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When It's Not What You Think

I let out a sigh, close the book and say without much thought, “Thank you for loving me…”

At first I felt defeated and frustrated. I had woken up early and expectant but this is not the morning I envisioned as I brewed the coffee. It’s day four of Advent and I was excited to sit down with my daily reading and dig deep into hope and loss and be reminded of God’s goodness.

Instead I finally finished the two pages after almost an hour. I had to reread and read again several paragraphs because my mind was drifting. This is not fault of the author. It’s actually the opposite. When I could get my mind to focus I was blown away by the snippets of truth encased in the short study.

But I found myself on The Googles then to Wikipedia then on amazon looking for new dry shampoo because this DIY scalp treatment I put on yesterday is greasier than I planned…

Amidst all of that I opened up my Advent journal to the next page, and even creating something beautiful to put in the book I cherish so much felt… well… meh. I picked up the mustard yellow paper and my black calligraphy pen to take note:

Day 4

Help Is On The Way

Isaiah 59:14-21

I wish I had better handwriting…

I wondered if I should grab another paper scrap and try again…

I envisioned my kids and their kids one day looking through this pretty book. Will they be able to read my writing? Will they look at it and think, “Wow, she really had terrible handwriting. We can see why she used stamps and paint so much.”

Will their journey through my gifts of legacy be as peppered with criticism and judgement? I remember how beautiful both of my grandmothers wrote. My mom has stunning penmanship too. But no matter how hard I try it still is… well not pretty at all.

I flipped over the marked up rectangle and wrote how I felt. That I was struggling. I wrote out a prayer asking for God’s help. With a sign I listed the things that were vying for space at the forefront of my mind: my health, wanting to work out in the way that leaves you feeling sweaty and empowered, … even my schedule.

As a self employed person, wondering if I am doing my best with booking my jobs and balancing time between family, work, and making sure during this season I let myself cry when sorrow overtakes so I don’t end up stuffing isn’t easy.

“This may seem trivial to others (especially in light of the deep suffering of others and the subject matter of my devotion) but I am so thankful it’s not to You. Thank You for loving me deeply!”

And with that, I let out a sigh, close the book, and say without much thought, “Thank you for loving me…”

I think to myself and tell God He is my favorite place because I don’t have to pretend to be anything other than myself. I’m not sure if the overthinking of my words and actions in a way that resembles blocking notes in the margins of a script was birthed out of my early love for theatre or insecurities I tried to mask. But here, in this moment, in the quiet of the morning with the Netflix fire on the tv, the lights of the poorly decorated tree, and the smell of clearance pumpkin spice coffee, I am brought back to this morning’s Advent devotion: Help is on the Way.

Sometimes help is just remembering that I am passionately loved by The One Who Put The Stars Into Place and if I don’t get everything on my to do list done, I will be fine. If I don’t make the calls and send the messages to try and book jobs because everything else gets in the way, I will be fine. Ultimately the onus of my schedule is on Him because I have committed my life to being led by The Holy Spirit.

And in this space I am deeply loved for all that I am and all that I’m not. So what felt like a wasted morning a few minutes ago I now see in clarity for the sacred space it is.

I don’t know where you find yourself this morning. Are you tired? Is your mind also overwhelmed? Are you tempted to get so bogged down by the “what if’s?” that you forget to enjoy the spice in your coffee? Are you wrestling with thoughts of not being enough, being too much, or being exposed?

Do you love this season or does it make you feel the kind of lonely that steals your breath?

You’re not alone. And you too are deeply loved by The Creator, whether you know Him or not. And I am praying that as you read this, the same peace that washed over me, washes over you and you sink into your worth and value. As you see even more clearly that you are enough, right here and right now. That your authentic self is what the world needs. And I am praying you will be in the presence of people with skin on today who speak your value to you.

And I am praying for laughter. Lots of the laughter. The kind that comes from your belly and leaves your running to the bathroom for fear of leaking. Or whatever a deep laughs feels like to you. And I am praying all this in my favorite name Jesus, knowing He is already on the move for you, His favorite.


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