a post that actually isn't about england

picture by jess

A scan through my recent blog posts has revealed to me a hole. I've written more than once about going through a kind of transition in the past year, feeling like a new person, feeling as though God has taught me more in the past few months than I've known my whole life. But I've never exactly spelled out what I mean, what I have in fact been learning, and how my relationship with God, other people, and simply life has radically changed. And as I wrote to someone the other day, I have grown too much and learned too much about Jesus to not share it with people. It's time to fix that.

// My life is not my own.
Simply put, my life belongs to the Lord, and it is His to do with as He chooses. Every day I am striving to seek His will, not mine. To take up His desires, not my own. To think first about His work and His kingdom, not my fleshly wants. Instead of applying the Word to my life, I want to mold and change my life to fit the Word, adjusting my life to God's plans. There were many times last year when I was faced with difficult situations, and nearly every time I initially tried to handle them myself, thinking I had all the answers. And each time, I found myself crumpled in a heap, crying to the Lord for His wisdom and healing. My life is not my own, so why should I try to call the shots? If I'm going to call Him my Lord, then I need to start treating Him like it.

// I should be ready to go and do whatever the Lord asks of me.
The Christian life is one of complete surrender. Last year, I realized I was holding on to too many things that were rooted in my own will, my own desires, my own ambitions. My plans were crumbling and I wondered why. Suddenly it was as if I could hear the Lord beckoning, "I have work for you. Come and see." It is still a daily struggle, but I am praying for the strength to surrender myself fully to the Lord and His will. I want to have a humble heart that is ready to do whatever He requires. Humility does not come easy for me, but walking with Jesus isn't about what makes me comfortable. It's about doing whatever it takes to honor and glorify Him. I must decrease, so He may increase.

// My happiness and fulfillment is through Christ and Christ alone.
Growing up in a Christian homeschooling community, young women often come away with the impression that marriage is when their life really begins, like it marks their completion as a woman of God. Sad to say, I've lived so many years believing I wouldn't be fulfilling my role as a Christian woman until my last name changed. But last year, the Lord set me free from this lie by helping me to see that I am no less a woman of God simply because I am single. Marriage is a blessed thing, but it isn't the key to fulfillment, happiness, love, or completion; Jesus is. I shouldn't be "waiting" for those things because I already have all of them and much more in my Lord Jesus. If the Lord blesses me with marriage one day, that will be wonderful, but I will be no more complete than I am at this moment. Today I am more happy being single than I have ever been in my entire life. I have found such freedom in the fact that instead of marriage or anything else, Jesus is my everything, my joy, the One who defines who I am.

// I should be defined only by my relationship with Jesus.
This is similar to what I stated above, but unique enough to deserve its own heading. Once I realized that true fulfillment comes from my relationship with Jesus, I took a hard look at what defines me. I decided I no longer wanted to be defined by anything but Jesus. When people ask me what I hope for my life, instead of listing off future plans and ambitions, I try to convey something more along the lines of "Whatever I do and whenever I do it and however it happens, I want to live a life wholly devoted to Jesus and His glory." The whole of what makes me who I am should be Jesus. That's it.

// Life on earth is short.
Call me dumb, but I turned twenty this year and I feel old, okay. It's shocking to wrap my mind around the fact that I've been alive for two decades, and if I just live the same amount of time again then I'll be forty. (Yes, I know, but these are literal thoughts that have run through my head.) And in the midst of this muck of silly emotions, once again I heard God saying, "Well, what are you waiting for?" Simply put, friends, life is too short to put anything off. I'm trading in what-ifs for right-nows. I'm living more fully, loving more deeply (and making sure people know how much I love them), acting now, not leaving anything broken. I don't want to reach the end of my life (whenever that will be) filled with regrets.

Maybe some of these are no-brainers for you, but this is what the Lord has been pounding into my stubborn head for the past year (hopefully it made even a little bit of sense). It took a lot of pain and trials and days when I simply just gave up on life, but through it all Jesus never gave up on me, and now I feel closer to Him than I ever have before. And that, dear friends, is a beautiful, refreshing thing.


  1. This is awesome, and those are all great reminders. God's been teaching me some similar things.

  2. Wonderful post Petie! I really found this very inspirational so thank you! :-)

  3. Petie, this is beautiful, and I needed to hear all these things:)
    I've been going through some of the same struggles recently.....
    Thankyou:) <3


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