(Preface: I wrote this piece during a time of deep loss. After a tragic death in my close friend’s family, and a death in mine, praising God was the only joy I had in my life. As I am stepping out of a season of pain and loss, I look back at that time with joy in my heart, because when my Savior’s love was the only thing my heart held dear, it became my all.)
I’m ready to take risks and make leaps of faith when God tells me to, because I know that He will always be right there, ready to catch me. I’m ready to confidently tell my parents that I’m going to do something crazy with my life that I can only accomplish with God. I’m ready to stop focusing so obsessively on my future in this world, but instead look to my future in the next.
I want so desperately to stop living an empty life that’s not overflowing with God’s love. I want to write, and minister to people’s hearts, minds, and souls through my stories. I want to speak, and let people hear God’s own words on my tongue. I want to love, and surprise others when they see the light of Jesus standing before them. I’m ready to stop settling for so much less than my soul was created to thrive on. I’m ready to be completely, perfectly, and incandescently joyful, even when my circumstances suggest that I shouldn’t be.
Look to the sky, bear witness to its boundless glory and majesty! Crafted by God; showcasing a new kind of beauty every day. I can’t help but think that so many people never really see the sky for all that it truly is. They never think to simply look up, smile, and say, “Oh God, how great is Your love for me, and how my heart loves you!”
Life is not as hopeless and meaningless as it often seems. Life is beautiful. Life is beautiful when you drop your phone in your coffee cup. Life is beautiful when your dog awakens you with slobbery kisses. Life is beautiful when terrible misfortune brings unlikely people together. It doesn’t always feel beautiful, but it was created to be beautiful. We are created to do so much more than what I see so many people in this world doing. I see them living false lives on social media, infinitely scrolling, scrolling, scrolling as I just sit there, watching in silence.
Life is so much greater than the contents of our phone screens. But still, this is the life I see so many people living. They have money, belongings, and distractions, but their hearts are full of so much hidden pain, selfishness, and anger. I see people living in boredom, wishing and dreaming so much more for themselves, but never stretching themselves farther than the distance between the couch and the TV remote. I see people “living”, but they are dead.
However, we don’t always feel grateful for this life that we have so graciously been given. In fact, I went through a period this year where I couldn’t feel anything at all. Life became too much for me to bear. But that’s not how I was created to live. I was created to live in the glory of my Father, worshiping Him every moment that I have breath in my lungs. I was created to be a giver of love and a recipient of it, and as a symbol of my Father’s love.
It baffles me that the creator of the universe, the one who sprinkled the stars into the heavens, so delicately designed the shape of my lips, and so masterfully sculpted the soul that inhabits my body. That’s crazy love. And when I chose to stray from Him – when I chose to yell falsehoods and harbor anger in the soul that He made to harbor love – I wasn’t living as I was created to live. But the same God who has so graciously stitched me back together, piece by sinful piece, so that I might become who I was truly meant to be, has turned my heart towards Him.
On the days when I can’t comprehend the beauty of life and the righteousness of love, I look out the window and imagine the time that is yet to come; the time when I will be made whole, and all the pain and doubt that has ever kept me from my Father will be stripped away. There, I will run to Him and He will hold me gently in his all-encompassing embrace. He will laugh, and whisper in my ear, “Welcome home, My daughter.”