Bride and Groom in Nature

ARISE!

Come, my darling!

The longing in her heart has longed plagued her. Ever since she could remember rejection has always been by her side, never quite fitting into a world that always wanted more – more than she could offer. Being sexually abused as a child brought with it a wave of insecurities; too many for a child to ever have to bear. Growing up in the midst of chaos has a way of robbing the very purpose for which you are so desperately trying to find. And so, traveling in an empty shell brought her to places she never thought she’d journey through; alcohol, drugs, abuse, only served to draw her deeper into despair. All her life she felt like she was a nobody, that her life had no value, and naively she gave the world the right to treat her as such.

When rejection grips the very core of your being, you begin to doubt everything you are, everything you do, and any chance of discovering all that you were created to become. The pain of rejection has a way of stealing the very destiny you are so desperately trying to find. So, she searches for that one thing that will make sense of this trivial life. She looks for something, anything that will stop the voices in her head screaming, “You are nothing, no one cares what you have to say because you don’t even matter!”

And so, she hides behind her smile, behind her sunglasses; no one will ever notice her because how can you miss someone who doesn’t exist, someone who you cannot see? Life has a way of stripping you bare until there is nothing left, nowhere to go, nowhere to hide. She can’t figure out if she is running from someone or to Someone. Finally, exhausted and weary, the heaviness is beyond what she could carry, she stops to face her greatest enemy – her greatest fear – herself!

Now she finds herself naked, stripped of everything she once thought was real, the world she once knew comes crashing down like the twin towers on that dreadful September 11th morning. She cries and weeps because she thinks something is being taken away that she desperately needs, but in reality, it was never hers. She was holding on to a lie, a façade. As treacherous as that place was, ironically it was familiar, only she wasn’t living, she was dying.

And there, in that place of despair, in the hour of her greatest need, in all her filth, and human depravity, she catches glimpse of Light gently touching her starving aching heart. The warmness floods her stone-cold heart, tearing away the deadness that has kept her a prisoner for such a long, long time. She soon realizes that everything she has known was a lie, her worth is far more than she could ever comprehend, that she was created to fulfill a very unique and special purpose, that everything she had to go through was not in vain, that she was never alone, and that she was never or ever will be rejected by the One who wonderfully and fearfully made her.

Never could she have imagined that in that very place of brokenness, in her loneliness, in her naked shame, in her greatest weakness, with just one desperate cry, she would find ALL of heavens glory, treasures found in abundance, riches beyond what this world could ever offer, and with all His splendor and majesty, Jesus Christ Himself, in the midst of all her filth with His arms wide open summoning her, “Come, come to Me. I Am what you have been searching for and running from, look no further, you are mine. You were lost but now you are found. You were blind and now you see. Arise, my darling my beautiful one and come with Me. See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone. Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come; the cooing of doves is heard in our land. The fig tree forms its early fruit; the blossoming vines spread their fragrance. Arise, come, My darling; My beautiful one, come with Me!”

 
Girl with Autumn Leaf

CREATED FOR MORE

I saw a leaf fall today, so meaningless and strangely beautiful. It caught my eye, as I looked out the kitchen window, instantly I could feel a download of His Presence, His essence, His joy. He made contact. I didn’t ask, I wasn’t even looking for Him. I was simply serving my girls, making sandwiches. He just showed up with a tiny leaf blowing in the wind outside my kitchen window.

How could I know? How could I see anything supernatural in one simple dead leaf falling, in the middle of a hot summer day, autumn hasn’t even begun, it is July, 93-degree weather. But He chose a small thing, a foolish thing, a simple thing, when I least expected it. 

Why? Why does He choose to reveal Himself in the insignificant, unsuspecting, and the irrelevant?

It was a dry dead leaf falling from the tree. Perhaps it was the way it was falling that caught my attention, riding on the wings of the wind, rejoicing, singing the chorus of the angels, bent toward heaven, praising its Maker. How can one little leaf do all that? Unthinkable? Yet it does. It is glorious!


The leaf became a messenger for that kairos moment in time, life stood still, this slow, heaven-sent movement invaded my space, stirred my heart. How could such a love exist? A love that speaks even in the dead things, the fallen things, the things that to most don’t mean much. But you see, my heart is quickened to His movements, quickened by anything just ordinary really. For it is in the ordinary that we find Him, His presence.

We don’t need to leave our circumstance, go into seclusion into the mountains, or drift off into the ocean and forsake all. He is here. In my kitchen, in your empty apartment, in your job that deems a dead end, in your dead marriage where divorce seems inevitable, on the streets, under that tree you have been sleeping for months, maybe even years now.

Perhaps you were forced into prostitution by choices beyond your control. You settled for a life in a world that always demanded more, it stole your dignity, your human worth, even your soul. You simply came into agreement with a lie, a lie that whispered, “I don’t matter, no one cares, my life isn’t worth anything, I will never have any value.”

But that is not the truth. There is a Father who loves you. He calls you by name. You are on His heart this very moment. He has done so much to get you back. He paid a price for you, for your freedom. So, you could be free from every bondage, pain, and suffering brought by the enemy of your soul. He longs for you to come home to Him. He says, “If you would only search for Me with all your heart, I will be found by you!” He is close to the broken-hearted and He binds-up all their wounds, your wounds. He can heal all the pain of yesterday, deliver you from all your shame, and usher you into a life of significance filled with blessings at every turn.

In Him you are royalty, daughter of a King, you are worth far more than rubies, you are the apple of His eye. He delights in you, in who you are, even in who you are right now! Don’t worry how you look. Don’t pay attention to how you are dressed or how you are living. God is not intimidated by your mess. Yes, God is holy, but His love covers all your sins. As you turn to Him, your heart makes a connection with Who He is, a true encounter emerges, and a changed life begins.

You will never be the same again. As you read these words, there is an invitation being released as you to come in contact with a loving Father. “Return! Return to Me,” says the Lord. “You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.”

As you step into this realm of mystery, as you dive into the unknown, courageously seeking a God which you cannot see with physical eyes, or touch with human hands, life as you know it will cease! A new life awaits as a tender Savior meets you in the most vulnerable place – your brokenness!