*Cue the dancing lobsters and snickering seventh grade boys.*
“Unreserved, unrestrained. Your love is wild, Your love is wild for me. It isn’t shy, it’s unashamed; Your love is proud to be seen with me. You don’t give Your heart in pieces. You don’t hide Yourself to tease us. Your love’s not fractured. It’s not a troubled mind. It isn’t anxious. It’s not the restless kind. Your love’s not passive. It’s never disengaged. It’s always present. It hangs on every word we say. Love keeps its promises. It keep its word. It honors what’s sacred. ‘Cause its vows are good. Your love’s not broken. It’s not insecure. Your love’s not selfish. Your love is pure.” Pieces, Steffany Gretzinger
I know that not everyone who stumbles across these words knows Jesus or has a relationship with Him. Maybe you’re searching, maybe you’ve been searching and you’re getting tired. Wherever you may be, my prayer today is that you might find Him here.
I was the girl on the other side of the direct message hiding behind my quick wit and keyboard. I grabbed at anything that resembled attention—desperate to feel something. I found my worth in my followers, even more so in who wasn’t following me. I went to the greatest of lengths, constantly compromising myself and my standards to make sure people knew I was pretty and popular. Always living in fear of rejection. Completely consumed by this thing that was feeding me just enough to keep me tied over, but too little to keep me full.
“Be careful that you do not sell yourself buying into this world. It wants only to be your friend when you have something to offer.”
We live in the age of quick-fix affirmation. Instant gratification. So easily wooed by cheaper, over-the-counter substitutes because the good stuff costs more than we are willing to pay. We crave so much to be seen, and in that, we are all too fast to shortchange our authenticity for the world’s acceptance and approval. I think maybe the saddest part of it all is that we don’t even auction ourselves to the highest bidder anymore, but throw picture-perfect glimpses of the most intimate parts of our bodies at the first taker in return for a false sense of value and worth—allowing ourselves to be temporarily satisfied by the crumbs on the floor when we have a place at the table.
He is wooing you from the jaws of distress to a spacious and unconfined place, to the comfort of your table laden with choice food. Job 36:16
Listen to me, social media is not bad. Being a quote-unquote photographer (LOL) and someone who has grown up in production, my need to document runs deep. I love a picture and appreciate the heck out of good lighting. It’s good for the soul. I wear bikinis. I own cutoff jean shorts, and I love the way my body looks in them. I work hard to make sure that my body is healthy and that is something that I take pride in. These are things I will never apologize for and things that, for me, represent the healing that has taken place in my life. The danger in these things comes when they become your source.
“…yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.” 1 Corinthians 8:6
You don’t give Your heart in pieces. You don’t hide Yourself to tease us. Unlike society and the things that vie and compete for our attention and affections, Jesus does not woo us with half-promises or tease us with fractions of His heart.
Your love’s not passive. It’s never disengaged. He does not leave room for us to wonder where we stand. Confusion is not in His character. He is a perfect gentleman, clear in His intentions.
It isn’t anxious. It’s not the restless kind. He is easy and gentle. We do not ever have to worry about where He is or if He will make good on His word. He is rest. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:28-29
So, from one daughter, sister, friend and future wife to another: let the way we carry ourselves do nothing but minister, and in protecting our own hearts and bodies may we protect those around us.
Jesus doesn’t make sub-par people. You are beautiful, you free and you are loved. Live like it, girl.