When I Refocused My Gaze on God

It’s a new year, and in many ways, I’m already grateful to God for the things He is going to do. If I were still standing in the late months of 2014, I would have told you I desired nothing more than a good man who loves God and who will channel some of that love towards me. I’m going to be very transparent, because I know I am not the only woman who went through this in 2014.

Last year, I went through a breakup. Of course, it’s never easy and you’re always left wondering and rationalizing. I was filled with bitterness, sorrow, and longing for a good portion of the year. I wondered when I would feel different.

I can honestly say I didn’t rely solely upon God to heal me.

I in fact, grew colder and more subdued. I grew tight and built a wall around me. I’ve never felt such a harshness in me before that it scared me — to the point that I began to rely on myself to take it away. How? By finding a good man who loves God, who loves others, and who will love me. Yes, I was running to man.

So, during the last few months of last year, that was all I desired — a good and joyous relationship — one where he sees me as an equal, one where he treats me the way a woman should be treated, one where he uplifts me, one where he chooses to see the good in me and doesn’t try to mold me into someone that he wants me to be. Spiritually and physically.

Does that exist? Is that too much to ask in today’s society? These were questions I cried out to God last year. Then, God being God, revealed that He is all of these things and more. In the quietness of my being, I heard God whisper, “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” (1 Corinthians 13:7)

During early January this year, I ended up giving up.

I gave up the ideal man in my head. I gave up the desire of wanting. I gave up my wall. I gave up my fear. I gave up my sorrow and my resentment. I gave up my own hurt.

God will not honor my desire because my desire was not honoring Him. It was to honor myself. To help me, myself, and I.

“Those who honor me I will honor.” 1 Samuel 2:30

So, I choose to honor God in my desire. Before the year counted down, I felt like He was clutching me so tightly — telling me, don’t let Me go this time, beloved.
“Then Jesus took her by the hand and said in a loud voice, ‘My child, get up!’” Luke 8:54

In His grace and mercy, He found me and brought me to Him completely humbled and naked and new.

“My eyes are ever toward the Lord, for he will pluck my feet out of the net.” Psalm 25:15

The net is the web I created for myself — full of obligation, confusion, hurt, sorrow, romantic desire, fear, and torment. I could just see Satan dancing happily in the corner of my room; he nearly had me. I even stopped painting for five months. It was my dry spell.

“But I will hope continually and will praise you yet more and more.” (Psalm 71:14)

This was my season of winter where — unbeknownst to me — God was still watering me. My noble, pure, lovely, jealous, and beautiful God was still watering me during my most trying season.
“I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever.” Psalm 86:12

I realized something scarily beautiful last year — by relying on my own strength, I can attest to the fact that it accomplished absolutely nothing. It only brought in waves of longing, loneliness, questions, depression, fear, and hopelessness. The opposite of God walked into every crevice of my being.

I started to fear who I was becoming, and therefore, was able to realize I didn’t want to become this person in 2015. So, I didn’t. I felt like Satan’s long arm unraveled itself from my body and fell to the ground like a limp snake.

I realized that giving up certain things is imperative to not only the dating scene, but to our personal and rich relationship with God. His character presses into mine and leaves no room for the characteristics of the enemy. One of which, is the tendency to rely upon myself and not God.

“So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.” 1 Corinthians 3:7

Sometimes, it felt like the enemy completely pressed out God in certain moments — these were the scariest times of my life. There were times my body physically reacted in panic. This is not how God intended me to live.

I surrender my love life, my desire, my dreams, and my hopes to the God who can do so much more than I ever imagined. So, I choose His Word over superficiality. I seek God, not men. I choose the God who first chose me.

For 2015, let’s choose joy. Let’s choose God.

“Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.” Ephesians 3:20

About Samantha Hardcastle

Samantha desires for those who think they’re too unworthy to realize that God has a life — personally and lovingly — ordained for them. She paints by dawn and writes by dusk; her work has been published in The Good Women Project and literary art […]

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  1. Thank you for sharing what is an encouragement to seek God in all areas of our life!
    God is truly interested. Thank you!

  2. Thanks for sharing. I am so blessed in reading your article. Thanks.

  3. Hello there! Thank you for sharing your inspiring stories! God is indeed good. May God bless you more of becoming who you are and what you are. To God be the glory!Amen.

  4. Samantha Denise Hardcastle says

    Amen! To God be the glory, indeed Ana. He is so good. Bless you!:)

  5. Samantha Denise Hardcastle says

    It most certainly is and He sure is! Thank you for reading, Bunmi. God Bless you.:)

  6. Samantha Denise Hardcastle says

    I'm glad you cam across it then, Esther. He is wonderful. May you be filled with peace..and an all-​surpassing joy. Blessings to you!

  7. Wonderful post, I too have felt my winter creep in on me and I am so thankful I am recognizing it and can let it go 🙂

  8. Samantha!
    I can only imagine what you went through last year. It must of being hard to share what you went through. So I say thank you for being brutally honest and open with us! It's helped me see that God must be first in everything! He will not accept second place!
    After reading your post I want to say this to you,

    God is orchestrating your love story! Because He is, your story is beautiful, amazing and beyond anything you can ever comprehend! Keep holding on to Him.….He is in control, directing and writing one of the most important stories of your life. Everything He creates is beautiful and glorious to behold! He can be trusted completely and wholeheartedly!


  9. Samantha Denise Hardcastle says

    Amen Rolain! Thanks so much. I truly believe that! Our God is so good..He must indeed be first in all things. Bless you Rolain!

  10. Sibusisiwe Saidi says

    Beautiful, Amazing, I choose God this year.

  11. I connect with you, sweet sister in Christ! I am married with a 5 yr old and a 1 yr old. Early parent hood is very hard and Satan has most definitely set up camp in our marriage during these crucial testing years of faith in our God. So much of what you said in this post I have experienced in my life as a wife and mother…so much. But, there has been a shift. God is waking me up too! I think now, why can't I do as he commands and let go of the negative sounds in my mind? Why not? I CAN! It's actually so much easier than trying to fix it all myself. For I can't but He, God, can and He will IF I believe and give myself to Him. So simple. Just choose to follow Him and His instructions. Forgive, even if the world tells you not to, and choose love toward others, even when I or the world don't understand. Choose God. Choose Love. He will take care of the rest :-)!

  12. Samantha Denise Hardcastle says

    Amen! You (we) all most certainly can just surrender it all to God! Indeed, we just need to believe. Thanks so much for the reminder. I am surely going to be doing this from here on! Many blessings to you and your whole family!:)

  13. Samantha Denise Hardcastle says

    I'm so glad..that is a wonderful thing to be able to realize it and to give it to God..thank you and God Bless you!

  14. Samantha Denise Hardcastle says

    Amen Sibusisiwe Saidi! I am with you on that..God Bless you mightily!:)

  15. very encouraging and helpful <3 Thank you. God bless you!

  16. So welcome! May God Bless you richly this year!

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