One blessing of being in women’s ministry is the friendships I have with other women in ministry. We are our own little band of sisters. Sisters with a mission! We cheer for one another, cry with one another, laugh with one another, pray for one another, and rejoice with one another.
One sister I’ve had the opportunity to lock arms with for the journey is named Renee. Renee is a talented God-fearing, Bible-teaching speaker and writer.
Several years ago, Renee traveled across the country to speak at a women’s retreat. When she got there, a few unexpected circumstances caused her to send out an “SOS, pray-for-me-now” email to her ministry sisters.
I got the email and hit my knees.
Early the next week, Renee sent us an email thanking us for praying and telling us what God did in the hearts of women at that retreat. She told us that she spoke about the lies that we believe as women and told personal and biblical stories that illuminated God’s truth. Then, at the final session, Renee asked the women to consider what they believed to be true about themselves.
Her challenge went something like this: “When you settle your soul long enough to simply be still—when you pause to listen to your heart—what do you hear? Are there lies that linger in your heart knowingly or unknowingly?”
She encouraged them to write down on a note card the lies they had accepted as truth, whether lies spoken by a parent, kids in the schoolyard, a friend, a family member, a spouse, a child, a pastor, or a stranger. She told them that some of the lies might never have been spoken at all, just believed.
When they finished she invited them to bring the cards to a wooden cross at the front of the room. Next to the cross she had placed baskets filled with promises from God’s Word, and after each woman nailed her card to the cross, she picked up a truth that would replace her lies.
Tears ran down cheek after cheek as the women brought their lies to the cross and embraced God’s life-changing Words. Guilt was forgiven and sorrows were traded for joy that day. Then a beautiful celebration went down. God, through his Holy Spirit, revealed His heart to those sweet women and shattered the lies of the enemy.
After the retreat was over, Renee looked through the cards that had been nailed to the cross. One card jumped out at her. Written over and over was one word: Worthless!
The woman who wrote that wasn’t the only one at that retreat who felt that way. That same word—worthless—was penned on many of the cards that weekend. It represents a lie that has been believed by most every woman at some point in her life. There have been days, weeks, and months that I’ve believed it myself.
It’s one of Satan’s favorite words to throw at us, and it is a big, fat, ugly LIE.
The Bible clearly shows us that we are valued in the sight of the Lord. When we allow God’s Word to flood our lives with truth we are changed by the height, the depth, and the width of His love for us.
“Take in with all Christians the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:18–19, MSG).
God loves you with a personal love.
He knows your name.
He considers you highly valuable.
He adores you.
No matter what you’ve believed in the past, choose by faith today to believe this one truth: you are perfectly loved by God.
Dear Lord, Thank you for loving me, cherishing me, and for seeing me as valuable. Please help me to recognize any lies that my heart may perceive as truth, and strengthen me to trade in my sorrow for your joy.
In Jesus’ Name,
FOR YOUR REFLECTION and RESPONSE
What does your heart hear when you are still?
What lies would you write on that card?
Meditate on the following Psalm (Read it silently; then out loud.)
“Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits—who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” (Psalm 103:1-5)
Now, spend a few moments writing in your journal or swing over to my blog and write a prayer response on my wall.
Thanks for doing life with me. You are loved and prayed for today.
In Grace and Peace,
Today’s devotion is an excerpt from Gwen Smith’s book Broken into Beautiful. This book is filled with stories – real stories … gritty and honest, not cleaned up and phony… and with Scripture that will inspire you toward the life-changing grace of Jesus. Get the book discounted from her site when you use the coupon code: 20OFF. Click here to get yours now.