The Beauty in our Flaws

I have a feeling that by the end of quarantine, people will be sick of the dreaded “zoom call”. What started out as a cool way to see people in real time no matter where they live, has become the only means of seeing those you used to spend time with in the flesh. Replacing all of our in-person interactions with a screen is not nearly as satisfying. I am filled up by being alone, but I am coming out of this season knowing I am not a recluse.

I was made for community and being in contact with other human beings. I am sure you are coming away from this with similar realizations about yourself. Maybe you have found being at home to be extra trying or the lack of close, social interaction to be particularly hard on your emotional/mental health. Despite what you think of it all or how it has impacted you, I hope you see that God is still working and moving. I am hopeful that when we come out of this, we will be different for the better. I can’t speak for our country or the population as a whole (I have asked God more than once if He would just let me in on how this particular chapter in our lives was going to end up…I’ll take His silence as it is better that I don’t know.), but I believe as individuals, we have a high percentage of coming out of this better connected to God. 

He has never and will never need to socially distance Himself. I don’t care if you just gave me an eye roll for flipping a secular term into spiritual concept, it’s true. He is closer than the air we breathe. We are the ones that put distance between His heart and ours. We run to things of this world to tell us who we are, what to do, when to act, and where to put our focus. The world feels incredibly loud right now, and the sheer volume is only matched by the number of splintered opinions flying around. Like pieces of straw in a tornado whipping around and doing destruction to our peace and safety. I have spoken to so many that feel like nothing is as it seems, everyone has an agenda, and no one knows who to trust. 

Ultimately, our trust isn’t in this world. Our government is flawed. Our healthcare is flawed. Our church is flawed. You are flawed. I am flawed. But this assurance that we are all flawed qualifies us as a candidate for Jesus’ ministry. In Luke 19:10, he says, 

For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost. (NIV)

The even better news is this is an individual call. You don’t have to wait for your President or Governor to release you to choose a life pursuing Jesus. We get to do that on our own. You don’t have to worry if your neighbor will approve, you get to decide this purely for yourself. 

Regardless of where you started when the world began coming unglued, you get to take time to make sure you’re anchored in the unchanging, ever-present power of the God of the Universe. 

For those barely holding on, can I speak some life over you?

We have access to the Holy Spirit and He can minister to your heart and bring you God’s peace.

But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have told you. Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled; do not be afraid. You heard Me say, ‘I am going away, and I am coming back to you.’ If you loved Me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I. (John 14:26-28 NIV)

You have a purpose.

Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. (Philippians 2:12-13 NIV).

He has saved us and called us to a holy life–not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, (2 Timothy 1:9 NIV)

He uses all things to good 

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28 NIV)

You are loved

This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:12-13 NIV)

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. (1 John 4:7-8 NIV)

I hope this encourages your heart and spurs you on to a deeper connection with the Father. He loves you and as I like to remind myself daily: Nothing surprises God. He has the whole world in His hands and those who put their trust in Him can know that in the end, we win. If you feel stretched too thin or depleted in energy because of the current events of this world, take time to unplug from those sources and saturate yourself in life-giving verses of the Bible and in worship songs that lift you up and shift your perspective.

Beauty from Wolfie Hair

Beauty from wolfie hair

I am convinced of this, that the one who began a good action among you will bring it to completion by the Day of the Messiah Jesus.
Philippians 1:6

Today I woke up with the worst hair in the history of clean, terrible hair. I half-dried it and went to bed knowing it would be a little…artistic the next day. I have natural wave which means my hair lives in a continuous state of no man’s land. The plus side is that I can help it into the land of the straight strands or the curly girlies fairly easily. However, this morning, I looked in the mirror and really wished that I had taken a picture and sent it to my dad. He always called my wild morning bed head “wolfie hair” when I was growing up. I think even he would agree today was one for the record books. The amount of volume my hair had made me look as though I had used an entire can of Aqua Net! I stared at my hair and tried to figure out what to do. I didn’t want to wet it and start over, but I wasn’t sure I could rebirth this mess from this point.

So many of us are at this very point in our lives. We were doing what we thought was the right thing, on the right path then BAM! we feel as if we have either miss stepped or the path has taken a turn that we just weren’t expecting. It is easy to at that moment look for a sign from God that what you are doing is good. The problem with that is you may be expecting God to show up in a specific way, but there is no guarantee that he will. God is not always going to affirm your steps―at least not in the same way. There will be times when you are on the right path and doing the right things, and suddenly it gets scary. The steps feel uncomfortable or the next steps seem unsure. Maturity in Christ will require you to navigate through these seasons apart from strong emotions from the Father (at times). When feelings rise up to challenge your direction the best thing to do is stop and seek God. This process should include praying AND worshipping God. These two connect you to God in ways that nothing else can! Through it all, the emotions that were rising to challenge your direction will either die down (bend the knee to the sprit man leading instead of the emotions) or they will link arms with the spirit man and he will begin to feel a need for shifting the course. Either way, you will see the next step more clearly.

Now this morning, I stared at myself in the mirror and the idea to curl the mop on top came to mind. I curled it and had one heck of a good hair day. That volume I gave myself through the night was just what those curls needed to be lively. I had fancy, curled hair today and so I decided to put the level 2 makeup on (you know, eye shadow and lipstick) in order to go with the hair. I felt great and quite amused that my hair could look so good knowing how bad it had looked before 7am.

Hair is not the end all be all, but how fun is it that God can use my wild, bad hair morning to show me that he makes beauty out of what we would call a mess!