A few months ago, I asked God for direction in regard to my purpose and calling. He gave me a picture of a sun rising. Although I didn’t yet understand the meaning of this at the time, something about the image of that sunrise sat well with me. There was a peace in knowing what He was asking me to be, and an even greater peace that He would help me be it.
That is the total number of sunrises that have led me to today.
For the majority of those sunrises, my biggest battle in life was believing that I am worthy of pursuit. It is the question every woman asks in her heart of hearts, right? “Am I beautiful?”. To which, in most of our lives, the world seems to respond with a resounding “no”. Sunrise after sunrise, however, God chased this lie down for me. He healed this part of my heart entirely, replacing that lie with a peaceful assurance deep within that I indeed have a beauty to offer this world – and it is one with the power of ten billion suns.
But then a new battle had begun.
I used to go through life asking, “Am I beautiful?”. But now something new began to echo in my heart as I went through life knowing my beauty fully and now demanding, “Pursue me!”. This translated itself in many different ways such as, “Choose me! Delight in me! Fight for me! Love me!”. Or to put it more simply, “What the frick is wrong with you world, do you not see my beauty?!”.
The cry of my heart is to be pursued. Isn’t that true for every woman?
Last night I couldn’t sleep at all. Finally, at 6AM I quit trying and decided to watch the sun rise with God instead.
And, today, as I watched my eight thousand, seven hundred, and third sunrise, I think it may have marked my life.
The sunrise this morning was so vivid, so inviting.
I am not sure how many sunrises I have either slept through, or been awake for yet let slip by unacknowledged. But I do know without a shadow of a doubt that you could combine every one of those with every one of the sunrises that I have enjoyed, and still, none of them offered the beauty of the sun as I watched it rise this morning.
Because this morning, as the sun began to peak over the top of the open field outside my kitchen window, I heard God whisper, “Will you pursue me?”.
In this moment, I could feel His desire to be pursued as it permeated throughout my entire being. And you know what, it felt an awful lot like the burden I myself carry to be pursued.
Oh, how this wrecked me. With all 8,702 sunrises before today, God was whispering this question all along. He offered His beauty to me so freely, always with an invitation to choose Him – to pursue Him. And never once did He demand – He is far too patient for that.
He simply let the sun keep rising.
And on the 8,703rd sunrise of my life, I chose Him all over again. I chose Him on a deeper level than I have ever chosen Him before and with every inch of me I said “yes”. Perhaps it is because I know the pain of unveiling a beauty that is not chosen or pursued. Or perhaps it is simply because when beauty invites without demanding, it is irresistible. Maybe a little bit of both. But what I feel absolutely sure of is that the 8,702 unacknowledged sunrises before today were worth it to Him. Because He knew that number 8,703 would surely come.
“Nothing my Father and I have made is ever wasted, he said quietly, and the little wildflowers have a wonderful lesson to teach.
They offer themselves so sweetly and confidently and willingly, even if it seems that there is no one to appreciate them. Just as though they sang a joyous little song to themselves, that it is so happy to love, even though one is not loved in return.”
-Hinds Feet On High Places
I am not sure how many more times the sun will rise in my life. None of us know how many we have left. But as for me, I will never see another sunrise the same again. With each one left, I know I will hear the whisper of a question asked from the most vulnerable and beautiful One to ever love. And with every sunrise, I vow to always respond with a “yes” to Him by what I choose to do throughout my day.
“And after years of hearing the heart-cry of women, I am convinced beyond a doubt of this: God wants to be loved. He wants to be a priority to someone. How could we have missed this? From cover to cover, from beginning to end, the cry of God’s heart is, “Why won’t you choose Me?” It is amazing to me how humble, how vulnerable God is on this point. “You will . . . find me,” says the Lord, “when you seek me with all your heart” (Jer. 29:13). In other words, “Look for me, pursue me — I want you to pursue me.” Amazing. As Tozer says, “God waits to be wanted.”
-Wild At Heart
This morning, God healed a piece of my heart as he brought me from “Pursue me!” to “Will you pursue me?”. And what a difference that punctuation makes.
Every day that I have left on this Earth I will dare to offer my beauty with the courage and humility of a sunrise. Inviting patiently, and never demanding. I will wait to be wanted.
“She rises while it is yet night” (Proverbs 31:15)