From the Heart of Abigail Joy
At the profound age of three, after watching my favorite childhood movie Thumbelina, it was decided…when I grow up I would like to be swept off my feet and carried off by a handsome hero…if he happens to be a prince that would be cool too…Was that really too much to ask?
“A little girl longs for romance, to be seen and desired, to be sought after and fought for…to be desired, to be pursued by one who loves you, to be someone’s priority…” (Captivating by John & Stasi Eldredge)
I remember being a little girl, dreaming up fairytales and adventures of “happily ever after”…there is something so lovely about being a child dancing through each day with a heart so full of joy.
Time rushes on, birthdays come and go, and we grow up…
I’ll never forget the first time someone asked me why I wasn’t living up to my name (Abigail Joy means Joy Joy)…somewhere along the way I began to misplace joy…to lose my name.
A young heart…Full of dreams and expectations gets burned leaving scars… friends who leave you sitting alone…cowards who spread lies behind your back…insecurities increased…boys show interest to pass the time until something better comes along…empty promises...when you begin eating lunch in the bathroom…you start to lose the joy…time continues to rush on…hurt grows…boy says he’ll listen but leaves instead…heart scars. A loved one dies. I fail. I disappoint. I love and lose. A heart wide open to the world is bound to get hurt.
“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly 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 around 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, and irredeemable.” (C.S. Lewis 4 Loves)
I had a very close friend send me this quote and tell me that even through “my best efforts I could not help but be vulnerable”…
God made me tender-hearted. I hold more water than the oceans combined…it doesn’t take much to make me cry. My heart is easily attached…it can be easily attacked. I fought this quality for a long time. Seeing that it only left me in tears...I hid my heart to keep it protected...only to see that lack of light and oxygen did just as much damage.
I was entrusting my heart to the wrong holder…letting the world throw it around…keeping it to myself…
Words fail. They do not do justice to the one who rescued me. A Prince…A Knight who came to rescue a lonely poor girl one stormy June night while she lay crying on the bathroom floor. He swept in and offered her His hand. He whispered to her the words she was longing to hear. She was beautiful.
The ultimate lover. His love grows slow, deep, and steady. The author of romance. He is the relentless pursuer. He never grows tired or bored with you. He loves with everlasting love. He believes you are fearfully and wonderfully made…He created you with a purpose that He wants to help you achieve. His strong hand can get you through any storm. He fought the greatest fight to win our hearts…gave everything for us…
“Am I enough?’ came the gentle challenge of my Prince, and His tender voice drowned out all the clamoring confusion in my mind. Jesus was and would always be, much more than enough. He did not desire to destroy my life, to leave me desolate, lonely failure alone in the woods somewhere. He wanted me to put Him first, above everything else—to give my heart, time, affection, energy, and devotion to Him alone. He gently assured me that as I pursued Him and Him alone, all my other need would be met. In the meantime, my only concern must be to worship Him with every fiber of my being.” –Leslie Ludy, Authentic Beauty
God took my tender vulnerability. He gave me the desire and dreams for love and He fulfilled them beyond all expectations. He breathed new life into the hurt and brokenness. He could use this tender heart FOR HIM and for His glory.
“I love you, God—you make me strong. God is bedrock under my feet, the castle in which I live, my rescuing knight. My God—the high crag where I run for dear life, hiding behind the boulders, safe in the granite hideout. I sing to God, the Praise-Worthy, and find myself safe and saved…”
-- Psalm 18 The Message
-- Psalm 18 The Message
When I woke up this morning I wrote the post you just read…I thought it was complete...let me share a little about the hours that followed…
The enemy has been slamming me all day. Today was one of those days. A sprint to the pillow…eyelids slam shut…drifting off to sleep to forget the hours that you just endured…for tomorrow is a new day…a fresh clean start. I had the lovely privilege (sarcasm) of encountering some horrible people tonight. Those people that slam and cut you deep...salt in an open wound…they said things that slammed my heart. They will never think twice about it…I just happened to be a target passing through their flaming arrows. They magnified an insecurity I have had all my life…brought back the painful memories of being teased and torn apart on the playground and beyond. To top it all off…the grand finale…I locked my keys in the car.
Why am I adding this to the post? Because it has everything to do with Jesus. If I was trying to find my fulfillment in the world…my life would have been shattered today. If I was handing my heart out for the world to grab…I would be broken.
Days are sometimes super crappy. People can be incredibly mean. Words hurt. We are called ugly names. We mess up and lock our keys in the car.
But I do not have to believe the words they say...the one who holds my hand is singing me a different song. My security is in Christ. He takes over…lets me lean on Him and cry…and then gives me the strength to move forward, shutting down the lies of the enemy.
“I am pressed but not crushed, Presecuted not abandoned, Struck down but not destroyed…I am blessed beyond the curse, For His promise will endure…His joy’s gonna be my strength…Though the sorrow may last for the night…His JOY comes with the morning…I’m trading my sorrows…for the Joy of the LORD.”
It is a beautiful feeling to be LOVED for Who we are—no matter…whatever—How sweet is Your love my Jesus! Your love is satisfying, refreshing and real. It is true. I will never be able to understand why You chose me…why YOU love me? Whatever the reason…I thank You my SAVIOR! I’m home in Your presence…face flat on the ground, arms raised high, heart in Your hand, surrendered wholly to YOU. Thank you for loving me.
You continue to rescue me.