So I Liked a Boy [Part Three: Stop Praying Your Own Will Be Done]

Hello, hello, kids.

It’s Tuesday, which means it’s time for part three of So I Liked a Boy; here’s part one and part two for your consideration, if you’re new.

This week we’re talking about what it can be like to pray about a crush and what it shouldn’t be like. I hope these things don’t feel law-ish to anyone. It’s not about doing x y z or doing anything in a particular order or a particular way. I’m just speaking from my own experience and what God revealed to be in my heart, speaking of the tendencies I have that I learned were symptoms of other things, and how Jesus led me into a better thing.

Let’s get started.

so i liked a boy pt 3

Now that we’re actually praying…

Sooooo, when I eventually started praying about The Guy and my StirringsTM, my default setting was to pray that God would take away my feelings ASAP.

It was all very “let this cup pass from me” and “have mercy on me, Son of David” and “deliver me from this body of death” and all that sort of stuff which in the Bible was prayed under great duress. Because apparently in my life, it must all be done melodramatically.

At the time, I was certain that such feelings (aka: a crush) were a sign that I wasn’t satisfied in Jesus and thus idolizing romantic relationships, and that felt like the worst thing ever. So whenever I prayed, I was like, “TAKE IT FROM ME, GOD.”

I wanted the easy way out.

I wanted what felt like a problem to go away. I wanted relief. I had tunnel vision. I prayed for weeks on end that God to take away my crush.

Gradually, gently, the Holy Spirit left a question mark in my head whenever I prayed the crush would go away until I wondered if maybe—just to cover my bases—I should add something like “but have your way in all these things, God” to end of my prayers about my crush. You know, just in case God’s will was different than mine.

Full disclosure, this conscious thought of what if my will isn’t God’s will wasn’t around for more than a second before my brain was like, “wHAt iF IT’s JEsUs’ WILL ThAT WE DAtE??” And then I was praying for that too. I traded My Will Of No Crushes for My Will Is To Date The Guy.

Because clearly God’s will can only be one of two things when you have a crush.

  • Option 1: to take the crush away ASAP.
  • Option 2: to make it end in dating (and then marriage).

Friends, there is a third option when it comes to God’s will that I discovered by the grace of God after much trial and error.

  • Option 3: to do something more mysterious and wonderful through the season of liking a boy.

About Loving God’s Will…

It’s one thing to try to impose one’s will on God (which is what I did). It’s another thing to grudgingly accept his will (did that too). It’s another thing altogether to love the Father’s will (excuse me?).

The Holy Spirit convicted me of giving lip service to God’s will. He convicted me of living a type of pretend where I said I wanted God’s will but in my heart cherished my own way. He convicted me of holding on to my desires and my vision of how things should go. He convicted me of unbelief and (again) trusting in myself.

So I stopped praying that the crush would go away. I stopped falsely praying “your will be done” with an endgame of dating in the back of my mind. I started praying, “Not what I will, not what I can see, but what you have for me, whatever that may be.”

My heart slowly settled under the will of God, stopped straining one way or the other, stopped trying to see the way out.

It took months. “Search me, know me. Have your way in me, all of it, no matter what it looks like. I want what you have for me. I trust you to not waste all this preoccupation and fear and questioning and longing.”

Loving God’s will doesn’t come naturally to me. Instinctively, I love my own way, and my flesh likes to make it seem like because God’s will is so mysterious sometimes, I can’t love it. But the more I know God, the more I trust him, the more the Holy Spirit helps me believe that his will is good and trustworthy and far better than my own.

I’m so thankful that Jesus didn’t answer my early, clumsy, short-sighted prayers about The Guy.

I would have missed out on so much if Jesus gave me what I wanted in the beginning. For me, God’s will (which he accomplished) was to:

  • increase my trust of him
  • teach me to lay down my will and all my different desires
  • teach me to lean into his wisdom and not my own
  • confront so many fears and confusions and lies and immaturities regarding relationships and guys in general
  • learn to love his will
  • and more.

I wanted to be bailed out, but God wanted something better for me.

He always plays the long game with the twin motives of his glory and our good. It wasn’t always fun (though it’s often genuinely funny to look back on), and it wasn’t easy because I have so much pride. But God got his way in me, and I’m so grateful for it.

So don’t pray that God will just take away your feelings. That fixes nothing. It sounds good at first; it sounds like the mature thing to do.

But the thing to do is let Jesus walk you out into the hard training ground where you give over your very will and hold fast to his instead, not knowing what it means or where he intends to take you. And you do it again. And again. And again until your wandering heart trusts God when you can’t see what he’s doing.

Do you believe that God wants something better for you? Do you believe his definition of “better” is far more glorious than your own?

With love,

Rosalie

p.s. – here’s a hint at what’s coming next week. The feeling: “Wow, he loves Jesus so much and is so passionate for everything of God.” The fact: him loving Jesus is not enough; as far as qualities in the person you’re going to spend the rest of your life with, him loving Jesus is the bare minimum.

p.p.s. – I don’t know how long this series is going to last; I’m guessing another four posts? We’ll see what God does…

So I Liked a Boy [part two: when it felt too stupid to pray about]

I was sleep-deprived and nervous when I wrote part one, and apparently “So I Liked a Boy” is the best I could do for a title. Apparently it’s also pretty click-baity. Most people that I know in person don’t read my blog, but I guess all one must do is throw something up with a title like “So I Liked a Boy” and half the church decides it’s high time they check out Rosalie’s blog. I’m uncomfy.

ANYWEYS.

If you missed part one, you can read it here. Otherwise, here’s what to expect from today’s post: dating, desiring, and crushing differently than the world and when it feels too stupid to pray about a crush.

crush 2

Dating, Desiring, and Crushing Differently than the World

Maybe this goes without saying, but I’m going to say it anyway. As Christians, our approach to people of the opposite sex cannot be the same as the world’s approach to people of the opposite sex.

In our current cultural moment, romantic relationships are king. You want someone, you go get someone, using whatever means you feel like, only listening to those whose advice is what you want to hear. As Matt Chandler says in his book Mingling of Souls, “We are a culture simultaneously obsessed with relationships and sex, but dysfunctional in our approaches to them.”

You like someone, you date them, you use them, you accrue some hurt, you throw them away. You aren’t fulfilled if you aren’t in a relationship. You look to a boyfriend or girlfriend (or spouse) to meet all your needs, speak to all your insecurities and fears. Flirt, entice, cheat.

And just as Christians can’t do marriage in the same way as the world and can’t date in the same way as the world, Christians can’t crush on someone in the same way as the world. Most Christians I know already know this, but our response (my response) is to stuff it, as if that’s the Christian way of dealing with desires.

Spoiler alert: stuffing it isn’t the Christian way of doing anything. At least it’s not the truly Christian way.

So over the course of this little series of How To Like a Dude Without Marrying Him So I Liked a Boy, we’re going to talk about some ways to honor Jesus in how you approach liking someone. Obviously, I’m a girl, so this is all especially pertinent to girls, but hopefully this is helpful to anyone. Honestly, it’s pretty basic and similar to the rest of the Christian life—listen to wise counsel, be transparent with trusted and mature Christians, submit to God’s will, oh, and, yes, prayer. Start with prayer.

When It Feels Too Stupid to Pray About

So, when I was hardcore moon-eyed about The Guy (see part one), it took me a solid month (if not more) before I actually, you know, prayed about it.

It felt like I was making it into something if I prayed about it, as if praying about it brought it up to some sort of level of Important. Because apparently I only pray about Important ThingsTM. Things like my sin, seeing people hear the gospel and be saved, the up-building and keeping of my friends, etc..

In my heart, there is an unconscious category of things that I don’t pray about.

I hear things like “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths…” or “…in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” and other such verses, and there’s some sort of disconnect inside me.

I will go to God and acknowledge him in some of my ways, and in some things by prayer and supplication I’ll make requests known to him. But not in all of my ways, not in everything. I have a hard time praying about the little things, and that’s a symptom of

  1. unbelief/not understanding in my heart the scope and depth of God’s love for me and
  2. belief that I can and should handle the “little things” myself (aka: self-reliance).

Kids, unbelief is sin. Self-reliance is sin.

Isn’t all sin rooted in unbelief about God? Adam and Eve believed the lie that God was holding out on them in the tree of knowledge of good and evil. They trusted their own judgement, their own understanding.

So when I don’t pray about things because they feel too stupid or too little or I’m embarrassed (from a crush to a pet being sick to dealing with a difficult customer at work), that’s pride manifesting in an incredibly subtle way. That was (and is) a symptom that I don’t trust God fully with my life.

Jesus is my everything. Jesus is Lord of my everything. Jesus is the Caretaker of my heart and soul. When I don’t bring things to him to be Lord over, to take care of me through, I cut him out of areas of my life and forfeit the blessing that is his affectionate, relational love and guidance.

Here is a fact: nothing is too stupid to pray about.

Prayer is communication. Prayer is honesty. Prayer is humility. Prayer is dependence. Prayer is vulnerability. Prayer is reliance. Prayer is trusting.

Let me say it again for the people in the back: nothing is too stupid to pray about.

If you believe that there are things too little, too insignificant, too stupid to pray about, you don’t know the God of the Bible. Praying about something does not imbue it with importance; praying about something simply shows that you are in fact a human trusting Jesus and submitting your life to him.

Eventually, by the grace of God, I cracked and started praying about The Guy I liked and bringing my questions and confusions to Jesus. Even though in my head I understood all the reasons why I should pray about it, it was hard.

I felt embarrassed and felt foolish and all the other stuff from the last post, except now it was all in the presence of God and I was a.w.k.w.a.r.d. But isn’t it always hard to come naked into the light? Isn’t it always hard to invite someone into the things that feel shameful? Isn’t it always hard to trust that you can be fully known and fully loved at the same time?

But bit by bit, the Holy Spirit helped me calm down and realize it wasn’t a big deal to pray about, and if I could trust Jesus to see me through the harshest storms of life and keep me to the end of this life without losing me, I can trust him enough to tell him I have a crush and admit it feels silly but I really like a dude and it’s confusing and ask Jesus to lead me through it.

When I started praying about liking The Guy, that’s when Jesus really went to work on my heart. It was in my private prayer time when I learned to start bringing up the little things that the Holy Spirit really got a hold of me and went to town on my heart. He began exposing and overturning so many lies in my heart and testing me in ways I’ve never been tested before. Everything good that grew out of that season, all the fruit and clarity I have now, came from learning to pray about it.

So when it feels too stupid to pray about your crush, pray about it anyway.

Get to know Jesus’ heart from you from the Bible and also in the real time of your life. Trust that he’s actually as interested in your life as he says he is. Trust that the God who designs blades of grass and galaxies and says that you as his child is his crowning creation and says he wants all of you and nothing less, actually wants all of you and nothing less.

Because if you’re keeping even one thing out from under his lordship and protection and guidance, you’re probably keeping other things away from him too, and you’re missing out on what he has for you in those things.

With love,

Rosalie

p.s. – coming up next week: why you shouldn’t just pray for your crush to go away (because I was for sure praying that my stirrings would just GO AWAY…. until I realized I was still holding onto my own will) and miscellaneous perspective that brought me back down to earth when I was sure I wanted to marry The Guy.

p.p.s. – little tidbit of that perspective: it can feel like foolish to like someone that you don’t end up marrying. Spoiler alert: you’re going to probably like quite a few people before you like the person you end up marrying. And that’s good. And normal. I’m proof that so much can get worked out in a human heart when you like someone you don’t end up dating (or marrying).

So I Liked a Boy [part one: intro and storytime]

So, I liked a boy. Like liked a boy. For nearly ten months. So this post is about that, and hopefully it’s helpful to some of you. This’ll be a bit of a series; I guess we’ll see what God does.

Full disclosure, this feels very, very difficult to share on the internet, but here we are.

crush 1

Storytime

He’s from my church here in Texas, one of the church-planters who uprooted their lives to tell people in Texas about Jesus. I started noticing that I noticed him July 4, 2019. All the college age small groups were going out to watch fireworks together (remember when we did things like that? Before Covid?). I’d been feeling really curious about him, so I approached him as subtly as I could and struck up a conversation.

Things went downhill from there in the following weeks and months. I liked this kid, and I had it bad.

I was soooo drawn to him, noticing (what felt like) everything—the way he’d pray, so full of faith and zeal. The way he would throw everything he was into worshipping God. The way he didn’t flirt with girls. The way he was wild. The way he was intentional with people who visited our church. The way he did anything Jesus asked of him 2300%.

I don’t know what a crush is like for you, but let me tell you what it’s like for me (trust me, this is going somewhere helpful, but it seems necessary to tell more of this story).

I would go to coffee shops and get a flutter in my stomach hoping and dreading accidentally running into him. Whenever his name came up in a conversation, my attention was jerked there like I was on a string. Every Sunday I noticed where he was in the lobby before church started.

My mind spun scenarios where I’d do or say something Really Freaking Amazing and he’d notice me. I wanted to be beautiful and mysterious and impressive and aloof and vulnerable all at the same time. I thought of a bunch of questions I wanted to ask him. I wondered what it would be like if he liked me too and we were to date.

I liked this guy for ten months, and by the grace of God, I am not the same now as I was on July 4, 2019, when I was beginning to get all infatuated. Jesus taught me so much through this season, and I’ve felt pressed to share it—starting with the things I felt silly for feeling and doing and thinking.

I was embarrassed.

This one probably won’t be universal, but I was so embarrassed that I liked him. Not because of anything in him (to this day, my vision no longer colored in roses, I hold to the fact that this dude is pretty freaking amazing).

Maybe I felt embarrassed because of the single Christian girl culture I know (i.e. that you’re either immature and boy crazy or you’re mature and thoughts of boys never enter your head ever). To me it felt like if I liked someone, I must not be satisfied in God or content in the singleness he’s given me. It felt foolish and immature to like a boy.

In my head I had built up this image of what a single girl should look like chasing after Jesus. Her head wouldn’t be turned by anything so petty as a boy. Her heart was given over to Jesus forever and always. She didn’t daydream about a boy; at worst she considered the necessary details of life; at best she ruminated on the rich things of God. Her singleness never felt hard. She was too mature to notice a guy’s haircut. She was too mature to be distracted by a guy nodding along to excellent points in a Bible teaching. She was too mature, too strong, too pre-occupied with the things of God to notice anyone of the opposite gender. Blah, blah, blah.

I was also embarrassed because it felt like incredible weakness to have affections stirring in me that were not returned. It felt shameful and wasteful (yeah, we’re going to have to talk about 1) why I didn’t try to make anything happen with him and 2) why I want to date as few guys as possible before getting married [if marriage is something Jesus has for me]).

All this to say and show that I was under a lot of lies, because that’s what all those fears were—lies.

The truth I learned:

It’s actually natural, healthy, and not at all immature to have a crush. And that it’s actually very necessary to think and pray about a crush a lot because how else are you supposed to seek God’s face on what

  1. could be nothing or
  2. also could become the most life-defining relationship you will have with another human.

For some, this may seem obvious. It wasn’t obvious to me. I felt like I must be idolizing a relationship if I was distracted and actually having to sort through my affections and attractions. I felt like I must be All Out Boy CrazyTM because I was crushing on some super amazing, faithful, faith-filled dude from church.

Anyway, that’s the start of the story and all the good things Jesus reworked in my heart over those ten months. I want to share a lot more on Penprints about this because there’s so much it would have been so good for me to know sooner but I either didn’t think to ask about or felt too embarrassed to ask about (embarrassment will be a running theme).

Other things we’re going to get into:

  • why I didn’t try to get him to notice me/like me
  • what it was like laying down desire to know him and be known by him at the feet of Jesus… and then pick it up again… and then lay it down again
  • remaining focused on Jesus and his mission while feeling distracted
  • how the crush finally (finally) went away
  • truly trusting Jesus
  • general holiness
  • miscellaneous other things (like other fears that came up [including but not limited to body image, who he liked, etc.], being humbled, locking down my daydreams, etc.)

Don’t expect these posts in any particular order! We’ll just take ‘em as they come. I’m praying that it will be helpful for other single people to hear about the season that Jesus made so helpful for me.

With love,

Rosalie

p.s. –  tbh, this whole thing feels like my much less explicit version of The Reynolds Pamphlet from Hamilton. I definitely have a lot to learn about humility if this post feels like ruining my own life. Yikes. *awkward thumbs up*

p.p.s. – if anything I shared is confusing, leave a question in the comments or contact me directly! <3

My People Carry a Wound [a poem on racism]

I’ve said before that I’m not much of a poet and don’t really know what I’m doing when it comes to poetry. That remains the same as the last time I shared a free form poem. So keep that in mind.

I wrote this poem because it was necessary to write to help me process the events of the last weeks. After praying and grieving and being confused and feeling bombarded by news and social media posts expressing genuine grief, rage, and condemnation, I still felt heavy (because apparently that’s what sin makes you feel).

So I prayed some more, grieved some more, wrestled some more, thought some more, got off social media for a few days, and asked God a lot of questions. I expect that cycle will continue. At the end of this round, there was finally some peace and clarity.

It was helpful for me to write My People Carry a Wound; I hope it’s helpful for you to read.

Note: “My people” in this poem refers not to white people or black people or all people but simply Americans.

old old wound (1)

My people carry a wound

It is an old, old wound
Carried by: many generations
Maybe even
Every generation

It is a deep, deep wound
Inflicted by: many hearts and hands
Maybe even
Every heart and hand

We have torn at the wound
As if it can be healed or cleansed
By scraping and clawing

And yet
And yet
And yet

After hundreds of years
The wound is worse
Our hearts are worse
Maybe worse off than we’ve ever been

The wound remains
Infected
Bleeding
So torn open
So full of poison
We wonder:
Will it ever heal?
Will we ever heal?

//

Brown, white, black, blue
The wound is so old
Brown, white, black, blue
The wound is so old

//

Do we even know:
Who we are without it?

Do we even know:
How to be without it?

Without the anger
Without the bitterness
Without the fear
Without the hate
Without the pride
Without the prejudice
Without the revenge
Without the shame
Without the self-pity
Without the sin

//

We don’t know the difference
Between
Justice and revenge

We don’t know the difference
Between
Humility and guilt

We don’t know the difference
Between
Foolish pride and simple confidence

We all try
To bind our wound
We install rules, systems, protections
We protest
Riot
Stay silent
We spread awareness
Get educated
We make arguments
Demands

“But, no, I don’t understand”
“But, no, you don’t understand”
But, no, we don’t understand

And so
And so
And so

And we sow more wounds
Into that old, old wound
And more blood drips
From that deep, deep wound

//

We say:
We must fix it
We can fix it
This can’t go on

And yet
And yet
And yet

The work of our hands doesn’t last
For how can we prevail against
Such a wound?
Our emancipations
Our movements
Never seem to
Get momentum
Stick
Last

A few decades or a few years
We find:
The wound is just as bad
As it ever was
Except maybe it’s worse now
Because with every generation
Its roots run older
Its roots run deeper

//

We want:
To blame one side

But:
We are all to blame

Because:
Sin is in all of us

And so:
Hurt people hurt people

And so:
No one has the high ground

And so:
We are
None of us
Innocent

//

Some on all sides
Will carry the wound
Down to hell

Some will reject
The Jesus way
The only way

And justice has two ends:
Jesus’ blood on the cross
Or
Jesus’ righteous wrath on the last day

And Jesus is:
Sadder
Angier
Holier
Than I am
Than you are
Than we are

So justice will be had
In the end
But will we ever heal
Before the end?

Are we doomed to:
This sundering of soul
This prejudice of pain
This madness of murder
This brutality of heart?

Everything we sow in the wound
Returns as a violent revenant

And yet
And yet
And yet

Where our reason ends
Where our means end
Where our guilt ends
Where our anger ends
Where our ideas end
Where our pride ends
Where our way ends

There is the God of love
With a gospel of peace

And where the gospel is sown
Old things pass away
And new things grow

For where the gospel of
Grace
Compassion
Mercy
Patience
Is sown in
The heart
The mind
The soul
The body
The wound…
Grace grows
Compassion comes
Mercy multiplies
Patience perseveres

And yet
And yet
And yet

The growing is difficult
The growing is slow

The dying of the old things is difficult
The dying of the old things is slow
The dying of the old things
Flies in the face of all our instincts

For in the dying of the old things:
Sin: must be called sin
Wrong: must be called wrong
Everyone’s sin
Mine
Yours
Ours

Calling out wrong
This we know how to do

And yet
And yet
And yet

There is more
And it is not easy

For after sin is named
Mine
Yours
Ours
In order to hold to the gospel
To hold to the path of peace
To hold to the
Plainly spoken marching orders
Of the Lord of the gospel
It is not reparations
It is not revenge
It is not wrath
It is not silence
It is not ignoring
It is repentance that must come

Repentance
On my hands and knees
On your hands and knees
On our hands and knees
Seeing
Feeling
Reeling
Under the weight
Tasting the sorrow
The evil
The unholiness
Of sin gone back so many generations
And so rampant in our generation

And then
And then
And then

The turn
The forgiveness
The healing

The difficult growing of the gospel
Bears the fruit of holiness
Bears the fruit of forgiveness
Bears the fruit of Christ-likeness

For when
The gospel of Jesus Christ
Is sown in the wound
The impossible
Becomes possible

And then
And then
And then

The blood that heals our wound
Is the precious blood of Jesus
And the weight of all that sin:
My sin
Your sin
Our sin
My racism
Your racism
Our racism
Falls on Jesus

And then
And only then
The wound can close
And we will bleed no more.


With love and prayers for the hurting,

Rosalie

p.s. – songs to listen to: Side by Side by Wilder Adkins and Carry the Fire by Andrew Peterson.

Black Holes ‘n Stuff [maybe i’ve been thinking about outer space]

astrophysics

I’ve been thinking about space and astrophysics.

About the supermassive black hole at the center of our Milky Way galaxy. About how it is so unspeakably massive–massive enough to keep our galaxy of (at least) 150 billion (150 billion) stars orbiting it, massive enough that even light is pulled in by its gravity. Not metaphorical gravity. Real, physical, the-scientific-law-of-gravity type of gravity so strong that it draws light to itself.

There’s a point trying to think about that where my brain simply… stops. Hits a wall. Can’t compute.

And I’ve been thinking about the supermassive black holes holding other galaxies together. Humans don’t really know how many galaxies spin through this universe, but the current thought is about 125 billion. 125 billion galaxies. And that’s just speculation. The numbers change a lot because there’s literally so much to know that it’s impossible to actually know.

But let’s just say there are 125 billion galaxies give or take a few. Our galaxy, the Milky Way, isn’t very big compared to the others even though it has 150 billion stars. It would take 100,000 years to cross from one side of the Milky Way to the other. And that’s if you were traveling nonstop at the speed of light for all 100,000 years.

There’s a galaxy out there (dubbed Hercules A) that is 1.5 million light-years across. Hercules A must have an unthinkable black hole holding innumerable stars in its gravity.

We breeze over these numbers. Million. Billion. We toss them around. But we don’t truly have a concept for there being that many of anything. We can’t even actually comprehend Earth carrying 8 billion people on it; how can we even begin to fathom what it means that our universe is home to at least 125 billion galaxies?

And besides the truly staggering numbers that we use to try to describe the truly staggering size of our universe, there are innumerable mysteries in space.

Space. A vacuum where the molecules are so far apart that sound can’t carry. In our system, we can’t see the solar wind that moves through what looks like empty space. We think we know where cosmic rays come from; maybe we do. The temperature in space is a chilly −454.81 °F. Apparently there’s little to no friction in space? And invisible gravitational and electromagnetic forces as well as radiation are doing their thing (it’s at this point that I usually can’t remember what gravity is).

Scientists throw around theories about dark energy… and then there’s also dark matter–two different ideas about two different things, both of which are poorly understood (especially by me) and not to be confused with dark fluid and dark flow.

Dark energy is an unknown force of energy which is theorized to counteract gravity. On the other hand, dark matter is a type of matter that does not interact with light. Apparently we know dark matter exists because even though we can’t see the dark matter itself, we can observe how it gravitationally affects objects we can see.

The mysteries. There are so many mysteries. And for each mystery there are plenty of theories. We’re trying to name things we can’t even pin down, puzzling out and dreaming up definitions and possibility after possibility for mystery after mystery.

Yet we hardly even know Earth. We’ve been on little ol’ Earth a while, and we still don’t know what’s at the bottom of our own ocean. Can you imagine the mysteries we would find if we ever explored even a fraction of the other planets out there in the great black of space?

And besides the planets, thinking back to black holes… who knows what those are actually like. We certainly don’t.

Some think of space and shudder. It’s so inhospitable. There are so many unknowns. It’s just so big. Space–our physical universe–isn’t infinite, but it seems like it.

But thinking about space doesn’t make me afraid. It makes me feel small. Mount Everest and the oceans that seems so endless and formidable to my eyes are nothing next to even our own sun, much less the Hercules A galaxy. So much on Earth feels big compared to me. And yet Earth is decidedly tiny.

But it also makes me feel precious. Because Earth is decidedly tiny. But it was here on Earth that God let loose some of his most special creative endeavors. It was here on Earth that he made creatures in his own image. And it was here on Earth that infinite God took on physical flesh and proved his love for sinners in an act that transcends millions of light-years–it was here on Earth that God died and came back to life.

And thinking about space doesn’t make me feel afraid because God holds our entire universe in the span of his hand. I don’t feel afraid because all the unknowns of our universe are well-known–and designed by and delighted in–by God.

The unknowns reflect the infinitely deep wells of God’s creativity, and the simple unthinkable vastness shows forth God’s majesty and inscrutability and infinity and transcendence and beauty and glory and so many other things we don’t even have words for.

Space is big, and I am small. Space is cold and mysterious and dangerous, and I am perfectly safe in the hands of God, the same hands that mark off 125 billion galaxies like it’s nothing.

So I think I’ll keep reading the ultra-simplified versions of the theories and discoveries in astronomy and astrophysics. Because even though my mind feels like it’s melting when I read about these things and think about them, I am comforted and my wonder wakes back up.

What do you think about space and black holes ‘n stuff?

With love,

Rosalie

p.s. – this isn’t a very succinct post because my thoughts on all this are still pretty jumbled. Maybe they’ll unscramble when I’m not up to my neck in articles about this, but I guess there are worse ways to spend quarantine. Plus, posting something that has questionable flow, tired-brain writing, and zero links to sources kills a little of my perfectionism, so that’s good?

p.p.s. – the last month or so I’ve been thinking about space a lot, but then the other night I watched Interstellar for the second time and that really pushed me Over The Edge as far as getting stuck in a space-obsessed phase. I think I’ll be here a while. Any good book recommendations for astrophysics?