(apologies in advance for this long gospel post. i don’t normally post such things on my blog. but this was a significant experience for me just now. i needed to publish it. in fact i just made a new category for this post called Quiet Times. if this is not the content you are looking for, please look elsewhere on my page. as always, thank you for following <3)
it’s only been five hours since uglies was published. and in that time i was numbing myself with netflix on my bed, i accidentally insulted one of my close friends, i had a phone call with my brother that absolutely frustrated me. so i threw my coat on and ran outside on the brink of a panic attack.
i sat in my chair that faces the river with my breath fogging the air. and i screamed and i cried and i complained and i asked to die. i asked for it all to be taken from me. because i couldn’t make it. i was sick of hearing everyone’s pain. while being full of my own.
and this whole time inside me i felt Him calling me to read His word. and i kept shouting no. and i kept telling him that i was done with his brain washing and “comfort.” and as much as i felt His being in my body i almost wanted to reject it and kick it out entirely. and i couldn’t even sob. tears just shot out of my eyes and the only thing that felt satisfying was to bang my fists against my thighs and beg for an end.
silence came for a bit.
and then i put this song on repeat.
and i started reading this book.
it begins with something greater than myself:
“In the beginning, Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth,
and the heavens are the work of your hands.
11 They will perish, but you remain;
they will all wear out like a garment.
12 You will roll them up like a robe;
like a garment they will be changed.
But you remain the same,
and your years will never end.”
And it began to stir in me. that God remains. that God you are not just Lord over my life. you are Lord over the world. over history. you have been here for so much longer than I thought and you have remained the same. something whispered that “these soon shall pass.”
See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. 14 We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end. 15 As has just been said:
“Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts
as you did in the rebellion.”
Again, He was poking at me. asking me. are you hearing me? are you hardening your heart? remember those times when you were in “rebellion” and remember where that got you? Remember your “original conviction” and how firmly you wanted to hold that to the very end. Open your ears. and let me come soften your heart.
12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. 13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
I felt my heart opening. I felt something reminding me. that i am a person of weakness, but i follow a savior who embodied weakness and who was in agony to the point of death, but he did not sin. i can approach Him with confidence in this time of need.
7 During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. 8 Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered 9 and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him
Jesus, you did this prayer before me. you sat in front of your Father and cried and asked to have the cup taken from you. yet you stayed. you obeyed. you suffered.
26 If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. 28 Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?
32 Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you endured in a great conflict full of suffering. 33 Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. 34 You suffered along with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions. 35 So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.
36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. 37 For,
“In just a little while,
he who is coming will come
and will not delay.”
“But my righteous one will live by faith.
And I take no pleasure
in the one who shrinks back.”
39 But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.
And then I remembered how important it was to me that I have been saved by grace through faith. And how life threatening it is for me to continue pretending like Jesus’ blood that lives in me and covers me doesn’t mean anything to me. everything I wrote in uglies. everything i had shouted at him. I’m sorry God.
32 And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jephthah, about David and Samuel and the prophets, 33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. 35 Women received back their dead, raised to life again. There were others who were tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection. 36 Some faced jeers and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. 37 They were put to death by stoning; they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated— 38 the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and in holes in the ground.
39 These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, 40 since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.
4 In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 5 And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says,
“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline,
and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,
6 because the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”
7 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
with this i’ll end.
God. you have re awakened me. You are so faithful. You are not a formula. You are not my comfort toy. You are not my genie that comes out of the lamp I rub when I need help or emotional “novacaine.” You are the creator of this world. You are the God of history. You have laid the foundations of all things and have remained the same, faithful to your promises, through it all. Thank you. I realize now that your mercy towards me is not just meeting me where I am in my sin, but is also your ability to even count me as something worth being mindful of. Because I am such a small speck in the reality of who you are. and my little worries and emotional anxieties and frustrations, depression, sexual sins, laziness, lack of passion and motivation. all of it. it’s just nothing in the actual mural of you’re awesomeness that spans time. that is painted in nature and documented through the history books we read, the technology we advance, even the very genetic material we carry in our bodies. All these things reflect you.
And yet you allow me to confidently approach you. You intercede on my behalf. You have gone before me. You have experienced my struggles and meet me with a personal understanding of weakness. You ask me to remember. you ask me to hear your voice.
i’m sorry God for disregarding the price of your blood. I’m sorry for deliberately turning away from you. I am not sure how that is forgivable. but I ask for your forgiveness. for not understanding the weight of what you have done for me. for not remaining. for being someone who forgets what they look like. forgets what makes them truly happy and what truly gives them life. for being afraid of trusting you because i feared people’s judgement.
Please help me as I struggle in my pains. Please help me as I want to give up. Please help me as I forget why I am here at this school. Please keep reminding me that you have called me to faith and to be faithful. that you have called me to believe that You are able and that even if I don’t receive what I believe I’ve been promised, I will have faith that You are preparing something that is meant to make me perfect. I need you to struggle against the things that want to take me away from you. I know my anxieties take me away from you. I want to keep throwing off this stuff that entangles me and paralyzes me. I want to be someone who perseveres by fixing my eyes on you. and I want to be someone who has joy even as she endures her cross as I scorn the shame that such a cross might associate.
thank you Jesus for tonight. I have been asking for the end. but You keep reminding me this is just the beginning. And for all the times I’ve asked you to take these days away from me. You remind me that it’s these very days I will miss. These days when I could just sit outside and spend time with you. These hours that I can just be with you. Yes, I will miss these days.