Shocked? Ah, you shouldn't be. For me, writing is like second nature. I write what I am learning--things that God is teaching me down this dusty trail called life.
It's easy to pick up my pen and jot down my thoughts in ink. There's just something about those permanent blue letters on a crisp, white piece of paper that makes me feel better (Yep, I officially sound like a nerd. Oh well!). When I write, everything makes a little more sense; however, everything I write about always seems to kick into high gear in my life as well.
So this month, as I have been brainstorming, writing, and letting God lead this series, my thoughts on love (among other things) have kind of been on the forefront of my mind. Prince Charming. Cinderella. Boy meets Girl. Happily Ever After. Boxes of Chocolate. Red Roses. Newsflash: in case you didn't know, it is Valentine's Day. Today is some sort of special day set aside for boys to buy some special girl a box of chocolate and a dozen roses. And then there are those girls who go buy chocolate for themselves, but we'll skip that seemingly unimportant little detail right now! Let's all admit it, if we are truly being honest, you either love Valentine's Day, hate it, or just really don't care (Most girls I know tend to lean towards one side or the other though). You love it if you do have that knight in shining armor beckoning you his way, gallantly pursuing your heart. You tend to hate it if it seems like all of your friends have their Prince Charming and you are left at home, making yourself mac'n'cheese watching re-runs of Ever After and 27 Dresses while drowning your sorrows in a carton on chocolate ice-cream. And then, you may just really not care. Who needs a guy anyways? Just sayin'.
Does one day out of 365 really need to affect us--me--this much? Why should I have such intense feelings about a single day? So what if a guy doesn't ask me to the movies or dinner on this particular day. Does that make me any less of a woman? Not at all! Easy to write. You bet ya. Hard to live and believe every day. Oh yeah. Guess what: I am a living, breathing girl who goes through the same things that you do. I walk through the hallways of a college campus. I am pursuing a career. I have two part-time jobs. I have close girlfriends who I love hanging out with. I love Jesus Christ with all of my heart and am striving passionately to live for Him. I also have the same emotions that we all go through. Who doesn't want to be named the prom queen? Who doesn't want to be asked out? Who doesn't want to be looked at as "beautiful"? Just so you know, you are not alone. But for me, I want to do something from now on to change. I want to truly live out those things that are just easier to write out on paper.
"For who is God, except the Lord? And who is a rock, except our God? It is God who arms me with strength, and makes my way perfect. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer, and set me on my high places. He teaches my hands to make war, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze." Psalm 18:31-34
"Show me Your ways, O Lord; teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; On You I wait all day." Psalm 25:4-5
"Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart. Wait, I say, on the Lord!" Psalm 27:14
These verses give me hope. I know that with God, I can do anything. This is one of those things that is easy to write about. Now I need to put it into action. If I truly believe that with God I can do anything, then shouldn't the 14th of February be a great day regardless of what I do or don't do? If I truly believe that God is crazy, passionately, hilariously in love with me, then shouldn't I walk like a woman empowered by that kind of love?
How can I get there? How can I move from simply writing these words on a page to actually applying them in my life? I think Matthew 16:24-27 spells it out pretty clearly:
Making the shift from dried-up ink to the actions of my heart requires sacrifice. A Man who loved me enough to shed His very blood for me is crying out, "Emily, pick up your cross and follow me." You see, this man thinks I am crazy beautiful. He says that I am enough. I don't have to change to win His approval. I don't have to dress a certain way to earn His love. All I have to do is be me, who He created me to be: simply emily. And honestly, that sounds really good. I'm sick of looking at magazines and trying to be something that I'm not. I love that for Jesus, I am beautiful the way I am. With Him, I don't have to be anything more or anything less. That's refreshing...and a sigh of relief! Aren't you sick of trying so hard to live up to the world's so-called standards? Aren't you exhausted from over-analyzing everything from how you look to what people think about you? I know I sure am. I am so ready to move from the ink on the page to the actions of my heart.
"If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father's glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done."
Was this post easy? Um, honestly, not really. Being transparent and honest isn't always easy, but it is certainly one of the best ways to start moving your heart towards action. Anything you need to be honest with Jesus about today? It's a great day to start. Why not today, this "day of love," talk to your Creator about what's going on. There is a Man who is passionately, ridiculously, endlessly, hilariously in love with you. His name is Jesus Christ. The choice is up to you. Do you want a life that is easier to write on paper because it's just too hard to actually live it? Or do you want a life that is marked by more than just mere written words...a life marked by how you lived?