I’m going to be real with you. Sometimes I’d rather be watching Netflix (that is, surely, my vice). But I say I blog every Friday, and I didn’t last week because I was lounging on the beach in the Bahamas (I know, poor me), so here we are. Even when I don’t necessarily want to write, I need to write. I don’t write because other people need me to – there are plenty of blogs, plenty of wise words thrown around the Internet these days. There is no shortage. And while I am confident (most of the time) that my words are unique and necessary, I know that the world will keep on spinning and people will go on living even if I don’t write. It would be incredibly narcissistic to think otherwise.
The point of writing these posts is the hope that it connects with and serves someone else, but I write mostly because it has been, and most likely always will be, my way of connecting with the Lord and experiencing healing and hope. It has always been my vehicle for processing – visible in the drawers full of old well-loved journals. For a long time I never shared these words, these reflections, they simply filled pages and sat in secret. Now I throw my lessons, rumblings, dreams, struggles, questions out into the world (almost) every Friday. Which is, as you can imagine, a gift and a challenge.
I’m currently reading Life of the Beloved, which is rocking my world and will most likely be a part of my writing for the (un?)foreseeable future. In just a few chapters I’m beginning to believe I could have saved myself thousands of dollars in student loans and just read this book. It is written by Henri Nouwen, who is essentially the C.S. Lewis of spiritual formation. In this book he talks about the idea of blessing. Since #blessed became a thing I have definitely considered changing the name of this blog, but I am surprisingly stubborn (and maybe a little lazy) and it has, obviously, stayed the same. Because as cheesy and frustrating as the word blessing can be, it is beautiful in its beginnings. Nouwen shares that it comes from the word benedicere, meaning to “speak well” or to say good things of someone. Nouwen says, “That speaks to me. I need to hear good things said of me, and I know how much you have the same need…To give someone a blessing is the most significant affirmation we can offer” (68). I had this aha moment as I read this, because it is exactly what this blog is about. It is what I want my life to be about: to say good things. To speak truth, which I believe is inherently good, in a way that brings people into closer relationship with Jesus. Because He is the truth, and He is good. We speak of Him because just His name brings goodness into our spaces.
I want to provide a place of encouragement, a place where we can bring our hurting and sadness and heartache and feel held. Where we can bear each other’s burdens, and hold each other’s lies up to the light of Truth. This is a space for speaking well of one another.
So, dear friend, this is the blessing, the “speaking well,” that I have for you today:
I’m reading Ephesians and just cannot even get past the first chapter. (A little bit because Paul is the king of run-on sentences, but mostly because it is overflowing with goodness.) Paul tells us of all the beautiful promises and gifts from God to us:
We are blessed with every spiritual blessing
Chosen before the foundation of the world
Predestined for adoption
Redeemed through His blood
Lavished with the riches of His grace
Given an inheritance
Sealed with the Holy Spirit
…and that is only the first 14 verses. As I read through all these beautiful promises, that phrase echoed in my mind: Grab hold.
To navigate a messy and scary world, we must grab hold of what He has promised. The remarkable life that He has set before us, the riches that He has given us, the identity He has spoken over us – we must grab hold.
What is it, friend, that you need to grab hold of today? What truth are you not believing? What promise from God have you forgotten? Grab hold.
There are a whole lot of things in this life that we have to hold loosely, but the promises of God are a different story. Grab hold, and let them lead you towards the hope to which He has called you (vs 18).
Wow, the goodness of His Word. It is the ultimate source of blessing, of “speaking well.” Pal, here is today’s blessing for you:
I hope you rest in His promises.
I hope you take hold and hold on tight.
There will be no shortage of circumstances and emotions and enemies who will try to loosen your grip – don’t let go.
Know the Truths that He has entrusted to you; soak in them, let them become your armor.
Ah, that was so much better than Netflix. 🙂