I know that I already wrote a New Year's post, but I had this idea for a poem that I couldn't not write (and when was the last time I published a poem on TTT?). You've probably been getting bombarded with a lot of content about growth and resolutions, which can be helpful but also overwhelming. I wrote this post as a reminder to myself (and to you!) that although it's important to strive for growth in our relationship with God, He's already sacrificed everything for our salvation and sanctification. And because of that, our faults and failures can be forgiven.
I wrote this poem during a very difficult year. I was finishing my sophomore year of college, and I was struggling to accept my body. Like really struggling. I was considered "recovered" from my anorexia nervosa, but I still absolutely abhorred my body. I wallowed in my self-hatred day after day. Halfheartedly praying for acceptance and motivation, I felt utterly defeated by the devil and his weapons of deception. But God didn't leave me in my moment of need. He stayed.
You Are Better
When you get stuck in the works-based-salvation rut (which you can get stuck in pre-salvation and post-salvation, by the way), open up your Bible and see what God has to say about it. It's true that the Bible contains God's commands. But it's not true that you must keep all of those commands to become (or stay) saved. Read the book of Romans if you don't believe me. You'll discover that He was, is, and will be better than we ever could be.
The Question of Control
I don't know if you're a control freak like me, but I do know that trying to be in control is exhausting. Because it's actually impossible. Your outcome may or may not be good if you manipulate the situation to get what you want; but the outcome will be good if you choose to let God have control of the situation.
As counter-cultural as this may sound, busyness isn't a virtue. That's probably not the message that you'll get from paying attention to social media, Hollywood, or even your family members and friends. But that's the message that you'll get from reading the gospels. So before you start applauding yourself for having such a busy life, consider slowing down and taking time to rest instead.
Your therapist told you to feel your grief. To stop avoiding your frustration. To sit in your discomfort. To face your pain. And you promised her that you would. So you did. You felt your grief, stopped avoiding your frustration, sat in your discomfort, and faced your pain. But you didn’t feel any better. Instead, you felt more upset and more hopeless than you did before. Why?
I hadn't done much video chatting before 2020, but all of a sudden, video chatting became the new normal. Google Meet and Zoom became typical places for gathering. While video chatting is great for connecting with friends and family members who live far away, it can never replace in-person interactions and relationships.
The Black Gown
This poem is based on an analogy from Scripture. As the church, Christ's bride, we can live in gratitude and joy because we no longer wear darkness and shame. Just as the groom typically wears a black suit and the bride typically wears a white dress at their wedding, Christ wore black—our sin—so that we could wear white—His righteousness.
The Last Time
God's nature is persistent, strong, and steady. He doesn't leave. He doesn't give up. He doesn't wave. While I am not advocating habitual sin in this poem, I am advocating habitual returning to God's forgiveness.