growing in his grace
This morning I was led back to Him. I’m learning to return back to Him and to run towards Him ferociously. I’ve learnt that I can barely do a day without Him and while dependence on someone is not encouraged, dependence on Him is not a weakness but something that gives you strength, rather than taking parts of you and then breaking them because people fail He keeps every part of You and in Him there’s no better place to be.
Sometimes we can fool ourselves into thinking we can do life solely on our own but our hearts were made to love, to love people and it longs for community which means interaction which means getting to know people, loving their imperfections and being a reflection of what and who Jesus is all about.
I want to share a little bit of what’s been on my heart lately and I love being candid with what I’m going through and although I am a little wary online and how different things can be interpreted this whole idea of being real with people, being honest with people is something I’ve really struggled with.
I don’t know whether it’s British culture (granted, that’s a bit of an overgeneralisation) to not talk about your problems, your struggles or whether it’s a pride thing. You see I’ve been really struggling with the idea of not being perfect. I used to view it in a way that I knew in my mind was unattainable but in my heart I longed so deperately after it. My longing to be spotless and without blemish in the Lord’s eyes, there’s no bad thing about it, if anything that’s a great motivation to be ruthless with sin. However when my longing to be spotless and without blemish in man’s eyes overrode that, that’s when I realised that a God thing had become a bad thing.
I used to want people to get at least the impression that I didn’t deal with anything when in reality there have been days where I’ve felt so ashamed in His presence that I couldn’t even bring myself to come before Him with what I’d done. Now, cue the minds of you, the wonderful person reading this, to think “what are the sins that she goes through?” hopefully in not a bid to judge me, though our flesh may sometimes want to, but in a bid to understand my way of thinking and in a hope that maybe you can relate to my struggles and my failings because we’re all going through something no matter how big or how small, we are always going through something, we will always struggle with something this side of heaven. Does this mean that we just give up? No, because He died for so much more than us giving up, if anything His death and resurrection should not be undermined by what we feel, what we want to do and how we ourselves perceive our own sin.
Giving up is easy but only temporarily, to follow Jesus and to trust in Him to change you, to refine you on your walk with Him despite being wrecked by sin, when you come to a true understanding of just how important He is and should be in your life and how much of an incredible impact He has had on your life is even more of an incentive to give Him glory despite our failings. He is there in the process, He is there in your weakness, He is there when your shame feels greater than His presence, He is there when you think you’ve reached the end of yourself and when you don’t feel like there’s enough grace for Him to reach out to you. He is there and He is the same yesterday, today and forever. He is constant and unchanging. There has never been a moment in your God-breathed life that He has loved you less, He has always loved you with an everlasting love, a steadfast love an incredible incomprehensible love that knows no bounds.
We can choose to step into His love or we can choose to stay drenched in shame, guilt and overcome by our sin.
It’s a concept that can be really hard to accept, it can be a constant process of asking Him to remind us of His mercy and grace and how He died so that we may be free. To live for Him, to serve Him and to love Him with every fibre of our being. We are constantly growing in grace, growing in His love, growing in compassion what will your decision be?
knowing your worth
I typed out the title of this blog post wondering whether or not I remembered my own worth.
Sometimes we find our worth in things, vanity, relationships, friendships, likes on social media, our hobbies or our interests. For me I’ve tried to find my worth in the way I’ve looked, the way I’ve acted, the way I’ve interacted with people, I’ve based it in comparison to other people and I’ve tried time and time again to fix myself up in order to disguise the pain of feeling unworthy and guilty and shameful but time and time again I am led back to one thing that holds me altogether even when I feel like I’m falling apart, that one thing is Jesus.
Jesus who calls me worthy, Jesus who died hanging on the cross and still called me worthy, Jesus who looks straight into my soul, my spirit and all that I am drenched in sin and calls me worthy.
I’m writing this post as a reminder to not only you, you beautiful soul but also to myself. You see my worth’s taken a recent kick in my side and I’ve questioned every single part of my body, examined every part of my personality, done the whole, what have they got that I don’t have and what have I got that they don’t have. I’ve looked for affirmation laced in other people’s words and measured up my worth against them but you see the cycle keeps on going. There are on days and off days where I have to keep reminding myself of my worth and everything that Jesus calls me to be. It can be a constant monthly, weekly, daily, hourly reminder. Sometimes I can be so consumed in my own thoughts that I think myself sick, to the point of tears, to the further point of ugly crying into the sky (or a pillow) and pleading, begging the Lord to help me, mould me and change my unhealthy way of thinking.
Normally I would write a conclusion to my blog posts, to recentre my own thoughts as I write them and gather them after having scrambled them all onto a page but today I just want to leave it at this: knowing my worth is a process, sometimes we can know it in our head and sometimes it doesn’t reach our hearts. Head to heart knowledge is important and I’m in that process now. That process of being taught and disciplined by the Lord who knows exactly what is best for me. So after crying my eyes out to Alex G’s song Everything and Alessia Cara’s song Scars To Your Beautiful – I didn’t have any words to say to the Lord, all I wanted to do was cry and that’s all I had in me in that moment and maybe just maybe my tears, in that exact moment, spoke so much more louder than my words could ever say.
But I don’t feel like I should end this blog post that way, a conclusion can be even more important than how I start this so let me try again.
Your worth is not dependent on what a boy says to you, your worth is not dependent on what you see in the mirror, what you eat, what you wear, how you are, whether you have it all together or are crumbling and breaking inside – despite what you’re feeling your worth is dependent on an eternal, most high King, a King fiercely and passionately in pursuit of your love and your attention. He sings your beauty over Him and our beauty is found solely in Him. He remains the same yesterday, today and forever, the only thing unchanging and knowing your worth in this way, well, it changes everything.
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. … ” – Matthew 6:25-34
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. – 2 Corinthians 12:9
For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. – 2 Corinthians 12:10
Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you, I give men in return for you, peoples in exchange for your life. – Isaiah 43:4
There are many things in life that have the ability to move you. A child interacting with their mother, bubbles on a warm summer’s day, the final setting of the sun as it comes to a close.
Different things move different people.
For me, it is nature, God’s creation is what moves me the most. The remains of how God intended His earth to be.
Flowers, constellations, clear blue skies, fields of yellow, gold and green, cloud-watching, tumbling waves on the ocean, towering trees overhead, forrests of entangled branches, freshly cut grass, the intricacy of a flowerhead.
It urges me to interact with it. I imagine running through the fields in floral dresses, brushing past the flowers, my breath catching on the breeze and my hair flying in each direction. It urges me to make daisy chains and flower crowns and drink iced caramel lattes with my body nuzzled into the earth’s floor. It makes me want to read novels and His word and write down dreams in gold paged notebooks. To sing intricate melodies into the spaces around me and to worship Him from the depths of my soul. To listen to beautiful piano music through my headphones and to dip my toes in the sparkling sea. To run away from the foams and waves and to skim stones into the ocean and watch it jump the sea’s surface. It urges me to dance upon the sand barefoot and gaze longingly into the horizon. To dream dreams and think lovely thoughts about the future, the past the present and to long for adventures throughout the world, searching for things that move me, that inspire me to be in awe of Him. To encounter moments that leave me speechless, breathless and in search of the right words to describe its beauty. Word that come back void because they cannot even compute or comprehend just how incredible the sights are.
Lord, in everything, teach me to find its beauty. Teach me to look at the world through a lense of compassion and understanding. Teach me how to be like you, to have and experience the greatest love the world has ever known. You are my Father and You care for me. You are my Father who not only resides in heaven but also here on earth. There in the constellations, there in the spaces that they occupy, there in the ocean depths and below and there in the sky where I stare into when I talk to Him. There in the dry seasons, there when life gets too much to bear, there when I feel like my prayers hit a wall, when I feel alone, when I feel empty.
He’s as real to me as my hand is when it holds another that I love. Real as it is when I raise it in surrender to His will and His way. As I raise towards Him as I reach out for Him and as I long for more of Him. Oh to look at You, stained, drenched, dripping of my sin but you, there, staring right back at me and you define me as my sin, though my sin is there you wash me clean and I am unstained and You are perfect and I am in awe once again.
His creation captivates me. Leaves speechless, breathless for He has captured my heart once again.
I am not entitled to feel or wallow in my guilt nor my shame, I was born to be free, to express myself and who You are in me and through my life. To step into freedom and to run headfirst into the unknown because with You I don’t need to impress, I don’t need to filter, I don’t need to pretend. I long to be real, authentic and honest and gracious to You and to Your people. With You, I am so free and just like nature You call me beautiful and loved and Your opinion of me is the only one that matters. With You I am wanted, I am cherished, I am loved and I am known. And that is more than enough for me.