New Blog!

Darling Creepers,

Because I love you, I’ve finally gotten around to telling you that I’ve moved my blog over to Life Where He Leads, and I’d love to see you over there!

I’m also way better at posting pretty regularly on there than I ever was on here.

There’s a lot of new stuff, and I’m going to bring over some updated and edited stuff from this blog, so even if it’s familiar, stick around because it won’t be for long.

So much love,

Me

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Dear Middle Schooler,

Dearest, I know you’re under a lot of pressure right now. I know what they’re telling you to be. I hear you as you’re stressed out about trying to be pretty enough, trying to fit in, trying to find someone to love you, and trying to balance your friends, school, and your weird family. You’ve got pressures coming at you from all sides, and I know you’re struggling.

You’ve just hit “the awkward stage” so nothing seems to come out right or look right and you’re still trying to figure yourself out, but it’s hard because everything is changing so fast. Sometimes you think you’ve got it all together and figured out, but then you feel like everything is falling apart.

I hear you talking in the backseat of my car, “Oh my word, I am so dumb.” “I can’t believe I said that. I am so stupid.” “Will it make me prettier? I’m already ugly enough.” “I can’t have anymore. I am too fat.”

Darling, my heart is breaking for you. This is not who you are.

I’m going to tell you a secret – you will always struggle with these things.

Yes, you learn that maybe curls are not a good idea or that you really shouldn’t wear those pants. You learn how to hide the pimples and cover up the crooked tooth when you smile. You learn how to pretend like you’re balancing all the relationships in your life. You learn how to flirt without falling over (maybe). The mood swings get a little better. You learn to blame sadness on Dementors so you have an excuse to eat more chocolate. But unless you change the things you claim about yourself, you will always feel a little ugly, a little too fat, a little stupid, a little lonely.

Everything is awkward right now, but everything about you is also so very good. You, my darling, have bad moments, but that never takes away from the fact that, at the very core, you are made up entirely of good things. I was blessed with amazing parents who taught me these things, but I don’t see this in your life, so sit down and prepare for a lecture of the most loving sort. Because you, my sweet human, are worth this and so much more.

Ahem. Are you paying attention?

Write these words on your heart. Soak them in and let them change how you see yourself, how you talk about yourself, and how you see others.

You are good things. You have bad moments.

You are good things. You feel bad things.

You are smart, but sometimes you have dumb moments. And that’s okay. It’s okay to have dumb moments. You can’t always be the smartest person in the room or have all the answers. You’re not always going to be smart in the same way other people are. But that moment is temporary. When it comes back down to it, and you’re back in your element, at the core of who you are, you are smart.

You are beautiful, but sometimes you feel ugly. And that’s okay. It’s okay to feel ugly. Feeling is honest. You feel the way you do and there’s nothing wrong with that. But feelings are also temporary. When it comes back down to it, once the feeling is gone, at the core of who you are, you are beautiful.

You are a mountain of good things. You were created with loving care by a Creator who never makes mistakes. He formed your body, your heart, your brain, and He made every inch of you immensely precious and wonderful. You, precious one, are His loving creation. You are created by The Artist. You are covered in His fingerprints, surrounded by His love, and cherished beyond measure.

It’s okay to have bad moments and bad feelings, as long as that’s all the are. The way you feel is the way you feel. It’s honest. If you feel angry, feel angry. But don’t let it become who you are. If you feel fat, feel fat. But don’t buy into the lie that you are fat. If you feel ugly, feel ugly. But when the feeling passes, remember that you are a priceless, handmade, glorious piece of art.

It’s completely okay to feel things. It’s not okay to become them.

Next time you’re in the backseat of my car, I want to hear, “Oh my word, I feel so dumb.” “I can’t believe I said that. I feel so stupid.” “Will it make me prettier? I feel ugly right now.” “I can’t have anymore. I feel too fat.”

I’m okay with those things. My heart will still break for the frequency with which those words come out of your mouth, but I know that, as you grow more comfortable with yourself and who God made you, those feelings will be less prevalent.

Darling, at the end of the day, if you hear nothing else, know that you are loved beyond measure and you’re okay. Whatever you feel and whatever you struggle with and whatever you believe about yourself, you are okay. Hang in there. The awkward stage does end. Eventually.

Dearest middle schooler, you are good.

The Wedding

My best friend got married last week to the man of her dreams in the most beautiful wedding I’ve ever seen. I’m so thankful to have gotten the opportunity to stand beside her on such a wonderful, God-centered day.

Thinking back on that day, I can see all the tiny things coming together to make something amazingly huge, and I’m constantly reminded of our own journey toward the day Jesus comes back for The Bride (the church).

When James beautifully asked Kaitlyn to marry him, they started their journey. Their families and friends gathered around them to congratulate them, love them, and help them get ready for the big day – the wedding.

In that moment, the wedding seemed really far away, but, always together, the bride and groom joined together with like-minded people and started getting ready. It started out with just a few people – some family, some friends, and a wedding planner. As the bride and groom shared their love story, though, it expanded – more family, more friends, the wedding party, the caterers, the cake.

There were moments when the bride got distracted – when other things of life got in the way of the preparations like school, work, and friends. Sometimes the bride was just too tired to think about the wedding to come. But she was held up and gently pushed along by people who had been a bride before her, who knew what was going on, and who could encourage her on her journey.

There were moments when things just seemed to go wrong. The bride burned her face right before their engagement pictures. The straps fell off the dresses. Someone’s pants didn’t fit. Her brother got sick. But the bride pushed through, held up by her love, knowing that none of that really mattered as long as, in the end, she was there for the wedding day.

Slowly, and not without struggle, the work got done. As the bride and groom excitedly moved toward their big day, they shared their love story with everyone around them, and as more people heard, they got involved in the preparations.

Finally, the day came.

The bridegroom was coming for his bride.

There was soft music playing in the candle-lit room. There was a hush as a great cloud of witnesses waited for the right moment.

And then the doors opened.

The bride, in her pure white dress, began her long, slow walk down the aisle to the groom. With tears in her eyes and a smile on her lips, she looked only at him.

The groom took a half step forward like he was about to leap off the stage and run to her, but with tears in his eyes and a smile on his face, he simply waited, and he looked only at her.

When she made it to the end, he took her hand in his, and they made promises of love everlasting.

In the end, the bride and groom were finally married, and there was a great feast. At the feast, everyone saw old and new friends, family, and loved ones. There was food and dancing and laughter and joy. There were tears and hugs and kisses and songs.

I can’t help remembering that and seeing a day that I know is coming that will be much like it.

I know that as a Christian, I’m moving with the rest of the church to the day when Jesus, the bridegroom, comes back. Along the way, we’re making the preparations and sharing our love story with everyone around us. We’re gathering together more and more people to join in our love story and prepare for our wedding day.

I can’t wait for the day when the doors open and The Church comes pouring through in her pure white dress, with tears in her eyes and a smile on her face and eyes only looking at The Savior who has tears in His eyes and a smile on His face and is only looking at her.

And then we’ll feast and be united with family and friends. We’ll dance and laugh and sing, and all together, we’ll praise the King who brought us all together in the first place.