A Promise to My First Love
I don't like being cliché.
I say what I mean and I mean what I say. That is who I am. Yes, I change my mind over the course of time through experience and knowledge, mindfulness, and awareness. Though there is something about who God has made me to be that I refuse to downplay, and that is: when I make a promise, I keep it.
I make every effort to keep my promises...but my 20s have taught me that even the best, fall short of this concept. There have been many promises I had made to myself that I compromised. To be frank, it hurts to know that I let myself down by breaking some of the most important promises I've ever made to myself. In fact, it hurt so much that I was in tears as I was reflecting the broken promises before turning 25. That's when God said,
"Child, yes, you haven't been perfect. You've made choices that hurt us, but you forget the most important promise you ever made. That agreement is one you have never compromised, and I'm proud of you for it. It's the agreement to stick it through with me."
As I've been approaching 25, I've been asking myself what I want this new chapter of my life to mean. I want to grow into a better person with each passing day. Though this time around, I wanted to more specific and ask God to help me keep this vital promise till my last breath.
'So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold to the traditions you were taught, whether by what we said or what we wrote. May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal encouragement and good hope by grace, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good work and word.'
- 2 Thessalonians 2:15-17 CSB
'No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in the concerns of civilian life; he seeks to please the commanding officer. Also, if anyone competes as an athlete, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. The hardworking farmer ought to be the first to get a share of the crops. Consider what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything. This saying is trustworthy: For if we died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he will also deny us; if we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot deny himself. '
Initially, I thought about making a post about 25 awesome things I've learned before being 25, but that's cliché and redundant seeing that I'll continue to share with you guys throughout this time of my life. So it only makes sense to use this moment to expose the most crucial wish of all:
I want to live my life as a child chasing after the heart of her Father without losing faith and hope in him. To live my life with spiritual perseverance and a consistent desire to pursue the Lord and be pursued by him is the only prayer I could think of.
'But I have this against you: You have abandoned the love you had at first. '
'But know this: Hard times will come in the last days. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, proud, demeaning, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, without love for what is good, traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to the form of godliness but denying its power. Avoid these people. For among them are those who worm their way into households and deceive gullible women overwhelmed by sins and led astray by a variety of passions, always learning and never able to come to a knowledge of the truth. Just as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so these also resist the truth. They are men who are corrupt in mind and worthless in regard to the faith. But they will not make further progress, for their foolishness will be clear to all, as was the foolishness of Jannes and Jambres. But you have followed my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, and endurance, along with the persecutions and sufferings that came to me in Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra. What persecutions I endured — and yet the Lord rescued me from them all. In fact, all who want to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. Evil people and impostors will become worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and firmly believed. You know those who taught you, and you know that from infancy you have known the sacred Scriptures, which are able to give you wisdom for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.'
'I solemnly charge you before God and Christ Jesus, who is going to judge the living and the dead, and because of his appearing and his kingdom: Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; rebuke, correct, and encourage with great patience and teaching. For the time will come when people will not tolerate sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, will multiply teachers for themselves because they have an itch to hear what they want to hear. They will turn away from hearing the truth and will turn aside to myths. But as for you, exercise self-control in everything, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. At my first defense, no one stood by me, but everyone deserted me. May it not be counted against them. But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that I might fully preach the word and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the lion’s mouth. The Lord will rescue me from every evil work and will bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever! Amen. '
I'm young in many people's eyes, so I don't know everything. What I do know is that everything you see is meaningless (Solomon himself said it). Possessions are meaningless. Acclamations by people are insignificant. It all fades away, and in a world where we struggle with being fulfilled for extended periods, all that is seen will never bring you lasting joy.
Honestly, it is what is unseen that is eternal. It is the relationship we have with our Father that surpasses time. Chasing after anything outside of inner peace and the heart of God will never bring you joy. It is the thirst to love others, the desire to please the one who created every intricate piece of our being, and the yearning to become more of the love we so plead for that truly bring enlightenment.
As the page turns, I desire to stand firm in what the Lord has instilled within my soul. I yearn to dive in deeper with my main man upstairs. Nothing, no gifts or presents or persons would bring me more joy than the Lord. Promises we make to others and for selfishness will not always last. It is the decision we make to live this life for his glory and basque in his grace, mercy, and love that withstand all that life can and will throw at us.
Until next time…