sixth of january two thousand sixteen

But I will never get there. I will never reach that sense of better understanding because there will always be more to understand until the day that I die. And if I ever do reach that utmost understanding in this life, then I die. I will never stop seeking to understand until I die or I die. And I hope you, I hope you can find strength in that statement. I hope you can find strength in the statement that I will never be able to understand you or love you to my fullest capacity in the fullest understanding of you because it means that I am relying more on my faith of believing that I love you and choose you rather than of understanding why or how. I hope you find strength in the statement that I will never be able to love you in my fullest capacity because I am leaking. There is always more to know about you because you are a living and growing soul, not just being, but always becoming and I’m relying more on my faith of knowing he fills because I am always lacking than on my desire to fill myself with the things that I believe are sufficient enough for you because they never will be.

And yes, I’m talking to God, but I am talking to you. I wrote this down for you because I want you to remember that I will never be enough for you because only He is. And I apologize in advance for the moments I will believe that you are enough for me because you don’t deserve to be put under those expectations that will inevitably fail. You deserve more than that. I wrote this down for you because I want you to know that in every moment, with every failure, with every triumph, I will be walking down that road towards you. I will be seeking you and choosing to believe that regardless of whether I understand it, regardless of where I will end up or how I will get there, I will go because you are there and I choose you.

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agape

Self-sacrificial love is laying your love for that person down at the altar, knowing that they’re not yours to love, and hoping that God will use you to love them.

“God, I love this person. But I know that you love him so much more than I ever will and you can love him so much more sufficiently than I ever could. So, I’m giving my love for him up to you, because you can love him so much better than I can. I trust your ways of loving him more than I do my own. So please use me to fulfill your ways.” Amen.

he thinks I’m beautiful

How do I not doubt that you think I’m beautiful when you’ve only told me a handful of times? Because I see it in the way you look at me. Every single time. There is no hesitancy or glossy gaze. You’re enamored. And I don’t say this to be prideful, I say this to say: you look at me like I’m a work of art, delicately crafted with skilled hands, and when I see it in your eyes, it helps me better believe it for myself.

help them grow as you have grown

One thing I’m learning about dating someone who is creative (dating anyone, really) is they need support always. Even if what they’re showing you is from years ago when they were kids, support them by watching it and encouraging them in how far they’ve come, for that was the bud of their soul seeing if it was safe enough to grow.

(And they’ve found that it was.)

“love given is courage gained.”

“Love given is courage gained.”

I’ve recently discovered insecurities I thought I ‘dealt with’ a long time ago are still influencing my actions. It turns out, I’m just as insecure as I was ten months ago, it just looks differently today. No longer eroding my physical appearance, my insecurities have chosen to burrow themselves into the deepest parts of my being and make their way known from the inside out.

My lack of love for myself is based on my lack of ‘perfect.’ Somewhere in the past twenty years (age six sounds about right) I sold out to the lie that man owns the title to ‘perfect’ which left me a beggar shamelessly selling everything I had to get whatever man offered. Basically put: I didn’t love myself, so I became whomever it was I believed people would love. A complete give and take, this lifestyle became an addiction; anything for a hit of ‘glory.’

All the while, my own spirit was decaying.

I read somewhere that learning to accept yourself takes an abundance of “self-love” and “self-care.” Like “standing-bare-naked-in-front-of-a-mirror-and-complimenting-yourself” kind of self-love. The kind of stuff that bully victims in Lifetime movies do. The radical stuff.

In the past fourteen years, I have tried everything but the radical stuff, and although it sounded like a preteen’s manifesto, I was desperate. Because at twenty years old, I’ve tasted and seen a life that I dream of enjoying every single day- not just on days that I’m feeling thin or desirable. What did I have to lose?

So I found myself in front of a mirror: pale, raw, and real.

Typically at a time like this, I diverted my eyes from my reflection. Ironically enough, I hated anything above man’s influence. I praise God’s creative hands for each edge of the mountains and the carefully carved canyons, for the delicate tenderness felt in flower petals, the mysteries hidden in the night sky, the infinite watercolors of sunrises and sunsets, for the details in an animal cell, yet with the same breath, I curse and spit on His creativity when I don’t look like every airbrushed girl I see a photo of.

God, I need(ed) courage. I need(ed) humility.

Inhale; exhale. I prayed through waiting. Eyes closed, I put away the claws and asked for gentle, strong hands. Scarred hands courageous enough to love through pain. Hands skilled in creating and restoring; hands that could help me build a body I could love. The Carpenter’s hands.

They came slowly but faithfully. I built strong arms to embrace and serve my neighbors. I built a rib cage wide enough to protect a pair of lungs to sing and breathe in emerald Oregon pines. I built a soft tummy able to produce deep belly laughs and hold Salt & Straw ice cream. A soft tummy confidently wearing scars telling a remarkable story of redemption.

I am not naive; I know it will take time. I know there will be days I forget, but that’s all it will be: a day.

Psalm 139 says I have been “knit” together. Much more than simply being spoken into existence like the rest of creation, The Lord, in His dangerous untamed glory, “knit” me together. With His breath, He shared His wild holy magnificence with me, and I want to set fire to those wild holy fibers and let them consume me.

“Love given is courage gained.” The courage to be myself: His poiema.