writer, then I can’t do either of the things that I’d planned on! And if I don’t know what I want to do, then that leaves me wondering if I’m making the right decision as far as college goes. Is it really smart for me to get an associate’s degree, which truthfully does not make you qualified for many jobs at all, if I don’t know what I want to do?

That was when I realized it. Or, I should say, I remembered it. I remembered how clearly God had told me to carry out my plan for school. When I was originally trying to make the decision about whether or not to leave my university in order to pursue an associate’s degree at the local community college, I asked God to point me in the right direction. And He did! He gave me four very clear (if not humorous) indications that it was ok for me to do just that. So the decision was made.

My recent confusion led me to remember that. That, in turn, let me to understand something very important; I am not making my life decisions based on me, I’m making them based on God. Sure, sometimes God doesn’t seem to have a preference about what I decide, and in those times I do decide based on what I want. But in this case, I had to remember that even though I thought that I was leaving my university because that is what I wanted, in reality I am leaving because God told me to. That is so comforting to me!

Even if my old plan is not so certain any more, God’s plan is. As long as I am trusting God’s plan instead of my own plan, I know that I’m in good hands.

So no, I don’t know exactly (or at all) what I want to do with my life. I don’t know if I want to be a parent or a writer anymore. I don’t know how I am going to make a living or support myself and my husband. I have some ideas, sure, but that isn’t very comforting when it comes to your financial security. But despite that, I’m not freaking out. I know that God has a plan for me and that He will take care of me. It’s all about whether or not I can trust Him. And I most definitely do.

My husband and I are on a journey together. Many couples get married later in life when they already know what they want to do, or are even doing it already. They often have a clear preference when it comes to having children, and in many cases they know exactly how many they will have and what their names will be. Funnily enough, this was my husband and I just a few months ago (well, except the part about getting married later in life).

Now, we are uncertain. He has a much clearer idea of what he wants to do than I do, but it is still somewhat uncertain whether he can succeed at it. Neither of us know if we want kids at all anymore, let alone how many. But we are together, and we are protected by the God of the universe. That is what a marriage is supposed to look like; two people who are tied together through everything and anything, following God’s leadings with contented faith. We have what we need, because God provides it. We don’t need to know the rest right now.

God wants me to trust Him, and that means letting go of my plans for my life and embracing His plan instead, even if I don’t know what that is yet. And you know what? I feel so much more secure this way. After all, this is God we’re talking about. He probably knows just a little bit more than I do.


In a marriage, I believe that it is important to be best friends. To be completely honest, I think that it is important to be best friend before you get married, but if you can’t manage that then I would at least try to develop your friendship after you get married.

What is a best friend, though? I’ve heard many people say that their spouse (or boyfriend, fiance, etc.) is their best friend. Yet to me, it seems that many people say this simply because it sounds nice. “I married my best friend,” they say, or “my best friend is my wife.” How sweet! But what does that really mean?

To me, a best friend is somebody who you can (and want to) tell absolutely everything. A best friend is a person who you can be yourself with; you can let yourself go and not worry in the slightest about them judging you. (Of course, this goes both ways. You don’t judge them either!) A best friend is that person who you would do anything for, and who would do anything for you.

I can honestly say that I talk to my husband about my deepest feelings, my darkest secrets, and my most personal issues. Nothing is embarrassing between us! I don’t have to hide anything from him; not the good, the bad, or the ugly. I love him unconditionally and nothing could ever change that. I also know that there is nothing I wouldn’t sacrifice for Him (except for God of course), and that he would do the same for me. And that is why I know that we are in this until the end. Because he is my best friend, not just my lover. He is my second priority in the entire universe behind God, and fortunately, I feel pretty confident that God would never ask me to choose between them.

Being best friends with your spouse has a great number of benefits. First of all, it strengthens your commitment. Often in romantic relationships, people focus on their own needs and desires. In a healthy and strong friendship, however, the happiness and needs of the other person take on greater importance. Approaching a marriage from that perspectives gives it much greater strength. It is no longer about two people mutually benefiting from the other person; instead, it’s about two people who care about each other enough to put their concerns second to the other person’s.  Thus, the marriage and commitment is much stronger.

Second of all, being best friends helps you survive the long haul. Simply put, if you enjoy the company of your spouse, it will be much easier to spend the rest of your life with them. Why is it that friendships often seem to last longer than many marriages nowadays? I think it’s because people get married when they are in love, but people stay in friendships because they genuinely enjoy each other’s company. Don’t get me wrong, love is important (as is attraction and compatibility). But love, attraction, and compatibility are frankly not enough. Friendship is a vital component to a healthy and happy marriage, and being best friends makes it that much easier to keep your vows ’til death do you part (not to mention into eternity.) Not to mention that it makes things so much more fun!

The third benefit of being best friends with your spouse is that it leads to a deeper level of closeness. Being able to talk to your spouse about everything and anything is the key to emotional connectedness. Another point I’d like to make here is that if you have a friend who you are emotionally closer to than you are to your spouse, than I see that as a problem. Don’t get me wrong, it’s n0t a problem to be very emotionally close to a friend; it’s just that you should be as emotionally connected to your spouse as possible, and if you aren’t as close to him or her as you are to one of your friends, than you aren’t reaching your maximum marital potential for closeness. In other words, your spouse should be your ultimate best friend and the person who you are closest to in the world. If you have a boyfriend or girlfriend and you aren’t at this level with them yet, then I strongly advise that you get there before you decide to get married.

Now, about friends outside of marriage. I’ve discussed this a bit in a previous blog post, “Friends,” but I’d like to touch base on it once more. In my humble opinion, friendships outside of marriage should not be closer than your actual marriage. However, I do believe in the strong need for close friends outside of your marriage. Specifically, I think it is vital to have close friends of the same sex outside of marriage (and not so much close friends of the opposite sex, because that can be very dangerous no matter what your excuses may be).

I think this is important mainly because marriage can feel a bit stifling to some, and it is important to avoid smothering your spouse. Spending time with people outside of your romantic relationship is good for your own emotional health (bigger is always better as far as support networks go), as well as for the relational health of your marriage. This goes for men and women! Husbands, find yourself some close guy friends and wives, find yourself some good girl friends who you can grow with. If you’re a Christian, your closest friends should also be Christians so that they can be accountability partners as well as on the same page as you when it comes to basic life choices. Do this and I guarantee you will feel more fulfilled, well-balanced, and probably even closer to God.

So, those are my thoughts on best friends. Your spouse should be your first, but you should definitely have seconds. Both of these things are essential to a fantastic marriage, which currently, I can gladly say that I have. I say this not to brag (after all, I’ve only been married for three months), but to encourage. If everybody married their best friend, I think the status of marriage in our country would improve tremendously. That’s because true best friends are forever, and so is God’s plan for marriage.

Now, if you don’t mind, I think I’ll go spend some time with my best friend in the world. =]


As a Christian, I believe it is important to give back to God for everything He has given me, and one of the ways that I do that is through ministry. For those of you unfamiliar with church terms, ministry basically just means volunteering for the church. There are tons of ways to volunteer at a church, from helping welcome people to services, to keeping the physical church clean, to serving outside of the physical church in an outreach project. I believe that God has given us all different gifts, interests, and callings partially so that we can use them to serve. My two biggest interests/talents have to do with writing and children, and I’ve decided to use my way with kids to serve God.  I do this by helping take care of the kids on Sunday mornings, and I specialize in infants.

Taking care of the babies every Sunday is one of the most rewarding parts of my week! I love spending time with those adorable babies, and I love getting to know my fellow leaders. The best part is, I know that I’m making a difference because I get to help give parents the opportunity to attend service without the distraction of crying babies, and I get to help make sure the kids know that they are loved. Serving is definitely rewarding!

Another way that I give back is through tithing. Tithing is another church term that means donating money to the church. Now, the real purpose of this is not to “pay your dues” to the church or to try to make your church the wealthiest in town. The purpose of tithing is more symbolic than that; it represents the fact that you don’t really own your own belongings, including your money, and that you are happy to give it away to further God’s kingdom. It’s a way to acknowledge that everything you have comes from God, and that you wouldn’t be able to earn any money without God’s help and blessings. It is a way that Christians learn to loosen their grip on their money and earthly possessions, and instead focus on building up treasure in Heaven (for God promises to reward us for our service to Him when we get to Heaven).

The Bible specifically requests that believers give 10% of our earnings back to God. My husband and I follow this commandment faithfully, and God has blessed us financially! We see our money for what it is—a way to provide for our needs. Because of this, we spend our money wisely, thank God for providing it, give Him back what He requests or more when we can afford it, and try to have an attitude of generosity. To me, helping out a friend with some extra money or donating to a charity is my duty. I have extra money and I don’t need it, but they do. God gave me the money in the first place, so giving it to somebody else in need is something I can do joyfully.

I’m not telling you these things to brag, I promise. The only thing I’ll brag about is how great my God is! I’m telling you these things because I want to share the joy of giving. I want to show non-believers that God is a good God, who loves us and takes care of us, and changes us in ways that make us so much better! I want to show believers that following God is not an aspect of life, it is a lifestyle choice. It should change the way you think and act. God will change you if you sincerely try to follow Him, immersing yourself in His word, His people, and His spirit. And when you do, it is life changing. There is no life like a life lived walking side-by-side with God!

But, nobody is perfect. Even as a Christian woman chasing after God, I have plenty of issues. Even though I do give back to God on a regular basis with my time and money, many of my problems are related to giving. The problem is that I don’t give enough. I give my 10% tithe and I give up 2 or 3 hours a week for the children’s ministry. I occasionally give a generous gift to a friend or family member or donate extra money to a charity. But in general, if I was perfectly honest, I would have to admit that I give the bare minimum.

A couple of weeks ago, my brother got into a car accident and totaled his car. He was lucky enough to receive a good deal on a rental car for a few days, but it started to add up and he still had a while to go until he found a new car to replace it. A few days after the accident, my dad approached me and asked if I would consider loaning my car to my brother for a week or so.

At first, my gut reaction was, “great, how am I going to get out of this?” My car is like a pet to me. She has a name (it’s Stella), and I treasure her for the blessing that she is. I was extremely fortunate to be given a practically brand new car for my graduation present, and I’ve always been grateful for that. A car is a huge advantage to have in life, both practically and financially. I never take that for granted. I show my gratitude partially by driving my car with care and keeping her well-maintained.

My brother is not a bad driver (any more), but I’m still not 100% confident that he is careful enough to be worthy of Stella. As I’ve said before, she is my treasure. So when my dad asked me to lend her to my brother, I was very resistant to the idea. How could he ask me that? She’s mine!

Except that she’s not. God quickly reminded me that nothing I think I own is really mine. He gave me everything I have, and He can take it all away. I’m glad that He hasn’t taken it all away, of course, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s all His. I have no right to deny my brother, who is also my brother in Christ, such a small favor as to lend him my car for a week or so. And so, I did. And it’s hard! I miss driving my own car, and I’m looking forward to getting her back. But I’m also really happy that I was able to let go of her to help my brother.

The moral of the story is that giving is not always easy. As a Christian, God has given me a desire to give back, but that doesn’t mean that money and possessions still don’t have a hold on me. But following God with all of my heart means abandoning everything else that I might be tempted to put before him. That’s why I know that I need to work on being more selfless, generous, and others-focused when it comes to my  time, my money, and my stuff.

What about you? How do you see your time, money, and belongings? I encourage you to work towards becoming more like God by loosening your grip on earthly possessions. Not only will it glorify God and create a Christian community in which brothers and sisters in Christ truly take care of one another, but it will also help free you from the bonds of materialism. Giving feels great, and learning to give without hesitation is a great way to take a step closer to God.


“That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?”

−Matthew 6:25-27


Today, I spent some of my time volunteering for the children’s program at my church. I helped teach the kindergarten class a Bible story, and ended up getting a lot more out of it than I expected.  I was reminded of an important spiritual discipline because of the story that we taught the children; it was a lesson on patience.

The theme of the night was “waiting for God,” and essentially we tried to teach the kids that sometimes (a lot of the time), we don’t get what we want right away. We have to wait for it, and we have to be patient while we wait. We told them the Bible story about Joseph, a man who spent a lot of time patiently enduring the unfortunate circumstances that life took him through. The moral of the story was that sometimes we go through things in life that we don’t like, and we might not understand why we’re going through them. But if we want to be focused on God, then we should be patient and wait for God to reveal His will for us. We can do this with faith because we know that God loves us and has good plans for us.

This lesson was simple, but profound. It was a good reminder for me to enjoy my life every day, and not just wait for something I think will be better in the future. Even though I’m excited to transfer to my new college at the end of this semester and move onto the next stage in my life, I know that the timing isn’t right at this moment. I need to finish this semester first to complete the courses that I’ve already started, some of which will transfer to my new school. There would be no point for me to withdraw from my university right now because classes at my new school don’t start until January, and I would have nothing to do between now and then, which wouldn’t be good for me. And most importantly, I feel that God is calling me to stay at my current school until the end of the semester to wrap up a lot of my ties there in a healthier way than I could if I just left all of a sudden. Yes, it’s pretty clear to me that God is telling me to wait right now, because things will be much better in the future if I do.

Sometimes, of course, it may not be that clear when God is asking us to wait, and when He is telling us to go. Some people seem to believe that waiting for God just means waiting. When my husband and I decided to get married, for instance, we were told that we should trust God and wait for the right time. They felt that it wasn’t the right time and that we needed to wait. But what did they base this opinion on? Was it really God? I don’t think so. Cory and I felt that God was giving us the green light to get married because we were both ready. But those people told us that waiting was a more Godly decision, and I have a suspicion that it had a lot more to do with their own personal biases than it had to do with God’s will for us. You see, waiting for God doesn’t simply mean waiting. We are allowed to make decisions and take action, when the time is right. The trick is to seek God’s will earnestly and patiently, and then make a decision and act on it. Of course, the first part is much harder than it sounds.

So how exactly do we seek God’s will earnestly and patiently? I wrote about this in detail in my post a couple of weeks ago called “Decisions, Decisions…”, and I went through my whole system of Godly decision making. Now, the only problem with that is that I’m not God. I can’t tell you that my way is the right way or that my way is the way that God would want you to do it. All I can tell you is that I think that my way of seeking God’s will is as close as I can get to the way God wants me to do it right now. So take it or leave it, but if you decide to leave it then just try to remember this one thing; seek God’s will in the best way that you know how, and make sure that it’s compatible with the God that we know from the Bible, because He’s the real deal.

To sum up, here is my system: pray, listen, research, seek counsel, take care of yourself, and love others. Pray to ask God what His will for you is; listen for His answer; research His nature in the Bible; seek the counsel of other Christians you trust; take care of your needs; and put loving others above your own desires. If one or more of these steps doesn’t seem to yield results, then that’s ok. What are the results of the other steps telling you? Start there. If none of these steps seems to yield results (as in, you don’t really hear a clear “right answer” from God through any of these avenues), then perhaps you are putting too much thought into it. Are you trying to seek God’s will on what pair of shoes you should buy? Chances are, He’s alright with either choice. If it’s a serious decision you are trying to make, though, then He probably has a specific plan for you. So if you aren’t hearing anything, then it’s probably because you are hearing exactly what He wants you to hear; His silence. He’s telling you to wait.

When God tells you to wait, that doesn’t mean to stop seeking Him. Continue praying, focusing on thanking Him for his goodness and requesting the things that you need. Continue to live in a way that pleases God, even in the middle of your waiting. Be patient, knowing that God has great plans for you. Celebrate today for the fact that it is one day closer to the thing you are waiting for, but also just because it is one more day that you get to be an agent of God wherever you are. Delight in the joy that God has for you today and look forward to the future with hope.

“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'” –Jeremiah 29:11