I’m not so sure I have a license to write a blog. But then again, where do you get a license for something like this? I feel like at some point, at a certain age, we decide we’ve had enough solid life experience accumulate to where the contents of our heads or hearts or both are overflowing and the overflow needs to go somewhere. The last post was about how I was losing my best friend and possibly my mind —
but thank God for my boyfriend.
(I mean, thank God for him. Sure. He’s great. But we’re not together anymore.)
I don’t even live in the same state.
I have moved half-way across the country. I left my job. Left the “great actor’s dream” being 28 and in NYC and going after fame. I left a church I was totally happy at. I left my friends who I adore and miss every day. I left my routine.
Basically because God said “It’s time to go home,” and poured an ocean of favor on my move here. Also, my sister had twins. And my grandmother is probably going to go to heaven soon. And I want to be here for all of that. So, it was time to say goodbye and run towards the life God has for me here.
But then I get here and, uh-oh: same temptations, same triggers, same old desires.
And right now I’m in my jammies, sitting in my living room, contemplating what to do with another day in St. Louis, on the prowl for a job, asking God for some direction, and trying to do the single thing with grace. Again.
(Can I just be real and say that’s what I’m doing? Cool.)
I don’t have it figured out. I’m full of imperfections. And I don’t want this blog to be some kind of presumptuous soap box where I put a bow on my thoughts and feelings. I tried that, the whole nice bow thing. And you know what, God untied it, opened up the box, shook out the contents, and messed ’em all up. In a good way.
My prayer recently has revolved around one desire:
“God, create a pure heart in me.”
This echoes psalm 51:10 where David cries out to God where he says, “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me” (NIV). In some translations it says a “clean heart”. In others, he asks for a “right spirit” or a “loyal spirit”.
Language is my love language.
God uses words and phrases, in multiple languages, some of which I don’t know, to talk to me. He uses lyrics from songs that have nothing to do with Him to speak to me. He’s pretty creative. So, when he showed me this verse, I knew it was a word for me. It was exactly what I needed in this season.
To me, the psalmist’s words point to what is at the heart of our relationship with God: a hunger to be authentic, to be real with him. David asks for a loyal, right, steadfast spirit as well as a pure heart, a clean heart. // We cannot be real with God unless we show him our heart — as it is. Jesus says “come as you are”, right? Not cleaned up, or masquerading as something we aren’t. So, when we allow God into our heart, and he begins to heal it, we can’t help but be made aware: we have an opportunity to become more like him. To know him. To choose him.
I want to commit to writing about pain, joy, being single, searching for the real thing in a world obsessed with counterfeits, going deeper with God, and everything in between.
I’m not a therapist or a pastor or a novelist. I don’t go to ministry school. I’m an actor who got radically saved who is hungry for more.
(Are you still interested? If yes, great. If not, but you like Christian blogs, I suggest you read blogs by Andi Andrews, Rhema Trayner, Jen Hatmeyer and Ashley Abercrombie. They are like me, but wiser, hotter, and married.)
This entry is called “hi” because I want to reintroduce myself.
Hi. I’m Rachel. I have zero of this together. Jesus is holding all of this ish together for me. All of my good qualities are the gems placed inside of me before I knew left from right. I just moved back to St. Louis. Theatre is my thing. I have no job — but that will change. And I am the oldest unmarried woman in the history of my family. So, there is that.
Here are some thoughts
When will I get married
Why am I not married
Why am I not married
Why why Jesus why
I miss sex. (Oops, am I allowed to say that? I did.)
Nope, I’m not a virgin. Yes, I have desires. Yes, I have been abstinent from sex for over three years. Yes, it is a struggle and I have made poor choices. Yes, I continue to commit my heart to God even when it all, and especially when it all, gets super sloppy and I don’t know what to do. And Yes, I totally believe in Jesus and that he makes all things new. And yes, it is a p-r-o-c-e-s-s. Process.
But here’s the thing:
How do I walk out purity? How do I live a life worthy of the calling of God amidst a whole city of temptation, an industry riddled with sin and desire, and in a generation where “now” is paramount, and when the word purity in general makes me think of creepy religious things I used to be a part of? Like, how do I do that?
I don’t have a road map, but God has been dropping some major wisdom on me. So, here is what I have learned over the last two weeks and I hope it helps you with whatever is going on in your week, in today, whatever you’re walking in.
- Talk to him. God is an amazing listener and he knows just what to say. And he cares. So much. About every detail. Period.
- Repent and forgive. Shame and perfectionism are rooted in a religious spirit and directly oppose mercy, the beautiful antidote to pain. Forgiving yourself for needing to perform for God instead of receiving his love is a great start. And then ask where to go from there.
- Get a community. This is essential. Friends are everything. We need people who hold us accountable. We need people who laugh with us! We need people who refresh our spirit! We need people.
- Be seen. Actually show up to that thing you planned to go to, that coffee date you set, that buddy’s gig you said you would be at. Get out. The enemy hates it when you connect to other people and invest in your life. That’s why he wants you to resist it. So, tell him where he can stick it and get on with life.
- Persevere. You can do anything for one day.
sidenote: I used to be in AA and I still love the phrase “one day at a time”. It’s so true. And, in fact, that’s totally a biblical principal. When Jesus speaks to his disciples about their day to day tasks, he basically says there is grace per day, so don’t worry, because each day has enough troubles as it is – so, one day at a time.
I promise to be more topic oriented at some point and I will have verses and they will fit nicely into a theme and a story. but today is just about putting this out there, about stepping out and writing, even when I feel like “but it has been so long… who really cares?… will anyone read it?”
If we live for the validation of likes or comments or whatever — is that really life and life abundantly?
Here’s my heart and prayer for today: that we could all boldly step a little further towards where God is calling us. That we could greet his expectations and each other with a “Hello, I’m present” and know that the conversation will continue on. One step, one word, one night’s sleep, one dream, one moment at a time.
P.s. thank you Denise for constantly telling me I should write more. This is for you.