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L-I-N-K

A “link” from one of our readers…enjoy!

Have you ever wondered what your life’s purpose is? Have you pondered the idea that there might be something greater in this world that you are called for? I have known for my whole life that God has a special plan for me; I have been set aside to do something wonderful…but I have also spent a lot of time contemplating what that bigger picture will look like. Since I was a child, I have prayed to God asking Him to lead me and show me how to serve Him. I’ve wanted to be molded, shaped and useable. One day, years ago, He answered me with a word that will forever be embedded in my mind–“Listen.”

Recently, I was visiting with a friend who shared with me some awful things that were spoken to her about me behind my back. Someone who I have cared so deeply about said nasty things about me that hurt. Let’s face it, as unfortunate as it is, it happens. At that point, I had a choice to either let it ruin me, or to consider what was said and take it as an opportunity for self examination and growth. Of all the abrasive things this person had to say about me in gossip, one thing stood out and stuck in my mind: “She’s just too passive aggressive.” Me. Passive aggressive? How? I definitely didn’t want to fit the bill…but I wanted to learn more, so I did the first thing any modern day human would do and “Googled” it. Upon realizing for the first time in my life that I do in fact display a passive aggressive personality, I decided I wanted to change. I reflected on how my passive aggressive behaviors affected social interactions, friendships, ministry and even my marriage. I prayed, did research and sought out solutions for eliminating the thought process that leads to passive aggressive tendencies. I knew at that moment this would take hard work to make changes, but that it would be worth it, because I want to be useable for God’s plan. I was willing to listen.

After a lot of thought on the subject, I decided that the first and most important relationship I needed to apply my newfound knowledge to would be my marriage. My husband of six years has put up with this passive aggressive woman long enough, and if my peers were irritated by it, then I was sure that he must be too. A very special friend had visited a few months back and had recommended a wonderful book titled “Created to be His Help Meet” by Debbie Pearl. She was reading it too and promised me it would help me understand my role as the wife God created me to be–the kind of wife that doesn’t act passive aggressively I supposed. So, although I had not yet purchased the book in the months that passed after my friends visit, I decided that since I wanted to change and especially since I just got a new Nook for Christmas, that now was a better time than ever to start reading this book and applying better habits, acquire knowledge, and hopefully some wisdom to boot. This book inspired me, moved me and gave me new perspective. One night, while eagerly reading as much as my sleepy eyes would let me, I read a line that stood out and made me stop: “…stand still and listen…” This line applied to me; the type of woman who is married to the type of man that my husband is. I was being reminded again through the words of this book what my creator had told me to do so long ago–“Listen.” The next line simply reads, “Ask God for wisdom and patience.” Knowing my need for both, I prayed again. I soaked in the evening’s revelations and chewed on them over the next few days.

The following Sunday at church, the pastor began a series on the book of Proverbs. As I listened to the sermon the pastor spoke to the congregation about seeking wisdom. Wait, I’ve heard this before…“Ask God for wisdom…” That sermon was perfectly placed in my lap at the very moment I was willing to hear it. It was chock-full of scripture that spoke on the importance of wisdom; its affect on our decisions, behaviors and our lives. At that point, I began to see the connections. Here I have embarked on a long journey of self improvement and spiritual growth, all the while picking up small pieces of the bigger picture–linking them together. I began to ponder if perhaps my life’s purpose–God’s special plan for me–won’t be carried out by just me. After learning to embrace my role as a Christian wife and the oneness created by the union of my marriage, it was revealed to me that by seeking and acquiring wisdom, patience, and through the practice of being still and listening, I may have the privilege of doing something wonderful for God’s kingdom–alongside my husband!

A friend’s encouragement, a great book, Sunday sermons and the grace my creator gives me every day. Years, months, or weeks apart–it all started with a word. “Listen.” That word opened me up to receiving ugly ashes that the Lord is now turning into beauty. I just love the privilege of witnessing how life’s pieces connect together. I believe God has a plan for me. I still don’t know exactly how it is He will use me, but I can’t wait to see how it all works out.

-Tiara Valentine