I struggle to find the words that perfectly articulate what my heart wants to tell you all. I feel this burden to write today, I sense this overwhelming movement in my heart to speak to you, just to paint a picture of what the Lord has been doing in my life. And yet, I am at a loss for words. Tears fill my eyes, my heart aches to show you all and yet the words don’t come. Words seem to lack the beauty of what my redeemer has done in my heart.
What comes to mind is a simple question: Have you ever felt a passion rise within you that you cannot contain?
I never had.
Not before this.
Before this I lived as a shell of a woman. Insecure. Broken. Selfishly looking at what I offered the world, always seeing myself as nothing in the light of those standing around me. I saw my Savior; glorious, perfect, holy, almighty in strength and power. And then I saw me: a mess, a heart marked by gaping holes, desperately longing to be the perfect woman who followed the perfect Savior. And yet, everyday that perfect woman failed at being perfect.
I wrote to you all telling you of the grace that was literally transforming my heart. I read those words over again, seeing the incredible story of a woman being remade, reshaped by the brushstrokes of grace. I love that picture, it brings tears to my eyes thinking about my mess of a heart, knowing that in the construction zone of my soul Jesus saw every square inch, and embraced it all. He’s not afraid of messes. He’s not scared to touch the dirty or embrace the broken. In fact, he seeks it out. He searches for hearts that long for wholeness. He aches to meet with those who long with all of themselves to find his grace.
As I write now, I can tell you that this woman’s heart is new. Fresh. Remade. Beautifully crafted by the hands of love. I will always be in the process of transformation, of being made more and more like the one who rescued me. But magnificent progress has been made. I stand as a woman who is becoming whole. I stand secure, with confidence in who the Lord has made me to be. The brokenness has been tended to, the pieces that were once scattered are now in their places that create a woven tapestry that create a magnificent display of God’s relentless love for me. My Jesus has graciously lifted my head, simultaneously taking my eyes off of myself and fixing my gaze on the world around me. As the holes in my heart were filled with the grace of Jesus Christ, as he embraced his daughter with arms not of expectation, but complete acceptance, I felt for the first time the peace of my Redeemer. There was no longing to be perfect. No guilt of failing. No fear of falling. It was a deep, slow breath; a peace filled calm found in the embrace of my perfect Savior. His perfection is where I find myself. His perfect love. His perfect grace. And I, the unperfect woman, fit perfectly in his loving arms. And there, I find wholeness.
I reflect on the promise found in God’s Word to us; “perfect love casts out all fear.” What a beautiful thing. What a glorious picture. As I find myself more wrapped in the perfect embrace of my Savior, I sense his unconditional grace, his unfailing love for me. I breathe it in, let it consume me like an intoxicating perfume, letting myself finally rest in the hands that hold the world. And in that moment of letting go, in that intoxication, as I breathe in the fragrance of love, I sigh out all my fears, insecurities melt away, brokenness finds its healer and messes find their redeemer.
This is what changed me. This.
This grace filled embrace. Where fear is cast out. Insecurity melts away. Messes finally find rest and peace.
And in that embrace I found my passion. I found a wholeness that is uncontainable. A mission within my heart that is not founded on trying to affirm my identity or fill my need for acceptance. It is founded on a love that has wrapped me up and set me free.
So I ask you; Have you ever felt a passion rise within you that you cannot contain?
I watch people around me living day in and day out. Their mouths speak of grace. They tell of God’s love. Their motions simulate transformation. But their eyes speak a different story. Their eyes confess a story of exhaustion; aiming for perfection, consumed by fear, and lost in the brokenness of their hearts. In that gaze I see a heart that longs to be at peace, a spirit that aches to be set free and a passion that is eagerly yearning to be lifted from the weight of fear and insecurity. I know that feeling, that disjointed connection between words and belief. I have felt the sting of speaking truth but not being able to rest my tired heart in it’s comfort.
That is where tears fill my eyes and my heart aches to tell you of the glorious embrace of Jesus. When we surrenderourselves and let our hearts, our minds, our souls fall into the almighty arms of our rescuer, that is where true transformation happens. That’s where our stories have life breathed into them. That’s the moment when the fragrance of grace fills our lungs and our hearts beat with a fearless thump. And in this rest, we find freedom. And that freedom breathes air into the embers of our hearts, and it sparks an uncontainable passion. Instead of speaking empty words that are disconnected from the mess of our hearts, we are at a loss to find any words that describe what happened inside of us. We are only left with a relentless fire within our souls that is untamable. uncontainable. unimaginable. A fire that we can’t describe in words, but we fight relentlessly to pursue.
Perhaps this is what my heart longs to tell you; fall into the embrace of Jesus. Let his love sooth your heart. Let him whisper into your deepest secrets. Let him pour rest over your tired heart. Let him set your broken heart free. And let him energize you with passion to go love a world that needs the warmth of his embrace too.