A Love Story

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Once upon a time, in a land far, far away…

He saw her.

And when he did there was no cleavage daring him to look.  No short skirt.  Not a drop of seduction or playful exchanges.

None.

It was not her body, but an inner grace of Jesus flowing from in to out.  He saw her.  He was drawn to her.  He loved her in that very now.
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Love at first sight DOES exist if it’s formed in the womb of devotion to a higher will – one that’s not your own, but His only.

This attraction of spirit to spirit is because of His Spirit indwelling deep places.  And then a bond formed by holy hands sets a seal on the two that become one and carries the forever lovers on the wings of God.

Her:
What started out as fear of commitment, fear of rejection, fear of abandonment…became deep wounds healed by a loving Savior, and a gentle love expressed through the humanness of man – her man.

 Him:
He only wanted to love and be loved.  And he had so much of it to give.
Just as his earthly father sacrificially loved this own mother time and again, loving her, regardless… And just as his heavenly Father refused to let him live a life of bondage, time and again loving him, regardless

His was a destiny cradled in agape and this would free him to love her, regardless

Regardless of the messy.  This thing called L-O-V-E has no clean lines or pretty roadmaps to guide travelers on their way.  No.  It’s wild and it’s unpredictable and it’s a plethora of contradictions:

It’s painful then pleasant;
broken and whole again;
It’s independently together –

It’s muddy on white, then muddy again;
plain then complicated;
empty and full –

It’s beautiful and sexy and sacrificial –
ugly and frigid and selfish.

But when human love is all wrapped up in Gethsemane-Via Dolorosa-Golgotha love…

It liberates.

It sets us free to love God and each other, and it removes all fear of doing so.  “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear…” (1 John 4:18)

And when a baby dies, or money is tight, or cancer kills, or a relative interferes – then love borrows grace from on high and it heals.  And its curative powers are not temporary or fleeting, and there are no side effects to hurt the body or dull the soul.
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This love story is pretty and blessed and wonderful.  And it matters.

But the truest love story – the one between God and sinner – is the one that matters most and it’s a story that should be told…
How God loves her in spite of her.  How He untangles her from webs weaved with fear, pride, and selfishness – something only He can do.  How He formed her in the womb and reminds her of her beauty in brokenness.

Life is hard and strength is small and sometimes a girl feels scared or overwhelmed…

But.  This.  Jesus.

He just rides in shiny and courageous, and as she borrows His brave He fills her to the rim and overflowing.  Her cup, once empty, is now full and she will drink of it unashamed and shout praise from the rooftops because He is worthy of such glory forever and ever and ever.

This is a love most unusual.
This is a love that breaks and crushes and makes and molds…because it is necessary.

And she sighs a good sigh as she exhales long because His love just keeps going, and well…it just kinda takes her breath away…  And it’s covered in a scarlet river that laughs at fear.
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Now she can be clean, not dirty.  And now she can put on holy, because He is holy and she wears Him inside and outside. Can you see Him in her?  Does he look out to you through her eyes?  Does He speak to you through her voice…what is He saying to you? 

You see, there is no other way – He is the only way and she knows it and you should know it too.   

Love – in all its complicatedness or simplicity – is what we are called to do.  We can love God because He loved us first.  And we can love each other because He helps us.

Husband to wife –
Mother to child –
Friend to enemy –
Sinner to Savior –

We are all called to love even when it’s mind-numbingly painful.  And when we dare to do so, the temple curtain is rent, the earth quakes hard, and the road to resurrection life opens wide and free.   What a journey!  What a sweet smelling savor in the heavenly nostrils, binding the creature to the Creator in ways eternal!  

This type of love melts hate and causes us to remember that the unlovable, the violent, the lovers of self – they are all living, breathing souls with a past that heaves hurt.

They are wounded.
They are bleeding bitter.
And they
 WE all need the holy Salve.

The pain and fear – they make us so unlovable.  But folded hands and bowing heads and bended knees crying out to the God that hears…these invoke sovereign intervention.  And when the heart is broken and the voice is hoarse and when Love hears – when this happens – the unlovable become lovable.   

Metamorphosis is born and a life wasted becomes a life devoted, useful, and holy. And the clay meets the Potter, ready to be formed in His image.  And they, like the girl who used to be mostly afraid of love, just pray and love and rest and live… (and so should you ♥)…happily ever after in the arms of the God of love.

The End.                                                                                                            

Fear to Faith

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Once upon a time, in a land far, far away…

There was a girl and she was mostly afraid.

Life frightened her.  Death frightened her.

And just about everything in between frightened her.

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So this mostly afraid girl existed in that in between place- you know the one- where mediocrity meets mundaneness? Much to her dismay this mostly afraid girl learned that bondage holds hands with fear and so her faithless, fearful posture birthed a stagnant, motionless, valley-full, mountaintop-less world. A world she would live in while blindly ignorant to the good places that seemed to escape her bony finger’s grasp.

Many-a-day, many-a-night, pain veiled her swollen eyes from seeing fully and truthfully what was hers.  Already hers.

And so she cried.

But mostly on the inside.  Because if others knew, what would they think of her?

*Fast Forward*

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Mysterious Mercy intervenes and rescues this weak and weary girl and sets her feet on a Rock and establishes all her goings…

The Good Shepherd shows up in a major way. How can this be?

Well, this Shepherd is not a dispassionate gawker merely lingering in the background of her brokenness as she wastes away into a self-induced wounded warrior, down for the count mentality.

Nope.  Jesus wept. And He rescued her.

Her. This anti-courageous worm of a girl.  And He providently deposited her into the army of the blood bought brave.  And now-  She can exhale long and deep.

And it’s all becoming clear.

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Ungratefulness breeds fear. Fear breeds ungratefulnessAnd it is all sin.  And as Spirit convicts spirit, and as hallowed hands enfold her and walk the length and breadth and height of her tripartite being, searching all the inward parts of her belly, they awaken conviction and repentance and sorrow deep for scarlet sins.  (Because fear is the antithesis of faith, and it should be wholly forsaken.)

But her crooked feet bend unsurely as the craggly rocks form a path that beckons faith, and only faith, and seem to cry out with words ancient and alive from the Book of all books to all of its wayfaring strangers: “Make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.

And so she does.

And finally, a beautiful brokenness shakes and breaks her and as holy regret meets oblation at the altar of her own heart, the sacred blood washes clean.  And now…

 

She is liberty with feet.

She is grace with a voice.

She is peace with a purpose.

And she is full of Christ in her.

 

And so the moral of the story is this:

If every mostly afraid girl were a book, and each page of her life was pregnant with the sacred hope of Christ- and if each sentence, jot, and tittle were to exude the One whose bloody sweat beads fell from holy pores in Gethsemane that night-

If all could say, “More of Him, less of me.  More of Him, less of me.  More of Him, less of me.”

If their soul cry of, “Father, if Thou be willing, remove this cup from me”, would raise its white flag in faith-filled surrender to, “Nevertheless not my will, but Thine, be done”, then the book of their life would a book well written, and their life a life well lived.  Because a fear conquered is a giant destroyed, enabling every member of the Mostly Afraid Girls Club to swiftly withdraw their membership and rise up and say, “I am David, small and lowly shepherd boy, BIG in Christ, slingshot-happy with stones soaked in the Blood of Jesus! I am holily anointed to live life brave, and solely surrendered to the giant slaying power awakened within me from Holy breath and Divine calling!”

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And then that mostly courageous girl would take her sword and with her right hand hold it ready and steady, but with her mouth she would sing and give praise, for she knows that the high weapon of praise is a deadly weapon in her arsenal against foes formidable.

And then she would live in victory.  And as her tongue would become the pen of a ready writer, her lips would drip sweet with the honey of His Word and with it she would feed other hungry and hurting souls.

And she would live happily ever after…

Safe in the arms of her Prince of Peace, now and for eternity.

The end.