An Open Letter to My Heart

Dear Little Heart,

I know it does not feel like this now, but the best is yet to come. In the middle of the loneliness and frustration, the best is coming. Within the loudest laughs and biggest celebrations, it can only get better from here. I know you ask “Will things ever get better?,” a lot, and they will. You just have to continually commit to following Jesus every step of the way.

You’ve been really tired, lately, little heart. Tired from the wear and tear of life. I’m sorry. I’m sorry for not taking care of you. For not making your health my upmost priority. I’m sorry for trying to fit you into expectations of others and silly structures that you have no place in trying to mold to. I’m sorry for not properly dealing with grief and disappointment. You are valuable, little heart.

You are strong. The last year and half you have beaten strong and steady through tears, depression, breakthrough, hope, and laughter. You have provided what I need to survive. Thank you for not giving up when the pressure, anxiety, and excitement set in.

Oh, little heart. If only you could grasp the depth of the love which you are gently held. Jesus, gave it all to love you. There is grace for you. Grace to feel the depth of pain and gladness, joy and sorrow. I know that sometimes emotions hit you hard, but there is beauty in the process of sorting through them all. Thank you, oh heart, for feeling deeply..for not being afraid of emotions, but for standing strong and allowing Jesus to work through them.

I’m thankful for you. Thankful for your consistency. Thankful for the butterflies that I feel because of you when I’m on a date with Dustin or the flutter of excitement before going home to see my family. You are fun, heart.

Today is a new day. A day to draw a line in the sand. I vow, little heart, to begin taking care of you. I will do whatever it takes to get you healthy. To sort through your pain and your joy. I want to know you. I want to know what makes you  come alive and what stretches you. I want to know what you like and what makes you laugh, or what makes you mad and what makes you scream. I’ve forgotten who you are. I vow to know you, again. To know you well.

So here’s to the beginning, take two, a new season, whatever you’d like to call it, little heart. I’m your owner, Caitlin, it’s really nice to meet you. 🙂

 

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A Peaceful Fight

I’ve heard this saying for a while that has really stuck out to me: “Be the type of woman that when her feet hit the floor in the morning the devil says,”Crap she’s up.”” Over the past few weeks I’ve been learning more and more about what it looks like to be that type of woman without absolutely draining myself.

You see, I’ve always had this picture of what it looks like to fight the devil— flaming arrows flying, fists swinging, and Jesus swooping in and saving the day after a long, hard, battle. All of that fighting followed by a pat on the back and a nice long cat nap. Lie. That’s not always what fighting for the things of God look like. Sometimes it looks like choosing to walk out in faithfulness of the little things, other times it looks like seeing a sin and smashing it into the ground with everything you have. Ephesians 6:12 even tells us about fighting for the things of God: “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” We aren’t promised an easy fight–but what we are promised is that the God of the universe will never leave us or forsake us in the midst of this battle. However, I have a tendency to seek out a battle to fight… when in reality, Jesus tells me in Matthew 11:30 to take on his yoke, because his yoke is easy and his burden is light. Rest. A simple truth that in the crazy American culture of today somehow gets lost in the midst of tests, relationships, studying, coffee, food, naps, jobs, and applications to grad schools. Rest.

There was a point in my life about two and half weeks ago where just about every hour of every day was filled with coffee dates, studying, or grabbing lunch with someone somewhere. I was drained. It took everything in me to get out of bed in the morning because I was going and going and going, kind of like the energizer bunny without the energy. I sat up one morning and asked God why I felt like I was defeated before my feet even hit the floor. His response, “You’re trying to fight everyone else’s fight plus your own. My child, be still and let me refresh you.” It was then that I realized, for the umpteenth time, that I am absolutely incapable of doing anything on my own. It was then, I took on the yoke of Jesus and began my, now current, learning process.

I’m learning that rest is just as much fighting as picking up a baseball bat and crushing satan’s head into the ground. Painting my fingernails and drinking a cup of tea with Jesus is just as impactful as a full on fight–why? Because rest equips us physically and emotionally to fully take on and be whole heartedly invested into everything God calls us to. Rest is vital to walking with Jesus…because Jesus isn’t all about go go go go go…he tells us to rest. He loves us enough to let us rest. So here is a challenge: before you go into your next day swinging…ask God: do I rest or fight today? What does that look like? Let’s watch our lives be transformed by simply asking and obeying God in every day battles.

Ripped and Torn

WOW! It has been a busy month. Since the last time I wrote I have successfully: ended summer vacation, started school, overbooked, exhausted myself, met new friends, had a blast reuniting with community here in Waco, and fallen more in love with Jesus. Let me give a quick overview of what God has done in my life in the past few weeks so you have an idea of why I am going to write about what I am going to write about!

This summer was extremely hard. Over the last few weeks I have really processed why it was so hard for me and it was because God literally rid me of myself. He took every plan I had made, every accomplishment I had done, and every desire that I had and stripped it from me. Throughout the summer, I threw fit after fit and had meltdown after meltdown all the while coming to the end of myself. It wasn’t fun, and it wasn’t easy, but I can now say it was worth it.

Two stories in scripture have really stuck out to me over the course of the summer. One of those being the story of Mary and Martha in Luke 10:38-42. Jesus came to their house to eat with them: Martha busied herself with getting ready for the meal and cleaning her house and got upset when Mary simply sat at the feet of Jesus listening to all he had to say to her. Jesus gently tells Martha that Mary had chosen the better thing and it wouldn’t be taken away from her.  This story has been such an anchor for me in this season I have been walking in. Why? You might ask. Because–I am a worker, a planner, a do-er. I get uncomfortable when I have an empty schedule or when I actually have time to rest. As my life was seemingly falling apart at the seams this summer, it really was coming together

My prayer over the last two weeks hasn’t been me praying for something I need or want physically, but for a change in my heart…I want a heart like Mary’s. A heart that, in humility, says “It’s all about, You, Jesus.” A heart that is more concerned with who Jesus is rather than what He can do for me…or what I think I can do for him. The idea that Jesus just wants to be with me with no strings attached has blown my mind.  My life comes together at the feet of Jesus. He is my king and because He loves me simply and outrageously, I will follow Him for the rest of my life.

Promises Wrapped in Blessings

“Blessed is she who believed that The Lord would fulfill His promises to her.” Luke 1:45

This verse has been one I have been holding on to for the last few months. It’s a promise about promises. The one who believes the promises of The Lord will be blessed. Cool, huh? Yeah, not so much for me. This verse for this last season has been more of a tease and one of those unattainable things for me; one that deep in my heart I believe is true, but on a day to day basis, my flesh thinks otherwise. I feel like I have been waiting and waiting on the promises of God to come to pass for so long in my own life that it’s pointless to think that they could pass at any given moment and I will be considered blessed. Lie. What does it mean to be blessed anyways? Well, Webster’s dictionary defines blessed as:

1 a: held in reverence : venerated b : honored in worship : hallowed c : beatific 2: of or enjoying happiness; specifically : enjoying the bliss of heaven —used as a title for a beatified person 3: bringing pleasure, contentment, or good fortune

The second and third definitions are the ones that really caught my eye: the third one because that’s how I want blessed to look…I believe in the promises of God and I get good fortune, pleasure, and contentment; but the process of the fulfillment of the promises of God don’t always go that way. Sometimes the road to watching God do a crazy work is hard and full of lots of tears, doubt, and brokenness..and that’s okay. But if that’s the expectation we have, we may end up disappointed on the journey and dreading the road leading up to witnessing God fulfilling his promises instead of being expectant for all God is capable of doing.

I, really like the second definition. “Enjoying the bliss of heaven.” I’ve been really frustrated lately because I’m in this place of just waiting…on a lot. It’s frustrating. But I know the process is good. Today, I was at Vacation Bible School leading some sweet 8 year olds and God gave me a little piece of the bliss of Heaven. It happened during a time when we were praying when one of my little boys dropped to his knees, folded his hands and genuinely prayed to his King. I really believe that was Gods way of saying “I am for you. I want to show you my bliss. Enjoy the process. My promises will come to pass for you.” So of course, I learned something from that. Blessed are those who believe that The Lord will fulfill His promises to them. If we believe in the promises of God and trust in His character, knowing that He is for us and gives us good things, then we can sit back and enjoy the ride because when we believe God is going to do something, He does that PLUS more. I think the more is the bliss of Heaven: shooting stars, a curve on a test, a free coffee…God is out to bless us. He’s faithful to His promises and loving towards all He has made.