prayer from a precious heart

(My dear reader, I welcome you to take a journey with me and keep me accountable to this prayer. Pray for me as I come to mind, and walk with me as I take my next steps on this path He’s called me on.)

Beloved, my heart is torn. Who am I to give it to? It is to belong to You, and You will make it habitable for Yourself and Your purposes, yet it is rebellious and ravenous to be filled and loved. Teach me to love whom and what You love and hate what You hate. Give me not a stronger heart but a tender one, able to be broken and recreated to the glory of Your Name; a malleable one, able to be shaped and changed for Your purposes.

Thank You for blessing me with a heart that is strong enough to risk to love and love deeply, but I ask for Your heart that I may risk everything to love even deeper. The risk You took for love far exceeds any attempt I will ever make.

Let my worries and my insecurities be placed in Your hands. Help me trust they will be cared for and worked out there according to Your plan and Your desires. Keep me from trying to snatch them back from You, and focus my heart to see You clearer, love You stronger, and run toward You faster. Bless me to be allowed to break for You, to be redeemed by You, to be completely dependent on You and utterly desperate for You.

My heart I give to You. Mold me as You see fit, refine me in the fire that I may hope to shine more brightly and beautifully than gold and precious silver. Ruin me for the ordinary, and let my life continue to be an extraordinary testament to Your power, love, and faithfulness.

Beloved, in Your hands, I place my hands; in Your heart, I place my heart.

I lay myself at the mercy of Your glory, for the completion of Your love story.

excerpt from C.S. Lewis’ The Four Loves

There is no safe investment. To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket—safe, dark, motionless, airless—it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell.

dichotomy

A sharp, deep intake of breath, she sits up suddenly, hands seeking heart.

It’s beating.

It’s alive.

Mind racing, life blurs before unfocused eyes, still blinking off sleep that has long since fled.

Chaos.

Her life is in chaos.

Future undecided, unwritten, unforged; left to her to define, decide, decipher.

Chaos.

Complete and utter chaos.

“My peace I give to you.”

Peace.

Chaos.

The two stop warring, somehow conceive a delicate truce, and live in community in her heart.

It’s beating.

It’s alive.

Peace is planted. The seed dies, the plant takes root. Peace in chaos. Fed with Living Water, roots dig deep into good soil, tilled and plowed to readiness. Deeper, deeper, deeper still, until uprooting peace means destroying the heart.

Peace has taken root.

Peace will begin to blossom until chaos is infected with it. There will be no place to hide, no place to run. Peace will overcome chaos.

It’s beating.

It’s alive.

In chaos.

In peace.

Trek forward. The future belongs to her. It will be decided by a mighty force, written by a graceful hand, and forged by heart-shattering affliction; hers to define, hers to decide, hers to decipher.

His to lead.

to the man who broke my heart

You. Didn’t you know? You were supposed to be my first love. Didn’t you know? You were supposed to protect me from tears and heartache. Didn’t you know? You were supposed to model a good example for me. Didn’t you know? You were supposed to love me. Didn’t you know?

Didn’t you know?

Instead… Instead, you chose to fill your own selfish wants and desires. Instead, you caused my tears and heartache. Instead, you became a model of everything I don’t want in a man.

Instead, you gave my heart its very first scar when I was just a child.

Are you happy right now? Are you happy with your new wife and the kids she’s given you? Did you fulfill your duty to them? Were you your daughter(s)’s first love, your son(s)’s first hero, your wife’s one and only? Are you happy? With your 4-5 bedroom house in suburbia? Looks like you didn’t move too far from where we used to live when we were a family.

Family. Were we really a family? You were you. Mom was mom. I was both of you. We were three people—no, two and a quarter, I guess—occupying one very small space. I really didn’t know anything about you. What you liked. What you did for work. What meal you enjoyed coming home to. Your favorite color. Your favorite book. Your favorite food.

But I remember this.

Everyday, when you came home, you would knock on the door, and I would rejoice that my daddy was finally home, and I’d run to the door to unlock it for you and run into your arms like I hadn’t seen you for years. Ironic.

But I can’t remember this.

Were you happy to see me, too? Did you open your arms to me? Did you enjoy coming home to us? To me?

Who do you think you are, that you can abandon a woman you pledged your life to and the child who is flesh of your flesh and bone of your bone, and never look back? You’re as much a stranger to me today as you were before you left. But the damage you’ve done is much more intimate. You are a parasite, a wolf. Plain and simple.

But you know… I can thank you for two things.

I thank you for the physical life you’ve contributed to me.

And I thank you for being the lesson of forgiveness I needed to learn.

You didn’t love me. You weren’t the knight who rescued the princess—there was no knight, and I was no princess. You didn’t think I was enough. You didn’t think I mattered. You didn’t think I was your responsibility. You didn’t think of me as your child, or of you as my father.

But I hate to break it to both of us… it is true. I’m as much your DNA as you are mine.

And that’s all we will ever be to each other.

I wonder what you’d think if we ever met again. Would you recognize me? Growing up, everyone told me I looked like you—and it must’ve torn Mom apart to hear it so much. Would you care to know me? Would you see me as more than an insect?

No.

No, I don’t suppose you would. I don’t think you even can. You had the chance to prove me wrong once several years ago. And you didn’t prove me wrong.

Instead, you broke my heart all over again.

It is a daily struggle to forgive you. Some days, I want to hate you forever. Some days, I want to punch you in the throat. Some days, I want to scream at you at the top of my lungs.

But who am I to judge you? Your sin is replicated in me. I have lied. I have cheated. I have broken the heart of my Love. I have left Him for other things. I have severed our relationship.

Like father, like daughter.

What a legacy, huh?

The first time I was able to see this… such a weight was lifted from my heart. I couldn’t judge you. I couldn’t condemn you. Your sin was my sin. I needed to repent as much as you do.

Because of a father, I learned to grow up before I should’ve. I learned the world was ugly. I learned that I was expendable.

But because of a Father, I learned—am learning—how to be a daughter, a child, an heir. I learned that He has overcome this world. I learned that I am covered in His fingerprints and am loved beyond measure.

He gave me you for a father for a reason. He had faith enough in me to believe I’d turn out all right — better than all right. He is strong enough to carry me through you. And you and I… we get to team up and bring Him glory in my life and through it. Don’t you feel special?

I’m not a messed up little girl with a father complex. I’m not a broken kid, desperate for any and all male attention. Oh, how close I could have been to either, but take a look at who I am. I am a woman firm in her Savior. I am a woman confident in who she is. I am a woman satisfied in the love of one Man. I am a woman strong enough to be weak. I am a woman who’s turned out pretty darn good.

And I am finally an heir. And Someone finally came to save me and defend me.

Bless you and your family. Bless your life here. May you enjoy all the seeds you have sown and reaped. Bless your children, that they may have the father I never did, and your wife, that she may have the husband my mother never did. Bless you.

But it’s really too bad you never got to know me. Your loss, really.

I’ll be praying for you as much as I can for the rest of my life. Some days (like today) will be more difficult than others. But I have forgiven you, do forgive you, and will forgive you.

Have a good life, dad. As best as you can without me, anyway.

love begets creation

Before there was time, there was a dream. Amongst all that He was planning, He dreamed of her, birthed her in His imagination. Hair painted with ebony and crimson, cascading as though it wanted to run forever. Skin like parchment, a canvas all His own.

And the eyes. Oh, yes, the eyes that speak without vocabulary. He dips His brush in several shades until He is pleased with His creation: deep brown eyes that encase a secret treasure in their depths, eyes that tell the entire story of His grace and faithfulness.

Oh, the life He has planned for her. The Artist’s heart breaks seeing her heartbreaks, rejoices seeing her rejoicing. This work of art will be His masterpiece.

And hasn’t she become just that? A woman not defined by her sufferings but by His grace; a woman relentless in her conviction that He is good when the world tells her He is not; a woman ruthlessly trusting in Him to give her healing and comfort; a woman after His heart.

The heart. Now that is what He will take the most pleasure designing. The heart He gives her will love intensely, loyally, investing in all things dear to Him and to herself. It will pour itself out till there is nothing left, be filled by Him again, and pour out again in a never-ending cycle of hesed.

It will be a throne fit for a King.

And He will seal it with His Name.

A slow, lazy smile curls up the corners of the Artist’s mouth. Though incomplete, already deeply loved; so loved that He will continue to perfect her until her scars can be worn with pride. And He will share her with His other dreams, that she may love them and be loved in turn.

through my eyes

As a little girl, I’d believed that all dreams can come true if you just believe enough in them. I wished on as many stars as I could, hoping to scope out the first one every night. As I got older, I believed they can come true if you believed enough to work toward them. At this point in life, I’m seeing how impossible they both are.

Some dreams should never come true.

With each dream’s birth comes the destruction of other dreams. Dreaming is a dangerous thing.

The dreaming never ends; just seems to mature. In the last almost-decade, I’ve been seeking my dreams in the realm of “wills.” My will. Society’s will. The heart’s will. The mind’s will. But ultimately, God’s will. Sometimes the wills collide, sometimes they are galaxies apart. Still, no will has any meaning if it doesn’t collide with God’s. I’m too small, frail, weak, and human to ever mess that bad boy up.

I just turned 25 a few days ago. I’m still a dreamer, and the universe is my limit. I think a dream died today. I wonder which one has come to take its place.