Hold On

March 10, 2009 | 9 comments

We returned home tonight from a magical place, where crowns and gowns and magic wands are the rule. I half expected to discover fairy dust when I emptied the suitcases tonight.

Our plane left Florida — sunny, 77 degrees — at 1:20 p.m. Three hours later, the plane dipped below the clouds, revealing a patchwork of Iowa farmfields outlined in snow. At baggage claim, we collected suitcases, bags of souvenirs, a stuffed Pluto. Arms full, we lumbered outside to meet our welcoming party: puddles, rain and a forecast of sleet.

We had one foot in Florida, another in Iowa. With winter coats on our backs, we were still dressed in capris and T-shirts.

How quickly the magic can fade — if we let it.

***

Four days before our family left for a Disney vacation in Florida, I was in another magical place. I was a servant of the King at a three-day-long women’s spiritual retreat about 15 miles from my home.

On the last day of the retreat, a speaker gave each woman in the room a crown, a sparkling reminder of our place in the Kingdom. I watched from the sidelines as the women, almost in unison, placed the crowns on their heads.

Princesses, they were, in sweatpants and T-shirts and fuzzy slippers. Tears glistened, like royal diamonds.

I spoke with a woman a few minutes later who said she’d never felt closer to God than she did right then — keenly aware that she hadn’t earned her crown. Rather, it was bought for her at Calvary about 2,000 years ago.

She feared, though, that the magic would disappear once she left this place. Would the world convince her that this was no more than a fairy-tale?

Would she look in her suitcase for fairy dust and find nothing but a pile of dirty laundry that needed washing?

***

Hold on to your crown. That’s what the Bible says. Hold on. It’s a command.

For this is real, you know. The crowns we wear … they’re real.

They remind us of who we are and WHOSE we are. They remind us that we are part of a Kingdom — even if we don’t have glass slippers in the closet.

They remind us that what we experienced on the mountaintop is still with us in the valley. And that’s where we live a lot of the time: in the valley.

Even if circumstances or people — or snow or laundry — try to convince us otherwise, our crowns are real.

I’m holding on to mine. I need it.

Magical, this grace, this crown …

Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown. — Rev. 3:11

by | March 10, 2009 | 9 comments

9 Comments

  1. God's Not Finished With Us Yet...

    What a beautiful post Jennifer. My, have you had quite the year thus far, and I am so glad you were able to take some fun vacation time out with your family to Floriday. That photo is so cute and the message your sending with this gorgeous crown is perfect in going along side with Revelation 3:11; to Hold On to it and never let others steal that joy that we belong to Him.

    ~Sarah

    Reply
  2. Billy Coffey

    I can sympathize.

    I carry a small pebble in my pocket. My wife and I honeymooned in Key West, a place where most of the entire island stops what they’re doing every evening to go down to the pier and watch the sunset. Leaving was torture. But as I was getting ready to board the plane back home, I saw a pebble at my feet. I picked it up and have yet to let it go.

    Because even if we can’t be in paradise, we can still carry a little bit of it around with us.

    Reply
  3. mom2six

    With your post and the two comments I am brought to tears. How often in this world we forget whose we are – reality of the kingdom prepared for us. Thank you all for the reminder to hold onto our crown, our joy, paradise in our hearts. To walk holding our Savior’s hand. Needed that today.

    Reply
  4. Chris Godfredsen

    Yes, yes, yes! Hold on. The “crown” I have been holding onto lately is the communion experience I had at a men’s weekend similar to the one you write of, Jennifer – one in which two men shared communion in front of a dining room full of people that very much included Ken and I, and Jesus.

    That crown is of two sinners saved by his amazing grace…neither one of us is as beautiful as the girls at the top of your blog, nor the crown at the bottom – but the memory sure is.

    Reply
  5. Chris Godfredsen

    Yes, yes, yes! Hold on. The “crown” I have been holding onto lately is the communion experience I had at a men’s weekend similar to the one you write of, Jennifer – one in which two men shared communion in front of a dining room full of people that very much included Ken and I, and Jesus.

    That crown is of two sinners saved by his amazing grace…neither one of us is as beautiful as the girls at the top of your blog, nor the crown at the bottom – but the memory sure is.

    Reply
  6. casey

    Beautiful! I have days when I can’t feel the crown resting on my head. Thanks for reminding me that’s it’s still there!

    Reply
  7. Carol

    Loved this post! And love the Disney pictures. Thanks for you comment at the Cafe! 🙂

    Reply
  8. lynnrush

    Great post. Nicely written. It’s hard to not let it fade, isn’t it?

    Thanks for the inspirational post!!

    Reply
  9. patty

    I love the view from the mountain tops! But, as I continue to grow & press on, I realize that I love the view from the mountain because you can see the lush beauty of the valley so clearly. It makes me not only enjoy the valley, but yearn for it, knowing the unique beauty that's found there only. I guess it's another "beautiful irony". Have a blessed day…

    Reply

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