Tuesday, November 5, 2013

When You Are Beautiful

The auditorium was filled to capacity. The women chattered nervously as they filed into the arena, faces flushed with excitement. Perched high above the ground floor, directly back from the stage, we settled into our seats, purchased at the last minute, for the event. The small band of women who had traveled together were strangers really. We had packed up our best faces and clothing, loaded into an average van with our ordinary lives, driven six hours and arrived here with expectation.

There was soul-stunning, heart-reverent worship and then the speaker began to teach. Honestly, I don’t remember the scripture, but I remember the subject matter, and I was not prepared for the raw emotion and reaction it would invoke. The passages she read were familiar, but as she took the scripture apart, examining the words, one by one in the original Greek meaning, there was a reference that had to do with the eye.

The teacher went into the audience and choose one precious woman and sat down beside her with every lens and microphone poised. The famous woman cupped  the unknown woman’s face in her hands and began to speak tenderly to her about the meaning of this verse. She suggested that it was as if Jesus was gazing into her eyes and telling her how beautiful, how cherished, how adored she was. The delicate woman chosen from the audience handled this extremely intimate encounter with such grace and only a few tender tears.

I was undone.

A literal flood of emotions awakened. Unexpected raw pain.  I sobbed, the ugly, uncontrollable cry where every kind of thing is released and pours out of your face. Quite frankly it scared me. Even writing these words today, fresh tears sprang forth again. Not like the first time, but it is a tender place, to believe that anyone, especially the God of the Universe truly loves us so intimately and desires for us to know how He sees us beautiful.

That was over a decade ago and if the Lord has shown me one thing in my years of ministry and service to women, He has made it crystal clear that few women believe the truth of their beauty. 

A few years ago, in a small group, the subject matter was about believing God's truth over the lies of the world and the enemy. Without much thought, I asked each woman to share a single word, that may be a lie they had believed about themselves or had spoken to them. Just a single word that they had long embraced in their hearts. What poured forth was unexpected, deep pain. 

Each one was quick to speak the one word.

It was on the tip of their tongues because they had made it part of how they saw themselves. Words like, ugly, unwanted, stupid and fat. Typing those awful words breaks my heart right here. And worse, I know that it grieves the heart of our Father deeply, that we have believed the lies of this world over what The Lord says about us in His Word.

Can we just stop it?

The only way we can stop believing what we have been told, or cease listening to what satan accuses us with, is to replace those thoughts and ingrained beliefs with the truth of the Word. It is no small matter ladies. This subject is at the very core of who we are. In the beginning, God created women as the pinnacle of His creation. Not an afterthought, but the crowning jewel of all that He created and said, "It is good."  The enemy has waged a full-scale attack on women and the demoralization of  women every since. 

We, who believe in Jesus, need to make it our focus, to take to our Father every single place in our soul, bath ourselves in the truth of His word to get healing, so we can hand off a healthy legacy to our daughters and the daughters of others. 

We have to stop it.

Stop dragging our baggage and comparing ourselves to others. Cease listening to the things that promote the lies blaring from every television, magazine, and billboard. If we, the women who claim to know Jesus don't live like we believe what God says about us, who will lead the way for all the women who need freedom in this area of their souls? 

We need to be the beautiful change.

We have to be the beautiful change that women are dying to believe.

Beth Moore in her classic study Breaking Free, the story of her deliverance from, in part, childhood victimization, talks about four things most women dream of: To be a bride, to be beautiful, to be fruitful, and to live happy every after. She goes on to say that the enemy wants to destroy our dreams while God wants to give us more than we can hope or imagine.

Indeed, my sweet friends, God wants to cup your face in His hands, sweep back the wisp of hair and the dust of life that is distorting your view. He wants to heal your wounds, disgraces, failures, losses and deepest secrets. 

We have to hand Him all of it, along with the reins of our lives, so that we can walk in all that He has for each  us. 

Indeed. The enemy certainly knows how dangerous it is if we believed these truths.

You are His beautiful, pure bride whom He wants to be overwhelmingly intimate with.

You are beautiful.

He has plans for you to be fruitful, and there really is a happily ever after, not only in heaven but here too, when we live sold out for Him.

I'm praying for each of us to fully wrap your souls around these truths. It is not too late in our lives to turn and embrace Jesus and all that He has for us in this season of life.

It is not too late to look into the heart of  our Savior and take Him at His word.

You are beautiful.

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