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.
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!
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.”
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,
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
Every one of us has a special skill, gift or talent. Mine is the propensity for joy with a slight edge of blackened comedy. I can walk into a room and within a couple minutes have at least one person laughing, even if that person is me 😝 When you’re an only child you make due with what you have… often it was me and my Barbie dolls make three… so. I don’t think my brain fully formed. The moral of the story is: have more than one kid. The end.
When God gave us talents, be it the ability to organize, lead or offer quiet, solid advice, He didn’t do so arbitrarily. He crafted us with intention and purpose. Yes, there is a purpose to everything God has made and, we are the by-product of that purpose.
The gifts He placed in us are meant to reflect who He is. When we use those gifts to bring glory to ourselves it pulls us down, depresses us and leaves us begging for recognition. When I thought my pretty face could make myself feel better about a bad day, it actually warped my emotional situation into something much worse. I started to run to the mirror whenever I needed affirmation.
Yeah…on days when I thought I looked like crap, everything kind of went downhill.
But when I started to ask God to make my gifts shine for His glory and not mine, things started to change, drastically. As soon as I started listening to His voice, and not use tasks to prove my worth, the anxiety I suffered from, lifted.
I realize this was the case because I had decided to pull myself off the stage and allow the King to take His place. When I did that, I started to not care about what people thought of me. I realized that any good bad or ugly conclusion they came to could fall on the shoulders of Christ. He would shoulder the burden for my imperfections.
He was the One on the stage, not me.
My prayer is that you allow Him to use the incredible gifts you have been given for His glory and allow Him to shoulder your many imperfections. He will do it with more love than you can ever imagine.
With blessings and much love,
Models on runways, pop idols tearing up stages, CEO’s raking in million after million, Instagramers with truckloads of followers… fame, fortune and followers. Ah, what a life. I used to want what they have. Then I took a closer look and realized something.
This world has way too many superstars.
Please don’t get me wrong, I respect hard work and dedication. A Spirit of Excellence is a wonderful thing but, as we see in tabloids all the time, it can turn sour if it’s being used to bring glory to the person honing it.
If you’re anything like me and you catch yourself feeling like you haven’t accomplished much because you don’t have fame, riches and followers, I urge you to stop and reevaluate. Consider this: which people have had the biggest impact on your growth as a person?
Maybe some popstars came to mind for you. None did for me.
Instead, I thought about the teachers who cared for me, took me for coffee, bought me books on writing and submitted my work to competitions. I thought about my mother, who has done so many things for me I don’t even know where to start and my grandparents. I think of the girl at the insurance office who told me I was pretty when I felt uglier than a bald cat or the writing mentor who didn’t give up on me. I think about the friends who listened to me and let me ugly cry into their beautiful clothes.
I’m telling you…
The people who leave a mark for eternity are the ones who journey beside us, down the messy path and through hardships. They are not the gods on their plinths, smiling down on their pathetic subjects. They are like Jesus, walking along the dirty roads, gathering dust in between their toes and holding close the untouchables. They are the people who are surrendered to God’s Spirit and sent out to love people unconditionally, not be their idols.
It’s not a popular idea.
Yes, fame and flashy things are what the world values. But the King who created this earth, He thinks about things much differently. He might call you to lead a large ministry or do something that gains global recognition but the point is this: the world doesn’t need more superstars. That is people who work solely for their value and the approval of others. So, please don’t strive for that. It is a path that will leave you so empty.
What the world REALLY needs are people willing to lay down their lives for whatever God has planned. The world needs life. And ironically, life comes from death to self.
It is when we lay down our selfish desires and embrace a relationship with God that we can truly life and bring joy, peace, freedom and life to all those around us.
When you question how valuable it is to die to self and live a life for God, remember this. One day, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that there is a God. We don’t have time to care if millions of people like us and follow what we do. Time is short and we have the greatest gift in the Universe.
Ourselves, sacrificed to God’s purposes, the best of purposes.
Let’s share it.
Fragrant, white flowers cascade over a casket of deep oak. Thousands of black-clad onlookers gaze pensively at the holy man. He talks about your memories of your life and the purpose of theirs. The mood is somber and makes for reflection. Just as the funeral crowd didn’t, we don’t think about death often but one day we will all be there, in that casket with no life left in our lungs.
Depressing much? And on a Monday? Katie, what the heck is wrong with you?
What if I told you that death was a good thing, an exceptional thing? The only way to truly living?
Let’s look at it this way, in a cat fight, sometimes it’s tough to be the “better woman.” If you know what I mean? Someone insults you, lies about you behind your back, says hurtful things to your face and you’re left standing there with shreds of skin hanging from your limbs and blood pooling at your feet.
Maybe that’s a little melodramatic… but maybe it isn’t.
I don’t know about you but whenever that kind of thing happens to me it feels like massive, fleshy chunks of pride are being extracted. I think most of us would agree that that is what happens after someone attacks someone who is alive. Ligaments tear, bones break, skin separates and bleeds. Pain, pain, pain.
What would happen if the person who was attacked wasn’t alive? Do the dead feel pain and bleed? Do the deceased horde knives and stab themselves with them whenever mention of the incident raises its ugly head? Nope. Because they are dead. No duh, hey?
I was thinking through some hurts I have experienced and was reminded of Romans 6:11, “So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.” We need to allow ourselves to be dead to self-provision, dead to what the world says of us, dead to the opinions of others that validate our worth.
When we’re dead and someone attacks us we won’t cry out, we won’t bleed. We are already safe in the arms of Jesus, the Author and Perfector of our faith, the One who gave His life so we can all live.
If I may, I would like to offer some practical advice: if someone offends you, don’t react. Don’t speak negatively about them. Don’t think about all the things you could do to get back at them.
Remember, when you died to yourself you were made alive in Christ.
All that to say you aren’t physically dead, no matter how great what I just said was. You still feel things. It’s important to acknowledge emotion but not stay fixed on it. After someone has taken a grenade to your heart take some time alone to process.
One of my amazing pastor friends taught me this after I was experiencing a round of grief: sit in a quiet space where no one can interrupt you (or preferably even hear you). Tell God how frustrated you are with the situation, pound things out, scream, punch a pillow, throw stuff. After the dust has settled, allow Christ to comfort you. Ask Him to help you love this seemingly despicable person. Ask Him to give you a new heart and new mind. Ask Him to help you see them the way He sees them.
Ask Him to help you plan your funeral.
He will come through. He most certainly did for me and the outcome was so much better than I could have imagined, I gained freedom from the thoughts of others and true life!
Also, for all you A types out there… don’t expect yourself to do everything perfectly, remember to rest in the Perfect One. The One who cares for you so desperately “cast all your cares on Him for He cares for you (1 Peter 5:7).”
With much love and adoration,
The wisps of white sway with a discrete breeze. “Warmth, power, peace, security.” Every word I speak feels closer to my chest the deeper I walk through these curtains, closer to you. But even as I walk I know that you are closer than the air in my lungs.
You speak to me through the gusts I take in: inhale, “I will never leave you.” And the exhales I gently force out “or forsake you.” You are the breath in my lungs. You are the ancient of Days, the ruach, my breath of life. You, the Creator of light are so close to me now.
I step beyond the line of the curtain and stare out. In that moment, I am more certain than ever that You have never left me. A slight breeze smooths itself across my face. Before my feet is an aquamarine sea. It stretches far beyond what I can see. The white sands surrounding it are dotted with shiny, rounded dots. Pearls. The symbol of purity through hardship. You tell me that you are proud of me and that I am your pearl. I smile, lean to the right, pluck one from the sand and slowly rub it in between my fingers.
“Daughter.” Your voice comes as a breeze off the light waters, causing them to arch, tremble and crash. Sweet spray dusts my face. I smile.
“Abba. You came.” I look up to see the sun but there isn’t one. I forget. My Father is the light. Rays of light wash over my head, my neck, my arms. I am mesmerized by the heat. It starts to spread through my stomach. A deep rumbling starts in the sky above me. It holds the melodious note of laughter, deep joy. A bubbling spring of warmth starts to rise in my belly. My Father is laughing. I can’t help but throw my hands to the sky and join Him. We stay here for an indeterminate amount of time. Time has melted away. It always does this when it’s just Him and me.
“Oh, Katie. I love you so much. So much.” One last rumble peals across the sky and through me. My knees give way beneath me and I begin to weep. The King’s joy has overwhelmed me.
I hear the sound of footfalls on the sand and slowly lift my gaze. White. He wears a long, white robe trim with red, the color of passion and purple, the color of royalty. The King stares at me for a moment before kneeling and placing his large hand on my shoulder. At the warmth of His hand and intentionality of His gaze, the gurgling fountains in my heart burst forth. I begin to laugh again. He stares into the sky and shouts at the top of His lungs.
“My daughter, in whom I am well pleased. I love her! I love her! I gave my life for her! I love her!” It’s all too much. Prolonged exposure to the warmth could incinerate my insides at any moment. But they don’t. I want to stay here, reflecting on His extreme love and passion for me.
So I do just that… and I soak, in His perfect presence.
I urge you to take time with the King today. Allow Him to listen to every word you say and care for your every fear. Let Him show you just how overwhelming His love is.
Do you ever feel anxious? I do. Today is one of those days. It’s a photo shoot day.
My stomach does flips. My smile sages. My closet is a mess. My makeup is smudged everywhere.
I look at my crazed self in the mirror and don’t measure up to what I want to be or think that I should be. Despite what others tell me they see, I see something very different. Too short, my hair is too crazy, my legs are too stubby, my “man kicking” calves too thick. My hazel eyes don’t smolder like Gigi’s.
Here’s the deal: I want to be known and appreciated, just like everyone else on planet earth. The way I sometimes go about getting that recognition (shoots, writing or competitions) leaves me with knots inside my stomach and sweat stains the size of France.
Big, hairy deal.
What does this have to do with you?
Well, maybe you relate? Maybe you do the same and want a solution. Maybe I have a solution that works for me and will work for you…
As I spent time with God this morning, He reminded me of something. It’s something I have heard a million times before but I hadn’t let sink in.
My God, I am watched over and cared for by a King. The King of the Universe actually…
So, lets 90’s our way through this whole thing and rewind a little. I am loved by a good King.
Do I… do WE fully grasp what is being said here? A King. So, someone who has a lot of wealth, recognition and loyalty. Someone who has connections with other rulers and knows how to handle them diplomatically. A King who loves to lavish on His children and loyal subjects. I am loved by a King like that.
Now, I need to consider that He is the King of the World. Yeah, um. Wow. That’s huge.
My tiny mind is spinning wheels on this one a little bit. Not only is the King kind, wealthy, generous, wise, and caring He also holds WAY more power than the President of the United States, Russia or wherever.
He owns the nations. Not only does He rule them, he freaking owns them!
And that King is my Father.
People don’t always recognize this royalty because they don’t understand how the Kingdom works. But really, I am a Child of the Ruler of the World. I am royalty. If I need anything all I need to do is ask. If I need to feel beautiful I need to:
1. Ask Him how He sees me
3. Google verses about beauty
4. Read them
5. Choose to believe them
6. Repeat those verses over myself “I am fearfully and wonderfully made” “I am a Child of God” “He has good plans for me… plans to prosper me and give me a hope and future”…
If you are feeling gross, unworthy, unwanted today please remember who your Father is.
Dive deeper into His Word. Ask Him to satisfy the lonely, longing places. Ultimately He is the only One who can. No glamorous photo shoots, prestigious awards or fame will ever satisfy the longing in your heart.
Only the King can.
Take it from me, the sweaty, princess.
“Always wondering what they’re thinking… words are bouncing inside my head… but you call me lovely. You say I’m wonderfully made” – Hollyn
Pastor Ryan Matchett gave a compelling message last Sunday. He brought an issue to life, one that most of us are not familiar with, no matter how long we have been attending church or vigorously working to complete our Biblical Studies degree. It was a message that delicately and humorously unveiled the messy reality of what humanity is comprised of. That is desperate people clinging to worldly things for their worth and value.
Ryan didn’t call us desperate and lacking in a pejorative, rude way. If he hadn’t called it out it would have been a lapse into his own desire to be liked, something he strongly fought against to be an example for us.
Despite the difficulty of what he was saying to us, his message came across loud and clear. When we believe that life is all about us and that our success will complete us we are tricking ourselves into the greatest failure possible: reliance on self and on the things the world calls valuable, “fame”, “money”, “recognition”. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying these things are inherently bad, just that in order to live a life of peace and a life that is pleasing to God our priorities need to be in order.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying these things are inherently bad. What I am saying is that if we’re interested in living a life of peace our priorities need to be in order.
Really, in order to live a life that is pleasing to God our value CAN’T come from what we do.
To be living a life that is worthy of God and beneficial to ourselves we must embrace the fact that deep down inside we are people who lose and as a result, we are losers. Please don’t take this the wrong way…when I say losers, I mean we sometimes try to overcome what our innate self of morality tells us is wrong… selfishness,
Please don’t take this the wrong way…when I say losers, I mean we sometimes try to overcome what our innate sense of morality tells us is wrong… selfishness, bitterness and greed (the list really is endless) but we fail. Instead of overcoming these things, we hate people, lie, stab at them behind their backs and use their influence for our own selfish gains. Oddly enough, we will stab someone else in the back and suck up to another person. We rip certain people apart then try to make ourselves great in the eyes of other people because we think our value is in the opinions of people. That’s just the beginning of what we will do to be noticed, recognized, celebrated and to fit in. Nasty.
Yeah, and…the dirty, nasty truth of the matter is: we, people incapable of living up to our own expectations, are perfectly incapable of making any significant change to peoples’ hearts and lives if we do not humble ourselves and lay down expectations for ourselves.
As difficult as this may be to hear, it is true. He is the One who made people and loves them desperately. This is true for all of us, no matter what Biblical degree you have achieved. He alone understands what we need in the unique way we need it. When we die to self He is able to use us as His messengers but we must constantly be asking Him for grace to do so!
In this journey of dying to self it is so important to remember that ultimately, the only one who matters is the God who has made each and every one of us. We will all wither and fade into the background but the Word of God will remain, powerful and life-changing, until the end of the age.
“The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever.” – Isaiah 40:8
It can be tough laying down the ideals we have for ourselves and embracing the “loser” identity. That is the Spirit’s work. How often do we forget that Jesus, the Creator of the world and the Word incarnate, asked Father God for help to let go of His will to carry out the ultimate will of the Father?
“Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done” – Luke 22:42
He gets it. It’s tough beans. But because Jesus did it we can be confident to ask Him for the strength to do it too.
Please, take some time today to realize that you and I both make pretty big mistakes and are not the Saviors of the neighbors’ story, our dysfunctional family’s story or even our own. Allow yourself to relax in the fact that the God who made the Universe is humble. He holds out His hand and beckons you. Will you choose to step down from the pedestal and ask Him for grace to be the same?
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:28-29
Medium sized disclaimer: I don’t dance around things. I let to tell them straight, raw and real because that’s the human condition. We are all raw and real, even though we don’t always want to admit it. I argue that the fact you were attracted to the title of this post says something of your raw, human condition. That being said, please read the entire article before making judgments. I have received messages from people asking me very abrasive, assumptive inquiries. I did not answer the questions but instead, I asked them if they had read the entire article. In all instances except for one they had not. Anyways, enough of that. Learn and enjoy!
Yesterday evening, my husband and I were sitting at the dinner table eating our chocolate bar dinner when a scintillating topic came to mind. That tantalizing topic being one I have not addressed via blog. It’s the word with hot and heavy connotations: attraction.
Alex started raised an eyebrow and dug his fingers into our chocolate bar, “it’s a weird concept, isn’t it?”
“Being attracted to someone who isn’t your spouse?” I smirked and broke off a chunk. “Yeah, it’s a bit weird.” We both sat pensively for a moment before I broke the silence.
“How do people deal with that kind of thing?”
He popped another huge hunk of chocolate in his mouth and chewed through his answer, “I ask God to help me remember the person I’m married to. I ask Him to remind me of my covenant to you. Then I choose to stop thinking about it.”
I snatched the bar away, “cute…”
His adorable dimples deepened, “how do you deal with it?”
“Ummm… I honestly don’t know. Sometimes I let thoughts roll around in there and don’t get rid of them. It’s something I need to work on.”
Something to work on indeed.
So here I am, sitting at my computer with a glass of Kombucha in my lap and a somewhat enlightened topic on my mind. I have spent time with God sorting some feelings out. Thankfully I have been able to come to a conclusion on the topic. That conclusion is this: it’s all about choice.
God gave us choice when He let us occupy the garden, He gives us choice in marriages, how we handle finances, irritating people and myriads of other things. He lets us pick our spouses and allows our eyes to wander.
If you’re anything like me you will ask questions such as: why can’t things be easy and straightforward? Why does everything have to be SO difficult!?
If we didn’t have choices, we wouldn’t be able to choose and it wouldn’t be true love.
Something we get so wrong in our day and age is that love is nothing but a feeling. This is what the pop songs tell us all the time. When our feelings change, we can jump on the next wagon that sports an attractive fellow or lady.
When we made a covenant with that person we made it for life “till death do us part”.
Have you ever felt attraction to someone you are not in a relationship with? Perhaps you aren’t in a relationship but you feel guilty about entertaining thoughts. I urge you to sit down with God and make it right. He’s not there condemning you but He does want you to live a life that is filled with purpose and honour.
As God’s kids, we are called to higher standards. We are called to keep our eyes fixed on covenants we have made. We are called to choose to love even when we would rather not.
Because that’s just how we do things ;P
Can I tell you a secret?
Perhaps you have noticed that I have not been pumping out as many blogs as usual. Late last year I started to realize something that is embarrassing to admit.
Yep, my writing had become my identity. To say I was exhausted, confused and frustrated with the trajectory of my life was an understatement but I thought it would be lazy to stop. I was trying to make up for what I called, “lost time” and in doing so I worked myself to the bone.
It felt great to accomplish and receive compliments for it but ultimately all the work I was doing wasn’t fulfilling. If anything it made me realize that although I had won the war on anorexia I was starving.
All the goals and dreams I had for myself could not be sustained. It was all about me and my success. It was all about my 3.7 GPA, a beautiful modeling portfolio, acting gigs, tight time restraints and making a name for myself. Ultimately, I could not sustain myself or the lifestyle I had enslaved myself to.
Please don’t get me wrong. Almost every one of the blogs was inspired by my intimate relationship with God and my love for Him. But just because they were made from and for Him did not mean I should work myself to the bone to make certain my message out there.
Thus, my New Years Revelation, as I like to call it, is to not encourage myself to get it all together. It’s not even to see the great potential I have. My New Years Revelation has enticed me to stop focusing on my accomplishments and fix my eyes on what Jesus will do with this upcoming year. I will write tidbits of His love for others as He reveals them to me but I will not work myself so hard that I start to lose sight of my identity as a Daughter of the King.
As a Daughter of the King I am called to work and fulfill the purposes He has placed me here for but that work must be done out of rest. The rest I speak of is only found in the warmth and strength of His loving arms. When we continually spend time with Him and in His Word this rest becomes habitual. This habit will spread to all other areas of our lives. It will help keep us healthy, whole and joyful.
Dearest Reader, I know I’m not alone in this. I encourage you to take some time and think about it. How often do we think we are the Saviors of our own stories? Do you often work yourself to the point of exhaustion because you have something to prove? This is the mentality I am working towards breaking. I invite you to do the same. Please don’t take this as condemnation but rather a call to life and living it to the fullest. It can be very challenging to feel joy when we are consumed with everything we have must do in order to prove ourselves to each other, ourselves and God.
Whenever you sit down to do some good work stop yourself and check your intentions and listen to your body. Are you exhausted? Do you need a good nap?
No matter what the conclusion of that check might be, just and know that you are loved by a God who wants to see you live, not only in 2017, but the rest of your years to their fullest <3
All the best this year!
My Resting Playlist
Come to the Altar – Elevation Worship
Good Good Father – Chris Tomlin
Pieces – Amanda Cook
Out of Hiding – Amanda Cook
Abba – Jonathan and Melissa Helser
You’ll love this too –
I want to be honest with you…
When I look at Lauren Daigle, Jennifer Lawrence, Emma Watson or people who are generally slaying school, relationships or life in general I compare myself to them. I catch myself wondering, “why in the world am I not a popular singer, actress or millionaire?”
I love acting, singing, people and being a complete goofball. What makes them better than me and yet, my life is nothing compared to these people’s lives. I am finishing an English and Education degree, have a semi-successful blog, am prepping for LSAT, am still working on my first novel and am leading a writer’s group.
Big whoop! The overachieving drill sergeant on my shoulder is screaming at me, “you call those accomplishments Katie!?”
What makes them better than me?
To make matters even worse with the drill sergeant, so many of these “successful” people are the same age as me or younger.
“You’re wasting your life, Katie.”
This afternoon I was a little consumed with these thoughts and decided to sit down with Father God. I asked Him how He saw me. As soon as He started talking I started breaking down. He was speaking powerful truths against the burdensome lies. Like sacks of grime, the lies I had been holding on to tumbled from my shoulders and smacked against the ground sending billows of dust flying into the air.
I started breaking down
Do you remember bike rides with your Father Katie? Take a moment to reflect on the memory of his bright smile and his roaring laughter. He was always looking back at you to make sure you hadn’t fallen into the street or wiped out. Katie, that’s how close I am to you. There I am, riding in front of you with a huge smile on my face. There I am, in the middle of that lush, green field kicking the soccer ball around with you. There I am, buying you as many blue whales as you wanted. Do you remember the pool? I am there, buying you an apple instead of chocolate and cracking a joke to make your frown turn upside down. There I am with you, tucking the sheets over you, telling you the most ridiculous stories you have ever heard. You would always tell me so. Oh, Katie. There you are making me laugh and making me laugh with you. There I am a gob of polysporin in my hand and a band-aid in the other. There I am, providing for you. There I am building you the most beautiful playhouse you have ever seen. There I am, loving others around me and showing you how to love people who need my love. There I am, overcoming painful things that people are throwing at me. There I am, taking the accusations against you. There I am protecting you Katie bug.
I am there, buying you an apple instead of chocolate and cracking a joke to make your frown turn upside down. There I am with you, tucking the sheets over you, telling you the most ridiculous stories you have ever heard. You would always tell me so. Oh, Katie. There you are making me laugh and making me laugh with you. There I am a gob of polysporin in my hand and a band-aid in the other. There I am, providing for you. There I am building you the most beautiful playhouse you have ever seen. There I am, loving others around me and showing you how to love people who need my love. There I am, overcoming painful things that people are throwing at me. There I am, taking the accusations against you. There I am protecting you Katie bug.
Katie, Here I am, holding your confused, wounded heart and healing you more with each breath of mine. Here I am, until you reach your last breath and into eternity, there I will forever be.
Take some time to sit with Him and ask Him to remind you of who He is to you. You won’t regret this, trust me. And to think I almost didn’t do it today!
On that topic, I leave you with a reminder: God us made each of us because He delights in all of us for different reasons. None of us are the same. Just because people love us and or we have stacks of dolla bills does not mean we are killing it. As high school experiences and Mean Girls have taught us, popularity is fickle too.
Just because people love us and or we have stacks of dolla bills does not mean we are killing it.
People’s opinions of us change. If we are doing what we are doing to please people we will be disappointed. Funds will run out and not bring us fulfillment. On the flip side, our relationship with God will only go from glory to glory. His purpose for us will not come back empty. We will not feel empty and the need to constantly accomplish when we are living the life He has crafted for us.
We will not feel empty!
If you have ever felt inadequate please know you are not alone. But do not stay in that place. Know that God’s love for you is SO DEEP it’s SO WIDE and it’s SO ready to embrace you. Love is ready to show you have precious you are to Him.
You are perfect. You are LOVED!
With His eternal love and favour,
So, Alex and I have this super annoying neighbor who, I SWEAR, tries three new ways each day to make the loudest, scraping, pounding noises above us as he possibly can. Night or day rain or shine snow or bald he is upstairs bowling, setting off rockets, killing a mongoose, skinning hordes of flailing cats. God. Knows. what.
The other day I was trying to study and found myself raging at the loud-as-the-drums-of-hell cacophony of sounds crashing down at us from upstairs. I was at the point where I could throw my chair at the ceiling…
I almost did but realized it would probably fall back onto my head or make a hole larger than I could fix so instead, I settled for grinding my teeth together and shoving my gummy headphones in my ears.
The moral of the story is this: ask the landlord if you can interview your neighbor and check for steel toed boots before the lumberjack moves in.
The moral is, we don’t realize the power that we have.
I speak of the power we hold when it comes to our thoughts and subsequently, our emotions. It is guaranteed that there will be many moments in the day and throughout the week that don’t go as planned. Say, I didn’t land the interview I wanted or achieve the A+ I had been fighting for or silence the neighbor who is slaying a seizing moose above my head.
What do we do when these things happen? If you’re anything like me, you will start to grumble a little… well if only I hadn’t been so exhausted. If only my professor wasn’t such an egghead. If only I had taken the neighbors legs out when I had the chance. Grumble, grumble, grumble.
Where does that take me? Where does that take you?
Nowhere my friend.
Complaining about the circumstances does nothing but hurt us. Not only that, it’s gives Satan tools to torment us with. When I complain and focus only on what is wrong in my life the awful things become my jailers and my tormentors. I give them power by focusing my attention on them.
Even worse, I am not pleasing God with my attitude. We live in a society where an emphasis is placed on us and our emotions. But here’s a little heads up: just because we feel like moping and hosting a pity party doesn’t mean it’s the right thing for us to do and it certainly doesn’t mean that it’s bringing joy to God’s heart, or our own!
Do you want to overcome the overwhelming situations in your life? Do you want to be victorious over your emotions? Is your desire to please God and live the life you have been created for?
Yes, then praise Him! Sing songs of thanksgiving and when you fall hard say, “thank you for life.” Then continue marching onward. Don’t allow circumstances to dictate your quality of life or govern you. Always be joyful, pray continually and give thanks, no matter what the circumstance. Why? Because this is God’s will for you. If we are children of God we will follow the path He asks us to walk.
We will do this, not necessarily because we feel like it but because we have been called to it. When we do, we will experience joy like we’ve never known it before. When we follow God’s desires for us he will always fill us with joy. Abundant, beautiful, overwhelming joy!
Trust the Lord, remember to praise and thank Him in all things and walk in that perfect delight today my friends.
“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
With much love,
A friend of mine recently said something that shocked and angered me.
We were discussing child abuse and the effects abuse has on children long after they are grown. He went on to tell me that the abuse happening was not the child’s fault; however, that child, once they were at an adult, resumed responsibility for their pain. They were left with the choice to deal with the after effects of that abuse. They were in-charge of choosing to take the necessary steps towards healing.
What he said didn’t line up with my personal philosophy-of-fairness, at all… but that’s usually, isn’t it? We think we know what is best and choose what we see as the best options given our feelings. I tell you from personal experience, following our ever-changing feelings is like boarding a rickity ship into an onslaught watery disaster… I digress…
The way I saw it, those adults deserved to be beaten, drawn, quartered and slapped with a bill to pay for that child’s healing. Yet, what my friend was saying that the innocent, vulnerable child had to pay for the price of the adult’s sin?
Despite the anger rising like a serious volcano of heartburn I listened carefully and analyzed my thoughts on the subject. Difficult as it was, what he was saying was truth. Although it punctured holes in my millennial mindset it sprung wings of grace and gently resonated with my Spirit.
Ultimately our difficult yet fruitful conversation reminded me of the greatest sacrifice of all. Even though we have all sinned…
…if you think you’re a good person who has not sinned and is not in need of God, please do not be fooled by yourself. Stop and ask yourself: have I lied, cheated, gossiped or thought lustful thoughts about someone else? It’s no surprise to God that you have, that’s why He offered Himself, to make us pure in His sight…
He saw and paid for your imperfection before you even knew of its existence.
Now that’s epic.
Even though we have all screwed up and allowed sin into God’s perfect Word He still came to earth and gave His life for us. It wasn’t His fault that we chose the wrong road but He took responsibility for our actions and died the most excruciating death for our freedom. The thief, Satan, wants to steal, kill and destroy your joy. He wants to dangle tempting ways of escape that often manafest themselves as blame… oh, I’m just an impatient person. My heart was wounded, that’s why I am always angry. I am always scared because my parents abandoned me as a child.
Although I do acknowledge that each of these problems require healing I also acknowledge that they can trap us if we constantly ruminate on them and do not make a move to kill them. We ruminate on the unfairness of our situation day in and day out only to find out that we wasted our lives constantly blaming others and situations. Does that sound like a fulfilling, fruitful life to you?
Do you really believe God when He tells you that you are free? Do you feel oppressed by pain that has haunted you for years? Do you struggle with blaming others for the things you do on a regular basis?
I challenge you to step up to the throne of God, find a quiet space and confess your faults to Jesus. This isn’t easy and is something I find myself doing quite often. As challenging as it can be to admit our problems, it brings so much joy and freedom to our lives.
After you have told the Lord you are sorry for holding on to blame and anger ask Him to fill you with His incredible peace. As Him to hold you and heal you. He will bring SO MUCH freedom to places you doubted would ever feel full.
Come out of hiding, it’s safe where He is. He is the most safe, trustworthy and powerful Being you will ever encounter <3 He is so much bigger than any problems we could ever face and He wants to face them for us… now, that’s Love.
With His Love,
I stood in front of my mirror dabbing on my completely unnecessary, way over-priced MAC foundation then mulled over the price in my head, determined I deserved it before moving on to another thought. It didn’t take long for me to start humming then, because I am somewhat hyper, I started conversing with myself. The conversation went something like this…
“Okay, so I have… mmmm… twenty minutes before we have to be at church.” I opened mouth wide and spread gooey resin over my lashes.
“Crap. I haven’t spent time with God yet…ah, I’ll do it tomorrow.” The reflection was more than happy to confirm the idea as good.
“Yeah, tomorrow works. You need to check Facebook.”
“Right!” Once I had all the makeup smeared on I checked my ever-present companion, Mr. cell-phone. Good, good. ten minutes remained. That was just enough time to answer my messages!
The hubs voice snaked around the bathroom door (creepy visual eh?) “Katie. Let’s go!”
“Kay.” I snatched my Bible off the ground and made my way towards the door, glancing back to stare at the ginger wood desk. It was the desk I would have spent my time with God on. Oh well, He is gracious. One time away can’t hurt… can it?
Readers, because I love and care about you, I will be honest. What I just did there… it can hurt you, a lot. Think of it this way, when we don’t take
Please humour me and think of it this way: when we don’t take time to talk to God and instead rush out the door like frantic carrier pigeons not only are we are left to our own way of doing things we are also dishonouring Him.
I really, super-duper, don’t want to get all preachy on you but because I love you and I am going to keep speaking the truth, in love.
We know that God loves us. Right? We see and hear those words all time. Whether found on bumper stickers, seen on the Fort Macleod sign or heard from the mega-church pastor on Instagram we experience the words and idea a lot. There’s nothing wrong with this. AT ALL. It’s an amazing thing to know we are loved by God and considered incredibly valuable to Him. It’s a great thing to know about and savour God’s grace.
We sometimes forget that our relationship with the Lord is not a one meal deal. There’s a reason why we call it a relationship. That’s because it requires two people to make it work. How would you feel about spending time with someone who never loved you back? I don’t know about you but I have created boundaries around those kinds of people in my life because they are exhausting.
God requires us to not only accept the crazy, nutso, makes no sense love for us. He always wants us to love Him. That’s why His first commandment is “love the Lord your God with all your heart soul mind and strength” Just like us, but in a way that does not come from need, He desires to be loved. He wants to be looked upon as beautiful. He wants to be cherished by you, dear reader.
When we spend time with God we are honouring Him by following His commands. This is something we ought to be doing all the time but so often, I don’t know about you, but I fail at it.
I understand that It’s not always easy to do this, to give God the best part of our day and take time away from other things we love. It can be tough give him time before the internet or our cell phones but he is worthy. We fall into this cushy, everything- is-covered-by grace thing where we ignore God’s commands and allow ourselves to slip into mundanity.
Not only is there absolutely no life in that place, it is also not a good way to worship God. I challenge you to take a special piece of your day, either today or tomorrow and commit yourself to sitting with God. Tell him how appreciative you are of certain things in your life. Put on a song that is worshipping him and sing along. Make up your own words as you go. Tell him how good he is. Take time to do a painting or a drawing that is done in honour of him. Your piece of art doesn’t need to be done for anyone else. It’s a gift to God from the creative heart he has given you.
When you work at your job, do it for the Lord. Tell him that you dedicate that time to him then do the absolute best you can do. There’s so much joy that is found in this! With practice and constant asking for His strength and grace, anything and everything you do will one day be done for Him in this manner. You will not be concerned with pleasing people because everything you do is not done for you or for anyone else around you. It will be done Him and Him alone and His peace, that perfect peace will wash evenly and throughout through your parched soul. Your anxiety will be calmed and you will rest when you put Him first. The enemy will be given no foothold in your life when God overwhelms it.
Please remember, we only find rest when we rest in Him.
With much love,
One of the things I admire most about women is our natural ability to nurture. When a friend is in need, we’re there to help. When someone is struggling we have an innate ability to encourage and build them up with our God-given intuition; Women are graceful, beautiful, loving creatures.
God lovingly created Eve to be Adam’s perfect helper. God presented Eve to Adam like a gift and in every way, she complimented his strengths and weaknesses. He was proud of what He had made for His son.
“ And the rib which the Lord God had taken from the man He made (fashioned, formed) into a woman, and He brought her and presented her to the man.”
-Genesis 2:22 (AMP)
If you read the entire passage carefully you’ll notice God didn’t create Eve so she could help Adam tend to the garden. God was looking for a companion. A friend. A partner.
Given our nature, what happens when our “Adam” abandons us or treats us badly? What happens to our gentle, empathetic nature?
Abandonment and mistreatment can come in plenty of ways but some of the ones that come to mind are: being emotionally unavailable, prioritizing work, pornography addiction, infidelity, always putting others needs before yours, controlling or manipulative behavior, drug or alcohol addiction, bullying… the list goes on.
No longer protected, in our vulnerability, we turn into protectors. Our desire to be confident for our “Adam” turns into a ferocity unlike no other.
They say we have the mind of Christ, I believe God gets fierce about His women not being protected. Just like our earthly Fathers, God wants to protect us. He gave us this inner warrior spirit, which is stronger than a man’s by the way (seriously, watch a woman in divorce court as she fights for her children) because it protects us.
I speak from experience because I know how it feels to be abandoned and mistreated; I’m married to an addict. Through my experience with my husband, my inner fighter came out. It’s not the first time I’ve seen her but she’s much stronger than she was the last time she came out swinging her protective fists of fury!
Being married to an addict has been more difficult than I can properly put into words but because of it, I’ve learned how to be both gentle and strong at the same time. This is the true character of God and how He created His daughters to be. He is both merciful and just. Patient but firm. Loving and powerful. And you, sister, have that inside of you too.
We’re taught to believe we were only created to be companions. To perfectly to compliment our husbands (or future husbands) weaknesses. While this is partially true, it’s only a piece of our nature. We were also created in the image of God for another purpose entirely. When we’re abandoned by our, “Adam” we learn that God is the one we were really created for.
God first. Adam second.
“Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation.”
-Psalm 146:3 (KJV)
No one will ever love us like God will. He’s the true love of our life. When we love God and make Him the center of our purpose He will give us the “Adam” we need.
For me, I’m still hoping he’ll give me my husband back. The handsome man I fell in love with was my perfect companion and I was his perfect helper. God told me to stand by my husband through a hard season in his life. Whatever happens next, my identity is not found in the success or failures of my husband, it’s found in who God made me to be.
While my husband is still lost, I am found.
I’m thankful God gave me a gentle, nurturing nature. It’s helped me to support my “Adam” in ways I wouldn’t of otherwise. I’m also glad he gave me this spirit of fierceness because that fighting spirit has protected me from significant harm. Our natural tendency to nurture can work hand in hand with our strength.
If you’re a woman, going through anything tough, I encourage you to remember your strength is gentle but by no means is it weak. Many may have been made physically strong but your inner spirit is a powerful force to be reckoned with. You have the Spirit of God inside of you, you’re His daughter. Do you see how incredible you are? What wonderful, amazing gifts He’s given you? You were created in His likeness. He was proud of you when He made you.
So proud, he presented you as a gift.
Leah Grey moved to New York City full of hopeful aspirations until her husband went into long-term treatment for addiction. Unable to afford to stay, she picked up her childhood dreams and moved back to her rural, Canadian beach town with her two young children. From rooftop city skyline views to her parent’s basement, in the darkest time of her life, she created Grey Ministries to support, encourage and empower women with loved ones who struggle with addiction. With a practical faith-based approach she challenges popular beliefs about addiction while teaching women in crisis how to find God’s peace within the storms of life. In March 2016, she launched her website, leahgrey.com and popular peer support community, “Live, Love, Hope” http://facebook.com/groups/livelovehope.
Looking back at the situation, I remember it well. The basement was dark, ominous and penetrated by nothing more than a slight sliver of fading light. My bare back lay flat against the cold concrete wall. A tear slipped down my reddening cheeks. I hastily brushed it away and listened to the sound of bickering coming from upstairs. I was in trouble, again. It had been the wrong time and the wrong place for me to be. My guardian, a kind man on most occasions, had the temper of an infuriated bull. He and my other guardian clashed ideas about issues regarding me on many occasions, hence the heightened tones that slithered down into my space and sent chills down my arms.
Yes, my space. My cold, dark, isolating space. The place I now called home.
The moment I said that one thing wrong and he started yelling I knew from past experience that it was in my best interest to hide, to protect myself in this “home” of mine. With as much haste as I could muster I had skirted away from his wrath and moved into the space I knew so well, that awful basement. He never came down there, only for the occasional beer from the mini fridge. I tucked my head into my knees for a moment then stared up at the washing machine. It whirled away as though nothing had happened. The sound was comforting in many ways. If I couldn’t hear the shouts completely did that mean that everything was back the way it was supposed to be again?
I missed my mother so much; I wanted her to come back from the hospital. I wanted to know that she would live. I wanted to be held by my father, wherever he was. Did he even love me anymore? So much was wrong with the picture and I knew it.
Looking back now I realize that everyone knew it they just couldn’t fix it.
I watched as my little chest heaved with deep sobs. I turned my gaze away from the broken, little girl and asked, “Jesus, where were you when I was hurting like this? Lord, didn’t you care? At all?”
Soon as the question had been asked the light in the room widened. The source was not from the small door at the top of the stairs but seemed to swallow the black in the darkest corner of the basement. I watched that light grow. The little girl’s sobbing quieted to a whimper. My hope increased as did my ability to see Him.
His voice flowed with warmth greater than the heat of the sun. The way he said my name set my heart aflame. “Katie…Katie… oh, my sweet Katie.” He took a step towards younger Katie then knelt down beside her. He held a small bottle in his hand and pressed it lightly against my cheek.
“I keep a record of every one of these.”
I, grown up Katie, almost shouted at Him. How could He act so nonchalantly towards me this hurting little one? “Why are you doing that? Save her. Heal her mother! Good god. What kind of God are you?” He turned and looked into my eyes. I should have felt guilty for speaking out of turn but no. Instead, I felt complete peace. His kind eyes melted the ice around my heart. He accepted me even when no one else did. He understood my sorrow. He loved me so deeply as He could feel my pain. I held my breath as I caught a quick glimpse of the deep, red scars on both His wrists
As He continued to stare into my eyes the pained expression began to subside as He smiled. His eyes grew lighter, brighter, even more overwhelming. I was tempted to look away as He answered me, His voice soft yet powerful at the same time.
“Katie, I do this because I want to give you twice as much joy as you have experienced pain. I do this so my measurement will be accurate.” My eyes started to burn as He turned away and focused His attention on the girl’s tiny body. He wrapped His strong arms around her shoulders, His white robe ran over her like a blanket of snow. As soon as she was enshrouded I heard His voice, rushing like the pounding of waves on surf. It commanded the attention of all darkness and sent any feeling of despair shrieking as it ran for an exit. It echoed through the caverns of my wondering, wandering heart, bringing to life my trust in the God of the Bible. His discourse aimed at the hopelessness and death surrounded us.
“She is mine and I will protect what is mine. She is safe in my arms. Darkness. You will not overcome because she is mine.” He turned back to me, His eyes blazing like fire.
“Katie, I was always there… in your darkest moments, I was there. I am still there. Horrible things happen because of free will and Satan’s reign on earth but my child… nothing can separate you from the love I have for you. Nothing.”
I looked up at Him, tears now running from my eyes. “I believe you, Lord. You were there in my darkest moments. You are here now.” He nodded then stood and walked towards me.
“Remember that I will never leave or forsake you, Katie. I am yours and you are Mine.” He paused to wipe His warm thumb across the streams running down my face.
I choked out a response. “I love you.”
His voice continued, as smooth as always. “I love you too Katie. I always have.” His eyes continue to shine more brilliantly than the light now filling the room. He brushed a curly piece of my hair from my face.
“Don’t allow yourself to doubt that I always will.”
I share this story in light of the fact that so many of doubt the goodness and love of God based on the garbage things that have happened in our lives. I encourage you to sit down with Jesus, Holy Spirit and the Father. Ask God to reveal the most painful moment in your life then ask Him where He was in the midst of it.
I guarantee He will answer you and show you that He cares about the elements of your life no one else seems to give a rip about. Feel free to listen to the song I have included below as you do so. Be prepared for Him to shine His glory on your circumstance <3 it delights Him to do so.
With much love,