I love being a woman. No, really, I do. This is not an easy thing to say. I honestly couldn’t speak those words a few years ago. Not quietly within my heart and definitely not out loud for all to hear.
But, life has a way of changing you. God has a way of shifting your whole perspective so that you start to see things the way He does. If you want to, that is.
I got to a desperate place as a daughter when I lost my dad to brain tumors. I got to a desperate place as a mom when I had my fourth child unexpectedly and had to do the baby thing all over again. I got to a desperate place as a friend when I had to move away from some of the most amazing women I’ve ever known. I got to a desperate place as a wife when my husband told me to trust his choice to put our kids in public school after only ever homeschooling them all their lives.
Desperation can lead us in one of two directions: to the Cross or to the world.
I chose Christ.
I could have let my losses define me and tell me that I must not deserve to “see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” (Psalm 27:3) I could have allowed insecurity to whisper in my ear that God doesn’t love me because if He did, life would be easier. I could have given in to the temptation to judge myself for feeling sad or overwhelmed or faithless.
Shame. Fear. Condemnation. All violent tools that the enemy of our souls uses to defame women and keep us from realizing our worth. All abusive words that the serpent of deception uses to make women feel ugly and repulsive.
Instead, however, I studied what God says about me, WOMAN. This is what I discovered:
“You are altogether beautiful, my darling; there is no flaw in you.”
-Song of Solomon 4:7
I am beautiful. I am flawless. So are you, woman of God, reading this in the quiet space of the morning hours before the little ones come tugging on your shirt. This promise is for you, woman of God, drifting off to sleep in the middle of class because you work two jobs and can’t seem to get any rest.
You are enough. Right now. The losses, the pain, and the unexpected changes are all a part of what make you so gorgeous. You’re phenomenal, really.
There is a catch to this amazing offer of flawless beauty though: You can’t work for it.
No amount of money spent on makeup and hairstyles and fat flush pills is ever gonna be enough. This kind of beauty is more expensive than that. It isn’t skin deep. It’s so costly that a man named Jesus actually died for you to have it. It’s so expensive that the God of heaven and earth sacrificed His only Son so you could experience freedom from perfection.
Because He knew that shame, fear and condemnation are soul-killers. They’re beauty-robbers. He knew that being wrapped up in His love is the most beautiful and freeing thing ever.
The crazy thing? This unbelievable beauty doesn’t cost me a single penny. I just have to reach out and take it. It’s a gift that never, ever loses its value. I like to call it grace.
So, yes, I have days where I remember the pain of my past. There are moments when grief seeps out from my well-worn heart. Sometimes, I even recall the hard choices that I had to grit my teeth to make. But then I close my eyes and picture the Cross.
And His glorious love reminds me once again that despite what I’ve been through, in Christ, I am altogether beautiful.