I just learned about To Write Love On Her Arms, a non profit that exists to rescue young women (and others) from the pain of self mutilation, depression, addiction, and more. If there was ever a shameless ministry…it’s TWLOHA. Check it out.

I went to a Women in Theology conference this weekend and I’ll share more about that in the weeks to come. But, I’m more aware now than ever of the lies we listen to as women, or listened to as young girls. It made me wonder, what are your lies? Or better yet, what truths do you need to be reminded of in place of those lies? We’ll talk about those soon. I’d love your feedback.

In that vein, I’m taking a break from “marriage” today, because God is moving in my heart to share my latest post for Women at Risk, International (I don’t even think it’s up yet), written for a young woman in my life (and for the young woman in you.) 

You are more than the sum of your past mistakes. You are more than your roles and achievements. You are more than your status. You are more than your outward appearance, your saddest moments, your regrets, your heartache. You are more than your ability to be attractive. You are more than your impatience. You are more than your weaknesses. You are more than a multitasker. You are more than your moments crying secret tears in the bathroom. You are more than your brokenness. Those things are not what defines you, woman. Those are a valuable part of your story, yes. But, you have been given a more significant identity in God’s mirror. Even the darkness is not dark to him. His love is your identity and dignity. He is your definition.      

To My More Than Enough Girl; Some Thoughts on Psalm 139

You are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, Oh Lord.
You are loved. God knows you—knows your ways—knows what you like and don’t like—knows what you feel. This does not mean you are in trouble for the words you have spoken so bravely, or the actions you have taken in such desperation. It means that you are MORE than those words. You are MORE than those actions. It means you aren’t defined by your pain. You are defined by a God who longs to be with you. Who sees you. Who loves every little thing about you from your talents and passions to this hurt. 

You hem me in—behind and before, you have laid your hand on me.
Do you know what a hem is, sweet girl? It’s a like a small pocket. I know it doesn’t feel like you are in God’s little pocket, safe from the bullying and the heartache of this world. But, you DO have a God who surrounds you. He is in front of and behind you, He encircles you with his love. His love for you is louder than all the negative voices you hear throughout your day. His word and his love are the strongest thing that exists.

If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.
Read that again. The darkness feels heavy, and it is. The aloneness feels dark, and it is. I know that you have unanswered questions. I know you don’t feel like you are enough. That IS darkness. And it IS painful. But, listen! Listen! Listen, my more than enough girl—even the darkest cave in the middle of the night is not dark to God. He is so light and so bright that your deepest secrets, your hidden-away hurts are not a secret to him. He doesn’t invade your private life in a pushy kind of way. He invades the darkness to bring light into it. Your Heavenly Daddy sees your broken parts and he isn’t the kind of dad who says, “Get over it. It’s not valid for you to feel this way.” No, he is the kind of daddy who sits with you in your darkness, wraps his arms around you, and heals you with tender patience. He can handle all of your pain—so share it with him. Tell him. Journal it, pray it, talk about it with him.  

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that fully.
If you ever hear anything, hear this: You are God’s perfume. You are his sculpture. You are his work of art. God MADE you. He didn’t have to. But, he chose to put your hair and your eyes and your heart together because he knew the world would look more like Him with you in it. Did you catch that? The world is more beautiful and glorious because you are in it. He also knew that your life would need Him. You have been dealt blows, my girl. You have handled things that not many of us could handle. And I know that some of those blows hit you in the deep places, and are still hitting you in ways you probably don’t even understand. You don’t have to have all the answers now, but I want you have this truth (If you can’t, I will carry it for you): You are wonderful. God made you full of wonder.

You were made with care by the same hands that made the planets, the stars, and the crazy fish in the sea. And when you are dealing with this pain: this cutting, this burning, I know you are only trying to make sense of what you feel. But, please remember that God, who thought about you before your mom ever did; God who took time to put the exact color of your brown eyes onto his palette and then paint them into your beautiful face; He can help you make sense of all of this.

All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, Oh God! How vast is the sum of them. Were I to count them they would outnumber the grains of sand.
Today is not a surprise to God. That’s how intimately he knows you. God’s thoughts about you outnumber the sand on a beach. Can you even imagine that? How often God must think about you if it’s more than the grains of sand? It’s the same way you think about someone you have a crush on. But, it’s better, because His is a perfect love. God thinks about you like that—He loves you. He likes you. He adores you. He wants to spend time with you. His love is not a love that leaves, my sweet girl.

His is a love that stays, forever. He will carry you through this because He has enough days planned for you to experience the breadth of his love for you. Please let all of those days unfold. You won’t regret it.

I know you don’t feel like you are enough. 
That’s okay.
God is.      

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