Dear Younger Me,

Dear younger me…

Get ready, because God is doing some crazy things in your life.

You don’t understand it yet, but soon you will begin to taste the sweetness of the reality of the Lord’s faithfulness. Over the next days and months and years, you will see more and more clearly each day the ways He has stood beside you through it all. You will slowly begin to grasp the weight and the magnitude of his immense love for you.

You haven’t seen it clearly yet, but soon you will come to recognize the way your weaknesses and shortcomings are simply an outlet for his incredible, awe-striking power. You will see time and time again you are not as strong as you think, but you will also learn you were not meant to be strong on your own. The power, courage, and strength you have is not and never will be your own. You will learn that life is not about strengthening yourself; it is a journey of surrendering to the power of God and allowing it to manifest in you.

You have not experienced it yet, but soon you will watch as the Lord fulfills the desires of your heart in unexpectedly beautiful ways. As you continue forward, you are walking into a beautiful plan and destiny that was written on your heart and prepared for you the moment you were created. You will see Him fulfill longings and desires you are completely unaware of but that your spirit so desperately reaches for.

You have not grasped it yet, but soon you will take a step towards embracing the truth that you are enough. Although the fears of your heart fight that truth now, the Father is slowly beginning to release the grip of that lie on your heart. You will see as you go forward that nothing – no achievement, no failure, nothing you will ever do or say – will change the vastness and depth of his love for you.

You are not fully aware of it yet, but soon you will see how desperately your spirit longs to worship and praise its Creator. As you go through seasons of trial and seasons of joy, the deep desire to sing of his goodness and grace will become like a pressure within your chest which will only find release as you allow it to burst forth in song. It will become your lifeline and place of rest in the storms. Through worship you will come to a place of deep intimacy with the Father you have never reached before.

You will experience. You will love. You will hurt. You will fight. You will sing. You will rest. You will grow. You will cry. You will learn. You will praise. You will stand. You will search. You will adjust. You will change. You will fall. You will laugh. You will struggle. You will long. You will hope. You will wonder. You will bow. You will break. You will breathe. You will live.

And through all of this, God will be with you. He will stand beside you. He will fight for you. He will follow you. He will seek you out. He will forever be faithful and never-changing. And no matter what, He will always be victorious.

Dear younger me, you will learn so many things. You will grow in so many ways. And when you look back on it all, you will only see Him.

Dear future me…

I now see so much I did not understand before. And I know that what I know now is nothing compared to what I will know in the coming days, months, and years. There is so much that has yet to be revealed. There is so much to be discovered.

I pray that as you walk through the coming months, you hold onto hope. That as you press on through these seasons of uncertainty, you keep hoping and waiting for the glory God is revealing. Don’t forget that in time, the same situations that appear full of chaos and hurt will reveal the joy of the Lord.

I pray that as you face the fears that have rooted themselves in your heart, you desperately take hold of the truth and promises of the Father. That your heart knows nothing other than turning to His Word when it is at war. Don’t forget that His Word is your defense and your weapon against the enemy in this battle.

I pray that as you laugh, you understand the power behind the joy that is bursting from your spirit. That as you struggle, you cling tightly to that spring of life from the Father’s own Spirit and allow it to be your strength. Don’t forget the way this joy reveals an encounter and connection between yourself and the Holy Spirit.

I pray as you grow, you root yourself deeply in the love of God. That it becomes the reason and purpose your own heart beats. Don’t forget the more you come to comprehend and rest in the depth and intensity of His love, the more you will reflect Him in all you do.

I pray as you seek, you desperately pursue the Father’s perfect plan for you. That you will be so focused on Him you will never question the direction your feet go, because they will only follow His footsteps. Don’t forget He has already gone before you and prepared a way, and He will faithfully walk with you through the darkest valleys and will be your peace and strength through it all.

Get ready, because He is unveiling His glory and power.

Keystone

The very stone masons rejected as flawed has turned out to be the most important capstone of the arch, holding up the very house of God.

Psalm 118:22 TPT

Usually, when I hear God compared to a stone in the Bible, it is in reference to Him being a firm foundation (Psalm 18:2, 1 Corinthians 3:11-15, Matthew 7:24-27) or a cornerstone in the foundation of the temple of God (Ephesians 2 19-22, Isaiah 28:16, 1 Peter 2:7-8). This paints a beautiful picture of how our lives are meant to be built upon the truth of Christ. He is the only firm foundation, and as the cornerstone, He is the first and most crucial piece in the foundation of our lives.

Today, as I was studying some of these scriptures, one verse referenced Psalm 118:22 in the footnotes. I flipped through my Bible to find it and, when I read the verse, I had to sit in silence for a few moments.

In the Passion Translation, this verse in Psalms uses the word “capstone” rather than cornerstone and depicts an archway rather than a foundation. Before I explain the significance of that comparison for me, I will do my very best to explain why this is such a great analogy.

I am definitely not an architect, but I have a very deep appreciation for art. A couple years ago, I had to take an art course for college that ended up focusing quite a bit on architectural art rather than just paintings and sculptures. I found this section of the course extremely interesting, especially when they spent time discussing cathedrals, churches, and buildings that are standing after hundreds of years. Things we build today are so temporary compared to those stone fortresses, temples, and houses of God. Not just that, but so many of them include some of the most beautiful gothic architecture and art of the time period. Massive ogival arches, flying buttresses, ribbed vaults… it’s absolutely breathtaking. And so many are still standing.

Even though these buildings are massive and are so complex in design, they were built to stand hundreds of years without crumbling, toppling, or disintegrating. (This is the part of the art course that fascinated me.) When I studied the construction of archways in some of these buildings, basically the only thing discussed was the importance of the capstone (typically called a “keystone”). The keystone is the stone which rests at the very top of the arch in the center.

Although this is not an example of gothic architecture, the Arc de Triomphe features a very obvious keystone.

When building an arch, the keystone is place in the arch at the very end. Although it is added last, this stone has the most important job of any stone in the arch. (I will summarize this quite a bit, but I highly suggest looking more into the physics of how this all works because it’s extremely fascinating.) The keystone is usually a slightly different shape than other stones in the arch, with a wider top and narrower base. The angle of the sides allows for the force placed on the keystone to be directed down through the branches of the arch toward the ground. By distributing the weight in this way, the keystone allows the arch to not only bear the weight of itself without crumbling, but also bear the load of anything built on top of it.

So Christ is our Keystone. The reason the verse in Psalm 118 affected me so deeply is because it addresses the way Christ was first “rejected as flawed”. The masons (that’s us – humanity as a whole and those who placed Him on the cross) did not see the potential Jesus had or the purpose He was created for. Jesus challenged what was viewed as “normal” when He was here. He was unlike any other person who had walked this earth, because He was created for a purpose nobody else could ever or would ever be able to fulfill. Jesus was not the same shape as the other stones because He did not have the same purpose in the arch the rest of us did.

He had the final word. Although Jesus was cast aside, He ended up being the most important piece in the final structure. When He died on the cross, He took his place the Keystone in the Kingdom of God. With His dying breath, He became fixed in place, bearing the weight of sin for every person that had lived or ever would. The death and resurrection gave Him the final word in the battle between life and death. He was the final piece God needed in the construction of His holy temple. Because of Jesus, the weight of sin and death which should have caused us to crumble was absorbed and redirected. He has allowed us (the church and the stones) to be part of the Kingdom which will stand for eternity. This arch, where Jesus is the Keystone, is the only gateway to eternity in the Kingdom of Heaven.

How incredibly beautiful is that?

In my own life, the picture of Jesus being the Keystone is also very significant. My own life is not supposed to be like one of the beautiful gothic cathedrals because my life is not meant to be a lasting temple or house. My life is temporary and is part of my preparation for the eternity I will spend in Heaven. It is something I will pass through, like an archway, to enter into eternity with Jesus. God has given me many beautiful stones to construct my life. The thing is, I can work my whole life on building an elaborate, complex, detailed, and breath-taking arch with these stones, but if I don’t have the Keystone, all my work will crumble before my eyes. There is a weight to life, a weight to blessing, a weight to suffering, a weight to dreams, a weight to being which I cannot bear on my own. Nothing can bear the weight of it aside from Jesus.

In order to construct my life in a way that will be lasting and will withstand the force and pressure from the enemy, Jesus, my Keystone, needs to be at the center of it all. Not only that, He needs to be the highest point. The focus of my life needs to be completely directed to Him. When I focus my life on Him and allow the weight of those stones to rely on Him, He shows me how to direct my attention and focus through each of the other pieces I have been given.

God is my Rock and my Foundation. He is my Cornerstone, the first piece in my life’s foundation. He is the First. And He is the Last. Christ is my Keystone. He is the last piece in my arch, the center and highest point in the life I am building.