Refreshed. Expectant. Thankful.
I’m on the tip toe edge of a vast cliff. I can’t quite look down but I know there to be valleys below. Like those scenes in movies where the whole field is covered in wild flowers. Purples, yellows, and greens speckle the land before you. But also a couple dry patches where you have to kneel down and look closely for the little desert flowers. They always surprise you but they also seem to always be there.
You see, I think valleys get a bad rep sometimes. My mind often drifts to the Christian lingo of mountain tops and valleys. Light versus darkness. But I can’t help to think of wildflowers when I think of valleys. I think that’s why I keep a packet of wildflower seeds in my bible. Expectant for the day I get to release them. I’ve had my fair share of “valley” experiences. You know those hard times where you feel like your life is dwindling down to a sad state of loneliness or hardship. Maybe that’s dramatic. I often get dramatic in those times though. My prayers become desperate pleas and, although I know there is an end to it all, I feel as though it is too far away and things need to go my way. At the end of the day I will constantly choose to believe in the goodness of the character of my Jesus. It is the only thing that won’t let me down so I feel confident to put my entire trust into it.
I’m not here to belittle anyone’s downfalls or valley seasons. They are so hard but also so needed. I dare you to look back and ask the Lord, if you don’t know already, to reveal to you where He was in your situation and what you can learn from it. It is revolutionary. It shakes the societal norm of expecting life to suck and changes your perspective to instead look for the good in all situations. Believe me, love, life is so much more than trials. So much more than simply overcoming. Life is abundant and joyful. It is wild and adventurous. Check your present lens. Do you look for the good or do you fall into the complacent, murky waters of pessimism? Where there is a lack of hope or confidence in the future there is also a Light that shifts culture and atmospheres to live out of the ordinary.
It is from a compassionate heart that I write these things and I feel as if I only have permission to speak from experience. I’m on the edge of something massive. Something extraordinary. I feel it in my bones. My spirit is in a constant state of excited jumps of anticipation. As I prepare to jump off into a deeper level of the great unknown I know I am leaving behind a lot of pain, frustration, and brokenness. I shed another layer of skin as I continue in the journey of becoming the truest form of who I am made to be. I’m reading the book Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge for the second time right now. I think this book has some real nuggets of truth in it. Below is a passage that beautifully expresses my present process.
“It’s scary, for sure. That is why it is our greatest expression of faith, because we are going to have to trust Jesus- really trust Him. We’ll have to trust Him that we have beauty, that what He has said of us is true. And we’ll have to trust Him with how it goes when we offer it, because that is out of our control. We’ll have to trust Him when it hurts, and we’ll have to trust Him when we are finally seen and enjoyed. That’s why unveiling our beauty really does show how we live by faith.
Unveiling our beauty is our greatest expression of hope. We hope that it will matter, that our beauty really does make a difference. We hope there is a greater and higher Beauty, hope we are reflecting that Beauty, and hope it will triumph. Our hope is that all is well because of Jesus and that all will be well because of Him. So we unveil beauty in hope. And finally, we unveil beauty in the hope that Jesus is growing our beauty. Yes, we are not yet what we long to be. But we are underway. Restoration has begun. To offer beauty now is an expression of hope that it will be completed.
And unveiling beauty is our greatest expression of love, because it is what the world most needs from us. When we choose not to hide, when we choose to offer our hearts, we are choosing to love. Jesus offers; He invites; He is present. That is how He loves. That is how we love- sincerely, as the Scriptures says, “from the heart.” Our focus shifts from self-protection to the hearts of others. We offer Beauty so that their hearts might come alive, be healed, know God. That is love.”