Tag: Love

To My Valentine

Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you your heart’s desires.

Psalm 37:4 NLT


This verse struck a cord with me today.  That’s why I’m not surprised that He wanted me to write this on Valentine’s Day because nothing is a coincidence with God.

Growing up, I remember exchanging valentines with my classmates while drinking Hawaiian Punch and eating those delicious heart-shaped sugar cookies from the local bakery.  These childhood memories are so sweet for me to look back on.  I thank God for them.  Remembering the significance of this day in my childhood would better prepare me for the shift in perspective He knew I would encounter in the future.


As I’ve gotten older, God has certainly shifted my perspective and opened my eyes to see the stark contrast between God’s definition of love and how the world defines love.  Merriam-Webster offers several definitions of love.  One, in particular, stood out to me the most and it was this: “a person’s adoration of God.”  I don’t know what I was most surprised by: The fact that God was mentioned under love in the dictionary, or that this definition was the fifth one listed when it should’ve been the first.  Why have we allowed the acknowledgement of the love God has for us to take fifth place in our dictionary? Could it be that our culture has distracted and disillusioned us (God’s people) with the fleshly desires, to such degree that has pushed our definition of His love further down the list and possibly even further out of our minds and hearts?  I believe the question isn’t whether or not we acknowledge God’s love for us. I believe the real question we should be asking is, Have we unintentionally forgotten the depth of His love for us in the midst of the rush and distractions?


According to the concordance in my Bible, love is defined as a verb and a noun. The noun version is defined as “the ultimate expression of God’s loyalty, purity, and mercy extended toward his people.” (Jesus-Centered Bible, 2015).  I chose the noun version of love because I’m referring to God in the flesh (Jesus). Besides, taking a step back and looking at the idea of Valentine’s Day, implies being with the person or people you love and letting them know how much you care about their “desires.”  (I hope you’re seeing where we’re headed). In the same way a person might choose to go above and beyond by showing them how much they care (everyday but especially on Valentine’s Day) God did the same thing for you and me by sending Jesus to die for our sins. (Luke 2:1-20, John 3:16, 1 John 4:8)  Looking at Valentine’s Day through a Biblical lens helps us see how much the earthly view of the day pales in comparison to the Heavenly view of being loved by our Valentine whose name is Jesus Christ.


God’s desires and my desires are often opposite from each other. He is God and I’m not.  The day I finally came to this realization through the conviction of the Spirit marked the beginning of God transforming my heart and mind. (Romans 12:2)  I praise and thank Him daily for continuing to make me more like Him on a daily basis.

After walking through many years of dry seasons and seas of tears, I can honestly say that the minute I began to align my desires with His, I fell in love with Him ALL over again!

I may not have a boyfriend to spend this day with yet and I’m okay with that.

Because I am loved with an everlasting love.

And so are you.

“I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love.
With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself.

Jeremiah 31:3 NLT

Happy Valentine’s Day!

©Andrea Pierce. 2017. All Rights Reserved

Dear Future Husband

22

This is my letter to my future husband:

I want you to know that I’ve prayed for you since I was a little girl playing dress up and dreaming of the guy I would marry.  I have no idea where, when, or how we’ll meet, but it’ll be in God’s perfect timing.  I’m so grateful for you.  For the man of God you are.  Most of all, I’m grateful to God for bringing us together in the way only He could.  Thanks for loving, caring, guiding me through this thing called life.  There’s no doubt you’re the one God created just for me!  You are truly the answer to my prayers and my tender heart.

Love,

Your Future Wife


This past week has been all kinds of crazy.   And this sporadic post is evidence of the craziness yet again.

More importantly, I recently finished reading “Uninvited” by Lysa TerKeurst and I cannot even begin to explain to you how much that book has meant to me and what a profound impact it’s had on my relationship with Jesus.  The book deals specifically with rejection.  The subtitle will always ring loud and clear in the deepest parts of my soul: ”Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out and Lonely.”  I’ll never forget how much the word lonely resonated with me the day I received my copy of the book.

We’ve all been there, haven’t we?  In a lonely place.  Or perhaps we have lived through a season of loneliness.  In His infinite grace and compassion the Lord has been dealing with and walking me through this issue of feeling alone.

When in the midst of a lonely season, we must remember these three things:

  1. We Aren’t Alone (Isaiah 41:10)
  2. Loneliness Doesn’t Define Us (1 Samuel 12:22)
  3. He is Truly Everything We Need (2 Peter 1:3)

Several months ago, I wrote about God’s perspective of being single. That post was such a healing message from God to me that I so desperately needed.  (Spoiler alert: this message will be similar, yet altogether different.  Hang in there with me and I promise you’ll gain a fresh perspective.)  First, let me clarify by saying and acknowledging that I’m certainly not an expert on loneliness. That being said, I write about what I struggle with and this just happens to be my current struggle.  Second, I believe with every fiber of my being that God’s word offers such healing and resurrection to the raw and vulnerable chapters of our story. But, we have to allow God to change and mold our hearts to be more like His.

Lastly, I want to give us the opportunity to consult Scripture as it deals with loneliness.

Isaiah 41 starts out with God reminding the people exactly who He is, yet again. As I was reading I couldn’t help but put myself in the shoes of Israel’s people.  They knew God.  Believed God.  And they even trusted Him.  Until they would get discontented and disillusioned by the chaos going on around them.  (Sound familiar?)  What I love most about Isaiah (and God) is the fact is that they don’t leave us hanging on the edge of harsh words.  When we get to verse ten, we hear God’s sweet promise:

 Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.
    Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you.
    I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.

Isaiah 41:10 NLT

Essentially, this verse has become my mantra here recently. Just like the Israelites knew, believed and even trusted Him, they needed a swift reminder.  And so do That’s exactly what God’s promises are: Reminders of who He truly is for us to grab hold of and proclaim over our lives every single day.


When you’re in the midst of a lonely season it can be very easy to get distracted and disillusioned by the lies of the Enemy. That’s what was happening to God’s people in Isaiah 41 and it happens to you and I today.  Personally, for me Satan loves to allow me to doubt and question God’s unfailing love for me.  This is especially true for my present and future relationships. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard Satan whisper “If God really loved you, you would have a boyfriend right now.” Or worse “You’re so stupid for thinking anyone would ever want to marry a girl in a wheelchair.”  

Oh friend, how badly these lies sting my soul. They make everything within in me scream out in pain. The whispers you hear are probably different from mine, but they are there.  Let me reach out, grab your hand, and proclaim 1 Samuel 12:22 over you:

The Lord will not abandon his people, because that would dishonor his great name. For it has pleased the Lord to make you his very own people.

1 Samuel 12:22 NLT


God is truly all we need. I know, I know the world thinks that statement is so cliché.  They’re wrong.  We are created in the image of the God who spoke the planet into existence, so why do we doubt Him? As a matter of fact, God knows what we need before we do.  We are reminded of that in Matthew 6:8. Don’t be like them, for your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him! (NLT)  God knows everything about me.  He knows who I will marry and how many kids we’ll have.  I don’t know for sure, but I’m fairly confident my future husband will be just as passionate about Jesus as I am.   We will grow in our love for God and each other.

When I think about the fact that God will pick my husband for me it frees me.  I’m free from the doubt and fear of the future.  It’s not my responsibility to worry about him, it’s my responsibility to pray for him daily.

By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence.

2 Peter 1:3 NLT

The Comparison Struggle

Comparison Blog

Comparison is something that has plagued humanity since before the world began.  The lie that we must compare ourselves to others in order to feel significant is from Satan himself and not God.  God created every person on this planet different for a reason.  We’re unique and those imperfections are what make us beautiful.  It’s in our moments of weakness that God’s glory becomes even more radiant!

I wanted to look at three realities in Scripture that deal with the comparison struggle:

  • Adam and Eve
  • Abram and Sarai
  • Satan wanting to be better than God

Adam and Eve was the first people to ever face the comparison struggle. We watch as she is the first to fall victim to the the lies from Satan. (Genesis 3:1-24)  In verses 4 through 6, she becomes convinced by Satan to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  She thinks she will be like God by eating the fruit in verse six.

4You won’t die!” the serpent replied to the woman. 5“God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.”

6The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too.

Genesis 3:4-6 NLT


Can you identify with the comparison struggle?

It’s no coincidence that the comparison struggle can be traced all the way back to Genesis. God put it there to remind us that He knows what a battle comparison can be in our lives.  Since I’m being brutally honest with you here, there have been times where I have faced the very same struggle with comparing myself to those around me.  It can start out so subtly until I feel God speaking to my heart saying, “Andrea, stop comparing yourself to her.  I created you to be yourself and no one else.  If I would’ve wanted everyone to be the same, you would be that way.”

In those moments that I stop and fall to my knees.  I’ve read the story of Adam and Eve a thousand times, but not until recently did I realize that both of them were facing the comparison struggle long before you and I existed.  They bought into Satan’s lie that by eating that piece of fruit, they could be like God. (v. 6)


I’ve always learned so much from Abram and Sarai. (who later becomes Sarah in Genesis 17) They loved God and wanted to follow Him, yet they had a tendency to get very impatient with God.  Ever been there? It’s a REAL battle.

The lives of Abram and Sarai is a prime example of comparison leading to pride. Sarai knew that God would be faithful to His promise of numerous descendants. (Genesis 15:1-6) However, she was growing impatient with God again. How do we know this? Sarah started comparing herself to Hagar because she was jealous of her.

We see this coming to fruition Genesis 16 through “The Birth of Ishmael” as it’s entitled in my Bible. Looking back on Abram and Sarai’s story along with Adam and Eve, it shouldn’t be surprising that comparison will always lead to jealousy in our hearts.  I think what I love most about Abram and Sarai’s story is that despite all their mistakes, God kept His word and remained faithful to the promises He had made. We need to be reminded of that very truth on a daily basis.

The grass withers and the flowers fade,
    but the word of our God stands forever.”

Isaiah 40:8 NLT


I had always heard that Satan had been thrown out of Heaven because he wanted to be greater than God. However, I’ve recently realized that Satan not only wanted to be like God, but he wanted to be greater than God himself! This conclusion astounds me.  No wonder Satan uses the comparison trap on us because he’s just hoping we’ll bite the bait of being jealous of others.

  
12 
“How you are fallen from heaven,
O shining star, son of the morning!
You have been thrown down to the earth,
you who destroyed the nations of the world.
13 For you said to yourself,
‘I will ascend to heaven and set my throne above God’s stars.
I will preside on the mountain of the gods
far away in the north.[e]
14 I will climb to the highest heavens
and be like the Most High.’

Isaiah 14:12-14 NLT

These words in Isaiah are evidence that comparison and jealousy always come as a package deal. Make no mistake that comparing ourselves to others is a sin, whether we realize it at the time or not.

Although comparison may appear subtle at first, we’re essentially telling God that we aren’t content with the way He created us. Talk about a fresh perspective on the struggle of comparison! I felt such a deep desire from the Spirit to write about comparison this week because it’s something that He has really been convicting me of and speaking to me about.


The good news is that with Jesus we have HOPE. He knows we are going to struggle and sin while in the flesh.  Of this we can be sure: God loves us through it all, just as He did for the people in Scripture.  His love for us never changes and He is always faithful.

© Andrea Pierce. 2016. All Rights Reserved.

God’s Perspective on Being Single

Have you ever wondered what God says about being single? I certainly have.

Singleness, for women or men seems to be weird topic these days.  Sometimes I feel as though it’s a topic that can go unnoticed and one that society tends to shy away from.  So I started toiling these questions around in my mind.

  • Why do we tend to shy away from the idea or reality of being single? (I realize that guys might deal with it a little differently than women, but I still think the struggle is very much the same.)
  • Why do we sometimes feel bad about being single?
  • Is it possible that our culture today has somehow concocted the idea that being single is some type of anomaly? 

I decided to go the Scriptures and see what God says about the single life.  Here’s what I discovered:

For starters, according to Google Translate, the Greek word for “single” is μονόκλινο.  One definition says, “consisting of one part.” (Google 2016) When I read this I began to see singleness the way God does. God doesn’t look singleness as us being alone because He is already living in us through the Holy Spirit. (John 14:15-31) Which, leads me back to the original question.

Why do we tend to shy away from the idea or reality of being single?

My response to this question is based solely off of my own opinion as well as consulting Scripture, of course.  Therefore, I feel like we shy away from the thought of being single out of fear. Nobody, if they’re honest, doesn’t like the thought of being alone for the rest of their life.  Who would, right? I totally understand the validity of that fear. I’ve been there.

We have to remember to always go to God’s word no matter what we’re dealing with and see how He would handle it.  I think Isaiah gives us a pretty awesome idea of how God sees singleness in His sons and daughters in Isaiah 54:

“For your Creator will be your husband; the LORD of Heaven’s Armies is His name!  He is your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, the God of all the earth.”

Isaiah 54:5 (NLT)

Looks like we’re not alone, after all.  Pretty amazing, right?


Is it possible that our culture today has somehow concocted the idea that being single is some type of anomaly? 

Tony Evans puts it the following way in his blog post entitled, “Christian Singlehood

“Yet far too many single people fear their missing out on God’s best or God’s plan if they aren’t married.  Many singles feel as if their lives are in a holding pattern, like an airplane that is supposed to be landing at its destination but has been ordered to circle the airport.”

I LOVE that analogy because I have felt that way countless times over the years.  I feel as though our society today sort of frowns upon the reality of being single by mocking having certain morals or standards that most Christians exude while being single.

Since when did being single become the “elephant in the room” in the sense that it isn’t something people really talk about anymore?

I’m so glad God doesn’t look at singleness the way our culture does.  I think being single can help us fall more in love with God before anyone else.  That way, when He sends the man (or woman) of our dreams we will understand how to love that person the way Christ loves us.

Why do we (young women especially) sometimes feel bad about being single?

I believe that this directly effects women in terms of how we tolerate our singleness.  Women, in general, are more emotional than the guys. (I know that guys can be emotional, which is great) I just feel like women express our emotions more because that’s the way God created us.

My personal struggle with singleness has gotten harder over the last several years.  With that being said, I’ve had the great honor and privilege of watching two of my very best friends marry and become one in Christ with the men He created for each of them.  What a blessing that has been.  God has used each of those experiences in my life to give me a greater perspective of marriage and what it really looks like and how important it is to wait for the man (or woman) that God has created just for you!


P.S. Here are the pictures of my very best friends and I on their wedding days.  I love each of them so dearly.  I don’t know where I’d be without the love, encouragement and friendship we have!

Taylor and I: April 2016
Taylor and I: April 2016
Brianne and I: May 2016
Brianne and I: May 2016

©Andrea Pierce. 2016. All Rights Reserved.

 

God is LOVE

God is LOVE

The statement “Jesus Loves Me” is oh so simple, yet so incredibly profound.  Love is written all over the Bible and that’s because love is the very nature and character of our God.  It’s who He is.  I think it’s also important to recognize that there comes a point in each of our lives where we desire to fall in love with God all over again. (I know I’ve felt that way before even though I’m not a parent yet.)  It ultimately boils back down to human nature and we all desire to feel love and be loved.  Think about it: God created Eve from Adam so he wouldn’t be alone.  And because He LOVES us more than we could ever imagine!  I believe John 3:16 says it all: “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” (New Living Translation)

The love God has for myself and everyone else on the face of this planet is so far beyond our comprehension that it’s impossible for us to understand.  Quick sidebar:  I’m not married yet, but I hope and pray I will be someday.  Within the last several months I have had the AMAZING privilege of witnessing two of my very best friends marry and become one in Christ with the men that God created just for them.  As I stood there watching the faces of their grooms light up when they saw their bride; I was completely in awe of God’s love for us.  His face lights up in that very same way when He sees us walking toward Him.  1 John 4:19 says, “We love because he first loved us.”The more time we spend with Him, the more we can understand His love for us. I look at it like this: In order to get to know someone as a friend you have to spend quality time with that person.  The same is true in our relationship with God and He desires to spend time with you.  I love David’s Psalms because they are so easy to read, but are also so heartfelt.  Which, reflects God’s character and nature.    “But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God. I trust in the steadfast love of God forever and ever.” Psalm 52:8 (ESV)

God sent Jesus as another exemplification of His love for humanity.  I don’t know about you, but I cannot think of a greater way to show the world.  God sent Jesus into this world to not only show us His love, but to also die the horrific death that we deserve because of this nasty thing called sin.  (References: John 3:16, Luke 2:1-20, Isaiah 9:1-7)  When Jesus had fulfilled what God had called him to, Jesus sent us the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us.  The Holy Spirit is essentially God living in us at all times.  Pretty sweet, right?  (References: Acts 2:1-13, John 14:15-27)  The thing I love most about the Spirit is that it is God speaking to my heart with and convicting my heart in love as well. He is always speaking to us even when we fail to realize it.  From my personal experience when He speaks, more often than not it can get quite LOUD until I follow through in obedience!

Lastly, the message is simple:

Jesus loves me.

And you.

Always.

©Andrea Pierce. 2016. All Rights Reserved.


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