August 21, 2012

Giving Away Best Friends: To Esther

I can still see us as a bunch of silly, giggling teenage girls laying on your bed talking about boys and how greatly they were to impact our futures.

We would talk out our "lists" of what qualities were important in a man and what characteristics (shallow and not-so shallow) we would like "the one" to possess. I was always far more embarrassed to share mine than you were. Of course, as often as it was brought up in conversation, it was easy to get over that.

I'm pretty sure the majority of our teenage conversations went something like this:

Esther: "Come on, Beth, who do you like?"
Beth: "Boys are obnoxious. Even if I did like someone, I wouldn't tell."
Esther: "Well, I am getting married someday and you will help and be in my wedding and then I'm going to have twenty-five kids and I really hope my kids have blue eyes."
Beth: "Hmph."
It baffles me how great our God is and how perfect His timing will always be. You've in every way, shape, and form protected your heart and body for the man the heavenly Father has chosen to be your soulmate. You have faithfully prepared to be not only a servant of the living God but also a wonderful wife and mother.

Even though we talked about your wedding day so much growing up, I never could have predicted how your love story would fall together. The thirteen year-old me wouldn't have been able to see the amazing woman you've become and how overwhelming the goodness of God can be.

I have always, always known that you were a real gem and I was not about to let you settle for anything less than you deserve. You know that verse about the virtuous woman? That's you through and through, my dear friend! You work hard at everything you do, you love people, serve God with a pure heart, and simply beam with a beauty that can only come from within. Kevin is lucky to have you. No, actually, Kevin is blessed to have you.

The next few days mark the last of our times as we've always known them. Your husband will become your best friend, your go-to person, and your top priority - and all as it well should be. Part of this selfish heart of mine aches knowing that things won't ever be quite the same again but most of me is inexplicably happy for you. This week, I'm giving my best friend to Kevin. I know the Maker of your heart has chosen him to care for it and that through His grace, your marriage will be molded into something wonderful.

On Saturday, after the flurry of last minute wedding plans and pulling things together, those doors to the church sanctuary will open and you'll stand there as a child of God, my kindred friend, and Kevin's bride. And what a beautiful bride you will be! I cannot even begin to express how hard it'll be for me not to cry up there and you know how much I dislike crying in front of people! But you're worth every tear and every smile in that church building.

I will see you tomorrow and I will cherish every second we spend getting ready for your big day. I love you more than I could ever say! Congratulations, Esther, you deserve nothing less than happily ever after.

“True friends are always together in spirit." ― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

August 7, 2012

Conflicting Details

You say you're open and honest. You're happy being the person you are and if anyone doesn't like with it. Sure, you mess up but when you do, you boast it nice and loud so everyone knows just how humble you are. After all, you'll readily admit your mistakes unlike cyborg-ish individuals such as myself. You're confident in who you are and in the fact that God loves you as you are.

Where in the Bible does it say being open about who you are is a substitute for being righteous? Please point me to the clause that gives Christians the excuse to slip into worldliness? Can I get blunt for a second?

God doesn't only call you to be honest, He demands you to be holy.

Speaking of honesty, if I were honest with myself, that single word strikes more fear into my being than just about anything else. That "Be ye holy; for I am holy" verse? It is not optional, it is a necessity. The verse before that penned by the apostle Peter says that Christians are to be holy in "all manner of conversation." I am certain that the words "friggin" and "that sucks" do not glorify the God who gave you the ability to speak.

Now please don't think I'm being Pharisaical. I know the Lord loved and still loves the sinners and the outcasts of this world. They are the reason He came in the first place. However, the beauty of our great Saviour is that He loves sinners too much to leave them that way. He reaches out to the sinner with tender mercy and draws them out of a horrible pit to set their feet upon a rock. He puts a new song in the mouth of a newborn saint and gives them the victory to overcome the clutches of the old man. Why are you still looking and sounding like an old man when He has given you the power to be new? Why do you so desperately seek to be approved by a world who scorned Him? We are not called to relate to worldliness but we are called to relay the message of eternity. The words we speak should not be words of compromise but should be sparking conversion through Christ-like conversation. We are to walk as He walked through the paths of righteousness for His name's sake.

I am not perfect. I battle my own flesh every single day. Sometimes I catch myself falling more and more into who I used to be and I hate that. Perhaps my frustration stems from the fact that I am trying to desperately to become more like Christ and everywhere I turn Christians are content to reflect the World.

I'm not funny. I'm not witty. I don't have exceptional class or the superior ability to fit in. More and more I'm coming to realize, though, that none of that matters in light of eternity. Lord Jesus, take me as I am now and change me into someone more like You.

P.S.  - I really am not trying to offend or seem overly harsh. It is not in any way shape or form my intention to say that we should forget about loving people or not forgiving them their faults. I'm just as guilty of this mindset as the next person and would never want to portray a "holier than thou" attitude. I am not ranting at anyone in particular but rather, expressing my sadness over a mindset that starts into Christian's being apathetic and lukewarm. S'all. :]

"Character in a saint means the disposition of Jesus Christ persistently manifested." –Chambers