Know Your Worth

Breathe this in: you are perfect as you are. God doesn’t see imperfection, so stop berating yourself on what you perceive are flaws. Know how much He loves you. Know how delighted in you He is. Know your worth.

I praise You because I am fearfully
and wonderfully made;
Your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
-Psalm 139:14

When your mind is tempted to tear yourself down, remember the words you used to sing as a little girl, the line you knew by heart and wholeheartedly believed. Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.

Love yourself. Your Creator does. He took delight in you and rejoices over you with singing, and His creation is always good. This includes you. Wholeheartedly.

 

You Have Promised

Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what He had promised.
-Romans 4:20-21

 

How can I doubt that You are watching over me, taking extra care in my discomfort and sheltering me in Your solid, stoic arms?

Am I that consumed with myself that I see the surface and all that swims around me and think that You have left me to fend for myself, bobbing in the deep and deliriously unaware of my surroundings?

You have provided so much for me in so many ways, so many tiny details each and every hour I cannot contain the numbers of each miniscule miracle. I play the victim in the Woe is Me one act performance, providing excuse after excuse for why I keep myself chained in confusion. Why I cannot claim to clear my conscious when deep within, I know with all certainty, that You are prodding me, chipping away at the scales that have rusted to my skin. You have my purpose resting in Your palms, and You are quietly calling me to reach to You and take what You are promising.

I have been selfish and shallow, wallowing in self-inflicted self-pity, crying out to You to help bring me from the dungeon of doubt that has locked me in. Yes, I have been tested, my walls breached. But if I would lift the shield of faith high above me, I can ward off the arrows that swiftly fly towards my soul. With Your Spirit of truth, I can trust that You are all You say You are, and that You have never left me, nor will You ever forsake me. You have Your righteous hand upon me, watching me, guiding me, and the things I think are tragic will turn to triumph for Your glory.

How dare I delve into the abyss and think You just a figure on my shoulder, a charm around my neck. You are beyond this world, You’ve brought galaxies to life and expelled evil from Your sight. How can I forget the fire You’ve set within my heart?

Forgive me for my frail faith, for not honoring You as I should and for my brittle belief. You are all You say You are, and only by Your power can I exist at all. Persuade me to pay closer attention to You, to pay closer attention to Your details in my day. Help me reconstruct my walls of wisdom and regain my fortress in Your foresight. Deliver me once again into Your corner. Let me remember that my battles are Yours to fight, and that You have the power to do all that You have promised with me.

 

Reconstruct Me

But He knows the way I take;
When He has tested me,
I will come forth as gold.
-Job 23:10

 

I step through jagged
stones of glass,
cutting the innocent
softness of the underside
of my feet.
though I tread carefully,
pieces of the pain
embed into me,
a reminder that where I go,
I am fallen.
Walk with me.
when I crumble,
be the One
to reconstruct me.
You know my paths,
know which sands
will slice my skin.
You see me scream
my confusion into the
silent sheet of night.
Observe me,
but ready Your hand
to pull me from the mire
when I slip into
its cunning grasp.

 

What You Give

I don’t want the world.
I want You.

I want Your goodness, Your light, Your innocence, Your mercy. I want You streaming through my bloodlines, tucked into the snuggest corners of my heart. I want Your voice, a string of satin stars in my bleak and searching sky. I want Your patience helping me up every time I fall and Your strength lifting me when I am weak.

Each day I am surrounded by darkness and discomfort. I crave all that is You, all that You are and all that You’ll ever be. I don’t want what the world wants. I want to be different. I want to stand alone, if alone means bringing You to my side. I am no one, but You stoop down to my level to raise me up and whisper that I am someone, that I am Yours. If there is any way I can bring joy to You, I want to find it and offer it up in my meager, mud-caked hands. Because I have been in the dirt and buried in shame, but You’ve covered my grime with grace.

I don’t want what the world longs for, all the excess, all the glitter and brash brightness that gives pleasure and satisfaction for the moment. I want something that lasts. That will bring me life and satisfaction in my soul. I don’t want what the world gives. I want what You give.

I don’t want to break Your heart. I want to be better. Want to be better for You, to bleed myself of selfish ambition and preservation and lose my life in Your love. I want my ears to perk up at Your calling and my feet to swiftly carry me to the arms of the brokenhearted. When You knock upon my door, I want to warmly welcome You into my heart, into my home. And I want You to take me in Your embrace and fill me with all that is sweet and simple. I want to know You, to intimately and everlastingly know how You live and how You love, what breaks You and binds me to You. All I’m longing for is in Your presence. I am reaching for Your hand, to entwine Your fingers of forgiveness with my hands of hurt and be transformed.

All this life claims to offer cannot, and will not, compare to all You so generously give, for in Your peace I am perfected.

 

As You Give

 

 

Let It Go

Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.   -1 Peter 5:7

I take up my pen and begin relaying my thoughts onto paper. I talk about trust, how I have more ease of life knowing God is taking care of the how. I begin to describe how God is teaching me this week, for the pressing thoughts continually on my mind. Prayer. Petition. Bringing my requests before the great and powerful Oz of the universe who sits on His heavenly throne and rules with authority.

But I am timid. I am weak and I am fearful. I doubt. Myself, the plans God has for me, even the gifts He has given me. I wonder if I’m doing anything with my life that aligns with His will.

I let the fear fester inside, corroding my heart and blocking off the air canals that guide me to God. Soon, I am so consumed with this confusion I am ashamed to even come before Him. Why would He still listen to me? Hear my prayers? My cries seem to carry across a barren sky and dissolve into the night.

Still I write, trying to somehow break through the surface. I try to not bother Him and begin to think of ways to solve my worries on my own. I wonder whether or not the decisions I make today will mark tomorrow. I can fix things, I assure myself. I can do this on my own.

But I can’t. In my decision to fight my own battles my life caves in. The ceiling presses down, I reach for the exit door and find there is no handle. I am trapped, a hostage in my maze of an unknown future, and the more I struggle to break the bonds of baggage upon me, the tighter the hold. My shoulders are frail. I need ones that are stronger.

Meek, all energy drained, I dare to decode my confusion at God’s feet. I stumble before Him, face buried in humiliation as I realize that while I have been doubting my abilities and the haze that appears on my path, I have also doubted God, because He gave me these desires and attributes. I am His daughter, created in His image. And if I think it is impossible to climb out of the muck I’ve stepped in, then I do not fully comprehend the immensity of my God. For when I am weak, He is at His strongest. His shoulders are solid, His mark always on target. And through my utter despair, it is at my lowest point where He can take charge and show that ALL things are possible through Him, because He is incomprehensible in power and love.

When we try to take matters into our own hands, we lunge into the ocean and expect to keep in the shallows. We swim, bob, dog paddle in our own currents until we reach the middle of the sea and find no land in sight. Legs pumping, heart crashing, our bodies tread water, killing time but getting nowhere. Soon, the more we struggle, the more we are swallowed into the abyss.

Until we release the fears and insecurities that keep us weighed down, we slowly sink to the bottom. We whisper in the waters, “Father, I cannot do this on my own,” and He gives strength to our weary limbs, tosses a life vest out to our eager arms. And, with gentle, guiding hands, He lifts us to His side and charts our perfect course.

 

Into The Fire

 

It is a leap of faith
to step into the fire.
Whether or not
God keeps you from singeing,
you place your cards down
on the table and expect Him
to pull the upper hand.
You do not know
how fast the flames may rise,
how eager they will be
to taste your skin,
but no sense is stronger than
sight of the Refiner’s fire,
shaving off your stubborn edges
and smoothing your certainty
into an image that mirrors
His own.

 

Why Not Me

I believe in God being a God of redemption. There is something in remembering, in strolling through the memory halls of my heart and still holding out my hope.

We ask for the miracle and then doubt reality when it materializes.

We justify it away, fill with disbelief, run questions through our hearts.

I am too tender to take courage in the face of what I want.

And so I ask the million dollar question: Why me?

I am just a shy, simple girl who buried her nose in books when she was young and hoped with every inch of her innocent heart for a way to break out of the monotony of daily rhythm, to find a love that was true and fierce, to connect the poetry of life with beating hearts. And maybe, just maybe, I could change the world with my smile.

Why could I deserve anything great? Get the most treasured desire of her heart fulfilled?

Is God that good? Could what I desperately hope for be something that pleases Him?

Hope is that stubborn flame that will not be quenched. That soft surge of light within that unfurls its rays to break open the tightest corners.

All my life, I’ve been so afraid to hope for what’s been in my heart. I have dreamed about it with every breath in my bones, but I have also been timid with expressing it out loud for fear it would never come true.

And yet I’ve carried this with me year after year, tucked away inside, and as the months and years stretched by the double, I even began to chide myself for it. Began to turn on the hopeful girl within and tell her every reason why she wasn’t worthy. I’d emotionally beat her down until hope was too bent and bruised to dare show its face, retreating to a dark, stifled space in the basement of my soul to stay in hiding.

But the miraculous realization: it stayed.

It stayed with me, this hope upon hope, this young girl’s dream. It stayed with me as I grew disillusioned and jaded. And every time I begin to doubt, to ask myself questions and feel myself sinking back into what God has done to build up my belief, the verse, “Don’t doubt, just believe” comes into my head. Coincidence? My own imagining? How I wish God would lay it out to me in plain terms and tell my all my hopes are good and well-founded.

I do not want to be afraid, but I have been fearful. He calls me deeper, on top of the water, to glide along the waves.

Who am I to deserve anything this beautiful?

But then, who am I not to?

Why me?

Why not me?

Why not, knowing Him who holds the stars, giving me His best.

Remember this, my heart. Remember and awake, believe.

Revive Me

Will You not revive us again, that Your people may rejoice in You?    -Psalm 85:6

 

My skin is shaking, heart is hammering. There’s this pulsing, rushing ruby in my veins. Sweeping through me, underneath me, to the chambers of my heart. It’s been locked, held securely by a key of hidden hurt. Now the currents push forward and the cracks cannot keep up.

Walls come crumbling, humbling my dry, weary soul. Shock soars through me, a realization of the booming echoes reverberating inside. I’m broken, my heart is stripped to shreds. Marrow seeping, eyes are bleeding out the salty tears I’ve held at bay.

There’s a hole in my heart, tightening the remains to shrivel together and steal the breath from my collapsing lungs. My soul hears nothing but slapping waves of regret rattling my shore of surrender.

 

Read more at ALTARWORK here.

 

**Photo courtesy of ALTARWORK

Introduction

 

But as for me, I will always have hope;
I will praise You more and more.
-Psalm 71:14

 

I’ve been waiting for you.

You probably find this hard to believe. You’re the type who gets overlooked and forgotten. Your days are filled with countless hours devoted to others. You become a caretaker and help others live a greater story than your own. You are plain and ordinary. No one special. Nothing significant to say. You have a full, brilliant, creative mind, yet you do not share because someone might not understand and think it dull. So you settle for a counterfeit contentment, resigning yourself to the monotony of moments and burying your dreams in the dusty corners of a darkened attic, forbidden to climb down into the warmth of reality.

 

Let Me ask you something.

How does it feel, knowing there is so much swelling up inside yet forcing yourself to stay stagnant? How does it feel to lift your eyes to the mirror and assault yourself with lies of disappointment? How can you hide the longing in your heart? Your core cries with urgency, “See me! Know me! Love me!”

How can you not hear Me calling to you?

 

Read more over at ALTARWORK here!

Good Morning

Good Morning

 

Good morning.
Did you sleep well?
Are you ready for another day?
Will you spend it with Me?

Listen to those first quiet breaths as you linger in your bed. Feel the rise and fall of your chest; your lungs giving you life. I want you to treasure today, to see all of its potential. Because it’s brimming with untouched beauty, waiting for your heart to explore.

Can you see the sunrise? Go, take a look out your window. Notice the colors? The blushing pinks and laughing lavender? They reminded Me of your skin and the softness of your smile, so I had to paint them in the sky in hopes you’d see and be reminded of Me.

You’re going to stroll down into the kitchen, aren’t you? I can tell because of the gleam in your eye that’s visualizing a fresh, strong cup of coffee. The song in your soul is light as you take delight in your simple pleasure. And I’ll be sitting in the chair next to yours, watching the way your lips curve to the cup and the way you relish that first sip. You are beautiful when you are content.

I want to keep the sun on your face, use it as a spotlight to see your smile and the glow of your countenance. I want to serenade you with the sky, gift you with flowers from My garden. I want today to be your best day ever. I want you to know that it is Me with the warmth in my heart at hearing the joy of your voice.

My Love, be happy today. Let this morning lead you into peace and passion and the hope that rises softly in your heart. You are precious, your life unfolding like this early morning’s sweetness; dew upon your dreams.

I hope You see me in all you do. I hope My heart is wrapped in yours. I hope that you never forget Me. I just want you to love Me, and see how certain I am of you.

Savor this morning, My Love. May it fill you with the delicate echoes of My heartstrings tugging at yours and let you say that it is a good morning, indeed.