Sunday, January 16, 2011

Lies, Lies, Everywhere.

Society does a big injustice to young people, and women of all ages. It's what I call the Cover-Up Lie. Some days I still fight to reject it, but overall, I'm getting better at recognizing the untruth and rejecting it.

I'm speaking from a girls' perspective, so here's the deal. From a young age, girls are told what to look like, what to wear, how to act and how to please. We learn that pink is a norm and black is a no-no. We learn that dolls are acceptable, but fire trucks are not. We learn that the toy stores are split right down the middle--one side of the store is pink, and the other blue. We learn from princess stories and fairy tales that we are to be dainty, delicate and fall into the arms of Prince Charming, who will one day come into our lives and sweep us off our feet.

We are spoiled into thinking that there is an effortless happily ever after if only we'll let ourselves be rescued. You can see it in the dress-up clothes, the make-up salon sets for three year olds and the cell phones six year olds carry around. It's in the core of the Bratz dolls and Barbie's unhealthy and unrealistic proportions. As plastic surgery and cosmetic sales shoot higher each year for younger and younger girls, it's apparent that society's view of beauty is very different from what God's.

"I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made" - Psalm 139:14

The problems started in Genesis and ever since Eve was lied to, we've been in a destructive pattern. See, people speak from the lies they have been told and believe about themselves. So if a parent tells a child they are worthless, that child grows up believing that and ends up telling their child they are worthless and so on. This makes a lot of sense, especially when insecurities are present. Women have been told by parents, peers, advertisements and society in general that they are not beautiful until they plaster their face in make-up. And even when we know this isn't the truth, it's still hard to fight off.

Insecurities are where Satan slips in and starts whispering lies, and because we often believe it's ourselves talking, we agree with the lies.

I'm not good enough.
I'm not very pretty.
I'm not like her.
I'll never amount to anything.

Every time we agree with the enemy, we're giving him more power to infiltrate our lives. Instead of going along with the lies, we have to learn to recognize them and fight back with God's truth. Pray what the Bible says about your situation.

"But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing" - James 1:4

When we talk to our heart and fuel our lives with God's truth, we take the power out of the enemy's hands and willingly align ourselves with God's will. Only there will His power shine through us and we'll find freedom. The battle for truth is difficult, but it's what creates an inner beauty that radiates to everyone around you.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Hidden Years

Most people have heard the quote "All of life is a stage" and to a certain degree, it's true. But what we tend to forget is that in everyone's life there is a phenomenon called Hidden Years. They are the days, months and even years when we aren't being seen and praised for our accomplishments and talents. The times when we work behind the scene without recognition, and the times when we are growing and stretching beyond our wildest dreams.

God has a special plan for hidden years. I came to understand this after looking back at my teen years when I was hidden away from society, deeply in pain, yet growing in my knowledge of Christ. I didn't understand at the time what was occurring or why nothing made sense. I wrestled endlessly with God, asking why He had allowed the pain to happen and why I was so lonely and unable to connect with people.

The answer was so simplistic, and to this day I still marvel at it. I hid you away so that you would later be seen better. I silenced your voice so that later you would be heard louder. I allowed depression so that later, you could feel true joy. You didn't talk then, so that you would have something to talk about now.

Wow. But it's true. Because I was so quiet as a child, the fact that I am now a speaker and able to socialize makes my story that much more powerful. I have had countless conversations with others who have or are struggling with social anxiety and am able to connect on an empathetic level. I have been blown away by God's mercy and the fact that, while I don't control my life--He does. And He happens to know what's best for me!

"You are complete in Him" - Colossians 2:10

I tend to get caught up in the details of life--the faults, the failures, the tiny imperfections that each one of us has. All the while, missing the greatest joy--the big picture of saving grace that makes us whole.

Embrace the fact that God has a plan far beyond what you can see today and you'll find beauty you never dreamed existed!