Prepared Like a Bride

I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and He will dwell with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” – (Revelation 21:2-4, NIV)

And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. It was prepared like a bride dressed for her husband. I heard a loud voice from the throne. It said, “Now God’s home is with people. He will live with them. They will be His people. God Himself will be with them and will be their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death, sadness, crying, or pain. All the old ways are gone.” – (Revelation 21:2-4, ERV)

 

God really is so good. Though I felt compelled to call this site Revelations in Writing, I have not spent much time dwelling in the book of Revelation. The content, quite honestly, makes me a bit anxious, rather than brings clarity. I don’t avoid it altogether, I just have not really dove deep into a dedicated study of that particular book. This morning, however, I was nearly moved to tears by the imagery found in the verses that appeared in my daily devotions. Being such a visual person, these verses struck a space in my heart that needed to imagine such incredible, beautiful hope.

It was a little less than a year ago, and I was the bride, dressing for my husband on our wedding day, right here at my mom’s house. Dear family and treasured friends joined us to celebrate our union before God in this gorgeous setting. As a girl who grew up caring far more about athletics and art than appearances, I have never been one to feel particularly “pretty” or “beautifully dressed”, but rather an artist who has fun with color and pattern and design. However, on my wedding day, I did feel like a bride who had been transformed for her groom – not because of my clothing or hair; it was the way I was viewed through the eyes of my groom.

Additionally, the hope that is held in these verses, offers a load far lighter than what I bore yesterday. Between the early morning’s fiasco, exhaustion, and then learning of the loss of my paternal grandmother, my heart was so heavy that it simply sat in my chest as a stone. I could not even feel because the weight was so great.

Mom struggled with word finding the first half of the day, as the lack of sleep had really taken a toll. We met her new in-home physical therapist, and were both very impressed and pleased. She will begin sessions three days per week, starting Monday. Speech therapy and occupational therapy are yet to be scheduled, but those should begin this coming week as well. She will have in-home nurse visits too, to be sure all is going as it should. So far, her care team is fantastic, and I am grateful that we have the opportunity to keep mom in her own home in Wenatchee.

All that to say, that the hope held in knowing that one day we will be with God, and He with us, where there will be no wheelchairs, monitors, bed rails, strokes, sickness, deaths, diseases, fears, frustration, tears, nor pain, is an incredible promise to hold in our hearts.

 

Imagine the bride,

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Photo by Dee Jones of Open Door Photography ❤

On her wedding day;

Eager and ready,

For all that awaits.

Two lives full of hope,

Placed in the Lord’s hands;

As loved ones witness,

His unfolding plan.

How much greater still,

Will it be one day;

When God comes to dwell,

Among us, to stay.

All sickness and pain,

Death, hurt and disease;

Will no longer be,

In Him, we’ll be free.

No weight nor sorrow,

Just wonder and awe;

Joy in His presence,

No more sinful flaw.

Fear not His coming,

Instead, let hope rise;

There’s beauty beyond,

Our dreams realized.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are so good. Thank You that You take our heaviness and exchange it with hope. Thank You that the weight of this world may feel heavy for a season, but the hope of eternity is well worth the weight we bear throughout the various seasons in life. Thank You that You strengthen and equip us to carry whatever load lies before us, and You bring others alongside us to share the weight. Forgive us for thinking that we are meant to carry things alone, or that this is somehow all there is, forgetting that there is so much more beyond what is before us in the right now. Teach us to trust You with our today, tomorrow and forever. Show us how to love those around us in a way that helps them see the hope that goes beyond today. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we embrace the hope that is held in eternity with You, and the help You supply in the “right now”. Thank You that You speak to us individually, in the way that penetrates the places in our hearts that feel heaviest and need Your light to shine the brightest. Amen.

 

© Shannon Elizabeth Grabrick and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

 

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. – Hebrews 13:8

The Warrior Way

There are a few things that I have read recently, that have really stood out as powerful reminders. Each one pointed to who God is, and how He sees me. I did not realize that my sense of self had likely become skewed, but based on the response of my heart to each of them, I am guessing the weight of the past week had taken its toll.

“For the Lord takes delight in His people; He crowns the humble with salvation.” – (Psalm 149:4) The very idea that He delights in me, is both beautiful, and beyond me. Additionally, imagining Christ giving me an actual crown to cover my head with the sweet safety of His salvation, is astounding. Though I was not a child that cared about dress up and tiaras, in fact, I much preferred neighborhood football games and climbing trees, there is something growing in me that absolutely adores the image of not only being His delightful daughter, but also being adorned in some sort of fanciful family attire.

Warrior princess. I love the image. On a fellow blogging friend’s post this past week (forgive me, for I cannot recall which one), she called us warrior princesses. As one who has always felt like I had to be tough, the pairing of tough with one who is precious and vulnerable, is a bit of a mind shift, yet seriously stunning. God does see us this way. We are His daughters (and sons), in whom He delights, yet He empowers each of us with His Holy Spirit, so that we are equipped to be warriors to walk in His way. Divine duality orchestrated by our amazing Daddy God.

Finally, “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men (people) of courage, be strong. Do everything in love.” – (I Corinthians 16:13-14) This verse is our charge, warrior princes and princesses. We are to be ever aware, stand firm in our faith; have courage and strength in Him. And above all, do everything in love.

We each bear a crown,crown

adorned in His Name;

worth more than fortune,

far more than all fame.

In it is glory,

our eternity;

our place and our purpose,

given dignity.

Here, strength is granted,

to His humble child;

each seen as precious,

such beauty beguiled.

Rise up warriors,

He calls us His own;

may we all go forth,

let His love be known.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are master artist, able to craft us into warrior princes and princesses. You created us to be strong in You, yet see us as precious and part of Your own royal family. Thank You for loving us beyond what we can even begin to comprehend, and help us to gain new glimpses of insight each day. Forgive us for allowing the weight of the world to skew our perception of who You have created us to be, and help us to see ourselves through Your eyes. May we be courageous and firm in our faith, yet ever vigilant, being on guard, so we will be aware of anything that would come against us. More than that, help us to allow Your love to flavor everything that we say and do. When we speak, may it be in love. As we serve, may love be our motivation. Let Your love be what others see in each of us. May many come into a saving knowledge of You, so they too may be robed in Your righteousness and receive the crown of salvation. Be glorified through our love. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.