Instead of envying her beauty, shower blessings, offer love
In the summer’s clear, bright sun, I sit. Somewhere in the pool at my feet, Little Dude is splashin’. There’s funky music in the air, and youthful shouts weave a symphony, a happy tapestry on this day. I open my book. Looking up, my eyes scan just over the pool. And then I see her. She’s lovely…
It’s been a long, hard, excruciating road. For this girl who suffered much shamin’ and blamin’, much guiltin’ and doggin’, the path to truth has been rough. Filled with rocks; rocks that cut. Cut and sliced.
For months now, a very kind and patient Father has been workin’ with me, first, in puttin’ the right name to things that have happened, helpin’ me to face the truth of it all and to look at it right head-on. Then, to name it. And that, to say the least, has been rough.
What I’ve been learnin’ is this: that for a person who’s been deeply wounded, you can’t keep denyin’. You can’t. For, “It’s the truth,” Jesus said, “that will set you free.” And the way to the truth that brings freein’ lies straight through the valley of death…with no shortcuts. A hard and a hurtin’ way that brings life.
Anyway, part of this epic journey has been comin’ face-to-face with what I believe and feel and think and know about the body, about sexuality. And He’s shown me just how tangled and messed up it all was in my head. In my mind. In my heart. In my being.
“You desire truth in the innermost being,” David said, “and in the hidden part (of my heart), You will make me to know wisdom (Ps. 51:6).”
Now, when the Lord goes to work waaaayyy down in your ‘innermost being,’ He uncovers stuff that’s surprisin’. It is! And in that comes the painin’ because He brings up stuff you don’t wanna deal with or look at. It’s hurts like all-get-out, and you mostly just wanna quit. To stop right there and say, “I can’t and I won’t go further. It’s too hard.”
But the pain of stayin’ crippled gets bigger than the pain of gettin’ better. Even when it means bones must be broken for re-setting. There comes a point when your desire to get better is the tiniest bit bigger than the desire to stay imprisoned, and it’s the grace and mercy of God the whole time. Can I get an amen?
Anyway. Back to that girl, the pool and bodies.
There was a time in my journey when I would’ve looked up, spotted that gorgeous girl and just lost it. Flooded. Drowned in fear, shame, contempt and insecurity. Wicked comparisons between her and I. Feeling great threat to my-self, hatred for her and then, on heels of that, contempt for myself and how I’m made.
Yes. I would have.
But yesterday, sitting right there by that pool, I stopped. I looked at her beauty, and I thanked God for blessing her. Then, next, I did this: I prayed the Lord’s blessing on her, for His great hand to be on her life. And I said, “If I’m supposed to tell her, then bring her to me.”
And He did.
It’s closin’ time at the pool. I look up again, and I see her. “Lord,” I whisper. “If…” And there she comes, right past my lounger.
I lean forward and catch her eye, and I look her square in the face. “You,” I say with feeling in my voice, “are beautiful.”
Her face…oh, her face, it lights up. A smile shines forth, candles flamin’.
“I saw you walking across the pool.” She has stopped. There’s a child on her hip, and she’s listening to my words. Her heart’s open.
“I prayed that the Lord would bless your life. We moms, you know, need each other. I have four boys of my own.”
Oh, my. This beautiful, blonde, bikini-clad girl, she is glowing. “Thank you! Thank you so much. I have three boys and this one.” And here, she points to the baby girl that she’s holdin’.
“Is there something specific I can pray for you about?” I say, and it’s Love Himself that’s offerin’.
“Pray for this relationship.” That’s what she says; she, the desire of Papa’s heart, and she gestures at the man across the way. “He’s the father.”
“I will pray,” I tell her, “as He brings you to my mind.”
What a blessing. And what a powerful tool, dear sister, to defeat the enemy. The enemy who hates us, hates our bodies, hates our womanhood, hates God. And who wants us to all hate each other! We can’t let him.
What if you and I, instead of hatin’, we’d reach out? What if, instead of envyin’, we’d set to blessin’? What if that??
What if, instead of judgin’ what she is or isn’t wearin’, we would look past the outside and see the heart, the heart He loves? Oh, sweet sister. What if that?
If Jesus and my beloved Papa and wise counselor, the Holy Spirit, can work that in me, then–you, too. Yes, They can. They can work in us all, and Light spreads.
Light and Love. And freedom and joy and great peace.
Girls, we can.
In Him and most warmly,