Empty rooms are honest places and I’m sitting in one right now, so let’s go.
Empty rooms, ironically, leave little room for eloquence. However, I’ve known I needed to write this for a long time.
I’ve been running away.
I’ve picked up on a routine of putting a coat over my heart and saying surface level things about the Lord but not being real about the Lord and real about struggle.
I’ve taken skeletons that used to be out of the closet back into the closet out of fear. I’ve had too much pride and fear to be honest with myself and lay my heart out on the table while in prayer with Jesus.
Last night, I was sitting on my couch drinking water out of a plastic Fuzzy’s cup and reading Wild Goose Chase by Mark Batterson. The book explains chasing the Holy Spirit and breaking through the mold of everyday routine living.
Mr. Batterson wrote about “thin places” on Earth. Thin places are where it feels as if Heaven and Earth collide and people experience the raw power and ferocious gentleness of the Lord. He explained his thin places on Earth and encouraged me to think of mine.
I immediately thought back to this toilet.
And I should thank God every second I get in the day for giving me this thin place because it is the ugliest and most beautiful thin place I could ever think of.
I like to think that God, when making me, said “Kellie and I will finally get to hug when she’s 19 years old underneath the far right toilet in the girls bathroom in the dining hall at Hidden Falls Ranch in the middle of nowhere just a few yards away from the edge of a canyon.”
What brought me to that place where I finally FINALLY met Jesus was this.
In mid July 2014, I was applying to go through recruitment at OSU in the nurses office during camp. I wanted to go through recruitment because, brutal honesty, I didn’t know where my identity was. I had lost it (although I never really had it) my freshman year of college–so I tried everything under the moon to fill in that gap.
So I opened up my computer, looked at my resume and sat there staring at it.
Empty rooms are honest places.
I had found my identity in Christ that day underneath the toilet when realizing that nothing could fill the gap.
And I sit in this empty room today honest with myself.
The gap is filled with Christ but I’m not realizing it.
I read on in Wild Goose Chase and in it Matthew 15:8 was mentioned:
“These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.”
I sat in a thin place on my couch this morning when reading that passage.
Since August, I have desperately (and foolishly) tried to maintain a perfect and flawless happy image.
I have pretended to be strong by covering my wounds instead of showing them.
I continue to desperately want to speak truth but the truth of the matter is that I can honor Jesus with my lips but my heart has run away from him because of fear.
And sitting in that thin place this morning I thought back to the toilet seat. I thought back to what brought me to Christ. And it was this:
That summer I had realized that I was far from alone. I was loved on for who I was, able to become the person I was made to be, and was revealed the unashamedly embracing and foolish-to-the-human-eye love that Jesus had been relentlessly pursuing me with all my life without me even knowing.
People had shown me their scars to prove that there was a Healer.
I sit here today saying that, although I want to fight saying it, I run away from God some days.
I struggle seeking and placing Him as most important.
So here’s the truth. Here is the goodness of it all.
I forgot that dying to myself means giving up my secrets no one is supposed to know about. It meant ripping open my chest and loving people to the point of embarrassment and saying to Jesus “take what’s in my heart! Everything hiding inside my walls, every ugly time I’ve lusted, every test i’ve cheated on, every time I’ve been angry at a friend.”
God here is my right to life, do whatever it takes for a glory greater than myself, even if it causes my end. Even if it causes shame.
I can write all day about how much He loves me and you and good Lord that is so true and so good.
But that won’t change anything if you don’t know about the power inside such a love.
He’d rather us die and carry a cross on a road leading to His eternal life than live a life of pleasure just to die with nothing.
Truth is, if I’m honest, my wedding dress should be black.
However, Jesus turned around for me.
Although I want to fight it each and every day, the TRUTH AND THE GOOD TRUTH IS THIS:
I AM HIS. HE CALLS ME WORTH IT. HE CALLS ME ENOUGH.
HE SAYS I AM WORTH DYING FOR.
I am no longer called ruined, but I am called redeemed.
HE runs towards ME when I come back home. He embraces me with mercy and gives me a feast with grace when I come back to His feet.
The love and capacity of the love of Jesus is literally incomprehensible. Being concerned with image depletes that.
I sit here in this empty room joyfully bare-boned and raw and kind of scared and honest with myself because when pride is pushed aside,
Jesus is let in.