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Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Women of Worth

When you wrestle with God as a woman, be prepared. He doesn’t touch your hip; He touches your heart. The torrent that flowed from my heart last night was beyond anything I expected.

In atypical fashion I spent the first hour or so with God trying to avoid the issue all together. Sort of like my oldest when she’s up well past her bedtime. It goes something like this:

Me, “What are you doing out of your room at ten o’clock at night?”

My oldest, “Mommy, I just wanted you to know I think you’re the best mommy in the whole world. Can I tell you about this book I read?”

Needless to say, my little sweetheart is pointed right back to her bed and told to get some sleep. Books can be discussed another time.

Not God. He didn't tell me to head to bed. He waited. And listened. And waited some more. After a solid hour, I was tired and wanted to quit. But there were some awesome people praying for me and I’m sure their prayers kept my feet to the fire just long enough to get my heart ready to hear. (THANK YOU!)

And hear I did.

First, God started with some memories I would have rather forgotten. Scenes of a serious college relationship played through my mind. One in which I killed my heart for a little affection. I spent two years of my life trying to look good enough to compete with my boyfriend’s computer pinups. I lost. I also thought about how in arguments I yelled loud and used horrible biting words. My sharp tongue was the only thing this guy ever respected about me. But in gaining his respect, I lost my own. I gave away my heart and body. Only to have them both thrown back and stamped with the words, “not good enough.”

I’d talked to God about this relationship before. But it never dawned on me that this guy’s reaction to my anger~ respect when he respected nothing else of me~ would have been used so strongly by the enemy to write so much on my heart.

So lie by lie God revealed my sin, my shame, my foolish choices in living by the lies~ then and now. I so wanted this guy to just see me, love me, make me feel beautiful. Instead I was ignored, used, and thrown away like trash. Among many lies I believed, the one that stuck deepest was, “I’m worthless.”

God held me while I cried. And cried. And cried.

Between sobs, I shared with God a long-standing dream of mine. One in which I’d stand before a crowd of women and say, “If I could look deep into each one of your eyes, I know I would see something few of you ever notice when you look in the bathroom mirror.” I would talk about how we look at our reflection and judge so harshly our size and shape and wrinkles. But we forget the One who sees the depth of our souls in all their mess and glory. I’d tell the women, “What we most often miss in that mirror is this—God’s smile. And His loving words, ‘You, My child, are a woman of great worth.’”

I cried even more after that. “But I'll never be able to speak like that. Because no one sees that I’m a woman of worth, Lord. No one sees me!”

Then God whispered, “I do.”

When my husband spoke those simple words on our wedding day they curled my toes and made my heart skip in anticipation. And here was the God of the universe stooping down to whisper those same words to my heart.

"I do, Amy. I see you."

In that simple declaration I found my worth. I found the faith to believe it too. And the courage to make my own declaration, one that echoes the Psalmists words: “Because I am a woman of great worth in the eyes of my God, I resolve that my mouth will not sin. I will be who I am and speak accordingly.”

This morning, I opened two familiar books, The Power of a Praying Wife and The Power of a Praying Parent. Where the pages were bookmarked, I read these words:

“May Your Spirit of love reign in the words I speak.”

“Let the words of our mouths and the meditations of our hearts be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord.”

In Praying Parent:

“A heart filled with the Holy Spirit and the truth of the Word of God will produce godly speech that brings life to the speaker as well as the listener.”

“Enable us to speak words of hope and life and to resolve that our mouths will not sin.”

These are words I’ve read and prayed for over four years now. But not until I dealt with the lies filling my heart, was I able to say them with confidence and pray them with power.

Lest I fail to be 100% honest, I’ve already stumbled a number of times. But instead of heaping guilt on my head for messing up with my mouth, I remembered. “I’m a woman of great worth.” Those words I said in frustration are not who I am nor how I want to act. So I confessed to God and to my girls and received their forgiveness.

My declaration still stands, “I’m a woman of great worth in the eyes of my God, and I resolve that my mouth will not sin.” No matter how many times I stumble, I resolve to look up and remember who I am.

As I do that, I feel my heart and my mouth being cleansed. I’m also beginning to see a clearer picture in my mirror.

What do you see your mirror?

Look closely.

God is smiling. His arms are open wide.

Listen closely. Hear His loving voice...

“You, My child, are a woman of great worth.”

9 comments:

Tricia Goyer said...

Thank you, Amy. This really touched my heart today. I'm so glad you were obedient in writing it. I think there are many of us who can related!

Tricia

Amy Wallace said...

Thank you for posting, Tricia! It wasn't hard to write what I did, but posting it was a challenge. And reading it again and wondering what people think. But my hope is that it will speak to many and help them see they really are women of great worth.

Knowing it touched you helps settle my heart and brings a smile. Thank you!

Amy

upwords said...

:) God does see you. And what a beautiful view.
mary

Amy Wallace said...

Mary... you did it again. So much is so few words. Thank you for seeing me and loving me well.

Amy

BrainSyke said...

Very touching, indeed!

Christopher said...

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Amy Wallace said...

BrainSyke and Christopher,

Welcome to my blog! Thanks so much for your comments.

Amy

Paula said...

Oh Wow. I loved this: "What we most often miss in that mirror is this—God’s smile."

I've been through similar experiences. It's amazing how the root of our struggles is so often found in some painful lie of our past.

This was really good. Thanks Amy.

Amy Wallace said...

Paula,

I'm so glad I could have a turn at encouraging you as you've done so many times for me.

I'm praying for you, friend.
Amy

 
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