This may be my favorite blog post title of all time. I am going to be really vulnerable with you today in an effort to bring you some joy and hope.
There are two parts to this, the first being the way we view ourselves. So often we get caught up in the comparison game, or the I’m not enough game, or even the I hate my life game. But here is the deal. If you are breathing air right now (and also reading this) I want you to know you are valued and worthy! You are enough! You know why? (There is only one answer.) Because JESUS. He says so. He died on a cross for you. You may not believe this, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true. I know it’s true because his word says so!
From my personal experience I learned that I had to just hope in something to get through the day to day hard times. I chose to hope in Jesus.
I also chose to believe in myself. If you have ever wondered—why does she have that long handle on Instagram that is telling me to believe in myself? Because, if you cannot believe in yourself—no one else is going to. You have to believe you can do THAT thing! Sometimes, you find people who are so darn amazing they are over on the sidelines cheering you on saying, “You are awesome! You can do anything! Get it girl!” But many times you have to be your biggest cheerleader FIRST. It also helps to believe you can do very specific things. God tells us we can do all things through him, but honestly most days I struggle just to believe I can get the laundry done. When I focus on believing one truth about myself each day it helps to accomplish that one thing.
So this is where I ask you to view yourself through the lens that God sees you through. God believes in you. He views you as beautiful, worthy, precious, wonderful, amazing, and awesome. View yourself this way, because it is honest. This is the way he wants us to see ourselves.
The second part of this is more internal. Did you know that what is on the inside, what you feel—is what is reflected on the outside? This is why many times our husbands, friends, and kids know we are ANGRY before we have ever even spoken a word. Or when we feel overwhelming joy inside it pours out–sometimes even in tears. (See middle picture below.)
I know that MANY of you are in a hard season. I have been there. I have done and gone through a lot. When I came out of that season I couldn’t figure out what happened to my genuine smile.
This is where I am going to get really vulnerable.
I felt bad about my face. There I said it. Seriously. For about two years after I came out of my hard season, I would look in the mirror every day and think, “Who is this sad old hag staring back at me?” There was little to no joy in my face, my smile wasn’t genuine, and there was a deep seated tiredness in my face. That face made me feel so bad about myself. I texted my sister and friends and was like, did something happen? Could I have had a stroke? And I wondered, where did my joy go?
Finally one day, I was in the WORD and I realized that satan was stealing it. He stole the smile so many people love. He stole the laugh that is contagious, he sucked the life right out of my face. He made me feel bad about my face. The good thing about realizing this was that I now knew what I was fighting. I knew that I had to battle this and get my joy back in Jesus’s name. It did NOT come back all at once. It was piece by piece. God helped me to gain my confidence back. He gave me fresh hope. He renewed my belief that I could do things that I kept telling myself I could not do! He started working miracles in my life every day to renew my joy. He had been working on me in other ways for years. But because I zeroed in on this area, he helped me to overcome in this specific area of my life.
A few weeks ago, he gave me the opportunity to make that joy complete. I went to a women’s conference where I was able to surrender things I was holding on to. Burdens that were OLD that I wasn’t meant to be carrying around. They were things I should have let God carry a long time ago. I had asked for grace and forgiveness for these things a long time before. But I was still carrying them around. When I chose to carry those burdens, it wore me out. It made me tired. Making my joy complete was God’s way of saying, onward daughter. You have great blessings ahead. You have joy to spread. You have a calling I have placed on your life, go get it girl!
Before you think I have on my rose colored glasses, I would like to tell you that YES the laundry is still piled up. Things don’t always go as planned. Stuff happens. But just like my face, it was a shift in my perspective. It’s about laying my burdens daily at his feet and letting him help me and letting him carry those burdens. He wants it this way so I can live FREE and full of JOY. So that I can look at myself the way he sees me.
Today, I want that for you. I want you to know and feel the joy, and I want you to believe in yourself. I left the vulnerable pictures for the last.