So I just came back from Passion on Friday and one of the sessions was about letting God have ALL of you, even the parts that are ugly or broken or that you don’t want to show Him. Let Him have 100%, not 99.9%. So basically be seen by God.

As we’re driving home from Passion, I see a huge billboard sign that says, “SEEN.” I was like hmmm ok, might be something *files it away for later.*

Then Friday night, the live action Cinderella was on and I was watching it.

At the very end of the movie, the narrator says, “Was who she was, who she really was, really enough? This is perhaps the greatest risk any of us can ever take, is to be seen as we truly are.”

And I was like LIGHTBULB.

Like that’s me. There’s the prince, who saw her when she was polished and beautiful and together.

See the source image

Now, she’s not. Her hair isn’t tidy, there are dirt stains on an old dress, her shoes are worn out. Will the prince still want her, even in this? When she is not put together, not sparkling, where she walks towards him in a dress that has been worn for too many years, mud and mire clinging to it. She doesn’t have ANYTHING to offer him. She has no parents, no dowry, no fancy background, no support. Even her name, has been changed and taken: Cinderella.

“- you shall be called by a new name that the mouth of the Lord will give,” ~ Isaiah 62:2

She has everything against her, and yet, HE came to find her. To seek her out. But now she’s worried, because yeah, sure he liked her before – she was together, beautiful, looking like everyone else he hangs out with, and now? Well, she’s untidy, dirty…locked in the attic of a home with mice for company. Will he still want her?

See the source image

Here is the prince’s answer: “Of course I will.”

“And they shall be called The Holy People, the Redeemed of the Lord; and you shall be called Sought Out, A City Not Forsaken,” ~ Isaiah 62:12

No hesitation, no well, I don’t know. You really haven’t got much going for you. She offers him the only thing she can, her heart, and without a second lost, he accepts her.

That’s Jesus.

I know so many times when I mess up, I feel like I can’t go to God then or spend time with Him. I just really screwed up, why would God want me to spend time with Him? My first instinct is to try and “better” myself, to try and make myself look, in analogical terms, prettier.

light and shadow

Do you do this too?

The notion of thinking that if after we mess up, if we can only do some good things then we’ll be able to approach Him.

But that’s not how God works. He doesn’t act like humans and demand distance from us if we mess up, tell us to “go to our room” or slam a door in our face. He doesn’t tell us that we can only approach Him once we’ve done enough good to outweigh the bad.

“And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account. Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need,” ~ Hebrews 4:13-16

Jesus already knows our sin. During Passion 2019, Matt Chandler said, it doesn’t surprise God when we sin. He knows we’re going to fall short – it’s not a matter of if, but when (paraphrasing here).

In Hebrews, it says several things that I think we should pay attention to. One, none of our sin is hidden – God sees everything, even the yucky parts that we want to hide from Him. He already knows. Further, the Scriptures say, “we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are.”

FaithI love that! After all, who wants to risk something for someone, who you cannot relate to? By experiencing humanity, Jesus truly is our Great Comforter (2 Corinthians 1:3-4). And not only does He comfort us, but it says, he “sympathize(s) with our weaknesses.

Merriam-Webster defines sympathize as, “to share in suffering or grief, to react or respond in sympathy.”

In The Complete Word Study Dictionary of the New Testament, the word used is sumpathéō, and this means, “to sympathize with, be compassionate, have compassion upon.” Something that I found interesting about this, was one of the synonyms for this word: sullupéomai, meaning “to experience sorrow with, console.”

I think it’s really fascinating how for both of these definitions, similar words like sorrow, grief, and suffering come into play. I don’t know about y’all, but when I think of someone sympathizing, that’s not the first thing that comes to mind.

And yet, this is the context that the Bible uses it in.

Next time we fall short – in whatever way that may be, I hope all of us, myself included, can remember the truth of God, instead of what our perfectionism/fear/performance-based self thinks: that Jesus wants us to come to Him, just as we are – whether that means we’re frustrated, tired, or just screwed up, He wants us to come.

~ Southern Dreamer



cinderella #2

*Warning: Spoilers*

As I sat in the dark theatre, my father by my side, I eagerly awaited the beginning of the real-life version of Cinderella. My anticipation for this movie had grown in the previous weeks, and I was thrilled to finally be seeing this film. As the classic Disney beginning started, my eyes locked on the screen.

cinderella #3

Starring Lily James as Cinderella and Richard Madden as Prince Charming, this movie did not disappoint. One of the most repeated phrases of the film comes from Ella’s mother, played by Hayley Atwell, who tells her young daughter to, “have courage and be kind.” Young Ella takes these words to heart and throughout her growing up years, whenever she feels discouraged or frustrated, she remembers to, “have courage and be kind.”

cinderella #4

The relationship between Ella and her stepmother and stepsisters was marvelously depicted. I thought they did a wonderful job of this.

cinderella #1cinderella #5

I found it fascinating how both Ella and Kit, the prince, were insecure about the other discovering who they truly were. As a royal heir, he worried that if she knew who he was, she would treat him differently and not as a normal, human being. Ella, on the other hand, realized she did not have anything to offer him besides her heart. She did not have riches or land or parents, all she had was herself. And would that be enough?

cinderella #6

Further, one of the climatic points in the movie, at least for me, occurred when Ella, wearied from trying and trying to be kind and good to her stepfamily, finally asks tearfully (paraphrased), “why do you do this? why are you so cruel?” It was an important moment and the stepmother’s response is eye-opening (again, paraphrased). “Because…you are good, and young and innocent, and I am – ” here she halts and darts out of the room, locking Ella within.

cinderella #7

Another wonderful line from the movie, comes from Ella herself. She passionately tells Kit, “Just because it’s what’s done doesn’t mean it’s what should be done!” This is so true. Just because society tells us one thing – does not make it correct! Just because some of our peers give themselves away – does not make it right! Wrong and right are absolutes, and while we as sinful beings may get them mixed up at times, it does not change what they are.

cinderella #9

And I could not talk about Cinderella without referencing her dress! Oh my, it was stunning! A vivid blue, sparkling in the light of hundreds of crystals on the chandeliers caused all to see her to stare in amazement. One of my favorite lines in the movie comes from the ballroom scene. Ella says to Kit, “they’re all looking at you,” and he promptly replies with, “believe me, they’re all looking at you.” I found this incredibly sweet.

cinderella #10

Lastly, at the very end of the movie, Ella turns to her stepmother and tells her she is forgiven. This is an amazing act by her, seeing as how she was treated with disgrace. In all, this was a wonderful film that I would recommend to anyone! And as it goes, they lived happily ever after. The End.

~ Southern Dreamer

Movies In 2015

Hey y’all! 🙂

I don’t know about you, but I am most excited for the movies coming out this year! I thought I would share several that I can’t wait to see, and so without further ado…here are the films which I am dying to watch.

cinderella #11. Cinderella

Coming out March 13 of 2015, I truly am ecstatic about this new Disney movie! I think they did a great job of picking out an actress that looks like Cinderella and I may have already memorized a line from the film. 😉

Tomorrowland-Poster2. Tomorrowland

Another Walt Disney movie coming out this year, Tomorrowland easily captivated my curiosity and attention. I am definitely intrigued to see how this film turns out.

avengers3. Avengers: Age of Ultron

Avengers – age of Ultron. Well, I won’t speak for the rest of you, but for myself wow. The trailer was fast-paced and when Cap’s shield broke, I could not believe it. Captain America without his shield is like Thor without his hammer or Tony without his suit or, you get the idea. 😉

star wars4. Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Not much information has been released concerning this movie, but of course even if there had not been a trailer out yet, I think I would have still wanted to see this. I’m really hoping that this seventh film will be just as well-made as the others along with meeting the expectations of star-wars fans everywhere.

frozen fever5. Frozen Fever

I could not mention the previous Disney movies without adding Frozen Fever to the list of films I have to see in 2015. I adored Frozen, so I have no doubt that the sequel will be just as cute and entertaining.

inside out6. Inside Out

I have watched the trailer for Inside Out many times and cannot wait for this adorable movie to debut. This is a totally new concept and I find it quite interesting.

Well, there you go! My top movies I desire to see in 2015. What films, are you my readers, excited to go and watch?

~ Southern Dreamer