We all have our moments, fleeting as the wind, when we truly feel alive. Our hearts have a purpose and freedom finds roots in the depths of our heart cries. Slowly healing is able to bring growth. Yet more often then not I think we find ourselves lost in the messiness of life, trying to grow roots but uncertain of the soil that we stand on. I know all to often I feel like a flower billowing in the wind, waiting for the rain to bring refreshment and to speak life into my heart. I crave genuine conversations and a life that is authentic and filled with color. Yet everywhere I look I see a world that has become all too comfortable with silencing the diversity every heart is painted with. It sticks labels on us, telling us how to live, how much to weigh and how to best portray a life that looks good through the lens of social media. We are constantly being fed a list of ways to be popular or how to know what is trending right now. From buzzfeed quizzes to the magazines at the store, beauty is being narrowed down and we are being molded and shaped to all look the same.
Yet weren’t we made for so much more? We were made to grow deep roots and to thrive in healing. We were made to be uniquely beautiful and to truly live. We were made to truly bloom with freedom and to dance with grace as we seek healing. I have been realizing how different this looks and that no heart was meant to fit a formula. The truth is life isn’t always beautiful and kind, sometimes it is unpredictable and we find our hearts hidden beneath scars and growth seems impossible. Yet in the midst of the imperfections and the nights spent crying is when we learn to embrace the beautifully challenging process of going deep, uprooting lies and planting truth. Even when every painful memory you uproot seems to trigger another and you find your heart slowly drowning in emptiness.
I have been there. When the tug of unworthiness seems so much stronger then the love that is preached about at church. You know the kind of love that would compel God to send His only son to live a perfect life and to die on that cross. All for you. All because your heart is worth more then any treasure and you are fearfully and wonderfully made. I have been there. Grasping at the beauty in those words but yet at the end of the day it was always just me and my scars. My insecurities knew me by name and they had convinced me that freedom was an illusion, a reflection of perfection that I would never see when I looked in the mirror.
It went deeper then just outward appearance; the very core of who I am was hidden from sight behind the lies and the textbook version of Christianity that I had been spoon-fed with for so long. Yet one day I was met by a love that was unlike anything I had every experienced. It wasn’t generic or bland, it wasn’t found in quoting scriptures and praying the same prayer repeatedly hoping maybe this time would be different.
It was a love that met me in my brokenness, that wasn’t afraid to embrace the darkness within. A love that goes deeper then my past scars and looks at me with nothing but adoration. Adoration that isn’t based off of outward appearance, but knows the longings in my heart, my tendency to run away, and yet whispers I am here to stay.
We live in a world that loves to throw around Christian lingo. It talks about love, but doesn’t follow through with action. Freedom is the price God paid, but how often are our chains overlooked? We are told of the simplicity of who God is; yet our hearts are tangled in lies and shame from past mistakes. I’ve been there. A weighed down heart and worn out spirit. I didn’t know I was loved and I didn’t know how to love myself. I had grown used to the demeaning voice inside my head and allowed my fear of people to teach me to play the comparison game.
Yet in my desperation, the dark nights spent crying out of pure loneliness, that was when I found the hope my heart had been craving. I began to write letters to Jesus, page after page, seeking answers and wanting so badly to feel something. Anything besides emptiness, flowers that died before they could even bloom. My heart craved freedom, a meaning and purpose to the handle on the clock going around and around beckoning me to get up and move along.
This last year I was met by a freedom that wasn’t afraid of the walls I put up. It wasn’t intimidated by my insecurities and only saw the beauty within. It looked at those wilting flowers, fading dreams, and it spoke only life and love. A freedom that isn’t afraid of chaos and messiness because it is committed to my growth and healing. I began to learn that there is no quick fix, no prayer perfect enough to bring that healing my heart was craving. I wont wake up one morning knowing my identity is in God and that I am perfectly made and beautiful because of who I am.
That simple phrase, here to stay, is a promise to be faithful through every season and to hold us when we cry. A promise to dig up the lies that have become normal to me and to plant truth. A promise to walk through the nitty gritty messiness from my past. A commitment that goes above and beyond your typical Christian messages and fights for a relationship. An intimacy that isn’t scared by my honesty and vulnerability.
It is the gentleness with which He sets up boundaries to protect us, but yet encourages us to dream big and to truly thrive as a bold and beautiful flower. I simply want to encourage you to be patient with yourself, to not expect perfection. Embrace the process of learning to love yourself and growing new roots. It is messy, it doesn’t always come in the ways you expect and it’s okay if the only thing you can do is take one step forward. Here to stay is a promise that God will never leave your side even when you feel like running away and hiding behind what is comfortable. Here to stay is a promise to not be fickle and to be the constant within life’s ups and downs. It is the refreshing rain that your heart craves and the freedom that allows you to grow new roots and to bloom and flourish, a flower that isn’t afraid to show off its beauty for the world to see.