Christ Tore the Veil

On the day of my wedding I wore a floor length veil. It draped behind me just like the table cloths I’d wrapped around myself as a little girl playing dress up. Following our ceremony, Tucker and I stood at the entryway greeting our guests when my beloved groom stepped on my veil and ripped a gaping hole in it, a few feet wide. Everyone else had kept a safe distance so as to not step on dress or veil, but this man I’d just joined my life with kept much closer proximity. I didn’t know this moment was speaking a word of promise to me. 

In our 9 years of marriage, my husband has ripped through every veil that existed between us. Everything that was separate before, is now joined to him. We’ve become one. The veil separating him from my heart and his presence, my finances and his presence, my hopes, dreams, health, plans, privacy, intimacy, nature, temper, weakness, and strength, was torn through. In time the tearing, like a river cuts through rock, has reconfigured the landscape of my heart. 

Likewise, Christ the bridegroom put a nail pierced foot upon the veil that separated who we are from all he is. And like a river cuts through rock, he washes over the landscape of our souls, rendering a new terrain he names his Kingdom. He spoke his vows, “it is finished,” and tectonic shifted my life towards himself. And in close proximity I stand, veil torn through, eternally rib to rib with the firstborn of new creation. This is the wonder of the cross: that Christ the bridegroom has come close to his bride (the Church), and the veil of separation has been torn asunder. 

“And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split…” Matthew 27:50-51

Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. Rev. 19:7

Rejoice with those who Rejoice

Years ago I worked as an Inclusion Aide in Special Education in an Elementary school. I love the kids I worked with. I love that they taught me to laugh at myself and daily gave me a lighter view of the world. Throughout my short career in education,  I had the privilege of spending hours observing and engaging in relationships with children.  I especially gleaned from their interactions with one another.

One little girl, Savannah, was so enthusiastic. The books her teacher read, the videos her class watched, her teachers instructions, her peer’s stick figure drawing, all blew her away, evoking her most expressive “Wow!” “Woah!” “That’s awesome!” “Did you see that?!”

She was a fount of encouragement. She’s the voice you’d want cheering in your congregation as you preached. What I liked most about Savannah was not simply that she was encouraging, but I believe she recognized quality in others and had a sensitivity to the efforts of others. When her peers, or her teacher for that matter, presented quality to her, she’d applaud it. “Good job Ms. S!,” she’d shout to her teacher.

One day, Savannah was coloring in her fire station workbook. She pulled out a freshly sharpened color pencil and brought it within inches of my nose. “What color is this Mrs. Weatherly?”

“Aqua!” I replied. Her eyes lit up and she let out a screechy giggle.

Immediately, she went to coloring her fire station dalmatian pup, aqua. When she had finished she was immensely proud of the work she’d done. I told her it was fabulous and she beamed, but sometimes approval means more from your peers. So, she showed her work to those at her table.

“Dogs are black or brown, not aqua!” the first girl said. Disappointed, but not deterred Savannah took her masterpiece to the neighboring table.

“That’s wrooooong!” another girl declared. Savannah sunk.

“It’s pretty,” I heard her say under her breath.

I wanted to scoop her up and explain that sometimes people don’t recognize the beauty that is so obviously within in you. That you have to receive approval from God alone. I wanted to shield her, to protect her. She couldn’t understand why she wasn’t shown the same courtesy she so readily bestowed to everyone else. I sat there feeling as deflated as she. I told her again what a great job she had done and then it was time to clean up.

There are times in my life I have been guilty of the same treatment those little girls showed Savannah. And there are times I have been Savannah, eager to please and to celebrate a job well done but swiftly rejected by those with whom I thought to celebrate. We all have to learn the hard way that approval comes from the Father. We have to know in our heart of hearts that we are “accepted in the Beloved,” Ephesians 1:6.

At the same time, I wonder. Can I, in my day to day be more like Savannah, quick to recognize the quality in others and eager to applaud it? Can I be sensitive to other’s efforts and join them in their celebration of a job well done? I understand that the gift of encouragement may not come so easily to us as it does to Savannah, but my prayer is that we not allow any excuse or insecurity within ourselves keep us from learning love.

One of my favorite passages says in Romans 12:10-15 “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord…Rejoice with those who rejoice.”

In other words, be like Savannah.

-Antonette Weatherly


As a kid I loved to nab one of the few pair of goggles at a pool party so that I could dive down deep into the water. Below, all of the laughter, conversation, delighted screams of children splashing were instantly muffled and distant.

As you’re introduced to this new space beneath the surface, everything you know about breath and balance above the surface are changed. I remember being mesmerized by the strange quiet and the way the light shone through the endless blue and how everything slowed down.

Losing track of time I’d emerge from the water, made anxious by the thought I may have missed something going on at the party. Why didn’t everyone want to dive in? Isn’t this what we came for?

I believe in life we are often reluctant to fully surrender to God because of what we may miss. We are made anxious by this need to follow the crowd and as a result we often sacrifice depth for relevance. But what could be more relevant than time spent diving deeper and deeper into the Father’s presence?

I’ve realized that there will always be something else to do instead of worship. There will always be tasks to perform and people to see but we can’t live satisfied with surface level revelation of the person of God and miss the beauty of the depths of His heart. We must learn the rhythms of daily surrender.

-Antonette Weatherly

History with Jesus

“I thought I was going to die,” reads a journal entry I wrote following my first experience climbing in the Colorado Rockies. Trincherra Peak sits at 13,517 feet and from tree line to summit you feel every inch of it. With every step, your breath grows increasingly more shallow, you hope, sometimes falsely, that the rock you’ve chosen to cling to doesn’t give way beneath you, and all too frequently you pause to relieve your aching legs and throbbing feet.

“Why did I think this would be fun,” you ask yourself.

But slowly and steadily, 1000 ft become 50 ft, becomes 1 step and you’ve summited the peak. The rush of relief and joy you feel are enough to knock you off your wobbly limbs.  As you stand (or collapse) in breathless wonder, basking in your achievement, you feel both strong and so very small in the vastness of it all. And there, to commemorate your success is a monument of stones placed by climbers who have made their own journey to the top.

As I proudly placed my stone on the pile commemorating my journey to the top of Trincherra that day, I was reminded of those old testament believers that built similar altars to commemorate the good things God had done on their behalf. For instance, Genesis 28:10-19 tells the story of Jacob having a powerful prophetic dream and being transformed by the presence of God, he lays up a stone in his camp site and calls the place Bethel, meaning, house of God. Forever after, that stone would be a reminder to Jacob of his encounter with the living God.

We are daily building just such altars in our lives. Sometimes, we build these altars without even knowing it. It’s only when we look back we see stone after stone, moment after moment where seemingly insignificant connections to the Father, were mountains we summited by His grace. When I’m faced with new challenges I return to those monuments I’ve built over the years, those places where the Father rushed in like a flood to save me, when obedience to him paid off, when he comforted me through pain, whether I caused it or not.  My life is a series of monuments built in remembrance of the goodness of God.

So, what monuments have you built as a response to God’s goodness in your life? What memories of His working in your life do you hold most dear? I encourage you to make a list and if you’d like to share, please leave a comment!

-Antonette Weatherly


There was only the hint of heat in the morning air as I sat in the amphitheater with my pen in hand and journal laid open. My heart was ready for whatever the Lord desired to do. I was deep into a summer of church camp internship and I’d found a few moments to steal away and quiet my mind. I savored the time, taking in the beauty of the trees overhead and the lake in the distance. Then, like warmth on the summer breeze, that still small voice whispered, “Go jump in the lake.”

“What?” I sat bewildered. Then again the whisper came, “jump in.” As I sat quietly, I began to picture the whole scenario. I’d stand up, cross the amphitheater, descend the path to the cliffs along the beach, take my stand above the murky waters below, and then, fully clothed yet compelled beyond control, I’d jump into the lake. By now my heart was racing. The urge became so strong to follow through with this strange plan I thought my feet might involuntarily carry me to the water’s edge. I imagined my team asking, “Where’s Antonette?” Then the reply would come, “Oh, that crazy girl, she jumped in the lake.” Drenched, I’d step into the lodge before my peers, feeling and looking pretty silly.

“I can’t jump in the lake,” I told the Lord with a bit of an attitude. “I don’t even know how deep the water is.”

Then, understanding my hesitancy He replied, “I’ll catch you.”

Now picture Jesus, standing in the water, hands outstretched, looking at you with absolute love in those deep brown eyes that know you beyond words. In that moment of connection he is drawing you to a deeper place of intimacy and to a greater place of dependency. Sure, there’s really no telling how deep His glorious love is. And to surrender to the depths of His grace would mean living drenched, forever feeling out of place and more than a little silly on dry ground. Oh, but how can you resist once you’ve locked eyes with Him?

This blog is one ripple in the wave I created the day I said “yes” to Jesus in that amphitheater 7 years ago. No, I didn’t literally jump into the lake that day if you’re wondering, but I did make the decision to live out of my depth, to discover a life lived in over my head. This blog is dedicated to that journey, and to those who are wading the depths of His grace with me.

Have a nice swim!

-Antonette Weatherly