One random day, what feels like an entire lifetime ago, my husband and I prayed a prayer. We made a declaration in complete ignorance to give God everything we had. “Lord,” we said, “Help us be radical for You. Help us to love you and follow You the way You deserve to be loved and followed.”

I loved Him then, even though I didn’t entirely know Him. We were in ministry, albeit in a very Martha-in-the-kitchen type of way. We worked for God everyday. We were at church for every service. Our life was ministry. However, we were burning out. We were tired. Our marriage was strained and our children overwhelmed us.  We knew there had to be a level of Jesus we were missing.

We came home from a youth camp where my husband was serving as a pastor. And there sitting on the edge of our bed, completely exhausted in every sense of the word, we prayed that prayer. Without even really knowing what we were asking, without even really knowing the difference between the working of Martha and the worshipping of Mary, we asked Him to give us more of Him.

He is so faithful. Even in my ignorance, He was faithful to teach. Even in my fickle distraction, He was faithful to woo me into a deeper revelation of Him. Even in my unfaithfulness, He has shown Himself immeasurably good.

It took a tornado. On a Sunday afternoon, the day we unpacked the U-Haul at the little farm I’d prayed my whole life for, a tornado ripped through our town and begun the process that turned everything we knew upside down. It’s a much longer story than I have space to tell, but it is a story full of love and lessons and reverence. It is a story of learning to be still and know that He is God. It is a story of learning I can trust Him and fear Him and believe Him and hear Him. It is a messy story, with bumps and bruises and so, so, so much grace.

That was over two years ago. As I write this, I am sitting next to a window in a coffee shop. The rain is pooling in dark puddles in the parking lot and and the sky darkens my reflection is becoming more and more distinguishable in the glass.

Sometimes I don’t recognize myself. The Lord, in allowing me to know Him more deeply, has healed me more completely than I ever imagined possible. He has exposed the very darkest places in me. He has shone His bright, bright light on the places that felt unlovable and the places that felt like I had to prove myself worthy. He has taught me to freely receive the gifts He has for me.

Over the course of this two years, He has breathed His very Being into my lungs, and as His voice spoke to my heart, the chains of false identity fell like dead things to the ground. And after thirty years of trying on every identity I could find, I have finally found the one that was tailor made for me. While I may be the wife to a good man and the mother to five sweet boys, and I may be the girl with the little farm and the chickens in the yard, and I may be a homeschooler and a writer and a photographer, ultimately I am the bride to King Jesus. Nothing else really matters.

I tell you all of this as an introduction of sorts. Because I am taken a commission from my Bridegroom to ready His bride. I have promised I would share my story and my journey, and I have been tasked with the job of empowering the Mary’s.

He wants you at His feet. He wants you to hang on His every word, to choose the good thing that will not be taken from us (Luke 10:42). I want to see women empowered to choose Him.

This world is so broken, and so harsh and so altogether temporary. Even our alabaster flasks and our expensive ointments, the very best of what we have, are completely worthless unless we use them to anoint our precious King.

Can I encourage you today? Perhaps you are running at full speed, the weights flung off in your rearview. I want to cheer you on. I don’t want to stand like the disciples did while that woman broke her alabaster on Jesus’ feet, questioning the wastefulness of the sacrifice. I want to say, “Yes! You chose rightly! Keep running! Wash His feet with your tears! Yes, He is worth it!”

And if you haven’t made that choice yet, if you even now are feeling that beautiful weight of conviction on your heart, can I help you? Can I expose the lie of the enemy that comes in the form of shame? Shame is a lie and the devil is a liar! You are desired by our Father. You are loved and wanted and it doesn’t matter what you see anyone else doing. He wants your creative best from you. He wants your expression of worship. He wants to hear your voice and see your face. Let today be the day you pray the prayer and make a declaration of radical devotion. You don’t have to understand it.

I didn’t. I didn’t understand it at all, but I promise you this.: I pray it every day now. Because if there’s more of Him I want it. If there are deeper waters, I want to walk on them. If there’s another alabaster place in my heart, I want to break it.

Let this be the random day that changes everything you are. Repeat after me, and know He will be faithful to respond.

Let me love you more. Help me know you more. Give me more of you, Jesus. I want to be radical.

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