10.26.2019

To That Girl



I wish I was sitting across a table from you, sipping tea and looking right at you. I wish I could hug even if I met you that afternoon or we've been friends for years. Maybe one day we can go for a coffee date, but until that day I wanted to write you this letter.

My husband and I have been in student/young adult ministry for almost a decade which is why all of it feels so fresh. Some days I feel like I'm in high school or my early twenties because I am interacting and living life alongside you in this age range. My high school memories are fresh as I journey with you through the very real struggles you face every. Dating, university, living overseas for a year, early married life, it all comes up as I interact with you. I'm so grateful for it all, to be given the opportunity to walk alongside so many of you but I want to tell you something. I need you to hear this.

Even though most days I feel sixteen or twenty-two, I know I'm not. And because I am in a different season being married for six years with two children I needed to write you this letter.  I need you to hear this when you are in the thick of it and everything feels too much. Why? Because I needed it when I was in your spot. I didn't have a lot of Godly women speaking into my life that were a few years older, a season ahead of me and so hear I am. An "older" women wanting to say something to you my dear sister.

Jesus is worth it. 

He is good, and wonderful and everything that He says He is. He is enough for you. He understands what you are going through and is with you in it. He loves you-so very much and longs to spend time with you. Following Jesus is worth it. It is worth the cost. Every single thing you suffer because you follow Jesus is OK because you know you are only here on this earth for a vapour and this is not your home. As you start to know what Jesus voice sounds like, as you spend more and more time with Him, it just gets sweeter and sweeter.

I just need you to know this because I was where you were. I questioned if Jesus was worth it. I questioned if I could even pray more than 10 minutes without falling asleep. I questioned if reading my bible would ever feel easy and not like a chore or something to check off my list because I was a Christian.

I was there. I wouldn't have said this out loud or been able to articulate it back then but I wanted the things of the world to satisfy me. The way I was living, I was telling Jesus He wasn't enough as I chased after the world. I wanted guys to check me out to feel beautiful, I wanted a love story like the bachelor and movies. I wanted to get a little bit tipsy and make out with someone new. I wanted to feel alive. I wanted my life to be exciting and wonderful and at the time Christianity didn't seem like it could do any of that.

When I looked at Christians and the "rules" and "do's and dont's" it felt stuffy and like I was missing out on the good things in life. I would see my friends on the weekend get drunk and be daring and have so many stories to tell and I would look at my Friday night youth group and feel like I missing the good days. Isn't high school and university some of the best days of my life? This train of thought translated to me thinking that God was boring and unfulfilling. Surely, if sex was so amazing and God created it would he really care if I slept around before marriage?



Girl, I was there. I chased after what the world promised would fulfill me and added Jesus onto it. I wanted Jesus to be enough but it is so hard when our eyes are fixed on this world. All of it matters so much more when we are looking at what others are doing and what culture says and not what God has designed us for. I don't know what your thing is that trips you up to only half live for God. What is it? 

I just need you to know He is better than that thing. That living for Jesus 50% of the time is not living for Jesus at all and is making you miserable. Jesus asks us to count the cost before we follow Him. Seriously, go read Luke 14:25-33. This is Jesus talking. He is asking a lot of us, but is promising we will go from death to life. That we were actually dead and He makes us alive. But before that happens, He wants us to count the cost. To ask ourselves if He is worth it? If He is worthy of laying down your life? You see, Jesus doesn't need us. He has a redemption plan in the works since before the earth was made and nothing you do or don't do will mess that up-you just aren't that important and that is a great thing. Jesus doesn't need you, but He wants you — but He needs you to count the cost first.

And I'm over here, shouting, jumping up and down, asking you to go all in. With tears in my eyes I'm telling you He is worth all of it and begging you to lay down your life so you can truly find it.  As a sister maybe "a few years older" I'm telling you when you fix your eyes on Christ, on eternal things and not on the world - it will make sense (Matthew 6:33). I started taking my faith seriously eight years ago and I can honestly say that He hasn't failed me once and I am confident now that He never will. All this confidence and knowing the sound of God's voice didn't come overnight. It came with discipline and structure and times where it felt like routine and not out of my love for Jesus.

I'm here to tell you that praying for more than 10 minutes is possible and a true joy. I can pray for 45 minutes and it seems like a few seconds. I'm here to tell you that reading your bible actually becomes easier and now when I miss a day or two I crave it and could read it for hours and hours. I'm here to tell you that Jesus is worth all the FOMO because you know that you are here on earth for such a short time compared to eternity and it's a joy to suffer for the sake of the gospel. 

If you are wondering if He is worth it - I want to hug you and tell you He is. I want to tell you to be gracious with yourself and just pick up your bible even when it feels like a chore because one day it won't be. I want you to stop making God all about you and your needs and start understanding who God is and how you fit into His redemption story.

Living for God part time isn't living at all. I promise you that it leaves you more miserable and confused. I don't long to get drunk anymore or have sex to feel beautiful and fulfilled. Those aren't the sins I struggle with now — but I still struggle — there are so many temptations and comforts of this world that are attractive to me that aren't glorifying to Jesus. It's not like we lay our lives down for Jesus and it's a one time thing and we are good to go and no longer struggle with sin. Nope, I'm defiantly not saying that — but I am saying your foundation gets stronger and they get easier to deal with.

For example, before when I struggled, I would think maybe God didn't understand it or the bible must be out of context somehow to twist it to get my way. Now, when I struggle, I have a foundation of who God is so a verse may come to mind. Or I turn to my bible first to see what God has to say (before my husband, friends, podcast etc.) trusting Him 100% because I know that I know that I know He is faithful and has my best interest at heart. He loves and adores me, created me and knows what is best for my life and godliness.

I am so in love with Jesus. He actually is my best friend. He is lovely and sovereign and does what He pleases and that is good.

I look around and see so many of my sisters in Christ struggling. I see you attending church on Sunday but not even thinking about God the rest of the week. I see you not reading your bible and only listening to podcasts or pastors so you don't even know Him yourself. I see you playing this game with Jesus - not committing to him and surrendering it all. My heart aches. It actually breaks because I know that isn't living. Christianity isn't boring — but I see you bored. I see you and my heart hurts because I was there, questioning it all too and I remember. 

I have some foundation now and I'm here to tell you Jesus is enough. I counted the cost and He is more than enough. I want you to know He is enough too. You can talk to God, know His voice, love spending time with Him and have true purpose and joy in your life.

I am writing you this letter because I want you to truly live. I mess up and struggle and fail but I know God will always forgive me. I can stop feeling shame or guilt when I mess up and run back to Him knowing He will take me back every single time and use this to teach me and make me more like Him.

So sister, you were made for a purpose. I want you to live that purpose out! Know that I love you and I'm for you, cheering you on and believing in the Holy Spirit inside of you. 

Jesus is worth it all. 

XO
Maddie


If you want to talk more I'd be happy too and pray with you. I probably don't know what you are going through or how it all feels but I know Jesus does and I can beg Him on your behalf to show up if it all feels too much. 

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