My mind keeps telling me: Kelly, you’re kind of a writer.
Kind of. Those words, again?!!
I am kind of legit.
I have a book, but I still kind of question my writing.
I have another one coming some day in the future, but I kind of wonder if it will be any good?
I have some people who read this blog, but I kind of wonder if they’ll stick around?
I have creativity, but what if it kind of decides it wants to leave me one day?
Even more, I’m kind of a good mom.
I am nice, at times, but I kind of say this a lot, “You all are not listening or doing what I tell you.”
I am trying hard, but the kitchen is kind of a complete disaster zone.
I am kind of trying to keep up with the school calendar, I text moms a lot to see what’s going on.
I am kind of giving my daughter turkey too often in that lunch box.
I am a kind of wife too.
I kind of remember hugs or physical touch.
I kind of meet his needs before my own.
I kind of feel I impress him.
Can I tell you? Kind of stinks, friends. It’s so one foot in, one foot out. It is so hesitant to claim goodness. It’s so constantly wondering if it’s ever going to cross the finish line to peace.
Where are you kind of living?
Where are kind of okay with yourself?
Kind of makes everything temporary, conditional and based on you.
Certainty makes everything eternal, independent and based on God.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. (Ps. 40:2)
His rock is right here, in front of us. It calls to us. To you.
We can choose to step out of the mud and mire of thoughts, doubts, wonderings, hypotheses and theories – and make it to firm ground.
Ground where we become certain:
God grows us.
God provides faith.
God lights the way.
It is not a gray area. It is not nebulous. It is not done by a God who kind of shows up. No, with God: He does it. 100% he does it. He follows through and all we do is – stand firm on it.
Pop Quiz: What is 1 thing you likely take for granted, yet could bring monumental joy, growth and connection if paid attention to it?
Answer: Your marriage.
Friends, most days I hardly look at it: I rush through breakfast, trying to start my day; I give a little hello near the Keurig; I listen and quickly respond; I go through the bare-bottom motions, trying to make sure I’m at least good enough to get by; I get ready to watch TV instead of to connect; I respond based on my own opinions, rather than hearing his; I focus on the kids and then remember he’s there too.
Uh-oh. Can I admit to you all? I am not the model wife.
And, while it pains me to write this, I have found such encouragement in the book, “A Wife’s Secret to Happiness” by Jen Weaver.
Right off, in the first chapter, her words meet my heart: “God will not call us anywhere his presence does not go with us,” she says, “He will not ask us to do what he has not equipped us to complete. The Lord longs to lead our marriages into spacious place, interwoven with his peace and strength…the day you made your vows He participated in an active agreement, invisible, yet majestic in glory.”
Thank you, God…we are not doing this thing called marriage alone. The Creator of our universe is creating something new, as we listen, go and respond with him. He is working within the confines of our arguments, annoyances, and mishaps to create space, love and peace. Bring it, God! I need that.
To ignite his power, one question remains: Will we let him in to work – by listening, seeking and following or will we continue doing the same ‘ole stuff?
What does it look like to let Him work?
I’m finding, it’s:
Prayer over panic.
Listening rather than responding in flesh.
Trusting God’s timeline to change, rather than my own.
Seeking to notice his good, before his bad.
Jen Weaver breaks down specific ways to see these high and lofty goals through (Thanks Jen!):
Write down index card prayers. Carry them with you.
Ask God to bless your husband right when you’re in the heat of battle.
Remind yourself to welcome God’s presence. Put reminders around your house with verses.
Scribe 5 pain points you have about your marriage. Bring them to God and ask them how he wants you to work them out.
Remind yourself, through scripture, how God has been there for you and won’t abandon you now.
Marriages that work, take work. If I’ve learned anything – it’s this. But, I’ve also learned, when God is at work, things seamlessly fall into place. Like Tetris. Bing! Connection happens.
Where do you need to let God take the lead? How might he want to put things together again? How might his small nudges be leading you to a greater outpouring of love?
Love that looks like:
A listening ear.
An open fist.
A generous portion of time.
An opening of your whole heart.
A letting down of guard.
A soft-spoken word.
An offering of grace.
A handing-over to God (Re: the past).
An excitement for the future.
Reliance on the Sustainer, Overcomer, and Creator.
Wherever God is calling you – if you step in, He’ll meet you there.
I remember looking at her. Withdrawn. Held back. Unwilling to join the rest of the family. Unwilling to come.
I beckoned and smiled. Patted my lap. Extended the invitation like I’d done a thousand times before.
Then, like a thousand times before, she turned away. Scars from past abandonment, neglect, and abuse held her like chains to her chosen spot. She would not come.
In those early days of adoption, it was like God had given a mirror to look in. I saw myself in her. I saw how woundedness had caused me to withdraw, how I braced myself against warmth because I’d believed the lie that I didn’t need it, didn’t deserve it. I convinced myself I could do without love and acceptance. Slowly, the cold I surrounded myself with had seeped deep into my soul and distorted my perspective of life, God, and myself.
I was hard. Jaded. A real cynic but didn’t even know it.
And then I adopted a wounded one.
In doing so, God revealed to me something I’d never allowed the core of my being to truly accept: I was loved.
Surely one of the saddest things ever is to be deeply and lavishly loved but not have the eyes to perceive it.
What a tragedy, to get to the other side of life and see how one could have lived- as a dearly beloved child of God- but having missed it. Adoption taught me there’s such a thing as failure to “lay hold.”
“…So that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.” Phil 3:12
Just as my Little Bit is of our household, never to leave, always identified with us, so we are in Christ. He is our brother, our family, and we are in the household of God. He has reached down and laid hold of you (Phil 3:12) and has taken you from the domain of darkness and abuse and rejection and pain and transferred you into the kingdom of the family- His beloved Son (Col 1).
We can sulk and hold back and piddle in the corner with our little pet toys… or we can reach out with both hands, press forward with all we’ve got, and lay hold of that which has laid hold of us.
I know what rejection is like. I also know the remedy for rejection is acknowledging the acceptance offered in Christ.
The remedy for neglect is embracing the love and warmth extended me in Jesus.
The remedy for abuse is running to the table of fellowship with Him, where I am always welcomed, loved, and nourished back to health.
Hiding out in the corner never did anyone any good … except the enemy who wishes to single us out from the rest in order to devour us.
As a mom, I knew I needed to help my precious one learn to embrace the new, push forward into the warmth, and lay hold. And that meant I needed to practice it myself too.
She and I began a messy, painful, glorious journey together. And last night at the dinner table, my Little Bit came and sat in my lap without being invited. WIN!! She has made such amazing progress in the nine years we’ve had her. I’m so very, very proud of her. I wouldn’t trade the healing we’ve both received for all the world! I’ve come to now how our Daddy feels when we trust Him and lean into His love, when we run to Him expecting to be heard and loved on. How His heart thrills When we assume He is who He says He is. Wow! What a God. What an AMAZING Father.
How about you, my friend? Will you join your sisters in coming out of the corner, putting down our pet emotions, stretching out our hands and opening our arms wide to embrace the grace that has been lavished on us?
You can do this. Together, we can lay hold. Let’s live as those lavishly loved.
Arabah Joy is wife to Jackson, adoptive and biological mom to 4 little ones, and missionary to East Asia. Her adventures span far and wide, from eating pig snouts to giving birth in three different Asian countries. Mostly though, she is a broken woman redeemed by grace. She has written several books including the 40 day devotional, Trust Without Borders. You can find out more and connect with her atArabahJoy.com.
The two girls, in position, knew their job. They steadied their bent knees for the small gymnast to climb up and, before not too long, they supported her with their strong arms as she stood tall. Victory!
The girl at the top was tall. Radiant. Glowing.
But, what about the women at the bottom? I can’t help but think, no one really likes being at the bottom. In the place without glory. In the place, unseen. In the place not valuable.
We find that place hard. It is hard to:
– Encourage a person who speaks with a tone of meanness.
– Pray for the girl you’re always sizing up.
– Be generous to one who already has so much.
– Give precious time to the neighbor who needs help with the groceries.
– Tell the truth when no one is looking or when it could hurt someone.
– Praise others, even when we feel they are better than us.
– Acknowledge and praise Jesus on hard days.
– Get on bended knee when our finances, future and relationships all are tumbling around us.
– To work hard onto the Lord even when you have a horrible boss or a critical husband.
But, getting in the position of bended knee, with the goal to lift high is tremendously valuable. Just think, how would that small gymnast find her position if no one lifted her?
Are we willing to lift Jesus, no matter how difficult it is not to be seen?
Will we lift the one who:
– Left the riches and glory of eternal paradise.
– Was born in a stable.
– Rode in on a donkey.
– Took our every whip and lash.
Jesus reminds us we can. He reminds us the value of losing our self to find something far greater. He died to his flesh, so we could come alive in our soul.
A lot of times, we must do the same: Die to our flesh, to come alive to our soul. Die to our flesh, to help others come alive in their soul.
Seriously. Ever felt like calling it quit, throwing in the towel, placing all your cards on the table? However you describe it, this race called life can make even the most seasoned of runners tired. Falling down. Not wanting to get back up again. Panting for water. Sitting roadside, alone.
I got tired today. Not for any good reason. Something just came over me and where I once had energy, I felt must go to bed. And where I had clarity, I felt fuzz. And where I am normally eager, I crawled like a slow turtle. Finally, when I went to my room to sleep, a tear slipped out.
Any one of us could land there any day, couldn’t we?
This race is tiring. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
Frankly, we can make our own tomb and lie in it if we aren’t careful. We can pull the shades down, dim the lights and lay our self down for days, letting those slimy lurky dirty feelings hang all around us – if we aren’t careful.
But, in actuality, feelings never save us from tombs. Only the power of God does.
Consider this: 3 days and Jesus rose.
He bust out: He was in darkness, but moved to light. He was down, but never – out.
Now, through Christ we can rise up from what wants to keep us down too.
No one can hold the power of God down. No one can restrain what the Lord is sending out. No one’s emotions are too strong for God’s resurrection.
I don’t care what the liar and accuser tells you…
Open your eyes to faith.
It is what gets you out of bed.
It is what helps you take the next step.
It is what makes you say that prayer yet again.
It is what moves mountains.
Press against the very thing that came to hold you down: If tiredness hits you, it is by faith you go outside and run. If the idea you’ll never find the man of your dreams, it is by faith you go to that church singles event. If it is your financial debt that sends you into the dumps, it is by generosity towards your neighbor you find freedom.
Resiliency in Christ Jesus bounces you beyond the very thing the enemy is orchestrating.
You step out of your tomb and see verdant pastures. You see life. Hope. Brilliance. God’s more.
Do you want the spring in your step restored?
Step in. Step out. Go out. Give out. Press into what is pressing into you – and you’ll get somewhere.
I was more than a tad frustrated. But even though I was ticked off, I felt my words were kind and made my point. Impulsive but clever nonetheless.
I was more than a tad frustrated. But even though I was ticked off, I felt my words were kind and made my point. Impulsive but clever nonetheless.
Well said, I thought.
I went to hit the send button but stopped short. Something felt vaguely familiar about this scene.
I heard a whisper in my heart, Don’t send it.
Hmm, I thought to myself, I haven’t talked to God about this yet have I?
I shut my laptop, pushed it aside and prayed over the email I was about to launch.
You know the saying, sleep on it—give it fresh eyes in the morning. Good advice.
Before I shut my eyes, I asked God, Is this what you would have me send?
There have been times when I’ve heard God whisper and ignored it. The still small voice—the warning. Some might say, “Oh it’s just our conscience talking” but I’ve learned the difference…the hard way.
I’ve brushed off this heart whisper enough times to know when I do, it can prove painful. One such experience is still branded in my memory like the scar left from a run in with fiery stove.
It concerned another email from years ago. It was innocent really. At least I rationalized it was.
Scripture says, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” Jeremiah 17:9
And isn’t that what the heart does? It deceives us by telling us lies we believe.
My heart is no different.
There had been a long thread of correspondence within a group I leading. People had been adding to it for days. There was one decision maker with whom I was to consult with and then let the group know the results.
Without thinking, I added my comment to the consultant at the bottom of the ongoing thread instead of starting a new one. My remark was harmless enough, although selfish in nature and could have misconstrued if seen by the wrong eyes. I knew this to be true but again I rationalized, I was getting my point across. I thought, what’s the harm?
Then I heard it. The moment before I hit send, a whisper ever so softly, gently.
A voice of reason calling out to me to think twice. Don’t send it.
I brushed aside the delicate call to stop and pushed the button sending my pixellated words into cyberspace permanency.
Sure enough, a certain person in the group who was the curious type scrolled through the multiple threads of conversation and landed on mine. She read through my innocent motive straight to the self-seeking one. She exposed the inner workings of a fallacious heart. And then proceeded to unleash a furry of epic porportion all over the information superhighway.
I was done for. Humiliated. Embarrassed. Scarred for life.
Yes, that about covers it—all the emotional daggers that could impaled me, did.
I hadn’t paid attention to the tension of God’s warning.
Pain however does get our attention. And sometimes God allows it. He knows us better than we know ourselves. Friends, God doesn’t speak to hear His own voice. No, He lovingly will use whatever it takes to protect us from our own undoing.
His voice is not only one of correction but a voice of protection.
God could have kept this person from exposing me but because she did, I learned to listen. Getting burned on a stove a few times might hurt but it serves to save you from the real fire later.
After praying over my most recent email situation and putting it to a good night’s sleep, I woke afresh with a new attitude knowing what I was to do.
I opened my laptop, looked at the blinking cursor, highlighted the majority of the piece and pushed delete.
I thought, God will take care of it from here.
There have been multiple, “Don’t do its” in between these two experiences and through them I’ve learned to discern His voice better but moreover I’m remembering to ask for it.
Call to me and I will answer you and tell you unsearchable things you do not know. Jeremiah 33:3
Listen and obey. Simple as that.
And when it comes to emails, letters or talk I ask myself daily…
Am I using my words to make a point, or am I using my words to point to Christ?
Looking forward, pressing on and seeking God in every bump ad twist in the road.
Christy a wife, mother, mother-in-law, mentor, and brand new grandma! Her passion is to help women find their joy by experiencing God at work for them in their all their circumstances.
Standing on their tippy toes, leaning in, these women looked mad. If I saw them in a different context, I would have thought someone should check them in, note, then medicate their health. Their hands waved wildly, words screamed out, little sweet things I couldn’t make out from my car…
…they didn’t give up
…their arms didn’t grow tired
…they didn’t consider they looked dumb
….their eyes locked on their child’s
…until the school bus drove away…
God is wild for us just the same.
In my mind, I consider:
He stands at our doorstep and knocks.
He’s eager to be near to us when we believe no one else wants to be.
He whispers sweet nothings, His Word, close to our heart.
He draws near to us, and sticks with us as we go through our day.
He leans into our pain and longs to heal it.
He makes eye-contact with our heart and cares for it like a good daddy.
God is wild for us. And Jesus’ love looks crazy.
What did people say of Jesus as he showed wild love? “He’s crazy, a maniac—out of his head completely. Why bother listening to him?” (John 10:20)
Yes. He was crazy – he believed he could help the least of these. He was crazy – he believed not just in rules, but the heart. He was crazy – he followed God despite opinion. He was crazy – he went dangerous places. He was crazy – he prayed like it was nobody’s business. He was crazy – He claimed he was God. He was crazy – he gave up his own life.
Jesus’ crazy love is still after you. It is after me. It hasn’t stopped working, in case any of you have been thinking that. It doesn’t care about social norms, about pretenses, flub-ups, your past. His love, like those moms’ love, is waving at you, desiring you and moving with you through your day – through the annoyances, arguments, frustrations, joy, bad phone calls, rejections, dismissals and all.
There He is, walking amognst us, God. He’s everwhere, but certainly, very close to you.
Don’t miss it. His wild display of affection for you is written, living and active.
Yet, many of us, like kids in a school bus, turn our face away from him. We look the other way and rather than looking through the window, we miss his display. We miss his pursuit. We miss his affection. We get distracted by some crazy commotion going on inside. The wild news of the day, the Facebook post of XYZ, the urgent needs of today.
There’s no time to look out a window….
Don’t let that happen. It happened to so many in Jesus’ time, they got caught up in law, in rule-abiding, when the only one thing to get caught up in is crazy love.
Jesus is crazy about you. Just know that. Receive that. Sit in that. Dwell in that. Bathe in that – and your life will change.
Our youngest vandal son came into our room early this morning for a cuddle.
He climbed in the bed and whispered, “Good mowning mommy.”
He smelled of warm sleep and I was happy to have a moment alone with him before the chaos of the day erupted with the rising sun.
I tickled his back and stroked his blonde hair. And then, I noticed a terrible scratch on his neck.
“What happened Charlie?” I inquired.
Charlie elaborated. “I spent da night in da jungle wif my fwend Ashwee. A big wion scrwatched me. Ashwee killed da wion five times!”
I tried not to giggle, “Oh my, I think that was a dream baby!”
Charlie’s brow furrowed, “Den how comes I gots dis scrwatch?”
It wasn’t long and the day imploded… as suspected. It got bad fast. A horrible argument ensued with a semi-adult-baby, a checking debacle, a missed opportunity, a leaking trash bag, a blown-out diaper, and a stalled-out vehicle… I checked my watch, it was only 9:45 am.
I wanted to crawl back in the bed and pretend with Charlie.
Frankly, being chased by a lion seemed like more fun than the day unfolding before me.
My fairy godmother, AKA, my mommy helper Bobbi took over the three littles and I escaped to my office.
I stared at my screen.
I drank four cups of coffee.
Nothing. Well, heartburn and the jitters.
Again, it would be nice, some days to be an author of fiction. Fantasy, where my mind might escape the non-fiction reality of sticky floors, parking tickets, and the pursuit of some form of normalcy.
What that would look like I do not know. I wandered to the bathroom to blow my runny nose and blot my sodden eyes. It was then I noticed the toilet lid partially shut.
I opened the closure.
The toilet was packed full of toys; a stuffed purple bunny, a roller skate, 10 blocks, 44 Legos, a Jedi, a dump truck and a baby doll.
I shut the lid and climbed back into bed.
I willed my eyes closed and pictured a lion chasing me through the jungle. It was a relief.
Perhaps a creative mind is more burdensome, alas sometimes it is my greatest reprieve.
Make that, most times.
My brain, fingertips, and caffeine charged imagination couldn’t resist and I climbed out from my sheets to face what was left of my day.
The unbelievable is my inspiration, the death and resurrection of a hero. A hero who died for me, saving me from the bondage of my folly. Setting my feet on the pure path of righteousness… glass slippers. Despite all the ick, I delight in the yoke of He who saved me. A yoke that is easy, whose burden is light. A protective lion, gentle as a lamb. He lies with me in the high grass.
I stare at mystical clouds that make shapes, shapes I imagine are visions of peace, hope, joy, love, and I delight in this future with Him by my side. I tug at a piece of cool grass, with my head nestled closely to his course fur I feel the rise and fall of His mighty breath and I hear the rumble of His word, a purr.
He stretches and yawns, proving His majestic ability to rest in the work already accomplished. At His movement, as if on cue, butterflies erupt in the breeze and I am swamped… with peace.
I have no proof.
No resolve to the toilet calamity still soaking in the commode in the master suite.
Yet, I am okay.
It is well.
My mind is free from the burden of worry. He knows every hair on my head. This is the place where He calls me to rest. This is the promise He made, “come you who are weary.”
Indeed this is me.
You may inquire, “I think that’s a dream… a fantasy you created.”
And I have only one question for you, “Then how comes I got all this peace?”
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7
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Jami Amerine is a wife, and mother to anywhere from 6-8 children. Jami and her husband Justin are active foster parents and advocates for foster care and adoption. Jami’s Sacred Ground Sticky Floors is fun, inspirational, and filled with utter lunacy with a dash of hope. Jami holds a degree in Family and Consumer Sciences (yes Home Ec.) and can cook you just about anything, but don’t ask her to sew. She also holds a Masters Degree in Education, Counseling, and Human Development. Her blog includes topics on marriage, children, babies, toddlers, learning disabilities, tweens, teens, college kids, adoption, foster care, Jesus, homeschooling, unschooling, dieting, not dieting, dieting again, chronic illness, stupid people, food allergies, and all things real life. You can find her blog at Sacred Ground Sticky Floors, follow her onFacebook or Twitter.
I thought Christianity was supposed to be a “you’ve arrived kind of thing.” Whoever sold it to me that way, I want a refund. You lied.
Truth is: I am crippled and Jesus is my crutch. I lean on him.
He relieves the pressure. He does the pushing. I do the moving ahead. It’s hard. It’s uphill at times. It’s tiring. It’s a battle, no doubt.
But, I see the battle is good.
It makes us warriors.
Being a warrior makes us aware there is a war.
Being aware of war makes us think twice about how much we need our God.
Being aware of how much we need our God makes us want him more.
Us wanting him more makes us draw near to him.
Drawing near to him makes him draw near to us.
With God, no matter how it looks, we are always winning. I am okay with the battle.
The truth is Christianity is not about arriving, it is about journeying into holy. It is about grabbing hold of the hem of Jesus, as if it is the only life-preserver in the center of a raging ocean. It is about grabbing it and letting it take you where it will. Riding the waves of his truth, until the wave no longer looks like a giant killer-wave that is about to sink you, but a much smaller stretch of water that has been worked out by his love.
All your agony turns into testimony. People draw near and they say, “Wow, look at what God did with you.”
It is a miracle, when you get truthful.
This is what it is about – this thing called faith. Someone sold it to us like a bag of tricks:
You’ll get rich.
You’ll be happy.
You’ll feel good.
You’ll be delivered to everything you wanted.
You’ll find trials, but trials rise into his love.
You’ll find pain, but pain is consoled by his love.
You’ll find heartache, but you will relate to Christ’s heart of ache as it slowly dwindled on the cross.
You’ll find persecution, but you will find peace that your true love is your true love when you are willing to outlast it.
You’ll find shame, but you will wave at it and say, “God promised the world would hate me.”
You’ll find guilt, but you’ll find an advocate, in the Spirit, as you place it like a present before the filth of Jesus’ feet.
Faith it is what dreams are made of and it is what trials deliver you to. It is what will take you home.
Renewing your mind isn’t a one time ticket to delivered, it is a continual commute to holy. Being not conformed to this world is not a quick command you give yourself, but it is a diligent war that must be fought minute-by-minute.
This is a battle. We are in the center of it. Don’t give up fight. It all counts. It is all worth it. God sees. The party will begin the second the curtain closes, and it all will be worth it.
It’s the last thing you want to do on a day where you need to do everything, and hardly want to do that. But, there I found myself, at the drug store posing half-heartedly in front of a white pull-down curtain. I needed a passport photo.
Mugshot. Mugshot- was what ran through my head he clicked. That – and the idea that I really should have put my hair down and tried to improve myself a bit, like most moms do. Most moms throw on the lipgloss. Most moms might adjust their hair rather than keeping it in this weird outdated bun look. Most moms might try to smile a little bigger.
Not me. I was tired. Daughter woke at 3 AM with a wet bed. My eye is still not done with pink eye (what are you supposed to do – throw out every last inch of makeup?). Husband is gone all week and I am womaning the house. So, yes, when the “click” happened, well, my face? It didn’t really happen that much.
I just stood there.
He finished the job.
I looked at the photo.
And saw what I am fully convinced must be the worst mug shot ever of me. It was as bad as those pre-jail photos – you all know what I am talking about. It’s the one we all see on TV – “And…today, a mom went rogue in CVS”. The image shoots up on screen. We all know it. The light is bad, the face looks horrible, the smile is gone and the woman looks like death just visited her.
This was me. Bags under eyes. Eye red. Smile gone. And, to add to all this, an outshoot of hair wanted to show off right above my ear. How does this even happen, anyway?
The picture is not cute, not cute at all, I thought as I stood outside the drug store contemplating whether to go back in and hassle the photo guy until he made me beautiful, photo-shopped, wrinkle-less, perfect and all that I ever dreamed of being 8:00 am on a Wednesday morning.
But, I didn’t. I just stood there. Why? Because on my heart was this weird inclination of revelation. Like God wanted to do something with me and this photo. So, although I almost walked back in the store 4 times, I didn’t.
If I’ve learned anything in my short life it is this: You don’t want to turn down God, when He’s working on something.
Frankly, I can’t even begin to imagine if Jesus turned down his role. “Change of plans, I’m not dying on the cross.”
Nope. Not good.
With this in mind, I try to stay on God’s path and when I hop off, I fight with all my might to get back on. So, I just stood there on the sidewalk – a freak with a photo – and stared at it. Two steps to the door, two steps back.
Come on, God….any time now.
Friend, maybe, like me, the ugly thing you can’t get through, God is trying to speak through…
And finally, it came to my heart: Kelly, on your worst day, on your ugly days, on your tired days, on your worn days, on your pain-stricken days, on your unsure days, on your bad hair days, on your I-don’t-have-a-smile-days – still, Kelly, I love you.
I love that picture. I love your realness. I love your wrinkles. I love you. You don’t need to be more for me. I don’t love you less when you look less or appear less. I choose you – just like that – eye bags, red-eye, smileless and all…
When you see that image, imagine me, wanting you – in all your ugly-, frumpy- and grumpy-ness.
So, I took that square photo, tucked it into my bag and walked to the car. I’d lie if I didn’t tell you I gasped at it one more time on my way home. I did. But, I also let that passport stand for what it really was – a reminder: No matter where I go, I always am in God’s love.
I’ll look at this image again. And again. And, my prayer – for when I do – is this: God, let us always remember our worst images, are made beautiful because you simply love us as we are. And, in that, we can rest. We don’t need to work up your love. Help us to remember your goodness, your kindness and your unconditional love towards us, God. Amen.