This weekend was…well it’s still resonating in my Spirit. Last week was a HARD week. I was tired and my own agitation was attempting to get the best of me. I’ve always been a working mom and so when I suddenly became a stay at home (and single) mom in this time of rest after getting laid off…well it took me a few weeks into May and almost June to realize that this was the time of rest that God spoke to me about back in March of 2015. I had to step back from some things that I’d committed to. Things that were good, but were not conducive to the things that the Lord was trying to do in me.
So, it’s me and the kids at home (and sometimes the water park) and the summer is wearing on all of us. Kids have this uncanny ability to trash a perfectly clean house in a very short amount of time. Contrary to what people think, Stay at Home Mom’s have much less time to keep things clean and in order. Sometimes we are reactive- let’s face it, kids make messes, and sometimes we are proactive. At any given time I have so much going on in my mind with dreams and Bible verses and things that have happened; like a web browser with 111 tabs open. Being proactive is much less of an occurrence in my house. Throw in laundry and lunch and snacks and dinner (the hardest question I ask myself daily and my kids are no help, they always answer PBJ…and I am not a super fan…Peanut Butter is not on my list of things I love) and you have a recipe for…hard.
Anyhow, last week was a HARD week. The summer is coming to a close and the kids will start school. So last Sunday we left the water park inside an hour of arriving because they refused to get in line and surrender their blue mats for the “magic carpet” water slide. They cut and were robbing some little girls of their awaited turn on the slide. So I walked away and said we were leaving. My kids hit me and spanked me and pulled down my bathing suit and tore things from my hands all the way out of the park. Not embarrassed, mortified. This is not how they typically behave and so I knew something was up. It was time to anoint my home again and pray over them…except my son dumped my anointing oil down the sink.
Monday we were grounded. All of us. The arguing and fighting commenced. The tattling and the whining and not listening. Enter in Tuesday. Tuesday August 1st. The first day of the month of New Beginnings, the hopeful month that I’ve been anticipating the obtaining of some promises of God and on the very first day I get some devastating news. My Aunty J has died from Bladder Cancer. I got the news later in the afternoon. I had just talked to her the week before and she sounded okay, a little slurred in speech, she said she was still caring for herself, but she had been given a hospice care worker…which meant she had 6 months or less. But 3 weeks? But her death…more like the pictures and her last words to me when I saw her last November have helped me grow.
She said “Be careful what you put into your body. And drink a LOT of water.” But I’ve always hated my adult body. I’ve struggled with my size for a long time especially since I was a little thinner when I was younger, but still larger than most of my tiny friends. I have always struggled and I have realized that it’s because there’s this unrealistic standard put on women. So going to the water park a lot and her death have really opened my eyes. There are so many women who are insecure…and men too. Why? Because society says we have to be or look a certain way to be attractive? No way. Time to be happy with who I am. I’m eating healthy, I’m still flexible and I’m finally appreciating me. I was looking at my aunts picture that was a few days shy of a month before her death and you could see that her neck had lost some thickness but her face was still round. She was struggling to eat and keep things down and yet she was still a full figured woman. This helped me realize that this is just who I am. These are my genes and it’s far more about who I am anyway. This is the last little bit of my identity that I have struggled to take hold of, but after this weekend I think I’ve got it now.
Friday I had an interview. It didn’t feel so awesome. But God is good. It’s up to Him if I get it or not. But dang it was 2 hours long! The dress I was going to wear had a spot on the front and the leggings I would have worn were dirty. I grabbed a different dress, threw on some leggings underneath and was off. It was also my free weekend so later on after I had dropped my kids off at their dads house, I went to my favorite thrift store. I think I may live at Deseret Industries. But while I was there an employee stopped me and complimented me on my outfit. And not a passing “oh you look cute” or “I love your outfit” but she stopped me and said, “Wow you look amazing! Your outfit is really stylish, I love this combination you have going here.” Then we had Saturday. I went to a wedding and things with my favorite dress were not going as planned. I kept stepping on it and tearing the gathered stitches and having to take it off and restitch. I did it again getting out of the car and had to restitch with black thread on a white dress. But I felt good and I could feel the presence of God over me. I, for once felt beautiful inside AND out. I know, I know, there are some of you who will say, “Amanda, you ARE beautiful” or “How did you not see this before” but when you have lived a lifetime of rejection…it makes it hard to see. But I was finally seeing it, I am seeing it, but not only that I can finally feel it. Deep down, it’s a knowing.
So I was at this wedding and it was simple and beautiful. I walked by the man of my dreams (quite literally) and my heart skipped a beat or two as I approached a table where I would sit, alone. I’m used to sitting alone, it’s been a part of my growth enjoying my own company and dating my Poppa God when I could. But to my surprise I was invited to sit at a table with some awesome people from church. I had an amazing time and I got to help my good friend cut cake. The Lord spoke to me there and He said to me “The one who is the greatest is the servant of all” and so I began helping where I saw a need. It was a rather fulfilling day for me, but the Lord would have more for me that day.
I met a girl 2 years ago by now, maybe slightly less. But I was at Kona Grill for happy hour, happy to eat alone and listen to worship music and read my Bible. These two women who clearly had been drinking asked me to sit with them. I was reluctant to, but they were very convincing and wouldn’t take no. We were “Facebook” friends from that day forward, but seldom engaging each other outside of a “like” here or there. But recently a dramatic change had happened and I noticed and began engaging more to encourage this new thing I was seeing. She was asking for prayers, speaking about God and I was so happy to see it. I hung out with her after this wedding and man, she blessed my socks off. She made an amazing dinner and we had an awesome conversation and we got pretty deep for being the first time truly hanging out and I got the sense that she was going to be a friend for many years to come. But she told me that when she first met me I was dowdy and looked depressed but now she said that I looked beautiful and that I was glowing. My friend Shawnee said the same when I sent her a picture. So at nearly 2 am, I found my way home and my heart was just soaring over what God was doing in me and around me. I took the long way home, windows down and just sang my heart out to Him and went to bed tired and filled to the brim with His presence.
Sunday morning I woke up and though I should have been exhausted I wasn’t. I got up and got dressed in record time and I look at myself in the mirror and I’m finally seeing what He sees. I’m finally seeing what God has turned me into and I love it, I love who I have become in Him because Him in me is truly beautiful. Fast forward to church, my favorite preacher steps on the stage. I love listening to him as he often confirms things that the Lord has been speaking to me. He jumps around a lot when he preaches but I can easily follow him because my mind does the same. It’s hard when you have so many amazing things to share and you want to go deep, deeper than people are used to. You want to spill your guts and be raw but you know people aren’t ready for deep and raw. We sat at tables still set up from the wedding the night before and as he stepped up to preach he said something like, “We’re still set up for it, anyone ready to get married, have an impromptu wedding?” God elbow nudged me all through service. You know, when I first met this man that the Lord told me to ask for, I recall hearing his heart and I said wow Lord, men like this still exist?? When you send me a husband, please send me one with a heart like this! And audibly He said NO. Not “a” man, this man. I laughed (because 1. I didn’t even know him and 2. I was in no way attracted to him but God fixed that) but I was nervous. Was I making this up, too tired? losing it? I literally said “Okay God, I’ll call your bluff. Grant me this man.” The following words out of his mouth (as I was listening to a preaching that was a few years old) were “God says ‘You do not have because you do not ask. Ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find, knock and the door will be opened.” And as he stood in the congregation listening to people give testimonies and Mark 11:24 was given to him on a card.
“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”
At some point I asked the Lord to get him to look at me. Moments later his eyes shifted his gaze my direction. His eyes have always been startling to me. One of my favorite colors. But after the verse was read, I felt it. The unction to share testimony. The Lord nudged me that someone needed to know/have hope that their prodigal child was coming home…despite the testimonies were supposed to be about healing. As I raised my hand I heard “sweet” as he made his way over. There was a..small struggle. Because of things that have happened in the past and the fact that I have told him who he is to me, I tried to give him an opportunity to not be so close to me, to back up from the woman who is in love with him, who has heard from God about him, but maybe not the other way around yet. And if only one side has heard, then it’s not to be. Confirmation is needed in a case like this, especially since he has been waiting so long, I would expect him to be certain I am the one. He stood next to me and he was so close and it made me nervous. How did he feel about being that close to me in that moment. I couldn’t think, let alone tell my story without struggling to not miss the point. I tried to grab the microphone so he could back up and he wouldn’t let go. I paused and asked for the microphone and he told me that it was okay. So he stood next to me holding the microphone. I realized afterwards that he was trying to be a gentleman as he held it for the next woman too. The Lord recently said to me that it’s time for women to do women things and men to do men things so trying to step back and allow a man to be a gentleman to me and not trying to do it myself…foreign concept. I’m a very capable woman, but I may need some training.
I have had nearly 2 years to process and pray into this, into him. It’s been a labor of love for sure. I’m still waiting for him to come to me. Ladies don’t pursue, I know that now.
I’m waiting for you oh man of God. I asked for you and I believe.