Know Your Worth!

Whats Your Worth_ (1)

This week, I’ve been learning a lot from small children and foreign dramas.

Let me explain, because I know that doesn’t seem to make sense.

“Small Children” – I watch a pair of toddler boys on Mondays, and they’re the most precious things ever. Recently, the weather here in Illinois has finally started to warm up, so we went outside. That turned into ‘let’s collect rocks from the driveway’. Hold the rock thought, we’ll get there soon.

“Foreign Dramas” – I will admit to watching Korean Dramas because quite frankly they’re just better than most American dramas. That said, because I knew one of the actors from a Korean boy band, I have been watching ONE Chinese drama as well. In this drama, they’re all about the Jadeite trade, which is fascinating and enlightening.

Okay, now that I’ve explained that, let me get to the real point of this post. Are we rocks or are we treasures?

Those little boys (God love ’em) have two different personalities. One didn’t pick up a rock unless it seemed like it would be glittery or pretty. The other just grabbed the first two rocks that struck his fancy. Later, after we washed them and let them dry, do you know which rocks were prettier? The ones I thought were ugly.

Just like that, did you know that Jadeite is hidden inside stones that look like regular rocks? It’s a complete gamble if there’s going to be a precious gem inside. People try to understand what signs show that there is going to be a lot of color in that stone, but they often fail.

Like pebbles and Jadeite, a lot of times even we don’t know our real worth. We may look completely ordinary on the outside, but wait til God gets ahold of us and shows us what’s inside. There’s a scripture similar to this example in 2 Corinthians:

But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.

2 Corinthians 4:7

It’s not our job, necessarily, to look pretty on the outside. It’s not our job to be perfect and irreplaceable.

Jadeite only goes up in value once it’s opened. Once its true colors are shown to the world. It takes some careful calculation and some cutting away of the excess roughness for its true beauty to fully shine.

Sometimes, a stone won’t contain any Jadeite at all. It’s sad, but it happens. These stones are mourned over by their owner, but in the end it isn’t possible to produce Jadeite where there wasn’t any to begin with.

The good news? We’re the stones no one expects. When we came to Christ, we became a new creation, and thus there’s beauty hidden inside us just waiting for the world to see it. Our stone-cutter is Father God, and he’s the very best and bringing out the most shine in our jewel.

The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.

1 Samuel 16:7b

God knows what’s inside of us. He sees the treasure waiting to shine. Trust Him when he starts cutting off the excess roughness. The things we don’t need or shouldn’t hold onto. Trust Him when he washes away the mud we like to hide behind. He knows how beautiful we’re going to be afterward.

Trust God to be your stone-cutter. Because, the best part? Once that roughness is cut off, the treasure inside can skyrocket the price up to 1,000 times the original purchase price. Our purchase price is Jesus’ blood, so our skyrocketed price? Priceless.

We are God’s treasures and He will never sell us or give us away. To Him, we are beyond precious. So trust Him to polish you today.

He Heals The Brokenhearted

He is Near to the BrokenHearted !

‘ He heals the brokenhearted And binds up their wounds [healing their pain and comforting their sorrow]. ‘PSALM 147:3 AMP

The ladies of VirtousBella and I were doing a devotional with scripture reading. One of our readings talked about processing loss and grief. After having a great dialogue with the ladies, I wanted to share my experience with processing loss and pain and hopefully encourage someone. 

Have you ever felt like the weight of the world was on your shoulders? Or maybe things have happened to you that you decided you would never relive, so you swept it under the rug and kept pushing forward. I’ve been there! I know for me personally I use to tell myself “you don’t have time to fall apart, you have bills to pay” and I would sweep it under the rug and go into straight hustle mode. No time and no emotion. I feared that if I allow myself to open up and grieve that I might not recover. I use to think “what if I don’t recover, what if I lose it?” “What if the pain of the situation is too much to bear?! Then what, how will I survive?” So my defense was always to sweep it under the rug. I would think about it for a bit, but when I felt the rushing waves of my emotions, I would shut it down and tell myself I had to keep it together because no one else was going to take care of me.

What I didn’t realize was that I was playing the role of god in my life. Over time I learned that this was unproductive. I began to learn about healing, deliverance and genuinely leaving it all at the altar. Once I allowed God to deal with me, I had to take a trip back down memory lane. I had to revisit situations I had blocked out. I had to process those emotions, but the good news was that God was right there with me. I got to cry on His lap, and once I released it at the altar, I LEFT IT THERE and allowed Him to heal my heart. The danger of not dealing with situations is that it will most likely lead to sin. Whether it be assault unforgiveness, rape, family issues, church hurt, anger, bitterness, jealousy, depression or any and everything in between. These emotions and the situations that triggered them, if left undealt with never end up good and become the devil’s playground. Now I’ll be honest my road to deliverance wasn’t pretty! BUT I trusted God and I survived. I was delivered and healed, and that’s honestly freedom I can’t explain. I encourage you to let go and trust God. Freefall into His arms and He will catch you! Recieve your deliverance and remember to walk in your deliverance!  God bless you, sister!

‘  Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Matthew 5:4 KJV

When It Hurts

wih

There are times when life just hurts, deeply.   We can take those wounds to the cross, crying out for God to bind them.  Time passes, and the wounds heal.  We pull off the bandages to see that God has created something new.

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.  ~ Psalm 147:3

However, even when we do our best to protect ourselves, an injury may find us again.  Old wounds are opened, new wounds are formed.  We may find ourselves tempted to keep those wounds bandaged, to protect ourselves from every being hurt again.

Do you know what happens to a healed wound that is kept wrapped up indefinitely?

It festers.  A new wound forms and it can end up being worse than the original.

While it is important to guard our hearts, we must be careful not to build walls.  A shepherd guards the gateway to the pen that holds his flock.  He doesn’t block the entrance with stones, keeping the sheep enclosed for ever.  A good shepherd takes His sheep out into the pasture, tending to their needs, and keeping them safe from harm.  He takes the sheep to choice areas where they will receive the nourishment they need.  At night, the sheep return to the safety of the pen.  The shepherd stands guard until it is safe for the sheep to return to the pasture.

We can guard our hearts against being hurt again, by surrounding ourselves with people who give wise counsel.  Guarding our heart also means that we are reading the Word, praying, and leaning into the guidance of the Holy Spirit in our lives.  When we venture out into the world or into relationships, we do so with our Good Shepherd.  And, when danger reveals itself our Shepherd takes us into His safety and stands guard at our hearts.

Our Good Shepherd doesn’t lock us into the safety of a walled up pen.  The Great Physician doesn’t bind up our wounds permanently.  He tends to our needs, helps us to heal, to learn from our errors, and then accompanies us when head back into the pastures.  He commissions us to:

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.  Matthew 28:19-20

When it hurts, pray for healing.  Trust in Lord and put on the FULL armor of the God.  The harvest is plenty, and the workers are few. Do not be tempted to hide form the world, by licking your wounds, and allowing the hurts to root deeper.

Forgive.   Love.   Pray.   Trust.

What Defines You?

what-defines-you

What defines your worth?

It’s a real question, isn’t it? One I’ve been asking myself lately, as I learn more and more about who I am in Christ. I’ve chewed on it and rolled it around in my brain until I thought I couldn’t think on it anymore.

It led me to a second question:

Why do I assume I’m not likable/attractive?

Yeah, I’ve dealt with those feelings for a long time now. What’s wrong with me? Why don’t I feel like anyone will ever find me pretty? You know what, that’s a great question! I puzzled over it again and again until God finally pulled up one specific memory. I’ll give you the basics.

I was 11, maybe 12 (a very impressionable age), and not the prettiest flower in the meadow. My other friends were. Anyway, I was sitting in the church foyer during a wedding reception, talking to these two guys who were supposed to be my friends. (Keep in mind, these are junior high boys.)

Basically, the air had broken and in the middle of July, that’s not the best scenario. So I may have mentioned something about my being hot. Being juvenile boys, they took it and ran, insisting that I wasn’t. Meaning they didn’t think I was even remotely pretty.

It’s taken a lot for me to get over the hurt of this memory. For years, those three little words haunted me. “No, you’re not.” I let them stew inside my head, and I let them define what I thought other people would think of me. Because of those juvenile boys, who probably didn’t even realize the damage they were doing, told me I wasn’t pretty, I chose to believe it for almost ten long years.

I’ve recently come to the conclusion that they were being idiots, and I don’t need their confirmation of facts I already know. Neither do you.

Let me show me something.

“Before I shaped you in the womb, I knew all about you. Before you saw the light of day, I had good plans for you…”

Jeremiah 1:5 (MSG)

If God knew you before you were even born, don’t you think His plans are perfect? Don’t you think He knew what you would look like, how you would sound, what your style would become? He put those things in you. He has good plans for you! And that’s not all.

“Oh, yes, You shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb. I thank You, High God-You’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration-what a creation! You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body…”

Psalm 139:13-15 (MSG)

He knows you, inside and out. He made you! He knows every bone in your body. He knew what you would look like when He formed you, and God doesn’t make mistakes. He made you perfect!

I know you may not believe it now (even I have a hard time believing it sometimes), but to someone out there, some day, you will be the very thing they’ve been searching for all their life. To God, you’re already perfect. To that future someone, you’ll be perfect too! Everyone has different ideas about perfection, and despite the fact that you might sometimes feel like a failure, you’re not.

Don’t let the mean girls of this world define you. There will always be a voice trying to tell you that you’re not good enough. Don’t listen! The Voice above all other voices says “you’re perfect.” He leans down and whispers, “I made you, and I won’t leave you. I’m not going anywhere, and I’ll always look after you. You. Are. Mine.”

Why do we feel we need to go anywhere else to find our true worth? The One who created worth wants to hold you. Forever.