When Mary was a teenager, she received an assignment. She was going about her life, engaged to a man, with a picture in her mind of what her life would be like, when an angel of the Lord came to her and gave her a completely different picture. It was much bigger, much more vast, much more important and much more supernatural than her plans. Her vision for her life was normal; the vision God gave her was not normal at all.
The Lord told her she would give birth to the Savior: that the fruit of her womb would change the world. God would plant the seed in her. She was chosen for this task and given this gift, without any effort on her part. But now she had a decision to make: would she submit to the Lord’s plans and believe His word, or would she shrink back in fear and feel sorry for herself that she didn’t get to be normal? She chose to say, “Yes, Lord,” and yield her life into His hands.
If you are a woman, God also has an assignment for you. It probably does not include an immaculate conception, but your assignment is also vastly important – and it is world changing. You may not wind up in history books, but your assignment will change the history of a child, your workplace, a family, or a neighborhood. God is generational, and your assignment will effect generations for good. But you have to listen, you have to yield and you have to obey.
Single women, the danger for you is to consciously or subconsciously think that your only assignment is to get married or that your assignment will only start once you get married.
It would have been easy for Mary to think that, “Sure, I’ll have a son AFTER I get married, sleep with my husband and get pregnant.” But Mary’s assignment had absolutely nothing to do with her marital status. It began when she was single. Her husband had a vital part in it after the fact, but God chose Mary, regardless of Joseph.
Now, I’m not trying to convey a “Who needs a man?!” attitude. I LOVE running my race, with my man right beside me. And because of my man, my race now includes, raising my sons and supporting him. But being a wife and mother is not the entirety of my race. There’s a whole lot more to it.
If you are single, or even if you are married, there are 3 traps to look out for that will keep you from hearing and doing your assignment:
Depression, Desperation and Despair.
In this post, we’ll talk about Depression.
It’s easy to look around at all the happy couples and get depressed because you’re single. When I was single, not only did I look at the ring finger of every man I met, to see if he were available, but I also looked to see if women were married. If a woman had a diamond, I instantly assumed she was happier than I was. I envied her and a small part of me resented her. And the older I got, the more the people around me, especially in church, were married. I knew in my head that marriage didn’t mean instant happiness, but in my heart, I was sure that the grass was greener. How could it not be: they had a companion; they had someone looking out for them, they could have SEX anytime they wanted it! How could life not be better?
It was easy for self-pity to move in and take up residence in my soul. Actually, I came to realize self pity was a spiritual stronghold in my life and my emotional Goliath, and God wanted me to slay it, weather I ever got married or not. I remember when someone confronted me about self-pity. She said in no uncertain terms, “Self pity is ugly; you’ve got to kill it.”
And so I went to war.
The thing that triggered my downward spiral was feeling sorry for myself that I wasn’t married. Every morning when I woke up, I felt like a two ton gorilla was sitting on my chest, staring down at me, sneering. So how did I get if off? By praise. As soon as I came into consciousness, I’d feel that weight and I’d start thanking God – for everything I could think of. The crazy thing is, after about ten minutes of thanking God for everything under the sun, I realized there was more good in my life than bad. God had answered most of my prayers; there were just a few hold-outs and I couldn’t let those rob my joy.
The devil will hold up the one thing you don’t have and try to make you miserable. You’ll see all the wedding rings and compare yourself with every married person out there. But here’s the thing about comparing: when you’re comparing you’re not being creative. Comparison kills creativity. You’re looking at what everyone else has and you’re failing to use what you have. Your gifts are lying dormant as you waste time wishing you had what someone else has.
My mistake was thinking married people had “normal” lives and I wanted a “normal” life. Guess what. God doesn’t have normal for you. Normal, unfortunately, is disappointment ending in divorce. Normal is dysfunction. Normal is getting so weighed down trying to keep your head above water that the gifts God has given you are neglected and ultimately shrivel up and die. You don’t want normal! You want extraordinary! You want supernatural! You want what only God can give you. You can’t make that man come along, so do what you can do. Water the seed. Cultivate the gift. Nurture the spiritual baby that’s in your womb, and when it is born, watch it grow and bless others. Find out your assignment and move forward!
Write down your dreams. If you don’t have any dreams (other than getting married), start with what you like to do. Write down what gives you joy, what you would do all day long if you had the chance, and soon, you will begin to get a bigger picture.
Your assignment will bless others because the gifts God gives us are meant not only to bring joy to us, but to give life to others. God would never have you live a life of navel gazing. He wants your life to be a fruitful vine so that others can receive nourishment from it. God loves fruit! He cursed the fruitless fig tree and speaks again and again about bearing fruit that will last. Your assignment will bear fruit in a way that is unique to who you are.
So are you good with little kids or teenagers? Do you have a burden for the poor? Do you like to teach or bake or cook or organize? Your assignment will flow from your gifts, so identify your gifts and the assignment will come. Get hungry for it, and then listen to that still small voice, whispering in your ear. Your assignment, if you choose to accept it, will change your world.