When I finally warmed up to writing about my real life and marriage, not just my imagination played out in picture books, one of my friends messaged me and asked me if I could write something special for her and her husband’s vow renewal. It shocked me that someone, anyone would ask me to be part of such a sacred event.
I froze. I reread it a few times in my head to make sure I read it right. Then I read the message out loud to Phil. He said it was an honor to be asked, and I agreed. He said I should do it; I disagreed. It took me a few hours to respond and, when I did, I sheepishly asked if she was sure she wanted me to do it. She said yes; I disagreed with her too.
I wrestled with my worthiness.
I thought and thought about it for a couple weeks–wrestled with my worthiness. Then I messaged her back, “I keep sitting down to write something for y’all but I keep getting stuck. I was thinking about you when this post from Lysa TerKeurst popped up in my feed. Do you think it will work?”
She loved it and I bought myself some more time. More time to study, more time to practice, more time to work in private. Because sometimes, if we don’t build ourselves up in private, the spotlight will burn us up at morning’s first light. Like a vampire, or something. Back to the dust from which we came because we were too weak to withstand the heat.
This is what I sent her from Lysa. I still love it and think about it in my marriage.
Dance in the shadow of the cross. When marriage is hard, Jesus knows the way. When marriage is joyous, celebrate Jesus together. When marriage is complicated, seek the simple ways of love Jesus modeled. When marriage makes you smile, find the purpose of Jesus in it all. When marriage makes you cry, remember Jesus’ words of forgiveness in His darkest hour. Sway and dip and twirl. Hold each other tight. But always stay in the shadow of the redemptive cross of Jesus. – Lysa TerKeurst
Photo by Rylee Hitchner
You believe everyone else is worthy, but you.
Two years later, a friend overheard me describing my then-new writing job and she pulled me aside in private. She heard the instability of my insecurities. She could have kept her thoughts to herself and turned the other way. Instead, she leaned into my life to sift out the unsettledness in my heart.
It was one of those days that changed the trajectory of my life. I think we only get a handful of those in a lifetime. She knew to ask me things no one had ever asked, and she heard me say things I hadn’t told anyone, not even Phil. The words poured out and I held my hands out as I said, “That’s all know; that’s all I’ve got.”
Then she wrapped her hands over mine and nodded with them as she said, “I think you do know God. And you do love God. But you do this thing where you bounce his love off of you onto everyone else. You give it to them, you give it to her, and you give it to him. You’re reflecting His light, but you never hold it in for yourself. You believe God loves and that everyone else is worthy of it, but you.”
She was absolutely right.
And I wept. We had only ever passed each other briefly at church before this night. Yet I sat in her car that night, way after everyone else went home and we were the last two cars in the lot, and wept. She was absolutely right.
I wanted to know why I thought that way. I knew I needed to get out of my own way. So I set out to find the answers in God. Since He made me and He knew I would turn out this way, I figured He would know what to say.
It was that night that I knew I had to get in His book if I was ever going to do what I felt called to–write my own books. So I read the Bible cover to cover. It only took me a year and a half. In those pages and through His people, He taught me who I am, what I’m made of, and what I’m made for.
Christ makes us worthy.
God has given me confidence in Christ to focus on His Word, so I can pour out my own words from the overflow. Now I know that I am meant to share my stories for His glory. And I realize that every day is a sacred event and that we are all struggling with getting the work (or the words) out. But I don’t want to shrink away anymore.
We have to stop holding back from hearing about God’s love for us, especially if we want it to move through us.
What are we missing out on
by waiting for or looking for a missing piece,
when Christ has already come?
Christ’s life and death on the cross and resurrection and ascension is what makes us worthy.
He is the missing piece, the cornerstone.
We are modeled by the Maker and we lack nothing in Him.
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake. Psalm 23:1-2
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