On vulnerability

I guess I always wanted to present myself as TheIdeal. No, I wasn’t society’s ideal of a perfect girl or woman, but I wanted to present myself as my version of Ideal.

It looked something like this: smart, hilarious, strong, talented, independent, and slightly quirky (and also good with kids and pretty good at baking). The less I was a “stereotypical girl,” the better, because aren’t girls dumbed down and needy and weak and dependent and unthreatening?

So me and sharing feelings? Me and being weak? We didn’t mix. I thought that would not only lessen others’ idea of me…I thought it would disqualify me from a relationship with the kind of guy/man I wanted to attract (which was someone who appreciated all those things, because they are who I am, too).

Yeah, there were boys that liked me, but it always ended the same. It ended me with getting scared and having feelings that I didn’t feel safe verbalizing…so I stonewalled. I dropped off the face of the planet. I gave little explanation. I couldn’t voice my fears or concerns.

When there were challenges or stresses, I didn’t really trust anyone. I didn’t want to burden them. I didn’t know how to express them. I didn’t want to risk having my junk shared. And, regardless of how many probing questions I asked others, very few people flipped it around and asked me anything probing. Why is it that the people who are so often good at supporting can live so unsupported?

Here’s the thing: The people that you think are strong…may just be better emotional stonewallers. If I didn’t want to talk about it…I didn’t.

Which is how I got to be 25 with lots of suppressed emotion.

I cracked because I couldn’t take it any longer. I took the mask off with a few friends.

It was the best thing that happened to me.

Ten years ago, I would have been terrified of behaving in a relationship like I sometimes do now. One where I’m sometimes insecure, where I voice personal fears, where I cry more than twice a year, get hormonal, am a little chunky and burn dinners.

Truth be told, maybe it’s just a thing with being older, but I don’t feel like I have my best in any area to offer. I’m no longer toned. No longer as happy-go-lucky. No longer as fearless. No longer sure how the process will go to have kids. I guess I’m more emotionally mature. But maybe the best isn’t as good as real.

Here’s the thing.

I didn’t realize that as I shut the bad in, I shut the good out. 

My aversion to vulnerability kept me from deepening relationships with safe people.

Because the guy I’m dating? I almost dated back in 2008. He was one of the guys I never shared my feelings with out of not wanting to hurt him. It turns out that in not sharing, I hurt him and myself.

And there’s just all this trust, stability and certainty because of all the grace and patience he demonstrates when I allow myself to be vulnerable with him. When I’m real and not a façade of TheIdeal, he gets to support me in a real and deep way. The way his love does not depend on my perfection is freeing. The way his kindness but firmness leads me to repentance is encouraging to be my best, most holy self without being enslaved to it.

So I guess what I’m saying to my twenty year-old self is this: kick in TheIdeal. Stop trying to be a strong girl all the time if you’re not feeling all that strong. It’s so so uncomfortable being vulnerable (and usually will start with me saying “I don’t want to talk to you about this, but I prayed about it and it’s still not better, so I think I’m supposed to talk to you about it”), but do it anyway. Open up to God, to that friend, and when the time comes and a man (+the relationship length) has proven himself worthy, appropriate and safe, open up to him, too.

On Beauty

What I think I’m learning is that it’s easy to be confident (and I generally was)

-When your face is clear of acne

-When your stomach doesn’t have a few extra pounds packed in

-When you’re surrounded by people ages 40+ all week

-When you’re not feeling bad that you can’t give the most attractive version of yourself to someone

-When your sleek hair does what it’s told

-When every pair of pants that you try on doesn’t tell you that you’re made wrong

 

I guess what I’m saying is that some red marks have taken up permanent residence on my face, my curves have new curves, I’ve been spending time with effortlessly stunning girls with sleek thighs and shiny hair, and I feel like I probably should have taken a photo in my bikini in 2016 because then at least I’d have a momento of more toned days.

And yeah, the feather in the cap was spending a weekend in NYC, where everyone seemed to have gorgeous figures, fashion, and styling. And simmering insecurity and observation erupted into raging anger at my own aesthetic shortcomings.

It’s not an exaggeration. It turns out you can spend most of your time in worship being critical of God’s creation. Save the clichés. I’d rather be angry at the one who loves how I look…the most. I’d rather be upset at feeling like every other person in the room points out my own short-comings.

 

Here’s the crazy thing. I was standing in the shower trying today, thinking about this unique plot line that I’ve been writing into a project. It challenges the psychological concept that is embedded in all our thinking that what’s beautiful is good. In this case, the most unattractive people on the outside are the world changers who believe in good and fight for good. That’s when God called me out, “Yeah, you’re writing it, but do you actually believe it? Do you really believe that you have value apart from how you look? That beauty doesn’t qualify or disqualify you. That you can make as much or more change than if you were beautiful. Writing my truth doesn’t count if you don’t actually believe it”

Do I believe that even though the human brain pays more attention to the people on the platforms or parties that are beautiful, the Spirit of God can bring people to see your inner beauty. Maybe I have a whole lot more to figure out before I write that plot line, because how can I expect kids to believe what I myself don’t believe?

I think God wants me to think about that for my sake, and also so that I’m writing truth.

Normal

I get in the shower and think it. How there’s this loss of normal things that are supposed to happen for a woman. I think about how it might be hard to conceive kids. How I don’t know if or when it will happen, or how much (emotional) pain it will take to get there, or how old I’ll be or feel, with hormones gone haywire.

The thought echoes in my head: “I don’t want to be Sarah or Hannah or Elisabeth. I just want to be normal.”

I want to get married. I want to enjoy living with my (hopefully future) husband and to decide that it’s time to have kids. I want to pick the number of kids.

I want to know. I want certainty. I want to believe that normal will happen for me. I don’t want empty rooms and empty chairs and empty hearts. I don’t want my first child at 37. I want to have my own kids to add to our parents’ brood and joy. I want the experiences. I don’t want to be left out and unrelatable.

I want. I want. I want.

What if what God wants to do in me– takes me giving up my wants? What if clinging to my wants undermines what He wants to work in my heart? In my future-maybe-someday-husband’s heart? In my family’s hearts?

And it’s like this back and forth war–of preaching to myself and clenching my heart all over again. Fear and trust. Mostly fear right now, though I know the tides will turn.

It feels like Deja vu. To be honest, I thought I was done with big waiting rooms for a few years. Sure, I’d surrendered possibly not being a mother before, but that was because I thought marriage and kids were a package deal. When I found someone, I didn’t question that there would be kids.

All over again, there can be a feeling of shame, a feeling of being made wrong and different, and that piercing pain of interacting with kids but not being confident of ever having any of your own similar to what I felt some of the days when I was single.

I know chances are that I’ll have kids, but I have this sense that there may be a lot of pain before that point, in the form of infertility or miscarriage.

How ironic that I wrote it once in a poem: “And if I was created by God, then He created me wrong/…A mother’s heart inside a beautiful body of barrenness with the only children buried in the ground.”

But then, didn’t I give the solution, too? The one that I found through hard-wrought days?

I have found out the hard way

That the only way out of it

Is to invite God into it

 

Open the door to the waiting room

Into the struggle

And give God entry in your broken places

And the aching spaces

 

And watch as the only one who has ever loved you to death

Loves you to life

Renews strength

Frees you from sorrow

Breaks cycles of sin

Breathes healing

 

And whispers,

“I made you

And I called you very good.

God confronts me, right there in the shower. What if I begin to write my story in the “not normal”? Isn’t that where Sarah and Hannah and Elisabeth’s story started, and every other story in the Bible?

God seems to come closer as a Father when I need a Father’s wisdom and a Father’s comfort and a Father’s love. God becomes personal when I have a personal need for Him, and in that way, I can rejoice in the suffering that He brings. I guess the Holy Spirit fans the fire of faith in our suffering. 

And maybe it isn’t hormones or chromosomes that make a woman a woman, but a father saying “daughter”…

Why am I looking at the blessing I don’t have rather than focusing on the great gift that He gave me this year?

I feel wrong for the vying, for feeling scared, and for feeling divided. I feel wrong not wanting to turn all my fear over to God quite yet. It all seems so unholy to know the truth but not want it yet.

And yet, there’s this gaping disconnect between what I know and what I feel. I know if I don’t let myself feel it all, it’ll surface in a massive eruption later. I’ve been there, done that. 

So I’ll come to terms with the possibility that God might have me sit in another waiting room in my own time. I’ll remember that it’s okay to lament and grieve if I need to. I’ll remember God is near to the broken-hearted. I’ll remember that He made my body and He knows it and He has authority over it. Jesus died to protect it, and God spent a fortune to pursue it. He knows the future, and He will be there for it.

And that is all I have energy to ponder tonight.

When Bible reading has become routine

I want it to steep in me like hot tea, which means I can’t take the tea bag out after exactly one second in the cup and expect the water to be changed.

That is the way that I used to read the Bible. I read it because I thought that it would make God happy and I wanted to know the stories. It was a box to check on my list of things to do for God. It built respect for me among other Christians. In short, it was about performance.

When I read the Bible to read through all the stories, I reduced the living word into a series of fables. When the word is not planted in my heart, it can’t penetrate my life. I have to plant it, and yeah, I have to pull out the weeds trying to strangle it. I can’t do that without time.

By some Christians’ standard, I’m not a very good one. Instead of reading through the Bible in a year (which is good too, if it’s coming alive in you that way), I read through maybe 7 or 8 books. But sometimes I need to not just camp out in a verse. I need to build a build a log cabin. I need to let it change me before I go on.

Maybe I’m just a bigger sinner, that I need to read slowly and have more to work on. But for me, reading it at the pace I need to for God to work on is a throwing off of legalism and letting the Holy Spirit teach me.

The reward is a more joy-filled Bible reading experience. There’s beauty in the nuances and the layers. Just the last day, I’ve been mulling over how King Herod reacted from being scared of losing power when Jesus was born vs. how the 3 magi acted, forsaking their comfort, humbling themselves, rejoicing, and worshipping God. In my own situations where God takes away some of my power, my status, my health, or my comfort, I want to react more like them, instead of in jealous and fearful anger. I like how God is showing me new things, even in a story that I felt like I knew so thoroughly.

I read the Bible now because I need it. Because God tells me who I am, which I usually forget quite quickly. Because it’s a gift to have His word. Because I answer this big question “if God is real, what does this passage have to say about how I live my life” (-Jennie Allen) and it changes my life. Yes, I miss some days, but I’m grateful that the days I do read it, I enjoy it so much more than I used to.

 

Bible Reading Practices That I Love

  1. Asking God to help me when I struggle with reading or consistency or engagement. Sometimes that’s the first step in re-establishing Bible reading
  2. Turn down the lights. Light a candle. Not seeing everything around me helps me focus
  3. Put on some worship with spontaneous worship in it. Pray. Do my own spontaneous worship. Prepare my heart and enjoy God’s presence
  4. Pray for God, the only one who reveals wisdom, to reveal truth to me. Pray that I not try to rely on literary analysis or worldly wisdom
  5. Read the Bible. I LOVEEEEEE using a journaling Bible. I love underlying. I love scribbling in the margin
  6. Pray the Bible and scripture as I read it
  7. Close with a prayer. When I had more time, there would be more worship music

Please note that I don’t follow this format every night. I have different rhythms for different nights. Some nights are designated as nights I want to focus on memorizing and prayer. Others are focused on more time Bible reading. Others are more worship and prayer nights. Some nights, my worship is writing. What matters is glorifying God and experiencing revelations of Him through His word and His presence. I started feeling a lot of freedom when I accepted that it didn’t need to look the same way each night.

Talking to God

God,

Why would you choose to make us and let us speak to you? Why would you choose to hear us? Why did you choose to listen to us, when it must be so frustrating and hurtful and angering at times…most of the time. Because most of the time, I’m short-sighted or fearful or forgetful or resentful, and sometimes I’m downright angry.

Why did you choose to endure that? Why do you choose to listen to my thoughts and hear my prayers in quiet, desperate corners, instead of just times of corporate worship?

It doesn’t really make sense.

God choosing to let Himself be hurt in that way, spoken to in that way, when He doesn’t have to. When He could have just said “I’ll listen to you when you pray to me in a house of God, where you offer up praise and thanksgiving. The end.”

But that isn’t the God that I know.

Why? Why, when it just doesn’t make sense to hear shards from billions of people?

It makes perfect sense for God to be a creator who doesn’t hear from us…if He only cared about Himself.

It makes sense for God to only hear our scripted prayers, if He cared about His glorying more than our hearts.

It really only makes sense for God to hear our worst thoughts, our rashest anger, our pettiest prayers, our dirtiest sins if He really loves us. If He wants us to be children of His and friends of His, instead of merely masked worshippers of Him. Is there any other God like him?

God doesn’t want to talk at me. He wants to talk with me. And maybe He knows that sometimes I can only listen after I’ve had the chance to speak. After I’ve been loved enough to be listened to. God loves me enough to not leave me in my own head, even when it hurts His heart.

And yeah, tonight I’m just kind of marveling over a love like that, a God like that, a Father like that, a freedom like that, a joy like that, a care like that.

And I’m grateful for a boyfriend who loves me like that, too.

Sustainer

I’ve always related to George in the movie It’s a Wonderful Life. 

Maybe that’s how you find the people who feel like they don’t belong. Maybe that’s the litmus test for people who feel like they don’t belong. Maybe we all kind of feel like we don’t really belong?

George did things the right way, and it seemed to make his life worse. Harder.

Financial, personal, and family burdens overwhelmed him. The good of the past can feel so far away, and so unlikely to ever return again in the face of a crisis that looms unending.

As George felt overwhelmed by the burdens of life and the responsibility of family, he made a wish that he was dead. He quickly revised the statement, recognizing that it would be painful for his family members if he died. He instead wished that he had never been born. In the movie, George got to see what the world would have been like if that statement were true. If he hadn’t ever been born. And He saw how much his life mattered.

I guess I sort of just wish that George’s story will be mine some day.

That one day, God will show me that he used my life for good and that I matter.

Because sometimes, when my life feels insignificant, it’s encouraging to remember that it’s not.

In psychology the professor told us, “People with depression have an attribution style that is internal, stable and global. It sounds like “I suck. I suck at everything. I (or my life) will always suck.”  

It can be a fight to have an attribution system that is closer to the truth. It can be hard to have an external, unstable and specific attribution style. “I failed at this one thing, and these circumstances played a part. I will get better at this thing. My life will get better.”

Yeah, and maybe the hardest of all is the Truth itself. It is sovereign, eternal, and assured. “God has allowed me to experience this hard thing. It has an eternal purpose. This grief/pain/brokenness/depression is not forever.”

I told it to myself, talked myself out of that internal/stable/global style, but I’m not sure that I really believed that I would ever feel crazy joy again.

Can I be honest?

There were days/weeks I felt like George Bailey and wished that I had never been born. I would never harm myself, but heaven seemed so far away, and life looked like a whole lot of pain and not a lot of joy stretched out before me. God not creating me, or at least not the way he wired me, seemed tempting.

But what’s lovely is looking back at how God’s love was enough in the darkness to sustain me to a full joy. Even on my worst days, at the worst times, when things felt wrong in so many different areas, God’s love sustained me through the darkness.

It’s easy to praise the light in the light, but it’s easiest to notice the light in darkness. It can be easiest to lie prostrate in the darkness. It’s our desperation in the darkness that compels us to position ourselves to hear God’s voice, even if that means climbing a mountain.

He came close and He met me night after night and He spoke truth and yeah, I might have missed out on so much joy now if it weren’t for Him. And I definitely would have missed out on joy then.

The pastor said it…how life is full of mountain-top experiences and it’s full of valleys, but how God gives us the mountain-top experiences to help sustain us through the valleys. And it’s true. I’m grateful for this mountain-top experience, which is just an example of God’s faithfulness…of His desire to always sustain me to the other side of the darkness where He has joy planned.

The journey will be more pleasant, and even if the hard doesn’t end here, I know that on the other side of eternity, all of us who are living obediently to God’s will and abiding in Him will have our George Bailey moment with Jesus. 

Footnote: My advice for those battling through a valley right now? Read One-Thousand Gifts and The Broken Way by Ann Voskamp.

“The joy of the Lord is my strength” “In His presence is fullness of joy”

Ways you might know if you’re dating a godly man

I love my guy. I think he’s kind of a unicorn. Is that not as flattering for a guy? Then maybe a sphinx. Not every man will be like him, but he’s just-right for me.

Part of why I thought that I’d never get married is because I figured at 29, there were few godly men left. The ones who were tended to go for younger women. Hopefully this will encourage non-college-aged single ladies everywhere (just kidding…all four of you. I’m realistic) that good men exist and that the version you need may be out there and is worth waiting for. If not, know that God still has big dreams for your life, and I still want to support you in those. I learned it…how He doesn’t love us any less just because our life plan looks different, as hard as that can be to swallow.

So alas, the list of some of the (surprisingly) beautiful things about dating a godly man:

-A godly man will usually assume risk. He will see it as his job to be open to rejection. He will ask you out clearly. He won’t try to cause you pain, force you or convince you against your will to date Him. Only immature men do that. If it’s of God, He will change hearts without coercion (ask me how I know)

-It will feel natural to thank God for him when you see him or spend time with him

-He will initiate semi-awkward conversations on boundaries before you are close to them and in the right frame of mind. If there is something which you are more particular on than he is, he will honor it.

-He’ll touch and kiss you in a tender way that makes you feel cherished and loved, not lusted after.

-He will not want to be an idol (a priority before God) and does not want you to be an idol.

-The relationship and physical affection will feel pure. You won’t feel guilty after spending alone time together because he sticks to boundaries and wants to honor you as a person. He’s not just chasing a physical high right up until the cliff edge.

-If you bring up something that makes you uncomfortable, he will apologize and change.

-He will not always let you get your way or tell you what you want to hear, but he’ll handle differences gently. He’s mature (and pro-active) in his response to hurt and/or anger (or is actively trying to grow in this area)

-He will be interested in your heart, not just your behavior. He looks beyond the external and wants to know the internal

-It feels natural to have a conversation about God, and not just on Sunday. He will initiate prayer

-He’ll demonstrate a willingness to serve and a proper view of submission…which means, he’ll want you to be all you can be in Christ. He will submit to Christ in making decisions (when it comes time) for the family, but he’ll listen to you and respect your input. He’ll support and encourage your gifts.

-He will be a safe place for your heart. You will feel loved and not judged when you share about how God met you in dark places. He’ll want to help you through the next hard thing.

-His response to your challenges is to listen and pray. And he will pray that he will know how to be supportive and help, not just for “your problems.” He will make you feel like you’re on a team, and he’s in the trenches with you, not burdened by you.

Those are just a few things I love from the spiritual perspective!

When you want to do it all for everyone…and can’t

What used to be overwhelming is now downright impossible. It’s impossible for me to maintain the 3 to 5 evening commitments that I used to have, spend time with my family, see my boyfriend, and keep the type of company with God that I want to.

I struggled with balancing it all before I was out-of-town two weekends a month. And now?

My solution has been to try to pack it all in during the week. Lately, withdrawing has looked more and more appealing.

Because people have needs. People have a need for socialization, and maybe there just aren’t enough of us out there on the fringe making connections. Maybe I’m some folks’ only social event in a two-week period. Maybe there aren’t enough listeners. Maybe there are two or three missed calls from friends because they need prayer.

And what kind of Christian would I be if I didn’t meet everyone’s needs? What would it say about Christ and my faith if I disappoint people? How would people feel if I pull back?

It’s a lot of responsibility to feel like peoples’ only connection to social contact.

Sometimes, I unintentionally disappoint people. Sometimes, I’m not able to be the kind of friend I want to be to everyone all at the same time. Or the kind of daughter. Or granddaughter. Sometimes, I may be peoples’ reason for feeling lonely.

How do I reconcile the reality of my time with the reality of someone else’s pain?

Because, you know, I’ve been the one forgotten in the tough times. I’ve been the one who has felt like I’ve fallen off the face of the planet with only two people for social contact. I’ve been the one without friends at college. I’ve been the one who has had to start over the third year of OT school with no one to hug for 6 months.

Here’s what I’m figuring out these days:

  1. Prioritize: Jesus first, family second, friends third
  2. Purpose: Purpose to discern which less well-connected friends to reach out to when. Instead of withdrawing, purpose who to draw out and do the best I can with the time I have
  3. Pray: Pray for the ones I can’t make as great of contact with
  4. Remember: I’m judged by the just judge, not other peoples’ opinions. Their judgement when I’m doing the best I can does not make me a bad Christian. I am not big enough or strong enough to separate myself…or anyone else…from the love of Christ. Christ is the only one who can meet all their needs. Sometimes He might meet some of their needs through me…sometimes not. He is still faithful and still in control of their lives.

I reached out to someone whom I hadn’t heard from in a while and it was so timely that I know that it was God. I’m glad. It reinforced that the right decision is not to withdraw but to continue to live in the tension.

Fear and freedom

Here’s the truth about me.

I am afraid of all sorts of things.

When Boyfriend asked me on my birthday eve how I wanted to grow during the last year in my 20s, I stared at the blades of grass thinking for a minute.

“I want to stop being so fearful and imagining the worst-case scenario all the time.”

I had debated for a second whether to be so…truthful…when I could pick something more admirable. But it’s the truth.

I’m not afraid of bugs, intervening in dangerous situations, medical emergencies, giving presentations, or jumping off of cliffs,

but in 24 hours, I can fear having children, not being able to have children, a difficult marriage, being difficult to be married to, children turning their backs on God and death or profound disability of a husband or child. Did I mention that’s just in twenty-four hours?

Being single can suddenly start to feel safe relative to all the pain that loving can hold. I want to take back my surrender of “anything” and make it “anything but that, God” again.

Anything but working to the bone for years because I have a child with a disability or severe mental illness. Anything but infertility for decades. Anything but my husband dying and leaving me with young kids and day-care expenses and having to work two jobs. Anything but the pain of watching my child not love you and live a life rejecting you. Anything but living out my life in grief.

But when I look at why I’m afraid, I realize that no fear is really rooted in the circumstance.

All fear is really rooted in the fear that God won’t be enough.

Fear that it would break me, break my faith, break my hope, break my joy. Fear that I’d have to endure a long life of pain before the promised eternal joy, and I’m still a little shell-shocked from the past year. I don’t want to go back into battle. Send someone else to the front lines. I don’t want to have to fight powers and principalities to be joyful and happy again.

And I wonder it when I see pictures of his old girlfriend on Facebook and it takes the breath out of my lungs. I wonder why I doubt his words and assurance. Why do I fear what he tells me I have no reason to fear? Maybe I fear because I doubt that I’m really loved.

Suddenly, I’m not just talking about my boyfriend anymore.

And maybe I’ve been living out of “I love God.” 

Maybe I need to learn how to live out of “God loves me.” 

Oh, I know He loves me, but do I know how deep? If I don’t, can I learn? And as I do, can I beat back fear by remembering that I’m really loved?

Maybe just like I beat back brokenness by counting gifts

I am supposed to beat back fear by recounting truths

starting with the truth of His love for a daughter named Joyce.

He loves me. He loves my (awesome, and don’t worry, Christ-like) boyfriend. He loves my parents. He loves my brother. He loves any future-children.

One of my greatest prayers lately is to help me stay focused on Him when it’d be easy to be distracted or become complacent because I’m happy and falling in love. God has given me a recurrent image. I ask Him to help, and I sweep my arms apart. All people, things, and stresses are parted. There’s an aisle created, and all the worldly stuff is held at bay and becomes unimportant. There, at the end of the aisle, is Jesus. When I get to have my eyes on Him like that, it feels like nothing can separate us. There’s an aisle for me to  receive His joy because I can see Him. It makes me want to take steps towards Him.

 

I was sitting in that tonight when a surprise-prayer came out “Lord, I don’t know what the future holds, but if you’re in it, that’s good enough for me.”

It’s not the end of fear by any means, but it’s the start of some good steps through it.

Sell everything

Last week, I felt like God wanted me to prepare for something. At church (note to self: at The Plant), God put the sense on my heart that it’s getting close to that time to write again.

God calls each of us to take the land, just like He did with Joshua. He calls us to enter the promise land.

God placed the sense in me that He was going to call me to take the land with a pen. My pen was going to be the way He used me to push back darkness.

My head knew that I needed to start the process of obeying, even though my heart wasn’t there yet. I deleted Facebook. I fasted.

Writing used to be a dream of mine, but I’m not naieve anymore.

Because dreams now? They can look a lot like hard work.

Dreams? Can appear impossible.

Dreams? Might be misunderstood.

Dreams? Might not look worthwhile.

And lets get real here. What if God is calling me to do something hard? Something that I don’t think will have enough impact to warrant the hard?

It’s easy to stand just eyeing the promise land and hoping that the good life doesn’t cost too much.

I’m just that girl, standing and asking God what it’s going to cost and if it’ll be worth the pain and hard work when I get to the top of the mountain. Doubting that the cost will be worth it is doubting that God is worth it. It’s doubting God.

Isn’t my not knowing the outcome is the start of faith? The start of trust? Isn’t the fact that this seems too big and too scary and too unclear and too time-consuming perfect for a God who does impossible things?

I’m reading this book called Love Does, and is this how God can move through writing?

Bob shares the passage about the man who had everything and wanted to know how to follow God. Jesus said to go and sell his possessions and follow Him. The man left. He left because it was going to cost him too much. When I place the cost ahead of Jesus, I’m only giving Him the parts of me I want to. When I place the cost ahead of Jesus, I forget the cost Jesus paid for me.

Bob Goff shares a sentence he heard. “You know what it is about someone that makes them a friend? A friend doesn’t just say things; a friend does.”

If I’m a friend of Jesus…can I not just say but actually do hard things?

I want to. I realized that I want to write for Him. His glory is always worth my discomfort.

And right then, my heart caught up with my head. I don’t know what writing fiction with God looks like, but God’s a good teacher. I know that from experience. I will rely on Him to show me the way to transmit what He wants me to write.

Even though I mostly wrote this about singleness, I find myself returning to this post: Saying thanks in faith