I’ve just come back from my niece-in-law’s wedding. It was a beautiful weekend full of different gatherings so both sides of the family and friends could meet one another. Although a wedding brings two people together to commit to one another for the rest of their lives. It’s also a joining of two families. These families are unique as they are scattered worldwide and haven’t met much during covid. So precious for the different groups to catch up with one another and continue developing friendships between the extended families. Not to mention celebrating with the happy couple their marriage!
It was indeed a fantastic weekend; grateful to have been part of it and thankful for the family who adopted me when my sister got married into them. I will continue to pray for the happy couple as they settle into their lives together.
Getting married is the most significant commitment any two people can make to one another. You can argue that having a child together is the biggest one since the child will always be what they have produced together, remaining their combined legacy. So true. But marriage is a choice of commitment that they do hopefully out of love and a desire to have that person be intimately close to them, every day, for the rest of their lives.
Yes, I haven’t been married or found someone I want to make that kind of commitment to—yet. But I am still hopeful it will happen.
However, I fully recognise and celebrate when others find that person for them. Who they know they don’t want to let go of. Who brings them to life in more ways and helps them become a better version of themselves and together become more than just 1+1=2, so much more than that.
God’s commitment to us.
This past weekend I’ve had pockets of time to reflect on what commitment means and how else we can show commitment in our lives.
We’ve just had Easter too. Where we remember and reflect on what God, Father & Son Jesus did for their commitment to mankind.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”
We all know John 3:16 very well. But we might not know verse 17. To add another depth of reasoning behind his love for us. Not to condemn but to save. And that this was done when much of mankind had no clue who God was nor why they needed him. But Jesus did it out of His love for us.
Ever since Adam and Eve sinned in the garden of Eden and had to leave there. God has had a plan. At the end of his life, at the end of the book of Genesis, Joseph says several times, “God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives” (50:20). Then in v24, his last words were, “… But God will surely come to your aid and take you up out of this land to the land he promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.”
Joseph knew God. Joseph had seen how God’s bigger plan was so, so much more than we, in our limited understanding, can fathom.
We see part of the fulfilment of God’s plan at the moment when Jesus gives his final breath and the veil in the temple is torn in two. (Matthew 27:51) The separation between the holy of holies and the rest of the temple was joined together. Signifying that God had made the way for himself to dwell with us all, not just the high priest once a year.
“Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. The Word [Jesus] became flesh and made his dwelling among us.”
But we know this isn’t the fullness of God’s commitment to us. It will only be complete when Jesus comes again and there is a new heaven and earth. This will be the completed transformation.
We know God is who He says He is and will do what He says He will do, so we can trust His promise and commitment to us.
My commitment to God
To surrender each day into His hands. To want to prioritise what God would like me to do with my day. My time, my energy, thoughts, work… For His glory. Trusting that He know’s all the things I need to do, could do, would like to do. But in the time limits of a day, my energy and capacity—what do I need to make sure happens so I honour God and my life commitment to Him?
I KNOW what I do with my day is entirely my free choice. But in my commitment to God—I want to partner with Him. Trust the bigger picture He has in mind and follow his leading. And all the good things I could do will also happen.
My motivation to do what I do in my daily life isn’t for others’ approval, or more followers on social media, or to make myself happy. It is to simply be faithful to what God has asked of me. Everything else is a bonus.
20 years ago, I gave up the potential future with one godly man. To trust God that He had a better plan for both of us. Did I think that would mean I would still be single today? No. But I have a promise from God, even though many years have passed. God hasn’t changed and His word is still true. So I don’t stop in my commitment to Him because more years than I would like have passed. Yes, I do remind God occasionally. I do wonder who and how and when. But my love and commitment to God don’t change because I’ve had to be more patient and haven’t had the family and life I thought I would. God has been with me every step of the way and I’ve done things that I probably wouldn’t have been able to do had I had that family. So I continue to trust that my life has been what God had intended, just like Joseph did. And that is good enough for me.
I’m currently halfway through my current visa time with YWAM Switzerland. I am currently nowhere near finishing the things God has asked me to do with my time here. I don’t know what will happen with my visa situation in December 2024 since the UK has left the EU since then. But I am trusting God has a plan and a way forward for that time. As well as for all the time until then. I have some hopes for these 2.5 years and each day, I work towards completing them. Plus, leaving room for whatever God brings along each day too. Just because I don’t know what the future holds in detail, I know enough to know I am precisely where I am meant to be for 2022. And I am trying to be as faithful as possible to make the most of it. So I can become my full potential.
Therefore, I spend time with God for me and my ministry. I work on my writing and training responsibilities. I listen to those around me to help me see my character weakness’ and try to develop them. So they don’t hold me back and thus become more like Jesus in who Patience is meant to be.
Living in a community is, at times, hard work. But, I try to be as faithful as I can be to do what I said I will do, be the best version of myself and be as flexible as I can to the surprises. I know this helps me be a more enjoyable person to be around and a helpful blessing to others too.
All the other little things that I’ve said yes to being involved in.
I also want to be known as someone reliable, easy to get on with, honest, trustworthy and loving. So people will want to ask me to help, to know I’ll say yes and mean it. Thus what they are relying on my doing will get done within the timeframe set. And if I can’t, it will be because something totally unexpected has come up (not because I’ve left things to the last minute). And will communicate as soon as I know I may not do all I said I would. So this is my understanding of what it means to be committed. To do what I said I would do.
My Commitment to myself
I want to be and become the best version of the Patience God intended me to be. I love to partner with God and see Him work and use me to be a blessing to others. To enjoy life knowing I’m making my heavenly father proud and not regret anything I do or don’t do.
I know I’m not perfect. I need help and have so much potential too.
There are loads of things I could have done better. But I don’t beat myself up about them. Instead, I use them as a learning tool so I am a little better the next time. And I hope that some of my failures can help others feel ok about not being perfect either and that we can laugh about them too.
We only have one life. I know I could have done many things differently, but I wouldn’t be the person I am today. And I wouldn’t be enjoying the things I get to be part of here in Switzerland either. So I am happy with who I am today. But I’m also aware of the things I need to continue working on so I will be content with who I am in the future.
My Commitment to others
There’s a saying in Scotland when we are a little too brutally honest. We love others so much we want them to know we have their backs today. But we also love them enough, to be honest, so they don’t just stay who they are today either. So we’ll share what we think is wrong. Sometimes you’ll be very thankful in that moment. Other times not so much, perhaps in time or never.
We all know we’re not perfect but are we committed to helping one another grow into our full potential? That’s really loving someone. So to say what needs to be said—although to anyone who’s not Scottish or Dutch, perhaps with a little more padding, so it’s not too direct or harsh.
If we love one another, then we love who they are today, but we are also cheering them on to be who we know they can be. It’s easier to see potential in others sometimes than they can in themselves. So we need to speak life into others, help them see how God sees them and then help them get there.
I am so thankful for my family (related and not), friends, and fellow YWAM’ers who know me for who I am today. Whilst are also committed to helping me walk and step into God’s more for me. I am a better version of myself today because of those around me.
If you are struggling today
I know at times it’s tough, really tough, to just be ok with being yourself in the day and life you are presently in. But know you are not alone. I know I wrote about this last week, but you’re on my heart today too. #35 If you are struggling
Perhaps thinking about your commitments is overwhelming. Please know God is committed to loving you and being with you whatever is going on in your life. So look up, trust Him and ask for help.
Feel free to contact me and I’ll pray for you too.
Or my dear friend Mary DeMuth has a great app and podcast for you called Pray Every Day.
God is with you and for you. You are loved and precious and nothing can change that.
“What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:21+32)