Tag Archives: God

Limited on Purpose

limited on purposeGod has limited us on purpose. Our culture tells us to “push the limits and break through” yet God has limited us on purpose. When we look to Jesus as the only Unlimited One, we can begin to accept our limitations as gifts, see 2 Corinthians 12:9-10.

The idea that we are limited on purpose first came to my attention when I was in college. As teenagers and early 20 somethings we can tend to feel like nothing is unlimited so long as we work hard enough, or pursue it hard enough, or whatever. We are full of energy and idealism. And our culture feeds into that. Even a line from the movie, “Frozen”, feeds into it. Elsa sings in “Let it Go”:

“It’s time to see what I can do
To test the limits and break through
No right, no wrong, no rules for me
I’m free”

It doesn’t take long until we come up against limits of all sorts. Each time I would get frustrated by them, thinking: “why don’t I have more time, more energy, more _____________.” Someone shared with me when I was in college that I am limited on purpose, because God is the only unlimited one. That’s stuck with me for the past 20 + years. It’s been a freeing, and a good, reminder that I am limited on purpose. It’s not that I’m failing; it’s that God has limited me….on purpose.

The more we look to God and His Limitlessness, the more free we are to accept and embrace our limits as a gift. The reason I usually don’t accept my limits is because I am looking to myself or to the World. When I do, I forget who God is, who I am, where my value lies, and I tend to take on responsibility that is not mine, and push the limits rather than live within them.

Some areas I am limited in

  • Wisdom
    Knowledge/Understanding
    Energy
    Motivation
    Love
    Time
    Length of life/age
    Responsibility
    Size
    Strength
    Sight (spiritual and physical)
    Mobility
    Perspective
    Importance/significance
    Power
    Worth
    Beauty
    Courage
    Safety/protection of self/family
    Luck
    Opportunities
    Communication
    Relational Capacity
    Thoughts/Thinking
    My ability to accept God’s love
    Holding on to God (which is why He holds on to us; Isa 41:10)

God has limited us on purpose. Why would He do that?

Yet there are limits we purposely set for ourselves.

A few limits I set for myself :

  • Sleep (go to bed, set an alarm)
    Eating (what and how much)
    Money (budgeting)
    Work (so I can see my family)
    Phone (app limits)

I balk against the limits in the first set because I feel like it lessens my value (because I am looking to them for my value).

Sometimes we can and should push past our perceived limits rather than settling or getting lazy. Sometimes I am more capable than I first think in various areas. I can take on more responsibility than I first thought I could, I can push and keep going despite low energy, but eventually all those have a limit too. However, if I’m pushing too hard past my limits, that’s when I get into trouble.

I don’t like the limits I set for myself either. Sometimes I want to sleep all day, or eat the yummy junk food, or buy the enticing thing on Amazon, or just scroll endlessly through Instagram. But the cost of doing any of those is far greater than the cost of the limit.

The good news is we are not the first to struggle with limits. Paul addressed it in a couple of his letters in the New Testament. (The following verses are all in the Message version as that’s the version of the Bible I’ve been reading this past year).

2 Corin 12:7-10 MSG
“Because of the extravagance of those revelations, and so I wouldn’t get a big head, I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan’s angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn’t think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me,

My grace is enough; it’s all you need.
My strength comes into its own in your weakness.

Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.”

What can we notice in this passage?

  1. Why was Paul given the “gift” of a limitation?

God gave Paul a “gift” of a handicap to keep him constant touch with his limitations. He knew otherwise he could get a big head.

  1. How did Satan try to use it? What was the result?

Satan tried to use it to discourage him (how often am I discouraged by my limitations?). Instead, it pushed Paul to humility and to Jesus.

  1. Did Paul accept it right away?

No, at first he asked God to remove it, but God in His Wisdom and Love said “no”. He gave a different (better, albeit not the one desired) answer:

My grace is enough; it’s all you need.
My strength comes into its own in your weakness.

  1. Once God answered no, and gave His answer that His grace was enough, what was Paul’s response? What words do you see he used to describe his response:

glad, appreciate, taken in stride, with good cheer.

  1. Where was Paul’s focus?

He stopped focusing on the handicap and was able to appreciate it as a gift. Christ’s strength moved in on his weakness.

He joyfully took limitations in stride and let Christ take over.

  1. What were his other limitations?
    abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks

How could he be JOYFUL? That seems impossible. It is impossible in our own strength. However, God gives us the strength to joyfully endure.

 Col. 1:11-12 MSG
“We pray that you’ll have the strength to stick it out over the long haul—not the grim strength of gritting your teeth but the glory-strength God gives. It is strength that endures the unendurable and spills over into joy, thanking the Father who makes us strong enough to take part in everything bright and beautiful that he has for us.”

2 Corin 13:9 MSG
“We don’t just put up with our limitations; we celebrate them, and then go on to celebrate every strength, every triumph of the truth in you. We pray hard that it will all come together in your lives.”

How can the limitations be a gift? God began helping me really understand this last Spring during a DAWG (Day Away With God). I was feeling overwhelmed and very limited, and God showed me how He is already the answer. It’s all about knowing Him, like Paul did: focusing on Christ instead of our limitation.

Some aspects of Himself that God reminded me of that day to draw my focus to Him:

Jesus is the Answer

Jesus is the entire Story, the Alpha and Omega. I only have a part of the Story. Oftentimes, I feel like I am responsible for the world. If I don’t accept the limit of my part in the Story, then I am striving in vain, and I will miss the significance of the part I get to play in His Story. Revelation 22:13, Hebrews 12:2, Ps 127:1.

Jesus is my Defense. I can work and work to defend myself before others and before God, but I don’t even have to. The pressure is off, because He took all my sin and He is my Defense. Isa 12:2, 1 John 1:9

Jesus is my Rest. The world says “keep working, produce!” Jesus says “come to Me. I am never in a hurry. I hold all things together and make all things come together.” Matt 11:28, Rom 8:28

Jesus is Wisdom. We can easily be overwhelmed by the world’s problems. But He has overcome the world. He is the answer. He’ll share with me the answers as I need them and as I look to him. 1 Corinthians 1:24, John 16:33

Jesus is the Almighty. Rev 1:8, 5:12. He is Unlimited in Power, Unlimited in Importance, He Alone is Worthy.

I have value, I have worth, I have importance, and I have significance. But I am not unlimited in my importance, I am not unlimited in my worth, I am not unlimited in my value. I am not enough, and that is freeing because I don’t have to be! There is one who is already enough, and his name is Jesus.

What about you and your world?

Is there a limitation you are currently frustrated you have? How are you doing at trusting God with it? It’s okay to ask Him to remove it, but if you have and it’s one He’s giving you on purpose, then I encourage you to begin the journey of accepting it and using it to see Him more clearly. Spend some time starting that process by asking yourself the following questions:

– What is/are the limitation(s). Clearly identify them.
– Why do you not want it? What do you want? (This can take time to explore.
I’ve noticed it usually comes down to wanting myself glorified or comfortable.)
– How can your limitation point you to Jesus’ Limitlessness?
– How do you need to trust Him with your limit?

One example I’ll share is being limited in energy. In my 20’s I would push hard to accomplish the tasks I had, but would then crash for the next day or two. I was jealous of the people I compared myself to who could get away with 4-6 hours of sleep and seem like they could get so much done. I functioned best if I got around 9 hours of sleep. I felt like I had to do as much as I thought they were doing. So I would push hard to meet with people in 1×1’s, Bible studies and other meetings, accomplish all the tasks, to-do’s and prep work I had, but then I would crash for a few days as soon as I let myself pause. A few years into this pattern, those crash periods developed into accompanying migraines, and those really took me out. When I became a mom I had to seriously evaluate my tendency to push hard to get through. I no longer had recovery time during a crash, a baby still needs you whether you have a migraine or not.

God has slowly been getting this limit concept through to me over the years. During the moments I started to accept my limits, I saw Jesus show up. The first time in a significant way was in my mid-20’s during nearly an entire school year of deep depression. It was my 4th year of full time ministry, and I was barely functional; only operating in survival mode. God used it heal some brokenness I didn’t even know was there, and I saw His care for me in support raising, as I couldn’t do that either. It was the first time I really began to grasp He really has everything under control and none of it is up to me. I’m invited to be part of the Story.

It’s still a struggle though! Now that I’m a mom, I’m still learning to cut back on so many things. I still struggle with feeling not enough, but that’s usually because I am looking at all the tasks left undone, even untouched, and not looking to Jesus and what He’s done through me. I’m learning to accept my limits; to trust Him with the things that are undone. Trusting He will provide for them to get done, or provide His perspective they are a task that He doesn’t actually have for me to do. I don’t have to be enough because He is enough.

I still get frustrated by my limit of energy

– Because I feel like I should have more (I don’t readily recognize there is a limit to my energy, like I do the limit of time)

– Because sometimes I can push through despite low energy, and I look to myself for that ability rather than to God. Sometimes God will provide extra energy and I want Him to all the time (not just occasionally).

– Because I feel like I am valuable if I can produce and contribute, rather than believing I am already valuable because I am God’s daughter. I am looking to myself for worth rather than to God for my worth. Even if I can push through the low energy and produce a lot, the sense of value and worth is short lived, because new tasks arise and once again I am behind. But in Christ, my worth never changes because it’s based on Him.

As I accept my limit of energy, I can look to Him who is limitless rather than looking at myself. Maybe He will take the low energy away for a moment and supernaturally provide for me to accomplish a task. He’s done that before. That’s not usually the case. He wants me to accept my limit, because it draws my focus to Him. I look to Him for my worth, not my accomplishments. I look to Him for what He wants me to do, rather than myself because the ideas in my head and on my to-do lists are always greater than I can possibly achieve. I need to set aside all my good plans in order to focus on the great plans He has for me to do. And by accepting my limit, I will come to Him for rest, renewal, perspective, vision, relationship. If I had unlimited energy (like I wish I had), I doubt I would stop, or I would very rarely. The low energy causes me to stop regularly.

Looking back to the questions, here’s how I answered them:

–           What is/are the limitation(s): low energy
–           Why do you not want it? What are you wanting? I want unlimited energy so I can accomplish all the things and be valuable
–           How can your limitation point you to Jesus’ Limitlessness? I recognize it’s not up to me but up to Him and my limit can draw me to look to Him instead of myself.
–           How do you need to trust Him with your limit? I will look to Him for my value, and what He wants me to do instead of trusting myself.

I encourage you to give yourself time and space to really reflect on these questions. It took me awhile to summarize the answers to those questions. Please comment below or email me if you have any comments or questions. This is all still in development and I would love help refining it.


One person asked how communication is a God-given limit with all the advances in technology. Here are some thoughts how this applies to communication.

Even with all the advances of technology in communication, there will always be a limit. Even when we speak the same language and see each other daily, there are limits in communication. I think of a marriage relationship, or a discipleship relationship. Sometimes you think something has been communicated well, and the other person just doesn’t get it. I can work and work and work to try to make sure the other person understands what I’m saying, but sometimes they just don’t. In those moments, it’s a God-given limit and I can choose to seek Him and ask Him to remove the communication barrier. Sometimes He will. Sometimes, He wants me to trust Him and to be praying for that person to understand rather than talking at them. As I look to God rather than my communication efforts, I get a chance to see how He can break through any communication barriers that exist. He really is the only Unlimited One.

For another perspective on this topic of limits, I appreciated John Piper’s short article on how he accepted a God-given limit and used it for God’s glory.

https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/dont-waste-your-weaknesses

 

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Am I Okay?

righteousness2This morning after Church was one of the moments where I’m giving a girl a piece of advice, and the words of wisdom coming out of my mouth I realize are meant for me (and hopefully for her to), and something I need to process more.

So, I’m processing with you on this blog post as more of a journal entry in the hopes that my processing might be helpful for at least another person as well.

My girl was talking about the need to set the pace in confrontation; starting by leading out confessing where she has failed the girls she’s leading. But as I listened to her, it sounded like her failings were more performance issues and not sin issues. So I said something to the effect of “God isn’t concerned about your day-to-day performance and nitpicking that. He is concerned about the sin in our lives and the need to confess that.” As I spoke, it struck a chord with a thought I’ve been processing for a few weeks now.

If you were to ask me if I’m satisfied with my life, in terms of the big picture, then absolutely yes. I’m satisfied with where I’m at in my life, in my career, my marriage, my family, my walk with God, who I am, etc… However, in the small picture, day to day, I feel inadequate most days. That I’m not using my time wisely or well enough. That I fall short of where I should be every day. And as I talked with my girl, I realized that she and I are each asking the wrong question.

It isn’t about the day to day performance, it’s about the motivations behind it. If I fail to complete a task, is that a sin? It depends. I need to ask a deeper question of Why (or if you are a QBQ reader, “what caused me to not complete the task”). Maybe it’s something that didn’t need to be accomplished. But maybe I wasn’t trusting God (the true sin issue).

I get down on myself for not accomplishing my to-do list. Truthfully, I tend to put more on my to-do list than I have time or energy to accomplish. But the bigger issue, the actual sin issue, is that I look to my to-do list not as a guide, but as a measure of my “okayness”. Instead of believing in what Christ has accomplished on the Cross in order for me to be right with Him, I look to my performance, and measuring it in terms of tasks successfully completed.

I look for my value by how much I can get done instead of recognizing I already have my value in Christ. I look for my “okayness” in my use of time rather than believing I’m already accepted in Christ. I look to myself to figure out and direct my days rather than looking to Christ to direct my day. Or I push on, trying to accomplish all the things instead of trusting Christ and His invitation to rest.

I don’t need to confess my failings in my performance. I need to confess the sin behind it. Because in confessing that sin it sets me free the trap it has become, and it opens the door for a better relationship with Jesus.

It’s Spring Break and I have a mighty massive to-do list of all the things I want to do over the next 10 days. But right now, I just want to rest. I want to sit, read, think, pray, nap, play with Aurora, and hang out with Micah. Maybe energy will come later in the week to do some of the things on my list. Here’s where Faith comes in for me. I have seen God come through for me in the past. As I trust Him with my time, schedule and to-do lists, He provides energy and bends time in my favor. So, today and for the next several days, will I trust Him? Will I trust His invitation to rest? Will I trust that knowing & loving Him is the far better option than trying to get all my have-to’s and want-to’s done? I could muster through and try to get things done this week. But past experience tells me I will just exhaust myself. And past experience also tells me that choosing Christ has ALWAYS been the life-giving option.

Christ didn’t die for me so I could continue to be under the law, including the law I put onto myself of expectations. He died for me and clothed me in righteousness. I am already righteous, which is way better than just being “okay”. I am already right with Him whether or not I get my tasks accomplished or use every minute well. He didn’t die for me so I could keep trying to fulfill the law. He died to set me free! So I could live life fully! In Him! (Galatians 3).

So, for the next few days I’m letting go of my to-do list and I’m going to trust Christ and His invitation to rest and to enjoy Him. And I’ll trust Him if He wants me to get anything done on my to-do list later this week.

 

Lent – what’s the purpose?

lentLent is coming up in a week. Some of you may be very familiar with it, others of you may have only heard of this Church tradition. If you aren’t familiar with it, Lent is the period of time set aside to focus on simplifying your life, prayer, and fasting in order to grow closer to God during the 40 days before Easter, starting with Ash Wednesday and lasting up until Easter. It’s actually 46 days, but the 6 Sundays in Lent are excluded because each are considered a mini-Easter. One article I read pointed out that it’s about 1/10 (tithe) of a year.

Next Tuesday, Mardi Gras or “Fat Tuesday” is the day before Lent starts. Since Lent always starts on a Wednesday, the day before is always a Tuesday. It’s called “Fat” or “Great” because it’s associated with great food and parties. Traditionally, people didn’t want to be tempted by sweets, meat and other distractions in the house during Lent so they cleaned out their cabinets. They used up all the sugar and yeast in sweet breads before the Lent season started, and fixed meals with all the meat available. It was a great feast!  Course now Mardi Gras has evolved into a pretty wild party with little to do with actually preparing for the Lenten season.

I grew up Lutheran and thought everybody knew about Lent. In my high school most everyone went to either the Lutheran, Catholic or Methodist church and we all did Lent, or at least talked about it. We would give up chocolate or soda or TV. It didn’t really mean much to me, it was just a tradition. I was really surprised when I got to college and met Christians who had never really heard of Lent nor participated in it.

So why do Lent at all? There is no rule saying you have to, it’s not commanded in the Bible. It’s a church tradition; however, it is a beneficial one when used with the right motives and mindset. It’s a great time to fast, which, when Jesus talks about fasting, it’s always in the context of “when you fast” just like when He says “when you pray.” Plus, it’s a chance to do it in community. It’s easier, and more fun, to fast when you know your friends are doing it too. It’s a good time to prepare our hearts for Easter. Jesus sacrificed His life for us. By sacrificing food, a desire, a need, or our time, we can appreciate a bit more His sacrifice for us. Ultimately, the purpose of participating in Lent is to Glorify God by knowing and loving Him.

fasting-1I recently read a chapter on Fasting in the book Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life by Donald S. Whitney that I found rather helpful in reflecting on Lent and it’s purpose. A lot of my thoughts (and quotes) are either from or inspired by his chapter.

God created us to hunger for Him, and we will fill that hunger, even as Christians, with so many things to numb that hunger. Fasting awakens that hunger for God as we deny ourselves the numbing agent of food, media, noise, relationships, etc… and we can begin to let God fill that hunger instead.

A word of caution: Fasting needs to have a purpose. Otherwise the hunger pains will only make you calculate the time until you can eat again. We need to have our purpose in mind while fasting, so when I get hungry, I say to myself: I’m hungry because I’m fasting today. And I’m fasting today because _____________________. Without a spiritual purpose, a fast from food only becomes a diet, and a fast from media only becomes a time management saver. It doesn’t Glorify God nor help us know and love Him more.fast-2

For instance, if I know Brandy is going through a rough time and I want to pray for her more throughout the day, I could choose to fast and pray for her. Then every time my stomach growls or my head aches, my hunger reminds me that I’m fasting, which in turn reminds me that I’m fasting for the purpose of praying for Brandy, and then I pray. So all day, whether I’m driving, walking, working, I’m reminded by my hunger to pray, and then I’m praying far more often, which is why I fasted in the first place.

Other purposes of fasting besides praying for someone, are to seek God’s guidance, to put my trust and hope in Him instead of some other thing, to overcome temptation, to minister to the needs of others with the time and money I would normally use to eat, or to express love and worship to God – fasting demonstrates that seeking God is more important than food, or Facebook, or spending time with people, or whatever it is I am fasting from. Jesus is more important and more satisfying than food, media, people, etc…, but we won’t know it until we fast and let Him fill us with Himself instead.fast3

Food is a great choice for fasting because God made us creatures who survive by eating. It’s a basic need. He made the world work in such a way that it provides food for us to eat. Those who eat too much, or even too little are looking for satisfaction in something other than God.

A fast doesn’t have to be just food. Other great things to fast from can be found in the things that clutter your calendar and life.

Two weeks ago I took a couple days to spend (mostly) alone with God. I cancelled all meetings, turned off my phone and computer, and rested. God did a lot in my heart in those two days of fasting from my phone. I realized I was so exhausted because I was spending too much time reading the news or on Facebook. There’s a whole side story related to this, but suffice it to say, I was surprised to learn that reading and processing the news takes energy, a lot of energy, and I need to limit the amount of news I take in because I don’t want my energy going there.

Another non-food fast that I did was my first meaningful Lent fast after I joined Campus Ventures. I fasted from music that year. You wouldn’t think it would be that hard, but the first few days were torturous. The first day was fine, but the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc… were rough. I was agitated and restless. I didn’t even realize until then that I was looking to music and noise to be my source of peace and security. When it got ripped away, I had to start looking for it in God. During those 40 days I found myself automatically reaching for the radio station in the car, or wanting to turn on the stereo or TV as soon as I walked in the door to my apartment. It was habit. But somewhere in the middle of Lent, I began to appreciate the quietness and then eventually to love it. Before, I always had music playing. Music had a big role in my coming to know Jesus as my Savior as well as growing in my faith. But I was relying on it instead of Him. Once the 40 day Lent fast was over, I was reluctant to turn noise back on. It became by choice to listen to music or watch TV rather than just a habit. And my love for quietness has stuck. I had never loved it before, but I am comfortable with it now as I find it restful and restoring.

Lent is also a time of simplifying your life in terms of what you eat, wear and do. Some people will simplify their diets. It used to be a big thing to not eat meat during Lent, except fish on Fridays. Simplifying a diet can free up time in preparing meals to allow time to spend with Jesus. And by removing sweets, caffeine or other items from your diet and just doing a simple diet to meet your basic nutritional needs, you can learn to crave God instead. For instance, if you decide to simplify your diet to basic needs, then when you crave the extra portion of food or a tastier treat, you can remember that you are fasting, and fasting for a purpose to seek God during Lent. Another option is simplifying your clothing choices for the 40 days. Or your activities. Maybe saying no to one thing every day, or pulling back from hanging out with people if you’re an extrovert. We can look to our clothing choices or people to fill the hunger we have for God just as much as we can food.

 

Other ideas for Lent:

  • Try an electronic fast. Give up Netflix, Facebook, texting, email, Snapchat, and all things electronic for one day every week. (Or everyday of Lent!). Use that time to spend with God reading the bible, praying, memorizing a verse, or spend quality time with family or roommates, or writing an encouraging note to someone on paper!
  • Try skipping one meal each week and use that time to volunteer for an hour or more each week or look for ways you can serve roommates, friends, or even strangers.

 

One thing I will be doing, and I invite you to do with me, is to focus on the Cross. A few years ago I read the Gospel for Real Life by Jerry Bridges and it was a powerful book about all that the Cross represents and the incredible riches found in being a Christian. Bridges shared how the Cross represents so many opposing ideas all beautifully tied into one. Take for instance, God’s Holiness and God’s Love. God’s holiness demanded the Cross as punishment for our sins and God’s Love provided the Cross to save us from our sins. I’ve wanted to re-read this book before an Easter for some time now, so Jordan and I are going to read it over Lent if you’d like to join us. You can get the book off of Amazon Prime for only $11 or used from Amazon for $6. If you don’t have time to read one more book, maybe fast from a meal once a week to use that time to read, or if you have a Spring Break coming up, read it over Break to draw your heart back to Him and the season of Lent. I’m also hoping to write a blog entry about each chapter to make myself think through it more, so you could follow my thoughts on future blogs. Maybe Jordan will write a blog entry too. Or if you read a chapter and it speaks to you, I’d love for you to write an entry for my blog!

Whether you read the book or not, I do invite you to mediate on the Cross over Lent.

Before you finish reading this blog and move on to your next thing, would you take a few moments to talk to God and see if He wants you to fast from anything over Lent? Maybe one of the ideas I shared spurred something in your mind. Ask Him if there is something He wants you to fast from for all of Lent, for part of Lent, or for one day each week of Lent. If He brings something to mind, have the courage to follow through! God loves you and if He’s asking you to fast from it, no matter how hard it may seem, trust Him that He really knows what is best for your heart and your relationship with Him. Fasting is hard, especially if it’s for a long haul, like all 40 days of Lent. I encourage you to share with someone to hold you accountable and to encourage you. And keep before you the purpose of why you are fasting. Without the purpose of knowing and loving God, this will just become another empty tradition.

Crushes: Crush Them, not the other way around

Guest post by Brandy, one of the young ladies I mentor

he loves meI’m going to be completely honest with you gals, writing this was kinda difficult. At first I was so honored and excited to write this that I completely forgot that it meant sifting through the tender parts of my heart, the deep parts where my desires are held. Some of what God’s been teaching me has been a ‘hindsight is 20/20’ kind of thing, but, for the most part, this is very real, very new, and hard to work through. I’ve found that when God asks you to do or go through something, most of the time He isn’t asking only for your benefit, but for others as well.

So, here is what God is teaching me about how to cope with crushes in a way that protects the heart and grows our relationship with Him at the same time. Let us commence at the beginning.

Once I’ve unearthed my crush on someone, I’ve noticed certain tendencies to always be present. Here is what it looks like:

  • It looks like striving for my crush’s approval.
  • It looks like comparing myself to other women who my crush is giving attention to.
  • It looks like wondering if I’m enough, and tearing myself down when I’m convinced that I’m definitely not enough; all because I don’t hold a monopoly on my crush’s attention and affection.
  • It looks like changing who I am to be someone I think my crush will like.
  • It looks like plotting:
    • How can I sit next to him?
    • How can I bring up a conversation with him?
    • How can I bring him up in conversation with friends?
    • How can I spend more time with him?
  • It looks like reading into every single thing my crush says and does.
  • It looks like reading between and outside the lines (you know, daydreaming).

I think you know what I’m talking about here, ladies. Our hearts are in turmoil! We feel at war with ourselves, bullying ourselves, believing the enemy’s lies, and changing ourselves, all because some guy isn’t pursuing us. But what if I were to tell you that this isn’t how it has to be? What if I said there is a way to receive life and hope in the midst of a heart-wrenching crush?

I want to share a story with you. I recently messaged a guy I had a crush on. He responded, asking me how my evening was. So I dove, head-and-heart-first into what was sure to be an earth shattering conversation! But, after a few messages back and forth, it was obvious that I was the only one holding the conversation. It was completely one-sided. Then, our wonderful God impressed upon me this truth:

I am worth someone asking questions to. I am worthy of someone taking the effort and time to have a two-sided conversation with me because God says I am worthy. He, Himself, takes time to pursue me, love me, and ask me questions, and I should expect no less from man. Especially from a man that I desire to hold my heart.

With this truth safely tucked into my belt, I allowed the conversation to end. I did this trusting that God had my heart in mind, and would provide for my desire to be pursued and have meaningful conversation through some other avenue.

You see, you, yourself is enough, just the way you are. Whatever God is having you do right now, this very moment, is enough. No need to change who you are, or what you are doing to (maybe) appease what you believe a guy wants. You don’t need to be burdened with trying to figure out how to “make” the guy you’re crushing on like you, or what you’re “doing wrong” that’s “making” him not like you. FYI it’s not your responsibility to “win” a guy’s heart.

You are enough. Your heart deserves better than what you’re giving it. It is a treasure, and it is high time you start to treat it that way, because this is the truth that our Father desires you to know and believe about yourself! You are worth so much! You are pretty enough, smart enough, funny enough, _______ enough! You have the God of the Universe, the King of Kings, the Rescuer of your soul pursuing you! He loves and desires you. He has your absolute best in mind and wants to give it to you, His beloved! We only have to believe this and give Him the hurt, the pain of not being pursued by an earthly man at this moment. Give God your desires and allow Him to provide for them. Place your hope firmly on God, not imperfect man, to provide for what you want. Choose God, not self. Choose to see yourself the way He does, not the way the enemy is trying to trick you into seeing yourself, and treat your heart the way He died to have it treated. Just treat yo-self right girl!!

Story time. I was getting fuel and was just beginning to pump gas when I saw a familiar car pull up. One of my guy friends hopped out and told me that he had seen me pumping and had to stop to say hi! We talked for a few minutes while I finished pumping and then he departed. Now I could take what happened here one of two ways. The first is the way of wishful thinking; seeing it only how I’d like it to be: He stopped, just for me. He must like me. He is pursuing me. That’s the only explanation. What should the colors be at our wedding? The second way is to view it as it is, not reading into it, and seeing how God has orchestrated it. God, who loves me immeasurably more than I could ever imagine, has chosen to show His love by having this man come up to me and notice me. Because God notices me, He saw me pumping gas and sought a way to encourage me even there, and He did so through this man. No reading into it; it’s in God’s hands. My guy friend was the vessel that God choose to show me how important and loved I am by Him. Praise Jesus for His love!

This is what a crush can look like when you choose to crush with God by your side, believing the truth of who He says you are, and giving and trusting your desires and hopes to Him:

  • It looks like giving God the desire for your crush to pay attention to you.
  • It looks like letting God fulfill your desire to be pursued and seen.
  • It looks like being open to seeing how God is pursuing you, and letting him.
  • It looks like putting your hope in the One who loves you and your heart.
  • It looks like rejoicing in the Provider when your crush pays attention to you, or does something admirable (after all, most of the qualities that draw you to your crush are qualities that God also possesses, so why not praise Him for that!).
  • It looks like being who you are and doing exactly what God asks you to do without the fear of what your crush will think (because we should pursue pleasing God, not man, right?).
  • It’s sprinting to God when your heart hurts, giving the hurt to Him; allowing Him to heal and comfort you.
  • It can also look like plotting:
    • How can I see God provide for me today?
    • Where is God at that I also need to be?
    • How is God pursuing me?
    • How can I spend time with the Lover of my soul and allow Him to encourage me?

We need a focus change from focusing on us and what we’re feeling to focusing on God and what He is saying, about us, who we are, why He loves us, what He has for us to do. It’s safe to give God your desires. He wants to give you life and life in the fullest. He knows and loves you. Secure your hope, your desire, in Him who gave up everything so He could be in relationship with you. Give Him the chance to reveal how He can provide, and experience the real relationship that comes from allowing God to invade the deepest parts of your heart, the part that desires, the part that hurts when your crush doesn’t notice you, or rejoices when he does. Jesus loves you, His bride. Trust Him. Give Him the chance to provide. Embrace Him.

a baby, fear, & pride

I’ve been thinking about my blog a lot lately. Partly because it’s been a year since I started it. Partly because I’m going through Experiencing God again and as I read about “what has God asked you to do,” this blog keeps coming to mind.

Although it may not seem like it, I have thought about this blog often. But then fear and doubt creep in. I have had so many ideas of things I want to write and share, but not the time to think it through as well as I would like in order to blog it. Getting pregnant affected my ability to write until April (first trimesters are rough!). By mid-April I regained vision for ministry and had things to share. But I didn’t blog them. And more ideas throughout this summer. And I still didn’t write. Then Aurora came, this beautiful baby girl that took up all my energy and time. Two months later, as we figure out this new life, start to gain a “schedule”, and my times with God increase in length and focus, blog ideas are coming to mind — but fear and pride keep me from writing.

So today, I’m choosing to push past it and write instead. I realized that I’m wanting to “think it through” because I want a “legit blog”, which to me means well-written and well formatted and great graphics. But that “goal” is keeping me from writing altogether. And it’s based in pride. God hasn’t asked me to write a professional blog, at least not yet. He’s asked me to share the things He’s speaking to me, as it helps me process them more fully, and along the way others may be encouraged or challenged by those things as well.

So here’s to a new year! 2015 isn’t over just yet! Is there anything God has asked you to do this year? Don’t wait for 2016 — 2015 isn’t over yet!