p e r f e c t i o n.

Today, I wasn’t prepared for my flute lesson. At all. I hadn’t practiced all week. I hadn’t brushed my teeth, and I was already running late. I hate being late. I hate dirty teeth. I hate feeling unprepared.

My unpreparedness showed. I messed up left and right. I got notes wrong. I got articulations wrong. I disregarded dynamics and rhythms. I started in the wrong place. I held my flute wrong. Each time my lesson teacher stopped me to correct me, the first thing I would say was “sorry.” I apologized before she could even tell me what sounded wrong.

Probably around the twentieth time this happened, she stopped me. She told me to sit down and looked me in the eye. And then she told me to stop apologizing.

I told her that I felt like I was letting her down because I kept messing up. I told her I was wasting her time because I wasn’t prepared. I told her I felt bad that the music she had specifically chosen for me wasn’t perfect. And I apologized. Again.

In a warm tone, she told me something like this:

“It doesn’t need to be perfect, Alyssa. All that matters to me is that you create life out of the music I give you. You’re not disappointing me when you mess up. You may be disappointing yourself, but you’re not disappointing me. Alyssa, don’t strive for perfection. Perfection isn’t realistic. It would be nice, but it’s not realistic. Instead, strive for passion. Strive for life. Strive to create.”

I’ve realized that I am consumed in attaining perfection. I want to perform my best at all times and appear invincible. It’s something I have poured all my energy and focus into.

Even so, I’m still failing, and I’m still imperfect. I’m just as broken, just as human, and just as flawed as everyone else, even if I devote myself to attaining perfection. I am not capable of attaining perfection in any areas of my life.

But He is. He is capable. He is perfect. Absolutely perfect. And in Him, I am also made whole. Today, I will seek my Savior instead of perfection.

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p e r f e c t i o n.

a simple saturday.

today, i took a mental health day.

i sat alone in my room all day.

i thought, i wrote, i cried, i prayed.

i’ve come to the conclusion that god alone will sustain.

i’ve come to the conclusion that this world needs more love.

i’ve come to the conclusion that life is a beautiful mess.

and that’s all i did today.

a simple saturday.

Soul Update.

I’ve been feeling apathetic. I’ve been feeling apathetic about life, about my responsibilities, about pretty much everything. I haven’t written about anything which actually interests me since June. In fact, I’ve been dreading posting anything at all. I’ve been feeling unvalued, unneeded, and unimportant.

I have adapted a twisted version of humility. I have taken an accommodating and apathetic approach to life. I have stepped into the background as much as possible because I am scared. I am scared that I will find myself feeling inadequate. I am scared that I will be hurt again. I am scared that I will not make a difference. I am scared that people will not love me for who I am.

Why?

Because I am in a place where I am struggling to love who I am.

I really am. I am consumed in self-doubt.

Because I am in a place where I am struggling to love who I am, I am struggling to love the people around me. I’ve been running towards isolation. I’ve been running to the hidden corners, staying in the background, and taking steps backwards.

I’ve been assuming that people don’t care. I’ve been assuming that people don’t want to know my thoughts. I’ve been assuming that I have no respect from those around me. I’ve been assuming that my opinions are only to be overlooked. I’ve been assuming that I cannot speak about the things I am currently struggling with. I’ve been assuming that I am always in the wrong. I’ve been assuming that I am not worthy of other people’s time.

And that is all wrong.

But I still believe it.

And that is wrong.

Because I am in a place where I am struggling to love who I am, I am struggling to know who God is. God is love. It says so in the Bible. “Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love,” 1 John 4:8.

I’ve been believing that I am not worthy of love. I’ve been believing that God must see my anger, my doubt, my fear, my hatred, my apathy, etc., and He must decide He doesn’t want anything to do with me. I’ve written that I am too undesirable to find redemption.

And that is all wrong. It’s so wrong. It couldn’t be more wrong.

But I still believe it.

And that is wrong.

But it’s where I am.

It’s not where I want to be.

But it’s where I am.

I have a lot of work to do on my thoughts. I have a lot of work to do on my self esteem. I have a lot of work to do on trying to authentically love others. I have a lot of work to do on seeking God’s unconditional love. I have a lot of work to do on finding a burning passion for life. I have a lot of work to do on my soul.

And that’s where I am.

Soul Update.

Why I Love Wednesdays

Overall, I really like Wednesdays. Growing up, I would go to Buffalo Wild Wings on Wednesday nights with my family and family friends to get 99 cent kids meals. In middle school, I would go to church on Wednesday nights. In high school, Wednesdays were late starts during the school year, and it meant I could sleep in or go to breakfast with important people. Throughout my freshman year, I would go to a nursing home every Wednesday evening to spend time with residents. I really like Wednesdays. I’d go as far to say that I love Wednesdays.

I’m currently working at a Christian youth day camp, and God is so, so good. There are so many precious moments which have occurred within the past five weeks, ones I hope to never forget. In fact, most of my favorite memories have occurred on various Wednesdays. Each morning and afternoon, small groups take place. Typically, there is one counselor and about 10 students in a group, except for Wednesday afternoon. Each Wednesday afternoon, the entire team (20 kids and 2-3 counselors) sit in a big circle, intently focused. In my experiences, the campers have open ears and quiet mouths. They carry a new respect. Their souls are hungry. They come with no expectations, just eagerness to know more.

These campers have just come from a session about the Gospel. They have just learned about God’s plan to save the world. Throughout the week, they have learned that they were created perfectly in His image; they have also learned that their sin separates them from God. They have learned that God loves them too much to let that separation continue. They have learned about some of Jesus’ ministry here on earth. In the session, they have just learned that there is still hope because God sent His only Son to give life to everyone. Everyone. Everyone includes the liars, the stealers, the murderers, the adulterers, those who dishonor their parents, those who are prideful, the sick, the weak, the bullies, and even those who do not love God. They, as cute and lovely as they are, fall into the category of sinners and are in desperate need of a Savior. I also am no different. They have learned that all they must do is accept this free gift of new life out of a love and longing for God. They have learned that God desires to make them clean and end the separation present.

The small group begins; one by one, each counselor shares his/her testimony. When it is my turn, I tell my campers that knowing Jesus has changed my life. I tell them about the hard days. I tell them about days when I felt alone, days when I felt loved. I remind them God has been there through it all. I tell them about the mission trips I’ve been on. I tell them of the day I got baptized. I tell them I have found new joy. I tell them I have found genuine community and overwhelming love. I share how I am redeemed and called daughter. Sometimes, confused expressions are present. Sometimes, there are smiles. Mostly, there is a spirit of yearning, yearning for more, yearning for more of Jesus. At the end, they ask questions. My favorite question, however, is how do I accept Jesus into my heart? 

Today, we told them to close their eyes. “Raise your hand if you have already accepted Jesus into your heart.” Six hands raise. “Raise your hand if you are unsure about if you have accepted Jesus into your heart or if you would like recommit your life to Jesus.” Four hands raise. “Raise your hand if you would like to accept Jesus into your heart for the first time today.” Eight. Eight hands raise. Eight hands which soon will represent eight new lives. Eight new brothers and sisters in the kingdom. Eight new stories of redemption and God’s goodness. Eight new children who can share Jesus with others.

After they raised their hands, we told them to take a minute or two and tell Him what was on their heart. Did they want Him to clean something specific out of their heart? Did they need to feel loved? Did they need to pause and thank God for this beautiful gift? Did they need to remove something in their life in order to make room for Jesus? We sat in silence for two minutes as mouths silently moved. Words, so many words, headed up to the One who hears each one at the same time. To the One who loves each child so, so, so much, To the One who promises new life. To the One who changes lives. To the One who has bought each of these campers at a price.

We pray.

God, we know we are sinners. We know we have messed up. We know we are imperfect; we know are hearts are filled with some bad things. We know that our sin separates us from You. But we also know that You love us too much to let that separation continue. We know that You have sent Your Son to take our place. God, today we accept that gift of salvation. We accept Your freedom and love. We accept You; we want You to be king of our hearts. Please forgive us. Make us clean. Lead us according to Your plan. We love you, God. Thank you for providing. Thank you for being a God of love. Thank you for being a God of mercy. Amen.

Today, we told them to continually think the words “yes, Lord” over and over in their head if they wanted to accept Jesus into their hearts this glorious Wednesday afternoon. Some heads were nodding, many lips were moving. My friends, in that moment, I couldn’t help but smile. It was a big smile, one of those goofy ones that wrinkles your eyes. It was a smile that couldn’t be removed. It was a smile of joy, of great joy. It was a smile of celebration of new life. I felt goosebumps up and down my arms; the chills filled my entire body.

You see, Wednesdays at camp are considered GOSPEL Wednesdays. GOSPEL literally means “good news” and refers to God’s beautiful gift of new life. GOSPEL Wednesdays encompass a beautiful, redeeming proclamation. An invitation, a challenge. A true testimony of goodness and grace. A chance for new. An invitation for new life. Of pure, relentless joy. Of faith and fellowship. Of celebration of God’s mercy. An oh, how I absolutely love GOSPEL Wednesdays. What a beautiful opportunity to share life!

I’ve been wondering why GOSPEL Wednesday only happens ten times each year. I wonder why GOSPEL Wednesday is often put on hold as camp ends and will only be resumed when camp begins again. I wonder why GOSPEL Wednesday doesn’t happen fifty-two days, or even three hundred and sixty-five days, each year. Where is my sense of urgency? Where is my boldness? Where is my passion, my eagerness?

I’m making a goal. This year, I want to make each Wednesday a GOSPEL Wednesday, and I want you to consider joining me. Fifty-two people each year will have the opportunity to hear a beautiful and honest proclamation of God’s invitation to new life. Honestly, I’m scared. I’m not quite sure how I’m going to be able to truly accomplish this goal. Then, my friends, I think about how short this life is. I think about the hopelessness in the world. I think of the potential I have. I think of the beauty of this goal and the impact it can have. Will you join me?

Each GOSPEL Wednesday, I am aiming to share some of my testimony. It doesn’t have to be long. During camp, we make a child-friendly, four-minute version. We briefly cover our life before Jesus, highlight important encounters with Him, and spend the most time emphasizing our life after accepting Jesus as our Savior. Then, we ask if they have questions. I’ve decided that it’s okay if nothing happens in that moment. It’s okay if people wrinkle their eyebrows at you or walk away. It’s okay if people don’t ask further questions. It’s okay if three thousand people aren’t saved instantly. Right now, I am yearning for boldness and intentionality. If they do ask questions, answer them as best as you can or point them to someone who can answer them better. I want to create opportunities for honest conversation. Then, pray for those people you have talked to. It’s really that simple.

Just some thoughts.

And oh, my friends, God is so good. He is a God of redemption and love. He is a God of justice, and He is to be feared. How awe-some is our God? How beautiful, how merciful, how patient, how absolutely incredible is He?

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” Philippians 4:4

xo.

 

Why I Love Wednesdays

Sometimes You Just Gotta Dance

I was at church for Easter on Sunday, and I couldn’t help but smile as I watched a four-year-old child dance in the aisle as music played. He was jumping up and down, turning in circles, raising his arms, and smiling while doing so. Around me, people began to nudge each other and break into a smile when they saw his energy; it was infectious.

I see his reaction to Jesus’ resurrection, and I wonder why it is not also mine.

I think we all ought to dance a little more often. I think we need to celebrate new life with a little more passion. I think we need to express our gratitude with a little more abandonment.

I think it would be a beautiful experience to walk into a church and see a congregation dancing, raising their arms, and singing loudly. I want to see joy. I want to see surrender. I want to see new. I want to see Jesus be celebrated.

Easter is a great celebration. This life is a glorious celebration. Each new day, each new opportunity, each new breath is a divine celebration.

So let’s dance it out.

xo.

Sometimes You Just Gotta Dance

You Are Valuable

This is one of my favorite things to remind people of, so below lies some reasons why your life is valuable.

1. You are you.

And there is no one else like you on this planet. No one can fill your shoes. No one laughs just like you do, and no one can be everything you are. You are unique, and you are special. You are alive, and you are breathing. You have left footprints all around this earth, and no one else has walked your specific path. You have your own perspective of the world; you are an individual. As Dr. Suess once said, “there is no one alive who is you-er than you.”

2. You have purpose.

Your breath proves this. You are alive, you are here, and you have purpose. You are continuing to breathe and live, and you have purpose. It may seem obscure, it may seem little, it may seem nonexistent at times, but you have purpose. Your life alone gives you purpose, and your experiences further shape your purpose. And hey, sometimes your purpose changes along the way. Sometime you have a flawed misconception of your purpose. Sometimes you need to define your purpose.

I once read a blog post called “How to Discover your Life Purpose in about Twenty Minutes.” In it, the author gives a simple exercise: open a blank document, write the words “what is my purpose in life?” at the top, and begin writing until one of your reasons makes you cry, or rather sob. The author listed over 100 before he found himself emotionally moved, and he noted a few reasons along the way which also resonated with him deeply. Maybe it won’t take you twenty minutes. Maybe it will be more like a week, a few months, or even a decade. You have purpose.

3. You are talented.

I wish I could tell you each individually how talented you are. Some of you are talented leaders. Some of you are talented at being bold. Some of you are talented at speaking out and standing up for your beliefs. Some of you are incredibly talented at loving others individually and often. Some of you are talented at serving relentlessly and bringing awareness to needs. Some of you are talented at guiding others and being someone they can rely on. Some of you are talented at art, music, drama, singing, and dancing. Some of you are so talented at making food. Some of you are talented at always being loyal and dependable. Some of you are talented in subjects like chemistry, physics, math, english, history, economics, psychology, and writing. Some of you are amazing at memorizing things and making people feel special when you remember little details. Some of you are so talented at listening and caring for others. Some of you are talented at remaining calm and bringing peace into situations. Some of you are talented when it comes to athletics. Some of you are talented at bringing joy with you and making others around you laugh. Some of you are talented at telling stories. Some of you are talented at knowing where you are and giving directions. Some of you are talented at understanding others and having empathy for them. Some of you are talented at asking questions. Some of you are talented photographers and snapchat users. Some of you are talented in being with different groups of people, like children, high schoolers, or the elderly. You are talented in so many more ways. I promise.

4. You are a blessing. 

You are a blessing to me, you are a blessing to those around you. I am thankful for you, and I am not alone in that. My friends, you bring unique qualities to the table. You bring “new” into my life and the lives around you. You bless others with your story, your presence, your passions, your talents; you bless others with you. Because you, just you and nothing more, are a blessing to many.

5. You are absolutely irreplaceable. 

You are a beautiful masterpiece. You are uniquely special. You are one-of-a-kind, a hidden gem, a precious treasure. You are precious, and your life is irreplaceable. Your life has such value simply because it is yours. Your life is not an accident; it is not to be lightly lived. You only live once. Your life has irreplaceable, incomparable value.

6. You are loved.

Oh, how you are loved. You are so loved. You are loved by me. You are loved by people in your life. Sometimes, it’s hard to feel loved. It’s hard to respond when people don’t react the way we expected or show love in ways we are not responsive to. It’s hard to feel loved when it seems that you are the only person reaching out. It’s hard to feel loved when you are alone. Trust me, I’ve been there. However, I assure you that you are incredibly loved and cherished. If you ever, ever doubt this, reach out. Send me a text that says “love me.” I’ll do my best. Talk to someone. Write down moments when you felt loved. Do not doubt this, because, oh, you are so, so, so loved. Words cannot express.

7. You are enough. 

I’m going to remind you that your life is enough. To put it simply, you are enough. You are strong enough. You are smart enough. You are good enough. You are pretty enough. You are thin enough. You are brave enough. You are funny enough. You are creative and good and organized. You are open enough. Your love is enough. My friends, you are enough. You are not perfect, and neither am I. But you, just you as you are, are enough. You are enough for me, even if you don’t think you are ___ enough.

8. You are an inspiration. 

Golly, I wish I could express how much everyone around me inspires me. So many of you inspire me to be a better person. I am constantly inspired to be more present. I am inspired to serve and listen attentively. I’m inspired to study more and laugh more.

I think we don’t tell people that they inspire us enough. Today, I was scrolling through social media, and I paused on a post of a girl who went to my private school. She’s five years older than me, and she was my book buddy when I was in first grade. Many years later, I watched her lead songs in chapel when she was a senior in high school. I watched her create community and make beautiful music. She’s been someone I’ve strived to be for the last twelve or so years. The post expressed an organization’s gratitude for her, and in the moment, I got consuming chills like never before. For some reason, I started tearing up and smiling huge because I knew for a fact she was changing lives. In that moment, I reached out to her and essentially told her “hey, you inspire me a lot, and God is doing something cool in you.” Sometimes, we don’t know the impact we have on people. I’ve admired her character from the distance for a majority of my life, and I’ve never brought it up until today.

I guarantee you inspire someone. My internet friends, you inspire me to blog more often and write better and be vulnerable. My friends back home, you inspire me to work hard and love well and create a community here at school. My friends at school, you inspire me to laugh more and make music and be me. My leaders and mentors, you inspire me to lead and listen and return the love I have been given. You all inspire me more than you will ever know.

9. You have passions that impact others. 

Your life is valuable because you have individual talents and desires. You have such distinct thoughts and values, and your passions have the capability of helping others. For those of you who want to go into health services, you have immediate impact on lives. For those of you who participate in #blacklivesmatter and women’s marches, you have the potential to impact lives around you. For those of you who desire to volunteer, you can bring hope. Passions as simple as music, sports, travel, food, exercise, animals, you name it, impact lives. Maybe you’re an inspiration to someone. Maybe you bring immediate hope. Maybe you spark passion in the lives of others. We shape each other, and your passions are capable of influencing the lives around you.

10. You have a voice. 

Your life has value because you have a voice, and this voice should be heard. You have stories and thoughts and ideas unique to you, and sometimes sharing your story is one of the best things you can do. Your voice has the ability to bring hope and love through the words you speak. You can encourage others and make them laugh. You can have deep conversations about the world. Your voice has the capability of bringing about new inventions and thoughts. Your voice deserves to be heard, not stuffed away and disregarded. You can use your voice to impact others. Do not be afraid to use your voice, because your voice matters.

There is something freeing about using your voice. It gives you a sense of belonging and contributing to society. Freshman year of high school, I didn’t talk all of first semester. At home, I wrote in my journal obsessively and refused to share my thoughts with others. Halfway through high school, I started this blog, and it became a way for me to indirectly communicate. Later, I became more comfortable sharing my thoughts and engaging with others. Through this url, I’ve seen just how much words carry value. Sometimes, certain sentences have spoken to people in ways I would never imagine while writing. Since then, I’ve learned using your voice is important. I’ve learned your thoughts have value. And my friends, your voice is important, and it gives your life value.

11. There are so many little things about you.

I love learning about people. I love being “compassionately curious,” as one of my leaders would call it. I love to ask people what their favorite scent is. I love to know how much ice you like in your water. I love to know what you’re passionate about and what you would do if you were more bold. I have a list of 60 questions on my phone to ask people just because I want to learn about them. I genuinely love learning about your quirks and story and the little things that make you you. These preferences and attributes give your life meaning. They shape you as a person, and they bring value into relationships as you begin to learn about one another.

12. You have a beautiful opportunity to change opinions. 

You are capable, and you have just as much potential as Abraham Lincoln did. Promise. I think sometimes we set our expectations too high. We expect that we can bring about world peace or create a extremely influential organization. Sometimes, we don’t need to do that. Sometimes it matters in the little moments and in your immediate community. You can make others feel loved by refuting common negative opinions about them. You can change outlooks on the world; you can bring hope and joy. You can give others a reason to live.

Last month, I was volunteering in a three-year-old room at my church, and there were about ten three-year-olds and one six-year-old. This six-year-old had down syndrome and was at the functioning level of a three-year-old. I was playing with one of the three-year-olds, and our conversation went a little bit like this:

girl: i don’t like when she’s here. she’s mean and doesn’t share and doesn’t listen to the rules.

me: hey now, did you know that sometimes she has trouble understanding what the rules are? just like how you’re learning to read, she’s learning the rules in the classroom. sometimes, we mess up, just like you mess up in reading, right? she’s still learning.

girl: she’s not like us though. she looks funny and acts mean. 

me: what? well first, i think she is still learning the rules and isn’t trying to be mean. she just doesn’t know what’s right or wrong yet! (girl: oh). and hey, i think she looks a lot like you! (girl giggles). how many eyes do you have? (two). how many ears do you have? (two). how many noses do you have? (muffled “one” among more giggles). 

This continued until the girl looked me in the eye and said “I’m going to go play with her now goodbye.” And for the rest of the service, she sat by her and played with her. Whenever the girl would hit her, she would say in a soft voice “that’s okay,” and proceed to give her a hug. 

You don’t have to change opinions about big things. You don’t have to bring every single person in the world hope. You don’t have to create unity of political beliefs in America. You don’t have to stop wars. You don’t have to be the next Socrates. That might not be completely attainable in the time you have here. Instead, be realistic. Focus on what you can do. You never know what you are capable of. Find value in influencing others and impacting the world.

13. Lastly, You are called son or daughter by the King of the World.

I’ve waited until now to bring Christ into the picture, because I want you to believe your life is valuable even if you don’t believe in Jesus. I respect that, and your life matters equally as much as the lives of people who do believe in God. You are valuable. Extremely valuable.

When we bring Christ into the picture, our value starts to come from Him, instead of from our own selves. He is the one who made us. He is the one who gives us purpose, and His purposes give us life. He gives us talents to use for Him. He calls us a blessing and promises to care for us. He made you unique and wants you to be His son / daughter. He loves you more than you are capable of understanding, and He will love you unconditionally with a perfect love that is incomprehensible. He says you are enough and you don’t have to do anything to earn that title. He gives you the capability of inspiring others. He places others in your life so you may impact them. He created every little quirk, passion, and desire of yours. He created the world, and He created you in it intentionally. He is the reason you are here, and He is the only way you will find joy, grace, and love in this life. All good things come from Him alone.  He is the reason you are here. He is the best reason for you to live your life.

So tonight, if you are searching for answers or value, seek Him. I love you all dearly, and I hope you will always remember that your life has incomparable value.

xo.

You Are Valuable

A Letter to My Beloved

You, you who are reading this, you are “My Beloved.” This is a message from the one who calls you beloved, worthy, chosen, holy, and redeemed.

My Beloved, you may not know me, but I know every intricate detail about you. I know your thoughts, your desires, your fears, your plans, your struggles, your pride, your everything. You are My Beloved, and I am your Abba. This means I am your Father. And unlike your father here on earth, I am a perfect Father. I am the perfect Father, and you are My Beloved.

My Beloved, I want you to know how much I love you. Before you walked this earth, I sacrificed my only, precious, oh so beloved son in exchange for your life. He was perfect. Absolutely perfect. He walked this earth and spread the good news of my love and my promise to give you new life. I allowed Him to die in order to enable you to live. It was an awful, painful, humiliating death. He was beaten and whipped, hung naked on a cross, mocked by everyone who gathered. His body was broken for yours. He endured this pain so you wouldn’t have to. This is how much I love you. I have given my only son in exchange for your life. I promise to give nations in exchange for you. Oh, My Beloved, I hope you can begin to understand how much I treasure you.

My Beloved, I now give you opportunity for new life. This new life is sweet. It is good. It is the best life possible. I don’t mean it will be easy all the time. But, I promise you I will be with you when it isn’t easy.

Oh, My Beloved, if only you could realize I am here. I am here, and I am here to cover you. I cover your weakness with my strength. I cover your loneliness with my presence. I cover your fear with my power. I cover your shortcomings with my perfect nature. I cover you with everlasting love; I sing over you while you sleep. I delight in you.

My Beloved, why can’t you see me?

Here I am. I am in the clouds, I am in the breeze. I am in the sparkling snow, the panting dog, the breathtaking sunset. Here I am, in the chaos of life. I am in the little things. I refresh you with storms and water overflowing. I show myself through the bright colors on fall days.

My Beloved, I created you. I created you fearfully and wonderfully; I created you in my image. I created your gifts, your personality, your passions. I knit you together in your mother’s womb. You are enough simply because you are mine.

My Beloved, I am the source of life. I give you breath; I sustain you. I uphold you. As you pass through deep waters, I will not let you sink. I will be with you. You will not be overwhelmed. When you pass through the fire, you will not be consumed. I will protect you.

My Beloved, you are mine. I long for you. I made you beautifully, and I want nothing more to be invited into your life. My arms are open. I am patient, and I long for you to run to me.

My Beloved, I want you to seek me on your worst days. I want you to feel my perfect presence when you feel alone and afraid. I want to comfort you as you cry. I want to bless you with simple joys. I want you to trust me. I want to be your number one. I want you to believe I am greater.

My Beloved, I am greater. You prioritize so many things; you constantly juggle more than you can hold. You listen to everyone else around you as they realize they are drowning in this world. You overload yourself with classes at school. You focus on the appearance you create online. You seek after romantic love, unsatisfied with your relationship status. Oh, you seek after all the wrong things. You seek material objects, control, stability, perfection. You strive to fit the expectations society give you. Oh, My Beloved, why do you waste your time?

Oh, My Beloved, can’t you see? Here I am! I am greater than everything you seek. I am in control. I have a great plan for you. I give you love overflowing. Seek me with your whole heart, and I have promised to give you what you desire. My Beloved, I want you to desire me first. I want you to desire me first and trust that I am enough to satisfy all your other desires.

My precious and worthy child, I expectedly await for you to seek me. My Beloved, come to me as you are. Come broken, weary, and hurt. Come from wherever you have been. Come to me with everything you carry. Come to me. Then,

Lay down your burdens.

Lay down your fears.

Lay down your doubts.

Lay down your shame.

Lay down your pride.

Lay down your need for control.

Lay down your expectations.

Lay down your tears.

Lay down your past.

Lay down your regrets, your mistakes.

Lay down your worldly desires.

Then lay down, and rest. Rest in my perfect presence. In my presence, you will find peace. You will find joy and delight. You will find me. I am a God of love, and My Beloved, I adore you. I cover you with mercy and grace. I will give you hope. I will give you a future. I want to redeem you and make you new. I want to give you new life.

My Beloved, lift up your face. Taste and see that I am good.

I am good when you are faced with tough decisions. I am good when you are in the middle of heartbreak. I am good when you feel alone. I am good when you are barely hanging on. I am good when life is going well. I am good when you are overwhelmed. I am good when you are anxious and depressed. I am good when you want to give up. Through it all, I am still good.

Like a shepherd watches over his sheep, My Beloved, I will watch over you. I will take care of you. I will lead you back to me. I will restore you.

My Beloved, I love you. And I will always long for you. I long to be your Abba, your perfect Daddy. Oh, how I love you. Run to me child, run hard.

Love, 

your perfect Abba Father, your Daddy God.

A Letter to My Beloved