Writing has never felt more significant in my life but also it has never been this difficult. Letter writing has been in abundance this summer in separation from college friends. Journal writing has been scripted into my schedule to be a time of rest, reflecting, and healing. Yet, writing on here has been something I haven’t been able to sit and do. My thoughts have been running ramped and have needed a release but I’ve been holding them hostage. Releasing them involves walking on a whole a whole new path of vulnerability that I haven’t been willing to walk.
I am a firm believer that vulnerability breads vulnerability and I’ve seen that so clearly over the past few months. I also believe heavily in the power of vulnerability — I think it is where the Lord uses us most. All that being said, it is also one of the most challenging things to do. In order to be vulnerable you most allow the walls to crash down, you must unveil the bandages covering the healing wounds, and you must be willing— all things that can be terrifying to us. It is much easier to shelter ourselves behind high gates that let few things enter and few things stay. But often the easier thing to do is much more damaging. It’s a lot easier to never clean. It’s a lot easier to let every struggling relationship go. It’s a lot easier to never study. But it much more enjoyable to be in a clean space. Or to have friendships that have been worth fighting for. Or to do well in school after a lot of hard work. All things we have to work for and fight for are always far worth taking the easier route… and so I too believe that being vulnerable is worth it.
Recently, or really all of freshmen year, I have been learning a lot about myself. I’ve been learning about my wretchedness, my selfishness, my pride, my wounds, and my brokenness. I’ve been woken up from a deep sleep of ignorance and blindness. Growing in awareness of my wretchedness has been something painfully beautiful, but so necessary. It will always be necessary because my need for my Savior doesn’t waver— only my recognition of my need does. In order to fully see that need, I must see my utter brokenness. I must go to the hard places— the messy places and the wounded places. I must find where I am swinging on the pendulum of pride and insecurity— both rooted in comparison. Once I figure that out, I need to hand that pendulum over to God and allow it to stop swinging because it has been swinging for far too long.
I sit here wanting to write out so much but honestly struggling to piece together what I want to say. There is just so much to say and in so many different ways. Normally I love to sit for a while before I write. I like to find a theme throughout each piece of writing. I like to make art through words in a very poised way. But right now I am just aimlessly typing what stirs up to the front of my mind. I really don’t like feeling not together and not poised but I am quickly realizing that it’s often so necessary. I listen to song after song in my little album ‘For the Heart’ on Spotify and find that a lot of them have a common thread. One says, “Come as you are”, another says, “Come to the table”, another singing out “Come to the river, all you who are thirsty, come and drink.” and another repeating “Come as you are, bring me your heart my child.” And then I flip through scripture… in the Psalms you see David continuously coming to God in his messiness, brokenness, depression, joy, and always right where he is at. Then you flip through the New Testament to find the disciples watching Jesus repeatedly meeting people in their sickness and in their wretchedness. They see the sick also coming to Jesus— a leper, a women who had been discharging blood for 12 years, a father in desperation for healing in his daughter, an adulterer, and the lost goes on. All outcasts and people considered most broken are the very people that can’t help but come to Jesus crying out for help. They allow Him to touch their wounds. They allow Him to speak tenderly to them. They allow Him to heal them because they fully believe He is able if He is willing. Where is our faith like that? Why do we keep trying to clean ourselves up? Why do we resist just coming?
I know the answers to those questions differ for each of us, but there really is only one solution— just come. Come to Hi. Be with Him. Rest in Him. Reach out for Him. Invite Him into the mess. Allow Him to heal. Let Him take your pride and your insecurities.
All year I keep going back to Hosea… I’ve probably mentioned that a lot in my writing and here I am again. I think I am so drawn to the book of Hosea because it is so raw and so unexpected. in our humanness it is hard to grasp a prophet pursuing a prostitute like Gomer — where he makes her his wife, and loves her fully. And then I have been reading Redeaming Love by Francine Rivers and the story of Hosea is only expanded. You grow a heart for the prostitute… you see her upbringing and it breaks your heart. You learn that she was put into prostitution at age 8 and had only seen men treat her and use her horrifically. She felt unworthy of anything, yet here was this man Michael Hosea who captured her from the brothel, made her his wife, and loved her relentlessly. He was gentle with her, he was kind, he was quick to forgive, he was so patient, he was delighted by her. When she ran away, he found her. When she resisted him, he waited for her. When she was hard to love, he loved her still.
“Come, let us return to the Lord; for He has torn us, that He may heal us; He has struck us down, and He will bind us up.” – Hosea 6:1
As my friend Stephanie told me this year as we were studying Hosea, the first thing we must understand is that we are Gomer- girls and guys both. We have ran and ran from God. We are broken to our core- but also loved to our core. We are forgiven fully. We are pursued persistently. We are every day invited to just come as we are.
So today, here I am just coming. I am coming in my mess with vulnerability. This year so far has been hard. I’ve learned more than ever before and I am so thankful for that, but it has been hard. It has left me in many times just crying out in desperation. It has left me confused and frustrated. But it has brought me to my knees in weakness. A weakness I needed to realize the strength I will receive is not one from myself. A weakness I needed in order to grow in awareness of just how broken I am. A weakness I needed so that I would finally just come and surrender to Him— daily.
It is all about the daily surrender.
He wants us to come. He invite us to come. And He is waiting for us to come. Return to Him.
“Therefore, behold, I will allure he, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak tenderly to her. And there I will give her her vineyards and make the Valley of Anchor a door of hope.” – Hosea 2:14-15