The Gift

“The gift that I always longed for was to be loved and chosen by someone. Through singleness, the Lord taught me that the true gift I long for is Him. God lavishes His love on me as His daughter.” - Lindsey Lauderdale

“It was a ‘mad at God’ moment,” said Lindsey Lauderdale. “I was in my early 30s, and my life was not going the way I expected. I saw friends around me meet their husbands and get married. Why wasn’t it happening for me? Was God holding out on me? The one thing I had always wanted more than anything was to be married and have a family. I grew angry and bitter and was ready to give up and not follow the Lord anymore. But I had nowhere to go.

“I grew up here in Dallas and trusted Christ as my Savior when I was in preschool. As I grew older I knew that I was saved by grace but I struggled to know what it truly meant to have an abiding relationship with Christ. Being a perfectionist and a performer, I saw Christianity as a check-list of things that I needed to do to obey God and earn the respect of others.

“This striving to be perfect on my own strength left me frustrated, exhausted and prone to hide sin struggles. This pattern continued through college and as I moved back to Dallas upon graduation.

“When God didn’t give me what I wanted in life, I would choose to go my own way by turning to familiar sin patterns, whether it was overindulging with food or escaping into my own fantasy world or giving in to the lust of my eyes. Living in a fantasy world of movies and romantic comedies grew discontentment in my heart, and all of it robbed me from full participation in what God had for my life.

“When I came to Watermark in 2001 community was the catalyst God used for change. It was the place where I became fully known, sin patterns and all. It’s also where I learned what it meant to truly have a relationship with Christ marked by dependence. Exhaustion was replaced with His strength, but I was still a good performer. Seven years later that was made clear when I wanted to walk away from God.

“My heart had grown hard to the Lord but I had masked it well. I expected Him to give me what I wanted in my timing, and that didn’t happen. I began a long journey toward understanding the root cause of my anger at God.

“With the support of community, who reminded me of the truth in God’s Word, I began to approach Scripture and ask if I truly believed what it said about both God and me. What became apparent is that in many ways I didn’t. I had a struggle with trust.

“It was a day-by-day journey to trust the Lord, but He proved to be faithful, worthy of my trust and the giver of good gifts. His presence is where joy is found.

“Studying the book of Hosea has taught me that walking in God’s ways is always right. Now I trust and obey the Lord out of love for Him; not out of obligation to a spiritual checklist. When I do not choose to trust Him, I’m reminded by God’s Word to stand on the truth of His character, allowing the Lord to redirect my perspective and take the focus off of myself.

“The gift that I always longed for was to be loved and chosen by someone. Through singleness, the Lord taught me that the true gift I long for is Him. God lavishes His love on me as His daughter.

“Today I am part of the team that is starting Watermark’s new Single Adults Ministry for people in their 30s, 40s and 50’s. I’m excited to be involved because this ministry is a place where people can gather to remind one another of the hope we have in Christ. It is a place where we can bring our friends who don’t know Jesus yet or who have walked away from Him like I was tempted to do.

“Today my life is marked by peace and joy, not because my circumstances have changed, but because my hope is in Christ Who says I am worthy to be loved. I am grateful for the things God has allowed me to do in my singleness. I’ve been able to lead a Student Ministries small group since the girls were in 2nd grade (they just graduated). I’ve traveled to Ethiopia and Uganda on discipleship trips with others from Watermark. I’ve been able to serve both here at Watermark and overseas in a way that I might not have if I were married.

“I still want to be married some day, but I have been able to see this season of my life as a gift rather than a disappointment. What’s most important is that I have learned how to trust God not only for salvation but also as the Lord of my life.”

Find out more about Watermark’s new Single Adults Ministry for 30s, 40s and 50s at “Gather” on Friday,
July 29 at 7 pm on the Dallas Campus.

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