I am watching something beautiful take place in my soul. I don’t know what it is, not yet, but I know something is shifting, yielding, growing, making room for something marvelous that only the Lord can do. I don’t know when it will be finished, or even when it started. But I know Jesus is on the move, and I know He’s doing something brand new.

I know this because there is a new quietness—a quiet confidence that wasn’t there before. But there’s also a return: a return to creativity, a return from the tired complacency of transition, to the willingness to wake up early, commit to my true self, do the hard work it all will take. But there’s also a new return, one that wasn’t here before—or at least, not in such fullness: a return to love. Not love as in: warm and fuzzy, positive feelings for the people I like and enjoy but love as in: I will sacrifice for you because that is what truly living requires sometimes, especially truly living through, with, and in Jesus. Never mind that my grandest sacrifice is most often doing the dishes. (But then, you know all about my qualms about dishes.)

That’s the funny thing about life with Jesus: he’s turning my wrinkled-nose distaste, my I-would-rather-scrub-seven-toilets-than-deal-with-these-dishes-right-now stubbornness, into opportunities to join him on the Cross, for the sake of others—for the life of others.

Life is what Jesus came for. Not just life, but life to the full (John 10:10). Perhaps fullness of life is two sides of the same coin: the willingness to be loved and the willingness to love. Both are hard. Both take work. Both need freedom. When we grow in both of them, something remarkable happens. When I accept that I am worthy of deep, abiding, crazy-for-you, real, willing love, I am changed. I am drawn up to my full stature, rescued from the low, fearful crouch of lies that tell me I am not good enough. When I accept, too, that I am worthy and capable of loving in return, I am relieved of the heights of pride and can bend low towards the sufferings of others, keep them company in the midst of it, and help draw them up to their full height.

Yes, something remarkable is happening here. Something new and old all at once. Something that was never here before, and something that was planted long ago. I am eager to sit still, watch it take shape, and when the time is right, stand up and move forward into it, living more fully and freely than ever before.

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