"...So often we simply equate Christ-like character
with ordinary morality..."
~ Jerry Bridges, "Transforming Grace"
Where do I begin?
Really. An update on my life? What part of life? The part everyone sees? What has gone on in my heart in recent months? What the future looks like? My deepest struggles and the lessons I’m learning? Would I really write all of that down for all of you?
I’m torn between journaling on my blog and keeping my life private. I don’t have time to keep a private journal AND blog, so I’ve had to choose between the two….
Mostly, I blog and some stuff consequently doesn’t get written down because I surely don’t intend to put all of my life on my blog. I’m sure I’ll regret someday that I didn’t journal about life as it happened… Oh, well. Sometimes you just can’t do everything that you’d like to.
A few short years ago, I would have imagined myself as something incredibly wise, and mature and lovely and happy and perfected at such an age as this. I would have thought that by now I’d have my own family, my own little house… that I would be good and kind and sweet.
So much of my life has been everything but what I imagined. I really didn’t plan to live the life I have… at all. It just kinda happened. I can’t say it’s all been easy, or fun… but it’s ALL been rich, so rich. The most difficult days are the ones that now give me courage to put an unknown future into the Hands of a loving God who has shown me His goodness over and over every day that I have been alive.
I spent my late teens and early twenties trying to move forward with my life, but completely unsure of where it was going or where it was supposed to go or how I was to get wherever that place was. So many sleepless nights and fretful days as I tried to decide what it was that I was created to do and be.
I was most terrified of wasting my life doing something that I would regret later… making a wrong choice and heading down a path that would later stop me in my tracks and send me re-tracing my steps and agonizing over the years that I could have been doing something better.
Looking back, the only time I wasted was the time I spent fretting about what to do. Everything that I did and everything that happened to me was just what I needed to grow up and it gave me a bigger perspective on the world around me and the God who made it all.
“So, then what happened, Mary? You grew up?”
Well, maybe… kinda, sort of. I don’t know what I should call myself now. I’m old (even though I don’t feel “old”), but I don’t feel “grown up.”
I’m still a scared, silly little girl who tries to be brave and do the stuff that scares me.
Am I a little wiser? Maybe, but other days I wonder.
One thing I know. I trust God a whole lot more than I used to. I used to say that I knew that He was good. Now I really believe it. I have seen the goodness of the Lord over and over and over again. When people learn to forgive and love again, when rebels hearts are softened, when people see their need of Jesus, when God shows me the depravity of my own heart once again and gives me the humility and grace to admit my wrong and make it right, when the selfishness and wickedness of men is thwarted and redeemed by the hand of a great God. Even in the midst of hard things, painful things, harsh things, bitter things, somehow the Love of an all-wise, ever-kind God shines through.
In brief, this past year has been one of so many transitions for me, and of yielding my desires and dreams - Of realizing that life is moving on and I can’t stay here and stay the same. I must change and grow with everything happening around me. I must hold my dreams loosely, and let the One who made the Universe plan Tomorrow. And I have the choice to do it joyfully and confidently, knowing that a Loving God holds my future or to hold back in apprehension and fear and disbelief.
I choose to fling myself out – into those Everlasting Arms. To trust, even when I can’t see the path or know what lies ahead. To trust that if my Father gives it to me, it will be good, so very good, and chosen with the deepest love that I might someday reflect His Face to others.
As Jim Elliot once said, “Wherever you are, be all there! Live to the hilt of every situation that you believe to be the Will of God!”
I don’t deserve the life I’ve been given. But it’s mine. And the God of Heaven chooses to call me His friend, His daughter, His bride. I am grateful beyond words for these green pastures that He has placed me in.
“Each of us cry, with thankful tongues, Lord, why was I a guest?
Why was I made to hear Thy voice, And enter while there's room;
When thousands make a wretched choice, And rather starve than come?
- Isaac Watts
“As for me, I will behold Thy Face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with Thy likeness.” Psalm
"There came unto Him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on His head as he sat at meat. But when His disciples saw it, they had indignation, saying, 'To what purpose is this waste?'" Matthew 26:7-8
Throughout the past twenty centuries thousands of precious lives, heart treasures, high positions, and golden futures have been "wasted" upon the Lord Jesus. To those who love Him in such a way He is altogether lovely and worthy of their offering. What they have poured upon Him is not a waste but a fragrant testimony of His sweetness and worthiness.