A hug for a sister.

If you’re a woman, Happy International Women’s Day !

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I’ve been spending a lot of time asking the Lord to help me be a woman of Him. To be someone who respects herself, values who I am and finds my security in Him rather than the world around me and the ideas they press on tabloids, magazine covers, billboards- of what women should be.

I want you to know that you too can be who you were created to be.

To love your body and your imperfections. To love yourself as you are and not always be trying to better your outwards appearance when inwardly you are fading. For no matter what we try to do, we will age, we will change, our bodies will go through a process-but that is beautiful.

For our bodies were meant to love deeply, to provide for a family, to care for others, to bear children, to walk long distances, eat good food, be treated with respect and value. For this is the only body you get and no amount of plastic surgery or botox will truly be able to stop you from aging, from your imperfections finding a way out. For perfection is flawed, there is no such thing in this world other than Jesus. When we truly start to look to Him rather than the idea of beauty in this world, He will renew our minds to see as He does-that our beauty was made perfect in Him.

Just as we are, He created us. He values us, loves us and longs for us to see ourselves as He does.

“Don’t let  your adorning be external-the braiding of air and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear-but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.”
1 Peter 3:3-4

To love your body; not in a vain kind of way, but in the sense that you wake up in appreciation of who you are, of the body who carries you around and the beautiful vessel to which God has given you. There is no standard of what you or your body should look like. For we were all created differently and that is beautiful. You are beautiful. Your body is beautiful and all your imperfection that you deem as ugly, are beautiful.

To love yourself; even your flaws and to see yourself as lovable, valued, accepted and wanted. Because our flaws are not something to dwell on, but that which makes us different, unique and ultimately us. For God created us, He knows us better than we know ourselves and yet He loves us. Your flaws are not weaknesses. Perfection is flawed, and all the looks we are trying to achieve is not honoring to who God created you to be, loving, beautiful and you.

To no longer seek comfort and love from men; but rather being secure in who you are so that you can still be with a man but not find your value or approval through his eyes.

To respect yourself; from the inside out and to realize that you are worthy of love. Not just the love that movies portray as ‘real love’ but the love that Our Father longs to give to His children who abide in Him. Deep love that is unconditional, never fading and able to uphold us through any storms that we face. To respect ourselves is to take care of our body, not obsess over them. To do what we need to do to steward what God has given us, but not be slaves to ourselves. There is beauty in knowing who you are and through that being able to be a beacon of Gods love and life, because we are not insecure of ourselves but rather secure in who He is. He created us to love ourselves and respect ourselves-not in selfish vain but rather acknowledging that since He who is love lives within us, we are lovable because of Him.

To honor other woman; It breaks my heart to think that we place on each other a struggle in and of itself. The words we speak behind the backs of our loved ones or acquaintancesThe words that tear each other down, rather than building up. The envy we allow to harden our hearts and the jealousy that burns within us. That needs to end. We are to honor one another, love one another and realize we are all facing a battle, each one of us. No matter how much better you think another has it, you’re wrong. We are to be there for our sisters, our mothers, our friends and show them that they also deserve love-whether we know them or not. Forgive others and yourself for the words that have been spoken and that you have said. Ask the Lord to help you to soften your heart and no longer walk in envy, bitterness, hate and jealously. You are capable of encouraging woman to be as beautiful as they can just as they are. We are all beautiful in many different ways and to me that is radiance.

To no longer use our bodies as a way to get what we want or men for that matter; this is where the cycle begins of men wanting woman for sex and their bodies. If we want men to honor us, we must first honor ourselves. Now I am not saying this to claim that it is all our fault, but no matter what, it does go both ways. If we want men to respect us, we must respect ourselves and dress our bodies in such ways. To present ourselves also as women of value and no longer woman who are seeking it through mans approval. Also I believe that by us dressing better and adorning ourselves from the inside out, will begin to change how man sees us.

To realize our beauty begins from the inside out; No matter what you feel as you read that, it is true. I am not beautiful in the standards of the world. I am not a size 0 model, I’m not even a size 4. Yet when I came to know Jesus as Lord, my heart began to change. My beauty began to shine from the inside out and people began to notice beauty, but it was none of my own. Just as the verse I wrote above, what makes a woman truly beautiful is the light that shines within them-that is what people notice and that is what they remember.

I want us to leave a legacy behind us, of woman who loved us as ourselves. Who strived to be beautiful, first from the inside out and recognize that the only flaws we see-we place their by ourselves. For God see’s us, through Jesus, as unblemished, white as snow, children.

If we continue to strive after the ideal ‘woman’ of the world, we will end up broken, bitter and hard heartened. For I believed the ideal women was different than who God created me and I went through countless hours of exercise, anorexia and fatigue to become that ideal, and it wasn’t beautiful. For all that the Lord put within me was fading because I was trying to take control. I was trying to do it my way rather than let Him heal my heart and show me who He created me to be and how that is beautiful. It has taken a process in allowing my mind to be renewed and restored. To see myself as He does and to accept my body as He created it to be and I am so thankful for Him. For I no longer have to run around trying to achieve a deadly image, or starve myself to be someone I am not. I no longer hate myself because I am not as beautiful as others but rather I am able to love myself because He loves me, just as I am. I don’t have to try to win approval from men, but to realize I have already been chosen by God and deemed beautiful and worthy of love.

I say this to give you hope and I pray it does. For I know the challenges that women face and I didn’t even begin to scrape the surface of that. However I do believe that they all origin from one place; our minds. Once we realize that our thoughts can change, habits can be broken and fears slowly can be erased, that is when all the rest we can deal with. Being broken is beautiful, and our hearts need healing from all that we have been through-the love that was not shown to us growing up, the love we sought in all the wrong places, the way we treated ourselves when we felt we were unworthy and the hateful words we tell ourselves. We can overcome because He has overcome for us.

There have been countless woman who have gone before us to show us true strength and beauty. Woman who take a stand against the standards the world tries to place and encourages us to rise above. To acknowledge that we are beautiful as we are. That we are woman who are capable of doing more than we think. We are women who can allow men to be who they were created to be as well, men of honor, integrity and strength. Men who love and honor woman as Gods creation. Men who respect themselves and are self controlled. We must respect ourselves before we can be who each other need, but that is possible and we are able.

So today, woman, take heart.

This is only the beginning of regaining our beauty, of seeing ourselves as we should and loving ourselves as He loves us.

There is no one as beautiful as you-with all your gifting’s, strengths, talents and beauty. Let that shine, use them to encourage and empower the world around you. Be a woman of love and speak words of life to others, especially yourself.

This is a journey, but not one to take alone. Surround yourself with those who will encourage and support you, and do the same for them. Learn to regain your emotions, integrity and self. You are worthy of it and you are capable of becoming the best you. You are not alone. All the brokenness, the hurt, the pain can be healed. You are able to regain whatever you feel you have lost. You can regain your innocence, your self worth and beauty.  You are wanted and He is calling you to Him for healing and restoration.

I believe in you, because I believe that Our Father created each of us, in His image to behold His beauty here on earth. To walk with Him and let His radiance shine through us, which will far exceed anything we feel we have on our own.

You are beautiful.
You are loved.
You are valued.
You are worthy of love.

I love you and believe you are able to be radiant as you look upon the face of the Lord.
I believe that nothing will be your master anymore other than God.
I believe you will no longer be enslaved to the things which have come to enslave you.
I believe there is freedom in the Lord and He is calling His daughters to regain that.

Have a wonderful day sisters and give a sister a hug.

“She dresses herself with strength and dignity”
Proverbs 31:25

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