Yesterday, I moved out of the castle. It was a sad day (not just because of the long haul & four-hour process). I looked at my empty room for the last time and knew exactly what I would miss: the way the morning light comes through the window and dances on the furniture. I have some fun memories of morning dancing in that second story castle room. That would be my favorite thing/thing I’m going to miss the most. However, I moved into last summer’s dorm & it officially feels like summer. You know how certain smells will remind you of certain times in your life just like certain songs will make you nostalgic or the way certain words are said will remind you of specific moments? That’s how this dorm is. This dorm smells like summer.
I have had a difficult time desiring to spend time with the Lord. There. Said it. Got that out of the way. I have a hard time with desiring to come into His presence even though He has promised me that I can always run back to Him & abide in Him. I think it’s extremely difficult for me to understand a God who won’t be hot & cold with me when that is what my heart is tuned to do. I step in & out, and I doubt a lot.
You know, I ask for things. I don’t get them (with good reason). I don’t ask for things, and then I get them. And then I wonder why He entrusted me with these things & if I’m even qualified enough to handle the calling the Lord’s entrusted me with. I doubt. I doubt a lot. A lot a lot.
Some mornings, I wake up & I can’t imagine not getting into His Word and trying to drink deep and understand this God, whom I have put my faith in, so why wouldn’t I try to communicate thanksgiving to Him in some way? But then some days, I wake up and I just want to want Him more. And I’ve finally come to the realization that that’s normal. As Christians, we so often get little tinges of shame if we’re not seeking every minute of every day or reading devotionals or memorizing Scripture all the time, but I don’t think that’s what God intended for us. YES, He wants us to come to Him, to seek Him wholeheartedly, and in an unbroken world, there would be no separation from us and God. But He knows we won’t desire Him all the time. And I’m finally learning to rest in the brokenness and find peace where I am for trying my hardest to feel the feelings going through me and seek Him even in the midst of that.
And how beautiful is it that He chooses to USE our brokenness? He uses our brokenness to display His grace & mercy for humanity. I have come to find that the days I am the hardest on myself are the days when I am longing for perfection, and not just perfection, but Jesus. I long for Heaven to be with my Jesus. Our hearts are wired to find Him, in any circumstances. Our hearts are wired to long for something much greater than ourselves, that’s why we keep striving. However, striving can go one of two ways. We can shift and strive for earthly things, earthly success, earthly relationships. Or we can strive for an image that resembles that of Jesus. We can strive to be more like our Maker, and that speaks volumes to the world around us.
“If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.” // C.S. Lewis
I came across this journal entry of a girl, Julia Tarter. I never had the pleasure of knowing such a light in this world, but the more people I get to know, the more people I find knew her. Friends of friends knew her, and her life sounds painstakingly beautiful. The Maker used her to her fullest potential, and I can’t quite articulate a better image of what it looks like to truly find joy from God. After she passed away a couple years ago, friends began to post this list from her last journal entry, and I have pined over this words. The beauty & simplicity of such a list (and you know I love lists).
- Christ is enough for me.
- Christ is more than enough.
- In everything, Christ is enough.
- Jesus knows my heart.
- Jesus calls me His beloved.
- Jesus meets me right where I’m at.
- Jesus leads me.
- Jesus laughs with me.
- My trust is in my Savior.
- My hope is in my Deliverer.
- My passion is from my Creator.
- Christ has died to set me free.
- I live in freedom in Christ alone.
- The only opinion who matters is the Lord’s.
- I am clothed in righteousness.
- I am pure and holy.
- I lean on my Father’s strength.
- I am completely loved.
- I am completely full.
- I am completely satisfied in Jesus.
- I am forgiven.
- I live out of an abundant grace.
- I live an abundant life.
- I long for Heaven to be with my Jesus.
By being rooted in these truths, my life is an overflow of how good my God is.
And there is something about repeating these Truths to yourself, something so easy & beautiful, but hard to accept. There is a peace that comes after accepting the freedom Christ has freely given you. The hard part is getting there. Now, I wish I could write you a tutorial book on the How To’s of accepting God’s love & grace & freedom and learning how to live in that, but the truth is, I can’t because I still struggle with accepting it. Do people go their entire lives doubting? Will there be a day in my life when I do not doubt? When will I accept this freedom? How can I show others this life in freedom and love? I don’t know. But I’m trying. And this isn’t to say that I have never accepted God’s grace because there are days when I couldn’t feel more alive or more aware of what Christ has done for me. Some days, I take the freedom and I run with it and I dance in it and I know it to be the only definite Truth. The truth is that every day you live is a day closer to seeing Heaven, but if you stop and soak in moments that Jesus has entrusted you with, you will get little tastes of Heaven along the way.
“Give me a childlike heart. Lead me to where You are ’cause I’m coming back to my first love, only You.”
And lastly, I have come to find that my biggest desire, as of now, is a deeper relationship with my God. I long for intimacy with Him. I long long long to find a deeper-rooted and more intimate relationship with my Maker. Whether that be in writing my prayers or singing at the top of my lungs, I know He hears me. There’s the first step in accepting: understanding that He hears our cries. Empty-handed, but not forsaken.