I know I talk a lot about myself but I believe sharing stories helps people to relate and then to be empowered. You see, whatever we conquer, overcome; we get to help others to do the same. It won’t always look the same from the outside but the truth out of each circumstance will remain the same.
When I was in high school, I was as lost as lost could be. I thought I had the world figured out and I hated everything about the world. I would have considered myself a “hippie.” The very definition of the hippie era, was a counter culture movement. It embodied, “peace”, “love”, and “unity”, or so I thought.
All of my insides were screaming for something real, I wanted to experience truth and be at peace with myself.
You see, all of this hippie mumbo jumbo sounds true, it looks legit and at times may seem real but that’s the tricky part about deception, it uses half-truths to convince someone to live a lie. The deciever will manipulate, calculate, and use anything to get the outcome to be in their favor.
I thought I had achieved, “peace within myself” and was finally happy and content with my life. On the outside I looked happy and full of joy but it was only a mask. I would wear lots of makeup and hide behind my clothing, convincing even myself, that I had achieved the “peace” I was searching for.
What a load of lies. When I look back at pictures from that time in my life I can see how lost I truly was, my eyes look tired, weak, and empty. I had moment of “peace” but that was fleeting, it only lasted as good as my circumstances were or as high as I could make myself.
I smoked marijuana every hour, of everyday. That really isn’t an exaggeration, I lived in a constant state of being high and when I couldn’t get high, I would panic because then I would actually have to think and look at what my life really had become. So when I couldn’t afford marijauana, I would offer to drive drug dealers back and forth, to get free weed. When that became to dangerous, I started snorting prescription pills. Anything with pain killers, to adderrol, all while still smoking weed. I was A TOTAL mess. But God still spoke to me in my mess.
His very depth was hovering and calling out to my deep.
It was the summer of 2011, when my dad asked if I would go on a motorcycle trip with him to the east coast. But the hang up was it would be the week of the 4th of July. Oh no! I thought, I’m definitely going to miss out on all the “fun.” Despite this feeling of missing out, I took my dads offer.
It was literally one of the best Fourth of July’s of my life. I was immersed in the surrounding nature. The beauty of the mountains and of the coast called out to my innermost being, to my deep. It awakened my spirit to want to know more, and on that trip I started journaling to God.
God was always in my life, but I never had the revelation of who he truly was like but I knew he was real.
So I journaled and I read one of those cheesy hotel bibles but God met me there. He also met me through the radio waves on the motorcycle. He met me EVERYWHERE. It was the first time in a long time that his voice was ROARING louder than any other voice in my head. And I prayed. It wasn’t an immediate change or conviction in my heart. But God was so patient with me through it all! It was another 2 years till I actually woke up to real life in Jesus.
I guess what I’m trying to get at here is parents, friends, anybody taking the time to read this; immerse yourself and your loved ones in beauty. Beauty can speak to the heart more than any number of words. I am so THANKFUL for those times with my dad. That awakened my spirit and called me out closer to my Father in Heaven.
God gave me so much grace to walk out my mess until I finally just said okay Lord have it all. I’m done here, it’s your turn, make something beautiful.
And I gave him all of me. I stopped trying to make my life how I wanted and gave him the control. He has given me beauty for ashes, life over death, freedom over imprisonment, and peace over chaos.
I want to urge you if you already know Jesus Christ, then have you really given him all of you? Are you completely possessed by his spirit of truth? Or are there some half truths the need uprooted and tossed in the fire? Spend some time being totally overwhelmed by beauty and then ask the Lord to reveal to you in a greater measure his wisdom and love for you.
If you don’t know Jesus, I want to urge you to immerse yourself in beauty. Really think of a time in your life where you were truly happy. What look on your face do you get when you look back on that memory? That is the look the God has over you everyday. He loves you so much that he sent Jesus to redeem us to live abundantly. He wants you to experience true peace, joy, and love in the Spirit of Truth. Not in the spirit of “half-truth” but totally, 100%, someone truly real.
Someone who embodies love.
Open your heart, and let Holy Spirit make a home there. Life will flow through all the broken places and make something wonderful there. And it will last. It won’t be a temporary peace but eternal.
Beauty is transcendent. It is our most immediate experience of the eternal. Think of what it’s like to behold a gorgeous sunset or the ocean at dawn. Remember the ending of a great story. We yearn to linger, to experience it all our days. Sometimes the beauty is so deep it pierces us with longing. For what? For life as it was meant to be. Beauty reminds us of an Eden we have never known, but somehow our hearts were created for.
Stasi Eldredge, Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman’s