I am reaching back into the archives of my life, remembering my middle and high school years. I wanted so badly to be married and pursued so passionately, that I was willing to sacrifice very parts of myself in order to experience the shallow pleasures this earth offers. I had a feeling that I would not be actually marrying any of these boys that so 'passionately pursued' me; but I would throw those thoughts into the trash and command they leave. They were crashing the party I was trying to throw. Desperately, I wanted to feel pursued and radiant and worth while. I wanted to know that I was beautiful.
Oh the emptiness that ensued each failed attempt to feel these things.
My girls, from the very beginning of our relationship I was so vulnerably honest with you about these things. I have shared with you time and time again how I crave to protect you from the aches and pains that come with heart break and broken relationships. And time and time again, I have to hold my hands open to Jesus himself and trust that He will be with you on your own journey. He was with me, He let me do my thing just as He will let you do yours...and He grieved while I put myself through suffering. And He is here with me now, as I continue to discover healing and strength and hope. His love covers all mistakes and cheapened romances that I (and you) once fell for; He can redeem anything. Don't believe the lie that once you've given part of yourself away, you are now worthless and forever lost. He can always redeem and restore brokenness. Always. Hear that, dear ones.
He is always here and always willing to comfort us with His grace. He is always pursuing me, I just have to slow down to see it.
We think you'll find that every woman in her heart of hearts longs for three things: to be romanced, to play an irreplaceable role in a great adventure, and to unveil beauty. That's what makes a woman come alive. -John Eldredge, Captivating
I didn't need to wait to be passionately pursued. I also didn't need to seek cheap pursuits that were not passionate, and instead purely selfishly driven, to pass the time. You don't have to wait to be pursued and you also don't have to pass the time with cheapened romance.
We desire to possess a beauty that is worth pursuing, worth fighting for, a beauty that is core to who we truly are. We want beauty that can be seen; beauty that can be felt; beauty that affects others; a beauty all our own to unveil. -Stasi Eldredge, Captivating
When I say that Jesus is passionately pursuing you, I am not making it up. This is not some cheap saying that I resort to, but the very Truth that has rocked me to my core and revealed to me my very beauty. This Truth that Jesus, King of kings, deems me beautiful and sees me as beloved...it has stolen my heart time and time again. The Creator of this beautiful and stunning world; the God who created the beautiful ice storms and the breath taking sunrises. He is captivated by you, by me, by us. When we long and crave to share life with another, to be pursued and taken on a great adventure...we are longing the same things that God longs for. He created this longing and we are made in His image. He longs to take us on an adventure, to pursue us, to be pursued by us. God does not want to be a tag along or an appendage; neither do I. I don't want to be a tag along or an annoying option that someone cannot get rid of. I want to be essential. He, Christ, craves to be essential. These desires to be passionately pursued are of Him and from Him and He carries them too.
We, women, are created in His image. We, ladies, are created with fierce devotion. We, girls, have an ability to suffer great hardships and also carry a dream of making this world a better place.
The intimacy you crave, dear one, is not something to be shunned or condemned. The intimacy that you crave is God given and beautiful. It is also not to be cheapened or given away without a cost. The intimacy and romance and pursuit that your heart yearns for is a high price, is costly, is precious. This deep desire reveals God's capacity of intimacy. He is trustworthy with the longings of your heart.
I am married. I am pursued by a man, a human. He is faulty and imperfect, just as any human. He is wonderful and I adore and cherish him and would never trade him for another. He purchases flowers and kisses my forehead. A true charmer. But he cannot possibly fill my soul to its brim with pleasures and the deep intimacy my heart truly longs for. I cannot put that pressure on him; how unfair. But my girls, Jesus can handle it and He welcomes it. He invites me to pursue Him for all of my deepest needs - loneliness, despair, feeling ugly and unworthy. Jesus reminds us that beauty is an essence given to us the moment we were created - it is not something we purchase or create..it is our essence, dear girls. I grieve when I hear your wails of concern, feeling unworth and unbeautiful. I grieve because you yourself are Beauty. You matter. Life was not supposed to strip you of your beauty, but actually validate it.
My girls. Your beauty is the essence of you. Remember that today: you are Beauty. You are created in His image. You do not need to deny the passionate pursuit your heart longs for. Chase Jesus with it, while He chases you - spend time with Him, open His word and fall in love with His love letter. There is no shame, no condemnation, for those in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1). You are enough. You are beautiful, to your core. And He is waiting.
Learning to fall in love with Him,