He sees me on the path

It's made for work, the heavy leather of a saddle. Embossed with roses, a humble piece of equipment made beautiful. As am I, worker for the glory of Jesus, yet the jewel in His crown.
As for you also, because of the blood of my covenant with you, I will set your prisoners free from the waterless pit. Return to your stronghold, O prisoners of hope; today I declare that I will restore to you double. Then the Lord will appear over them, and his arrow will go forth like lightning; the Lord God will sound the trumpet and will march forth in the whirlwinds of the south. The Lord of hosts will protect them, and they shall devour, and tread down the sling stones, and they shall drink and roar as if drunk with wine, and be full like a bowl, drenched like the corners of the altar. On that day the Lord their God will save them, as the flock of his people; for like the jewels of a crown they shall shine on his land. For how great is his goodness, and how great his beauty! (from Zechariah 9)

The scarlet of Christ's blood has washed me white as snow (Isaiah 1:18). Yet there are three stages to this salvation: redemption, sanctification, and glorification. Though He sees me through the image of Christ, and no longer will send me to the waterless pit as punishment for my sin - for I am the believer redeemed! - I walk now in the sometimes arid path of sanctification. I am the piece of metal, willful, sometimes wicked, hard and rough edged, in the refiner's fire. He is bending me like a bow to transform me into a weapon for His army. I feel the fibers of self as they break to bend, I feel every clang of the blacksmith's hammer on the metal of me fired red hot.

He sees me when my eyes are dead, when my sadness overcomes. When I am penitent and when I am simply overcome by my own blackness.

He sees me as I go about my work, and guides my hand as I bend to teach four young lives everything that is of Him, from the glorious infinity of math to the endless possibility of language and the beauty and variety of art.

He sees me when I bend in prayer, shape this body new on a rubber mat with my French hip hop blaring and my children dancing around my prone back bent like that bow He is forming me to be.

He sees me when I am dirtiest, inside or out. When I've labored hard only to discover a new crust of dirt that needs to be scrubbed with His fuller's soap. What once was filthy rags, He turns to silver and gold that will never perish in the testing fires of the judgment on those last days.

He sees me when I feel the rejection of the world, when I cling to cross and the crutches of my own making to forge ahead on the golden trail, lost in the woods of depression and shadow of memory.

He knows the peace and heartbreak that live together in the soul broken over beauty. He sees behind the closed eyes and knows the words stuck in the clenched lips, sees the heart that has been bruised and labeled and torn, sees the mind that races and craves and empties and fills.

He knows my crazy uniqueness. He sees beneath the hat brim covering face bent low. He pours out my tears when I squeeze eyelids tight, and bottles them forever like the precious perfume of obedience and repentance.

He loves me through hands and hearts of others, He clothes my nakedness with grace. He turns my sorrow into dancing, my suffering into glory, and leads me ever onward toward glorification, that glorious day when I will put off sin like a set of old bones, and walk into the double portion He promises for my sacrifice and pain.

Oh, how I long for that day when I am free as a six-year-old girl dancing in the clearing, jewelry snapping like castanets around the neck that scorned them for so long, a robe to replace the hoody I hid in for two decades.

He sees me and knows me, and has turned my wretchedness into unconquerable beauty and strength through the blood of the cross - redemption. He bends me and breaks me and gives me a sickly heart and cancer and a daughter who is damaged so that I might learn to put off self and put on Christ - sanctification. And someday, I'm going home to the land where there will be no more tears, where I'll carve my snowboard through clouds and sit on the singing stars and forever sing with them and the angels glory to His almighty name - glorification.

Oh, come Lord Jesus, come! (Revelation 22:20)

I need you to soften my heart 
To break me apart 
I need you to open my eyes 
To see that You're shaping my life

All I am, I surrender
Give me faith to trust what you say 
That you're good and your love is great 
I'm broken inside, I give you my life

I need you pierce through the dark 
And cleanse every part of me 

I may be weak 
Your spirit's strong in me 
My flesh may fail 
My God you never will 

~Give Me Faith, Elevation Worship~

Linking up to Bonnie and Ann today,
amazed I'll get to see them both next week!: