A Release: Coming to the Altar

I first met Aliza when she became a writer for (in)courage. I'm so thankful that out of the hundreds of applications submitted, hers was among the group selected. Aliza is an aspiring artist, dreamer, and adventurer who is learning the grace that she is enough just as she is, and believes that you are enough, too.  In 2013, Aliza traveled to Rwanda, where she fell in love with blogging, Africa, and Jesus. Now, she is spreading cheer and sweet caffeine as a barista, and making the prettiest words you ever did see. She is a gorgeous hope spreader, an encourager, and the dearest of friends to me. I'm thrilled to welcome her to the blog today, and honored by her words.

Text by Aliza Latta:

I'm preparing myself to come to the altar, and a mixture of fear and apprehension sit in the pit of my stomach.

As I ready myself to begin the journey, my offering tucked tightly within my folded arms, I'm aware of the knowledge that a sacrifice is looming shortly ahead, and the truth of the matter is, I've never been one to find surrender easy.

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I place my offering on the altar that has been built for me - my disappointments, my shame, my feelings of not-enough. They all get plopped down with a heavy thud.

I'm wary, looking at them. I'm wondering if maybe these offerings aren't...right. I'd like to give Jesus my talents or gifts or glory, but at the moment, these measly insecurities are all I have to extend heavenward.

In Coming to the Altar, with a way that is both elegant and refreshing, Erin gently explains and assures us that we are home, we are safe, and we are loved by a Father who accepts us as we are. There is no need for striving, nor perfection, nor having it all together. Erin says that "even in our mess and waywardness, [God] longs to commune with us. He is jealous for our affection, spread thin in so many other places."

As I read Coming to the Altar, I felt a sense of utter rest. Erin talks about how this is the word she has chosen for her year, and how ironic it is that we must choose to take rest. But Erin makes this choice easy, with her poetic and enlivening prose.

Erin encourages us to find "deep, soul joy," and after reading Coming to the Altar, I believe that I can.

So now, I look at my altar, my offerings displayed vast and large across it. And I know that my altar is unnecessary now. I don't have to sacrifice myself, because Jesus has already sacrificed himself for me. And in that sacrifice, he displayed the greatest act of love ever known, and with that love I can rest in this: I am home, I am safe, I am enough.

Read Coming to the Altar. You won't regret it.


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