“Course He Isn’t Safe. But He’s Good.”

I don’t want your god of rainbows and butterflies, your god who dances in fields and makes daisy chains and takes you on picnics, or your god who always forgives, is never angry, is always gentle, and is always super positive. I don’t want your sheep, your bright ball of light, your grandfatherly figure, and your heavenly Santa Claus.

Sorry, lovely, the God of this universe is not a kindly, old, gray-haired, hippy grandfather. Yes, He romances us. Yes, He always, 100%-of-the-time, no-matter-what forgives us. Yes, He is gentle with us, even when He breaks us.

But please, please, don’t lose sight of the sword in the folds of his robe. Don’t lose sight of the fire in His eyes. Don’t forget that, when people see Him without protection, they die. Don’t forget that His angels cause warriors to fall to the ground and fear for their life. Don’t forget that this is the God who ripped His own heart out of His chest and put it on earth for us to trample on and abuse. Don’t forget that He has sacrificed everything and daily fights for us.

There are times in my life when I need the God who romances me, who paints sunsets and plants flowers, and who puts people in my life to say a gentle word, and He is always faithful to provide that. But mostly, if I’m really honest, I need the God who will stand over my curled up, incapacitated soul and fight away the darkness with His sword.

I need the God who pushes my boundaries. I need the God who chisels away painfully at my soul, working on me and convicting me to become more like Him. I need the God who is covered to His elbows in the blood of my enemies, who fights for me while I cower behind Him, who hands me a sword and pushes me into the fray when I don’t think I’m brave enough or strong enough.

I need the God who doesn’t cut me slack, who demands perfection, who is angry with a righteous anger when I walk away or hurt Him, who lets me face the consequences of my choices, and who is always waiting to take me back. I need the God who knows me better than I know myself. I need the God who molded my face with His fingers – the fingers that built up the mountains and leveled the plains and carved out the unfathomable, deep places for the oceans.

I need the God who is strong enough to carry me when I can’t walk on my own. I need the God who never tires, never sleeps, never fails, and never gives up on me. I need the God who is as desperate for me as I am for Him and will go to whatever lengths He must to win my heart and soul.

One of my most favorite quotes of all time is from The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. Susan is talking with Mr. Beaver about Aslan, and she says, “Is he – quite safe?” And Mr. Beaver replies, “Safe? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”

The God I need, the God I serve, is not safe.

To be safe, He would have to be small enough to be understood. He would have to be something I could pull into tiny pieces and figure out. He would have to be small enough for me to wrap my head around. He would have to be predictable and quantifiable.

I could never worship Him, serve Him, give my life to Him, or follow Him if He were small enough to be safe.

So, please, throw away your safe God. Throw away the thing you’ve shrunk God into. Throw away your tiny, one-dimensional view of God. Throw away the PC, kind, loving, old man floating on a cloud in the sky. Remember that the Creator of the Universe and all its intricacies could never be small enough for you, the created, to truly grasp.

But always remember that He is good.

No matter how ferocious He is, no matter how angry He gets, no matter how powerful He is, no matter how strong He is, no matter how much control He has, no matter how much you run away, no matter how jealous He is for you, and no matter how much He longs for you, He will always be good. Always.

I rest in His hand, covered by the strength of His mighty right arm. I know that His unfathomable love for me is why He protects me. I know that He will always be there to bind up my wounds and carry me to safety.

Because I know the strength of my God, I know that there is nothing He cannot face, there is nothing He will shrink from, and there is nothing that can defeat Him. I know that, because He loves me as His own child, I am cherished with both the ferocity of a warrior and the gentleness of a father. I know that I am always cared for, always loved, and always safe when I rest in the palm of His hand.

I can rest knowing that I will always be protected. I have peace knowing that I will always be delivered. I have courage knowing that I will never fight alone. I have hope knowing that He will never stop fighting to make the world right again.

My Protector, my Father, my Savior, my Lord, and my God will never abandon me, never grow tired of me, never hurt me maliciously, and never forsake me. The Destroyer of my enemies is my Great Physician. The Pillar of Fire is my Calm Waters. I am never alone. I am never forsaken. I will never be abandoned. I am safe.

I’ll take that over your puny half-god any day.

Consider This Smoke Signals

Darling Creepers (read: Parents),

I am still alive. Don’t worry.

I know I haven’t called you. Or texted you. Or emailed you. Or written letters. Or used smoke signals. But I’m still breathing, and the trusty heart is still doing its thing!

I haven’t quite died of exhaustion, studying, and general life without you yet. This is probably only because Twin and Turtle cook for me, though. Otherwise I’d be a super-dead, gross, starved thing.

Also, because of the rule that I have to wear evil, nasty pants in all common areas, I think I’m becoming more acclimatized to wearing pants. Sure, after a full day of being out and about with people and classes and things, the only thing I can think about is going home and taking my pants off, but I’m actually wearing sweatpants in common areas now. I’m calling it an improvement. I know Twin and Turtle are thankful.

School is still bluh. It will always be bluh because I’ve passed the years of nap time, crayons, and glitter.

But let’s think about this for a minute – I think I would learn everything I’m learning a whole lot better if there were snacks and glue sticks involved. I’m not really sure how to fit stickers and coloring books in with learning about the intrapartum period of pregnancy (gross), but I’m sure a creative teacher could figure it out.

Also, I just wanted to let you know that, if you ever want grandchildren, they’re going to have to come from one of your other children. I have learned waaaaaaay too much in the past few weeks about what those tiny monsters do to your body to ever willingly let one steal half my blood supply and feng shui my vital organs.

Uh-uh. Ain’t happening.

And Twin won’t be having any kids either if I can ever get her to listen to my dire warnings. Those things are nasty. And they smell funny.

Princess Sweet Beans is your only hope. Not that he can ever have kids personally, but you know, he might get married one day. Maybe?

It might be best just to not count on grandkids?

At least I’m warning you now…

Anyway. That was a little off topic.

I just wanted to let you know that I’m still kicking, things are going great, I’m tired, I miss you, and I still like you a whole lot.

And, you know, it’s really a good thing that I haven’t been writing here.

I write to order my thoughts. I write when things don’t make sense. I write when I’m overwhelmed and I need to understand things. I write because my brain is all sorts of jumbled up, and if I can just get it all out somewhere in a cohesive manner, I can make sense of it. I write because my brain is not always my friend, and it doesn’t always make a lot of sense.

If I can write something, I can understand it. If I can jump inside it and accurately map out my thoughts, I can successfully navigate myself through them. That’s part of why my thoughts don’t always seem finished – they’re not. I’m still trying to find my way through them.

So why am I writing tonight? Because tonight I’m a little homesick, and I didn’t want to call you at 10:30 at night. You’d probably panic and assume that I was either dead or in jail for trespassing (I haven’t done that any this semester so far. No worries.) when I just wanted to chat about normal things.

So I’ll probably have another cup of coffee and study some more, then go to bed. I had a test this morning that was really awful, and I’ve got my first OB test next Wednesday. Not looking forward to that.

So I need to study. And I should probably go to bed sometime tonight. But I definitely need to water my plants. Poor creatures.

But don’t worry. The semester’s getting all kinds of busy, so I’ll be writing a lot more here soon.

All this to say, I love you, I miss you, and I’ll probably call you soon!

Love,

Your favorite daughter (It’s okay to admit it. We all know it’s true.)

Who Knew That “Wild Sex Biologists” Were a Thing?

I was talking with a friend one day, and he said, “Katie, you should give a TED talk.”

So I laughed because that’s how you’re supposed to reply to outrageous statements.

“No, seriously, Katie. You should talk to people.”

And I still wasn’t sure if he was actually being serious, so I laughed a little softer and almost wrecked trying to see his face in the dark.

He was serious.

“I don’t have anything to say. Besides, I’m just a girl.”

“What you’ve just said to me – say that. And you’re not just a girl.”

I shrugged.

“Just promise me you’ll at least look and see what it takes.”

That was a few weeks ago. I forgot about it until tonight.

Tonight, I found myself needing a dose of my own medicine, so after I gave myself a small, ineffective pep talk, I got on TED.com to see what it took. Because a promise is, after all, a promise.

I don’t think I’ll ever give a TED talk.

I just found myself on the “speakers” page, and I have discovered that I am not the kind of person who gives a TED talk.

You speak if you’re an inventor, an engineer, a biologist, a composer, a wild sex biologist, a poet, a physicist, an artist, an entrepreneur, a comedian, a journal-er, a researcher, an innovator, the prime minister, a gardener, a space activist, an author, or the co-founder of Google.

I am not a human beat-boxer, a photographer, an explorer, a particle physicist, a revolutionary, a physiotherapist, a musician, a politician, a director, a CEO, a model, a chef, a philosopher, a cartoonist, an activist, a parent, a neuroscientist, a penguin expert, or anything else.

I’m a girl.

I looked through all 51 pages of their list of speakers, and I didn’t see a single person that was only a girl.

I did see someone who was a dad and someone else who was a nose and quite a lot of people who do things with bees. I deeply appreciate them. But none of these brilliant people were something I am.

Sure, I’m smart. I could be an expert in something crazy (Except being a dad. That one’s not biologically possible for me.), but I’m not because that’s not who I am. I will never be so deep in the sciences or liberal arts that I could stand in a room of my peers and expect them to pay attention to and learn something from my opinion.

I have a huge amount of respect for all the people who have given TED talks. Some of them are people I really look up to.

But that’s part of my problem.

I really look up to some of these people. They all have these fantastic titles and have done wonderful things, but I will never be a person like that.

So, I need to know that it’s okay to be a girl.

I need to know that I don’t have to be an expert in economics or anything else to be worthy of my place in the world.

I need to know that it’s okay to simply be ordinary.

I don’t want to need to be the person that stands out or the one who saves the world or the one everyone knows or the one everyone wants to emulate.

It has to be okay that I will never influence nations and heads of states.

I need to know that I am still valuable without leading armies or peace rallies, without being loved or hated by multitudes, without people screaming my name, and without leaving a large mark on the world.

I need to know that it’s okay to just be me – an ordinary girl.

And I know a few other people who need to know that as well.

So, darling, if you’ve made it through my late-night ramblings to this point, I want to you know that you’re perfectly fine as a girl. Or a boy.

Whatever you are.

You don’t have to be something you’re not as long as you are unapologetically, irreversibly, uncontrollably you.

Do you, my love. You’ll be fabulous.

You can do extraordinary things if you want to, but you still mean so much to the world if you’re simply, ordinarily you.