simplicity

My heart is a raging sea right now. I hear you say breathe.

But I don’t want to breathe. I want to run, I want to jump, I want to KNOW. I want to know what is going on. I want to plan, I want to figure out. I want to scream, I want to cry, I want to be obnoxious.

Wait, little one, wait, you say.

But I don’t want to wait. I want to climb the tallest mountain NOW. I want to rip off all of the band aids now. I want to figure everything out. I want to solve the most complex math problem. I want to know everything. Right. Now.

Just be, beloved, just be, you whisper when I finally have to take a breath.

But what if I don’t figure things out in time? What if everything just flies right by, what if I don’t think of the right words in time? What if I just wait and wait and wait and nothing happens?

Trust me. You reach out your hands.

But if I grab your hands, then I won’t be able to grab anything else.

Exactly.

 

Simplicity. It makes me uncomfortable.

I have a paper due Saturday that has to be done by Friday in the midst of catching up on reading for another class. I have two quizzes week and so many problem sets due. I need to do research and planning for my marketing job. And then there’s just the every day stuff of meetings and loving people and relationships and all that insanity.

My world is so loud that the silence of simplicity is scary. I need to be so aware of every moment from here on out while dissecting the past. My mind needs to be totally consumed with what is coming next, with preparing for the future. I can’t just sit here and wait for it, I need to go out and get it.

Simplicity. Taking things as they are, as they come. Not reading into. Not taking more than is actually mine. Living in each minute. Being. Fully entering into each moment, because now is where Jesus is. Experiencing His full heart in this moment requires me to be in this moment. Not the next one.

So this Advent, I’m giving up planning, plotting, and orchestrating. I am done. I’m done stressing about what is to come.

Simplicity. There is wonder in simplicity. The simplicity of a young, scared teenager who was pregnant and unmarried. The simplicity of a skeptical man who had trust issues. The simplicity of a bunch of little lost boy shepherds. The simplicity of a stable. The simplicity of a baby.

God took all of that simplicity and lit it up with miracles.

 

So, Jesus, take me to a place of simplicity. Let me simply be. I give you my plans and my hopes and dreams and fears. Let me dive into this moment…give me trust in the journey, in the process. Let me see the glory in the mundane. Give me a pure heart that hopefully waits upon you while being fully invested in seeing you work in this moment. 

Teach me how to breathe. Teach me how to just allow you to work without giving my input and preferences all of the time. Teach me how to listen. Teach me how to trust, how to be okay with wherever you’re leading. Whatever you do, I know it’s because you’re in love with me. You see everything that I do. You know. You know, so I don’t need to.

Reveal whatever you want to reveal, Jesus. I’m okay just following you. I don’t need to really see, because I know that you do. Give me your heart, I just want your desires. Smash the idol I have made of busyness, of noise. I am going to hold your hands. I am holding your hands. I trust that you will lead me to whatever is next. I trust that being in love with you, I waste no time. I trust that I won’t miss anything. I trust that I can keep my eyes fixed on you completely and totally and I will. not. fall. Nothing that is supposed to be mine will pass me by.

Jesus, let’s just dance.

Advertisements

on perfection and pursuit.

When I was little, I was absolutely obsessed with Disney princesses.

I loved the beauty of the princesses and how, for the most part, they never tried to be anything that they weren’t. They loved boldly in the face of the uncomfortable. I loved how their stories weren’t smooth and easy going. My favorite parts of these movies were the chase parts, when the princes had to prove their love, had to fight for them. I loved the moments of raw honesty when they put themselves on the line, both emotionally and physically. I loved the way that the princes pursued their princesses, the ways that they seriously died to themselves.

I watched these movies over and over and over again. I played the stories out with my Barbies and with my friends. I dreamed of Prince Charming and wrote my own stories about a reckless kind of true love. I would actually even pray that I wouldn’t have an “easy” relationship but that there would be dragons and dungeons and distress.

Now, as a freshman in college, I’m like JESUS NO NO NO I DID NOT MEAN THAT. Is there a way to invalidate prayer? I want it easy, I want to enter into a relationship 100% perfect, not lacking in any way. I don’t want to bring any baggage into a relationship, I don’t want to have any wounds or scars.

Basically, I want to meet some perfect, Jesus-obsessed guy who I date for a year or so and then get married to. No arguments, no secrets, no communication problems. Just a bunch of really cute hand-holding dates where we always perfectly understand each other. There is nothing to work at because everything is already perfect. Everything is clean and happy and beautiful and, more than anything, safe.

So, I sit here, with my perfectly painted toes and a pretty little dress and my ankles crossed, waiting for Prince Charming to show up. And the scars and imperfection? Oh, if I ignore it, if I don’t acknowledge it…it doesn’t exist

Except. It does.

I mentioned I loved the way the princes pursue the princesses. I want to be pursued. I don’t want to settle. There is an incredible amount of excitement in the chase.

Well, that’s all good in theory. But what happens when you meet the super nice Jesus boy who is just the sweetest and kindest and most encouraging but unclear with his intentions? Oh, no big deal. Well, I want to be perfect, and maybe he could be perfect, too.

So you have your perfect little conversations but not too deep because, oh no, can’t be emotionally unvirtuous! We can’t actually talk about how we feel. He seems like he’s scared of messes, and you feel like a mess so better reapply that emotional concealer.

Apparently, you’re intimidating, share too much of your heart, and love too easily. So you tread carefully, fearfully.  You just keep going because perfect Jesus boy and you don’t really talk about how you’re actually feeling. Everything is fine. Superficial. You let yourself get walked all over in the name of perfection and pursuit. Just keep being perfect, just keeping loving because you’re the one with the issues and things will straighten out.

Everything is easy. No hearts are on the line. There’s no need to be honest because nothing is actually wrong. Everything is perfect.

Except. You have no peace.

You’re chasing after God, but you’re slowing down because you’re trying to drag him with you. This is a story I’ve heard, seen, and experienced…and it’s hard. Trying to not be a mess eventually becomes the messiest thing ever.

If this sounds familiar, do not be afraid. Do not be afraid to let go. Do not be afraid to be honest regardless of what reaction you receive. Have confidence in what you feel, in what God has spoken through prayer. The guy (or girl) might not be Gaston, but he’s not the Beast either, you know?

God is so good. He is the God of restoration and not replacement. I feel like God is continually opening my clenched fists and asking me to let go so He can hold my hands. And He never gets tired of it.

Speaking of Jesus. He’s perfect and He pursues me.

Our story is way more dramatic than any Disney movie. In my imperfection, He saved me. He gave Himself for me even when it was plausible that I might never love Him back.

He allowed Himself to be tortured physically and emotionally, to be literally killed for me. When I might never love Him back. He pursued me in the midst of immense imperfection.

I have come to realize that I am PETRIFIED of being in a relationship. I am petrified of being seen and loved by someone in that way. It’s hard enough to be vulnerable with my friends sometimes. I am petrified of hurting someone. I am petrified of hurting myself.

But perfect love casts out fear.

Life is not easy, relationships are not easy. In the perfection of my Savior, I am freed from the illusion of perfection. To me, perfection means not acknowledging any brokenness.

I AM BROKEN. In my brokenness, Jesus is glorified because in my weakness, His power is made perfect.

I thought that having high standards meant that whatever guy or guys I eventually date have to have all of their lives together before entering into a relationship. I have to have my whole life together before letting someone else in.

Lies lies lies.

Who am I to dictate how Jesus should love on me, how He should heal me? What if He wants to use someone else as a vessel of His love to bring me closer to His heart? He does it in my friendships all of the time.

Because of who I am in Jesus, I deserve to be pursued. I deserve to be led in a relationship. I deserve to be in a relationship where intentions are clear, where I am fought for. I deserve honesty. I deserve vulnerability. So do you, friend.

I want to go back to my expectations for love when I was little. I refuse to let Christian boys discourage me from holding out for Godly men. I want to look at deficiency or imperfection and be convicted that now is the time that Jesus is to be glorified.

Brothers and sisters, you are worthy of love. We are not mess-ups, we are children of the King, radically loved by the Son. Wherever you are in life, allow Jesus to pursue you. Let’s keep chasing after His heart with full confidence that He is chasing after ours. Let’s not put limits on how He wants to love us.

You are not a burden, friend. You are worthy of love, you are worthy of being pursued.

Let’s be seen as we are, giving all fear to Him. Let’s be seen and let’s be pursued.

Jesus is Lord. And He’s radically, desperately, and irrationally in love with you.

I’m praying for you.