It’s Okay Either Way

I am in the midst of preparing for a graduation open house in honor of our 18-year-old son, Drew. Two long, rectangular tables will be reserved for photos of his childhood and scrapbook pages highlighting his growing-up years and achievements. Our shop will be filled with family, friends, food and photos on May 22nd.

While perusing his baby book, I came across the following prayer that I wrote down when Drew was 4: “Dear Jesus, please help Brady tell me all of his secrets, because I won’t tell anyone. But it’s okay if You don’t make him tell me because You are the Holy One and You’re my favorite guy. In Your holy name, Amen.”

Drew’s style of praying was straightforward, reverent, and unswerving from the very beginning, and hearing him pray aloud recently showed me that is still the case.

In this particular prayer fourteen years ago, a little boy voiced a request in a straightforward manner, addressed God reverently, and displayed a faith that is unswerving…a faith not shaken by God answering a prayer differently than he hoped. A faith that led him to say, “It’s okay if You don’t…”

I asked Brady (his next-oldest brother) if he remembered those secrets that his younger brother found so enticing, but he did not remember what they were or if he revealed them. Wondering what provoked this prayer made me smile. It also made me think. The child-like faith that is expressed in this prayer is the type of faith we are all supposed to strive for. Often children bring honest requests to God, knowing God is in charge and understanding that His way is the best way.  Basically it is: ‘Here is my prayer… please answer it however you see fit, because You are God. It’s okay either way.’

How often do adults pray that way? I’ll start with me. Do I have a straightforward way in relating to God? Yes. Do I address God in a reverent manner? For the most part, but there is room for improvement. How do I do with the unswerving faith component?  Here is where I sometimes fail. Here is where my work begins. My goal is to begin consistently praying something like: “Answer my prayer how you see fit, God, because I know You have my best interests at heart. You love me. You have a plan whether I see it or not. My faith in You is based on who You are, not what You do. It’s okay either way.”

I was searching for cute photos, but I came across a cute prayer that contained a lot of wisdom. The open house tables will be filled with photos of Drew growing up with his brothers and sister, playing sports, playing with cousins and friends, and other important memories. I also plan on finding a special spot to display this sweet prayer. May I learn from my son’s prayer from 14 years ago. I do not know if God answered that prayer with a yes or a no, but I know Drew’s faith was unswerving. It was okay either way.

Image 4-20-16 at 6.58 PM

Too Weary or Worried to Worship?

Do you ever walk into your church service begrudgingly? Maybe your week didn’t go as planned, or you just received bad news, or you are engaged in a seemingly never-ending battle with a person or condition in your life.

Do you ever choose to stay in bed instead of walking through those sanctuary doors? Maybe avoiding the potential unwelcome greetings or “hey, how are yous” seems more inviting than facing them and having to possibly come up with a phony reply or worse yet, answer honestly!

Many Sundays, I am the worship leader in our church. I am expected to help ‘usher’ the congregants to the throne of the King of the Kings in a time of worship and song. Sometimes I am not ‘feeling it.’ There, I said it. Sometimes I have had a bad week, or I or one of my family members have suffered a huge disappointment. And openly worshipping God is not number one on my priority list. There, I said that too.

I realize that I sound like I sometimes worship God based on my life circumstances instead of basing it on Who He is. That would be true at times. It is also something I am working hard to remedy.

I shared the following on my Gwen Thielges Writing and Music Facebook page a few months ago: “Something I’ve experienced through leading music in our church: When things are going ‘right’ in my life, and I go to church with praise on my tongue, it’s easy to be in front and encourage a congregation to lift up the name of Jesus in song. When things are not so much ‘right’ in my life…it’s hard. But it is always, always rewarding. It never fails that God speaks to me through the worship time on those tough mornings and gets my heart prepared for the rest of the service. He reminds me of His faithfulness, His plan, and the fact that He sees me and hears me. And most of all, I’m reminded of His love. If God cares that some insignificant-feeling, middle-aged mama in North Dakota is feeling down…then my friend, He cares about and loves us all! And He wants us to know that we know that we know that we are loved beyond description. I just want to encourage you this morning to sing a song of praise whether you ‘feel’ like it or not. You’ll be blessed. God WILL show up.”

May I encourage you to do better with this than I do? I am not saying we should worship God even when we do not ‘feel’ like it just because He will show up. I am saying we should worship God even when we do not ‘feel’ like it simply because He is worthy of our worship, adoration, and gratefulness no matter what!

He has a master design for our lives. Our disappointments, battles, and scars somehow add to the beauty of the tapestry He is weaving in our lives – something that can only be done by a God as awesome as our God is. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” What a promise to remind us that He is working in the lives of those who love Him through all the details. It is a reminder that we can trust Him through the difficult times for results that bring glory to Him. We can trust Him enough to say, “I choose to put my eyes on You, God, rather than on my life’s circumstances.” When our eyes are on Him, we can’t help but notice that we are in the presence of a God who deserves enthusiastic, extravagant worship.

Let us remember that worshipping our Heavenly Father is an all-the-time opportunity, not just a 20-minute Sunday morning opportunity right before the sermon. Psalm 29:2 says, “Honor the LORD for the glory of his name. Worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness.”

May our lives show Jeremiah 29:13 to be true, “You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.”

Come, let us seek Him with our whole hearts and worship Him through the weariness and worry. He is worthy. Bonus: He WILL show up!

No one I would rather write my story with

IMG_4308This man. I love him more than I ever thought I could. Okay – that’s corny, but I remember literally thinking on our wedding day, “How could I possibly love him more than I do today?”

For our wedding, I wrote a song entitled, “In His Plan” thanking God for creating us with each other in mind. A year ago, I wrote a new song for him in which the chorus begins with these lyrics: “There’s no one I would rather write my story with.” Ours has been my favorite love story thus far complete with four kids that I, with much self-admitted bias, find to be quite amazing.

I love that I get to parent side-by-side with him and watch him be a dad to those four amazing kids. He teaches our sons to be Godly men and models it as well. He treats our daughter like a princess, and is doing a good job of making it difficult for her to ever find a guy that compares to her father! He is an extremely wise man. Maybe more of a ‘wise guy’ sometimes…but his kids are truly blessed to have a father that they can go to anytime for wise advice. And they can go to him for so much more: assurance, assistance, allowance 😄, and most of all, unconditional love.

I love that he plays a lot of roles in his life, and he does it to the best of his ability while being principled and loyal. Roles such as husband, father, insurance agent/owner, coach, and more. As his wife, I can attest that his dedication to each role is second to none.

So is his ability to drive me crazy, and I’ve never hidden that fact from him! Being married for over 23 years gives a married couple many opportunities to do and say things that get on each other’s nerves. And although I could sometimes swear that some of his choices are made just to bug me, through the years I’ve come to respect the manner in which he approaches his endeavors. In other words, there may be times when I don’t agree with or even like a particular choice, but I certainly admire him for having well-thought-out reasons for his decisions and genuinely trying to make the decisions that best serve his family, friends, basketball players, and customers…depending on which hat he’s wearing for that particular decision. And when we face the numerous types of decisions that we must make together, we’ve developed a pretty darn respectful-of-each-other’s-views process that we go through.

I love that he’s a ‘Jesus-first. Family-second. All-else-third.’ type of guy. I love that he kisses me goodbye every morning before work. I love that I get to listen to him sing with the radio while I fake-sleep in the car. I love that he has a slightly weird obsession with the upkeep of our yard. I love that he loves to cook and grill and try new recipes. I love that we both love spending time together, and that we still make each other laugh like no one else does. I love that we’ve tackled some tough marriage and parenting issues together, and it’s brought us closer to each other instead of driving us apart. I love that we start many days off by praying with each other. Nothing helps someone see inside the heart of their spouse like seeking God’s will together in prayer. I love that he’s a man of integrity, that he’s a hard-worker, that he’s gorgeous, and that he’s mine. I love that God created us with each other in mind.

I’m assuming he will continue to sometimes drive me crazy until the end of time. To be perfectly honest, I’m good with that, because there’s no one I would rather write my story with. Good, bad, and crazy chapters and all.

 

New Year, New Prayer

Typically, as the new year arrives, we spend time thinking about what we want to carry forward and what we want to leave behind. We think about the things that we want to ‘start anew.’

It’s a new year full of new opportunities. As I grow older, I grow more and more thankful that I serve a God that makes all things new. Every time we see a sunrise, we can see it as a magnificent reminder that His mercies are new every morning. (Lam. 3:22-23)

I recently read 2 Corinthians 5:14-17 with a new perspective: “For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that One died for all, and therefore all died. And He died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for Him who died for them and was raised again. So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”

This year, may Christ’s love compel me to pray a new prayer.

Lord, may Your love compel me to act and react as you would: with an extra measure of compassion, grace, mercy, and love.

Lord, may Your love compel me to look at others with Your eyes of love and see a potential bloom where others see a withering flower.

Lord, may Your love compel me to forgive people for offenses when the world tells me I’m justified in wallowing in self-pity, holding a grudge, or even seeking revenge. May Your love compel me to be the one with which bitterness ends and understanding begins. You don’t have a list of requirements, a test we must pass, or a list of grudges that You hold until your good and ready to forgive. You forgive us readily, rapidly, and repeatedly. Arms open wide. Eyes full of mercy. Heart full of grace. May Your love compel me to forgive as You do.

Lord, may Your love compel me to radically reach out to people that I wouldn’t ordinarily extend myself to – knowing that Your Holy Spirit will lead me if I allow Him to.

Lord, may Your love compel me go the extra mile, put forth the extra effort, and do all to the glory of You. May the way I use the gifts You gave me reveal how much You mean to me. May what I spend my time on reveal how much You mean to me. May where I put my resources reveal how much You mean to me. May my life’s pursuits be all about You.

Lord, may Your love open my eyes to the opportunities You place in my life daily in which to reflect Your character to a world that is hurting, cynical, and worn-out. A world that needs You…A world full of people divided on whether they need You or not.

May my actions, reactions, behavior, and words, point them in the direction of You. Point them in the direction of realizing that You are fully worth seeking and serving; fully worth loving and living for. May the praises from me to You let You know that I believe that You are worthy, oh so more-than-worthy, of living every moment and every day for.

Lord, may Your love be seen through me. May it overflow, and may someone see You through that overflow…and may they see that You are worth starting anew with, for, and alongside.

In Your precious, perfect name I pray.

Amen

 

 

 

He’s Still There

IMG_7933The presence of trouble does not mean the absence of God.

When I have come up against something difficult, or when life has not worked out the way I planned, I have been guilty of throwing my arms up in despair and questioning God on His whereabouts, as if He bailed on me.

As if the God of the universe, the God who literally promises to be with us at all times, bailed on me.

“And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20b)
“for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6b

He’s still there. Maybe the problem that’s breaking my heart isn’t getting solved immediately or soon, or anywhere near as quickly as I hoped. Maybe the darkness seems to be getting even darker. However, even if I don’t see Him ‘working on my problem’, He’s still working in my life. He may be sending people into my path with smiles of encouragement, a compliment, or a friendly hello. He may be gently prodding me toward a particular passage in Scripture with words that apply to my current situation. He may be solving another problem and allowing peace to come into my life in a different area. He may be preparing other people in other ways that we have no idea about because there are certain steps that need to take place before the problem gets ‘solved.’

His ways ARE higher than our ways…His way of working in our situation is superior to our idea that we would like Him to implement, no matter how brilliant it may be!

I know in those difficult times when I’ve lost any amount of patience, joy, or peace in my life, there are some profound and lovely things that I’ve gained in the process:
1. compassion for others going through the same types of problems.
2. the blessing of seeing beauty come from ashes, as only God can do.
3. perseverance in my faith, which produces character, and character, which produces hope.
4. a reminder of Who is in control.
and the list could go on and on.

While I’ve never heard God speak in an audible voice…I’ve undoubtedly felt His voice impressed upon my heart. I’ve heard the whisper of His Holy Spirit comforting me, assuring me, “Child, I’m still here.” “It’s going to be okay.” “Hang on.”

This past Easter, I was reminded of a very powerful fact in a very powerful way: Long ago, the world saw the Son of God placed into a tomb; the Light of the World was cruelly taken away. Fast forward just a couple of days…when things were the darkest they had ever been and despair was at an all-time high…the very next moment when Jesus rose again was when the brightest, most brilliant light had ever radiated throughout the world.

He was there.

No matter what you are going through, He is there.

The presence of trouble does not mean the absence of God.

Seek His Face

IMG_5737

How often have you sought God’s face?

In the Bible, there are clear examples that instruct us that it should be a priority in our lives!

Look to the LORD and his strength; seek His face always. Psalm 105:4
My heart says of you, “Seek His face!” Your face, LORD, I will seek. Psalm 27:8

And this oft-quoted verse from the Bible:
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14

Will you go through those four steps with me?
1. Humble themselves. Check. Yeah, I’m pretty good at that humbling myself thing… 😉
2. Pray. Check. (True story – my prayer life has improved in quality and quantity since I saw the movie ‘War Room,’ which is a movie I recommend. End of plug for the movie.) But…I AM going to put in an extra plug for increasing the quantity and quality of time that we spend with our Heavenly Father in prayer. You’ll hear from Him in a way that you haven’t before…and battling from our knees is our strongest position.
3. Seek my face. Che…wait. what? What’s seeking His face about?

We may remember the joy it brought us when we stared into our child’s eyes the first time they were placed in our arms. We may remember the joy of early days of catching our loved one’s eye when we first realized we were interested in each other. Seeing our loved one’s face so that we can get more of a sense of what they are really feeling, or so that we can offer them a supportive, understanding look is one of the most important aspects of communication in any relationship. These moments take place when we are focused completely on each other. I’m guessing I am correct when I say that many of us have a desire to gaze into the eyes of our loved ones in order to know them better…in order to become closer to them. What a joy it is when we reach that sense of intimacy in our relationships.

So what about seeking God’s face? Doesn’t He deserve time from us that is completely focused on Him? We can’t literally focus on His face, but we can focus on His Word and His Presence – in other words….His face…who He is! We would most certainly grow in our relationship with Him. We would hear from Him in a clear way, and we would be granted more of a vision of our role in His plan for our lives. Our relationship would reach a new level of intimacy as we seek HIs face. The amount of joy in our lives would reach a new level as well!

4. 4th item in the list…turn from their wicked ways. If we are genuinely seeking His face, then wouldn’t we long to turn from our wicked ways?

In that verse, the last part reads: ‘I will forgive their sin and heal their land.’ Need I say more? If a majority of believers resolved to follow steps 1 through 4, can you imagine the incredible results we would experience?

What’s stopping us from seeking God’s face wholeheartedly? In His Word, He tells us to seek His face! That is reason enough, but just think: fixing our gaze on a God that loves us the way He does would bring about results that are worth experiencing. We would get to know Him in a whole new way!

Will you seek His face with me today? Oh, the joy that awaits us when we gaze into the eyes of our Heavenly Father!

What Do You Know?

In this world, there have always been and will always be events and happenings that we simply cannot understand and explain this side of heaven.

When my son, Brady, was a little boy, there were nights he struggled to quiet his ever-wondering mind. Through the years, there were nights I wondered if his mind was allowing his body to get much-needed rest! He would call me and/or his father, Darren, to his bedroom to share with us what was on his mind and was preventing him from going to sleep. He looked at us with his big blue eyes, seeking an answer. Sometimes we had one. Unfortunately, sometimes he stumped us, and the answer was, “I don’t know.” He started a mental list of questions he was going to be sure to ask God when he meets him in heaven. 🙂

In trying times, when your mind is trying to process and understand the unknown, you may have some sleepless nights asking God for answers. Maybe you’ve also made a mental list of questions to ask God when you someday see Him face to face.

In the last few years, I’ve been trying to shift my mind’s focus from the unanswered questions to what I know for sure. I do know that God loves me with an indescribable love. I do know that God is in control. I do know that God has a plan for my life, and that He wants me to trust Him on that.

A few years ago, I wrote a song entitled, “Perfect Love,” in which the lyrics of the chorus state: “I don’t know why bad things happen, and I don’t know the answers to the questions that are plaguing you. But I do know the One with all the answers, and I do know that He loves you, and He loves me, and He wants us to trust in His love; His unchanging, unfailing, all-knowing, perfect love.”

Focusing on a God that loves us with an unchanging, unfailing, all-knowing, perfect love instead of focusing on trying to figure out why we are in the midst of a difficult situation will certainly bring His peace to our troubled mind.

Focusing on a mental list of things that we know for sure can give us strength to face the next difficult situation with an assurance that we can convey to others. In this unpredictable world, that mental list can certainly help us feel anchored when the waves are threatening to overtake us and send us reeling in a sea of doubt and confusion.

I’m praying for you today. I’m praying that God overwhelms you with His Holy Spirit’s presence, perspective, and peace, and that you will see how amazing it is to rely on the constant Rock of Ages in this uncertain world.

I’m especially praying that when you face your next unknown, and all the “why” questions attempt to intimidate your peace of mind, your new mental list of things you know for sure comes to the forefront. May God’s indescribable love for you be at the very top, and may that fact always bring you rest.

 

My First Pregnancy, My Faithful God, and My Firm Stand

My first pregnancy did not end with me giving birth. It ended early-on in a hospital with me in tears just days before Christmas surrounded by well-meaning medical personnel that continued to call my miscarried baby a gestational sac and gestational tissue, a doctor with a less-than stellar bedside manner, my husband that was as heartbroken as I was, and my supportive family that was gathering for a Christmas celebration. Hardly how I pictured it… I’ve thought back to that day often, and I get it. I mean, I guess I get it…I get that quite possibly, people that work in hospitals make a subconscious or conscious decision to avoid referring to unborn babies as…babies. Maybe the loss of life is easier for them to deal with that way. And I would guess that they think that it makes it easier for patients to navigate through the loss if they aren’t thinking about the miscarriage as a death.  I would imagine that using the terms ‘loss of tissue’ or ‘no gestational sac present’ are their attempts at trying to prevent us from going through the stages of grief.

I spent the next several months being bitter. I had worked through my sadness and proceeded right to anger. First it was anger at myself because I was convinced I had done something to cause the miscarriage. Then it was anger at God. If I had done something to cause it, He was God and He certainly could’ve reversed it…He could’ve saved our baby. He knew my husband and I were ecstatic about being parents. How dare He take this baby away? Yep, I said those words to the Creator of the Universe. I looked upward, right up to the sky and screamed, “How dare you!” Looking back on that moment and the bitterness I harbored for quite some time afterward, I sometimes think, “Wow, God, it takes a lot of nerve for an almost 22 year-old woman to challenge Your sovereignty. Thank You from the bottom of my heart for being patient with me and lovingly waiting for me to realize there was no one to blame.” I wasted a lot of time being mad at God when I could’ve spent that time being comforted and held by Him instead.

While I attended college, I occasionally volunteered at a prolife location where I manned the phone, read pregnancy tests, and was a listening ear. One couple came in and asked for a pregnancy test to confirm what they were 99.9% sure of. When the results came back positive and they openly discussed not being ready financially or emotionally to be parents, I followed my informal protocol and reached for the models of babies in the various stages of pregnancy. I will never ever forget the look in their eyes. They stared at the plastic image of an unborn baby at the estimated age of the one inside her body. The young man gasped, and his next words, “it’s really a baby” will forever be etched in my mind. At that moment, something clicked with them and they realized her visible baby bump was in fact, a baby.  Society has told us something else: it’s a gestational sac, a clump of cells, and an inconvenience. Guess what, Society: I’m done. I am done tolerating that terminology and especially that mindset. It IS a baby. It is a BABY. I will never apologize for saying the truth of the sanctity of human life has been cruelly ripped from our world and replaced with a lie that says until a baby is born, it’s not worthy of being called a human or being treated as one.
The recent Planned Parenthood videos bring to light the inhumane manner in which we have decided it is acceptable to view an unborn child. The Pro-PlannedParenthood group wants us to focus on the so-called secretive way in which the videos were recorded. Seriously? That’s what we should be concerned about? The part of the videos that I find troublesome is the entire content of the videos. How unbelievably cold can those shown in the videos be? They talk about babies as if they are as trivial as the salad they are munching on while negotiating prices for human organs.

I sympathize with those that are not ready to provide their child with the home and upbringing that they believe a child would thrive in. Whether it be financially or emotionally or in some other way that they see the position they are in as inadequate, there are people with open arms that are more than ready to love that child right into their adoptive family. There ARE other options when an unplanned pregnancy moves into the territory of being an unwanted pregnancy. Would you agree with me that finding ways to make options more available to women facing unplanned pregnancies is a mission worth pursuing? We can step up with prayer, with finances, with counsel, with open arms, and with all of the above. Not just saying something, but actually doing something. While I don’t have all the answers to the ‘unwanted pregnancy’ dilemma, dare I say that if our world truly began to act again as if human life at all stages is amazingly valuable and precious, some of those questions would be answered naturally. And for those that have chosen the abortion route, there is real forgiveness given by a God that wants to wrap you in his arms, take the emptiness and sadness away and replace it with His joy and His peace. Nothing compares to God-given joy. Nothing compares to God-given peace.

When our children were young, because of certain questions they had asked us, we explained to them that our first child “died while still in Mommy’s tummy.” I don’t know if my son, Tyler, remembers that as a young boy, he came to me and requested that we name his older brother, Kevin. He very sweetly wanted me to know that his older sibling, whom he never met, mattered to him. I will always cherish that moment as one that displayed his compassion and the value that he placed on human life. Side note: apparently, he had decided that his older sibling was a boy! I agreed to the name, knowing that when I meet my oldest child in heaven, there’s a 50% chance I’ll feel the need to apologize to my daughter for referring to her as Kevin. 😉

Social media will make certain that we remember Cecil the Lion. Yes, he was created by God and was quite majestic, and we should be looking for ways to protect and respect God’s creation. However, more importantly can we please remember Kevin who was knit together by the very hand of God? Can I quite candidly ask you to go to a higher ‘level’ of remembrance and respect for humans? I know I’m asking you to be politically incorrect. I know that asking you from a blog to be or do anything can seem quite comical and naive. But, friends, we are engaged in a battle whether we signed up for one or not. Your God, the One that fearfully and wonderfully created every human, is being questioned. His wisdom, His plan, and His omnipotence – all of it – is being attacked. If that’s not a cause worth fighting for, I don’t know what is.
Human life at all stages is precious beyond words. Look outside your window at God’s creation. The beauty of the trees, mountains, wildlife, landscapes, and sunsets is absolutely breathtaking. Now I’m going to be direct and say that God went above and beyond on purpose when He exquisitely designed humans. He is a Master Designer carrying out a Master Plan in which humans have the opportunity to live in a loving, close-knit relationship with Him. Will you boldly proclaim, knowing that God is on your side on this issue, that it is time for the sanctity of human life to be made known and fought for? The value we place on human life dictates every decision that we make. Please boldly fight for, and please place unequalled value on ALL human life. God does.

Coincidence? God answers in time of doubt

During the early years of my marriage, I went through a phase of feeling very inadequate. The voice that casts doubts on whether we are good enough, smart enough, witty enough, pretty enough, interesting enough, capable enough etc. was screaming at me, and I was listening.

You know that voice? Sure, you do. It whispers, speaks, or shouts at different levels and at different times during our lives. Some of us are just much better than others at quieting it. Some of us have even found a way to turn the voice off. Unfortunately, at that point in my life, I didn’t know that not listening was an option.

I vividly remember one early morning sitting down in my living room recliner asking God through tears why I couldn’t be this…or that…or more this…or more that. And that particular morning that voice had convinced me that my husband was wishing or hoping or even praying that I was more than I was. What I was struggling with the most was that I didn’t feel beautiful enough…on the outside or inside. Mirrors constantly reminded me that I had never seen myself as beautiful. And comparing myself to others constantly reminded me that I wasn’t interesting enough to ever be described as having a “beautiful” personality.

My Bible was in my hands. I opened it, and it ‘happened’ to be these words that I read on page 1384: “Instead, it (beauty) should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” A rush of tears came and fell. I wept because He answered me so specifically, so intimately, and so perfectly. God heard me. God cared about me. And God cared about what I cared about. Goodness gracious…my Bible “fell open” to that particular verse…a verse I had never noticed before…a verse that hit the nail precisely on the head with my pain of feeling like I lacked beauty inside and out! He’s just that good. What I received from that answer to my tearful prayer was the promise that God says that the quiet, gentle trust I have placed in Him makes me beautiful, and it’s a beauty that does not fade. (1 Peter 3:4) The Bible says so.

I should mention that my husband hadn’t done anything to make me feel like I am not enough. This mindset was invented courtesy of me and the voice I hadn’t learned to hush. I am now confident that when he looks at me, he sees inside and outside beauty that he’s pretty thrilled with! I should also mention that I’m not saying a woman has to be reserved and quiet in order for God to find her valuable! The Bible doesn’t say a gentle and quiet personality…it says a gentle and quiet spirit. A gentle and quiet spirit comes from an assurance that God is taking care of you and that He loves you, despite what life’s circumstances might lead you to believe. It’s the type of assurance that gives us the peace that “transcends understanding,” talked about in Philippians 4:7. Our spirit doesn’t have to be caught up in the rush of anxiety and “disquiet”. We don’t need to be controlled by unrest, wondering if He has our best interests at heart. He does…and He proves His faithfulness over and over.

God gave me a confidence that day. It was placed in me by the One who knit me together in my mother’s womb. Wow! It’s a confidence that says I am of great worth in His sight. You can have that confidence too! That is a beautiful truth about a beautiful God who created people that He finds beautiful. People that sometimes just happen to open the Bible to the exact verse that speaks to their exact issue at that exact moment. What a beautiful coincidence.

 

%d bloggers like this: