Lent Face Value: Days 9-16

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Another week sans blog. Sorry folks. (I’m casually assuming you’re all keeping up with this, if you are, you total babes)

So there’s a few things I’ve learnt from this last week of Lent or so. I’m going to list and expand because well, why not. 🙂 (…I also wrote this whole thing out then lost it so I’m trying to find a way of remembering what I just wrote without tearing out my curly locks in frustration) HERE GOES

1) Jesus loves me from every angle

See now, this one is probably fairly obvious I guess seeing as its in the lovely banner I made on my iPhone! I’ll explain. My lovely best friend came down to see me this week. I knew she was coming, but she came down a day early with the help of some lovely uni pals and I still don’t know how I never twigged, but I didn’t and it was the most amazing surprise. So thank you. We were going to the student alpha we’re running in Starbucks (cheeky) and I was unsure about my appearance. I know, you’re probably thinking ‘she is a woman after all’ but even so, keep reading please! I had some serious weight conscious moment and it was not okay at all. Was wondering which jumper to wear to cover myself up or how to wear my hair so it didn’t seem too obvious. Thing is guys, I eat like a cow – literally, I just graze ALL DAY and to be honest I’m more than happy to continue in a similar fashion so judge away (jokes, I’m sure you’re not actually doing that). ANYWAY, basically, I asked her 5 billion times as to whether I looked fat or not, turning and twisting in every angle because I needed to make sure I didn’t look fat whichever way she looked at me. I then repeated this in front of the mirror, mming and errming about whether to get changed or not. I did something brave guys, I went as I was. Still without makeup and not totally confident in what I was wearing, but I did it and I’m so glad I did. Baby steps and all that. Jesus spoke to me. I just felt this small voice tell me that, funnily enough, Jesus loves me from every angle. As I sat down that night when we got back to write my Lent post-it for the day, I felt the same words come to me again and good old Jesus, I got a verse as well. Lovely job. 

“And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God” – Ephesians 3:18-19

If Jesus’ love for me spreads so widely and highly and deeply and every other -ly out there, will he just love me by looking at me this way or that? NO. He loves me from EVERY ANGLE. And thankfully, I have some lovely people in my life who happen to see what he’s talking about and are always there to reassure me when I think I’ve over-cowed it on the chocolate or whatever it might happen to be (usually chocolate, let’s be honest). And really, who cares if I had over-cowed it? In the words of Mika: “big girls, you are beautiful”!

2) I’m gorgeous, so I better get over it

Last weekend, I went away with my church in Canterbury to a lovely place called Ashburnham. If you haven’t been, GO, it’s flipping brilliant. I learnt a few things, and the title of this little section was one of those things. I know I’ve written time and time again about Jesus telling me how beautiful I am, but it seemed to hit me harder than it has before now. We were mid-worship, and sad to say I wasn’t exactly focused… When you’re in a church full of beauties it can be quite hard not to go and compare yourself to so and so sitting near you or whatever, and it’s also hard to notice there’s loads of couples and babies in a church so full of life like mine in Canters. I love my church, please don’t get me wrong at all. God has blessed us with loads of families and it’s gorgeous. There was just a silly voice in my head, present in my life pre-depression unfortunately, (but somehow it’s got louder?) and it would always say things like this: you’ll never be a mum. You’re not going to get married. You don’t fit the standard ‘Christian wife’ criteria, buy your cat now. 

Instead of hearing Jesus’ voice in all of this, I was listening to this sad voice from long ago. Thing is, I’m happy not knowing because I know the guy who does know. I know the man who has a better plan for my life and a better future for me than I could ever imagine. I’ve talked about this before in earlier blogs, so I’m sorry if I’m repeating myself here. But truth be told, I’m cool either way. I’m still not husband-hunting (man I hate that phrase, cringing as I type), because I don’t need to. I’m not saying I’m going to wait like a Disney princess in my castle and wait for a man with a lovely face and no personality come and get me from my tower, come on ladies, this doesn’t exactly have ‘let’s live for Jesus together’ written all over it. And lads, remember, sometimes girls want to save you from your towers too. Awkward feminist rant over. 

I’m not saying don’t get married, I’m not saying don’t look – be proactive, guys. There’s that old saying about pushing a door to see if God opens it and all that. But all I’m saying is, don’t settle – the best matchmaker is on your side here. You need look no further, and thank God for that, eh? 

What I mean to say is, in despite of all this other somewhat ranty stuff, is just that Jesus tells me I’m gorgeous and I’m good enough. I don’t want to fit the standard mold of Christian wife because honestly guys, I wouldn’t ever fit it properly and I’d be a huge let down. I don’t want to be the archetypal wife who likes flower arranging and keeps quiet about theology issues. That’s just not me. I’m not massively bothered which flowers compliment lillies the best and I’m a theology student for goodness’ sake, COME ON. I know Jesus has the guy for me if I’m meant to have one, and I also know now I don’t need to have this guy to know that I’m gorgeous. Jesus tells me that everyday regardless.  

3) Blessings come where love is present

This week I’ve felt some serious love from the people around me. Not just my lovely best friend, but now I’m back at home on my Easter break I’m feeling pretty important and welcomed back by my lovely but nuts family here too. I only need to look outside to see Jesus and how he’s blessed me. Cheeky depression tip, sit in the sunshine guys – vitamin D is GOOD. And apparently good for moods, so it not only makes you a nice colour (or if you’re like me, turns you into a lobster) it also helps you smile a little bit more, too. All the good things in my life come from Jesus. Every smile and every good day. He is amazing. And Lent has just shown me that time and time again, and it’s only day 16. 

I guess what I’m saying, and I’m saying this to glorify God, not big up my own ego right now – I have all I need. I have my happiness and I have my joy in my life. It isn’t in the form of a husband and 2.4 children and to be honest I’m totally cool with that. It might be what my future looks like and if it is, then praise Jesus – and even if it isn’t, then praise Jesus too. It doesn’t even have to be that. I could still have depression by the time I’m 50 and still waiting for a full healing to come. I could have no house and wish I did or lose a limb or whatever. Of course, I’m human – I don’t want to be sad, I want to be happy. I want to be fulfilled. When I look around me, I see and feel the love he’s given me, whether that’s the love of other people or just a good day. At alpha the other night I said I see Jesus when it rains. Goodness knows why, but I do. And it’s beautiful because he is. Where I feel the love, I recognise the blessings. I recognise blessings because I feel the love. They’re all from Jesus, and whatever happens? He’s got it covered, I reckon.

The Lord will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right. – Psalm 84:11

Peace and blessings x 

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