The Sweetest Seat

Dear reader,

Hello, my name is Emily (if we’ve never met before) and I’m overjoyed to be able to share this time with you. I’m going to ask two things of you before I start to write and you read this entire blog, 1. get comfortable 2. take your time. I ask those things because, like me, many of you will rush through reading this and miss the point of the entire blog. So, let’s take a few minutes and enjoy this time we have together!

“Wherever you are, be all there.” – Jim Elliot

The quote above has been my lock screen wallpaper on my iPhone for a few months until yesterday. There’s no significance to me changing it yesterday except for the fact I’m going to write about it today.

If you are like me, you will read something like that and think “yeah, well duh I am always where I am”. Thankfully this quote was given to me by someone who truly wanted me to understand what this meant because they knew I had no grasp on it whatsoever. So, here we are, months later, and I am blogging on it.

“Wherever you are..” – the beach, your room, your friends house, or like me your front porch. Let’s go deeper, “Wherever you are..” – married, divorced, in a relationship, single, or maybe just confused. Let’s go even deeper, “Wherever you are..” – depressed, overwhelmed, tired, worthless, joyful, or maybe you’re searching to figure out which one of those you are. Wherever you are, whoever you are, there is one common denominator we need to establish that is the same for you, me, and every person you will ever see – we are all broken. 

Broken, meaning we don’t meet the expectations and the mark set for us which is why we fall into these places of sorrow or joy and it fluctuates so often. For many of you, you can relate to the quote in one of my favorite novels, “There are only the pursued, the pursuing, the busy and the tired.” (The Great Gatsby). So often, no matter where we are, we fall into one of the categories from the previous quote – pursued, pursuing, busy, or tired. That is why most of us can’t see the huge truth in the quote “Wherever you are, be all there”. Also, that is another reason why I encouraged you to become cozy and take your time at the beginning.

“Be all there.” – I want to propose an idea that was given to me to you, maybe, just maybe, being “all there” isn’t just about physical being. It is easy to sit in a room and not take anything in or even pay attention. I am a daydreamer so I can relate to that so well. So, if being “all there” isn’t  just about physical being what does it actually mean?

“Be all there.” You are called to where you are for a reason and the reason you may not know but you are called to be all there. To “be all there”, the daydreaming has to stop for a minute, we have to take in where we are, we have to look around as hard as it is and accept that we NEED to be where we are, and to rejoice because where you are is deeper than the struggles you face. If we focus so much on what our hopes and dreams are, where we want to be in ten years, who we want to be with, the struggles we are facing or will face we are going to miss out on the beautiful place we are currently in.

“Wherever you are, be all there.”

Matthew 26:17-35 is Jesus hanging out with the disciples having the “last supper” with them. This time is so intimate and such a great picture of us and Christ. There are two men at this table that will deny and betray Jesus openly and Jesus knows this. (Yes, they are still at this dinner). So, this is Jesus last time to spend time with people and he chooses to spend time with two men who say all this things about their love for him but yet will betray and deny him. What does this have to do with me? This is you and I. We will profess a love for Christ but DAILY we will fail to meet the expectations of righteousness. Daily, we will strive to be greater than Christ and neglect our brokenness but there is good news. Christ, our life, sacrifice, and only hope, has pulled a chair out at His table to spend His time with us, to love us, to speak truth into us, to show us His grace and mercy towards us.

“Wherever you are, be all there.” The truth is Christ is pursuing you, moment by moment, calling you to Him no matter your past, present, or future. He is calling you to himself and telling you to “stop, take in the now”. Never once does He tell Judas or Peter, “leave this table because I know your deceitful heart and what you will do tomorrow.” No, He says what they will do, acknowledging that He knows their hearts and brokenness but continues to sit at the table and dine with them.

My encouragement to you, after a long blog full of rambling, don’t look over the now because you are fearful, excited, or ready for the future. Don’t focus on the past because it doesn’t define you. Also, don’t focus on your struggles because Christ has pulled out a chair for you at His table and is ready to speak truth, love, and hope into your soul. No matter where you are, be all there.

Prayer: Father, thank You for who You are. I pray from a broken place, deceitful heart, and confused mind that You would help me be present in the now with You. I pray that you would overwhelm my heart and never let this seat at your table become old to me. Let me rejoice in the ordinary and rejoice in the extraordinary because both are oh so meaningful to You, Father. Spirit, lead me to where my trust is without borders! Let me walk upon the waters, wherever you may call me! Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander and let my faith become stronger in your presence, Abba Father! Help me, wherever I am, to be all there! For Your glory and honor forever and ever,

Amen.

Matthew 26 – http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+26&version=NIV

Oceans by Hillsong United – http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&list=RD02POK2yIO914c&NR=1&v=dy9nwe9_xzw

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6 thoughts on “The Sweetest Seat

  1. Emily, I just discovered your blog today by following your link on Instagram. I especially liked this one because I’m so bad about not enjoying the moment or learning from the moment. I’m always looking ahead and waiting for the next moment rather than being where I am. After I read what you wrote, I found this on my Facebook. The author is unknown. “Until God opens a door for you, praise Him in the hallway.” I think it ties in well with what you wrote. Thanks for your powerful words and for your witness. You are a blessing.

  2. Reblogged this on If I Were My Mother, I'd Tell Myself… and commented:
    One of the sweetest rewards of being a teacher is having your students teach you things in return. The following blog post was written by one of my former students. I don’t even know how I stumbled upon it, but when I did, I realized she wrote it just for me! The wisdom in her words is powerful, and I am in awe of how she is being used at such a young age. I feel these words were just for me, but I also have a feeling more than just this 37 year old wife, mother, teacher, friend, etc. will need these words too. You are an inspiration, Emily. Thank you for letting me re-blog.

  3. Emily,
    What a beautiful message! I am so proud to have been one of your teachers! You and matured into such a beautiful, intelligent woman!! You have a gift!!! Continue to work hard and stay strong in your faith!! Thank you for letting Mrs.. Byrd share this blog so that I could read your encouraging words!! You are amazing!!!

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