Small + Close

Real talk: I am a tiny human. I can shop in the little girls section, the only problem being that I sometimes show up to church in the same outfit as a 7 year old. My mom calls it petite, but I’m straight up about it. I am small, And it’s been like that my entire life, so I have this small mindset now. Just about everyone and everything is bigger than I am.

Ever since I gave my life to Christ (so summer after I turned 15) I have heard about how BIG God is, and believed it. Because honestly, is it so hard to imagine someone bigger than a 5 foot tall, 20 year old girl? No, it’s not.

So I get vast love. I can understand that there is a God who loves us all more than the stars and the moon and the sun and everything. I can see the big-scale, crazy love.

But God is teaching me about a new kind of love, the kind we all so desperately crave and find in all the wrong places. I am learning about the tender love God has for me.

He knows my name, and not in a roll call kind of way. He knows why these names were given to me, how they make me unique from every other one of his children. He knows how many hairs I have on my head, but He also knows how many times I have dyed it as I search to find my outside identity. He doesn’t see me through a picture on Instagram, He sees me at all times. He gets the late nights and the early mornings and every second in between. He knows my tears as they fall, and the reason behind each and every one of them. He holds me close when He knows I need that love, because I am on the verge of giving up. He knows the friends I need and the people I don’t and the plans I have and the plans He has and my future husband and my future children and EVERYTHING. He knows it all. He knows me, not just in a big way, but in a close, small way. And He knows those things about you too.

He knows us the way we all wish we are known by the person who is kissing us on the neck as we pull them into our bed, craving a different kind of intimacy than the one they offer us. I have made too many mistakes with too many versions of the wrong person to think that I am going to know true intimacy with a human soul that knows sin. As hard as it is, especially as I look back on the times where I searched and searched for that kind of deep knowing in the eyes of boys who weren’t men yet, I know I can find that kind of love in Christ. Oh how He loves me. He loves me more than any of those boys and any man that might love me ever will.

He knows the face behind the makeup, the fake smile, the false face you put on to “be okay,” the tears. He knows the nail biting. He knows the calories we choose to consume… and the ones we choose not to. He knows the food we try to heave out of our bodies. He knows the blood that we watch stream down our arms onto the floor, and He cries as He watches His most prized possessions hurt themselves because they don’t know how to be loved by the only King who can love. He knows our fears. He knows our secrets. He knows us.

And right now, the Lord is trying to teach me about how closely He loves me. How intimate He can be. How true and deep His love is. He is teaching me the small scale, when all I’ve know are stars and mountains.

And me, the tiniest part of the biggest story, can find infinity in His love. I can find endless, perfect, big love from the biggest of them all. He has chosen to love each and every one of us, before we could love him back—regardless of whether or not we love him back. Even despite the fact that sometimes, we don’t love Him back.

He picks us to be on His team before we can even impress him with who we are. Elementary school was a long time ago, but not long enough to where I can’t remember that in order for me to get picked first for any team, I had to impress. God isn’t like that. We don’t have to impress and we STILL get picked first, and as someone who almost always got picked last, I think that’s pretty beautiful. I don’t have to be more. I don’t have to do more. I don’t have to try harder.

But I choose to do these things because of Him. I choose to change, to grow closer, to swim deeper, to love harder, to be more like Him because He is worthy. He is worthy. And somehow, we are worthy to Him.

So I’m going to tell you do something, but not for me. I’m telling you because sometimes we need to hear an actual voice say things in order to get it.

If you can look at your life and you wince at the idea of our big God knowing you in such a small way that He sees something there that doesn’t belong, evaluate whether or not that should be in your life. I’m going to say it, and don’t hate me for it: CHANGE. If you can’t change for you, because honestly you deserve more than cutting yourself off from His goodness, change for Him. Change because His love is so amazing, you want everyone to see it radiate from you. Change because of Him.

Choose love every dang day. Every day. Get out of bed and look at your mirror and love. Go out the door and love. Don’t stop. Just keep being the walking love letter that you are. The world needs more people who love without abandon, more people who choose people over and over. The world needs more people who will love regardless… of anything. Sin is sin is sin. There is no sin that is greater than another, so you can’t walk around thinking that you are better or worse. Your sin is just as bad as every other human beings. So instead of judging, try loving. Just… try it.

And one more thing, sweet human: don’t be frightened. Please don’t fear getting truly close with God. One of my favorite songs (“Out of Hiding” by Steffany Gretzinger) has this beautiful line that I say on repeat every time I get a glimpse of this big world created by a big God.

“No need to be frightened by intimacy.”

It’s not complex. It isn’t hard to understand. It’s a beautiful reminder that we should not fear growing closer to God. It is a sweet plea from the Lord of Lords to trust in Him. To love Him. To run towards Him. To throw your fears into the ocean as He drowns you in grace.

“No need to be frightened by intimacy.”

He won’t hurt you. He is not the boy you try to get to love you. He is not the parent that left you, the one you don’t know how to forgive after all of the pain they caused. He is not the friend that pushed you down when all you needed was help getting up. He is not pain. He is not taking advantage of you. He does not strip you of your dignity, instead He strips you of your sin.

My dear friend, I want you to get close. Pull Him close. Dive deeper. Scary close babe, scary close.

Moving closer and closer,

Em

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