Thursday, October 4, 2012

To the One who just doesn't seem to fit...

This letter is a bit more vulnerable, a little more personal than I usually like to go. But maybe, dear friend, this is for you... to know there is grace and you are not alone. To know that even in the bitterness, He is gentle... and He is sweet. My story is in process. I am by no means perfect or completely healed. I am redemption in process; we all are. This is encouragement, a taste of grace, for your journey. 

Dear Friend,

This letter is for you, the girl surrounded by a world of bitter cynics, hopeless romantics, and you don’t know where to fit.

Because on the inside, you secretly plan your wedding as other friends plan theirs. You still sigh at the end of Cinderella. And the thought of happening to run into a stranger at a coffee shop, a stranger who becomes your forever, leaves your heart filled with an optimism you desperately cannot crush.

But on the outside, you have the education, the job, the dreams, the home, and you are holding it together. You are ok, great, fulfilled, content… clicking around the world in high heels and a pencil skirt or strutting in skinny jeans and TOMS, breathing in the air and fully alive. And yet the world says you cannot be content. 

Because two is always greater than one, and you, Dear Friend, are incomplete. So you cloak yourself in a garment of bitterness and doubt, that you really don’t want to have, but someone gave you this outfit and it would be silly not to wear it. 

But really, those were never good colors for you in the first place.

And so you waver between sides, wondering which team you should pick, with your red stilettos/canvas TOMS and pinterest boards (or at least made up boards in your mind).

The one who desires love so much she is practically in tears and the one who rolls her eyes at the mention of the “L” world. You know those girls, and do you really want to be them?

Pick me! Pick me! They say. Join us!

But really, when it comes to love, you want to just fall to the floor, cross your legs and cradle your head in your hands to shut out the voices. Love has not been kind. Once it was… beautiful, new, with the hint of the best yet to come, and in an instant, it came crashing down.

And inside, there are scars, deep scars that you would never dare to show, wounds that must remain etched in darkness.

Scars like mine…
            From the boy who said “I love you” and then “pretend I never said it”.
            From the boy who says “I want you”, followed by “I don’t want to marry you”.

            From sin… from being the good girl on the outside, serving on the mission field, who         supposedly has it all together and I wonder when they will discover how broken I really am. 

            From the times when I have said the wrong things, done the wrong things, ignored the people I should have loved and listened to the wrong voices.

            From the times when I should have opened my mouth, fought for the one I loved, fought for my pride and respect, said SOMETHING... ANYTHING to give him a glimpse of the heart he wanted to love, the heart I was so terrified to reveal. 

             From the pride and selfishness that cost friends, chances to share the Gospel, built walls with calloused hands I still cannot smooth. 

Maybe you are like me… you look at the boys around you and shake your head because none of them make your heart beat, inspiring a passion for God, life, people. So, you settle for the boy who says he wants you, and you hope it’s for your mind and heart, but really, he just wants more than his fair share, treating you like a buffet where he can pick and choose all he wants, leaving pieces behind. And you walk in with eyes wide open, offering yourself to fill his hunger.

How is it possible for him to only touch the outside and break you completely on the inside?

Although the bitter cynic inside of you screams that this is all it will ever be, the voice inside your head whispering “I have something better” has finally broken through the chaos of your heart and mind.

You know.

Dear God, you know, there has to be more than this.

Because his “love”, his hugs and kisses, his smile, the way he holds you, feels so good but so… empty.

And I, Dear Friend,  convinced myself this is what I deserve.

With every push, with every spiral deeper into the black hole of sin, I realized that there is no way anyone could ever love me, truly love me. Because if they could see me, and I mean, really see me... they would see a bruised heart full of hideous wounds, and there is nothing inviting about them. 

After all, the heart can only take so much bruising and the grace of God can only extend so far.

Maybe you're like me...

You look at the girls, the girls like the one you used to be. Whole, modest, delicately holding hands with their significant others and perfectly happy.


You look in the mirror at cheeks that used to blush with innocence before your mind and heart were eroded and stained. It’s no longer innocence that makes you blush, but shame.

And it’s not really envy you feel, but a sadness, a grieving, for the girl you used to be when the world was good and dreams did come true… before you listened to the lie that He would never be enough and you would never be good enough.

You see the boys, the rare warriors, who inspire passion and go on the mission trips and sing on the praise team and love to proclaim their faith.

I see the guy… the one whose courageous masculinity makes my wounded femininity rise with purpose.

But the pain washes over me again, the shame… he would never want me.

Who would ever want a heart so broken and calloused that it’s barely recognizable, especially when compared to the hundreds of other beautifully wrapped packages waiting to be chosen.

Honestly, I don’t know if he is out there… a boy who will say yes to my heart, scars and all. Because the bitter cynic in me screams of the hypocrisy, the dirt, the pride, the selfish decisions, and really, could I blame him? But the hopeless romantic in me remembers Hosea and Gomer and I can’t help but dream of one who will accept this mess of broken pieces that make up who I am.

Scars will always be there, but for every scar, there is Neosporin… a soothing balm that allows the scar to fade so it’s less prominent, less painful, less shameful. And it turns scars that bleed and ooze pain into scars that tell a story… a story of redemption.

It is this story where I find myself… a story of my own life.

The girl who had everything together on the outside, but on the inside was falling apart. The girl who ran to something else, someone else, to end the loneliness He had given as a gift for a purpose. A girl who took the heart He died for, and allowed it to be trampled.

Maybe, Dear Friend, you are this girl too.

But the good news is, there is hope for us… the girls who have broken what was once whole. The girls who are bitter romantics and hopeless cynics, dreaming of love and adventure yet not quite sure where we fit.

The girls with scars.

There is redemption and grace in the arms of the One who is love itself.

I find myself at a crossroads, because I want to be done with this sin. I want to walk in purity, in freedom. I don’t want to be a hypocrite.

But I am so powerless against my sin, this hold it has over my heart and soul.

God, I want out of this blackness that seeks to consume me.

I want freedom.

And gently, ever so gently, He says yes.

Wiping the blackness away, washing me clean, those loving hands apply the Balm of Gilead, and I walk away clean.

But things have to change.

I have to plug in to my source, constantly pouring my soul into Him. For this time of loneliness is meant to be a gift… a gift where I find my source of comfort, fulfillment, joy. A gift where I draw closer to him with every breath.

And I must be accountable to Him… for the ways I use the heart and body He has given me. I give Him the pieces to fit back together, and I snuggle closer to His chest. And I rest.

I must rest… wait, dream His dreams, feel His heartbeat until my pulse matches the soft rhythm of His own, memorize every beat as my body relaxes into a love that does not reject, is never withheld.

I am like a five year old in a clean white shirt… a magnet for grape juice and mud stains. I want so badly to stay clean, but I keep spilling, falling, disobeying the commands to avoid the dirt and use a lid on my cup.

But He washes, and He is patient, and He is gentle.

So even if there is never a boy on this planet who will ever love me and mean it, He does.

Even if there is no one to hold me, He does.

Even if there is no one to call out the beauty in the mess of me, He does.

Even if there is no one to share my dreams with me, He does.

Even if no one ever treasures my words or finds me delightful, He does.

Even if no one ever tries to win my heart, He does. Oh, He won it long ago.

And that’s why this is a story… a story for the bitter cynics, the hopeless romantics, and everything in between. Because our story of redemption is never finished.

Mine is only just beginning.