Meanderings: I have a dozen or more daughters….wow, you say, that must have been quite an undertaking! What a woman!
LOL! Well really, they are daughters from “another mother” but they have been on “loan” to me for the past 3 years. I have humbly been given the opportunity to meet with them about once a month. Another mom and I mentor these young women through sharing meals, book club, scripture and invariably some painful real-world discussions.
We have fun, share prayers and hold each other up through good times and bad. Yes, God blessed me with awesome sons, but a few years ago I heard Him calling me to reach out to high school age girls too – as I was a teenager/young woman who lived apart from God…and Lord knows I would not wish that for any others, especially “my daughters.”
This week we met for lunch to celebrate the end of exam week (eww) and blow off some steam. I had not prepared a lesson, but I had recently read a couple of blog posts on psychologistmimi that got me thinking about how we and others view ourselves (to read them click here and here. So, in the midst of hamburgers and milkshakes, I asked them a tough question….
Crooked Paths: “Think about and name the lies we believe about ourselves. Do these interfere with being/becoming the women God intends us all to be?”
At first there was awkward silence – after all, I was asking for some serious transparency in this…here are some of our responses. I am:
Not smart enough * Not “good enough” * Not pretty enough * Not popular * I am too fat * I am too thin * My hair is too curly * My hair is too straight * I am too tall * I am too short * I don’t fit in* I am not good enough in sports * I am not like my sister * I am not like my brother * I am too old * Too young * Not successful * Out of shape * I am unloved
Lies from others – “You would do this if you really loved me…” * “If you were my friend you would….” * “Everyone does it, it’s no big deal…
I suspect these lies are familiar to most of us, in one form or another. I know that I heard, believed and inculcated many of them into my own psyche… In fact, if I am not careful, some of these can still rob my self esteem. It is easy to believe lies. Why?
I think it is because we all have a God-sized hole in our hearts. When we try to fill it with anything BUT Him, we are subject to falsities and can easily believe the bad over the good. Could it be certainly one thing every human being, past and present shares is the desire to be validated? But let’s face it, we are not very kind to each other. The more someone hurts us, the more likely we are to hurt others. In the wrong hands, we can be used as weapons on each other easily. This is an invitation to a party for Satan and boy can he use these insecurities to blind us, bind us and keep us away from Truth.
Straight paths: It has taken me a long time and a lot of living to realize this. What I do know? Satan is a liar, fabricator, perjurer, deceiver, accuser…and he is very good at it. He is slippery, slimy, and slithering – he can insidiously work these deceptions into our lives, whisper by whisper, to doubt ourselves, God and destroy who we are meant to be. That story is as old as time itself – just ask Eve. If that LOSER can get us to believe his untruths, he can distract us from growing into children of God and ambassador’s for Jesus Christ. We will become frozen….unable to recognize truths. Just like the saying “you cannot see the forest for the trees”, we will concentrate on the wrong, and never be able to see the right.
So then I asked my girls to name some things God says about us. Here are just a few things God has to say:
He’s got dibs on you
Isaiah 43:1 But now, thus says the LORD, who created you, Jacob, and formed you, Israel: Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name: you are mine.
He’s your Daddy
2 Corinthians 6:18 & 2 Samuel 7:14 (ESV) I will be a Father to you and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.
He planned your birthday party
Jeremiah 1:5 (NIV) Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you;
He has good plans for you
Ephesians 2:10 (NIV) For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
He doesn’t mind waiting on you
2 Peter 3:9 (The Message) Don’t overlook the obvious here, friends. With God, one day is as good as a thousand years, a thousand years as a day. God isn’t late with his promise as some measure lateness. He is restraining himself on account of you, holding back the End because he doesn’t want anyone lost. He’s giving everyone space and time to change.
You have a room of your own
John 14:103 (ESV) In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?[b] 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.
He’s proud of how you turned out
Psalm 139:13-16 (The Message) Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb. I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration—what a creation! You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, The days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day.
He thinks you are beautiful
Song of Solomon 1:15 (NIV) How beautiful you are, my darling! Oh, how beautiful! Your eyes are doves.
He thinks you look like Him; and that’s a good thing
Genesis 1:27-28, 31 (ESV) So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. 31 And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good.
He keeps in touch
John 10:3 (ESV) To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
He swoons over you
Isaiah 62:5 (ESV) For as a young man marries a young woman, so shall your sons marry you, and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you.
He keeps your picture with Him always
Isaiah 49:15-16 (NIV) “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.
He thinks you are pretty special
Malachi 3:16-17 (NIV) Then those who feared the Lord spoke with each other, and the Lord listened to what they said. In His presence, a scroll of remembrance was written to record the names of those who feared Him and loved to think about Him. “They will be my people,” says the Lord Almighty. “On the day when I act, they will be my own special treasure.
He sings about you
Zephaniah 3:7 (NIV) The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.”
He sacrifices for you and puts you first
Romans 5:8 (ESV) but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
He’s not kidding when He says He will love you forever
Jeremiah 31 (NIV) The Lord appeared to us in the past,a saying:“I have loved you with an everlasting love; have drawn you with unfailing kindness.
So I return to the list of lies. Even after looking up those scriptures, I found 100’s more “love letters” from God. Should we not believe everything God says about us? After all, you, me, we are His idea. I am thinking GOD’s creation is meant to be pretty special! So the next time my daughters, my sons, MY loved ones…listen to the lies of the deceiver, I will remind them who their Daddy is – and that He thinks they ROCK!
Now one more scripture, just as a reminder to us all…. It is better to trust in the Lord than put confidence in man. Psalm 118:8
Amen to that!