When you realize that this beautiful blessing of life really couldn’t get any better

For the past few days my husband has sent me texts like this: “I have been thinking about how much I love you all morning.” These pieces of precious joy have encouraged and brought me such sweet peace, but have also caused me to reflect on this life I have been blessed to live. We live a moderately simple life. The small home we have could be bigger… the cars could be newer… the jobs could pay more… but we have realized that this darkening want for more only leads down a path that sucks all sense of satisfaction dry and bare. The balance is a tedious business. Striving for better, pushing yourself to your limits for God and for glory of Him and for betterment of the gifts He gives and the desire for more. For more power, more wealth, pushing just to push to the home filled with things, the wallet filled with money, the lungs filled with breath so restricted by the things that press and chain you down. There must be a balance.

In all walks of life you find them: unhappy ones with their empty pockets and cold empty homes, unhappy ones with their pockets of plenty, their fame, influence, and power. We long and hunger for this sense of being satisfied, belly filled never in want again. Our human instinct is to want. Our bellies cry for the satisfaction of food, bodies scream for warmth, heads long for truth or acceptance. As we grow into the worldly earth and start owning and collecting we begin to see that the want only grows along with us. The collections only feed the stomach and make it larger. Never ending hunger burns at us so strong that our feeble knees say, “I must have more. Then I will feel alive, then this ache will subside, then my heart’s song will be answered.” We search and search until earth lets us down and Heaven must answer. Only on those feeble knees can we gain the courage to seek, only at His feet can we find the answer our heart has been longing for. “The gaping hole cannot be filled with earth, it must be filled with ME.” God breath fills up our lungs and alive we fly. Before, all that awaited us was death and the futile search for more. Now, we have found our cause and purpose, our life plugged in to the source of all power. We can be free from the wanting, bellies full in the satisfaction that comes with His grace and unending fountains of mercy.

It really couldn’t get any better than that. There are pages of reasons why we shouldn’t be happy. Earth’s oceans couldn’t begin to hold all of the anecdotes we have tried to fulfill the ache of want. Heaven holds the key. Get on your knees oh people of earth and come to the King. His arms are open so wide, his waters are unending and full completely of all that you seek. Fulfillment. Purpose. Satisfaction. No I am not always happy. I don’t wake up every morning finding such joy as today. But right now, I choose to see this journey as a beautiful blessing and I’ll try for this same joy each day to come.

“They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.” (Revelation 7:16 KJV)

“Those whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again.” (John 4:14 ESV)

“In your presence there is fullness of joy.” (Psalm 16:11 ESV)

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When you realize that life really isn’t what you’ve been told your whole life.

All ties are cut and the hollow hole of your life lies before you purposeless and empty. About two years ago I realized that all the purpose and identity I had was derived from what I did. I was a singer. For more than 15 years it was something I was good at, something that I had pride in. I found such emotional stability in the approval from others, I was confident because the performance went well. All throughout college, floods of opportunities were at my disposal. Even if I wasn’t consistently the best I had the purpose of striving that kept me going. All of the trying, the uphill battle of competition with others, the constant comparison, it took an emotional toll on me. Constant changes in dramatic mountain top highs and heart stopping lows were the normalcy of my life. I depended on what people thought of me to fill me up. I was what I was doing, all emotional stability depended on the performance. All purpose was gained from the desperate attempt to seek approval, to be better than the others I compared myself to. If I wasn’t better, if I didn’t receive the opportunity they did, my sole purpose was compromised. The sum of who I was filled with doubt and I remained questioning. Who am I if I can’t be the best, if they also have this one special thing I have, how am I even special? What makes me me if I can be replaced? What is my purpose if others can fill the same void I can?

The warm blanket of college was stripped off violently and I suddenly lay exposed in the cold, dark reality of real life; life where I really wasn’t needed. The world would keep on going round even if I didn’t exist. I grew up thinking that there was this one purpose for everyone, that you were made for one specific thing, that God grew you, made you, and prepared you for your calling. Calling. A word that now seemed to echo with the empty dryness of meaningless Christian cliché. There I lay, exposed to the harsh reality of the “real world” no longer having the endless opportunity before me. My “purpose” was gone. The identity I had formed, molded, put my blood, sweat, and tears into for years and years was now nonexistent. The structure provided for me in school was gone in a blink, and along with it went my purpose.

Struggle is a good word for the months that followed. My purpose was gone and I felt as if I had somehow lost my calling. I was disappointed in God for not providing the perfect and clear path (as I had always been told He would) and I had the guilt ridden feeling that God was disappointed in me for not living up to my complete purpose. Now that the only thing holding my own sense of worth was gone, I found myself to be a very insecure person.

It’s been about a year and a half since then and I can’t tell you that I am completely over the emptiness I felt leaving college and no longer having the loads of opportunity to use my “one true purpose.” However, I am seeing this time as an unbelievable opportunity for growth. Being stripped of what I had found my identity in was one of the best things that could have happened. Without doubt, God had to show me that I was not what I did. Think of it this way, if others can replicate what you do is it really something to hang your identity in? If singing was my identity and what I found my confidence in, how was I supposed to feel confident if someone else could come behind me and do the same thing, or do better? Maybe it is your image. Maybe you find your self-worth in your looks or your athletic skills. What happens if one day all of that disappears? Would you still feel good about yourself?

Our identity must, first, be tied to whose we are (I know, another Christian cliché… but it’s applicable!) not what we do. Whose we are is something that will never ever change. It’s the most purpose we will ever receive: totally and completely belonging to the Father and living this life to love and honor Him. This can’t ever be taken away from us.

I am so grateful that God gives and takes where He sees fit. I am so grateful that He stripped me from all that I was up till that point. From there I was able to see my true purpose which isn’t connected to one specific thing, but is endless and beautiful in its unique twists and turns. All of me, every divot and nook is His! He also opened up other opportunities for me to use other gifts I had been given, but had never had the time to explore. This is the whole point of daffolily. I now have the medium to share my journey with all of you. Have you ever struggled with your self-worth? Do you find your identity in what you do instead of His perfect love? Take heart today and find freedom in the surrender of your treasures, find freedom in His grace to give you a perfect identity in Him alone!

“See what kind of love the Father has lavished on us that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!.” (1 John 3:1 NIV)

“God gives, God takes. God’s name be ever blessed.” (Job 1:21 MSG)