I am originally from Holland. For the last 12 1/2 years I have been working in Bolivia, with addicted men, prisoners, streetgangs, and founding and directing of a house for addicted teenagers and will open a house for addicted girls – all run with wonderful national staff.
My walk with the Lord began when, at the age of 22 years, I received Jesus as my Savior in ’78. I was a hurt and broken person who needed the Lord to sort out many things. In those early days I remember once disputing with the Lord about being alone. I asked Him, “But Lord, what if it’s a nice Christian man?” The Lord asked me in return, “And what if I’d rather have you alone?” You might imagine I cried, but in the end told the Lord that I was prepared to accept His preference if He insisted.
Through the years it was never hard to be alone, grace enveloped me and I was fine until going overseas. Here the charm of Latin men didn’t pass by unnoticed. The first time I opened my heart to someone, looking back now, the Lord allowed it to heal me of rejection. We never dated, but the Lord helped me to work through past hurts and I came out much more stable, accepting myself as a woman. I suppose that being alone I had learned to put on a front of “I don’t care.” That was the result of having been hurt very deeply by rejection as a teenager.
Then a year later, I did allow a relationship to start with a brother. He was single and a Christian and I never asked the Lord what He thought of it. To this man, the idea of having a family was very important. At one point the Lord asked me, “Fineke, who told you that you can have children?” I wept and told the Lord the doctor had. I knew that was a very shaky foundation and repented to the Lord of not having asked His permission and quit the relationship. Since then, I had to undergo surgery a few times including a hysterectomy.
After that day, peace returned to my heart and I knew the Lord to be a close friend. Once I was having lunch in a restaurant and was watching a couple sitting nearby. When the waiter gave the bill to the husband, there was a quick complaint in my heart, “Sure, the man always gets the bill.” Then the Lord spoke into my heart, “Who has been paying all your bills for the last number of years?” This peace is real and it shows. I always have a little chuckle when people tell me they think I am married because I don’t “look single.” Praise the Lord that He dealt with the bitterness and took down the defensive front.
Even so, I find that at times it is hard to handle friendship with men. Our worst enemies, at times, are well meaning people who read things into these friendship that are not real and so cause confusion. With one single brother, it came to such a point that many people were saying how well we got on and that surely the Lord had brought us together. In the end, I didn’t know anymore what I was seeing or hearing in our friendship and decided we needed to sit down and talk it out. I am very grateful to the Lord that we could speak about the confusion that was created and were able to rescue the friendship. Next year I will be preaching at this dear friend’s wedding. In being single, I find there are times people will leave one alone and then there are times they come with well meaning advise and suggestions. Sometimes they even arranged lunches with their choice for me.
Then last year the Lord spoke to me in a meeting I attended. He said He would be my home and be with me. That had a new sound and left me shaken, for I felt that day the Lord was approaching me in a different way. A few days later, the Lord showed me Hosea 2:16-20 and I was shocked. Would the Lord propose me? I marveled that the Lord would look at me and want me to know Him as “Ishi,” which means, “my husband”. I realized that I needed to give a serious response to this proposal and thought about it for a few days. Then one day I went for a walk to speak with the Lord alone, and I told Him I accepted His proposal, but that I needed Him to teach me how to enter into a relationship with Him that takes all my priority.
This may sound strange. Isn’t the Lord always our priority when we are in full-time service? Yes, in a way. But it is different to be accountable to Him as my husband. To want to please Him, not just serve Him. It brought a new and different dimension to my relationship with the Lord. One day while having a break, I asked Him what He thinks of me, His not-so-very-perfect wife. He showed me a picture of myself being led into a large group of people at the arm of a tall man who proudly introduced me to everyone. This makes me weep and humbles me as I know myself and how often I fail. And at the same time brings great joy to my heart to know He loves me so much. He, as my husband, is also in charge and responsible for sustaining me and also the ministry which is ours. Indeed from that day, He’s taken away the concern I could have for being responsible for a growing work with a staff of 12 and 15 boys living with us.
There is much I need to learn about how to walk in a consciousness that the Lord is my husband, to share my all with Him. A friend said she’d keep praying the Lord would give me a husband. With all honesty I could tell her to stop as I have got one. He will take care of me when I am old. He will help me grow and bring out the potential He placed in me through His guidance and encouraging love. How easy it is to drift away and have a relationship on a formal level and then I need to remind myself of the promise, “I will betroth you to me in faithfulness and love, and you will really know me then as you never have before”.
Being single is not being incomplete and neither is the grass greener on the other side of the fence, but in the Lord’s will I am complete in every sense of the word and lack nothing. There is no longer a waiting for something to happen, all is well.