In her book So Long Insecurity Beth Moore states, “We’re going to have to let truth scream louder to our souls than the lies that have infected us.”
Sounds like a good theory in concept. The problem is, is that sometimes, we do not know what truth is in regards to who we are. A few years back my belief was that I was a most heinous individual. I hated myself with such a great intensity that it was physically nauseating. The song I listened to over and over again was “Who I Am Hates Who I’ve Been.” I wanted to be beautiful, for there to be a grace about me that radiated, alas, it didn’t. I believed that no one could really want to even talk to me. I had nothing of value to offer. I was too much of a disappointment to everyone in my life. I felt I was a detriment to those around me.
So I holed myself up. I could not look up at anyone, afraid I would see disappointment in their eyes. I wanted to have an emotional beauty about me, to minister, to be an artist and a writer. Could I dare define myself by such things? The fear of failure during these years kept me in a silent jail. I was only one who was unworthy of anything. I allowed every negative action to affirm my beliefs.
Worse yet, during this time I had a woman who I thought was going to mentor me separate herself from me. I was devastated and her actions confirmed every negative thought I had ever had about myself. It was my ultimate confirmation.
Even now, years later, it is hard to believe and write anything to the contrary. I believed the lies so long, they are ingrained into my very core.
How is it that I had every believed such things to begin with? Who knows why I have such worthiness issues, but they plague me.
At some point during those years I decided I had to determine what truth was. People are fallible. Always remember that. The things that come out of someone’s mouth are often flawed because of their own perceptions. The only place to turn was to scripture and I had to believe it as if scripture were speaking directly to me.
So what is the truth?
1. I am worth rescuing. (My theme Psalm is chapter 18)
2. I am a reflection of the Creator. (Gen. 1: 27)
3. God has plans for me. (Jer. 29:11)
4. He rejoices over me. (Zeph. 3:17)
5. I am holy and without fault in His eyes. (Eph. 1: 4, Col. 1:22)
6. My story can be used for His Glory. (Eph. 5:14)
I can only allow God to define me. It is His truth that sets me free. If I start defining myself based on what others think of me, then I become paranoid and lost in the insanity of it all. I have my doubts and setbacks. My last blog entry can attest to that. But I know that God knows my name, and regardless of who I am in relationship with humanity, I am precious to Him.
What truths do you base your life on? What lies have you believed? How do you allow those things to define you?
As women, we go through great pains in order to be Beautiful. Although I am not much of a froo-froo girl, I still endure my fair share of torture. Take those eyebrow waxings for example–ouch! And although pedicures are a way to pamper oneself, I have to admit they hurt a bit. Then, we don elaborate jewelry before we leave the house and have a ritual of putting on make-up every morning, oh, and the hair. Living in the South where “big hair” rules, taking the time to do hair can take up most of the morning.
We do all this to feel beautiful. It is a woman’s yearning to be the Beauty. To feel like she is Beautiful. John Eldridge in Captivating describes a woman as Beautiful when she is “fully present” and at “rest” within herself.
But how does one come to be at rest within themselves? John Eldridge answers this question as well. He states (paraphrase), “that a woman becomes Beautiful when she knows who she is.”
About eight years ago I had no idea who I was. I really had no idea of my own identity. There are many pages in my journal from that time where the words, “Who am I?” are sketched across the top or off to the side. I felt lost without an identity. I didn’t know who I was, yet, I felt that I was more than just a wife and mother. The questions of “Who am I?” and “What is my purpose in life?” haunted me day and night. It had to be more than just who I was in relation to other people.
I was not at peace or at rest within myself. I was anything but beautiful. In fact, I ducked and dodged other people because I thought I had nothing of myself to give. No light to bear.
During those years I hated myself intensely. I hated the void of who I had become. I lived in fear of being asked to do things, and more fearful of just being a wallflower and no one noticing I existed. But wallflowers have to bloom, right?
Not necessarily, I think blooming is a choice we make. We have to pursue the blooming process. I did. I wanted more than what I had, so I chose to learn to bloom.
I started hearing God through the voices of my children. They taught me so many lessons during that time. They taught me that it is okay to involve God in the minute details of my life. That if I ask God for something as simple as to make the bees in our yard go away He will. They also taught me there is Beauty in imperfection. That was a very important lesson for me to learn.
I also discovered that God knew my name and that I undoubtedly belong to Him.
The Psalms repeatedly speak of God pulling the Psalmist up from the mire or the pit of despair so that others can see and be amazed at what God can do. It takes a journey of dark to light to have a testimony. Those who have made this journey can bear so much more light to those who have never walked the darkened road before.
“Weeping may continue through the night , but joy comes in the morning.” Psalm 30:5
It is God’s desire to pull you up out of the pit of despair. He wants His glory to be seen through you. God’s desire is for you to reflect the ultimate Beauty–His Beauty.
What “pit of despair” has God pulled you out of? I want to hear your story.
Mornings. I have a love-hate relationship with them. On one hand a hate pulling myself out of bed when I would love to sleep another five hours, (have I mentioned that I am a tired mommy?) On the other hand, there is nothing like the predawn stillness of a quiet house to help begin the day with gladness.
I was able to pull myself out of bed at 5:30 a couple of days ago intent on doing some writing and meditating. Started coffee, and while it was making got sucked into Facebook.
Even so, Jesus was standing at the dawn of the day and peace was upon me. I did eventually get out of Facebook and read my Bible and had just settled into praying when one of my daughters came in and plopped down on the couch. Usually I begrudge this interruption on my morning quiet time. But this morning was different. I was at peace. I was calm. I looked at my daughter who was yawning and thanked God for entrusting me with the souls of these precious ones as they grow.
Little yawns; sleepy eyes; sweet morning cuddles.
Most days do not start out like this. Most days start out with my youngest daughters whining at me to get up before I even open my eyes. They start my day by screaming for juice. Not pleasant and I wake up frazzled. Right now as I type, I have had a daughter whining off and on throughout this post. I tend to the interruption and then try to type another line. It is irritating that I can’t get anything done. But little cries mean I am blessed with my precious daughter who’s curly hair tickles my nose
when she sits in my lap.
Outside it is turning cold, and the sun’s rays are not as intense as they once were. The light is perfect to show off the magnificent array of fall colors. I look through the window and marvel at the beauty. Simple pleasures; simple blessings.
I wish I could be at peace like I am in this moment all of the time. But the truth is I get frazzled. Last night my husband was fretting over some pending decisions which need to be made. I simply said, “God’s got it.” I don’t know if the things that we are hoping for will come to fruition. I have learned through time that some things are just stepping stones to greater things. Sometimes the path we need to take in order to get to the destination is not the path we see in front of us. While we can only see what is in front of us, God sees the infinite possibilities that are before us.
Until I get to my final destination I am going to try to enjoy the ride and enjoy the simple blessings of life.
What are your simple blessing that you take pleasure in amid the chaos? Share with us.
It is a beautiful picture, isn’t it? But I can’t help but wonder if the people who live inside the cabin can see the beauty. Not because they can’t see it, but because they are too close to it. You see, this picture is taken from across the lake, where there is perspective. You get to see the grandiose picture of everything from a distance. You can see how everything is working together.
But what if you lived right there is the cabin; what would your perspective of this picture be? I would imagine that it is the view that most of us have. The view of not being able to see the forest for the trees. You would be so close to it, that when you looked up, all you could see is the few colored leaves right before you. Your perspective would be cut off, leaving you with only what is in front of your face.
I think our lives are like this picture. From a distance and with some perspective, one can see the Beauty of God’s work all around us. But when we are so close to ourselves we can only see what is right in front of us–the complications, the demands, the overload. That is not to say that we do not see the Beauty in our own lives. I think we do. But like the people in the cabin, I think we can only see small snippets of what is directly in front of our faces. We see the flower, or feel the wind blow across our face or the warmth of sunshine. We see the smile from someone in the Target line who says, “go ahead.” But it is hard to truly the orchestrated Beauty of our own lives and what is happening within. For example, I have a friend who does not know what the next day holds. But God has provided faithfully for her from day to day. I can see the Beauty of God’s fingerprints all over her life right now. I would imagine though, all she can see is the stress of worrying about how she is going to make it through the next day; where money is going to come from for her next trip to Kroger.
I know I have trouble seeing the Beauty from a distant perspective in my own life. Sometimes I can see it when I look back on events in my life, but not until enough time has passed to give me that perspective of distance and being able to see the whole picture, but even then, my own emotions shade the memories with their own color variations. I want to pray for to be able to see my life with perspective of the Beauty that is within it. I don’t want to miss out on the huge, beautiful picture because all I could see was one small section of my life. I want to see The Artist at work.
Beauty. It is the thing we long to be. To be enthralling, enchanting. But more importantly, to be worthy of being pursued. Oh, to be pursued. In Psalm 45:11 it states, “The King is enthralled with your beauty.” I used to justify this in a million ways of why it wouldn’t apply to me. First off, I thought to apply it to me and God’s pursuit of me was taking it out of context. After all, it is a king speaking of his wife. Secondly, I didn’t think I had any beauty that was worth pursuing. Then I had a spiritual awakening that showed me otherwise. God spoke to me in a way that I could not ignore. I didn’t even think God knew my name, much less would speak to me personally, but He did. I always thought I was just one of the flock, not worthy of having any beauty worth noticing. Then I had my God-experience and I realized how He had been pursing me all of my life. God had been pursing me! I realized how He had kept me safe, how things I chalked up to coincidence was actually God working in my life. It was God working in my life because He pursues me. If you look at the time line of your life, I am sure you can find the same thing. God has worked in your life because he is pursing you. Do you know why? Because the King is enthralled with YOUR Beauty. God knows that in His arms, your life becomes a beautiful reflection of who He is.
I once won a medal at a ball for waltzing — and it wasn’t because I know how to waltz. It was because I was in the arms of a man who knew how to waltz amazingly well. I had to turn my movements over to him. I followed his every move, and stepped on his toes many times in the process. He talked me through it, he led me through it.
So it is with our life. Angela Thomas says, “An ordinary woman becomes extraordinary in the arms of God.” I believe this. God is pursing us to accept this life dance. He is pursing us because we are his beauty and the King is enthralled with your beauty. He has been pursing us since the day Eve in all her splendor ate the forbidden fruit. Ever since then, God has been trying to reconcile us to Himself. He does this because He is enthralled with the Beauty that He created us with. We are made in God’s image, and God is pure light, pure beauty. So if we reflect Him then we reflect His light and Beauty. He sees that beauty within us and pursues us because of it.
God is pursing our beauty. He is calling us to dance. We have to answer with our life.