- Confessions of the Preacher’s Daughter:
I never thought I was pretty when I was young.
I was at a church service recently, and a really sweet gal and I struck up a conversation. We chatted about everyday stuff – particularly hair product. She had no idea who I was, nothing about my story; we were just girls being girls. Toward the end of our conversation, her eyes were filled with tears as she said, “I just know the Lord connected us today. I have desperately needed connection with other females.”
This woman did not appear to be a fruitcake. She looked like she had her stuff – at least fairly together from the outside. But the truth is, it doesn’t matter who you are; being a girl can be a lonely place. Being a *pretty* girl can be a lonely place. Being a “successful” woman can be a really lonely place.
Backtrack: I never thought of myself as pretty growing up. However, as I’ve grown, I have learned how to make the best of what God gave me, and most importantly, what the definition of genuine beauty is. (More on that later.) I was the baby of my family by many years (oops…), and consequently, didn’t really fit in with my siblings most of the time; simply because they were so much older and I came into their world. I was picked on relentlessly at school by some mean kids. My self esteem plummeted throughout my adolescence. I poured myself into music and singing, and through it, eventually discovered the importance of bringing others joy. One thing I learned is that you can have all the attention in the world and still be miserably lonely. Another thing I learned is that girls can be petty, jealous, and just plain mean. The prettier you are, the more popular you get, or the more successful you become, the meaner they get. As the profound song lyric goes, “Haters gon’ hate.”
There was a time in my adult life when I was so desperate for female connectivity that it consumed me. The enemy of my soul used that as a stumbling block in my life. My husband was thoroughly preoccupied with life, I had two little kids at home all day driving me nuts, and I had no girlfriend to stand shoulder to shoulder with me in whom I could confide. I became dangerously isolated. The gals at my church were clickish, and I was clearly not welcome in their world. Satan used that moment in my life to drag me to the darkest place I’d ever been. I wish I could tell you that I held fast to Jesus and made the right decisions. Far from it. In the end, God used that moment to redeem me and to build my marriage into a beacon of hope for other couples. For this, I am eternally grateful, and I love my Savior for reaching down and loving me when I felt completely unlovable. Through that journey, I finally understood salvation and the power of resurrection; taking what was dead and calling it to a new life. I’m incredibly thankful, and I know that my Lord has used all of these things to work together for my ultimate good.
Part of that ultimate good is my encouraging women to encourage other women.
You know, we cheer on the boys’ teams, but when it comes to cheering on each other, why can’t we do that? Do we see other girls as competition? Are we comparing ourselves to one another – or worse, to some unquantifiable image of perfection? Girls: this is not middle school anymore. This is real life, and some of us need to grow up and get over ourselves. We need to stop being afraid of each other, and we need to stop being afraid that we are not enough.
My beautiful sister, God has fearfully and wonderfully created you – for such a time as this – to be His ambassador. Whether you’re short or tall, fat or skinny, frilly or hipster, Supermom or motherless, rich or a coupon clippin’ diva, God has a place for you in His kingdom’s work. And it can start with being the light of Christ to one another.
My sisters, it’s time to unite.
Look around you. There are lonely girls behind that mascara, driving that mini-van, sporting that Coach bag, wiping up applesauce and crayons (again), serving your lunch, signing your paycheck, and even sitting beside you in your small group. We are everywhere, and we are all longing to be loveable. My Father in Heaven loved me so much that He met me at my deepest, darkest place and showed me that ultimately, He was the source of everything for which I was secretly longing. He wants to do the same for you. I’m praying for you today that you will allow Him fill you to overflowing so that you can bubble over and be that encouragement to someone else. ❤
But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. Hebrews 3:13 (ESV)