It’s been three years ago that I was living in England. What a dear time that was for me. I remembered a chapter from my book called “That I May Have” and I thought I’d share it with you. As we celebrate that Jesus really is alive and wanting a relationship with us, I hope you ponder the great truths of Who He really is….
And a plug….I still have books available for purchase with all proceeds going to Home of Hope Rwanda! 😉
“That I May Have” Chapter 11 from Bright Red Trousers
No surprise it was raining that morning. Verity and I had walked downtown to join the annual “walk through High Street” and the Good Friday service. It is tradition throughout England for all churches in the towns to start walking at one point and carry a large wooden cross through the streets and end up at High Street (the main street of any town is called High Street). They sing. People come out of stores to watch or join along route.
The wind was cold, but I had my Starbucks in hand. We huddled close to the crowd that was listening to the preacher speak about the importance of Easter and what it really means. The Pastor spoke from Philippians 3:8-9 and talked about “having Christ”. It seemed so simple, yet hit me harder than any other Good Friday service I’d ever attended. That is what Christianity is about – having Christ. I went home and, feeling so taken by the morning, wrote the below…
I was a shy 7-year-old farm girl who loved the garden and nice things. Light brown hair and dimples, I adopted at an early age a love for shoes. One day on a trip to the city, I fell in love with some shiny black “heels” that I thought would make perfect Sunday shoes, and I tried to convince my Mom of this. Little did she know I was also thinking – those would look great on the playground. Unfortunately, the store didn’t have my proper size, but I told my Mom the size I tried on would work – really Mom, they fit fine! I said through the squeezing pain of beauty.
Mom instructed that these new beauties were to remain on the shelf until Sunday morning, and I solemnly nodded in obedience. However, school mornings came and it was too tempting to not show them off to my classmates. I stuck the treasures in my back-pack, with a plan to take them out and wear them as my “classroom” shoes. Mom would never know.
Day turned to day, and I realized the ache of these new soles were not quite worth the pain. I confessed to my Mom I had worn them at school and that these brilliant heels were actually far too small and hurting my feet.
When I was 16 I fell for a guy at my small-town church. He towered over me at 6’5 and had the ability to draw me in with his athleticism and wit. He walked in a mysterious attraction that captivated me for seven years. I wondered day and night if I would ever have him, or if he desired me, even a tiny bit. My teen-age insecurities held me back in expressing my admiration, and so, for all those years, I lived in the land of wonder. Was I not pretty enough? Was I not brave enough? Was I just not enough?
Right before our friendship ended, I had a faint glimpse of hope that he did have feelings for me. We agreed to meet after three years of not seeing each other face-to-face. Those 48 hours of decision were the happiest and hardest for my inexperienced heart. In the same breath he gave me a yes, he then gave me a no. I’m sorry, I can’t do this. I lead you on, he said. It felt like my heart had been kissed then crushed and those seven years of wishing ended – forcefully and without an explanation.
I’ll have a grande, double-shot, sugar-free, extra-hot Chai latte. Please. I love a good Starbucks. I know I am paying mostly for ambience, but there’s something deeply satisfying about sitting in a plush velvet chair for two hours reading Jane Austen and watching people I don’t know walk through those glass doors. Shameless. I’ll have that.
Being a single, 27-year-old successful young woman, there exist many things in my sights I’d still love to have. I have had heart ache. I have had shiny red shoes that stop traffic. I have had quiet moments on a country road where I felt like God was literally standing right next to me. I have had problems I couldn’t fix and cars that were the same. I have had journeys over-seas and late night intimate talks with friends. I, have had many things.
Having insinuates ownership and property. It is yours. It can go with you, stay on the kitchen table or remain on the backseat of your car. Having indicates you have said “I want this in my life.”
Yet one thing, I am told, is the greatest thing I can ever have.
This past Good Friday the Pastor spoke from Philippians 3:8-9 – “Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the priceless gain of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. I have discarded everything else counting it all as garbage, SO THAT I MAY HAVE CHRIST. 9 and become one with Him. I no longer count on my own goodness or my ability to obey God’s law, but I trust Christ to save me. For God’s way of making us right with Himself depends on faith.”
What I have or do doesn’t determine my worth or decide who I am. It might be a reflection of my heart and interests, but what sits in my closet, or what to-do list I check at the end of the week isn’t what God wishes me to base my life on. My achievements are worthless in comparison.
So that I may have Christ. I get to HAVE Christ! Suddenly, this Easter my realization of how intimate Jesus wants to be with me became clearer. I get to have Him as a Saviour, Friend, Confidant, Redeemer and the list goes on. And He wants me to. Jesus wants to have me.
The acquisition of life-changing moments with Christ suddenly gained height on the ladder of importance; to the top. He is mine to have.
At the end of my life, may it be said: Lani experienced many great things, and had a life that touched many. But greatest of all, she had Christ.