Last summer, my friend Allison wrote a guest post about God’s perfect plans for our lives. Nearly one year later, I now have the privilege of hosting her on the blog again. But this time, she’s here for a three-part series as we focus on what this Easter weekend is all about. Allison’s about to challenge us to truly marvel at all God did for us…and all that He is still doing today.
Part One of the series is posted below. Check back Friday for Part Two, and Saturday for Part Three.
He is Risen!
“God. Is. Love.” – Part One, by Allison Vick
Spoiler alert: Don’t close your ears or your eyes for this one, though. Jesus wins. He wears the Victor’s Crown. Literally no power can stand against Him. We may not know what tomorrow holds or how many tomorrows there will be. But we know the end! “He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down for these words are trustworthy and true.” We don’t have to wait until the end to find out Who wins, yet so often we live defeated. We live fearing the future. We live like we don’t know if our God is really going to come through. But He will. And He does.
I know its kind of funny to start with the end, but man, that gives me perspective to know that God is in control. About a year ago, I wrote my first and only blog entry for Anna’s incredible blog, and it was a really fun experience. Here I am, a year older with the same amount of blog experience I had last time…which is pretty much zero. But what I can tell you is I have a heart for the Lord. One of my favorite passages of Scripture is found in 1 Corinthians 2 as Paul talks about how He does not come with eloquence or human wisdom, and today that is me. I come to you not with profound words or thoughts, but I come with a heart for my God and my King. I don’t have my life all figured out or packaged nicely in a bow, but I am a life that has been radically changed by the grace and love of my Savior and I hope to provide some encouragement in the way that Christ has encouraged me (2 Corinthians 1:3-7).
I happen to love music. Love doesn’t even describe how much music means to me in my life. At so many different times and points in my life, I have been encouraged by people using their God-given gifts to write songs that encourage and build up the body of Christ. Now when it comes to actually singing it…I reserve that to singing alone in my car so as to save my dear friends and family the not-so-great joyful noise that comes out of my mouth.
In 2008 Francesca Battistelli released a song entitled “Free to Be Me” that states:
At twenty years of age, I’m still looking for a dream.
A war’s already waged for my destiny.
But You’ve already won the battle, and You’ve got great plans for me…Though I can’t always see.
‘Cause I got a couple dents in my Fender, got a couple rips in my jeans.
Try to fit the pieces together, but perfection is my enemy.
And on my own, I’m so clumsy, but on Your shoulders I can see I’m free to be me.
Well, in 2008 I was a sophomore in high school and 15 years old buying my first ring tone, and this made for a great selection. At the time I had my life figured out. I knew what I wanted to do, and how each plan would perfectly fall in place. Now I am literally at twenty years of age and this song has begun to make total sense to me. I know less now of what my future plans look like than I did at 15, and let’s be real…that’s scary. I’m approximately two weeks from finishing my junior year in college. I have some friends who know exactly what God wants them to do when they finish, and then there are those of us who are still waiting on God to reveal several key pieces before we know what that looks like.
See, I have a passion, and I have a dream. I just don’t really know what that’s going to look like. My heart is to make Jesus known. For people to see a hope and light in my life that could only come from the Lord. Not so my name would be in lights, but that Jesus would shine from everything I do. I want, as Paul says in Galatians 1, “And they praised God because of me.” I want my life to be an arrow made up of broken and shattered pieces rebuilt by the Lord pointing straight to Him. I want to live with the filter to glorify God in everything that I do.
But I, like Francesca, have an enemy in striving for perfection. It always leaves you empty. It always leaves you with a foe named shame. And it never gives life. I wanted to be that person who could tell everyone exactly what I wanted to do when I graduate, and live each day perfectly with a smile on my face at all times. Anyone else? Am I the only one who finds themselves in this never-ending striving that is completely and totally exhausting and leaves you empty?
But God has shown me something recently in my life: I don’t have to be God. I know that may sound like, Duhh Allison, where have you been? But legitimately, the statement heard so often “God is God, and I am not” is actually true! I am not God. You are not God. And you don’t have to be.
I don’t know if you have ever seen a cardboard confessional done, but it is truly a powerful moment as people write on one side something that defined them or plagued them before Christ truly got a hold of their lives. The other side provides a change and a different name or a different identity. See, my front board would read: “Always emptily striving for PERFECTion to earn God’s love.” But if we flip that board over, it reads something like: “Saved by PERFECT grace, the price has been paid.”
Woahhh. I mean like, can I get an Amen for God’s incredible grace?
Come back tomorrow to continue reading.