Blessing and Sending

DAY 31

“The meaning of our lives emerges in the surrender of ourselves to an adventure of becoming who we are not yet.”

(Brennan Manning)

Oh, my sweet friend, you have done it. The scary, tiring, unsure work of seeing yourself as you are without turning away or grabbing the armor that keeps life at a safe distance. This past month has served as a spotlight over all the nooks and crannies of your soul (well, not quite all—you are a stunningly complex creature, and there will always be more to explore). In the light, you are both clearly exposed and graciously covered by the truest shade of crimson in a way you’d never have been able to relish otherwise. Beautifully done! Bravely borne!

So here we are at the benediction, this heartbeat of Christ that blesses and sends, blesses and sends. I’m feeling especially tender toward those of you dealing with a little doubt at this point. The ones who aren’t quite sold on why all of this matters so much—and deep down, why you matter so much. This isn’t a group project anymore. It’s personal, and I’m talking to you.

How I long for you to feel God’s pleasure wash over you in wave after wave after wave, a hundred thousand more to follow. If I could, I’d show you a replay of the day He formed you in His mind, thinking through every last detail (even the one you’ve wished away so many times before). How He smoothed His fingerprints over this aspect of your mind and that piece of your heart and grinned wide all the while, humming a love song just for you. Parents anticipate meeting their children the entire nine months of pregnancy, but Scripture says that your name was written in the Lamb’s book of life before the world began. How long has this proud Abba been bursting at the seams to interact with you?

I’d like to present a parting gift at the end of our journey. Stretch out your hands and hold it with care. Ready?

Anyone worth creating is worth knowing. You were worth creating. So you are worth knowing.

You’re worth inviting God to know you. You’re worth inviting others to know you. You’re worth inviting yourself to know you. The Lord has poured all of His affectionate creativity into your design, stuffed you full of purpose. Oh, how He delights in you! If that can sink in all the way to your toes, your whole life will change irrevocably. In the words of Lisa-Jo Baker, “There is only one YOU, and we need that you not to disappear, duck, hide, or give up to the lie that you don’t belong.” God couldn’t possibly love you a smidge more (or less) than He does in this infinitely happy moment.

Which leads us to an altar—a place of offering.

An altar crammed with the ghosts of every excuse, justification, defense, label, mask, mean name, and attempt to escape is what we’re welcomed to. We’ll need many supplies for the path ahead, but those items are just dead weight. Dead weight, like having a corpse’s bones strapped to our backs, clawing us in reverse. Don’t you understand? This is where we lay them down and discover that His burden really is easy and light. The blood of our Brother calls us away from the grave, up into the fresh air and wide-open spaces of praise.

This isn’t it, you know. It’s just the start.

May a thousand blessings fall along the trail as you bravely venture into the unknown. Because here’s the thing—it’s not really unknown, is it? God is there ahead of you, working in advance, preparing the way, still humming your song. Never will He leave you, never forsake you. There’s so much good work to be done as your soul expands, readying for the joy of eternity. He lifts your chin, takes your hand, and pulls you in the right direction.

Let the adventure begin.

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