Hi friends and welcome to the Arise, Beloved blog. We have an amazing team of writers behind this blog and our desire is to speak truth into the lies that cripple us and shine light into the darkness that isolates us because we believe that now, more than ever, the Church desperately needs women to be restored so that the world can be set ablaze. Our hope is that you find comfort, solace, and peace in knowing that you are not alone, you are not too far gone and there is ALWAYS hope to be found.
// Megan Byers //
I have a flair for the dramatic.
I gasp. I cry.
I make faces that show exactly what I’m thinking or feeling.
I have been known to fall over or just open my mouth really wide when I realize something.
You might see the phrases “WHAT,” “oof,” and “THIS!!!” in the margins of my bible and spiritual books because I have absolutely said those things aloud while reading.
Some people may find this part of me annoying, but you know what? God delights in me.
I’m not sure if these reactions are learned behaviors or if they are natural responses of my amazement, whatever the case, I react. I react to the truth, to beauty. I react when I learn something new that is good and life-giving.
My community in college lived in a constant state of wonder and awe in regards to the faith. We would ponder in amazement, wide-eyed and mystified, whenever we came across a new truth. We wouldn’t hesitate to share the good news with our friends. We were all about being beloved daughters, the FATHER, the prodigal son, and merciful love.
While this was a great posture to have, I think it prevented the truth from sinking in.
“Me? A Beloved Daughter? WOW!!!! How amazing and glorious and earth-shattering. I can’t wait to scream about this with my friends…” When I think the proper response should be “I can’t wait to sit with this in prayer.”
Yeah, the Father loves me. Yeah, I am His beloved daughter. Yeah, He welcomes me back with open arms and a merciful heart. Yeah, we should shout these things from the mountain tops. Trust me, I rejoiced in those truths a lot in college.
When it came time to confront them I felt myself saying, “help my unbelief.” I felt myself doubt, question, and sometimes reject things I once proudly wore. Through it all, God delighted in me.
When I was given space to sit in uncomfortable silence, I felt less special and more uncertain that God would love, welcome, or forgive me. Outside the excitement, I wrestled.
Wrestling with truth became bearable with three simple words.
Remain with scripture.
This is the best advice I have ever received. I can’t remember exactly who told me to do this, but I have a memory of these words.
Remain with scripture. Stay. If something is speaking to you, if the Lord is speaking to you, listen. Stay with a specific piece of scripture for as long as you need. If you finish your time in prayer one day but still need to pray with a specific passage, the next day, go back.
I spent a whole year with Isaiah 62:1-5!
For Zion’s sake I will not be silent… You shall be called by a new name bestowed by the mouth of the LORD. You shall be a glorious crown in the hand of the LORD, a royal diadem in the hand of your God. No more shall you be called “Forsaken,” nor your land called “Desolate,” But you shall be called “My Delight is in her,” and your land “Espoused.” For the LORD delights in you, and your land shall be espoused. For as a young man marries a virgin, your Builder shall marry you; And as a bridegroom rejoices in his bride so shall your God rejoice in you.
Right away I zeroed in on the last verse… “As a bridegroom rejoices in his bride.” Picture it: the groom beaming, maybe even crying, as his bride walks down the aisle. “So shall your God rejoice in you.” Before I could jump into old habits and run to share the verse with my friends, God showed me how He looks at me.
“This is not just a beautiful sentiment, Megan. I rejoice in you. Every time I see you walk down the aisle of this chapel, I am beaming. I cry tears of joy. Megan, I delight in you.”
God delights in me!
I shed a few tears during that first holy hour. My excitement soon turned to doubt. “God delights in ME!! …God delights in me?” I spent my entire mission year sitting in the truth that I am delighted in by my Heavenly Father. I confronted my shame and feelings of unworthiness. I developed a relationship with a God who is romantic and gentle. I developed a relationship with God in which He would speak truth over me, and I believed Him. God delights in me.
Because I remained with Isaiah 62 I could claim my identity as a beloved daughter. All of the things I reacted to in college became ingrained in me as I sat with Psalm 139, Luke 15, Romans 8, and John 10 (to name a few) for as long as I needed.
Reacting to truth is still something I do. Only now I take the time to sit and listen. When I come across something new, something that awakens my heart, I remain with it. I wrestle when I need to; I renounce lies and I cast out false identities. A purification process is necessary to let truth settle in my heart.
God delights in me. God delights in you.
If you struggle to believe this simple, profound, and life-altering truth, remain with scripture. God delights in you, He delights in YOU!!! Run, tell your friends, fall over, cry, scream, react, but don’t forget to pray, sit, listen, and wrestle until you believe! God delights.