6.1.14

this is your heart


I've made it a point this year to not to make needless resolutions that I'm not going to keep and are only going to serve to make me sad because I couldn't keep them. When I was younger I'd make a list of the usual things I thought were popular, things I thought I needed. Honestly, I don't know where I got these ideas. Neither of my parents taught me to hate each growing curve of my body and yet when I looked in the mirror at my baby skinned self - I saw nothing there to love. So I wrote it down, "lose 15 pounds this year", is what I found written in one of my journals earlier this week. Others were even more unhelpful and only served to break my heart and crush any idea that I was beautiful.

See, I think with resolutions, on whole, they're good and healthy. But we should always be pushing to be better, become more like His child. It shouldn't be this mess at the end of the year of "Oh I really messed up last year. Well, this year I'll do extra good." All that does is pile on the extra limit of trying to fix, by yourself, your entire life into a neat and tidy list stuck to the wall with a pin. You add to the stress of writing the correct date on your paycheck with an unattainable goal of trying to perfect yourself.

Here's what I've learned; people are not perfect. People are flawed, I have bruises where they shouldn't be and stretch marks on my hips from where I grew too fast. People are flawed, two years ago I was societies version of an obese child, today I'm thinner (as if it mattered) but only because I grew up and am not exactly the picture of a healthy person despite how all appears. People are flawed, my teeth are only straight because of attachments glued to them, they have faint signs of coffee and tea stains written in the lines. People are flawed, they have been since the forbidden fruit was lusted after and eaten, but He is perfect. Through Him, we are too. There's a reason today when I look in the mirror and smile at the skin that overlaps, because I can see His hands crafting the idea of me before the world began. I used to nitpick at my features, thought my hands were too oddly shaped, my legs not long enough, but those hands were made for touching people. Helping, praying, guiding. Those legs were made for walking places, spreading His Word across the world.

I think I soaked my pillows with salt water tears too many times that year and sadly the year after that one, this year however - I felt no need. I didn't even think about anything to write down, my pen never touched the paper. Because I'm happy and I know that I am a loved and thought out creation who is beautiful. I don't need to carve out a new path because one has already been laid out and I hear His yolk is easy and burden light.

Finally, I say all that to bring me here: my heart is so full and has been for the past few months with love for God and all of His creations. People talk about being on fire and I always thought that sounded silly when I was little but now... it's a fire burning in me that I never want to be put out. Through it He's leading me to so many places and easing the childhood pains that I wrapped around my heart. And I'm happy to say, you're invited to follow along.

A huge project that has taken up all of my blogging time (sorry about that) since October is live and awake in the world and I hope you'll take a look. Go to the website - www.graftedmagazine.com and like us on the facebook page.

xoxo Johanna Grace
(Ps, kind of not sorry about the length? It felt good to just let it flow, though it is after 10pm so I feel a bit drunk right now. Party animal.)

6 comments:

  1. oh my gosh. That was perfect. You have a gift with words my friend.

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  2. I've been in/still am in this exact same position... not feeling beautiful, I mean. And there have been countless promises I've made to be "better." Lose 10 pounds, put a bit more time into my makeup each morning so my pimples don't show as much, change my wardrobe to the "cool" style. And even though I still struggle with it all (I wish I didn't), God is always here to remind me that my physical appearance DOESN'T MATTER AT ALL. Maybe it matters to me. Maybe it matters to some other people. But He doesn't even care, doesn't even notice my physical imperfections. To God, I am not measured by my beauty. And that's the promise that has kept me going. It's a beautiful promise.

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    1. Oh sweet Abby, I know from experience that it doesn't really help but I think you're beautiful inside most importantly, and so much on the outside. I think, yes it's true that He doesn't measure us by our beauty but even more so- each person is crafted with His hands. God's breath is in each of us and no matter the human idea of imperfections and beauty; He made us in His own image. So to say that you're not beautiful is so sad because it's like taking a part from God and saying it's not as good as the rest of Him. You are fearfully and wonderfully made and I'm so glad that it's starting to hit your heart. Love you sweet girl! xoxo

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  3. Yes yes yes. It is so difficult to learn to see yourself through the eyes of Jesus-and not the world. After struggling with anorexia for three years, and finally recovering and gaining the weight back, I've had to learn to look at myself differently. I think sometimes about people I know who don't fit the mold for physical appearance at all, and at the same time are the most beautiful people I've ever met. It is so refreshing because it reminds me that those kinds of things don't last; and that the Lord doesn't love me, or anybody else, because they look or don't look a certain way.
    Thanks for the encouragement, girly :)

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    1. Ah! This message makes me so happy to read. I'm so proud of you for recovering from anorexia! And oh yes! The people who I love and think of as most beautiful in my life don't quite fit the usual idea of what beauty is and yet they're such God-driven people with his word on their breath and His beauty is overflowing from them. Thank you for sharing Jana!

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Please let your words be flavored with salt, never cruel or cowardly.