The Alcoves, The Dream, & The Search


A week before college started, I visited my uncle with my mom and brother. He took us to the lake, and we simply rode around in his fishing boat for an hour, maybe two. I sat in the very front, and it was wonderful to feel the wind and the splashing of the waters.

Meanwhile, my brain was full of thoughts and worries, but you’ll understand that in a minute. Back to my story.

When we first started cruising around the lake, I noticed many little alcoves. They were beautiful to me– the sunbeams, the towering trees– and I wanted to go in them. But we continued on going straight, following the narrowing lake “path.” For some reason I was almost SORROWFUL to miss the alcoves, even angry! But I kept feeling the wind and water, kept watching. I was hopeful. I was also confused, because I was feeling all these things so strongly! Normally I don’t feel a ton, and now I was overcome with emotion over nothing? I waited to see why.

I looked up pictues of the lake; didn't take this one!When we got to a darker, narrower, calmer area we had to slow down. We went under an interesting bridge, and soon after my uncle stopped the boat. I was looking at (you guessed it) an alcove when he said, “Tessa, look over here.” I looked in front of me– and there was a waterfall. It was so pretty. I became content, MORE than content. I reveled in that waterfall and the message that I had just understood. Jesus was saying, “Chase after ME and long for ME. Give him up, entrust him to me; don’t search for your husband anymore.”

And I responded: “Deal.”

Imagine the alcoves are things I’ve valued and desired greatly. If I stop in those, I’ll never get to where I want to be with Jesus. He is better. I cannot, should not, and will not settle for less. I’m not saying that I can’t have anything I desire, I simply shouldn’t chase those things. He says, For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you. Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. (Luke 12:30-32) He wants to bless me, but if I only have His blessings and not HIM, what do I really have? I don’t have the ability be content with that. I must be seeking Him; I won’t lack anything, even if He’s the only thing I have. He must be my one and only pursuit, and He makes that possible. He has asked me (and you) to allow any desire but the one we have for Him to die. To love Him radically and recklessly, like He loves us.

What are you holding on to? Have you stopped in an alcove instead of moving forward, or are you longing for the alcoves? Keep going. Enjoy the water and the wind; you will reach that waterfall and it will be so much better than your dreams.

And the part about husband searching? Well…

There’s a guy in my life. And we’re just buddies, but he’s a lot like how I imagine my husband. I won’t go into details (especially since I pretty much already told you everything; it’s not that complicated, haha!), but basically: it’s hard to be patient. I don’t quite know what I feel for him, but I wish I did; I wish I could just know if I’m investing more hope than I should be. As you can see, letting the search die is hard.

But Jesus is merciful.

This week, I had a dream that I got married. The face of my groom was a blur, but I could see everything else, and none of it was like what I picture– the location, my dress, the amount of guests– nothing. Yet: my wedding was perfect. I loved my groom, he loved me, and we were confident in God’s will for us. We were honorable, pure, righteous, and JOYFUL before Him. I absolutely adored my wedding. I had a flashback in the dream, of the day before the wedding. I was sitting with my fiancé and we accidentally touched hands. That touch? Electric, butterfly-filled, amazing… one simple touch of the right person’s hand was magical. And when I woke up, I knew what Jesus was trying to do. He was saying, “Now do my plans look better than yours?”

Yes. They do.

Patience is worth it. Trusting Him is worth it. Girls (or guys, for that matter), we don’t need to worry about the details when we let God do His thing. When we surrender our dreams to Him (and not just ones about marriage), He will give us joy that looks a bit like this: from Pinterest

It’s hard to let go, to stop searching and not “control” anything. But Jesus, your plans are better, they are worth it! Take the search from me! I surrender it to you knowing I’ll try to steal it back, but don’t let me. Fulfill the dreams you have for me. I want that more than anything. I want you.

“God’s gifts put man’s best dreams to shame.”  -Elizabeth Barrett Browning


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