Sunday, September 30, 2012

to myself and maybe humanity

Dear Jenn.

It's kind of a letter I needed to write myself.  Something that's on my mind that I constantly think about without ever...well...thinking about it.  Something that's a lot easier to start with a "dear Jenn" and a lot harder to continue with.


Dear Jenn.

When your life is too busy for God, it is too busy.  Don't make out like you don't have time to set aside for God.   He doesn't want to be a part of your time.  He wants to be in all of your time.  He wants to be with you at 5:30am when you really hate yourself for staying up so late.  He wants to be with you when you're this close to falling asleep driving.  He wants to be with you in class while you're diligently taking notes, or having a group discussion, or taking an exam, or (let's be honest) trying not to fall asleep, or trying to avoid that guy that's creeping on you.  He wants to be with you sitting on campus on your computer while you browse facebook when you're supposed to be doing homework.  He wants to be with you when you finally find time to grab a bite to eat.  He wants to be with you when you're out snapping photos, for an assignment or for fun.  He wants to be with you when you're at play rehearsal dancing or chatting or rolling your eyes at someone or doing homework or bored to tears.  He wants to be with you when you find another classmate that's as obsessed with Les Mis as you are.  He wants to be with you when you're up all hours doing French homework or finishing that project or talking on facebook way too late when you just know you're going to hate yourself at 5:30am the next morning again.

You're not going to be happy without him.  Sure, you may have a great day.  But I mean, ultimately happy.  Truly purely genuinely surpassingly happy.  It doesn't happen without him.


It doesn't happen because you know cool people, or do cool things, or go cool places.  It doesn't happen because people think you're cool either.  Don't--please don't--find your affirmation in people liking you.  It's easy, I know.  But what does it mean if you're focusing on finding fulfillment in the fact that she made a point to hang out with you or that he gave you a hug or that was the first time (or the last time) she called you her best friend?  What does it mean if it makes your day when someone talks to you or compliments you or tells me they love you?  What does it mean if you end up going to that person or those people first, before you go to God?

It means your priorities need to be screwed on straight.

Dear Jenn.

You're not going to find fulfillment in any of that.  It feels good.  Yes.  Yes it does.  And hugs and talking and love--I'm pretty sure God thinks those are really great things.  But as much as it hurts to say, it's possible to have too much of a good thing.  When it becomes an idol.  When it usurps the number one place in your heart that Jesus wants so desperately to fill, if only you'd let him.

When something really sad happens, and the only thing you can think of is how you need to talk to someone to get support or comfort, that's great, but shouldn't you go to God first?  When something really happy happens and the first thing that pops into mind is that you really can't wait to show or tell everyone, even if it's something about how great God is, isn't that a bit hypocritical?  Isn't that a little bit like lip service, talking about it, but not actually talking to God about it?  Shouldn't presenting it to him be first on your mind?

Shouldn't thinking about how much Jesus loves you be the first thing to make you smile every morning and the last thing to make you smile every night, and the biggest thing to make you smile all the rest of the day?


Dear Jenn.  Dear Jenn and anyone else who maybe just needs to straight-up look themselves in a mirror and hear this too.

Don't put above him your need to look good in front of people, to make sure people are happy, to make sure you preserve your image.  Don't put above him you feeling happy, or accepted, or loved, or important, or especially, comfortable.  Don't put above him your school, or your work, or your hobbies, or your social life.  And don't put anyone--anyone--above the mind-blowing privilege you have of having a relationship with the God of the universe and the fact that he wants that with you no matter what.

Dear Jenn. Dear world.

Don't forget what Jesus did for you.  Don't get too busy to remember.  To talk to him.  To let him be your everything.

40 comments:

  1. I may or may not have tears in my eyes.

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  2. oh goodness. i read the first sentence and knew i needed to see this. thanks, jenn.

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  3. This is perfect. I needed this. Beautiful and convicting and oh-so-true. Dear Jenn. Thank you.

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  4. So beautiful and so true, Jenn. Gosh, I didn't even think I did but I really needed this today! This encouragement that my value is not in my friends, but in Him. <3

    Thanks again. :)
    ~bree

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  5. woah girl. seriously this was so...yeah. I needed to read this. definitely. thanks for writing a letter to yourself and the world ;)

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  6. dude. just, wow. I'm with Abi- tears are in the eyes. Emailing this link to a couple of girls. thanks so much for this reminder.
    xo

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  7. Don't--please don't--find your affirmation in people liking you. It's easy, I know. But what does it mean if you're focusing on finding fulfillment in the fact that she made a point to hang out with you or that he gave you a hug or that was the first time (or the last time) she called you her best friend?

    YESYESYES. I don't even know where to start...this is so good and seriously just what I needed to read right now. I just really love you, okay?

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  8. Beautiful..just beautiful... :)

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  9. Don't get any affirmation from this, but... I love you. haha. and the fact that you were so honest and selfless with your words here. It made it real for me because I know how real it was for you. I don't know if I would call this encouragement because it was more like a conviction and a shove, but whatever it was, I appreciate it.

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  10. Oh Jenn. Thank you for being so honest and direct. This is just so true and good to hear. You are wonderful, darlin'. :)

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  11. Oh yes! Amen. Thank you Jenn, for letting us read these thoughts of your heart. This was so good to read. Love, Hannah

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  12. So beautiful Jenn; so beautiful, so true, so encouraging, so what I needed to hear. I can so relate with wanting to find your security in other people, and wanting to tell the world things before I go to God. He wants a relationship with me. This was such a great reminder. Thanks so much.

    Blessings, friend!

    -Madi

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  13. So I'm commenting again because this is really changing the way I look at things for the better. I want God to be a part of everything I do and my best friend and my greatest security. What you wrote is just moving my heart and helping me to think rightly. I think I may just print this out so I can read it over and over. Yes. Thank you for sharing your heart/what Christ is doing in you. It's a blessing.

    ((hugs!))

    -Madi

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  14. Dear Jenn.
    Watching that link you sent me then reading this.
    [After ten minutes of staring at the screen]
    You're wonderful. And. Well. This hurts. In a kind of good way. And I think we may be soul sisters.
    Thank you. And I love you.

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  15. Jenn, this was an incredible post. Your words convicted me to the point of tears: I haven't been spending enough time with the Lord, I haven't been making Him the focus of my life. It may be easier to sleep in and skip devotions in the morning, to soak up compliments and rely on them to fuel me instead of the whole Book He wrote for me, to turn to friends and family for the affirmation only He can give — but if that's how we're going to act, we have no business calling ourselves Christians. Jesus made us, bled for us, loves us, pursues us, and deserves our whole life, not just little pieces of it. It's time for Christians to live genuine lives of faith, lives that have God woven through every fibre. Singing worship songs in church on Sundays and pinning Bible verses and faith quotes on Pinterest are not enough, and they certainly don't win you "spiritual brownie points".

    Thank you for having the courage to pour your heart out — you've truly impacted me.

    Have a beautiful day,
    Elizabeth Rose

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  16. oh goodness. i really needed this. great post. so, so true.

    -carli

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  17. You are an amazing writer. And you made me think. Thank you.

    P.S. You have one of those creeper boys at school too? I can relate. ;)

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  18. Amen, simply amen. And yes, yes, yes.

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  19. Absolutely amazing! It was just what I needed to hear! Thank you so much Jenn! :)

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  20. This is such a good post! :)

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  21. I know this is just one more comment under about a hundred others, but I just wanted to let you know how amazing this is from little ol' me! It's so honest and truthful and blunt. And it's so encouraging to stumble upon something like this when you're just harmlessly skimming through blogs and being made to realise where your priorities are and should be. So thank you. Seriously, thank you! Gina

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  22. Dear Jenn. <3
    This is just wonderful! Thank you for writing this. Your words are truthful and inspiring and encouraging.
    It really makes me think. (And I like to think)

    Spectacularly, lovely! <3

    ~Kate @ in pursuit

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  23. thank you so much for writing this. i really really needed to hear this. thank you. xx

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  24. I'm so grateful God put these words on your heart to share. I definitely needed them. Thank-you!

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  25. Ohmygoodness. This is just what I needed to hear (read?). Thank you, Jenn!

    Hugs,
    Emily.

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  26. This is such a blessing. Thank you.

    Emily
    walkingonsonshine12.blogspot.com

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  27. Yes. I needed to hear this. Love this post, Jenn!

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  28. Thanks for posting this, Jenn. I really needed to hear this right now.

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  29. I skimmed through parts of this because of my time.. But what I did read- awe inspiring. Thanks! I needed that!

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  30. Thanks, This was exactly what I needed right now;')

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  31. i think i'm going to cry. this was amazing, jenn. thank you so much for pouring out your heart. xo

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  32. Wow, this post is amazing Jenn. I can totally relate to you. This is something I really needed to read. Thanks so much for sharing this as a post! :)

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  33. I just found your blog and immediately, it's one of my favorites. *Applause*
    That post...it's so inspiring. Utterly amazing.
    ~Jenny

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  34. lovely post Jenn. so stunning.
    Interesting blog, I really enjoyed browsing it :)

    Blog: Oh it's Juno

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  35. Thank you so, so much. These words really spoke to me. It's almost as if they were a message from God Himself! Thank you.

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