He Kept Me.

topics:
Singleness
Clock

I listened to my friend Christy talk last week about how she needed God to pull through for her before she stood and spoke before a crowd of Christian women leaders.

She talked of how she paced her hotel room the night before, begging God to release the words He wanted her to say. She retold of her late night and early morning, all standing right before God and waiting on Him to direct her talk.

With three minutes to go before soundcheck, it was finished. The whole talk, delivered and refined with mere minutes to spare.

“He kept me in the waiting,” she said, “so I would depend on Him, not myself.”

. . . . .

That phrase – “He kept me in the waiting” – won’t leave my head.

If you want me to get real honest, like I’m-glad-you-can’t-see-my-face honest, one of the hardest parts about being a single Christian woman is that I know God has the power to change my situation. I know He does. I think if He can part the Red Sea He can lead a boy to like it and put a ring on it.

But for some reason, He keeps me in the waiting.

In Isaiah 30:18, it says that God is waiting too- that He longs to be gracious to us. Beth Moore says, “If God is waiting and longing too, just like you, then it will all be worth waiting for.”

I’m trying to believe her.

. . . . .

“He kept me in the waiting.”

There’s two ways this phrase hits me. The one, mentioned above, makes me think of someone keeping a prisoner in a jail cell or keeping a dog on a leash. To hold back. To keep someone from something is to put your hand square on their chest and say, “stay right here.” Usually for their good, I know.

But there’s another way to be kept, too.

Like to be kept close, maybe like you keep your baby wrapped tightly in your arms.

When I was hurt, wanting to run away, He held me close. He kept me when He could have let me go. He kept me.

He kept me in the waiting.

He holds me as we wait. He holds me close, so I don’t feel alone. We wait, together.

And I am grateful.

. . . . .

He holds me still and he still holds me.

God kept me in the waiting. And while I am waiting, He keeps me.

He holds me back and He holds me close.

He keeps me from running ahead of His plan and His plan is to keep me near to His heart.

It all feels better when I think about Him waiting with me, arms wrapped tightly around me, whispering something in His Father voice about how the wait will be worth it, how He is here, and how He won’t let me go.

By Annie Downs // AnnieBlogs

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  • SarahJane

    Thank you, Annie.

  • LisaW

    Didn’t even know you’d be today’s author when I popped over to incourage this morning – but what a blessing! Hits home in my heart, too.

  • http://itwasbroughtonbylove.blogspot.com Southern Gal

    Beautiful.

  • http://www.galwaygal12.blogspot.ie sonika

    Thanks for this picture of waiting, Annie. I’m waiting for a man – and a ring – too. It’s a desperate kind of waiting, but it’s encouraging that you’ve paired that idea with the image of the God who keeps me close.

    • http://www.Pinksmack.com Pinksmack.com

      I have to encourage you to stay faithful, because He is always faithful to provide. Before I met my husband I was single for a long time. I started to wonder if I was even marriage material because I felt I was not getting that Affirmation from men. God wanted me to look to Him and Him alone for that affirmation. Once I started to totally depend on Him for it, Hem made me feel like an awesome marriable woman who had lots of great things going for her, and for a while I did not even remember I was single! That’s when he then brought my husband into my life. Only after I fully depended on Him as my “husband”, my first love, and my Affirmation.

      • http://www.galwaygal12.blogspot.ie sonika

        Thanks, friend :)

      • Betsy

        I’m glad it worked so nicely for you. I think we all wish God promised to provide a man to be an awesome husband. If only that were true…

    • Beth Williams

      I, too, was single for a long time. You start to wonder if Mr. Right is even out there or if you are going to be single for life. In the waiting I did church activities and joined a Christian singles group (women only). I believe God wanted me to give up control completely to him and he needed to mold me into a better image of Himself.

      After much prayer and friends helping me I went to an on-line dating–oh some dates, but nothing much. Then it all dried up. I sat at work and threw a pencil on my desk and quietly screamed “God if you want me to be married then you’re gonna have to make it happen–No more blind dates”. A few days later this wonderful man wrote me & 10 weeks later we married.

      • Athena

        This made me smile :) Thanks Beth!

      • http://www.galwaygal12.blogspot.ie sonika

        Beth, your story is quite the encouragement. Thanks for giving this woman one more reason to keep trusting :)

        • Kristen

          Thank you so much for this post. I have been struggling so much with this issue lately. It’s nice to know I’m not alone.

    • Beth Williams

      I, too, was kept waiting. I did church activities in the waiting. You wonder if Mr. Right is even out there & you’re meant to be a single forever. After much prayer and on-line searching, God sent me Mr. Right, a wonderful handsome man!

      In the meantime I did church activities and joined a singles group, women only. I had a decent life at that time, but something was missing. I believe that God was making me wait so He could mold me into a better version of Himself. Trying to get all the dross off of me & refine me!

      God is good!

  • http://abigail613.wordpress.com Abigail Snyder

    Thank you so much for this reminder of the blessing of waiting! As I wait for the Lord to provide the support necessary for me to be able to move overseas and teach at a school for missionary kids in Papua New Guinea, I often forget that waiting should be a joy. Instead, I complain and impatiently stress over the burden that I continue to steal back from God’s loving arms that are so willing to carry me. Thanks!

  • http://cggirls.org Tami

    Annie, as a 45yr old never been married woman who loves Jesus, in full time ministy, let me encourage you to keep keepin on. He is in the midst of your waiting. On an ordinary day six months ago I met a wonderful Christian who adores me. Cal has given me much more than a relationship — he gave me a romance. I never knew it could be like this. Cal is so intentional in his loving me. I waited and God absolutely blew my mind.

  • Holly

    Thank you for this. I needed this today, so much. Like you, I am also waiting for God to bring that man to me. I have enjoyed reading your blog over the past year or two. It encourages me to know that I am not the only one.

  • Athena

    Oh Annie. This is so well timed. I was in a long relationship that fell apart about a year ago. I keep grieving in my heart and truthfully, have had a hard time believing God will do something new (it’s seems easier sometimes in anything other than your love life at times). I know what He’s trying to do, but more than ever it seems so hard to really surrender to Him and trust Him in it. This morning I was deep in sadness about this very thing, and your post was first in my Google reader :) Blessings Annie!

  • http://www.incourage.me Lisa-Jo@incourage

    Oh GAH I love listening in on you and God so very much!

  • http://sarabstacy.wordpress.com Sara

    Annie-it’s like you heard me talking with God over the last six weeks. So good. Thank you for being open and sharing.

  • wendy

    Annie,
    This is beautiful and so very true. Waiting is so very hard when it is the desire of your heart that you wait for. As Hard as it is, I have learned that my love for my heavenly father and my appreciation of His love for me deepened the most, in the waiting. I want to remind you also if I may, that you- sweet girl- are also worth waiting for. Perhaps the man of God’s choosing is feeling the same things as he waits. God’s timing is always perfect !
    Thank you for sharing your heart. This grandmother for one was deeply touched.

  • maria elena

    another lady waiting……….. =) leaning on JESUS……..
    if only tim tebow is just as age and would love me as Jesus would ;)
    well, im toooooo out of his league! reality hurts!

  • Jules

    Loved it. Great reminder that we are not Alone even when we are waiting!!!

  • http://continualtransition.wordpress.com Laura

    Annie, thank you, thank you, thank you! God has been teaching me a lot about waiting in the last couple of months, specifically in relation to waiting for marriage, and your words were yet another reminder that He is with me in this time and that right now it’s His plan to keep me here in this place of singleness.

  • http://hamershappenings.blogspot.com Lisa

    I have a sweet friend who recently married, and she felt the same as you. Where is he? There has to be someone for me? When she finally found him she realized that God was preparing him for her. She was religious, before he was not. So your future sweetie is probably going through the Refiners Fire somewhere getting ready for you.

  • Rachel

    Thanks for your thought’s…

  • Melinda

    Can I just say, I hate the waiting. I so wish for God to answer and let me move forward. Thank you for reminding me that He holds me tight here and now.

  • http://www.findingfruit.net Jen

    “That phrase – “He kept me in the waiting” – won’t leave my head.” And now it won’t leave mine. I am in the waiting. The unknown is hard. These words are an encouragement in the waiting. Thanks.

  • Tameka

    Thank you so much! I really needed this!

  • Virginia Rush

    Loved He keeps me…..so relating to my family right now..and I am forwarding it to them….it was perfect for today, for us….thank you

  • Stephanie

    I needed this reminder. I’m in the waiting, too. Sometimes it doesn’t hurt so much, but sometimes it really does. But I am learning that He is good – either way.

  • http://thoughtfulescapes.com/ April

    Annie – as so many have already said, thanks for the reminder He is holding me tight in the waiting. This morning I was thinking of you & wondering how you were doing — then here you are, in the same battle as me. Waiting. Choosing to believe His plan is best. Being a Christ following, single woman so often seems hard. Thank you for your honesty & sharing.

  • http://www.sonyamacdesigns.com sonyamacdesigns

    Amen … the wait is a necessary passage, no matter WHAT!

  • http://bubbaandlucy.com Traci

    Thanks for this. This came up in a devotion I’m part of last week. The in-between of where we see ourselves, where God has us headed and that “moment” (days, weeks, months, years, a lifetime) before we reach our “destination.” But the conclusion we all drew – it’s what we make of the in between, the waiting, the journey – because that is the living and trusting part of it. It may be the whole point – we don’t know. Like Jeremiah 29:11 – we know He has a “plan” that includes “future” and “hope” and if we allow ourselves to rest in that, we can live our best life even in the “waiting”. Thanks for the reminder that our God is loving and sovereign!

  • http://www.samuelmay.com Stacy

    Annie,
    Thank you for these timely words. It is so encouraging to my heart to read about others who are waiting and what God is teaching them in the wait. I’m in the midst of writing ’31 days of Waiting Well’ this month and deeply appreciate your perspective.

  • http://rebekahlyon.com Rebekah Lyon

    “He holds me as we wait. He holds me close, so I don’t feel alone. We wait, together.”

    Just beautiful, Annie….deep and beautiful. That same “waiting” takes so many different forms for women. Know that you have more than just Him holding you. You also have many of us sisters in Christ holding you up in prayer, too :)

    Thankful for your heart, honesty and perspective,
    Rebekah

  • http://www.DebraWeiss.net Debra Weiss

    Oh, wow. I so needed to hear this today. I love how you phrased it, Annie:

    “He kept me in the waiting. He holds me as we wait.”

    I’m dealing with so many health struggles lately and it’s hard as I wait. Because like you, I know God can change everything in a moment. Thank you for sharing this, Annie. ♥

  • Sarah Bee

    Annie, I was single until I was 35 and that was 15 years ago!!!! You are a witness for Christ even in the waiting room! I KNEW as well as I knew my own name, that I was going to be somebody’s wife and somebody’s mother SOMEDAY unless God Himself changed my heart towards it. It was up to Him to bring it to pass in His time. You see, He is too kind and loving and gracious to those who are HIS own that He would NEVER hold a carrot in front of your face, a desire so deep in your heart that He did not mean to fulfill in you. He WILL bring your man to you or He WILL change your heart towards this desire and replace it with a different desire, but you WILL NOT long for it the rest of your life. I am living proof. One mighty husband and two “sons of thunder” later, I can testify to this. One thing that helped me in the “waiting room” of my life was the very thought that when I prayed for my man (years before I knew him), God was looking directly at him! It made me feel so close to him to know that the God who created us both and would create our love together, was our connection. That’s a good thing, too, he was two states away!!!! You hang in there, your love of a lifetime is soooo worth the wait. You’ll see.

    • http://www.inhotpursuitofgod.blogspot.com Erin

      Sarah Bee–
      I love this reply to Annie. I think will start praying for my future husband daily. The few times I have, I have felt an overwhelming tenderness. And isn’t it such a step of faith? To pray for one we believe exists, but don’t know anything about?
      Annie–
      I am right there with you, sister. The ebb of the wait rises and falls. Sometimes my life is so full and so wonderful that I forget that I hope to be married again someday. And sometimes the ache of an unmet desire for kinship is more than I can bear. But now, finally, I believe with my whole heart that God cares. That my love life matters to him. That makes waiting much sweeter.
      Erin

  • http://www.chickflickdiva.com Delonna @ Chick Flick Diva

    Thank you for writing this post. I can really relate to your story and understand how waiting can seem like a forever thing at times. I was mad at God for a long time because I thought I would have been married by now. My timing versus his timing was starting to get to me. It is rough being the last girl in the group of friends who is not married or have a child.

    When I was in my early 30’s, Jesus was truly the lover of my soul. The out pouring of his love was tremendous and I saw his hand guiding me daily. Yet the fact that I didn’t have a Mr. Wonderful in my life was gnawing at me. I did the internet thing, hooked up with the wrong guy, but I realized that I was trying to force God’s hand rather than waiting on him. So I decided to just let go and wait on God.

    It gets hard to wait at times but I love that you reminded me that I should really be holding onto the loving God who is holding me and cheering me on EVERYDAY. I need to remember that my future Mr. Wonderful is gift from God not something I purchase on the clearance. I want God’s best in my life. I definitely plan to follow your blog and read your books. Thank you for sharing your story.

  • http://bindubalan.wordpress.com Bindu

    Annie, I love this post so much and so needed this reminder this week. Thank you for that and so grateful for you and the way God uses you to encourage so many.
    B

  • http://hoorayfortay.blogspot.com Tay

    Oh. My. Word. Talk about excellent timing, Annie. I have been having a hard time lately with my own singleness. I LOVE your reminder that He holds us so that we don’t have to feel alone. Hold me, God.

  • Anonymous

    But what if you’ve been waiting for so long and finally you went ahead because you are tired of all the waiting and now you know the guy you are sleeping with is not worth all that waiting… Will HE still be keeping you?

  • Reese

    So if you had a wonderful man and a house full of kids would you be writing special, awesome, sweet books for my teen? Maybe???? I am selfish!!!! It’s true!!!! I spent a few days at my parents’ this week and saw a few of those boys from my past. Thanking God that I was able to wait on an awesome one!!!!! We have no idea why you have to wait, but I bet he’ll be worth it, and you’ll be totally worth it for him.

  • http://www.murmursofmyheart.wordpress.com Kristen

    Beautiful!!

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  • Tea

    Jesus kept me in the dentist chair ,without being numbed,I asked him to be my cover..it was amazing..He loves us so much..all requests are listened to..

  • carol

    You My sweet lord..only You know why “I’m being Kept” in this place where I am in my Life right now.
    I am not asking for healing at this time,I’m asking for a name as to what is going on within me.
    Doctor’s Don’t know everything as those in my own Family have seen with Their own eyes the power You have Lord Over their guesses.
    May i continue to feel your presence and your Blessings….

  • http://janas3dresses.com Jana

    Annie, This is beautiful. “He kept me in the waiting”, that phrase will stick with me, too. The book “anonymous: Jesus’ hidden years…and yours” by Alicia Britt Chole, has offered me so much hope. It is fabulous. Her words capture the lessons learned in the waiting years so well. ~ jana

  • http://www.alittlewater.blogspot.com lindsey

    annie,

    you are such an encouragement! and real, thanks for your honesty.

  • http://lovekwal.blogspot.com/ Katie

    Thank you, Annie. Your friend’s phrase really struck me as well. He not only keeps us in the waiting, He also sees us as beautiful in the waiting. We are wrapped in His arms and we are beautiful. Beautiful without striving, beautiful without doing, beautiful just being.

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  • Heidi

    Beautiful and what I needed to hear!! It encouraged my heart to know to continue to wait on the Lord for His Timing and that I’m not alone while waiting because he journeys with me to teach and mold my heart!! I love 1 Perer 3:4 – a women who is concerned and cares about her heart being made in the likeness of her Father!!!

  • Lorraine

    Thank you Annie for sharing your heart. This have come as an affirmation of God’s love to us all. When l used to hear the song “it is well with my soul”, l neve understood who it can be well when we are constantly bombarded with trouble to deal with all the time. ” It is well with my soul” because I am with He, THE Creator OF THE UNIVERSE as my Father.

    My father died when l was 14, anyway he was not part of my life. I might have met him when l was 5 then, never thereafter only to get a phone call that he was dead while at boarding school. I had to attend the funeral, but was too late because l found him buried already. So l did not see his face . Am not sure whether that mattered.

    I got married to a wonderful man. I felt this anger of not having had a relationship with my father. I often questioned myself why this never actually happened, it’s not like he lived a long distance away from where l leaved with my mother and stepfather.

    I got the answer the day l got on my knees and cried to the Lord . I asked Him, “why , you know what l am asking about!” I cried in a loud voice, ” why did l not meet him at? Why didn’t you make it happen?’.

    Believe me l got my reply instantly, ” I want to be you Father and I AM THE MOST HIGH”.

    Tell you what l have never been this peaceful. I love my life , my husband and my children like never before. I am refreshed. I am a new creation knowing He wants me to Himself. I praise Him. I want to serve Him and worship The Heavenly Father in Jesus name. Amen!

  • http://www.littleredpurse.blogspot.com Leah

    Waiting is not my area of expertise. When I want something, I want it now… which is definitely my downfall. We just have to trust that God’s timing is always better than our own. I have been waiting for my career to take off and for my husband to find the ‘right’ job so that we both can be fulfilled by our daily work, but it seems that God has us in waiting for a reason. Keep your head high, your prince charming is waiting for you.

  • http://waterwalker2012.blogspot.com Jennifer Woodruff

    Loved reading this! Very true. It helps in the waiting to think of Jesus holding me, snuggling with me as WE wait for God’s plan to unfold. :) Makes waiting just a little bit easier.

  • http://betweenbluerocks.wordpress.com Stacy

    Just reading this for the first time today. Today is when I needed to read it — God kept it in the waiting for me, I think, just to encourage me today, when I’m weepy and weary of waiting. Thanks for reminding me of his arms, that place where he keeps me, near his heart.

  • Anonymous

    Thank You.