To My Heartbreaker in the Faith

I remember standing in the aisle of Target listening to your romantic history. It was drenched in shameful tears and misunderstandings. I asked a few questions and wondered why were you giving me this information. It was unusual. I thought we were just running errands, but a quick trip turned into sharing pockets full of memories over lunch. Through our exchange, I saw that you wanted love. I realized I did too. 

As weeks passed, heart flutters turned into butterflies. Slight smirks of flirts when we gathered. Invitations through text messages led me to believe you were trying to initiate something. I watched and waited. When I wrestled with uncertainty, I would let go of the idea of you. Why? Because if he is interested, he will tell her. I didn’t have to manipulate. I could trust the God in you to be honest with me. If all else fails, God will do for both of us better than I knew.

After months of this, I finally just asked you because I desired truth. I was relieved to have answers. Confused by the ones you gave me. I hate to admit it, but I was hurt. I forgot the feeling it brings to the soul. No one can prepare you for it. You have to grieve your losses. Allow God to gather the shards of your heart and heal it back together. If you do it, you will cut yourself, however the tears are inevitable. I cried listening to the faint whispers of “Was it me? Did I misread something? Maybe I did. Did I not protect my heart?”. This wasn’t the hard part because I believe rejection is a part of the single’s journey. It was the blatant denial for your actions. You explained it was a woman's job to protect her own heart not yours. I saw that my heart was nothing more than a rag to spit shine your ego and wipe your conscious clean. To think I was called to love you?! *insert emoji eye roll* 

I chose to hold the hand of bitterness and cold shoulders. Some days I wanted to be the "bigger person", but I wasn’t. Others I pretended I wasn't hurt, but I was. Through prayer and confession with God and close friends, He helped me to love you despite your lack of care for my heart. This was no easy process. From every hello to how can I help, felt like death. He used my little efforts to grow compassion in me. In my duty to love, I found forgiveness and redemption. I saw the love Christ has for His bride - to love you for who you are not my idea of you or what you could do for me. This is my standard and God would have it no other way. This isn’t an invitation to be a stalker, stay in an unhealthy relationship, or sweep heartbreak under the rug. It is an invitation to cry, be angry, and place it all behind the Cross to find tenderhearted forgiveness in Christ Jesus.  

To my heartbreaker, I pray that God would break your heart for the heart of women. To the those who have had your heart broken by those in the faith, I pray this encourages you to fight to love and trust that God will do for the both of you better than you know. I pray that we all see heartbreak as a small chapter in a long love story with our God.

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Dreams of Slavery

Lately, I've been thinking a lot about slavery. The conditions. The system. Most importantly, the master and how he has dominion over your life. If you dare run, will hunt you down and bring you back before nightfall. Why? Because he owns you. You are his. This is quite frightening when the master is wicked and cruel. As a creative, the master of comparison is always lurking. Tickling my nostrils with sweet smells of greatness. I must admit, I salivate for a mere taste of it. I know the meal is smothered in death, but I want it. When I believe I have found it, it satisfies me....only for a while...then it becomes scraps for dogs....a sight for sore eyes. 

 

I leave the table in search for something more tasteful as thoughts ravage my mind, "Tell me I'm great. Tell me I am not wasting my time. Tell me it's worth it. Tell me. Approve me. Affirm me and my gifts." I finally find the meal I crave and devour it. I am satisfied for a brief moment just to see scraps again so I repeat. I search to and fro, get my feast, and see rubbish.

 

In the midst of this self-inflicted whirlwind, steps in Him. God's beauty alone chokes out my insecurities, flips over my feast, invites me to His glorious party, and I smile. Those moments make me see my gifts and talents are uniquely given and not earned. I leave the slavery of comparison and walk into freedom. The freedom to create beautifully, create terribly, learn from those better than me, and celebrate the work of others.  

 

As my heart sings on this freedom road, I promise myself I will never return. But I do. Who knew the bitter horrors of slavery could become sweet memories? This is my story. All of our stories. We dream of slavery in the midst of freedom, but our God is faithful to remind us its horrific realities. He wooes us to come home where in His presence there is fullness of joy and at His right hand are pleasures forevermore (Psalm 16). 

 

Prayer: "God exalt the beauty of Christ in our minds. May your truths reach deep within our souls and reconfigure our hearts to sing to You. Help us work hard to sharpen our craft, learn from others, and ultimately surrender it all back to You.  Amen."  

 

 

 

Leaping towards Holy Ambitions

"I'll go God....send me." - Isaiah, the Prophet  

A holy ambition is something you really want to do that God wants you to do for His glory. Something you want to do so much that doing it keeps you from doing other things you really like to do. It controls you. Gives passion to your life. An eternal focus. It helps you decide no to do this, go here, or join that yet. It is molded by a personal encounter with the living Christ. Shaped and informed by the written word of God. Fits into His overall plan. It meets a need in the world that is displayed as a form of love and not about self-exaltation. I know this is what God has been building it in my heart since the day He saved me. A deep, yearning desire to create provocative, relevant art for His glory. A desire to display it in the darkest places. A desire to walk and disciple other artists who have been called to do the same. 

Paul talks about God's holy ambition in Ephesians 3. "By God’s grace and mighty power, I have been given the privilege of serving him by spreading this Good News. Though I am the least deserving of all God’s people, he graciously gave me the privilege of telling the Gentiles about the endless treasures available to them in Christ. I was chosen to explain to everyone this mysterious plan that God, the Creator of all things, had kept secret from the beginning. God’s purpose in all this was to use the church to display his wisdom in its rich variety to all the unseen rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. This was his eternal plan, which he carried out through Christ Jesus our Lord." (Eph. 3:7-11) This passage has placed its roots in my heart. 

God chose Paul. God gave Paul this holy desire for the Gentiles to know Christ. Paul writes about how this is not about him. It is so much bigger than being the apostle Paul. He knows he is the least deserving of all God's people to even share the Gospel, yet Paul doesn't stay here and ramble on about how undeserving he is. He talks about why God is doing it. God gave this holy ambition to Paul based on how He uniquely created Paul through gifts, talents, personality type, abilities, and so on. More importantly, God is revealing His eternal plan and displaying His rich wisdom by Paul telling the Gentiles about the endless treasures available to them in Christ. This holy ambition fits into God's overall plan carried out through Christ Jesus.

This is what I believe God has given to me....a holy calling that fits into His overall plan. He has put my eyes up on a heavenly prize that I have never seen. To be honest, would have never chosen on my own. In July 2016, I left go of the only life I've known since I graduated college in 2009. I left because of this holy ambition as a creative. I must admit two things: I literally have no idea what this will look like and I have a tendency to focus more on the art than the One who is working through the art. I have no idea if letting go of that life was the "right choice" for lack of better terms. This can be scary. Day by day, the Spirit reminds me it isn't my job to know, but to trust that He knows. Not just this, but all things at all times. Because of that, my job is to stay close, trust Him, and leap. 

"It is easier to serve or work for God without a vision and without a call, because then you are not bothered by what he requires. Common sense, covered with a layer of Christian emotion, becomes your guide. You may be more prosperous and successful from the world's perspective, and will have more leisure time, if you never acknowledge the call of God. But once you receive a commission from Jesus Christ, the memory of what God asks of you will always be there to prod you on to do His will. You will no longer be able to work for Him on the basis of common sense." - Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest

Don't be afraid. He promises to catch you. Just leap. 

Don't be afraid. He promises to catch you. Just leap.