Jesus Girl v. The ‘Rest of Me’ Girl

By JMathis

I want to smell, see, touch, taste and hear the Holy Spirit in the everyday. I want to experience Christ authentically, richly and truly, and move beyond any and all of my childhood notions of “canned spirituality”.

I no longer want to compartmentalize my life into Jesus Girl v. The ‘Rest of Me’ Girl.

Instead, I want the dreams in my heart to be intertwined and inseparable from God’s vision and blueprint for my life.

As I smell cafecitos and fresh pastelitos waft through the hearth of my local Cuban bakery, I want that aroma to remind me that the scent of my life needs to change. That the aura and demeanor I project everyday is no longer something that is bitter, jaded and frustrated, but instead, a fragrance that is soothing, holy and pleasing to the Lord.

As I see how far the sand runs along to the left and right of me at the beach, and how the ocean knows no boundary or end, I want the expanse of the shoreline to reveal the endlessness and vastness of God’s love for me. I want to see how there is no limit to His mercy and forgiveness, despite my daily, minute-by-minute screw-ups and pettiness.

As I touch my daughter’s cheek as she sleeps, I want to imagine God touching my cheek as I sleep, as He prays blessings and speaks words of purpose and healing over my life. I want to take delight in my Father in the same way He delights in me—as His child worthy of love, redemption and forgiveness.

As I taste fresh, juicy strawberries, blueberries and raspberries, exploding on my tongue with the flavors and boldness of summer, I want to be thankful that God has created so much in nature to help heal and restore the damage I have done to my physical body over the years. I want to be the walking, tangible embodiment of the sweet-tasting fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.

As I hear the hustle and bustle of the city, I want to listen for the stillness of the Holy Spirit, guiding me through the storms and insanity of my day. When the client is yelling, the car horns are angrily honking, and the baby’s cries are deafening, I just want to seek solitude in the voice of the Spirit, as He leads me back to a place of safety and peace.

I want my senses to be awakened with mad, passionate love for my Savior. I am ready to stop seeing Him as a faceless Sunday morning deity that has no relevance in my day-to-day.

I know there is probably a long, grueling road ahead of me in making this decision, with mountains of personal doubt, setbacks, failures and “I Told You So’s,” but I’m ready to say goodbye to The ‘Rest of Me’ Girl.

Are you?

In the Waiting

By JMathis

So much can go wrong when you are A Lady in Waiting.

You lose your love. No wonder no one will love me. I’m disgusting. I hate myself for what I have become.

You lose your joy. What’s the point of hanging out with my best friend? She’s married; she just doesn’t understand me anymore.

You lose your peace. What if he’s not calling because he thinks I’m psycho? What if he’s still interested in his ex? What if he’s just not that into me? What if? What if? What if?

You lose your patience. Why is it taking so long for me to meet The One?? I should just settle and go out with Dan. At least I know that he won’t beat me.  

You lose your kindness. If he’s taking this long to propose, he must be a jerk anyway. No guy is worth this wait…especially him.

You lose your goodness. It’s just one hook-up. How long is a girl supposed to wait? Forever?

You lose your faithfulness. God, where are you? Don’t you see that you have abandoned me? Are you even listening? Do you even exist?

You lose your gentleness. I feel like ripping his head off! What does she have that I don’t?

You lose your self-control. He’s probably The One, so what’s the point in us waiting to have sex? I just want to show him how much I love him.

The Fruits of the Spirit get trampled, discarded and lost In the Waiting. It is easy to compromise or lose yourself In the Waiting, as day after day, the tide of hopelessness sweeps in to erode your faith and your resolve.

Think of the Pinot Noir. A complex, rich wine bursting with aromatic intensity and a wide magnitude of subtlety in its notes and depth.

Yet, this wine is the most difficult to cultivate In the Waiting.

It is one of the most expensive and overly burdensome wines for a winemaker to grow, because the skin of these grapes is so thin and delicate—so easily susceptible to viruses, frost, disease and parasites (no wonder they are called “heartbreak grapes”). The fermentation process is so violent that it requires an inordinate amount of patience for the winemaker to craft this wine to perfection.

Yet, the end result is worth waiting through this difficult and temperamental process of cultivation and fermentation: a wine that is elegant, bold, velvety, bright and tantalizing in all of its nobility.

You are worth the wait, ladies.

In the Waiting, there are daunting challenges, where you begin to doubt God and self. Your delicate shell is constantly being assaulted by fear and questioning. However, when your Fruits of the Spirit are tested and strained, know that your faith in God will result in unparalleled beauty and richness in your life and your relationships.

Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9

The Lord will never leave you alone or defenseless In the Waiting. He is there to cultivate you into something sweet and lustrous–into a fruit bursting with flavor and life.

Will you just trust Him?