Monday, February 18, 2013

Significant Sisters

Photo credit* 

"You are nothing like your sister, are you?" The words crashed hard and shattered into a thousand shards of glass into my heart. It wasn't the first time a teacher had said that. There were others too. Adults who let words slip out that splinter the morrow of bone never to be completely plucked. The casual observation wasn't intended as a compliment.

There is a photograph of me as an infant. My sister looks like Shirley Temple with bouncy curls, dimples and a smile that screamed sweetness. She is dressed in a silk puffy dress accented with the perfect little satin purse. That photo was a foreshadowing of things to come. My sister being adorable. Me. -Not so much.

The teachers loved her and rightfully so. She worked hard and wanted to please. She was always a good student who  seemed to know who she was and what she wanted. If there is anything to the 'oldest child' personality thing,  it holds true with my sister. 

In high school she was class secretary, high school mascot, and graduated at the top of her class. The very top. In fact she delivered her graduating class speech. At a very young age she was offered a high paying, highly sought after job.    She managed money well and had money to manage. When she moved away from home she already had matching dishes, silverware and a cedar chest that was overflowing with treasures and hope-filled dreams. To this very day she is smartly dressed from head to toe with coordinating clothes and well chosen accessories. She is just a class act.

There was a point that I realized I could never be like her. A time when I began to make decisions consciously to head the opposite direction so any comparison would be ridiculous. As if I had to try to be different.

My long wild mane of blond hair accentuated my personality. I preferred to run amuck in our forty acres of woods, riding bikes or playing neighborhood football. My side of the bedroom was complete chaos. Every aspect of my life certainly made my mom shake her head as she tried to help me navigate adolescents and young adulthood. In my quest to be different I worked at non traditional jobs like pumping gas, digging ditches for an excavating company and was hired as a switchman on the railroad a few years out of high school. Even today blue jeans and a hoody sweat shirt are my favorite every day wear. 

Early in my life I didn't know who I was, so I began to create a woman that didn't fit someone's mold. The best I could come up with on my own was a hardworking, self reliant, free spirited, rebel kind of woman. 

Thank goodness there was a day when I traded my twisted dreams for God-dreams. As time has marched forward He has molded my thoughts and heart with His Word helping me process what my real identity is and giving me peace with the reflection in the mirror.

Well that's what I thought. 

One early morning not so many months ago, I had a crazy moment when I asked the Lord to ' me, O God, and know my heart.....'  It wasn't a deep movement in my spirit. I was just reading, flipping pages in my Bible and praying breath prayers.

This came into my head.

"You have the sin of insignificance...."

It wasn't an audible voice, but the words were deafening. That word "insignificance" isn't a word in my vocabulary. It's an odd word. In fact I had to write it down because I couldn't remember it easily.

That morning  I headed out the door wondering what that was all about and prayed for God to reveal more.

What followed was a series of things that revealed my heart and His heart for me.

As soon as I had opportunity, I looked the word up. 

Insignificance: 'Having no weight, no effect, unimportant, without meaning, ... for want of meaning.' And in another dictionary: "unimportant."

Then I looked up the primary word.

Significance: 'to have meaning, importance, standing as a sign of something.' (emphasis mine)

Even though I know my Bible says we are, "....blessed, chosen, adopted, favored, redeemed and forgiven...."  I wrestle with the lies in my head. Some lies have faces with names and some are new visitors that I allow to penetrate at a cellular level. 

I was reminded of the ugly things we believe when I moved a stack of papers that were from a Bible study long past. My hands cupped tiny folded papers. On each scrap there was a word. The first one I unwrapped said "ugly". The second one said "fat". Another one  "dumb". Still another, "unwanted". Tears burned my eyes as I remembered the night I asked women to write down a lie that they had been told or believed about themselves. Just one word.

Without hesitation each woman quickly scribbled on their paper a word that had carved out a piece of their hearts.  

To rehearse their pain was softened by knowing that exposing these deep hurts to the light is where healing can begin for those brave women who dared to say it out loud. 

Most women I've met if they are courageous to think it out loud, wonder this: "Am I really enough?" "Am I beautiful?" "Am I of deep worth?"

The deep seated questions are found in the form of our statements. Like, I'm too fat, too thin, too old, not pretty enough, not smart enough, unable to speak well or some other self-deprecating statement.

My mind trailed back to being young and some of the things that marked me. Words that left deep prints like metal seals pressed into the wax on my soul. People who had no idea the power of their words. And even if they had never spoke them, the enemy of our souls is ever accusing us. 

Mostly I've settled the issue of who I am. My desire to use the  gifts and talents I've been given to bless others for the glory of God. Not for my own accolades, but deeply wanting people to be set free from old patterns of defeat and untruths in their heads.

As Jesus invades more and more areas of my life I can see the truth about myself and reject the things that aren't His voice.

This I know. The Lord wants to heal all those places in a soul.  He wants to replace every lie I've believed with the truth of how He made me. 

I believe the desire to know who we really are has been placed in our hearts by the God of Heaven.  And to understand that, we have to run to the God who created us. Not as a self focus, but so we are free to love God and love others.

And you friend.

It's time you know how amazing you are.


Right where you are. If we discover the truth that we are made in His image, loved deeply, princesses of the King    -we might be unstoppable.  

Jesus is so tender to speak to me about this "sin of insignificance."  

- - You see I can't write about a life I don't possess. I can't convince women they are cherished and loved if I haven't embraced it myself.  

This I believe.

There is a call on each of our lives. A call that can not be fulfilled by anyone else. 

We were made to be different, unique, individuals.

And yet. There are some ways we are more the same than we are different. 

We are God-cherished and Christ-chosen.

One more thing that the Lord has shown me.

The root word of "significance" is 'signify'. Latin significo; signum, -a sign. (Webster 1928 Dictionary) 

It has this idea of using words to communicate, make something known, to express or communicate to others an idea. 

It spoke to my heart as if it was a word play. That the Lord used this strange word to speak to me about my sin and to confirm His gift to me.

I have denied that I am a writer.

I have not believed that I have anything of value to say.

But this is the deal.

God  has indeed given me the unique, crazy, out-of-my-comfort-zone gift, of communicating through words, to make known His love to anyone who will listen. 

He has gifted each of you too. 


Those lies that you believe.....

Reject them.

Replace them with truth. 

Sisters. We are all significant.

And God. He is for you!

Do you believe it?

You = a-m-a-z-i-n-g! 

I know what I'm doing.
I have it all planned out
- plans to take care of you,
not abandon you,
plans to give you
the future you hope for.

Jeremiah 29:11 

* Photo Credit: Pinterest
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Renae said...

you ARE a woman after God's own heart!

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