Sitting in IHOP at 11:30 on a Friday night, I am grateful that there are places that are open 24 hours and that God never sleeps and that hashbrowns and sausage don’t taste bad cold, since I forgot there was food on the table in my excitement about all that God is, has been, and will be.
In the past 48 hours, God has opened a window of light. And it is still pretty bright, so I’m not sure what I’m seeing. But it’s beautiful. And it’s mysterious. And I feel like hope is growing wings at a rapid speed – that the butterfly might spring from its cocoon at any moment because there is so much potential for flight.
This window – this awakening to something more than what my eyes are seeing – it started as a whisper. I had some pretty incredible conversations with a couple of amazing, stunning women and God was there. Watching us. Watching us share life – do life with each other – wrestle with life in the presence of one another.
There is real pain in my heart. There is real pain in their hearts. And if you can place two fingers on your wrist and feel a pulse, my guess is that there is real pain in your heart too. But there is also real joy. And hope. And expectancy.
A word that should be used more often. For all that has been, there is more – and the seekers will find it.
Those who seek with all of their hearts will find Me.
Sometimes I forget what hope feels like. The brilliant expectancy. The butterflies in my stomach and heart…you know the feeling. It might be like stage fright, but without the nausea, without having to remember lines. Because the lines that are to come are unknown. And there is beauty in that.
Sometimes I allow my fears, my insecurities, my desperation, my depravity, my sin, my temptations, my struggles, my secrets, my pain to define me.
This definition is synonymous to words such as hopelessness, worthlessness, sorrow, frustration, angst, isolation, terror.
And that isn’t me.
But sometimes I believe it is. Because I buy into the lies, the deception – the false truths which tell me that this wrestling is futile. That my flesh will always win out over my spirit. That my humanity is more powerful than my eternity.
Then God gives me a glimpse.
A glimpse into someone else’s pain, someone else’s triumph, someone else’s fears, someone else’s frailty, someone else’s joy, someone else’s confidence, someone else’s talent, someone else’s strengths.
And I find that solitude is a lie in and of itself. I am not alone. I never was. There are other seekers. There are more who are wrestling. Fighting. Warring against their humanity, while trying to understand their eternity.
Women. Like you and me. Who have doubts, fears, failures, victories, good days, bad days, regrets, dreams, questions, hopes.
I’m sure there are men too. But this post is about God’s daughters.
Because I believe God has a special place in His heart for His daughters.
And in a Christian culture where men are called to lead and women are called to submit, I think we sometimes think that God doesn’t want to hear from us. That maybe God can’t use us apart from a man.
I think He can do both. I think He can use men and women together to glorify Himself and accomplish His purposes. I think that there are some things that He clearly calls men in the Church to do. But I also think that He has incredible, undiscovered purposes for women as well.
For His daughters.
I think of Esther and her courage, her strength, her beauty. I think of Rahab and her daring, her cunning, her willingness to take a risk. Of Deborah and her wisdom, her leadership, her prophetic power. Of Elizabeth and her responsibility to raise the prophet who would foretell the coming Messiah. Of Miriam, Ruth, Mary Magdelene, Leah, and all of the other women who we don’t know much about like Peter’s wife, David’s mother, the sisters and mothers of the men who hung beside Jesus on the cross.
Then I think of names of women in my own life. Women who are brave, strong, courageous – even though they might not even know it or believe in themselves sometimes.
I fear that as women, we have sometimes lost the mystery of life. I fear that we have traded the deeper questions for questions about our value, our importance, our merit.
I have traded the deeper questions for questions about my value, my importance, my merit.
But then God gave me this glimpse…this glimpse of the eternal. Of His love for His daughters.
The women that He formed in His own image.
In His image.
We, too, were made in His image.
And I think that He has a purpose for us that is perhaps even greater than anything we have allowed ourselves to imagine.
And I can’t help but wonder – if we, the daughters of God, started asking God what He sees in us rather than what we see or what the world sees or what the men in our lives see – would we begin to have a different image of ourselves?
Would we be creatures of glory? Would we better reflect the Bride that Christ passionately pursues if we believed we are worth pursuing?
And if these questions were to begin in our hearts, would these questions make their way into our conversations with other women? And could we tear down the walls of insecurity and self-consciousness that rip holes in our fellowship with other women?
What if we were free to believe we are beautiful?
To believe we are worthy of love? Worthy of affection? Worthy of being desired.
Because God desires us.
We are His daughters.
And I truly believe, that if we turned our eyes towards God instead of towards a mirror or a magazine or towards the self-condemning thoughts in our head, that we would be different. We would speak differently, act differently, carry ourselves differently.
Maybe we wouldn’t be afraid of the mystery that is a part of our identity. And that identity stems in our royal lineage…we are daughters of a king. Of the King.
What if instead of focus on our fears or our shortcomings, we focused on all that God is and reflected on all the ways He has blessed us and been present with us?
What if, rather than shy away from fellowship with other women because we are intimidated by their beauty, their intelligence, their success, their differences, we instead prayed for our sisters and sought to understand their hearts?
What if instead of comparing ourselves to other women, we celebrated them?
If we could learn to celebrate our God as He deserves to be celebrated, then I think we could celebrate ourselves as He celebrates us. And if we could learn to celebrate ourselves, then I think we could learn to celebrate other women instead of competing with them.
I share this because God has given me a burden for His daughters tonight. I think there is a lot that we are yearning for that we aren’t sure how to verbalize. We are afraid to talk about it because we don’t think men will understand us and we are afraid that women won’t accept us.
What are we not saying?
Where do our fears go if they do not become prayers, pleas, shared burdens?
They eat us up from within. They consume our joy with their dark shadows and they make us feel like we aren’t beautiful.
Daughter of God, you are beautiful. You are stunning.
He thinks you are stunning. And I bet that if you could see what He is seeing, what others are seeing, you would believe you are stunning too.
He knows you well and He loves you so much. And I want to know you and love you. I want you to have other women in your life who love you and who can share your deepest, darkest, most painful struggles and most triumphant joys.
Don’t you want that, too?
I’m praying for you. Even if I haven’t met you – I sense that you share this desire.
Rest in Him, beautiful daughter of God.
May your budding hope blossom and grow, blossom and grow.