I have felt so much pressure lately. I’m not sure what the cause is, but everything seems to be suffocating me. Each day there seems to be a new load to add to the pile of the future things I need to handle. I try to take a breath, but it’s easy to get weighed down again.
I know in my head these small trials are constant reminders to hand it to Jesus. Nonetheless, they are quite challenging. The real hard hits have come from my own pressure surrounding my character. I’ve begun to question my very personality, who I am and how I behave around others. Those pressures to be someone I’m not: to be funnier, to be social, to be smart, to be kinder, to be pretty, to be inviting, to be fun. All these characteristics that I strive to be when the bible says I should strive to have self-control, knowledge, virtue, steadfastness, godliness, brotherly affection, faith and love. Regardless, I am still trying to conform into the image the world wants me to be instead of fit into the perfectly sized mold Christ created.
I will never be able to do enough to fully please the world, society, my parents, my friends. It’s funny that the Lord, whose perfection permits him to have the highest of standards, tells me I am his daughter with whom he is well pleased. He puts all the pressure on himself, so I walk burden free. I can trust that even if I make a bad decision he’ll work through it. I can trust that whatever path I take to know him more that he’s going to be on it. Maybe the world feels they must supplement their imperfections with this fluffy illusion of control, but he sees past all of that and loves us still. I don’t need a million internships to feel qualified, or a million relationships to feel desired. I am confident that I am enough in myself because I am made in the image of the highest God and he looks at me with utmost affection.
Another pressure college adds is the quest to find your soul mate, especially in the Christian community. Luckily, I’m at peace knowing I’ve found mine. (drum roll please…)
My darling, JESUS (you may have seen that coming). Okay, so he’s not a boy I can bring home at Thanksgiving, but he is even better. I’m sure when people think of God they don’t think of that relationship as a marriage, but I can assure you it is.
He is jealous for me. He wants me. He loves me. He provides for me. He leads me. He NEVER leaves me. What else could you want?
I know that may sound odd, but every Jesus follower is given that same covenant.
Of course, perhaps one day I will be married, but marriage is not a necessity. Now, that doesn’t mean I don’t desire it, but I desire to love God more. Marriage is never promised to us, it is simply a gift that should be treasured. It’s a relationship built upon the already steady relationship I have, with the purpose of leading one another into a love of God that’s deeper still. The point isn’t to find all happiness in a husband, but to find full satisfaction in Christ. If I put those same standards on an earthly marriage it would crumble. Our eyes can’t look to a beloved to fill the huge hole only God makes whole. They’ll never be enough.
The end goal is Christ. To know him, my precious Savior. To glorify him, my Holy God. To love him, my intimate Spirit. My relationship with him is the beginning of my creation and the end into my eternal existence.
He chooses me over and over again. With all my baggage, he says I want you more than you want yourself and I will care for you. He is jealous when I go after other things only he can provide. He has a passionate commitment to me and deserves to receive my exclusive loyalty. Though instead my adulterous heart wanders away and seeks to feel flawless by others affirmation.
I often chase my own way of life which leads me astray until I crawl back again in dependence and once more he holds me in comfort. During those times when I feel insignificant, he reminds me that HE is the lover of my soul.
He loves me enough to even command angels concerning me. (Mind you angels don’t sin and are constantly worshiping him so why would he command the angels to take care of broken me?). How can I wrap my mind around how much he loves me?
“Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him because he knows my name,” Psalm 91:14.
The greatest love letter ever written has already been given to me- a testament of strength and beauty, splendor and majesty. His characteristics go on and on. He forgives, he heals, he redeems, he crowns, he satisfies. He wraps me in salvation and dotes me in love. He delights in me and I can cling to him.
When I look in the mirror he whispers to me, “you are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you,” please, don’t fall into the lure of vanity. He reminds me the prize is not my looks, the prize is Christ. My beauty doesn’t come from something as fading as looks, but from a heart that seeks to know more of him. Him who knows me the best (or knows the worst of me) loves me the most. He died for my soul because he treasured it that much. He knows every hair on my head and every tear I’ve cried.
Sometimes I feel like all I want to talk about is my precious Savior. I just love him so much and feel utter joy to speak of what he’s done. I often feel annoying for wanting to talk about what America brushes off as “personal religious matters,” and I quickly apologize. But I don’t need to apologize for my love of Him. No one apologizes for abundant love of their husband. So I will continue to share with others about the treasure I’ve found in Jesus. I know it will always be a controversy, but I cannot contain the love I have and I will not stop until all have had the opportunity to taste the sweet love I have. Love is a decision, it is more than mere emotions, and I have made the decision to love him (because he first loved me) with all of my being, every day for the rest of my life.