Dena Johnson Martin Christian Blog and Commentary

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Be the One

~~My friend told me of a conversation he had recently.

Recently, a small group from high had an impromptu gathering, men and women. It seems, however, that most of the participants had recently walked through divorces.

As they talked, the conversation came around to what men are looking for in women.

“We want Dena Johnson,” one of the men stated.

He turned to my friend seeking his approval, and my friend nodded his head in agreement.

Please understand: I am not telling this story to glorify myself in any way. In reality, hearing this conversation completely shocked me…and even embarrassed me.

There’s so much you need to know.

You see, in high school, I was friends with everyone but I was by no means the one the guys wanted. I was the smart girl, class valedictorian. I was the goody-goody who was at church every time the doors were opened.
I was the girl who sat home alone every weekend, asking God when it would be my turn to have a boyfriend.
In many ways, nothing has changed since high school. I’ve been single for nearly seven years now, and until recently hadn’t been on a real date in at least five years. I’ve watched as friends lost spouses to death and divorce and quickly remarried…all while I sat here asking God when it would be my turn, when He would fulfill the desires of my heart.

And yet, as I sat here wondering why I am so unlovable, so unwanted, I suddenly hear that I am exactly what the men want. Makes no sense to me.

As I talked with my friend, he further explained the conversation. Back in high school, the guys were looking for a good time. But, as the years have passed, many of us have walked through the pain and devastation of adultery, betrayal, and painful divorces…and none of us ever wants to face the devastation again.

After suffering through the pain, men are looking for a woman who will be faithful, loyal, kind, and loving. They are looking for a woman who will love unconditionally, who will grow old by their sides. They are looking for a woman whose priorities are in line, with God first and family second. They are looking for a woman whose heart is big enough to love them and their kids.

They are looking for a woman who looks like Christ.

As my friend related this story to me, I was humbled. What an honor that others see Christ in me! There is absolutely no greater compliment for me.

But it’s not something that happened overnight. I’ve spent many long hours seeking the face of God, bowing in prayer, pouring over scripture. I’ve begged God to open my heart and mind to healing and wholeness. I’ve asked to be molded, whatever the cost. I’ve spent my time, seeking God’s purpose for my life, asking Him to open doors so I could become all He created me to be.

And it has cost me plenty. I chose to sit home on weekends rather than going out for drinks with friends. I poured my heart and soul into words on a computer screen, opening my life to complete strangers in hopes they can find encouragement in my struggles. I face critics—painful, ugly words thrown at me by complete strangers who think they know me and have a right to judge me.

Sometimes it hurts.

Despite the pain, the joy and peace my Heavenly Father pours out over me makes every sacrifice worthwhile. And while I wait, I know God is doing a work in me.

And my prayer has been that He was doing a similar work in a man, somewhere, a man who would willingly do the hard work to become the man God created him to be.

These men say they want someone like me. But my question becomes what are they doing to become the man someone like me would want?

I’ve made my choice: I will follow my Savior all the days of my life. I will do my best to point the world back to Him, to let the world see His goodness and grace in me and through me. And I will not settle for anyone who doesn’t have the same commitment, anyone who is not willing to surrender his all to the Savior.

I’ve never been willing to date just to date, to compromise for the sake of ending the loneliness. I’ve never been willing to straddle the fence, keeping one hand on God and another on the pleasures of this world. I’ve never been willing to give my heart to anyone who doesn’t flee sexual immorality and the easily accessible compromises the world offers.

I decided to wait until God brought someone who is willing to be the one someone like me would want, someone I can give my heart and life to for a future of knowing Him and serving Him together.

So while men may sit around and talk about wanting a woman like me, I have to ask which one will be willing to do the hard work to become the man a woman like me would want?

And I ask you the same question: Will you be willing to do the hard work to become the woman or man a man or woman who truly loves God wants?

If you are wondering where to start, here’s a few thoughts on becoming the one…

Pursuing God above all else.

If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. I will be found by you,” says the LORD. Jeremiah 29:13-14
To become the one, we must pursue God passionately, with our whole hearts. It can’t be an after-thought, one of many priorities. We must make Him our passion, our main desire.

It’s not something that happens overnight. We must surrender our own will, asking God to take our hearts and do a mighty work in us. We must ask Him to take our desires and mold them to His desires. We must make Him, His word, the priority in our lives.

As we let go of this world, of our desire to control our lives, as we learn to trust Him with our lives, we find His perfect peace consuming our every moment…a peace that emanates from our being, drawing others to us. .

Be the one who pursues God wholeheartedly.

Trusting God’s perfect plan.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6

Sometimes, many times, we can’t see how things can possibly work out. Our lives spiral out of control, and it seems we will drown.

But, the one who trusts God has an inner peace, a confidence, even in the midst of the greatest storm. The waves may be churning, threatening to overturn the ship, but the one who trusts completely in God has a quiet confidence, allowing him or her to keep moving forward. It doesn’t mean there’s no fear. It doesn’t mean he/she never breaks down. But there’s something… Something others see, a strength that helps him/her remain focused.

Be the one who trusts in God’s perfect plan, his perfect time. Be the one who exudes a supernatural confidence that there’s more to the story. Be the one who is kept in perfect peace because you trust in Him.

You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Isaiah 26:3

Eyes steadfastly focused.

Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-14

Many people are caught up in the past. Maybe they struggle with their past sins, past choices. Maybe they struggle with past failures. Maybe they struggle with the baggage of failed relationships.

Be the one who allows the past to help mold you into a better person without allowing it to weigh you down.
Our past should never define who we are today. We should allow our past to help us transform our future by learning from our mistakes, but we must also learn to let go. If we keep our eyes focused on the past, we will miss the future God has for us.

As Christians, we should have our eyes firmly planted on the One who holds the future. We should focus on the purpose for which He created us. We should constantly be striving for the rewards He has planned for us.
With our eyes focused firmly on the prize for which He has called us, we cannot lose ourselves in past regrets.

Be the one who keeps your eyes focused firmly ahead.

Committed to purity.

Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. 1 Corinthians 6:18

When we were younger, many were just looking for a good time. After you have endured the pain of betrayal, you find yourself wanting more. You want someone you can trust with your heart, someone who holds sex in a place of value. You want someone who is looking for life-long commitment, not just a good time.

I’ve lived through the hurt and betrayal of the deepest, most intimate kind. When I again give my heart away, I want to know that whoever I trust with my heart has a passion for purity, a desire to experience the God-given beauty of two becoming one flesh and the true intimacy that comes from the spiritual and the physical dancing together as God designed.

Purity is not just about abstaining from sex; it’s about keeping our hearts and minds pure as well. It’s about fleeing anything inappropriate for God’s people. It’s about keeping our minds on the things of God and our eyes away from images that would lead to lust. Purity is about seeking to do relationships the way God designed.

Be the one who flees sexual immorality.

Are you looking for the one, the one who will love you as God loves the church? Before you find the one, you must be the one.