Today, I am honored and excited to introduce my first guest blogger, Pearl Allard. I found Pearl’s blog on Instagram earlier this year and instantly fell in love with both her writing and her heart for God. I find her to be authentic and engaging while still challenging me to draw nearer to the Lord.
Her blog, Look Up Sometimes, is a Feedspot’s Top 50 Christian Women’s Blog and has also received the peer nominated Liebster Award. I think you’re going to love her.
Blood and guts are not my thing. I hate scary movies, and I don’t go into haunted houses. But the following is a true story.
I used to work in an office. My boss grew up a country boy and joked Chicago city folk vacationing in our region only saw animals in the wild when they were roadkill. So, he said, why not make a calendar so the city folk could properly identify them?
“There you go, Pearl. You could make a million dollars!” And we laughed so hard I cried (even though I grew up a city girl).
Soon after, I decided to surprise my boss for his birthday and actually make one of these calendars. Once averse to such nastiness, I slammed brakes and swerved off the beaten path giddy to snap photos of squirrel guts, skunk corpses, raccoon carcasses, squashed opossums, headless deer, etc.
Before you go and order me a pink strait jacket off Ebay for $195 plus shipping and handling – hang with me.
What caused that change in a relatively sane person – which you’re probably thinking is debatable? (Good question, because truthfully animal guts still make me gag.)
In my excitement to gift my boss with his idea in tangible form, somewhere along the road my perspective was molded by my boss’ desires more than my own.
What if we viewed our life-crushing circumstances – which are no joking matter – through God’s lenses?
I imagine God saying, “The folks who don’t venture out of their comfort zones into the wilds for Me much – I love them dearly. I want to help them see pictures of what really following me looks like so they can accurately identify die-to-self in its various forms.”
What if our desire to please God and gift him with His idea in tangible form superseded all of our own desires?
Is God just some bloodthirsty sadist scrapbooking our life’s most painful moments?!
Far from it.
God is not out to cause us harm, because love does no harm by His own definition, and God is love.
In fact, the joy of being in a relationship with you, and me, meant more to God than heaven itself and was the driving force behind Jesus’ sufferings to absorb the eternal harm we bear otherwise.
He took the ridicule of being the goody two shoes all his life, the isolation of having friends who weren’t true peers, the pain of being misunderstood and unrecognized, the rejection of a people He loved literally to death, the agony of the worst torture the Romans could dream up, and the spiritual torment of being forsaken by God his father while he battled Satan on our behalf – all to extend the invitation to you and me to have an intimate relationship with Him.
We’re worth that much to Him.
- When we feel crushed past our abilities to respond in love or patience.
- When we feel the choking panic rise and aren’t sure we can rise above it.
- When we physically suffer.
- When we can’t relieve the distress of someone we love dearly.
- When life’s situations have simply ripped our hearts out and stomped on them.
What if when we feel the pain of these moments we look up to God in faith, confident he still loves us, and we trust him even when the rubber that met the road squashed us flat along the way?
How can we look up when it kills us?
Let it kill every false pretense that we’re ok without God.
Let it kill every lie that says God does not love us.
Let it kill our sense of pride and grow our gratitude for every good gift He gives.
When life drives over us and leaves us feeling more like roadkill than alive in Christ, may we allow the experience to kill the roadblocks in our relationship with Christ. And may God resurrect and restore our souls.
“And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” 1 Peter 5:10
Pearl Allard loves the sunflower as a spiritual metaphor. As sunflower buds track the sun’s daily movement, her goal is to follow the Son of God, Jesus Christ. Pearl is an imperfect Son-follower learning to enjoy grace and on mission to nurture others to enjoy it, too. She blogs weekly encouragement at Look Up Sometimes, has guest blogged for (in)courage and Breathe Christian Writers Conference and has additionally been published with Keys for Kids. She is happily-mostly-aftered to her hero of fourteen years and is stay-at-home mama to two crazy-wonderful kids in Michigan. Connect with Pearl on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.