Last night I lay on my couch, sprawled out, ugly crying like you wouldn’t believe. It had been a long day, a long week, a long month.
A toxic combination of back pain and unfulfilled dreams had proverbially pushed me over the edge.
I had questions for God: if you made me a writer, why leave me incapacitated like this? Why give me dreams if You’re just going to crush them? Are you THAT horrible?
After half an hour of angry crying and seething insults, I calmed down and listened to His voice, gentle as a whisper.
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
Faith. Okay, God. So what? I don’t have faith right now. I don’t know if You’ll heal me or let me stay sick like my parents. I have no faith that you’ll heal me. NONE.
“I need you to Trust My character.”
“I will work all things together for your good…”
I think of my mother, who lives in a care home. God, she’s sick! I haven’t had a real hug from her in years! Do you call that good? Really?
I chew on my tongue then exhale loudly.
I feel God’s gentle hand guide my mind. I start thinking.
Although she is still sick, her incapabilities have placed her in a position of quiet influence.
When no one else wants to visit the dying elderly, she reads scriptures to them. She is a joyful presence. She brings solstice to nurses who are in abusive domestic situations.
I think about my past.
I went through my teen years with a super sick mom and dad who was not present. I now relate to people who battle with strained, familial relationships and uncertainty.
There was no hope when it was happening but now I see. What a gift. To bring peace to a fellow human being, to be Christ to them when they have nothing left.
I remember my own struggle with anorexia. Going through it was hell, but now, those I lived with in the hospital are hearing about the healing power of God.
He healed me then. I believe He will use my pain for the good in His perfect timing again.
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
As He starts to speak again, warmth floods the empty caverns of my heart.
“Katie, when you feel hopeless you are still hoping and exercising faith. But you’re putting faith in the wrong thing….
you might not know the answer, but you know the One who will answer you. Trust in my character Katie. I make all things work out for your benefit. I love you.”
I wiped tears from face, took a deep breath and sunk deeper into the growing warmth.
I love you too Daddy. Even when things seem hopeless. Please help me put my trust in You… even when things seem bleak and I can’t see anything good.
“I have a purpose for you and plans to give you a hope and a future.”
I chose to believe it, even when I didn’t feel it. As I did, I felt His warmth cloaking me, embracing me, enrapturing me. In that moment I realized, He is all I’ve ever needed.
He is more than enough.
“Comparison will cause you to be prideful or depressed but never fulfilled…” – Lisa Bevere
We’ve all felt it.
You’re walking into your favorite store in the mall, feeling pretty. The sun is shining. You’re wearing your favorite off-the-shoulder shirt.
Today you even tried brushing your hair!
Who are we kidding? Five hairstyles later and here we are… but no one needs to know that!
You catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror and let your gaze linger for I second or two. Not bad at all.
You blink then BAM, you see her standing there with her perfect hair, enviable curves and designer clothing.
Miss Perfect slips on a pair of Guess sunglasses and poses for a group selfie. As her friends huddle close, you can’t help but notice, her skin is flawless. No filter required.
A group of guys walks past. Heads turn. One of them trips and falls into a kid with an ice cream cone. The kid starts wailing.
You wish it was socially acceptable to join him.
Man-bun Manny behind the counter is eye-balling Miss Perfect, probably figuring out the best way to snag her number.
You decide to leave and avoid the mirror on your way out. Your joy fizzles out like flat pop. The rest of the day, you try pulling yourself away from the thoughts.
If only my life looked like hers, then I would be happy.
Yeah, I’ve been through it and it SUCKS.
Maybe you don’t have the hots for Manny but whatever reason your joy bubble has been popped, it is SO important to get it back.
And it is possible.
Tell God you’ve been comparing yourself to others. Nothing you say surprises Him. Talk to Him about the way you’ve been feeling. Let Him know how inferior you feel.
Apologize for believing lies. This makes room for truth.
Focus on the truth.
— You were made with the precision of God’s hand. He is MESMERIZED by you – Psalm 139:14
— There’s a reason why you are you. God made you JUST the way He wanted to – Jeremiah 29:11
— God is kind of like that crazy friend at the party. He actually sings and dances because He’s so excited about you! – Jeremiah 20:11
Ladies, it may seem weird but it’s true: you will find confidence when you aren’t focusing on you. Stop looking at your “insufficiencies” and start looking at the beauty He sees. It will set you free from comparing yourself and launch you into a world of peace and JOY!
With much love,
Your choice to believe truth will shift your thinking and your world. You are made of powerful stuff.
Please remember to eat as much ice cream cake as you want and not worry if people are judging you for it. Ignore the upturned noses, pick up that fork and come on over. I some important things to share with you.
First and surprisingly, I’ve learned that adults don’t have life figured out. It seems like it with their nice jobs, college degrees and fancy vocabulary. Don’t be fooled. In many ways, they don’t know what they’re doing. So, it’s perfectly okay that you don’t either.
1. There will always be someone who is “better” than you. Through trial and error, I’ve realized it’s not worth it to put value on your ability to be the prettiest, the smartest or the richest. Anyone who loves you won’t care about that stuff. If they do they’re a noob (meaning: they’re still awesome deep, deep down, they just have their own issues to work through).
2. Social media is a plastic rose. What might seem romantic is super fake. Those people on Instagram with the “perfect” pictures are just like you. They take those kinds of pictures to earn YOUR likes! The more likes, the better they feel but when the likes go down… well, their mood goes down with them.
3. Just because someone has an opinion about you, doesn’t mean it’s true. You probably remember this because, I mean, technically you’re me. In middle school, my classmates avoided me because they thought I was weird. Newsflash. I’m still “weird” but people are now drawn to me because of it. I even get invited to speak at things because of my “weird” ideas.
4. Grades don’t define your worth. School is a bit of a messy mick muckle. Out of all my rants related to the schooling system, I will tell you this: just because you didn’t get an A doesn’t make you a failure, no matter what your friends, the teacher or your mom says. Love you, Mom!
5. Friendships will change, and that’s okay. Friends come and go. One year you’ll get along better with so-and-so. Next year, they might move on. When do they, know there’s nothing wrong with you, it’s normal. Don’t beat yourself up about migrating friends or changes in interest. People to befriend will always be around.
6. Being the most popular girl in school won’t matter in a year. Really though, just like migrating friends, they rise and fall from favor. When school is finished, people won’t recognize them as the Queen Bee.
7. Being popular can suck. Being at the top and always trying to maintain the power is tough. I remember dating a guy who made all the girls swoon. When we broke up, someone else quickly rose to the occasion and starting dating him. My reign and fame had ended. The time I could have spent doing more valuable things, seemed to be wasted.
8. It’s okay to be wrong. School teaches us it’s not okay to be wrong. Trust me, that’s how the most vibrant, financially well-off people got their start. They made a tonne of mistakes! Don’t be afraid to speak up and let yourself be wrong.
So, you’re more than what you feel, there’s a purpose to your life and you’re rocking it already! Keep enjoying that cake. Love you Princess.
A slightly older K.L.P
It’s really nice when things aren’t perfect.
When life isn’t exactly what you want it to be it makes you stronger, makes you wish for something more, makes you work harder.
That’s kind of why I like snow.
Snow reminds me that I don’t have it all together, even when I think I do. I may want to drive 100 km an hour on the road but I can’t. I will slip and slide. I will spin out, no matter how good a driver I think I am.
The icy touch of winter’s finger reminds me of my incorrigible impatience as I bustle to get indoors. I ask myself, “how often do I sit in my discomfort and allow things to simmer?” Seriously, how long is this going to take?!
Once I am outdoors for a while, freezing my pinkies off, I start to remember the pain other people go through as they trudge through the snow, with no home in sight.
Snow reminds me of my responsibility to have empathy and give to the downtrodden. They are beautiful souls, sometimes wrapped in rough packaging, but deep down they are just the same as me, in need of mercy, grace and unconditional love. In need of food, empathy and a place to lay their heads.
Snow reminds me of the slew of impure ways of thinking that used to toxify my mind and how they don’t anymore. The crisp white reminds me of the fact that I am clean, I am free, I am redeemed from all those the sins that once bogged me down.
As I stick out my tongue and feel the snowflakes melt I am reminded that when others gave their lives to Christ, their sin died to Him. Even though we all make mistakes, we don’t see those people as mistakes. We see them as glorious, dignified royalty, beloved by God and favored by all. We see them as sons and daughters of the Most High God.
I am reminded of my identity as a Princess and Beloved. When I look at the snowflake and see its design I know that God puts all things together so perfectly. The One who fabricated the perfect, little snowflake began something good in me and will see it through to the end.
When you look at the snow what do you see?
I remember sitting on the hospital bed, staring at my twiggy legs, wondering if God was playing a trick on me. Did He care enough to fix my broken mind?
While the answer is a resounding “yes”, there have been moments in my Christian walk where I have wondered about the goodness of God.
Recently, for example:
This past month, I have been experiencing a lot of pain in my neck and back. It drains me of my energy, zaps my ability to work on projects and makes me downright irritable to those I love most. As a result, I have walked in guilt, thus making me more horrible to be around.
With no relief in sight, I have wondered about God’s care for me.
Questions like: “If God is so good, why hasn’t He taken away the pain” and “why are my struggles still here?” inundated me with uncertainty. Maybe Jesus had those same questions when He hung on the cross, bloodied and fractured.
When spending time with Jesus yesterday, something was made very clear:
He is making purpose of the pain. Through it, He is calling me deeper into His embrace.
When I am knocked out on my bed, trying to breathe I call to my Jesus. I have no one but Him. He ALWAYS meets me, fills me with peace and wraps me in a giant hug. Because of His presence, I am starting to deeply, intimately understand and care about the grievances of those who live with pain chronically.
Through the Savior’s embrace, I find great compassion and am compelled to help those who suffer.
Case and point:
Jesus cares about your hardships. Despise the pain you may be feeling, He is SOOO good. He is going to turn that pain into a beautiful story of redemption for others. They are going to see His goodness through His healing power in Your life.
If you’re suffering from pain, emotionally or physically, and you haven’t been healed be persistent. Believe for God’s healing, wait on Him, ask for His perspective about what’s happening.
Praise Him for the things He has done in your life. Ask for new things and trust He is listening!
Rest in knowing you can give your requests to God. He is just and faithful to answer you. Even if you don’t receive healing right away, accept that He is doing something good.
His way is going to be way better than anything you could have ever imagined, even if the pain remains for a season. Embrace the Healer, lean deeply into His strong arms and release the pain you’ve been holding.
He is more than happy to shoulder it for you, His Beloved Child.
I don’t like games.
I should rephrase this to be a little more accurate.
The real trouble is this: I really, really, REALLY hate losing.
When I was a little girl, I would experience tonnes of inner turmoil and trepidation if I didn’t do something right, if I didn’t come out on top, if I wasn’t the best at something.
I think this “perfectionistic complex” really flared up when, as a pre-teen, I moved in with my grandparents. As I was uprooted from my parents, many well-meaning adults told me how fortunate I was to be taken in by other members of the family and that I should be grateful. In the meantime, my tender heart was pierced and bleeding, throbbing and wishing for nothing more than to grieve the loss of both my parents.
…you should be grateful…
Amidst the confusion that came along with a family splintered into dozens of unreachable pieces, my heart was never given the chance to grieve. I felt like there wasn’t time for me, instead, I had to shoulder the pain and move on for the sake of others. In other words, I had to act like I had it together so others wouldn’t be burdened by me.
As a disclaimer, I don’t say all of this for the sake of a pity party, I say if for a point that will be helpful to you. So please, stick with me.
In all honesty, I never felt like a part of my family. Instead, I always felt like a separate entity. In desperation, my heart told me: if you do something to tick them off, you’re out. Remember that and you’ll be just fine.
…if you do something to tick them off, you’re out…
As time when on, the anxiety worsened and crept up in sports, music and dance. I dropped many activities because I was terrified to fail and let others down. Fear crippled me. I wound up in the hospital, while I was in the downward spiralling, addictive process of trying to “perfect” my body.
As the years have rolled on, that fear never really went away. If anything, it worsened and manifested in different ways. My feelings about my outward appearance, the way I conducted myself with others and the occupation I was working towards became quick and easy targets.
This desire to get everything perfect in relationships, career and school drove me away from any kind of risk, even calculated ones.
Just yesterday, I was listening to a message by Kris Vallotton. Kris was talking about an interaction he had with a follower of his, we’ll call him John. The young man was immersed in sexual sin and having a tough time accepting God’s love because of these struggles.
The whole situation resonated well with me.
See, that fear, although it has lessened in the past couple years, still permeates little pieces of my story. There are days when I don’t feel like approaching God because I don’t feel like I’m going to get my words perfect. There are some days when I don’t feel worthy to come to God because I don’t have it together. In short, I understand the young man’s struggle.
There are some days when I don’t feel worthy…
Ultimately, Kris’s response to the young man was really what hit home. Kris did not start writing a checklist of all the things his follower should do. Instead, he moved as the Holy Spirit led and took John in his arms. They sat like that, Kris, like a good father, with his arms draped over his “son”. At the end of fifteen minutes, the young man dropped to the ground and started bawling. He told Kris he had never experienced love like that, the love of a father.
As time went on, that love was what helped heal John’s heart completely. Once he realized how loved he was by Father God, the things he did that didn’t honour God melted away, like dross exposed to purifying flame.
Perfect love casts out all fear!
Through a lot of trial and error, I have come to find that the only remedy for the perfectionistic tendencies is love, perfect love, unconditional love straight from my Heavenly Father’s heart. When I am not feeling good enough or when I am afraid to try something new because I might fail, I stop, wait and listen to the sound of my Father’s words: “there is nothing that will separate you from me. You are perfect, loved forever. I died for you. I live for you. Katie, you’re perfect and so pleasing to me. You are perfect. You are perfect. You are perfect.”
…the only remedy for perfectionistic tendencies is love, perfect love, unconditional love…
When the words aren’t enough, sometimes I will ask Him to show me how much He loves me. Yesterday, in my exhaustion, He sent a father figure to tell me how proud He is of me. He also sent my favourite little red and black insect, a ladybug to land on my writing notebook. Yeah, I was crying a lot yesterday.
As you go about your day, I pray those same truths over you. Know that you are loved despite your many imperfections and beyond your wildest dreams. Know that you can call on the Father at any time and He will show you His passion for you, trust me <3
“Cast all your cares on the Lord, because He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7
With much love,
This morning, I was, as usual, struggling with the many flaws I found with my body. Tired, peeved and incredibly irritated by the constant barrage of self-doubt I stood from my desk and walked to my window. Petrified by the weedy state of my garden I closed my eyes, longing to escape thoughts of judgment and the endless list of “to-do’s”.
“Lord, what is beauty to you?”
Almost as soon as I had asked the question, His warmth invaded the space as He entered the doorway. He walked across the room and stood behind me, put His large hand on my shoulder and stood with me. We stayed in silence for a few moments before He spoke. His voice, deep and soothing. My nerves started to slowly relax and wind down.
“What do you think of the rose Katie?”
“Roses are beautiful Yeshua… but, I mean. No offense but…” I opened my eyes to the nasty condition of the garden that lay just beyond.
“I’m kind of sick of the rose metaphor. How can I apply that to daily life? I’m obviously not a rose, I’m human. I mean, I could wear a costume around all the time and spritz myself with that flowery stuff from Bath and Body but I don’t think that would work. And yeah, people judge other people based on what they look like. All I’ve wanted, for the longest time, is to be liked and accepted by people. Is that too much to ask?”
He paused, waiting for me to be ready to listen. “Everything uniquely, Katie bug.”
The radiance of His smile exploded against the walls. His hand stayed on my shoulder, grounding me.
“Yeshua, what does that even mean?”
“Trust me, just close your eyes my girl.”
I squeezed them closed.As I fought the temptation to drown my sorrows on Facebook a new garden came into sight. Planted in that garden, in the richest soil I had ever seen was a rose, vibrant red, stunning and blooming. Its fragrance filled the air. To the right of the rose was a raspberry bush, green and lush with ripe fruit hanging from its twiggy branches. To the left of the bush was a daisy, bright and yellow as the sun. Up the flower bed just a little further was an orchid, purple, vivacious and striking. Further into the grass and away from the bed were bleedings hearts, pink and red marble drops dripping from their green conical homes. Evergreen trees, stood tall above us on all sides. The forever protectors of all those who lived underneath their sturdy shadow.
“Yeshua, it’s beautiful here.”
“Yes, everything is beautiful uniquely.”
“I suppose, but don’t you mean “uniquely beautiful?”’
He grinned and donned a look of excitement that I knew so well. He swept his hand across the flower bed.
“Each flower is beautiful in its unique state, you see. When I see the beauty of a person, I see the unique attributes I have placed in them. Their strengths, their weaknesses, their personalities. I see all of it and I love all of it. I want, so badly, to show my people how to accept themselves as I have made them. I want them to then come to me and learn to cultivate that beautiful uniqueness I have planted in them.”
The joy in his eyes was now misted by tears, “Katie-bug, all you need to do is ask me what I see when I look at you. You would be overwhelmed.”
I nodded as my own eyes welled with tears.
He took my hand and stared at the sky. “Just look up!”
I lifted my gaze. A slit in the blue had opened and widened as we watched. Just as a long-anticipated grand opening, the veil quickly slide open to reveal majesty. There, waiting on the velvet canvas were billions upon billions of stars, the moon the sun in all its splendor. Galaxies woven into colourful tapestries of royal purple, gold and black danced. Stars sang. Colorful meteorites twisted and turned before exploding into fireworks of carnelian, jasper and ruby. Chills ran down my spine. My knees grew weak. I grabbed onto his arm and looked up at Him.
When Yeshua’s hazel eyes looked at me, they were filled with light, joy, peace. Heat poured through my heart and into my stomach. My knees started to collapse. The strength of His arm was the only thing keeping me from falling.
“My girl! Katie! Everything I have placed in you is infinitely more beautiful than what you are seeing right now. Infinitely!” He winked at me and lifted me by my elbows. As He did, strength returned to my shaking legs.
“Now, to answer your question with more than a rose. every person is unique. Each carries a certain type of beauty that the person next to them does not carry. I don’t look at aesthetics. I am much deeper than the world. I think in a way that people haven’t tapped into in regular practice. When you spend time with Me, the One who created you, uniquely you, you learn more about the beauty you hold. My girl.”
The veil remains open as He gently plucked a rose from the dirt and handed it to me.
“You wouldn’t hurt this rose, would you?”
“No! Of course not.”
He released my hand and lay the flower in it. “You need to stop hurting yourself with the words you speak and believe about yourself. When I look at you Katie, I do not see ugly. I see nothing lacking. I see perfection. In every child of mine, I see it. They are beautifully unique to me Katie. Show everyone how valued they are Katie. Show them what I see in them. Call out the truth in those who have been deceived by the enemy. I want them to hear this truth so badly.”
I nodded my head and tucked the rose close to my heart. He stepped closer to me and tenderly wiped my tears with his thumbs.
“I will keep fighting for you, my girl. I will never give up, even when you don’t see things as they are. I love you more than you could ever imagine.”
“And I love you Yeshua, so so much.”
We stood there together for some time before I opened my eyes. The warmth remained. The galaxies and fireworks stayed etched in the darkest corners of my mind. When the dark thoughts try to invade I will show them back and speak the truth, “I am beautifully unique. Loved by the Creator of the Universe. Lies hold no power over me because I, just as the rose, am forever protected in the shadow of my Savior.”
Now when the dark thoughts try to invade I will shove them back, break patterns that have controlled my mind for decades, and speak the powerful truth I now hold dear to my heart.
“I am beautifully unique. Loved by the Creator of the Universe. Lies hold no power over me because I, just as the rose, am forever protected in the shadow of my Savior.”
My friends and I haven’t experienced the light of day in one hundred hours, thirty minutes, fifteen seconds. I stand outside the old church we have taken refuge in, glance at my watch then back out at the ruins. Chunks of broken pavement enshrouded in night lay before me. Only four, flickering light posts, spread quite far from one another, dimly brighten sections of that pavement. Just as the sun has abandoned us, the moon is not out either.
I glance ahead. Small, hairy figures move into a lightened section then sink back into the shadows slowly. A dank smell, wet and moldy with a tinge of flesh follows them. They are hyenas. I know that much. Are they hungry even after feasting on the dead lying in the streets? Perhaps. But I need to get across the lot to get some nourishment of my own, water. The beasts don’t seem to be aware of my presence. I am willing to take the risk.
I take a step off the grass and onto the broken tarmac. A hyena standing in flickering light turns to me stares then lets out a loud, low, ominous warble. A grow sounds to my right then my left. Jolts of fear smash through my spine as I turn to run inside the church. The smell gets worse. Much worse. I reach for the door and slam it behind me. Turn the lock on the knob.
It won’t lock. Why won’t it lock? With high pitched, unearthly noises, the hyenas smash themselves against the wood, howling and pawing to get in. One sticks his paw through an open slot between frame and door. I scream and pull the door closer to me, slamming its foot inside. Blood stains the frame. The beast yelps in pain and hobbles away. Hopefully, my two friends sleeping upstairs will hear everything and lock themselves away safely, just like I encouraged them to do earlier. The onslaught of snarling faces, pounding and howling continues then gradually fades into the gentle sound of my crying. Finally, they had given up.
I slide down the door, my hand firmly grasping its handle. Sobs rack my body. I need to pull it together. How stupid of me to go out there! But we need water. It’s been almost three days without. I stay there, holding my arms tightly on the knob. I need to move upstairs, to be in a safe space but I can’t move my legs. I am exhausted.
A large shadow slinking across the yard catches my eye. I push myself to my feet and stare out the bulletproof window on the white door. I hold in a scream as a large face appears. Its green eyes study me. Black and orange stripes etch its face. I tighten my grip on the handle. It growls, then roars. Teeth bared. A tiger.
It turns and swings itself at the door with its body. Crack. The animal broke the wood with its sheer weight. There was no way I could hold it back. I release the handle, push myself up and run towards the dark hallway on my right. It bellows and takes off after me.
My foot snags. I fall and claw myself to standing.
“God! Help me!” The tiger’s eyes flash. An explosion of light. A loud, horrific moan. The tiger lays on the floor a hundred feet in front of me. Its arms and legs splayed; its eyes frozen in perpetual horror. I grip the wall and watch as a giant creature walks over the body of the tiger. A lion. My body stiffens. He stares at me for a moment with honey coloured eyes. His profound thought leaked through his golden eyes.
“My Child, ask, and you will receive.”
As we hold each other’s gaze, sunlight inches across my pale skin. A burst of light explodes through the back wall. A surge of power blasts through the right then the left. The building was imploding and I was in the middle of it. I throw my hands over my head and scream. The lion starts to roar. Deep, loud, terrifying. Glass shatters. Stone rumbles around me. The building crumbles. I wait until the sounds have died and look up shakily. I am not hurt. There is no lion. Only sun and warmth. I see my friends waving to me in the distance. I feel peace. Only peace. Something I hadn’t felt in a very long time.
Fear. It smashes into us in waves. It comes to us in myriads of ways. My fear manifested in the dream I just shared with you. I woke up in a sweat and begged God for peace so I could calm down and fall asleep again. As I lay there in the darkness, waiting, He reminded me of three verses I thought I knew well:
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
“The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Exodus 14:14
“Cast your cares upon the Lord for He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7
For those of you who experience fear. Any fear at all… fear about what people think of you, fear for your job security, fear that you won’t make it into University or pass your classes, I ask you to discipline yourself to remember that God is a prayer away. Although our requests may not seem to be answered as immediately as they are in the dream I shared, He always answers. ALWAYS. In the right timing, the best timing that is condusive to our growth towards the Father.
He wants us to flourish and prosper! His heart is for us!
While you wait on Him, continually choose to soak in His word and truths. They are truth, they are light, they are going to let you live life to the fullest.
Above all, remember: He is for you. He has fought and continues to fight for you, even when you aren’t aware of it.
With much love,
Picture this: you’re at a party, sitting on an oversized cushion with some friends. The music is on point; the conversation between your bros flows like water. All is well. You lift your cup to your mouth and look out over the sea of people BOOM. There she is, golden hair glistening in the overhead strobes. That smile of hers brighter than any sun you’ve ever seen. She’s gorgeous. All the guys are looking at her and she’s looking at… you (cue Rihanna and Mr. Calvin Harris). Instant connection. She walks over with her friend and starts a conversation. You can tell you’re not the only one intent, fixated on her every word. She smells like a bed of roses and is the epitome of beauty itself. The two of you look deep into each other’s eyes. Fireworks start exploding in the background.
Magical, right? Corny? Perhaps. I mean, where they heck did the fireworks come from? You’re probably in some dude’s basement…
Please humor me and picture this: the next day you’re staring at the blonde beauty’s number in your phone. Should you call her? She’s beautiful, smart and hilarious. You’ve known her for a couple years before the party but this is the first time she’s noticed you. You’re super attracted to her but should you do something about it? Should you ask her out?
My friends, the situation can be daunting, no matter which side of the gender coin you’re on. I’ve been asked questions about how to start a relationship and would love to share some of my biggest fears when I dove into dating. Although I’m almost 100% certain your situation will be different than the one I have described bear with me. I think this advice is beneficial for anyone, no matter what your situation might be.
- What if they aren’t the one? I don’t believe there is one person for you! I’m not advocating for expedient divorce in the future but I am saying: don’t worry (Matthew 6:8) about missing out on the experience of a lifetime with that one person. I believe there were other men I could have married and things would have still been beautiful. The main point: don’t freak out because you think you’ll miss the chance of a lifetime if you don’t date someone. God works things for the good of those who love Him. He’s in the business of doing that. I promise.
- What if I waste years dating someone I’m not going to marry? Everything boils down to this: your relationship with God is where everything else flows. Intimacy with the Creator is friendship. He will direct you and let you know where you are to go when you are spending time with Him, seeking to know Him and listening to what He already says to you via His word. If you don’t have this intimate relationship with Christ first, PLEASE pursue Him before pursuing a relationship with someone else. When you do, He will lead you in a way that is most beneficial to you and your growth.
- What if I’m not ready for dating? Subconsciously we all know what is good for us and what isn’t. If you do not think you should be dating someone because you struggle with addictions or are having some deep emotional shifts or in a season of your life where you find personal growth exponentially more pertinent than communal growth, then don’t feel bad when you say no. That person will understand. Even if they don’t, they will move on. It’s also important to keep in mind that we over spiritualize things at times. When you start dating someone it’s for marriage, yes but that doesn’t mean you MUST marry the person. Please hear me out: You are getting to know them. It’s not a zillion year long commitment that you’re signing up for. When you say yes to the fancy dinner date you aren’t selling your soul to the devil… totally different processes ;P I wouldn’t know.
That’s all for now, my friends! If there’s anything you would like me to write on please let me know. I am super open to suggestions and would love to take a shot at answering questions that are relevant to those I love and care for.
Cheerio for now!
So, we want to talk about the beloved intricacies of a whirlwind also known as dating? Ooooo. Friend, can I be starch-as corn-honest and super real with you? Staying pure of thought and action is not easy when the other sex is involved. I get it, men’s forearms are great! Ahem. Yeah, it can be a tough sport even when you’re married.
Because I love you all and find much joy in sharing the journey, I’ve written some advice for you to think about when you’re dating someone or considering dating in the future. These tips come from my own experience, heartache and grandiose mistakes. The really great thing is that God has made all those terrible choices melt into a giant ocean of grace. Even if you flub during your journey, He will grant the exact same grace to you. If you don’t remember anything from this little chat, pllllease remember this: you are precious beyond measure and loved beyond possible comparison. Nothing you do will separate you from Christ’s love for you. That being said, let’s learn how to make choices that will make God’s heart happy and lead you into a life of great joy and fulfillment.
My Advice (earned through buckets of tears, incessant screaming at innocent trees and wild fantasies of slashing the tires of the “Cheater”).
Numero Uno: Relationship with Christ is KEY. Perhaps you’ve heard this 5 million times. Yeah, there’s a reason for that. I can’t stress this piece of advice STRONGLY enough so please, hear me out. When you cultivate a strong relationship with the Lord you learn more about who you are. When you know who you are, a cherished son or daughter of the Most High God, you will grow to love who you are. When you can love you, you’re capable of loving others in the way He has called us to love others. Seriously, from the health of your friendship with the Creator, all others flow. Very good things come when you respect yourself and others. Also, He’s a great One to bounce ideas off of. I.E: should I date this person, should I skip? Trust me. I trusted Him and He brought me the best man I could have ever asked for <3 Legit, he’s just as weird as me, if not weirder, and that if you know me, even just a smidge, you’ll know that’s a tough find.
Obedience over passion. First of all, don’t tempt yourself. If sitting downstairs watching Netflix under a comfy blanket with your bae (do people use that word anymore?) is going to get you started down a path of uh-oh, then don’t do it! It breaks God’s heart when we do stuff like that. Not because He’s an angry old man who hates joy. Au contraire. He wants us to enjoy life to the fullest, the way He designed it. See, He knows that the pleasure of the moment is never worth the bond you form with that other person. If you do decide to break things off it’s going to be SO much harder than had you kept obedience at the forefront. Even if you stay with that person, it takes some time to unlearn physical touch as the pinnacle of the relationship. If you want a path filled with joy and freedom to the fullest, learn what He says about purity and follow it. I wish I had done that right off the bat! It would have saved myself many miles of heartache.
Set mutually accepted boundaries. All actions start with thought. If you both agree that a boundary is not okay to cross, you agree to not cross it. When tempted, remember who this person is. They are a son or a daughter of the Most High God. Out of love, their Father is watching and waiting to see if you will treat that person with the kind of respect they deserve.
Allow others into your life who are willing to keep you accountable. When you have a boundary set, let others know about it. Not every Tom, Jim and Lacy have to be aware of the lines you’ve drawn in the sand but be intentional. Pick people you can trust to hold you to the high standards you are worthy of. Back in the day, a friend of mine told me he would owe his sibling $100 if he made a move on my other friend, the girl he was dating. Every time he made a move that crossed the boundary line he and my other friend had set he would owe $100 more than what he previously paid. The plan was genius. Let’s just say, they didn’t spend a swack load of nights together intertwined in front of the TV.
Listen to those who love you. If the people you love and trust are telling you your new boyfriend or girlfriend isn’t the best choice for you, listen to them. Hear them out. Please don’t get defensive. I would always put my guard up whenever my mother would try to tell me something about my new, fancy love interest. I never listened and paid for my choice. Thankfully my mother has always been gracious enough to never say, “told ya so.”
Well friendos, that’s it for now. If you think of any blog posts you would like me to write on, I would be honoured! Feel free to shoot me a message on Facebook or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Double chins and love from the masters of weird.
I step outside the marble pillars of the villa and peer past the sprawling courtyard. Servants hurriedly pluck fresh weeds and pour water delicately onto flowers. I smile at them as I walk past. Some grin back, others keep their heads bowed respectfully. The heat burns my exposed shoulders so I pull the silk shroud over them. Helios, god of the sun, must be hard at work today. His overexertion of expertise amplified far beyond what I, and most in Pompeii, appreciate. Passerby’s on the street wave in my direction as I walk past; some avert their eyes, dip their heads and carry on. I return glances, waves and air blown kisses before turning my vision on the ruins before me. The earthquake that destroyed most of Pompeii’s streets is long gone, vanished like a speck of amber dust on the ocean breeze; however, the rubble of past offenses remains and the once thriving merchants of this town set up shops in caves, the crumbling remains of their dignity. I haven’t the heart or the guts to tell them it was my over excited father who caused it all.
I was conceived in a manner most aren’t familiar with. It may sound odd but my father, the god of fine art, artisans, sculptures and fire, was able to produce me by himself. I was the product, formed by the melted iron of loneliness and the stinging flame of an aching soul. My father, who had been tossed away by his mother for his deformities, wanted a companion, an underling as it were. He used his power to make it happen. Upon my creation, he uttered a shout, loud enough to rock the foundations of the volcano, Vesuvius and powerful enough to kill six hundred innocent people. Death came as my new life was celebrated. This is where the shame sets in like a terrified serpent seeking shelter from a hurricane. The shame is relentless and unquenchable.
But, even if I did work up the courage to tell people, I’m not certain most would believe me. As far as they understand, I am the illegitimate daughter of Julia Felix, one of the most wealthy and respected merchants in Pompeii. Given her position in the town’s government and the status of her equestrian family, I am annulled of any shame; however, I still feel the oddness of my situation as it burns through my innermost self and deep into the caverns of my heart.
My mother never existed, my father, Vulcan, as the Romans know him, is a deformed, overzealous beast; my grandparents, Zeus and Hera, are war lords, bent on carnage and perfection. Father tells me I am hidden away from them so they will not destroy me. Perhaps they don’t understand that I, just as they are, am immortal. Father tells me the only way I can die is by fire. He says this as it is the same with him. I hope to never die. I hope to make change to a world that has been pillaged by the wars of my family. I will restore order where is necessary and make right all things the gods of Olympus have made wrong. Julia Felix named me Matilde. Since then I have changed the word to “Matilda”. Despite the change, the name means “strength in battle” but I do not want to be the cause of unnecessary fatalities, bloodshed, and loss. Enough is enough.
I aspire to live up to the meaning of my name but in a peaceable way. But, like they say, the tempers of the gods are insatiable, their lust for war and territory rampant. They are the immortalized characters, the caricature of human nature at its worst. They also say, once a god always a god. I can only pray this isn’t true.
The scent of cumin and frying tilapia mingle and fill the breezy air. Cries of fishermen returning home after a long day echo across the dark waves. I press my fingers into my pounding temple and tuck a stray strand of dry hair behind my ear, waiting. For what, I’m not sure. I sit here alone, staring out at the surf, thinking. Could death be easier than life? Just three days ago, doctors at home gave me another round of radiation. How interesting, the one thing sustaining my life is tearing me apart, killing me. Lately, my life has been a surging ocean of juxtapositions. Vast, wide, powerful and unforgiving. Flying to my father’s house in Tiberius was the best decision I had made in a while. The deadly heat, terrifying sea storms, political unrest and unfamiliarity of language are perfect reflections of my internal conflict. Perfect.
I lift my phone; there are a couple lingering Instagram likes from my slowly waining fan base. Three Facebook notifications reminding me about upcoming events. No texts, no voicemail messages. The last one, three weeks ago was from Max, Mr. Show Biz, the man who told me he would give his life for me. Bull. People reveal who they really are when you’re not at your best, hurting or, in my case, dying. Emotionally first, spiritually second, physically third.
I stare down at my white legs, they are thinner than they have ever been. The medical treatments have curbed my diet, thus making my famed curves melt into bone. Life is cruel, horrible even. Four and a half months ago I landed a contract with Storm agency in Los Angeles, Prada and Gucci contacted my agency wanting to set up shoot times. I had worked hard and was on top of the world. I run my fingers through my hair, look down and gasp. I clutch a fistful of strands in my hand. I’m slowly losing yet another thing that makes me feel beautiful, valuable, comfortable. Before long, it would all be gone.
“Shalom.” I jump a little and spin around. A man is in a white tee is standing there.
“Hello.” He smiles and sits down beside me. Given the heightened spirituality in this place I half expect him to have a golden sash across his chest. The landscape is stunning but Israel and its religion, it’s suffocating. I slide a little closer to the waves, away from the man. Please, God let him take the hint.
He ignores my gesture of discomfort and stares out at the waves. “Beautiful morning, isn’t it?”
“Yeah, it’s nice.” I study my feet, noting that his accent sounds slightly Israeli, slightly American. If he decides to rob me or something I’ll have a small lead for the police. Helpful. Really helpful.
“Where are you from?”
I look up at the sea and pluck at my thin tee. “Colorado.”
“Ah, it’s stunning there.”
I tuck a piece of hair behind my ear. “Listen, I’ve had an awful year…”
He clasps his hands and leans towards me. “Why is that?”
“Please.” The last thing I want is a counseling session from a stranger. I turn to stare him down and stop. His eyes. Hazel. The most brilliant conglomeration of green, brown and orange I have ever seen. Beyond the colour I see compassion. I see compassion in those eyes. No one has ever looked at me like that, ever. In the days of my successful modeling career, it was burning envy and empty praise. Nowadays, smugness and pity. So many people were happy to see me fall. Was he one of the many who came to mock me? Maybe he wasn’t.
I look away quickly. “I have cancer.”
He looked back out at the sea. “We all have that.”
I bite my tongue, repelling the anger welling within me. “Do you have any idea what it feels like to be dying?”
He looks at the surf with a thoughtful smile on his face. “I do.”
I pick up a rock and lob it into the water. “Well, I’m sorry you had to go through it.” He pauses and picks up a stone.
“Do you believe you can be healed?”
“Science is getting better, I suppose so.”
From my peripheral I see those compassionate eyes studying me. “Do you trust me?”
“Uh, I guess. Why?”
He leans towards me and offers his strong hands. I notice two large scars on his wrists. “May I?”
I nod, still in shock over the white marks. He takes my frail hands.
“You are healed.” The once gentle breeze blew a gust of force, whipping my hair away from my face. My spine straightened involuntarily, commanded by an invisible force. The loud thumping in the right side of my temple subsides. I look up. Those eyes. Pools of honey and green, nourishment and new life. Who is this man? His presence is overwhelming. Warmth envelopes my heart, my stomach. Tingles shoot through my arms and legs. My eyes start to close.
“Peace my friend. Just be.” I squeeze my eyes shut. Bursts of light and warmth fill my sight. The breeze whispers through my hair. The sunlight shining on my skin no longer burns oppressively. But above all, that feeling of peace overwhelms me. I hear birds singing songs to my right and left.
“I am always with you. Always.” His words echo into the empty caverns of my soul, my heart, my spirit. When the warmth subsides, I open my eyes to see him but he is gone. In his place sits a small, white bird. It studies me with gentle eyes before taking flight over the glimmering sea. I watch until its small wings disappear over the horizon.
I stand and do not feel light headed. I take a step and do not feel pain in my bones. I walk to the top of the shoreline and stare back down to where we were sitting. One man’s choice to see me and care changes everything. No matter what it takes, I will find the man who healed me on the shores of Galilee. No matter what it takes.
Greater love has no man than this, that he would lay his life down for his friends
I stare up at the gray clouds with a realization daunting as a sea storm, I am about to be humiliated and die brutally in front of thousands of people. The pungent smell of blood rises from the sand beneath my feet, it soaks into my sandals. The roar of the massive crowd echoes across the arena, drowning the snarls of the caged lions to my right. Two gatekeepers stand near the barrier keeping the giant cats from entering the arena.
A scruffy legionary unsheathes a dagger and tilts it down, at my neck.
“This way. Move.” As I step closer to the Emperor’s stand I glance up at the crowds. Their mouths twist grotesquely, a thirst for death evident in their eyes. Their thunderous cries are repetitious, cruel and terrifying as they chant, “kill her, kill her.” The dark clouds move closer, the smell of a storm hangs in the air.
The soldier grabs my long braid and pulls me to the ground. Pain shoots up my knees, tears and sand sting my eyes. I glance up to see the Emperor, draped in purple and gold. His rings glint as he waves to the crowd. He stares down at me as he sinks into his seat. The man’s strong body, sharp jaw and deep eyes are famous for their ability to grab the hearts of the Romans, even a few Jewish women fell beneath his spell. I now see why. The Emperor, only a few years older than me, truly is beautiful.
The soldier slaps the back of my head, making me bite my tongue. “Don’t look at him until he asks you to.” Sand cakes my lips and mixes with the blood in my mouth. I look down at the dirt, humiliated, knowing my life is at the mercy of the Emperor.
The Emperor’s loud voice booms across the sands and into the stands. “Girl, you claim to follow the Way? This is your crime?”
I look up to match his gaze. “Yes.” Boos and hisses erupt from the crowd. A piece of rotten fruit is tossed at my head. It meets its target. The juice stings my eyes. I squeeze them shut. The soldier slaps my head again and tilts my chin up.
“Pay respect to your Emperor.” I force my eyes open.
The Emperor’s dark eyes casually study my tomato stained face, shredded tunic and bruised limbs. “Brutus, if you dare touch her once more I’ll feed you to the ravenous hippos.”
The legionary backed away from me. “Yes, my Lord.”
The Emperor’s eyes meet mine. “Beautiful girl, I have a proposition to make of you.” The sounds of the people grow quiet. I’ve never been in an arena such as this one but from the reaction of the crowd, I assume this doesn’t happen often.
I steady my rapidly increasing breaths. “Deny your faith and you will be granted the riches of my house, the pleasures of living with the Emperor of Rome. Who could deny such a generous proposition?” He makes a sweeping motion with his arm and the crowd roars to life.
His white teeth flash as he studies the crowd, still addressing me. “Just deny your ridiculous faith and it’s all yours.”
“Ketura! Ketura!” I search for the strained voice calling my name and see my older sister in the stands just below the Emperor. She leans over the seat in front of her, a terrified grimace plastered onto her chalked face. Another girl, dressed in Roman garb stands next to her, smirking.
“Choose him! Choose him! Don’t lose your life, gain it back!” I stare at my sister, her long hair twisted into a Roman knot, decorated so beautifully by the slaves of her powerful friend. She had been drawn away from the Way long ago when I first started taking interest in the legacy of the man-God named Yeshua.
I look at the top of my hands then study my palms. They have been crafted, not by rulers and their incentives but by a God who laid the patterns of the stars. The same God who gave His life for me. The same God who required the same from me.
The Emperor’s deep voice commands my attention, this time with less volume. “Look at me.”
“Your God asks too much of you. Come, be with me. I will ask much less and give so much more. My only objective is your delight.” I ignore my sister’s excited screams and study the elaborate, gold embroidery on his tunic, his strong arms and the golden crown nestled in his dark hair. He is a picture of health and beauty, a quintessential symbol of the all-powerful Rome. The arena is silent. Women and men alike lean over the sides of the railings, waiting for my answer.
“I… I can’t.”
His eyes darken. “You think you can deny god what is already his?”
I swallow the blood and dust in my mouth. “I serve only one God and you are not him.” The Emperor looks at me with those deep eyes, shaking his head. He rises to address the crowd.
“What should be done to her?”
The stunned silence quickly morphs into hissing, booing and spitting. More throw rotten fruit and vegetables are thrown from the stands. The same death sentence once screamed over me returns with great fervor, “kill her, kill her, kill her!”
The Emperor feigns pity. “Well, my beauty. What a waste. The people have spoken. Guards, release the beasts.”
“You’re as stupid as they come.” The soldier standing beside me snarls before jogging to an exit nearby. The gatekeepers unlatch the iron bars keeping the animals at bay. The cats scramble onto the sand, one lioness’s eyes scan the arena then lock on me. Screams of approval erupt from the crowd. My knees lock, drops of rain splatter onto my exposed shoulders. I stand slowly and lift my arms into the air. The cat approaches me, licking its lips. I look at the Emperor, on his face is a sardonic grin.
My sister’s excited screams have turned into wailing. “Ketura! No!” I turn to face her, taking one last look.
“Sister, choose life! Remember what Abba used to teach us. You have to die so you can live.” A piercing pain overtakes my shoulder. I scream as the beast pulls me onto my back. Hot, wet breath hovers over me, the smell of hell itself.
As I scream to the heavens, water fills my nose and mouth. “Elohim! Your will be done.”
Another stab of pain takes over my leg, then the other leg, then my neck. I fade from the darkness, the pain and mud into the most brilliant of lights. Bright, shining beams of light that reverberate through my skin and into the air around me. All is still. Singing. Melodious and joyful sounds surround me. Warmth spreads through my stomach and into my heart. There is no more pain, no more suffering. I laugh. I start to sing. The warmth deepens and spreads through my entire body. I feel someone approaching my right and turn.
A figure, dressed in white robes emerges from the light. In his hand is a crown, bright and brilliant. It is more beautiful than anything worn by the prestigious of Rome. The tall man places it on my head and holds my face with strong hands. His eyes hold galaxies. I collapse in his embrace and weep as he holds me.
“Well done my girl, well done. Your life has just begun.”
Before the busyness of the day begins, I sit down. Laying in front of me is my robin-egg creative writing Bible. Beside it, one of my bargain store journals splays across the table. I take a sip of my smoothie and stare mildly. If I’m honest with myself, there’s a part of me that dreads this time of the day.
I fear the failures that will be exposed, I fear the work associated with extracting my imperfections and diagnosing them. My fear is that I won’t add up, once again. For some reason, I dive headlong into the conclusion that there will be a million and ten things wrong with the way I am conducting the intricacies of my life… yet another reason I need to start reading the egg-shell book… condemnation sucks.
Here we go. I crack open the Bible and start reading Proverbs 3… for the Lord corrects those He loves, just as a Father corrects a child in whom he delights…joyful is the person who finds wisdom, the one who gains understanding… Okay, so how do I gain wisdom Lord?
Lord? I roll my eyes and move on to the next passage. For wisdom is more profitable than silver, and her wages are better than gold…
“Katie. Sit with me.” His voice is but a whisper but it resounds so deeply. Sit with me…
“Lord, I am sitting with you.”
“Katie. Rest. Be with me, not with your to-do list. I am here. Waiting. Come sit with me.” With a sheepish grin on my face, I tuck the Bible away, put down my pen and close my eyes.
“Just sit with me.” His plea is so innocent, almost childlike in longing. The warmth of His smile cascades over my shoulders like sunlight. Warmth, peace. A little girl’s laughter. Sun bathed flowers of all kinds. The Father chuckles. His laughter sounds of rushing waters, tumbling and leaping and crashing in pursuit of the shore. A blanket of warmth and softness tickles my toes. I open my eyes. He rests beside me, one arm around me the other in His lap. Those eyes. I catch my breath. They are deep caverns of living
“Daughter, what do you see?”
I open my eyes. He rests beside me, one arm around me the other in His lap. Those eyes. I catch my breath. They are deep caverns of living colour, awash with sunsets, dancing prairie grass and the greenery of Israel in bloom. He smiles knowingly, fully aware of all my thoughts. God of the Universe pulls me close, leans His chin gently onto my head and starts to sing. Deep, melodious and rich.
“My girl, my girl, perfect you are to me. You are worthy. I long to be with you. I want to hold you. Trust me. Trust me. Trust me. There’s no peace like mine. No striving. You are perfect my girl. Perfect. Perfect. Perfect. Nothing you could ever do will disappoint me.”
My heart warms, the pains and disappointments of life subside. I am filled with joy, in the presence of my Father. The One who knows me more intimately than any other and there’s nothing more I could ever want. I reside where my soul has forever longed to be. I am home.
If you’ve worked yourself out of the daily practice of time with the Father, don’t feel condemned. He holds no offense against you. My prayer is that you are inspired to once again join your Father in the place of being, the place of rest.
Much love, peace and rest,
Recently, I sat at my window staring out at the birds. It didn’t take long before the neighbours idiot dogs started yapping. I slowly sipped on my poo coloured, chocolate flavoured smoothie, anticipating the glorious quiet my recently purchased dog silencer would bring to the neighbourhood.
After taking in a couple deep breaths I cracked opened Alex’s bible. It had been a while since I read it paperback form and even longer since I had used my own (moving blues).
“God what do you want to talk about today.”
Fear. Katie, today we need to talk about fear.
I was a little surprised at His response, thinking we would be working on something more along the lines of patience…perhaps that one is for tomorrow…
Following His prompt, I picked up my pen and wrote, what do I fear, Father? There was a brief pause followed by a slew of situations where I have felt fear, most of them I have experienced since my teen years. One out of the large list hit me the hardest.
Fear of rejection.
Lord, how the heck do I get rid of this? I flipped to the index on the back of the Bible… fears. The verses that stood out most to me formed a beautiful pattern that I have put into, what I call, “freedom steps”. These “freedom steps” helped me move away from holding on to fear and anxiety. They propelled me towards freedom in Christ.
This is what they look like:
Step 1: hear and believe who God is.
Isaiah 35:4 says – “Be strong, do not fear; your God will come. He will come with vengeance; with divine retribution. He will come to save you.”
God is VERY interested in coming to save you at a time that is most conducive to your well-being and the glorification of His name. In the meantime, He tells us to not fear, no matter how dire the circumstance might look. Trust that He cares and will come for you. Do not fear when people reject you, the Lord will come and bring His perfect justice into the situation. He is a Father who loves and protects. He will avenge you.
In the meantime, He tells us to not fear, no matter how dire the circumstance might look. Trust that He cares and will come for you. Do not fear when people reject you, the Lord will come and bring His perfect justice into the situation. He is a Father who loves and protects. He will avenge you. He will bring people who love you and respect you, you only need to ask Him for this and wait on Him.
Step 2: run to Jesus when life is falling apart.
John 14:27 – “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give it to you as the world gives (that is fleeting and momentary). Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
Jesus left us with His incredible peace. Seek Him and the peace He gives freely, not the fleeting pleasures the world has to offer. The happiness and peace that money, fame, relationships and status give are momentary and will come crashing to the ground. Those things may tempt you into thinking they will give you peace but they can’t. They are not enough to fill the God sized holes in our hearts. Relationship and friendships won’t fix our fear of rejection but Jesus will. Run to Him and His truth before anything else as He is the only One who will truly satisfy.
Step 3: have faith, believe He cares about you and act on it!
1 Peter 5:7 – “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”
Giving our worry to the Lord is a constant act of faith. We can choose to hold on to our concerns and allow them to manifest in anxiety and other disabling ailments or we can be bold, take a leap of faith and give them to a God who cares for us.
So, to answer the underlying original question: is it possible to be free from fear of rejection?
With God, anything is possible. So, yes. Definitely. It’s up to us whether or not we choose to pursue the One who brings ultimate freedom.
Have you ever rolled out of bed in the morning, sprung up, studied your bleary-eyed reflection in the mirror and said to yourself, “you know what? I don’t feel human today; I must not be human.” You’re probably giving me an eye roll and baulking, “yeah! All the time Katie.” Yeah, said no one ever.
Okay, I’m not going to make light of the situation at hand but it’s important to realize what we are agreeing to when we abide solely in our emotions and feelings about something.
We agree to super untrue things all the time. How often do we look in the mirror and think, “holy… I am an ugly piece of work”? Or on the other end of the spectrum, “wow, look at these curves; better make sure I maintain them, otherwise people won’t like me as much as they do now.”
Those are both untruths; albeit on opposite ends. Regardless of which side you digress towards, if what you are saying does not agree with what God says about you and your situation, you are repeating Satan’s lies over yourself. There’s no in between. There’s no middle ground. We are in a war and the king of lies wants to tear you apart, it’s a battle strategy and it works, if we let it.
Use God’s Word as it is, a weapon of destruction, a sword of truth. Choose to stand firm in what it says. Listen to what He says about you, not what the world wants you to believe about your identity.
The verse I meditate on regularly has brought me more freedom than I ever thought possible and I am honoured to share it with you, “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” Psalm 139:14
Repeat it, ask God for help to believe it, soak in it, be changed by it then use it to bring hope to a dying world. This is basic stuff but it’s foundational to a life of peace, joy and power; all the things I desperately wish for you to experience, the things that will help you live life like you never thought possible.
With much love,
When I wake up in the morning, bleary-eyed and weak, You sigh. It’s not a gesture of impatience or frustration. You don’t see me as an inconvenience. To You, I am a delight. I am to be marveled at. I am to be cherished. Little do I know that You watched over me as I slept and because of You no harm befell me. My lungs still pump air in and out. In and out, without me noticing. Just another example of Your grace.
As I stand in front of my fridge, frumpy and placid as can be. Crazy, puffy mane all over the place You grin. You love that You made me to make all kinds of expressions. In the cute category, this one ranks close to the top. I swear I hear You laugh as I pop a spoon into the peanut butter and shovel the paste into my mouth, too lazy to put it on my toast.
I sit down at my computer, half awake, half zombie. You stand behind me. Your proud smile bursts beams of light through my mind. Your joy illuminates my thoughts and brings me the passion to do what I do best. You place Your hand on my shoulder and my stomach ignites with flames. You use the words I write to burn out the impurities and dross floating around in my mind.
You lead us, You love us. You will never forsake us.
Friends, my prayer is that you see and feel God this way. Know that He smiles at you, laughs at your jokes, wants you to run to Him when you hurt. Know that He is watching out for you and that that is the most important thing for you to know.
Seven years ago, I didn’t think freedom was possible. Freedom from a plethora of crippling elements. My emotions, my thoughts, my circumstances. Everything seemed impossible and anything that might have potential “light at the end of the tunnel”… I had to fight for. It was exhausting. I was stuck inside the confines of my brain. Trapped in devastating patterns that ruined relationships and wiped out opportunity.
If you struggle with any kind of addiction. Be it substance abuse, emotional turmoil, ways of unhealthy thinking… et cetera I want to encourage you. Freedom is possible. I’m not whittling the process down to make it sound easy but I do want you to know that it’s simple.
Here’s the first step:
Stop fighting and surrender.
God completely changed my life when I stopped beating myself up trying to fight the monster. He taught me to give my challenges to Him. When I let Him take the reigns He did the impossible. He helped me scale walls that were so tall I couldn’t see the top. The most amazing thing is this: I didn’t have to fight for it. I had to make choices but He did the rest. I was safe to rest in His arms while He beat away the enemy.
If you’re feeling tired, worn down and discouraged I hope this brings life back to your soul. Remember, “the LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still” and He does not hold back on His promises. Trust Him and lean into Him today.
With much love,
He and I sit alone together, staring out at the expanse of the ocean. Spinning cosmos and sprinkles of stars dance in the far distance. Eager waves toss and crash into the rocky crags beyond. It’s a beautiful sight but the mood in our meeting is different this time. Solemn. Sad. He looks at me, his eyes wrought with grief.
“Katie, they will one day know who True Love is.” I nod solemnly and look out to dolphins jumping. Their synchronized dance pulls at my heart. It’s all so perfect and yet people did not see my Father’s creative hand in it. Anger started to stir in my gut.
“Father, You made everything so perfect, yet they don’t see it. They say You are hateful and unjust. A giant bigot with overbearing rules.” A picture of Jesus, beaten, dripping with blood and struggling for breath flashes through my mind. We both stop. Breathe. The anger dissolves as He tenderly takes my hand. I remember sin and death and impending doom were beaten the day the Son of God was killed for mankind.
He smiles. “It is finished.”
Yes, the evil one’s plans were abolished on the day the Son of God was killed for mankind but still…
“Father, how can You still love people who mock You and spit in Your face? You’re so perfect and Holy and they don’t see it. You only want the best for them and yet they abhor You. It’s not right! It hurts me so much.”
He pulls me close, into the warmth of his shoulder. “That is the definition of true love Katie. It is unconditional. It doesn’t change based on what they do and don’t do. I will always love them.”
I stare out at the ocean and snuggle deeper in His embrace. I want to understand True Love and feel it. I want to be that kind of love for people, just like my Best Comfort and Provider is for me. I want to be an image of my Father.
God, would You please help me love those who mock You and berate Your name. Father, would You show them Your unconditional love for them and pull them close to You, just like You do for me.
I love You because You loved me first <3