Tuesday, February 11, 2014

the beauty series- part 3

I was talking to one of my girlfriends on the phone earlier who said that it almost feels like what I'm suggesting about physical beauty is scandalous, because her mom raised her to feel like she wasn't pretty on the outside, but that was okay because she had inner beauty of tremendous worth. Do you feel like it's scandalous, too? Is it bad that I love that? To me it's proof that we need to be having this conversation. I feel like Part 1 was "the good stuff" and Part 2 was "the necessary stuff," though it was admittedly much less fun. ;) So then what is Part 3? I think of this as the "so what do we do with that?" section.

You see, all that we have said is true: it's okay to admit that there is a desire inside you to be beautiful, and not just on the inside, because we were made that way. We women ARE beautiful because we are made to reflect the beauty of God. And we aren't the ones who get to decide whether we are or are not beautiful, because the Creator of the sunsets already said we were. And He would know, because He took his perfect time on each of us and intended us to be just as we are.

But now, hear this: that outer beauty, which you undeniably have, IS NOT WHAT DETERMINES YOUR WORTH.

Sisters, write that on your mirror if you can't yet imbed that into your hearts. YOUR OUTER BEAUTY, WHICH YOU UNDENIABLY HAVE, IS NOT WHAT DETERMINES YOUR WORTH. But yet we had to prove that you are beautiful on the outside before we could get to this point, because far too many of us are imprisoned by the belief that our outer beauty is somehow decreasing our worth!!! Oh, that the chains may fall off of you with a loud clang!!!! You see, to determine your worth, you must go to the One who imparts worth. Listen to me: Our worth is found IN God. Our worth is measured BY God.And there is no invisible test left to pass! He made you. He loves you. He sent His Son to die for you. And that sounds trite because some of us have heard that an awful lot since we were in Sunday school, so let me say that another way: I love people in this world. And the people I love, I love so much I would die for. But I don't know that I love them enough to volunteer Roman or Liam (or Henry!) to die a gruesome death before my very eyes. That is a kind of love that stuns my soul when I take the time to really roll that around and digest it. And yet YOU have that worth to GOD, because that's exactly what He did. Whether you're ready to accept that and all that means yet, or not.

So child of God, STAND UP. It is time you start identifying the voice of He who has spoken life over you versus he who speaks death. It is time you stop placing your self worth in your outward appearance, whether that is a positive or negative experience for you. It is time you stop using others are your measuring stick. It is time you stop trying to find approval in those around you- or in things you do. YOU HAVE GREAT VALUE. YOU HAVE TREMENDOUS WORTH. YOU ARE PERFECTLY MADE. And the chains of doubt, confusion, or self-deprecation must fall. Now. Leave them lying on the floor where you stand. (or sit.)

But I believe there are those of you reading this right now who long to do that- who have tried to surrender that struggle to God. Who have laid it down before, only to pick it back up again. And again. And maybe even again. So we are going to walk through it right now. If this is something you struggle with, it is time you pray this prayer from the depths of your soul: Lord God, precious Daddy, I am done struggling to define myself. I am done listening to the lies that tell me I am not who You created me to be. You define my worth and you have said I am yours. You have claimed me. And I am ready to walk in that. Father, show me the things I believe about myself that aren't true. Warrior God, take them from me and trample them under Your feet. I am done with them, and I am ready to rise up and live as daughter of the King.

And if this kind of talk about being daughter of the King, and calling God "Daddy" makes your heart hurt because you want in but haven't decided to become His daughter before, you can add this to it: And Lord, I surrender my life to you. It is Yours, and You can use me as You will. I claim you as my Savior and believe that Jesus died to remove the sin-stain that kept me covered in dirt. I give you my life and I'm ready to walk in the plans You have for me. Thank you, Lord, for the love You have for me. Amen.

[And if you prayed that second part, shoot me a message privately
and I'll make sure you're set to keep walking in this new identity.]

And then you go to the mirror. No, seriously- get up, and walk over to your mirror. And you say out loud "I am beautiful. I am exactly the way God created me to be. And I will listen to the lies of the contrary no more." And sweet daughter of God, you will entertain those thoughts no more.

Understand that you have prayed, you have placed it in God's hands, and only you can grab it back. He isn't going to chuck it at the back of your head while you walk away. So you now have a choice. And this choice may be hourly- or even more often, for some of you!- at first. Because this is where you take your thoughts captive. You have the control over your thought life to decide what your mind and heart entertain. And so you must now choose to deny entry to your mind any thought which disagrees with what God has said about you. Just like the clothes you put on, you will choose what truths or lies to wear. So when you catch yourself pointing out your physical flaws, feeling like a certain body part isn't attractive, or just feeling completely unattractive in general, you will no longer grant it access. You will catch it, speak (out loud, even!) to it that God has already deemed you of greater worth than rubies and of enough beauty so as to reflect His own, and tell it to leave your mind and heart in Jesus' name. And recognize now, ahead of time, that those days and moments when you just don't care and don't want to fight any more are the days where you need to fight it the most.

Daughter of God, STAND UP. Take your sword and fight. You are meant to be captive to those thoughts and beliefs NO MORE. This is not what God intended for you. And it breaks His heart to see his sweet girl struggle and suffer under the weight of lies He doesn't mean for her to listen to. If you have children, you know what you want for your child's heart. You know they have great purpose, great potential, and you aren't even God. Just imagine the plans HE has for YOU. Yet you are being incapacitated by the belief that you are worthless and incapable, cowering there in a corner.

No more. Now, we fight. Now, we persevere.

Now we remember who we are: daughters of the King, the Most High God.

And now, we stand.

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