Fear would have us believe that our flaws are our curses when, in faith, they are the foundation of our callings by which we can bless others and, ultimately, ourselves.
That written, I can’t tell you how many days and nights I cried, how many heavy breaths I sighed, and how many times I berated my brain and heart and beat myself up for being a ‘head-smart/heart-dumb girl.’
English, algebra and social studies–A, A, A.
Dating, relationships and self-love–F, F, F.
I was so f’ing tired of flunking life’s classes on love that I didn’t know what to do. Until one night – prompted by my and a guy’s discourse, which would’ve surely led to me failing another love-course – something within me clicked and I heard myself say:
“You know what? I’m going to write a book. And I’m going to call it, Just Because He Says You’re Beautiful…”
That was six years ago. Little did I know that that book was just Part 1 of my story. In the time since then, I’ve learned a lot more, which is not to say that I’ve learned it all–hence, Parts 2 and 3.
More heart-dumb mistakes? Check.
More excruciating heartache? Check.
More lessons to teach the masses and myself? Double check.
The Apostle Paul was another person who made a lot of mistakes. He caused and suffered his share of disheartening experiences. What’s more, he wrote several books’ worth of lessons to share with the masses. Moreover, Paul shared a personal lesson about the proverbial “thorn” in his side.
“Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me.” ~2 Corinthians 12:8, NKJV
What was the Lord’s prescription for Paul’s pain, you ask?
“My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” ~2 Corinthians 12:9, NKJV
At first glance, God’s response to Paul may appear more on the side of tough than love. But with a second look, we see that God’s grace not only soothed Paul’s pain, but saved him from his own self-righteousness so that he could rest assured on the righteousness of God–the only One whose righteousness has been cross-tested and Christ-approved.
And guess what? God’s grace and Self-sacrificial righteousness can soothe our thorny issues too. (Even if those “issues” can be transcribed into multiple volumes.)
So, by the grace of God and the goodness of His righteousness, I offer you the ‘thorn in my flesh’ in the form of this book. It contains prickly points I wish I had known sooner, practiced more recently and pray I won’t repeat–again.
Being perfect is one thing; being “perfected” by the love and sacrifice of Jesus Christ is another.
While our thorns may be tenacious and our flaws a fact, I believe in the power of prayer, surrender and the name of Jesus to break every chain over our lives. So, go tell somebody – on the mountain, in the valley or at the summer school nearest you – that there’s hope for the hopeless romantic and help for head-smart/heart-dumb girls and women everywhere. Live! Love! Learn!