To the One who has never let me go:
A week ago I turned 20 and flipped over a new page in this book of life. It’s still hard to believe that my teenage years are past and that a new decade lies before me as untouched as fresh snow.
I’ve found myself looking back on the last one and marveling at the ways You won the heart of this girl who was fired up but didn’t really know where she was going.
I still remember when You sat me down, stilled my heart and then bared Your own. I couldn’t believe what I saw. It had never clicked that You loved me so deeply and now I found myself in awe— and in love.
So much changed after that. I stopped trying to achieve the incredible feats I’d dreamed of and simply focused my heart on loving You. The funny thing was that as soon as I did that, You started to bring the dreams true.
Somehow when I look back I don’t see all my silly mistakes… I don’t remember all the little stresses that I thought were so huge… I don’t remember the things I saw on Facebook…
That’s not what mattered.
I look back and I know that the thing that really mattered was You and all the memories we made together. It was the conversations at moonlight, the countless prayer walks, the moments spent bowed at my altar or in my meadow, the surrenders of my desires to Yours, the companionship that brightened every day…
That’s what I remember. That’s what I treasure.
I look ahead and I know that is what I want more of this decade. That’s where I want to invest my primary energy.
You know that walk we took together a couple weeks ago on my day off? You asked me what I really wanted deep down—underneath all the distractions of day to day life— and after I thought about it, all I could think of was that I wanted to live a life that was so close to You that it was out of the ordinary.
Your response struck deep and it’s been touching more and more chords in my heart ever since. You said that if I wanted out of the ordinary depth with You, I wouldn’t fit in. I’d have to stand up for what You were asking me to do and sometimes that would make me unpopular and people wouldn’t understand. You said that if I wanted to live for you on a deeper level I couldn’t live to please people as well.
You reminded me that if I wanted to walk even closer to You this decade, I would have to be willing to love Your approval more than anyone else’s.
Even though I knew it wouldn’t always be easy for me, I knew I wanted to go deeper and so I told You yes before the trail even ended.
That’s how this new decade began.
I don’t know how it will end. I do know that saying yes to going a level deeper has always preceded changes in my life, and this time is no exception. Already you have asked me to place treasures on the altar that I didn’t think I’d have to give up.
This morning though, as I walked slowly around “my” pond and fountain, I knew it in the depths of my being…
Along this road You may call for me to build more altars than I ever knew I could. You may call for the surrender of more treasures than I ever knew I had. It may mean more tears than I expected and require me to walk long stretches with no one but You. Loving You best may mean I will be unpopular and misunderstood.
But I know this too. That you are worth it a thousand times over. That every time I lay my heart down on an altar it is lifted closer to Yours. That each treasure You take will be replaced with a deeper draft of Your own love. That the disapproval of the world just makes Your smile sweeter.
Sure, I know this isn’t the only road out there. There’s others that are well trodden with a lot more company. I don’t have to walk a trail, alone with You, that is narrow and climbs mountain after mountain and winds through dark valleys. Maybe I could get away with a slightly more popular road and not loose You entirely, but honestly, I don’t want to. I want all of You that I can possibly taste. I want the very best You have to offer. Not just enough to get by.
Jesus, as this decade begins I look back and know that You’ve never let go. I look forward and I ask that You teach me to never let go.
You are everything, Jesus. My everything.
--your little girl