Wednesday, February 11, 2009


The last few days have been filled with a lot of soul searching. As I have been listening to podcasts of sermons by various Preachers I have been convicted by a particular phrase that keeps roaming around in my brain:
Functional savior

These two words just rolled off the tongue of one particular pastor as if everyone knew exactly what he meant. The words just hung around tempting me to search for an answer to the question "What is a functional savior?".
In turning the phrase around it really answered my question. A functional savior is anything or anyone that functions as a savior in your life rather than Christ. An idol. But, it is really more than just something that takes priority over God. It is something you have allowed to help you operate or live your life. It is something that you have opened up to to help you escape the reality of your situation.

So, after some soul searching I have come to realize that I have allowed a type of functional savior to "rescue" me from my circumstances. And, as a result I am letting go of some things that I thought were important or "must-haves" so that I can truly understand the lessons that God is wanting me to learn.
Remember in the last post I wrote that one of the ways we must rejoice in our trials is knowing that "the testing of our faith develops perseverance". We rejoice because we know that God uses trials to purify us and make us more like Him.

I am sure that you are all incredibly curious about what might be that functional savior. I have come to realize that my functional savior has been a dream. The dream or hope of what the future may hold. Or rather what I thought the future should hold.
I always think about the post I wrote a long time back that asked the question "how would I face this trial if I knew there was nothing good in the worldly sense at the end?" Would I walk away saying forget this or would I be content with the end result being my reward in heaven?
I can't say that I have been very content in my new role as a single woman in a married world or that I have been content in my new role as a single mom.
Yes, I have continued to do what God has told me to Him and love my children. But, I have allowed a dream to help me sleep at night. I tell myself that everything will be all right in the future. I just have to work through this process of grief and then I can move on to what God has planned for me which has to include just has to! My functional savior is the dream of being married again. This pain and sorrow will all be worth it if in the end I have another sweet relationship with another man.

The light bulb went off and the red flags started to sway back and forth as I realized that I was putting my future "plans" above the will of my Heavenly Father. Instead of relying on the One, True Savior I was willing to rely on a dream.
What if He calls me to be single the rest of my life? I know that the Bible does reflect a different ideal but it might be that I am the exception. Really, it comes down to being content where He has me and leave the future in His hands.

So, for the past couple of days I have been praying, thinking, reading, listening, and praising Him. Consciously making an effort to lean on the true Savior of my heart rather than on those functional saviors that only lead to disappointment and bitterness.

Folks, this is a hard path to walk....much harder than I could have ever realized. When you spend your whole adult life being married you just can't see life any differently. I hate to say this but I think that the Church as a whole could be chastised for making the institution of marriage an idol at times. Marriage is a wonderful reflection of God's redemption BUT it does not make you holy. It is a way that God sanctifies us and I believe that it should be something that we desire as believers BUT marriage in and of itself should not become our can't save you. God should be our focus within the relationship that He has given my case, the relationship is an intimate one with Him.

God has seen fit to give me this time in my life to learn how to be single and yet dependent on Him rather than on a man. I have tried to just "float" through this time to get to what I was hoping was a future marriage. But, the journey at this moment is what counts. The journey at this moment is what give me the chance to grow in Him.
Boy, I sure hope this is making sense. I still believe that marriage is a God ordained institution and I know it is biblical to hope to be married again. But, to allow my future hopes to help me escape the present means that I am depending on a functional savior rather than the One who bled and died for me.


Melonie said...

You've defined so well a period I went through during separation and divorce - well said. Many prayers for you and your family and for whatever the "end result" may be.

Beth said...

Heather~I love this! You have really spoken to me with this post. Functional savior is something that I use for sure. Overeating is mine. Any suggestions on how to lean on God in a practical way?

kristin said...

What an incredible insight. You are learning so much from the Lord right now because of your situation. As bitter-sweet as it may be, relish your time with Him. It's so hard to be as close to God when things are all "great" in life. You are experiencing something "heavenly"! I praise God for you and your blog. You are ministering to me through it, for whatever it's worth.
Our family is still praying for you almost daily! Love you and miss you! Wish we lived so much closer! Oh well.
You look great, by the way! I love the new hair style and Oh! your kitchen is so cool! I look forward to visiting you sometime again soon!

The Reed Family Adoption Journey said...

I think many of us get caught in that place of "the future" and what we are to do with our live that we forget to enjoy and live and soak up the monent and place God has us. I needed to hear this and be reminded to enjoy today and all God has for me TODAY. What does he want me to see TODAY, right now that my PLANNING is getting in the way of. I will also change the prayer i have been praying for my lovely single friends. I will pray for God to live in them NOW where they are not what He may have for them someday. Thank you Heather for being so transparent. :)

dp23 said...

Thanks for that, Heather - wise words and good counsel from "the front line".
May the joy of the Lord (all that He is, all that He has done for you, and all that He has promised to be for you) be your strength, and may He continue to work in you and through you to the blessing of many - whatever His plan for you.

MrsD/Jacque said...

What a wonderful post. Thank you for sharing and baring your soul.
There are so many aspects to this that I will be pondering over the next few days.
May the LORD bless you~

Anonymous said...

The apostle Paul says that not everyone is called to be married, there are many people out there that God has called for something different, a single life filled with serving God. I had thought of that a long time ago, when you had mentioned getting married again and seemed anxiously awaiting that time. Living in the today is all God promised, He tells us to consider the sparrows, how He cares for them. He will take care of us. We are to thank Him for our daily bread, not to worry about next week's bread. I am all for plans and goals, but ultimately, we have to be open to God's will, whether it is something we want or not. God's grace day by day will let us be able to accept what His will is. I know several people who are in their middle age years and never married. That was not their plan, they didn't set out to be single but God never did bring the right one to them...He wants to be their spouse. Good post, it sounds like your faith is growing in leaps and bounds. Praying for you in this time of your life.

godlover said...

Heather, God has so blessed you with such incredible insight! You can see Him working in your life every day. I think I can agree with you on every point you made. We all store up functional saviors to help us make it through the present circumstances in our lives. However most of us go through out lives unaware we have made something (or someone) our functional savior. You are able to plug right into God's line of communication and learn quickly what seems to take most of us so much time to learn. I'm so glad you are in my life. You have a very strong impact on my thinking and reasoning. For some reason you seem better able to express yourself than most of us and things come out so clear when you write. We all need to look for our functional saviors and we need to weed them out of our life!
God bless you