Sundays With Rae

a blog for women by a woman who is trying to get her life together while still loving Jesus

Know That I Know

August 2020

If you know me well, you know I love weddings! Not even COVID-19 could stop love from being celebrated, and taking all the necessary precautions, I had the pleasure of attending the wedding of two wonderful people recently. It was easily one of the best weddings I’ve been to! Aside from the bride and groom being the stars of the show, the officiant, who is also a friend of mine, made the whole experience a memorable one. The bride and groom are both family therapists (they met in graduate school, how cute is that!), so most would consider them experts in relationships. The officiant (a pastor, as well as a family therapist, shout out to Valdosta State!), acknowledged this fact and used the analogy of Michael Jordan. Michael Jordan is arguably the best basketball player there is, but even in all his greatness, he still had a coach. The officiant reminded the couple even though they may be great family therapists and know a whole lot about relationships, they still need a coach and that coach is God. They could have passed around a collection plate at that point. I literally had to stop myself from shouting, “alright!”

I started to think about the areas in my life that I consider myself to be the best of the best, a know-it-all, if you will. With such high regard for myself in certain areas of my life, sometimes I don’t think I need a coach, meaning God. We don’t always do this consciously, but we do it. Maybe you feel you know your spouse like the back of your hand, so you don’t ask God about how you should talk to them. You’ve done all your research about the company trying to hire you and you know they’re going to pay you top dollar and they have great benefits, no need to inquire of God on His thoughts about the matter. Your child literally has half of your DNA and you’ve raised a few before this one, you don’t need to consult God on how to handle certain situations. You’ve been at your job sixteen years, you can do your boss’ job better than he can, no need to worry about what other plans God has for you. You got it. That is until you don’t.

This was often my mindset when it came to teaching. I knew my content. I knew strategies. I knew my students and their families. I knew who was going to cry. I knew who was going to turn in their homework. I knew who I was going to have to send out. I knew which parents were going to answer the phone. I knew who was showing up for conferences. And I knew I was miserable, considered it part of the job description I read over. Even with all the craziness that went on last school year with the world shutting down and realizing I want to work with a different population, it was the first year I wasn’t miserable. It was also the first year I truly sought God on how to be a teacher and be sane. I did good work the previous years, but last year I did better work because I had a coach who I actually utilized.

I’m learning life is so much easier when we invite God to play an active role, when we allow Him to be the coach. He’s given us the talent, but we have to let Him develop it. So even when I know that I know, a celebration of love reminded me that God knows even more and it’s going to take Him to get me to the next level.

Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Extraordinary Love

One of my favorite things to talk about are relationships. Perhaps it’s the marriage and family therapist in me but I could literally talk abut relationships all day (and now I’m realizing that at one point in my life, while in school, I did). I’m grateful I’m surrounded by couples willing to discuss the ups and downs of being in a committed relationship. I’m grateful for the men in my life who don’t sugar coat anything and for my other single ladies who are out here with me, trying to navigate this territory. Call me a hopeless romantic and maybe even crazy but I believe we’re all capable of extraordinary love. God loves us with a perfect love, so much so, He gave His only begotten Son. Every day, come what may, He chooses us. Every day, if we allow Him to, He’s perfecting us so we’re able to share this love. And from this thought, the questions I’ve been asking in my recent conversations about relationships are: are you experiencing the love you’ve always dreamed of or at least working towards it? Are you experiencing extraordinary love?

Extraordinary love will look different for everyone. It will feel different for everyone. For some people it’s being showered with kisses every day. For others it’s being able to pour out your heart and soul without fear of judgement. While others it’s being able to worship together whether at home or at church. And still some others it’s tagging each other in every funny meme they see. Maybe for you it’s all of this or none of this, but whatever it is, I pray you’re experiencing it in your relationship. I pray you experience butterflies sometimes and you have more good days than bad. I pray you laugh from your soul every once in a while. I pray you’ve grown more spiritual than you were before you met your partner. I pray you go places and see things together. I pray spending time together isn’t a burden but a memory worth creating. I pray that even when you’re mad, you always remember you’re on the same team. I pray that apologizing becomes easier to do and forgiveness flows like a river. I pray you don’t just talk a lot but you communicate effectively. I pray you’re playing an active role in creating your own happy, your own extraordinary love.

Too often we fall into relationships because it’s convenient and we find ourselves waking up every day hoping extraordinary love will just appear. We hope our partners will sense what we need without us communicating those needs. We hope our partners will fill a need they weren’t created to fill. And sometimes we’re too afraid to let go of a love that isn’t extraordinary. We think this is the best we deserve when in fact, God has so much more. Extraordinary love is a choice and we have to actively choose it. A couple who had been married over 20 years told me that after you say I do on your wedding day, you have to commit to saying I do to that person every day for the rest of your life, which is to say, I choose you. So before you take that next step, be sure the extraordinary love is already in full effect.

I’m not just waiting to be married, I’m waiting for extraordinary love. If you’re single and desire to be married, hopefully that’s what you’re waiting for. And if you’re married or in a committed relationship, hopefully it’s what you’re experiencing. If not, I hope you get the courage to believe that not only do you deserve extraordinary love, but you can have it, if you’re willing to do your own work and let God help you create it.

Matthews 22:37-40 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

My cousin continuing her extraordinary love (July 2019)

Why Am I Single?

I know it’s the question that’s been burning on the hearts and minds of everyone lol. But in all actuality, I get a variation of this question more often than one would think. It’s usually masked as “we have to find you someone” or “so, there’s no one? Like, nobody?” Usually when friends ask I respond by saying, “because you’re not praying hard enough.” I’m (mostly) kidding, but in these moments my friends seem more distraught about my single status than I am. And honestly, I’m not bothered by people questioning my singleness. It’s not a curse or a shame I carry around with me, hoping no one notices. It’s the season I’m in and just like people ask basketball players how their season is going, people may ask how the single life is going. There are some people who ask excessively or try to diagnosis you with a mental health disorder because you’re single, but thankfully my friends and family aren’t those people.

So why am I single?

  1. Because I’m not ready. We often think because someone has a certain level of education, a career, certain material things, they have it together and are equipped to be in a relationship. Y’all, I’m a mess. And I know there may be people who are “more” of a mess and they manage to be in a relationship, but maybe they should follow my lead, and be alone too. And I know when I meet that special someone, I’ll get ready. But no one has came along to inspire me to be ready, so no, I’m not ready.
  2. Because I can’t settle. I tried, God wouldn’t let me. He allowed the man to disappear, like literally vanish out of my life. And now I’ve grown to the point where I won’t let me settle. I don’t have time to lower my standards to fit someone into a role they were never meant to play. This is not the community league where everyone gets playing time. Only the best get in the game.
  3. Because God said so. I got tired of talking back to God. “But God, he’s nice.” “But God, he’s cute.” “But God, he has a good job.” “But God, he goes to church sometimes.” God’s “because I said so,” became good enough for me. The more comfortable I became with “because I said so,” the less singleness felt like a plague. Marriage is a goal but it’s not THE goal. So until God says otherwise, single is what I will be.

I know I’ll eventually meet someone great but I’m in no rush. Perhaps if I’m 35 and still single, I may be singing a different tune but today I’m 27 and I’m okay. I get it though. As young children you are taught, you grow up, you get married, and have kids. A 5 year old told me I was weird because I didn’t have a husband or children and it was so funny to me because I kind of agreed. The older I get, and less single friends I have, the more I realize it may be a little weird. I can do weird though. I can’t do lonely, less than, ugly, desperate, unapproachable, or unlovable because I’m none of those. My single status is not the result of an inherent flaw within myself, it’s my season. And one of the things I love about seasons, they do change.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven

Seasons change.