hi love ❤
yeah, we have something big to chat about today. real big. and I really, really don’t want you to miss it, sweet girl.
so come, curl up cozy on my sofa; I’ll pour you a cup of this hot french-pressed coffee, and you can nurse it, cradle it in your hands and watch the steam rising toward the low ceilings in this little apartment.
you can tell me about what’s in your heart and all the yuck that’s been going down in your world, and we’ll just sit and be because that’s what you need. and maybe we’ll talk about how exhausting it is to live in the world, and how it feels like everyone- the media, the church, the social circles- all want something of you, all just want you for what they’ve labelled you as worthy of, all want to use what you have for their own purposes and then set you aside.
and then perhaps we’ll talk about purpose and weariness and how the two of them are all too often so mixed up together like a too-heavily-spiked punch that gets you in trouble. and we’ll say we wish that finding our places in the world wasn’t so exhausting and brutal, wasn’t so horribly demanding. we’ll dream of a future where our voices are heard and our insights are honored and our gifts are utilized in just the right way.
maybe we’ll start talking about Jesus and the things we talk to Him about, too, and how we often wonder if the way He loves us is actually the way we’ve been taught we should be loved… if the deep desires of His heart for us might possibly be different than the things we’ve been told. and I’ll tell you about last night when I was frustrated and started praying, “Jesus, could you just use me?” because that’s what I thought I wanted- what I’d been told I wanted.
have you ever prayed that little prayer? yeah. me too. like, so many times. and woah, I had no idea what I was saying, asking for… no idea how unintentionally ugly the words were… no idea that the thing my ferociously pounding heart yearned for was as far from the words I was saying as it could possibly be.
until last night.
until I prayed that prayer for what I hope to God will be the last time.
until Jesus said “why are you letting anyone else dictate what it is your soul wants?”
and I said “excuse me?”
and Jesus said “please, daughter… think about the words you’ve said. just think about them.”
and I did.
and because He’s already taught me to pay attention to words… to choose my words with grace and thoughtfulness, because the words we choose are telling of what is inside of us, I discovered a bitter taste left behind in the space that prayer had vacated. and the bitterness made me gag.
because I realized… Jesus never said He wanted to use me. He never instructed me to ask to be used. and there’s a reason for that: Jesus doesn’t use His people.
Jesus does not have a masculinity complex that He feels the need to compensate for.
Jesus does not have the urge to prove anything to anyone.
Jesus does not have ulterior motives or shady, back-handed dealings to hide from us.
Jesus does not have the need or desire to manipulate us into what He has to offer.
Jesus does not have a lack of resources for which He must coerce us into making up for.
Jesus does not have any desperation or any desire in any circumstance to simply use you.
and in an age of vile men like Donald Trump, or Brock Turner, who speak so flippantly about using and abusing women, our hearts cry out in rebellion against a sickness that’s trapped us under this bondage of allowing people who are not us to have a say in what it is we need. in this terrifying time when we are being thrown under the bus, violated and then discarded behind dumpsters, having our bodies so flippantly verbally assaulted, having our voices hushed and our deepest needs brushed off from both outside the church and within… despite the hype and the clamor and the chaotic voices shouting otherwise…
we know that we do not want to be used. we do not need to be used. being used is not part of our Design. being used is not part of our requirement as humans. being used is not healthy or sane or just.
and Jesus does not want to use us.
Jesus wants to know us. already loves us. wants to usher us in to the seat at the table where we already belong. wants to love through us. wants to empower us. already stood between us and the users and abusers when he stood between the woman and the mob ready to stone her. wants to stand with us. wants us to stand for Him.
Jesus is a safe house, friend. you don’t have to fear being used and then discarded. you don’t have to come with reservation or stifled need before the throne of grace.
Jesus will not use you. He won’t grow tired of you and cast you aside. He won’t become bored with you and move on to someone prettier, more interesting, or more talented. He won’t mislead you and manipulate you with false promises for selfish gain. He won’t withhold favor when He’s gotten used to you. He won’t push you to the sidelines and treat you less than, once you’ve completed some fictional task. He won’t lie to you to get you hooked and then turn the tables once it’s too late for you to escape. He won’t take advantage of your weaknesses. He won’t treat you with condescension or stuff you in the back because He’s embarrassed or ashamed of you. He won’t harass you into situations you’re not meant to be in.
Jesus knows your worth because He is the one who made you worthy.
Jesus knows your ability because He is the one who made you able.
Jesus knows your depth because He is the one who coaxed you out beyond the shoreline of your own soul into your own uncharted waters.
so, friend, can we stop praying this crap that keeps us in bondage and straps us to a false doctrine of a Jesus who doesn’t really exist? can we stop allowing others to define the desires that only our Designer can identify? can we choose to live worthy, precious, loved, free? can we choose to swim in the deep and not allow the pettiness and ignorance of others to drag us back to shore?
can we stop believing the lie that all we are is a thing to be used, instead of a wildly alive human to be loved? can we have a little more trust in the scarred Jesus, that He loves long and hard, and that His love is a balm to the used- not a further injury? can we start being willing to let ourselves be loved, and get used to the idea of being deemed now worthy? can we start spilling over that love onto the used?
no, we don’t need to be restless. Jesus is our safe house. Jesus will not use us.