this is not the end.

It will steal your innocence. But it will not steal your substance.
-Mumford & Sons-

I crave simplicity. The moonlight jumping from dancing branches of palm trees. The silence of my bedroom on a Saturday morning, with a mug of green tea with honey. The first chords of my favorite song and the excitement of my heart.

I am strong and full of life.

The unique knock on my door that tells me my best friend is waiting on the other side. Collapsing in a fit of giggles. Walking on the cement wall next to the canal, sandals in my hands. Sitting in front of a huge church at night, looking up at the stars, consumed by how small I am and how big He must be.

I am STRONG. And full of life.

Lots of whipped cream. Lots and lots and lots. Butterflies in expected places. Or expected places. Waterfalls.

There’s this Pennsylvania woods where I grew up that has captured my heart. Just one step into the woods and you’re consumed by a magic far beyond you. The trees engulf you and the trails pull your feet deeper and deeper. The lush moss and the craggy roots creating peaks and valleys and the sounds of the stream…

Every part of this place called out to my inmost being, romancing my thoughts and filling my heart with desire. I want to run, to fly…anything could happen within the folds of the branches. The mystery of the wind blowing through you hair…where had it come from? Where was it going?

There was one tree on a steep hill. My heart longs for that tree right now. Anything could happen at that tree.

And in the winter, the snow covered everything. Even with its deception, it was beautiful. It was pure.

I’m not really writing about anything today. But I’m writing about everything.

Love will set you free. Free to breathe. Free to run. There won’t be weight, there won’t be heaviness.

But what happens when fear stands in the way? I want to go back to the woods, to let it be simple. To breathe in the open air. To be a little girl, wide eyed with wonder.

But even as a little girl, I craved adventure. I wanted more. And now that adventure beckons, I want to run back under my covers.

I am strong and full of life. It’s become a mantra, running through my brain on repeat.

My heart yearns to be known. Beyond anything superficial, I want to be looked to be looked at and told that I won’t ever be abandoned. Isn’t that what we all want?

So here I stand, outside of the grave, my bruised heart clinging to the hope that nothing is beyond restoration, that fear maybe doesn’t actually get to win this time. Maybe there’s more than what is seen.

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hello hurricane

This Saturday morning is quiet.

My chipped Damascus mug is steaming with a new tea and my roommate is still curled up in her blankets. The refrigerator hums and the A/C blasts, encouraging the tightening of my blanket around my shoulders. The presence of my backpack next to my desk taunts me, reminding me of all I have to do this weekend.

Welcome to the mundane.

A week ago today, I came back. After Hurricane Irma pushed me out of my southwestern Florida school, I came back to find that there hadn’t been much damage, but that everything had changed.

Rewind even further.

I was on the phone with my mom the second week of school. It was a Tuesday. The word “hurricane” was brought up to explain that there wasn’t an issue, it probably wouldn’t hit. Hours later, I was packing and preparing to leave at 4am the next morning.

It never happens to you.

That night, the clouds went insane. They were a hurricane around the moon, lit up with grandeur. I wondered what God was doing. I slept for a solid thirty minutes that night because I knew it was something big.

The next morning, squeezed into a car with four other girls (two roommates, two that I wasn’t super close with), we sojourned through Florida, not sure when we would be back, if we would be back, or what we would come back to.

We made it to Panama City, ate our weight in chicken and cupcakes, and passed out. We stayed there for a couple days before deciding to head further on to New Orleans.

There were so many times I looked out of the car window at this crazy world and wondered how I had gotten here.

I thought of being little and sitting on my bedroom floor, back in Pennsylvania, in a home I haven’t lived in for fifteen years. Sometimes at night, I would crawl out of my bed and just sit at the window in the dark. The headlights zooming by were shooting stars from another galaxy, a cheap replica of reality. All from different worlds with different stories, with different heartbreaks and devotions.

When you’re four, you never think of leaving that bedroom window. You don’t question beyond the front porch swing and the block-of-cement backyard. This is where you will always be, this is who you will always be.

But then, one day, you’re in a strange, loud city so far away with people who have become your family. You never expected them to, but all of a sudden, they’ve seen you at your best and worst. You’re making hard decisions. You’re dreaming big dreams and seeing them as totally possible for a God who doesn’t withhold. You have real deadlines to meet and work to turn in.

You put on a coat of mascara and then stop.

Because once there was a little girl who used to play dress up in her grandma’s night gowns and who fell down the stairs because of heels that were too big. There once was a girl who would act out adventure with her Barbies and wish for fairytales. There once was a girl who couldn’t wait to be an adult.

You look in the mirror and stop. Several big decisions later, you’re her. You’re not slipping around in heels anymore, you’re walking confidently. You’re not pretending adventure anymore, you’re living radically.

And it leaves you a little bit breathless that God is turning your life into something this big.

People talk all the time about finding themselves. I never needed to find myself because God has always held me. However, being in Panama City, walking around the streets of New Orleans, and driving over two-thousand miles over less than two weeks brought me to a deeper realization of who I am.

And I don’t know who that is. But I know that she is. Finally, I’m okay with not having words because I’ve spent my existence fighting for control, fighting to understand. I’ve limited reality to what I can put words on. Except…it’s so much bigger.

This realization was fed by the reality of the power of living in the moment. It’s the idea of “be here now”. Right now, in this moment, is where I’m supposed to be. I had no idea, most of the time, what I would be doing the next day or where I would be. It brought me to radical trust and dependence on God, on a Father who sees me and won’t let me down.

“Be here now” gave power to my encounters with people. I felt like I was able to delight in the moment, to truly receive the gift of each moment, to be fully present in the gift of each person.

I saw people more than I’ve ever seen people in my life. I saw hearts. When you begin to discover who you are as a child of the King, the barriers built by social anxiety turn out to be just paper.

I looked homeless people in the eyes and gave them my attention and validation. I got bath bomb glitter on my nose and some dude decided to help me out by wiping it off (still uncomfortable about that one). I met an awesome guy who made a video about train hopping from coast to coast and put together an entire album of hobo musicians. I prayed with a woman on Magazine Street who was probably the exact opposite of me. Human beings are so beautiful.

I danced in front of the cathedral and I got powdered sugar blown all over my face (and, more importantly, black jeans) while eating a beignet. I rolled the windows down and sang at the top of my lungs. I embraced sisterhood and vulnerability.

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I adventured. For the first time, I felt fully awake, fully alive, and fully free. And it was beautiful.

There was one night we went for a drive to see some big New Orleans houses. We ended up not knowing where we were and stumbled upon the most beautiful adoration chapel I’ve ever been in.

When I walked into the chapel, I literally fell down in front of Jesus and just exhaled. I exhaled my entire life. And He brought me into the beauty and goodness of unsuppressed emotion and desire and the reality that He makes all things new and greater things are yet to come.

The night I came home (back to school), I sat and looked at the stars for hours. I saw a real shooting star for the first time. I struggled to find words to capture the welling up in my heart…I feel like my words are never enough. But that’s okay. Because maybe, sometimes, words are a box that contains what was never meant to be contained. Maybe a silent heart actually makes the most sense. Or maybe the words we do have actually are enough because God fills in the gaps of a heart longing to be simple and understood. What’s supposed to be spoken always is…complexity’s war can never win.

So here I am.

A week later, with new anxieties threatening the peace my Savior won for me. But this time, it’s not enough because I have seen Him provide. I have seen Him move mountains.

And I know that He’ll do it again.

I’ll keep adventuring. I’ll keep trusting. I’ll keep loving. I’ll keep embracing newness and rejecting control and going further…because there is so much that is yet to come.

“Everything inside of me surrenders…you can’t silence my love.” -Switchfoot

guest post: uncontrollable

I’m beyond excited for THE Rachael Gieger’s words to grace this page. Rachael’s pursuit of holiness calls me on in so many ridiculous ways…she speaks truth with eloquence and power. Receive these words with an open heart, because there is so much beauty here.

 

If you’re anything like me, you love control. I love to know what’s going on, who’s involved, where we’re going, what I’m eating for dinner, what my weekend looks like, you name it. And when I don’t know, this invasive little demon called Panic brings his buddy Anxiety and they have a house party in my brain. It’s no fun—they’re loud, and annoying, and they don’t leave when it’s time to go to bed. It’s been this way for so long, but it’s finally clicking that it doesn’t always have to be this way.

Late at night when these questions of what’s next would keep me up, or in the middle of the afternoon when my mind drifts away becomes tired from all the noise inside—one question quietly whispers:

Is​ ​knowing​ ​what’s​ ​coming​ ​worth​ ​slowly​ ​dying​ ​for?

As I write this, I find myself in a cabin in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Georgia. Why? Because I’m evacuating Hurricane Irma.

Imagine me—the girl who loves to know and plan—in a hurricane evacuation. Do the words “recipe for disaster” come to mind?

When my brother threw me in a car to drive 13 hours from our university in Southwest Florida—leaving behind people I loved, the kids I am a youth minister to, and not knowing when we’d be back—panic slowly started to place it’s crushing weight on my shoulders. Other people could handle this so well—why couldn’t I? I laid in the back of our faithful Honda Pilot and opened my weary hands.

Up until now, a part of me still believed I had control.

It took a natural disaster to teach me that I can’t control crap.

The radars showed a swirling mass of reds and greens and yellows barreling toward my home away from home, rushing towards those I loved, and I pressed further into God’s heart, praying for strength and trust—and friends, did He give it.

I didn’t know what was coming, there was no way to. But I survived. And so did my school, my friends, and the children the Lord has entrusted to me to minister to.

But Anxiety? He did not survive this cleansing storm.

He grasped and clung and broke me down a couple of times, but in the end–he was washed away.

Dear ones, control is simply an illusion. I can’t control a hurricane—that’s obvious—but I also have no control over my friends, my family, the way a child receives my presentation of the Gospel Message, my professor’s opinion of that paper I wrote, that one friendship that’s confusing, the way my heart longs for what I can’t explain. I can try to grasp them and mold them into what I want, I can hash it out in conversations with friends who don’t know the answers, I can daydream the seemingly perfect or seemingly worst ending so I’m “prepared,” I can beg and plead with our Lord for a sign to tell me what’s coming.

But​ ​that​ ​doesn’t​ ​give​ ​me​ ​control.​ ​It​ ​only​ ​takes​ ​my​ ​life​ ​away.

And if you’re anything like me, the realization that you don’t have control over anything but what you decide to release from your grasp into the hands of the Father might make your heart rate rise and your courage fall.

The truth is, friend, if you’re anything like me—your need to control is taking away your ability to live. And if no one has spoken the truth to you today, this week, or ever—you don’t have control.

You don’t. So stop trying. There’s One who already has control, and in trying to control, you’re trying to control Him. That never works out for the best.

Death​ ​couldn’t​ ​control​ ​Him…neither​ ​can​ ​you.

Stop trying to figure out what’s coming next, stop stressing about the grade on that exam, stop rereading the texts from that guy trying to figure out whether or not he likes you.

Stop trying to shut down your longing because it doesn’t make sense. Stop trying to write your story word for word, because you’re not the Author. Stop trying to plan every step of the way hoping that if you do, you won’t stumble.

Because​ ​you​ ​can’t​ ​plan​ ​every​ ​step,​ ​and​ ​you​ ​surely​ ​will​ ​stumble.​ ​But​ ​that’s​ ​why​ ​He​ ​came.

Open your hands and surrender whatever it is you’re trying to control, whether it’s a job, a friendship, or a natural disaster–the only thing you have control of is what you give.

Finally say the words “You have control” to the One who always has. It may hurt for a few minutes, but you’ll feel the relief sink in. Our God is good because our God can’t be grasped—so let go of your white-knuckle grip on your story. Your hands are probably pretty tired from trying to hold onto what’s not yours anyway.

And live. Live. Take in every moment for the gift of grace that it is, and praise God for whatever comes, because it’s His plan—and He doesn’t need your help.

evil is sensible.

Verdict: dead.

Decision: bury. Then run.

Out of control, hurt, confused. It doesn’t make sense to hope. Death makes sense. It makes sense to run because it makes sense not to win. It makes sense for silence to consume and burn all possibility of understanding.

Evil makes sense.

You keep thinking of all of the reasons why not. But what if there’s a reason to stay in this wilderness? What if there’s still a reason to trust?

What if this is where God has led you? Perhaps this is the exact moment He always intended for you to be in, right now.

He died so you wouldn’t have to run. He died so you wouldn’t even have to win. In His death, there is infinite victory.

I don’t know what that means. I don’t know what that looks like. But I know that it simply is.

This wilderness is uncomfortable. It involves a lot of stillness and a lot of trust. It requires the recognition that you are truly out of control. Maybe you have been lead to this place of depravity so that He can show you rivers in the wasteland.

What if there’s a God that is pushing in on you? Maybe you haven’t felt it and maybe you haven’t seen it…but maybe His hand has been there the whole time.

Maybe there’s a situation that is so broken that you don’t even know what to hope for. Maybe you don’t even know what restoration looks like. Maybe you’re terrified of hoping because you’ve tried and you’ve been hurt. Maybe you’re afraid of opening your heart again and being disappointed, or worse, destroyed.

It’s really scary to hope in what you thought was beyond restoration. It’s really scary to not place an ending or a verdict on something that you have buried in the ground because it looks dead.

This. This is the best place to be in. Because there’s nothing left to hold onto. No expectations or demands…all He asks of you is to open your hands and receive the glory and restoration that He has won. If you don’t know what that looks like, then good. Because really, it’s so far beyond what anyone can imagine.

We worship the God of miracles who does not disappoint.

Through death’s defeat…He paved a way for hope. He showed us that nothing is beyond restoration.

“The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.” (1Cor 15:26) Evil is sensible.

God is not. His love is not.

It made no sense for His Son to take on flesh and blood. It made no sense for Jesus to heal the sick and the lame and the deaf. It made no sense for Him to suffer and die just so we might someday maybe choose Him.

He would have been absolutely fine if Satan claimed all of us; He would have still been God. We would have been absolutely fine if He just cut His pinky finger. And yet…He choose to die the most gruesome death in history.

Evil is sensible. God’s love is not.

I don’t want to hope anymore because I’ve hoped and my heart has been broken. I’ve hoped and I’ve realized how out of control I am. I’ve hoped and I’ve realized how much my heart has been set on this.

Hope requires vulnerability. Hope requires us to depend on a wild love. What other kind of love could ever even attempt to go up against the grave?

I’m done placing labels and verdicts. I say nothing is beyond restoration…but that’s for everyone else’s lives.

I choose to believe that God is restoring and He takes beyond restoration.

My hope is not founded in what I want to happen. My hope is not founded in what makes sense.

My hope is founded in a God who radically chases me down. That same powerful love that claimed me and rose me up from the grave is present in this situation, in every situation. My hope is founded in a God whose ways are so infinitely beyond me.

Done with fear. Done with assumptions and expectations.

He’s not done. He didn’t stop when He rose Lazarus. He didn’t stop on the cross. He didn’t stop at the resurrection.

He’s still not done.

Verdict: victorious. Finished at the cross. There is more to come.

Decision: trust. Receive. Witness miracles.

dear boy, i’m sorry.

Dear Boy,

What a mystery our relationship is, and has been since the beginning of time. Fingers have been pointed and wounds have been inflicted, with each side wholly blaming the other.

And yet…we come together, time and time again. Beauty and love and goodness somehow make themselves known in the midst of the ashes of a relationship that has been cursed since the garden. Since Adam failed to protect Eve. Since Eve brought Adam into her sin.

Overanalyzation and too many words cause so much suffocation. Part of our problem is that we focus so much on each other, honestly, instead ourselves. We focus on what the other is doing wrong and why the other is reacting whatever way. I allow myself to be frustrated and then I seek out hundreds of articles or rant to friends in hopes of fixing it.

Except, they never fix it. Because the problem isn’t actually you. The problem is me.

The problem is me and my heart and my God.

We’ve become so focused on fixing a relationship that is broken that we’ve forgotten something…our relationship is broken because of another broken relationship: our relationship with our Creator. Who is the only One with the power to restore. Who is the only One who could ever possibly satisfy.

I have turned to so many good articles and friends that speak truth…but they’re not enough. Words and words and more words. Promising solutions and promising power. But how often they leave me spinning, more confused than ever before. How often do we go to these things as sort of an easy fix? Because the silence is too loud. And actually having to admit that there’s a deeper issue is scary.

I need to be chasing God with every part of my heart. I’m sorry that I expected you to be enough. I’m sorry for putting you in a place that you could never satisfy. I’m sorry for placing expectations upon you that you could never fulfill. I’m sorry for blaming you for hurt that was never totally your fault.

And mostly, I’m sorry for trying to be enough for you. I’m sorry for thinking I could ever be enough.

When I have seen you hurting, I have wanted to fix it. When I have seen the hurt that you carry, I’ve wanted to take it away just by my mere presence. I’ve wanted you to come to me to come to God. I’ve wanted you to need me.

Dear boy, I am not enough. I could never be enough because you were created for more than me.

Before there was me, there was God. You and God in the garden. God said that it wasn’t good for you to be alone.

I’ve wanted to take away your loneliness. I’ve wanted you to feel needed and loved because of me, because of me sharing my life with you and letting you in. I’ve wanted my attention to be enough and my trust to be enough.

Then He gave me to you. But don’t you see? I was never meant to take His place.

We messed up. Because you didn’t protect me and you made me into a god. You listened to my voice over the voice of God. And I put myself in the role of God in your life and led you somewhere He never intended for you to go.

You need to go back to the garden and let Him reclaim what has been lost. Let Him restore what has been stolen from you and what has been destroyed. Let Him take you back to the goodness that He created you for…a perfect garden.

Dear boy, I am not enough. I’m sorry for offering you the apple. I’m sorry for promising to be enough.

Listen. Your Father is calling you…away from the noise, away from the sources that never completely fill you up. He wants to restore your illusion of Fatherhood, your illusion of masculinity, your illusion of love.

“Love” has let you down in so many ways. But I’m taking a step back because I’m not strong enough. There’s Someone who has already taken on your pain and guilt. And won.

He’s the only one who is ever going to be enough. It’s time for me to take a step back and run to Him. It’s time for you to take a step back and run to Him.

You need to be totally seeking to find your fulfillment and satisfaction in Him before we could ever hope to be restored to where we were in the garden. I need to be seeking Him and allowing Him to fill me.

I also need to let go of the desire to battle your demons, because. I. can’t. But I can give you to a Love that never disappoints and who defeated the grave.

And that is enough. He is enough. Please, please just close your eyes and ask Him to show you what He thinks of you and what He longs to give you and please, sweet boy, expect an answer. Because He’s been waiting to tell you your whole life.

Whatever love I have to give,

Girl

the cycle of nice boys, almostships, and bitterness ends today

(Okay, y’all. I know this is a long post. I know your time is precious. I’m not claiming that these words are magical or are going to change every aspect of your life. However, I have been praying over these words for months and I believe them to be truth. Maybe you can relate or maybe not; but I would like to especially encourage my sisters striving for holiness and wholeness to please take them to prayer. I’m praying for you.)

 

I’m nineteen and I’ve never had a boyfriend.

Look into the spaces of those words and you’ll see stories of heartbreak and confusion. A relationship status is never as straightforward as it sounds.

I have struggled trusting Jesus with the desires of my heart.

When we don’t believe that God is enough to fill us, things get messy. When we take the fulfillment of our longing into our own hands, things get ugly.

And then, when you stumble into Nice Boy who lurks in every Christian circle, you’re setting yourself up for a disaster.

Let’s define the Nice Boy. He’s generally polite and engaging. He’ll laugh at your jokes. He goes to church and does the whole Jesus thing. He might include you with his friends or even single you out for a conversation of some sort of depth. He might tell you a lot about his life and you can’t stop talking about your own.

He says friendship but acts relationship. He’s unsure. He fears commitment, he fears your heart.

And he makes you feel bubbly. He makes you feel pretty. He makes you feel enough. You want him to ask you out and thoughts creep in about giving him more and more of your heart. You allow him to take over more and more of your imagination. You’re so ready to leave the friendship stage and dive headfirst into a romantic relationship.

Except…it goes on. And on. And on. The feelings are intensifying but nothing is happening. The walks are getting longer but you aren’t having the “defining the relationship” conversation. While you don’t deserve this, you’re also enabling it by not holding him to a higher standard.

The Nice Boy is responsible for a lot of almostships. Not relationships, not friendships, just weird whattheheckships. There’s a lot of confusion. It provides the perfect stage for over-thinking, over-analyzation, and a lack of emotional virtue.

The thing about the almostship: it’s not built on truth. It’s built on a hazy, confusing understanding of the bridge between friendship and relationship. A bridge was never meant to be a foundation; it’s supposed to be a gateway to more. It’s not a place to camp out.

Y’all, I have lived on that bridge for longer and more times than I would care to admit. It’s unstable. It’s scary.

I have deceived myself that that bridge is where I was created to live. That I was supposed to be there. That I wasn’t worth being honest with. There are so many conversations that I should have had that I didn’t out of fear.

When there’s no truth and no definition, it makes it even harder to move on when something explodes.

The explosion is inevitable, as are the feelings that come with it. Shame and confusion; desperation and regret. And bitterness.

Bitterness is a big one for me. It’s filled me with thoughts of “I am the worst person ever why did I ever even like him” and “wow he’s the worst guy ever can he just not”. I wanted the guys who caused me so much hurt to feel shame. I wanted them to feel regret– how dare they not pursue me? How dare they just let me go like that? How dare they not be upfront and honest with me?

Bitterness has often numbed me to feeling the full gravity of the pain of rejection. Thus, it has propelled me to the next Nice Boy to prove that I am enough. And the cycle starts all over again.

Ladies, I am SICK of the cycle. Not just in my life, but in the lives of so many of those around me. I am sick of the living in fear, of the living in chains. I am sick of the shame and I am sick of the despair.

Are you sick of it? Are you sick of shutting up the parts of your heart that carry hurt you don’t know how to deal with?

I could keep wallowing in what I do not have. I could mourn a dead relationship forever and it still wouldn’t make it come alive. Or I could stop looking for the living among the dead. I could throw off the talons of the creature that is seeking to pull me down and destroy me with regrets of what I have done and the shame of what has been done to me…and I could be free.

Let’s deal with these emotions. The captivity ends TODAY. You weren’t created to live in the shadows of relationships that didn’t work out. You are not to be defined by rejection. You were never meant to be a slave to fear and shame.

Jesus already purchased a way out. He has already died for you. It’s time to receive everything He has won for you.

First of all– YOU ARE GOOD. Simply in who you are. Sunsets and chocolate and everything else beautiful are  not made in the image and likeness of God. You are. Your worth is not determined by your actions…it’s determined by His love which deems you priceless.

I know what it is to be pushed aside. I know what it is to have someone you love want to hide a relationship with you. I know what it is for someone to be embarrassed to be seen with you. I know what it is for someone to be afraid of committing to you. I know what it is to give too much of my heart, to live on that damn bridge. But this does not define me.

Furthermore just because you were never officially dating him doesn’t mean that you don’t have baggage. It doesn’t mean that you’re not allowed to hurt. Your emotions are valid. We cannot let these situations cause us to fall into a hole of self-hatred, feeling that we are not enough.

Right now, what are you silencing? What hurt has been gnawing at your heart that you haven’t allowed yourself to feel? What wounds of rejection have you invalidated?

The maker of your heart looks at you and says, “I’m not a stranger to wounds. Look at my hands. I’m not afraid of the damage. I am enough.”

You can take authority over the bitterness and shame. Jesus is filling you with power. Just as He rebuked the waves, you can rebuke them. Proclaim this over your life: “In the name of Jesus Christ, I renounce all bitterness and shame. You have no place here. I bind you to the cross where you are no more.”

It’s time to forgive them. Verbally. Maybe you’re not called to actually call them up, but claim forgiveness.  It is not up to us to uphold justice. Know, dear sisters, that your heavenly Father is far more aware of the hurt than even you are. He sees it…He sees you. By withholding forgiveness, you’re only strengthening the chains holding you back. With power and confidence, proclaim: “In the name of Jesus Christ, I forgive (name) and release him from the hurt he has caused me.”

It’s time to rest.

No more running. No more hiding. It’s time to let God work on your heart. That doesn’t mean He’s going to sit you down and bring up every past hurt to yell at you. It means that He’s going to show you what love really is.

His love knows how it feels about you.

His love is loyal, His love is honest. What His love promises, it gives. His love is constant, His love is consistent. His love does not run away, His love does not abandon. His love does not ignore. His love embraces. His love enters into the mess. His love understands.

His love is mature. His love is bold. His love is reckess. His love is jealous. His love demands a response. His love is not passive. His love is captivating, is captivated by you. His love takes risks. There is nothing His love has not purchased for you.

His love is pure. His love is selfless. His love is radical. His love pursues. His love is faithful. His love is devoted. His love goes all the way.

His love is in awe of you. His love calls you worthy. His love does not use. His love does not play games. His love is breathless at the sight of you. His love is proud to be seen with you. His love does not lead you astray. His love is trusting and trustworthy.

His love is for you.

Whatever has prevented you from falling into this love, from claiming this love as your own…bind it to the cross. Our distrust in real love often goes back beyond our encounters with guys…it can stem from deep wounds from childhood. We have a tendency to project failed human love on the infinite love of the Father.

In prayer, think of all of the ways you have been hurt. Then write out the opposite of that hurt. For example, if you have been hurt by rejection, write “His love accepts all of me, forever”. Think back on those memories that caused so much hurt and claim the presence of Jesus there, defending you.

Friends, no other “love” or illusion of love will ever satisfy.

You are not defined by the hurt or the mistakes. Let what has hindered love fade into the background as Jesus runs to you.

You don’t have to run anymore. You don’t have to fight for love anymore. It’s yours. You don’t have to justify your mistakes anymore. They’re gone. You don’t need to prove your worth anymore. It’s been confirmed.

The old has passed away. I have been made new.

I’m with you on this journey. Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any prayer requests or more info about any of this.

Let me leave you with this: you are worth giving everything for. It has been given. You are worth so much more than a guy who isn’t sure how he feels. Let go and fall into the arms of a Mighty Lover who has been pursuing you since the beginning of time.

I’m praying for you.

 

 

 

 

wanting to be well.

How much of your time is spent looking at impossibilities? 

Once there was a lame man sitting at a gate. Within the gate was Bethesda, a sacred pool where many found healing. The man was at the gate…so close to healing and yet so far. He had no way of getting inside; everyone else keep getting there faster.

How much mind space have you given over to all of the reasons why not?

There was a lot between the man and healing. But then Healing came to him. Healing came and He asked the lame man: “Do you want to be well?”

Do you want to be well?

The man didn’t respond with a yes or a no…instead, he responded with all of the reasons why not. Healing wasn’t possible because he was too slow, because everyone was too fast, because he could never get there in time.

Sometimes, I think we get so caught up in the brokenness of our lives. We’ve settled in it and we think that it’s actually the way life is supposed to be. Sometimes, we don’t even see a need for healing. We just think we’re not supposed to walk or see or hear.

We think that maybe that relationship is just never supposed to be fixed. Maybe we’re always supposed to be lonely. Maybe we’re always supposed to be fearful. Maybe we’re never supposed to pray with power. Maybe we’re just supposed to stay here in this spot.

We accept defeat, we accept despair.

And sometimes, we do it under a false sense of faith. Does this sound familiar? “Oh, Jesus, this is just the cross you want me to carry my whole life.”

Here’s what Jesus says to that: “Do you want to be well?”

Do you want to be well? Because Jesus wants you to be well. He wouldn’t offer you something He wasn’t going to give you. Maybe you’ve been asking and asking and asking and nothing is happening. Nothing is changing.

Are you putting healing in a box? Are you imposing what you think that healing looks like on the reality of what it is? Maybe you think you’re only healed if x,y, and z happen.

His ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts.

Maybe healing starts with our eyes being able to see what healing actually is, our minds being able to know what healing is. Healing starts when our hearts actually encounter who healing is.

Do you want to be well?

The man is sitting at the gate because he wants more. He wants more than whatever he’s been settling in. He wants to be healed. However, he’s so caught up in that desire to be healed how he wants to be healed that he doesn’t even recognize Healing.

Healing wants to encounter you. Jesus wants to encounter you.

Stop telling Him all of the impossibilities, stop telling Him all of the reasons why not. Instead, let’s ask that our eyes be opened to see Healing and our hearts open to expectant desire.

I’m praying for you.