As my 19th birthday approaches, I’ve been thinking about life, go figure. That middle phase between childhood and adulthood is coming to a close. It’s my last year of being a “teenager.” You know how on your birthday everyone asks you: “How does it feel to be *insert new age here*?” I never knew how to answer that question. I always thought instead, why not ask what it felt like to be the age you were before? So I’ve been thinking about not only how it felt to be eighteen, but how it felt to be a teenager in general.
What have all these years of adolescence taught me?
Let me tell you, it’s been one heck of a bumpy ride, but I have learned so much! I struggled with a lot of things, most of which I have already written about. As a result, my faith has grown in truly amazing ways!
The other day I came across this scripture:
Set me as a seal upon your heart,As a seal upon your arm;For love is as strong as death,Jealousy as cruel as She’ol;Its flames are flames of fire,a flame of Yah!Many waters are unable to extinguish love,And floods do not wash it away.If one would give all the wealth of his house for love,It would be utterly scorned.-Song of Songs 8:6-7
To be honest I have not read all of Song of Songs. Because let’s be real here, it’s probably the most awkward book of the bible. Wanna make a group of young teenagers feel uncomfortable? Get out the Bible and read a few verses of Song of Songs! With lines like: “Your hair is like a flock of goats descending from the hills of Gilead,” (#bestpickuplineever) and many others we don’t need to mention, haha. It’s poetry between two lovers from a very long time ago, so naturally, it doesn’t make much sense to us.
All jokes aside I want to explain the significance of this scripture.
On my thirteenth birthday, I was given a silk scarf by a friend. Not just any scarf, it was dyed by someone who makes prophetic art, silks, and flags. Everything they make is prayed over and has a spiritual definition. It’s really incredible! I have many silks now and each one of them has been profoundly meaningful. It’s so wonderful to have them as beautiful visual reminders of my walk with God. They are some of my greatest treasures.
You can check out their amazing ministry here: http://dyed4you.com/blog/
This particular silk is called Sealed.
This silk represents the Secret Place –being in the shadow of the palm of His hand, a place of deep intimacy. It’s a place you recieve the “secret” things: mysteries and revelation. When something is sealed, it is marked with ownership — it belongs to Someone, it has been claimed. Just as our hearts have been claimed by the One who poured out His own blood as the seal upon our hearts.
-Excerpt from the scarf meaning
As a thirteen-year-old, I did not understand it. It didn’t resonate with me as I thought it should have. I was missing something.
I haven’t thought about the scarf or the meaning behind it in a really long time, to be honest. But these last few days thinking about those six years, and then seeing that scripture randomly, I finally understand. I’ve found that the gift represented a place that Yahweh would take me, not a place that I had already been.
When I was a child I always believed in God. I went to Sunday school, listened to my parents read the Bible, accepted Jesus into my heart, all of those wonderful things.
However, not until I was a teenager did my relationship with God really start to deepen. In these years I have learned how to truly seek Him. Receiving that silk marked the beginning of my spiritual journey and discovering my true identity.
I didn’t understand it when people went on about their exciting relationship with God. I hadn’t felt all that fire and the passion in my own life. But if there’s anything I’ve learned about relationships it’s that you actually have to put something into it. You can’t just expect it to happen on its own. You have to be committed.
Yahweh wants all of my heart. Not just the bits and pieces I decide to give Him.
You won’t relent until you have it all
My heart is yours
I set you as a seal upon my heart
As a seal upon my arm
For there is love
That is as strong as death
Jealousy demanding as the grave
And many waters cannot quench this love
Come be the fire inside of me
Come be the flame upon my heart
Come be the fire inside of me
Until you and I are one
-You Won’t Relent, Misty Edwards
I feel as though a deeper relationship with God begins with an invitation: “Come be the fire inside of me.” We have to ask Him to take us deeper, we have to want it. He doesn’t force Himself on us, He gives us a choice. Once you make that choice to completely surrender your life to Him, He is relentless in pursuit of your heart, and he won’t stop until He has every part of it.
How amazing is it that the Creator of the universe wants to have a personal relationship with each and every one of us? He knows our thoughts and the number of hairs on our heads. He has seen our bruises and scars, and all the ugly parts and still, He wants us.
I’ve come to know such an amazing love. A love as strong as death itself. A love that burns like wildfire, so deep that many waters cannot quench it. The love of Yahweh. He has held me in the palm of His hand, in this beautiful, secret place. He has taught me how to love Him, to love others, and to love myself. He has shown me that my identity is found in Him and nothing else. I belong to Him.
In these years I have made a commitment to give Yahweh all of me. Just as when two people get married they are signing a contract and promising to love, honor, and cherish each other for the rest of their lives.
Because of that commitment, every day I want to make the decision to serve Him with my whole heart. Not because the church told me to, not because my parents told me to, but because I have experienced His goodness, love, and mercy for myself.
There have been many seasons when I have felt passionately in love with God, and there have also been seasons when I felt distant from Him. But that’s life, and the good thing is I can keep running back to Him. In my brokenness, He is the only one who can put me back together and ignite that flame again.
This is the most meaningful thing I have learned in all my teenage years. I’m excited to see what else He has in store for my life as I continue on into adulthood. This is not the end of my spiritual journey, my friends, it is just the beginning! I hope something I’ve said today is meaningful to someone out there.