Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up.
It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed.
Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up.
It knows it must outrun the slowest gazelle or it will starve to death.
It doesn’t matter whether you are a lion or a gazelle…
When the sun comes up, you’d better be running.
– Abe Gubegna
1. God Loves You For You
You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. –Psalm 139:2-3
[JJ Heller, What Love Really Means]
2. You Have Hope In Christ
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. –Romans 15:13
[Owl City, In Christ Alone]
3. Your Trials Will Make You Stronger
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. –2 Corinthians 12:9
4. You Are Forgiven For Your Past Mistakes
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. –2 Corinthians 5:17
[Tenth Avenue North, You Are More]
5. You Are Beautiful (& It Has Nothing To Do With How You Look)
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. –Psalm 139:14
[Jonny Diaz, More Beautiful You]
Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.
— Marilyn Monroe
Our pastor said something at church yesterday that really resonated with me.
“Don’t be so comfortable in the world you fit into without even trying.”
I think many of us are living too comfortably. God doesn’t save us from our sin so that we can sit guilt-free in church on Sundays and lead stagnant lives. He saves us so we can minister to and share love with others. If the goal of our lives as Christians is to become more Christ-like, then the mission of our lives should be the same as Jesus’ mission. His mission is to save people (1 Timothy 1:15).
I wonder if non-believers would stop doubting organized religion if we lived the way we’re called to live. Christians are good at telling people we’ll pray for them. We’re good at interacting with our church friends. But what are we doing to actually reach out? Are we seeking the lost or just hoping they’ll show up on our doorstep begging for help someday? All around us, people are drowning as they look for answers. We have the answer.
In his book, Forgotten God, Francis Chan addresses this issue. “It is true that God may have called you to be exactly where you are. But, it is absolutely vital to grasp that he didn’t call you there so you could settle in and live your life in comfort and superficial peace.” We often let the world tell us how to live, but what does the world really know about living? So many lives are filled with deception, distraction, selfishness, and chaos. Do we really want to fit into what the world dictates as “normal”? Shouldn’t we be passionately sharing the love, grace, peace and forgiveness of Christ with a world who so desperately needs it?
Maybe we’re scared. Maybe we doubt our individual abilities. Maybe we don’t feel personally “called” to this mission. Maybe we’re too busy chasing things that ultimately don’t matter to notice what’s going on around us. Maybe we forget that our lives are not supposed to be about us. Maybe we fail to realize that just because we’re on the same side as everyone else, that doesn’t mean we’re on the right side. Maybe we trust God enough to let Him save us, but not enough to let Him use us for the work He prepared for us (Ephesians 2:10).
I’m as far from perfect as anyone reading this, but I know where I’m standing now and the direction my life needs to go. That direction is towards Jesus. He deserves to be the center of my life and He’s calling me to live for more than just my own happiness. I also know that there is no greater joy than the joy that comes from loving others.
The most amazing and overwhelming truth in my life is that God doesn’t have to save me, but He chooses to. He doesn’t have to love me, but He chooses to. He doesn’t have to forgive me, but He chooses to. He doesn’t need me, but He reaches for me. We have choices too. We can choose to walk with God, or not. We can choose to love those around us, or not. We can choose to follow the world, or we can choose to follow Him.
We can choose to fit in, or we can choose to stand out.
Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love.
–Rainer Maria Rilke
You left. And I’m okay with that.
If I ran into you today, I could still say “I love you” with complete sincerity. But, it would no longer come as a plea of desperation from a girl who begged you for forever. It would come from the heart of someone who realizes she’s a better woman because of you.
I woke up this morning and realized that I don’t care the way I used to. This is not to be confused with my care for you because I still wish you all the love in the world. I just don’t care to know the details anymore. I don’t care if we never speak again, or if you’ve met someone new, or what you think of me. When I released you to go be who you needed to be, I also released myself to do the same.
I’m sorry for anything I said that hurt you. I’m sorry for the people who got involved that shouldn’t have. I’m sorry I didn’t end up being your “one” like you hoped in the beginning.
But, darling, I will never be sorry for knowing you. I thank God for you. I thank Him that you loved me. I thank Him that you stopped loving me. When you left, it brought me down to my knees and I learned to stay there– not in despair, but in worship. My heart cracked open and God came in. He changed me.
I’m turning into the woman I never knew how to be with you. A woman whose happiness is not based on love from another. I’m happy because of the blessings I have in Christ and no boyfriend or ex-boyfriend can shake that peace. When you stopped loving me, I found out what I’m worth.
I think I’ll always miss you, but not in the way I expected. I miss you the way I miss 4th grade– I can smile warmly at the memory without any wish to return to that time. As I move forward, I’ll keep you in the back of my mind and the front of my heart.
Consider this chapter closed.
10. Stand up for a friend when he or she is alone.
9. Invite your sibling to hang out with you and your friends.
8. Tell someone you’re a better person because of them.
7. Leave a thank you note in someone’s pocket.
6. Prepare a meal for someone.
5. Help a friend move.
4. Talk positively about your family when they aren’t around.
3. Sing a song on someone’s voicemail.
2. Encourage someone’s dreams.
1. Tell someone they are your sunshine.
The Waiting Place…
…for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or waiting around for a Yes or No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.
Waiting for the fish to bite
or waiting for wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting.