Friday, March 21, 2014
Security is not found in the
absence of danger,
but in the presence of Jesus.
This singular statement from Captivating summarizes a lot. I have
just finished reading Captivating as
a part of an assignment of one of my classes. It has brought many parts of my
life into perspective and has challenged me to find my identity and security in
the presence of Christ rather than in locking myself away. Captivating has spoken the truth to me that I do not need to strive
for anything. This book has declared I do
have something to offer this world. I am a woman, and I am valuable.
Satisfaction is not found in our
striving. As women, we often seek to be better. We feel the obligation to
strive for some goal we feel as if we can never attain. We tend not to feel we
measure up, and we often feel the need to be someone who we simply are not. In
the book, Stasi Eldredge said, “The more his
we become, the more ourselves we become; more our true selves… To have a
gentle and quiet spirit is to have a heart of faith, a heart that trusts in
God, a spirit that has been quieted by his love and filled with peace. Not a
heart that is striving and restless.” You see, the more his that we become, the more that we truly become ourselves. When
we are okay with who we are, we are at rest. We quiet striving and attempting
to compensate for our lack of grace, lack of femininity, lack of something. A woman in her glory who is
of great beauty is the woman who quits striving to become something more than
she is. She doesn’t have to strive for beauty, worth or being enough because
she is centered in God and He says that she is enough. I am enough when I
recognize my identity in Christ. It is a vague statement to make: “Find your
identity in Christ.” This is something I have heard for years, and yet I don’t
believe I have truly found it. I struggled with passages such as the verses in
1 John which clearly state that if I am sinning I do not truly know God. I am
clearly imperfect. I have discovered this identity to be more of an
understanding of Christ. When I know who Christ is, I am content with who He
created me to be. I don’t have to spend my life striving to be someone I am
Sometimes I resort to hiding my
heart, and locking myself away. I would rather remain distant than truly be a
part of what is going on around me. But I no longer need to hide. Hiding, in the past, has brought me security. I t has
made me feel okay with myself. I’m not completely satisfied in my identity in
Christ, but I can at least ignore most of the things which I don’t like about
myself. Yet, while reading Captivating
I have realized that I truly am worth something more than what I have
previously understood. God has created me to be a helper. I bring something to
the world. I am valuable. As a woman, I value relationships and I pursue
holding them together. These are things I am made to do, things which I can thrive
in doing, but also things which are intimidating to do. Without this purpose, I
find it easier to go back into hiding. Realizing this purpose and understanding
that I have a very unique purpose as woman brings me into actually fulfilling
that purpose. Women are important and needed in this world. When God created
us, He had a clear purpose in mind for every single one of us. I see our value;
I understand that I have a unique and special purpose.
Captivating has caused me to realize so many things about my soul
and spirit. He shows me exactly where my satisfaction can be found: in His
presence. So many of these things I have likely heard before, in passing.
However, the Lord has been working on my heart so that this book could truly
not have come at a better time. I praise God for His work, and I thank John and
Stasi Eldredge for their faithfulness to write this book. It has challenged me
in many ways, and I have much to ponder.
Sunday, March 16, 2014
Love and hurry are fundamentally incompatible. Love always takes time, and time is the one thing hurried people don’t have.
During the readings for one of my classes, this quote came up. The more I think about it, the more I agree with it. I constantly feel rushed, hurried, bound by deadlines and time management. I think it is important to have a schedule and a plan, but I am always desiring more time to spend with people. I truly value long talks with people or just simply spending time together. Valuing a person means investing in their lives whether through hearty laughs or many tears. The one thing relationships need is time. I wouldn’t know my closest friends as well as I do unless I had spent countless hours with them. Now on the other hand, I would probably know many people more deeply if I invested more time in them.
As a college student, time is something I deeply value. When I get a free moment, I like to be alone and cherish that moment. However, I think there are times where I should stop the rushing and the feeling of being bound by my schedule, and just let others have my time. When put in perspective, my time is both extremely valuable and completely meaningless. Valuable because my life is so very short, and I want to make my minutes count for something. It could be meaningless because, when compared with eternity, it is a short span in an endless abyss. Yet that is even more of why I should give my time away. I should not give it carelessly, but with the deepest care for others. If I will truly love others, I will reject the strangling grip of being hurried!
The time is so short. I have a mere seven weeks left before the end of my freshman year of college. It seemed like the year would take so much time, but now I am almost to the end and I don’t know where it all went. I have many friendships I am extremely thankful for. Countless people have invested in me, and I have been privileged to get to know many of the other students in my class. I praise God for the deep friendships I have, and I ask Him to teach me more of what love is. I ask Him to take away my sense of hurry, and replace it with deep love.