Friday, April 11, 2014

What Love Looks Like // week 13

I've never participated in Lent before. This year the soil of my heart was prepared, I was willing. On Ash Wednesday the Lord asked me to give up my expectation of Zachary loving me. For the past eight weeks the Lord has led me through a release of my expectations (it was a bigger stronghold than I realized. Zachary was the one who graciously called me out on looking to him as a head too soon, before we were in a committed relationship.) and into an even more intentional practice of loving sacrificially. Taking me through 1 Corinthians 13, showing me only He can require such love from a person and its never given out of obligation but out of joy. This is how He wants us to love each other, but such love is compelled by knowing His love and loving Him first, foremost. That's how I usually operate but He knew with my mistake of beginning to lean on Zachary too soon, I was losing my sharply tuned ear to His heart. Lent was how He has regained it.

At the beginning of this week, on the nine month mark of our wild + wonderful relationship Zachary broke up with me. We said "goodbye for now" and cut off all communication. One week prior to that I was living in his Mom's house, applying for summer jobs, thinking we were headed toward a committed relationship in the upcoming months. A season of so much work, joyful work, the type of toil I want to do every day of my life because sacrificing for another person is so worth the effort, I expected to be followed with a season of excitement. Jesus knew better. The work He has been accomplishing within Zachary and I through each other's friendship over the past nine months is finished. Right now we aren't the tools needed in each other's lives to complete what the Lord wants done. He's taking over from here, solo. I take that back, He's using the Body at large as well in each of our lives. He's removed us from each other, we're leaning into Him -- hard (because though He is so enough, its hard to lose someone so dear and so close), and He's ministering to every little place that needs it by His Spirit and His Body.

Zachary wasn't only unprepared to commit to a relationship headed toward marriage, he wasn't sure what he wanted, or who. That's completely fair. I can't change that. For nine months I've known that I couldn't. Whatever the point of my being sure of what/who I wanted and prepared to commit to (so much so that I jumped the gun and started to operate under a mentality of commitment that we hadn't gotten to yet) and led to sacrifice so much so joyfully for it was, the Lord knows. I know nothing is wasted. I know I would do it all over again, knowing the outcome would be an end rather than a beginning. Zachary is the best friend of my life and he is worth it all -- unconditionally.

Jesus has given me a season of rest. He has shown me how He desires me to be loved, He satisfies my heart's deep places, He's overshadowing me and telling me to rest easy and let Him do what He is doing. No plans. No stress. No striving. Just rest, refreshment and fresh vision + passion for what He has in store. I smile and laugh at memories of Zachary, I mourn the loss of memories I hoped to make with him, and I rest secure knowing that the same steady, faithful, healing Hand that holds my life, holds his too.

This week's meditation on my Lent journey is 1 Corinthians 13:7 >>  
"Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, 
is ever ready to believe the best of every person, 
its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, 
and it endures everything [without weakening]."


  1. Sending hugs to you, Chelsea. How this stirs up in me memories of my own journey down a similar path before I came to visit your parents in WI...praying for you and proud of you for leaning in to the Lord in your hurt!!!

  2. I admire your honesty, Chelsea. This is beautiful. Our hearts are such complicated things. I resonate with these struggles and have experienced my own growing pains and heartbreaks throughout the years. I love that He is letting you experience His rest through this. Wishing you much healing and renewal through this time!

  3. Chels, remember a while ago when you posted about your guys' friendship, and I told you I was in a similar place? Well, here we are again! My long-distance relationship also ended. And I can't tell you the life-changing fruit, giftings, and growth that came out of that end. "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit." Only God knows if it's over for a season or for good, and so all there is to do is trust Him. We may not know the way we go, but oh, we know our guide. Love you and praying for you. <3