This weekend was my 20 year class reunion. I did not go.
Not because I didn’t want to see everyone, reflect on old times and relive those glory days. But somewhere along the journey of this life, I realized those days were not at all glorious. I have loved the Lord since I was young but I didn’t really get to know Him fully until much later. I was saved at fourteen, baptized soon after that and continued along my sinful path all throughout high school and beyond. Nothing in my heart changed. I married; it failed. I lived; I lost. I experienced; I learned. All along the way, I tried to please everyone around me. I was a textbook perfectionist. My smile told the world I was happy, yet my heart betrayed the lie every day. I had a gradual revelation post-divorce. I spent much time reflecting on my experiences and realized, though I had loved God very deeply my mind and my heart were not fully mature enough to truly know what it meant to live for Him, mind, body and soul; living to please only HIM. I made a promise in the midst of my greatest despair, my failed marriage, to wait upon Him and seek His plan for my life. Plans for my own life were proving to be a series of failures.
I was in my mid-twenties. I began to focus only on the positive aspects of my life and letting go of the unhealthy and bad so my hands and heart would be wide open to receive His gifts, when He was ready to give them to me. My urgent desire was to seek what God had in store for me and not what I was finding in the sins of this fallen world. My battle cry was Jeremiah 29:11 and I boldly proclaimed it many times a day, passionately, wholeheartedly and urgently, albeit patiently.
And I waited for five long years before I received the Blessings I know today.
Instead of attending my Class Reunion yesterday, I celebrated what the Lord gave me in return for my faithfulness. It began twenty years ago, but came to fruition only eight years ago. Years after graduation, the Lord saw fit to reunite the hearts of teenage sweethearts. My love for my Shawn and the Lord were much the same at that time. My young heart and mind could not fully grasp the importance or significance of either relationship. Thus, I failed to see the true beauty and blessing in the gifts I had in my grasp so long ago; the extravagant love of both a good man and a great God. Shawn and I could have been celebrating 20 this year. Instead, I chose a longer, more arduous road paved with my will instead of God’s.
I wasted many years trying to please the world; people of the world who, in the great grand scheme of things really did not mean much to my eternity. I spent countless hours trying to look beautiful, starving myself thin, wearing the right cosmetics and staying abreast the latest fashion trends. I was on the ultimate quest for outward beauty so people would love me. During those years, I missed out on the simple beauty of what it truly means to be loved unconditionally by God. I was so busy making things complicated that God’s plans for me were passing me by at an alarming rate. Days go by at lightning speed as we age. Nothing is “slow as Christmas” when you are in your thirties!
Today, I live my life quite differently. I treasure this place my heart dwells. I hope my old friends had a good time together yesterday. But as for me, I found myself up at dawn, wild hair, no makeup, old camo shorts and a faded black t-shirt- proof below! I slipped on some old shoes and set out; no destination, no plans, but holding the hand of the man I love, who in return loves my fresh, innocent beauty the most. No worries, no cares, we smiled at everyone we met along the way. We ended up at a favorite little locale, dipping our feet into a waterfall. I fell in the creek twice! I had wet shorts, heartfelt laughs, slimy feet and eyes wide open to so many blessings of beauty this world has to offer. I love my new eyes seeing things through the lens of Jesus’ love for me. Not a care in this whole wide world. Rather, a love so pure and simple for a Jesus so extraordinary.
If you face some of these same struggles, will you confess it here today?
Are you stuck where I once was, smiling yet unhappy? Exhausted from trying to please everyone but the only One who matters?
Please leave me a comment below. Let me pray for you.
Abundant freedom awaits when you change your glasses.
Can I challenge you to embrace the simple beauty of a life trying to please only your Savior?
Let your Glory Days be the ones ahead.
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