In one year from now, I want to be able to read this and wholeheartedly believe it was all for “now.” (I’m tired of ‘somedays’.) I want to be reassured that failures are inevitable because there is always more to learn and there are even more spaces of sky to breathe in; failures happen because I’m human. I work hard and invest, but sometimes there is a lesson that will bring forth more water-to-wine change in my spirit than could ever be hoped for from getting what I want. I hope in one year from now, I will have finally learned to take people out of the equation because in the biggest photo of things, it’s me+God, and nothing else really matters. I hope by that time, I will have claimed my failures as my own, and named them, Steadfast, Brave, and Hope. And hopefully after one year from now, I’ll remember all of the failures that came with this season and laugh knowing that after each one, (eventually!!) came a success. But what made them so remarkable were the failures that came before them.
I’ve learned recently that my humanistic worldview has distorted my definitions of the characteristics of God. His “faithfulness” is limited to what my deceiving heart perceives as faithfulness. But just as God’s power is immeasurably more, His character is as well. His faithfulness is immeasurably more than anything I can ask for or imagine. So I pray and beg for Him to break my paradigms of His character and to give me a new spirit of understanding + wisdom in the magnitude of who He is. And I pray the same for you too.
I guess one of the hardest things to understand sometimes is your pursuit, Jesus. Why did you choose me? Why did you fight for me? I was so far gone in darkness, it would have been so easy to just let go. It even would have been easy to just give up and come back to me ten years later, when I’d be older and looking for “stability.” What made you believe in me? What kept you going? “Because love never fails. Because I am Love and you are Beloved.”
So I ask for that same spirit of pursuit for people. I pray this, knowing that I will already fail, but God, give me love that never gives up.
There are some days when you feel head over heels in love- the excited, butterflies in your tummy, throwing up butterflies in their tummies kind of love- even though you don’t have anyone to be in love with, so you hope that it’s with Christ who dwells within you. Then there are days when each leg feels like it’s being swallowed by the gravel you run on, and your mind is simultaneously a roar and an eerie silence. So you sit and fight to listen to the One you know lives within you.
On both of these days, you wonder if this is what it means to finally love yourself. You hope so.
During winter, it’s easy to come across days you can’t run away from. The bitter cold can be paralyzing. In the midst of celebration and holiday, the works of our hands turn against us, as we find ourselves suffocating from idols that have fallen. Because eventually, your loved ones will hurt you, just as you have hurt them; company you’ve longed for doesn’t seem to understand the ways in which you’ve changed (which is okay, they most likely don’t see you everyday); your soul may grow immune to alone time, and you will be left with debilitating thoughts. These are the idols that will fall.
Take a deep breath, in this war, the Lord will make you lie down in safety. He knows the perfect time to draw you away. And the “safe” place may not look safe to us, but He definitely is. He isn’t easy or conventional or limited to our dictionary definitions for that matter, but He is good. Take a deep breath. Open your eyes and watch as the wilderness around you breaks into gladness, let it blossom abundantly. And soon enough, with the help of your God, you will return.
The past few weeks my soul slowly stopped dancing, and I’ve been waiting to hear the beginning melody of another song.
I’ve been thinking about joy lately and about the moments I feel it most deeply. C.S. Lewis said he was “surprised by joy,” and I have to agree with Ann Voskamp, when she says perhaps that’s the only way to discover it. The life in the trees. The change of autumn in your lungs.
The moment your soul hears the trickle of the soft melody begin to play.
I was a dead hopeless wanderer and never again do I have to take a breath not knowing astronomic love or abundant freedom. I will never have to know what life is like without it.
Jesus had it all; as a man, He never knew of anything other than a rich and abundant life with His Father. But He had to go without it on the cross. Can you imagine the agony? Having to experience a breath of life without unconditional love or grace in which all you can muster is a cry of “my God, why have You forsaken me?”