Gold Metal

I’m not accusing you of mistreatment or manipulation

What I am saying is that my heart is worth far more than your offering

It isn’t your fault that you haven’t been taught to treasure the pearl

Heaven deemed worthy of going bankrupt for

You can’t give away something you don’t have

But I can’t sit here and pretend this is normal

 

Formed and fashioned by royalty, sent into humanity with last words whispered,

“You’re worth it!”

Gifts of people echoing Heaven through time with feet planted in the Earth

Reminding me, “You’re worth it!”

“Girl, you should be so treasured that it surprises you… Melting you under the weight of value. May you be overwhelmed continuously, coming to find that you are once again far more incredible than you’ve believed yourself to be.”

 

Envelopes full of truth to remind me when I’m far from home

I know I’m worth it.

A gold metal was given to remind me.

For the ladiez

I mean… guys can read this too, but it will very likely be dumb and awkward and not give you any insight into girl world, for the record.

Let me start by saying.. never have I ever really been the girl who doubted that she would get married. Let me also say that there have been several times that I have thought to myself “I get it. I totally get how someone could be fully content just walking with the Lord, no relationship around..” I’ve also been in seasons where I have said, very fervently “There is absolutely no way I’m even remotely interested in dating anyone right now.”

All of that to say that recently, I have been that girl. “What if I don’t meet anyone? What if everyone pairs off and I’m left alone with responsibilities and no companionship? What if I never meet anyone that I want to commit my life to?” The list goes on. The lies go on.

I always sympathized with my friends who struggled with the fear of being alone, but honestly, it was always a “That really sucks for them, but it’s going to happen, can’t they see it?” sort of thing. 

It has been a terrifying, life sucking, paralyzing few weeks.. but I’ve come to realize a few things..

I don’t know about any other girl reading this blog, but I have believed through Sunday school teaching, typical Christian advice, and assumptions made by my own experience that if I worry about whether or not I’m going to get married, have a family, etc.. the longer I worry, the longer I am prolonging my singleness. It’s the biggest trap ever. “What if I never meet anyone? –STOP THINKING THAT or you’ll be single forever”

We’re told as Christian women that ‘it comes when you least expect it.’ That might be true for some, but it can’t be true for all. Think about it – Do you really think that every girl in a relationship/marriage arrived at this ‘content’ point in their lives before a guy took interest in them? We’re also told that we need to learn to love who we are before God will let anyone else love us.. That we need to be made whole before we can handle a relationship.. 

There might be some truth within those statements, but more than truth, I hear 
“Girls in relationships have something you don’t. They are more confident, more whole.. They tapped into something you haven’t quite figured out yet. Good luck.”

I agree that the more you let God love you now, the easier life will be later.. But not just for romantic relationships.. in every thing! The more love we receive, the more we can give away.. The more insecurities we let go of, the less likely we will be to hurt people – in every area of life. I am positive, though, that you can’t reach a point where you have ‘earned’ the right to date.

 

God chases me down with good things.. I don’t have to run after them and hope I can hold onto them. It was God’s desire planted in my heart for marriage – yours too – He wouldn’t plant that desire inside, only for you to be tormented with fear and lack all your days.

If I’m being really honest, I start fearing the most when I start questioning where the Lord is and how he feels about me. Sometimes, I feel like I can’t even get his attention.. What makes me think I will receive the desires of my heart if I can’t even get attention from God? What if I ‘hold out’ for God’s best and then it never comes? (In all areas) What if I jump off the cliff and there’s no net beneath like I believed there would be?

And the lies go on.. “Look what you get for believing that you serve a good Creator.. You could have made things happen for yourself a million times by now. By the time you realize He’s not coming, it will be too late for you to save yourself.”

Ugly lies, but don’t you hear them too??

 

Honestly, some days I am positive of the Lord’s goodness, his heart, his love – It IS reality, it IS truth, and it will inevitably be proven right.. But other days? I’m forever in an internal tornado with all of the people and circumstances around me screaming “HOW DARE YOU BELIEVE HE IS GOOD!” 

I think sometimes, the choice to be brave comes with the fear that you’re wrong for being that way.. but would it be considered bravery otherwise? Don’t ever let anyone tell you that believing in the goodness of God is a weak thing that lukewarm, passive, mediocre Christians do. Bull. It is the most courageous path you’ll ever choose to take.

I invite you to be brave with me – to grab my hand as we walk through this crazy adventure.. Through the ups and downs, the doubts and the unshakable confidence. 

The Garden

He took her to a garden to show her how life should be.

Flowers thriving effortlessly, foods growing in the soil… the Sun never scorched and creation echoed love day and night. Though skeptical at first, it wasn’t long before she was entirely captured by its beauty. The workers of this garden possessed thumbs of the brightest green she had ever seen. 

“What secrets do they hold?” the girl wondered, “How does one make thriving seem so natural?”

For the girl too was from a land where gardens were believed in, but tilling was difficult and blooming was rare. Flowers had been seen by her eyes, but pale in color and puny in size compared to all that now surrounded. Like eating a tomato in season or beholding the greens of Irish land, for the first time the girl knew that this garden was a place where creation existed in its full potential.

And He walked in the garden with her, and the two of them explored, discovered, and appreciated. Pieces of the environment that never caught her eye before somehow pierced her heart and stopped time. The girl learned that small moments and seemingly mundane things would change you the most if you let it.

Soon she knew that she was so similar to the flowers all around – in full bloom, naturally thriving, breathing in the love that creation echoed day and night.

And the possessors of the thumbs of the brightest green taught the girl to till the land and explained the needs of creation. So many lessons the workers taught the girl were not skills to aquire, but sleeping things already inside of her heart. They would teach, and their lessons would whisper, “Wake up!” She knew that she too was made to be a worker of the garden.

But seasons change and time runs out, and one day the girl was ripped from the garden – sent back to the land where tilling was difficult and blooming was rare.

The climate was colder here – the land dry and hard instead of rich and soft, ready for seeds. In some ways, the girl still couldn’t comprehend why gardens seemed like more of a dream than a reality in this land, but in other ways, she could see the problem.

“These people, these weary people, believe they are fertilizing the ground, but instead, heap weed killer onto the places they work. They believe they are crying out for rain, but are releasing ice and snow in their actions.”

For a short time the girl extended her help, sharing what the possessors of the brightest green thumbs had taught her – telling stories of flowers that bloom effortlessly and sun that never scorches and creation that echoes love day and night.

It’s a peculiar thing when the solution to a problem is discovered. It means accepting that what you’ve practiced for quite awhile may have been wrong all along, and no one likes wasted time. The Maker of gardens and all things beautiful never wastes anything, but this is hard to comprehend in a land where tilling is difficult and blooming is rare.

And the girl grew scared, for there were none willing to try a different method of gardening, and she knew she couldn’t garden alone.

Still she cried out for rain and spoke to creation and pulled all that she could from the lessons she’d learned – but nothing bloomed. Maybe it was the climate, the dry hard ground, or the hearts of those living in the land – but she cried and she spoke, and nothing bloomed.

How long does it take for a barren land to affect the heart? How much time passes by before a girl so sure of her DNA to cultivate a garden begins doubting all she had discovered?

The girl begged the possessors of the brightest green thumbs to let her return to the garden – to the only location where things made sense – to the only place life seemed as it should be. They lovingly turned her away, but she didn’t see it as love.

And she shouted, “Maker of gardens and all things beautiful, what good is a garden if it cannot be multiplied? I have done all that I’ve been taught to do and still my efforts are in vain and my cries are unheard. Surely I am less! It is your business to choose favorites, but why must I know of your favoritism when you have made me a second class citizen? Why must I watch as blessings are lavished on others and I am left in a barren land where creation is deaf to my cries? Please rescue me from this place.”

Have you ever wanted something so badly, you feared the strength of your desire would overcome the possibility of it happening? This is the fear that filled the girl as she lived in the land. 

But the maker of gardens and all things beautiful is not at all concerned with our fears, and he never allows them to void our dreams.

One day when she least expected it, the girl was lead out of the land where tilling was difficult and blooming was rare. It’s a peculiar thing, when your dreams become a reality. They don’t always unfold the way you imagine.

The girl had imagined her heart full of adventure and life, but hope filled with skepticism flooded instead. How long does it take for disappointment to shrink expectations and drain color from desire?

Still with hope left in her heart, the girl believed that maybe she wasn’t a second class citizen in the eyes of the maker of gardens. Maybe there were other gardens.

They arrived there, to the land he had reserved for her.

 

Weeds everywhere, overgrown bushes, rotten food that had once been good for eating – mud puddles some places, dry, hard rock in others – Sun that sometimes scorched and sometimes hid in the clouds all day long.

The girl couldn’t help but be filled with disappointment. So she cried out,

“Maker of all things beautiful, have you brought be here to be even crueler? Why put gardening in my heart when its desire does nothing but torment? Why display all that life can be before my eyes, only to rip it away? I am angry with you and I’m angry with me. If I was a better gardener, maybe I could have tilled the land, and if you were a better maker, maybe you would have helped.. And if I were more lovable, maybe, just maybe the possessors of the thumbs of the brightest green would have welcomed me back to their garden.. but none of that matters now. Here we are in a land only slightly warmer but just as difficult. Here I am to be reminded again of failure, weakness, and inadequacy.

And the maker responded,

“Oh girl, my girl, I did not break your trust, but I will gladly rebuild it. I did not bring the chill of winter to make your heart cold, but I will gladly bring warmth to thaw out all things effected. I am the maker of all things beautiful, and I love you enough to clean up the messes others have made. Your heart, child, is one of my beautiful things. I have brought you to your very own land, your very own garden. Can’t you imagine it? Foods of the greatest flavor and flowers of the most vibrant beauty as far as your eyes can see. As we work in this garden, child, you will see that the gardener within is so much more talented than you’ve ever hoped. Your heart, child, needs this garden – a place where you choose the location of the flowers and the variety of the fruit. A place where you will show creation how to thrive effortlessly, because it’s inside, child, it’s inside. You are far too creative to till someone else’s garden – full of too many ideas to hide them under the ideas of others.”

 

And the girl breathed deeper than she had in quite awhile, and as she looked down, she noticed that her thumbs were looking a little green.

Golden Calves.

I cannot even consider moving forward with this blog until I share with all of you that my computer got a little funky and decided to shut off in the middle of my typing. How rude… So little did you know (before I so blatantly complained about it on the internet) that this is actually my second attempt typing this guy.

Anyway…

A couple of weeks ago during some corporate worship ministries (that’s supposed to be funny wording, not a super Christian official name for something..) The Lord reminded me of my plane ride home from Ireland last September.

It. was. awful.

But before I elaborate on how awful, I should probably share about the vast dreaminess that filled our plane ride -to- Ireland two weeks prior..

There was plenty of leg room. How this happened in coach seating, I’m not sure.. I’m positive that all of us girls said at least once “Who would pay for first class when you can fly like this?” Fabulous blankets on every seat.. So many great movies to choose from (that you could access like netflix rather than all of them playing at the same time) that I nearly wished the flight was longer so that I could watch them all.

To top off all of that, there was this wonderful Englishman who provided us with airline food (that wasn’t even too bad) and all of the beverages we could hope to consume.

We were fresh, running off the excitement of going to a foreign country, soaking up every minute of the experience.

 

Now, to compare that to the flight home…

We had to wake up at 5 in the morning to make it to the airport on time. Each time the flights took off, I would get excruciating ear pain (no one ever warns you about that..) Although I carried the cross of ear pain on the way over, it was about all I could take to brave all of that over again. (I’m being a little dramatic..)

We had a five hour lay over in London.. A 5 hour lay over is way too much time to be stuck in one place, but not enough time to bravely explore a massive city that you’re unfamiliar with. I think we walked in and out of Harrods 7 times.

We board the plane for a 9 hour and 45 minute flight (which was the longest one to endure). No happy Englishman, much less leg room, 9 movies, 7 of which were completely raunchy, one foreign, and one “Brave.” I watched Brave too many times..

Do you ever get that antsy road trip feeling? The one where you’ve got so much time left in the car, but you don’t think you can make it one more minute? That can usually be cured by a frosty and a stop at the gas station, at least temporarily, but there is NO getting off of a plane.

Everyone was sick by the end of the flight. All that shared air and altitude change wasn’t good for anyone.

 

Before you go thinking I’m a spoiled brat with first world problems, let me first say that I elaborated on every bad thing to paint a picture. Hopefully, you know me, and hopefully you know me well enough to know that I try not to be very high maintenance.

 

The Lord reminded me of the plane ride and said..

“The places you’ve asked me to take you were really far away.. I know that the waiting has been long, but there’s nothing you could have done but to sit on the plane. This season isn’t in vain.. you’re going so much further than you can see or feel. The ride’s almost over.. Hang in there.”

Seasons of waiting are always really hard for me because I feel like there’s something that I need to be doing. – Praying a certain way, trying to overcome this thought or train my mind to believe this way… “IF I can start thinking the right way THEN all of this will be over..” I’m not knocking that we learn things in waiting and in wilderness.. I think we learn more than we expect and see clearer than we hoped to see.

The problem is when we try to make it happen.

Every profound thing I’ve ever learned about Jesus, I never asked for.. He’s always just been so much better than my hopes, dreams, and desires.. The minute I start believing that I can earn my way out of hard things, my rest is disrupted, striving starts and the anxiety tornado comes in full force.

God is so good to let us know when we have a job to do.. if you’ve asked and you’re not getting anything, it’s probably not because you’re ‘off’ or not asking the right things.. It’s probably because the answer is “You don’t have a job to do. I’m sorry.. Just sit on the plane. It sucks and I know you want to jump, but I promise I’m taking you further than you’ve ever been and it will be worth the ride.”

Courage is trusting that God is bigger than our ability to get in the way.

Self blame seems like the courageous thing to do.. “Owning” flaws you think you have.. But really, self blame isn’t all that courageous. Living without answers is. The answer isn’t that you’re the problem…

Living in between the problem and the solution.. hanging in the gray of not knowing. Trusting that God is leading you, and you don’t have to take the reins and lead yourself.

 

When Moses went up on the mountain to hang out with God and get some commandments, the Israelites freaked out and made a calf out of gold. Why? Because Moses was taking too long and they thought he had left them. Human nature – carry the weight, take things into your own hands and fix it yourself.

God is faithful and coming through for you. He is building underground things and working on impossible dreams you never even thought to ask him. You are brave for waiting.