Gratitude, thankful, belong, identity, pilgrims, provision, salvation, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry, nonprofit

Pilgrims in the World: Embracing Our Identity in Christ

As believers, we are pilgrims in the world but are not of the world. We must embrace this identity to truly follow Christ. 



Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul.

1 Peter 2:11, KJV

As believers, we are pilgrims in the world but are not of the world. We must embrace this identity to truly follow Christ. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional | Christian Nonprofit #devotional #scripture #gratitude #thankful #belong #identity #pilgrims #salvation #provision

Pilgrims in the World

Recently my sister in law made an intriguing comment. She was recounting a simple, yet profound statement that her pastor had made to their congregation. He told them that, as believers, if they do not feel out of place in this world, they could be headed for trouble. If they always feel at home in the world, perhaps they’re trying too hard to fit in.

Her pastor was encouraging them to live as Christ instructed His followers to live: as pilgrims passing through. Ultimately, her pastor’s point was that, as believers, we are called to be in this world but not of this world. So, if at times, we feel out of place, most likely we’re actually doing something right in our walk of faith.

If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.

John 15:19, KJV

Leaving Egypt

A few years ago, I found myself in a situation where I truly felt out of place in the world, even among some believers. I had earned a Master’s degree in Social Work and had worked as a community organizer and advocate to empower people in poverty. My husband had a degree in economics and owned a small business as a general contractor for high-end residential projects.

By all accounts, we were doing pretty well in this world. We were establishing successful careers, building a large community, and just generally enjoying life’s pleasures. But our faith in the Lord was small. He was about to completely dismantle the safe, little life we had arranged for ourselves through our own pride and strength.

Just like the Israelites, little did we know that we were embarking on a pilgrimage out of Egypt into the wilderness. Over the span of about two years, our careers, our community, and really our entire life changed drastically. After having our first child, my husband and I prayed and asked the Lord whether I should go back to work or stay at home to care for our baby…

It became very clear that I needed to resign from my salaried position with a large nonprofit. There went a big chunk of our steady, reliable income along with our health insurance coverage and my professional identity.

Questions…

About a year later, a number of times in prayer, my husband had heard from the Lord that it was time to close his small business. His company was our family’s only source of income. So, he was naturally resistant. And we had a second child on the way. These things did not make sense to our natural minds. And I had a lot of questions.

Why was the Lord calling us away from the careers we had been working so hard to establish? What would we tell our friends and family? How could He expect us to walk away from our only source of income? What about the mortgage? How would we feed our family?!

The Lord was trying to show us that our earthly provision was not secure. He was our provider and the source of our security, financially and otherwise. So, after a great deal of discussion, prayer–and quite a bit of fear and trembling–we decided to follow Christ’s instruction to close my husband’s business.

Pilgrims in the Wilderness

For the next year, we became pilgrims wandering in a financial, spiritual, and emotional wilderness. Stripped bare of all our earthly identities, we truly began to learn what it felt like to be outsiders. With a baby and a toddler in tow and no source of steady income, we were living in the world, but we did not have the means to be part of it. We could barely even explain what we were going through to ourselves, let alone to our friends–many of whom were not believers.

We tried to share our hearts with people in our church and fellowship groups, but even to them, the choices we were making seemed foreign. I often felt completely isolated and alone. Watching the world go on about its business, I felt as if I were orbiting just slightly outside of their circles. Despite the fact I was following the Lord and growing in my faith, a part of me was still desperately wanting to fit in. To re-enter the world’s normal orbit and simply go with the flow.

A Peculiar People

But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

1 Peter: 2:9, KJV

As believers, we are indeed a peculiar people. Pilgrims from a kingdom that is not of this world. Part of being a pilgrim passing through is following Christ, even when He calls us to say or do things that don’t seem to make sense to the world. And Beloved, this can be a tough and lonely row to hoe. The world might look at our faith and call us unreasonable, irrational, irresponsible, even crazy. Because faith is not their paradigm, reason is their religion.

I’m not saying that believers should not act according to reason. But sometimes what the Lord calls us to do can feel like it doesn’t make any earthly sense. Sometimes there are spiritual steps of faith that we must take in order to follow Christ. We have to learn to trust that even if those steps don’t make sense to our natural mind, they are still the right ones to take.

We can’t let our faith be swayed by what others–in the world or in the church–think of us. And if we’re faithful and obedient to follow His leading, we will see there is a rhyme and a reason to how and why He takes us in certain unlikely directions.

Sometimes there are spiritual steps of faith that we must take in order to follow Christ. We have to learn to trust that even if those steps don't make sense to our natural mind, they are still the right ones to take. Click To Tweet

Rebuilding

Honestly, our wilderness season was one of the most difficult and frightening times of my life. Yet during that pilgrimage, my faith in the Lord and my trust in His goodness grew exponentially. I saw Him move in miraculous ways on behalf of our family. We went without many things that the world calls necessities. But we never starved, and we always had clothes on our back and a roof over our heads. Ultimately, the Lord had taken us on a journey out of the worldly system and into the wilderness. And today we are living in what feels like a promised land where we can rebuild what was lost.

We are once again establishing our careers, but this time, we’re doing so according to the gifts and callings that He has placed on our lives. We’re building community, but now we’re doing it intentionally with other believers who are on their own pilgrimages. And we’re enjoying life again, but not just for the earthly pleasures that the world offers. Now we’re experiencing the true joy that only Christ can bring. I get the sense that this is only the beginning of what He really has in store for our life.

From Pilgrims to Citizens

Our pilgrimage made no earthly sense at the time. In retrospect, however, I can see how the Lord perfectly orchestrated each step of faith. I feel so thankful that He considered us worthy of having that experience. It made me realize that I do not need the world.

But it also showed me how desperately the world needs Christ. Now I can show Christ’s love to a world that is lost, even when they feel like they are at home. Somewhere deep down, they want and need to be found. They long to know that they are not alone. That there is a real, lasting place for them. That is the beautiful offer of the gospel: to be pilgrims in the world for a time but to belong for eternity.

Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God.

Ephesians 2:19, KJV

When have you truly felt like a pilgrim in the world? How have you balanced living in the world but not being of it?

As believers, we are pilgrims in the world but are not of the world. We must embrace this identity to truly follow Christ. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional | Christian Nonprofit #devotional #scripture #gratitude #thankful #belong #identity #pilgrims #salvation #provision

unsplash-logoEsther Ann
freedom, God’s love, identity, loved, truth, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry

Loved: Knowing God Desires Us for Who We Were Created to Be

We believe so many lies. One of the easiest to believe is that we cannot be loved. But God desires and loves us for who He created us to be!



I’m a pretty good driver. The only accident I’ve ever been in was entirely not my fault. I’ve never received a ticket. Never even been pulled over. So I really believe God intervened the night I ran over a raccoon and hit a deer within a 20-minute time span.

The few months leading up to that life-changing drive were some of the worst months of my life. I was working as the middle school director for a summer camp. A job I loved but caused me to endure some vicious slander from a young woman I lived with at the time. A sister in Christ.

Her verbal attacks made me believe maybe I wasn’t a good leader, a good friend, a good follower of Jesus. Her accusations wore me down emotionally and even spiritually.

We believe so many lies. One of the easiest to believe is that we cannot be loved. But God desires and loves us for who He created us to be! Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #freedom #identity #loved #truth

Attacked and Abused

Then our summer staff came to camp. I always enjoyed the weeks of training new staff and seeing how God brought us all together to teach His truth to campers. What I didn’t enjoy, though, were the two young men who flirted rather heavily with me. Two young men with girlfriends, I might add.

I remember the disgust I felt as I attempted to dissuade their flirtatious interactions. Here they were, men who claimed Christ as their Savior, using me for some fun without care for my feelings or, of course, their girlfriends’ feelings. 

The few weeks leading up to that fateful drive, my days consisted of listening to a fellow Christian attack my character and attempting to ward off flirting games.

I was sickened. I felt used and abused. 

The Ugly Anti-truth

From then on, I allowed Satan to take their words and actions and twist them into an ugly version of truth. This ugly anti-truth didn’t stop at crushing my character, though. It placed the words and actions I was receiving from sinful humans over God’s character. Before I realized what had happened, I began to struggle with believing the truth that God fully and uniquely loved me.

I knew Christ loves all people equally, but I struggled. If He truly loves us all the same, how was I special to Him? How was I unique to Him? How could I be loved by Him?

I prayed over this lie. My friends did, too. I sought wisdom from others. I saw Satan’s schemes for what they were. Yet I couldn’t move past the thought of, But what if he’s right? 

Freedom

It was on that drive when I found freedom. God revealed His answer to my prayers. I had tears threatening to spill as I drove home from Bible study. I cried out to God, asking Him why these fellow Christians were treating me like an afterthought. Why wouldn’t He remove this lie from my heart about who He was and how He loved me?

And that’s when I hit the raccoon. He had run out in front of me so quickly, I had barely seen him… I felt the thud, and I just burst into tears. This was not what I needed.

But as I wept, I decided enough was enough. So I numbed myself from the pain of my attackers. I took all my emotions and pushed them as far away from my heart as possible. I wiped my tears, set my jaw, and would fight back by simply not caring.

And that’s when I hit the deer. I remember looking at my speedometer for half a second. When I looked up, he was just standing there, right in front of me…

Overwhelmingly Loved

As the impact — physical and emotional — of what just happened tore through me, I once again began to weep. I cried out again and again, Why?? Why now? But instead of silence and my continued sobbing, I heard God’s answer…

He reminded me of the many ways He physically protects me. My love language is touch, and He had kept me safe from harm my whole life. There were different scenes that played out in my mind’s eye of moments when I should’ve been seriously injured — the current one included — but instead, I had not a scratch. 

For reasons I know as the Holy Spirit, my mind was released from the lie that God doesn’t love me perfectly and exactly the way I need love. The evidence overwhelmed me. 

His love overwhelmed me. 

I took you from the ends of the earth, from its farthest corners I called you. I said, ‘You are my servant’; I have chosen you and not rejected you.

Isaiah 41:9, NIV

The Only One

God reminded me how He knows every part of me, even the ugly parts, yet He still loves me. While human love will never satisfy, His will. While human love will always love flawed, His love never will. In fact, He rejoices over me.

The LORD your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.

Zephaniah 3:17, NIV

You might be facing this same lie or a number of other ugly anti-truths. But know, God has chosen you and not rejected you. He has engraved you on the palms of His hands. And if you were the only human on earth, He still would’ve sacrificed Himself for you. That’s how much He loves you.

No matter what others say about you or how people treat you, the perfect, unique love of our Savior is ready to wash you clean from your wounds. He is the only One who sees every aspect of you and loves you more than you can imagine.

Rejoicing in Truth

And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Ephesians 3:17-19, NIV

His love surpasses our understanding and knowledge. Yet we can rest in the truth that His love is not measured in human standards. How we love one another should reflect God’s love for us, not the other way around. 

So whatever lie you face this day, continue to give it to Jesus. Continue to hold it up to the truth of Scripture, knowing He rejoices over you with singing. 

And my prayer is that it won’t take hitting a raccoon and a deer, for you to know the truth that will set you free.

God's love surpasses our understanding and knowledge. We can rest in the truth that His love is not measured in human standards. Click To Tweet

We believe so many lies. One of the easiest to believe is that we cannot be loved. But God desires and loves us for who He created us to be! Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #freedom #identity #loved #truth


Emily Saxe was born and raised on the east coast but currently resides in Indiana with her husband. Working as a full-time freelance writer and editor, her heart and her pen are drawn to stories of faith as she helps people share how God is working in their lives. Everyone has a story to tell, and Emily loves helping to give people a voice to share their own story. Read more of Emily’s articles on her website, To Unearth. You can also find Emily here: Pinterest Instagram Facebook

unsplash-logoAnita Austvika
comparison, identity, love, pride, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry

First: Longing for God, the Lover and Keeper of Our Souls

Slipping into the rhythms and mindset of comparison is dangerous. We have illusive visions of ourselves, promoting self. We must remember the first longing of our souls, God’s love.



To the angel of the church of Ephesus write,
‘These things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands: ‘I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary. Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.

Revelation 2:1-4, NKJV

I first read the term Brocken Specter in “The Problem of Pain”, by C. S. Lewis, (Chapter 10).

According to Weather Online, the “Brocken Spectre (or Brocken Bow) is an apparently greatly magnified shadow of an observer cast against mist or cloud below the level of a summit or ridge and surrounded by rainbow coloured fringes resulting from the diffraction of light. The effect is an illusion. Depth perception is altered by the mist, causing the shadow to appear more distant and to be interpreted as larger than normally expected.”

Ah, of course…Lewis’ usage made perfect sense. We’ll come back to that…

Slipping into the rhythms of comparison is dangerous and illusive. We must remember the very first longing of our souls...God's love. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #comparison #identity #love

Illusive Identity

Identity and image have become the cancers which are decimating our era – more specifically, self-identity and self-image. That isn’t to say we humans haven’t always been consumed with ourselves, but two decades of social media feeding insecure kids (and adults) has resulted in an obsession with self-satisfaction, self-image, self-identity, self-efficacy, selfies. Need I go on?

For they loved praise from men more than praise from God.

John 12:43, ESV

Sadly, much of it is fueled by comparison and envy, an illusion of lack…

I’m not pretty enough. My body isn’t thin enough. We aren’t involved in enough ministries. We don’t make/give enough money, go to the right church, have our kids in the right sports leagues.

It’s usually a subtle thing, hardly noticeable, but beneath the running thoughts of our daily minds is too often the ongoing shout: WHAT DO PEOPLE THINK OF ME?

For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.

2 Corinthians 10:12, NKJV

Heads up – Jesus was referring to religious people who believed in Him but were afraid to admit it for fear of being ostracized from the temple. Paul wrote, as you know, to the church at Corinth. These people were believers, Christians, struggling with the sin of self-focus and comparison, too.

Comparing Whispers

When we compare ourselves with others, as in the Brocken Spectre (or a glory), an illusion occurs. While we gaze into that mist-altered perception, which is surrounded by rainbow fringes, (read razzle-dazzle,) it appears beautiful. We lose objectivity. We lose focus. Ultimately, we lose wisdom. In time, the self grows into an enormous, insatiable monster. It’s all we think about. In so doing, we give it the praise it hungrily grasps from God…but self is a cheater and a liar.

How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?

John 5:44, ESV

One would think that when you reached a certain decade of life that one would realize how futile, yes, even ridiculous it is to give a moment’s thought as to what others think of you. However, I enter seasons when the enemy constantly whispers in my head a barrage of negative comparisons, which, at the time, when I am vulnerable, seem very true.

First Love

Then, beneath the desire for approval, beneath the longing for friendship or love, isn’t there something deeper for which we’re all longing? Something written on our hearts at the moment of conception?

…that something which you were born desiring, and which beneath the flux of other desires, and in all the momentary silences between the louder passions, night and day, year by year, from childhood to old age, you are looking for, watching for, listening for?

C. S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain

Ah, Sister, that longing, which we can never completely quench, that ongoing desire of our hearts, that passion which we can’t quite fulfill here on earth is Jesus, the Lover of our souls. When we meet Him face to face, every longing and aching desire will be completely fulfilled.

For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

1 Corinthians 13:12, ESV

As Lewis wrote, when we see Him at last, God will look like our first love because He is the first love of every soul.

I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.

Jeremiah 31:3, ESV

Let us continually remember His pure love.

Sister, that longing, which we can never completely quench, that ongoing desire of our hearts, that passion which we can't quite fulfill here on earth is Jesus, the Lover of our souls. Click To Tweet

Slipping into the rhythms of comparison is dangerous and illusive. We must remember the very first longing of our souls...God's love. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #comparison #identity #love

Jesse Bowser

identity, reflection, transformation, salvation, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry

Reflection: Transforming Our Mirror Image to Reflect Christ

Our physical reflection can sometimes be hard to accept. Our true mirror image transforms through the power of salvation in Christ. 



For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, as I am fully known.

1 Corinthians 13:12, CSB

I have the occasional day where I look in the mirror with confidence ready to take on the world…or better put…the day ahead of me! BUT, more often than not, I tend to notice all the new things I swear weren’t there a few days ago!

For instance, a new wrinkle on my face, more gray hair on my head, and that lovely stretched skin that proves I’ve carried three children. Most of the time, my reflection leaves me feeling insecure and anxious, instead of recognizing I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

Before I accepted Jesus into my life, seeing my reflection in the mirror was like entering a bathroom while someone is taking a hot shower. The mirror was too foggy for me to see anything…

Our physical reflection can sometimes be hard to accept. Our true mirror image transforms through the power of salvation in Christ. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #salvation #identity #reflection #transformation

In the Fog

If we were truly honest with ourselves, we would all have to admit there are times the mirror is hurtful and just plain mean. We usually see with our flesh before we see with our souls. Our first thoughts rarely consider the image of Christ. This makes the reflection staring back, hard to look at.

Approaching salvation can be difficult for most of us simply because we come face to face with our brokenness. What once seemed hidden in darkness, is now brought into the light. We all have different struggles with the mirror. Especially when we only see our physical reflection and not our salvation’s. Shame, sin, insecurities, discontentment, unsatisfied, fear. Even lust, pride, selfishness, and vanity… sin we freely chose while standing in the fog.

Honesty

Can I be honest with you, Sister? I struggle constantly with my own reflection. On one end, I struggle with my insecurities…

I’m ugly without make-up and without my hair done. I am not attractive at all. I wouldn’t be caught dead going out looking the way I do right now. If people saw the real me, they wouldn’t recognize me.

Then on the other end of the spectrum, I struggle with my pride which sounds like…

I’m looking good right now! This outfit will definitely turn some heads! My husband will be proud to take me out looking like this tonight.

I cringe typing these things, but it’s important to confess our sins. I am an insecure, prideful woman when I’m living in my flesh. Not a great combination. I have had to really wrestle with my identity. When I go through foggy days, my identity will present itself in the mirror as one of those; insecure or prideful.

The Fan Turns On

When I asked Jesus into my life, the fan in the bathroom suddenly turned on. The fog lifted from the mirror. I was finally able to see my reflection the way God intended me to see it…

A Beloved Daughter of a King, worth more than diamonds and rubies, precious and valuable. A Princess pursued daily by her Prince of Peace. I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I am loved so much that my Hero and Savior died for me. I am Priceless. And you know what? This is the same for you!

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.

Psalm 139:14, ESV

As I learned more about the Lord, my reflection started changing. I was transforming through the power of the Holy Spirit dwelling within my soul.

And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.

2 Corinthians 3:18, ESV

The Mirror is Lifted

I learned to accept that my reflection wouldn’t be perfect while I live on Earth. That’s the whole purpose of the mirror! To remind us that, just like Jesus turned the fan on to lift the fog, He will one day lift the mirror for us as well…

One day, we will stand face to face with our perfect reflection, Jesus Christ. On that day we will understand that we are fully known children of the All-Powerful and Mighty God. Our faces will radiate with joy for pursuing the One our hearts desired most.

Those who look to him are radiant with joy; their faces will never be ashamed.

Psalm 34:5, CSB

We will stand face to face with our perfect reflection, Jesus Christ. On that day we will understand that we are fully known children of a Mighty God. Our faces will radiate with joy for pursuing the One our hearts desire most. Click To Tweet

Light’s Reflection

If you find yourself wrestling with the reflection in the mirror, then please know you’re not alone. We all wrestle with it. But, be encouraged, Sisters! Christ sees us only as the transformed creation we are. To Christ, there is no difference between our earthly self and the person He will see standing before Him. This time on Earth is meant to polish, sharpen and reflect His light, so it shines brightly for those around us to see. When people look at us, they should see the light of Jesus.

Christ knows our flesh and sin just as much as He knows our salvation and newness. But guess what is awesome? He willingly died for us knowing our flesh! He saw us at our WORST and loved us even still! He died for us, not because we were beautiful, but because we were broken. Our brokenness is only made beautiful through His death on the cross. When we see our flesh staring back at us in the mirror, Jesus stands by smiling, Good Morning Beautiful.

Today, Dear Reader, let’s go together and confront our mirror image with confidence! For we KNOW our reflection will TRANSFORM from broken to beautiful because of Christ.

Reflect In Prayer

Oh Lord Help Me to reflect your light in this dark world. Transform my reflection in the mirror to look more like you and less like me. Thank you for your never-changing, perfect image, God. Forgive me when I make this life about my kingdom instead of Yours. When the mirror starts to get foggy Lord, remind me to turn on the fan. I pray this today in my Savior, Jesus’ name. Amen.

Our physical reflection can sometimes be hard to accept. Our true mirror image transforms through the power of salvation in Christ. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #salvation #identity #reflection #transformation

Annie Spratt

esteem, identity, proven, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry

Proven: Who are We? We Are Spoken For and Justified

What is our go-to response when people ask us who we are? We are Christ’s. That’s who we are. We have nothing to prove because we’ve been proven. 



What defines us as people? Is it our social status? Our hobbies? Our jobs or grades? Personally, I’m going to have to say no. I think we all know, at least somewhere in our heads, these things do not define us. We hear it all the time…

You’re more than their opinion of you. – or – You aren’t the clothes you wear.

What are we trying to prove by presenting our best, outward selves? We are not defined by material things, but what are we defined by? There are so many things each of us could say if someone were to ask Who are you? Let’s journey through my most recent identity crisis. My hope is that what I’ve learned will bring a new, possibly clearer view of who and whose you are.

What is our go to response when people ask us who we are? We are Christ's. That's who we are. We have nothing to prove because we've been proven. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional

A Trip To Finding Myself

Some of you may be familiar with Young Life. For those of you who are not, the best way I can describe it is to call it a school-based youth group. Their main focus is to penetrate the teenage mind and introduce Christ to the terrifying mob often referred to as high schoolers.

The weekend of December 7th, I went on a retreat with Young Life and had a radical, unexpected transformation. Towards the end of the weekend, the speaker told all 400 of us the story of Christ’s resurrection. I’ve heard this story all my life and in all honesty, I hadn’t genuinely expected to get a lot out of the weekend aside from good reminders. I was so wrong.

Not Listening

For every-single-one of the 17 years I’ve been on this great green earth, I’ve been comparing myself and setting unrealistic standards for how I live my life. This is a natural thing all human beings experience. My problem is that I preach the answer to anyone and everyone undergoing the same issue. I’m always saying things like…

Stop looking at yourself through their eyes. 

You are yours before you are anyone else’s.

But I’m just gonna come out and say it, I don’t listen to anyone when they tell me the same. Not my family, friends, or even myself. We’re told that without Christ nothing is possible and that we do not have to heal ourselves before going to the doctor. I’ve never been able to apply that.

Spoken For; Proven

The speaker told us all to get out and talk to God. While sitting all by myself in below freezing weather for 15 minutes, I had a life-altering moment…

I am spoken for, I am justified, I don’t have to prove myself to anyone. Not people in my 6th-period class, not the people I went on that retreat with. I don’t have to prove myself to my church or my family. I don’t even have to prove myself to myself because I have been proven in Christ.       

Then Jesus, still teaching in the temple courts, cried out, “Yes, you know me, and you know where I am from. I am not here on my own, but he who sent me is true. You do not know him, but I know him because I am from him and he sent me.”

John 7:28-29, NIV

We are spoken for, justified, chosen. We don’t have to prove ourselves to anyone, not even to ourselves. We have been proven in Christ Jesus. Click To Tweet

Not Alone

I am not here on my own. What a great reassurance that we are not alone! When I find myself using earthly things to define myself, it gets lonely. That’s like trying to trust our entire lives in a human being’s hands; we will fail. It is human to make mistakes. We have to put everything in Christ. Our trust, our love, and our identity.   

Who are you? What are you letting the world say about you and how much of it are you believing? 

Who am I? Well, I’m Anna. I’m 17 years old. I’ve not yet reached the glorious height of 5 feet tall, I’m from Kentucky, and I love music and art. Above all else, I am a daughter of Christ. I have been chosen and I have eternal life with the Holy One.

For he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless in love before him. He predestined us to be adopted as sons through Jesus Christ for himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

Ephesians 1:4-5, CSB

What is our go to response when people ask us who we are? We are Christ's. That's who we are. We have nothing to prove because we've been proven. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #esteem #identity #devotional
unsplash-logoEthan Weil

home, joy, pilgrims, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry

Pilgrims: Learning to Be in The World, Not of The World

As believers, we are pilgrims who live in the world but are not of the world. We must embrace this identity to truly follow Christ. 



Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul.

1 Peter 2:11

Recently my sister in law made an intriguing comment. She was recounting a simple, yet profound statement that her pastor had made to their congregation. He told them that, as believers, if they do not feel out of place in this world, they could be headed for trouble. If they always feel at home in the world, perhaps they’re trying too hard to fit in.

Her pastor was encouraging them to live as Christ instructed His followers to live: as pilgrims passing through. Ultimately, her pastor’s point was that, as believers, we are called to be in this world but not of this world. So, if at times, we feel out of place, most likely we’re actually doing something right in our walk of faith.

If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.

John 15:19

As believers, we are pilgrims who live in the world but are not of the world. We must embrace this identity to truly follow Christ. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional

Leaving Egypt

A few years ago, I found myself in a situation where I truly felt out of place in the world, even among some believers. I had earned a Master’s degree in Social Work and had worked as a community organizer and advocate to empower people in poverty. My husband had a degree in economics and owned a small business as a general contractor for high-end residential projects.

By all accounts, we were doing pretty well in this world. We were establishing successful careers, building a large community, and just generally enjoying life’s pleasures. But our faith in the Lord was small. He was about to completely dismantle the safe, little life we had arranged for ourselves through our own pride and strength.

Just like the Israelites, little did we know that we were embarking on a pilgrimage out of Egypt into the wilderness. Over the span of about two years, our careers, our community, and really our entire life changed drastically. After having our first child, my husband and I prayed and asked the Lord whether I should go back to work or stay at home to care for our baby…

It became very clear that I needed to resign from my salaried position with a large nonprofit. There went a big chunk of our steady, reliable income along with our health insurance coverage and my professional identity.

Questions…

About a year later, a number of times in prayer, my husband had heard from the Lord that it was time to close his small business. His company was our family’s only source of income. So, he was naturally resistant. And we had a second child on the way. These things did not make sense to our natural minds. And I had a lot of questions.

Why was the Lord calling us away from the careers we had been working so hard to establish? What would we tell our friends and family? How could He expect us to walk away from our only source of income? What about the mortgage? How would we feed our family?!

The Lord was trying to show us that our earthly provision was not secure. He was our provider and the source of our security, financially and otherwise. So, after a great deal of discussion, prayer–and quite a bit of fear and trembling–we decided to follow Christ’s instruction to close my husband’s business.

Pilgrims in the Wilderness

For the next year, we became pilgrims wandering in a financial, spiritual, and emotional wilderness. Stripped bare of all our earthly identities, we truly began to learn what it felt like to be outsiders. With a baby and a toddler in tow and no source of steady income, we were living in the world, but we did not have the means to be part of it. We could barely even explain what we were going through to ourselves, let alone to our friends–many of whom were not believers.

We tried to share our hearts with people in our church and fellowship groups, but even to them, the choices we were making seemed foreign. I often felt completely isolated and alone. Watching the world go on about its business, I felt as if I were orbiting just slightly outside of their circles. Despite the fact I was following the Lord and growing in my faith, a part of me was still desperately wanting to fit in. To re-enter the world’s normal orbit and simply go with the flow.

A Peculiar People

But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

1 Peter: 2:9

As believers, we are indeed a peculiar people. Pilgrims from a kingdom that is not of this world. Part of being a pilgrim passing through is following Christ, even when He calls us to say or do things that don’t seem to make sense to the world. And Beloved, this can be a tough and lonely row to hoe. The world might look at our faith and call us unreasonable, irrational, irresponsible, even crazy. Because faith is not their paradigm, reason is their religion.

I’m not saying that believers should not act according to reason. But sometimes what the Lord calls us to do can feel like it doesn’t make any earthly sense. Sometimes there are spiritual steps of faith that we must take in order to follow Christ. We have to learn to trust that even if those steps don’t make sense to our natural mind, they are still the right ones to take.

We can’t let our faith be swayed by what others–in the world or in the church–think of us. And if we’re faithful and obedient to follow His leading, we will see that there is a rhyme and a reason to how and why He takes us in certain unlikely directions.

Part of being a pilgrim passing through is following Christ. Even when He calls us to say or do things that don't seem to make sense to the world. Click To Tweet

Rebuilding

Honestly, our wilderness season was one of the most difficult and frightening times of my life. Yet during that pilgrimage, my faith in the Lord and my trust in His goodness grew exponentially. I saw Him move in miraculous ways on behalf of our family. We went without many things that the world calls necessities. But we never starved, and we always had clothes on our back and a roof over our head. Ultimately, the Lord had taken us on a journey out of the worldly system and into the wilderness. And today we are living in what feels like a promised land where we can rebuild what was lost.

We are once again establishing our careers, but this time, we’re doing so according to the gifts and callings that He has placed on our lives. We’re building community, but now we’re doing it intentionally with other believers who are on their own pilgrimages. And we’re enjoying life again, but not just for the earthly pleasures that the world offers. Now we’re experiencing the true joy that only Christ can bring. I get the sense that this is only the beginning of what He really has in store for our life.

From Pilgrims to Citizens

Our pilgrimage made no earthly sense at the time. In retrospect, however, I can see how the Lord perfectly orchestrated each step of faith. I feel so thankful that He considered us worthy of having that experience. It made me realize that I do not need the world.

But it also showed me how desperately the world needs Christ. Now I can show Christ’s love to a world that is lost, even when they feel like they are at home. Somewhere deep down, they want and need to be found. They long to know that they are not alone. That there is a real, lasting place for them. That is the beautiful offer of the gospel: to be pilgrims for a time but to belong for eternity.

Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God.

Ephesians 2:19

When have you truly felt like a pilgrim in this world? How have you balanced living in the world but not being of it?

As believers, we are pilgrims who live in the world but are not of the world. We must embrace this identity to truly follow Christ. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional

All scripture references are from the King James Version of The Bible.
valued, worth, identity, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian Mentoring, Women of Faith, Spiritual Growth

Valued: Living Confidently Because We Know Our Worth

When we put our identity in relationships, we can question if we are valued. People are going to let us down. This post discusses where we find our worth.



It started simply enough. My friend shared some good news. Only she didn’t share it with me first. I heard about it from another friend… A friend had a physical need and I was there front and center. When I was facing my own storm, I did not hear from her for weeks and then she never mentioned what we both knew I was going through… A good friend canceled plans and didn’t try to reschedule.

Each time, I tried to convince myself that my friends’ actions were unintentional and that my friends were really not trying to hurt me. But I was hurt, and ignoring the way I was feeling was actually making it worse. I started distancing myself from these friends. What was going on?

My identity…

A lot actually. The biggest issue was in the area of identity. God used these situations to show me the depths of my heart. When the relationships in my life were going well, I had a tendency to think well of myself. But when I began to feel unnoticed or worse unwanted I began to see what my heart was really clinging to.

Who am I when no one notices me? Do I matter if my friends don’t care or show up? I had to admit that for me the answer was a hearty no. I was feeding off the attention of others.

Who am I when no one notices me? Do I matter if my friends don’t care or show up? I had to admit that for me the answer was a hearty no. I was feeding off the attention of others. Click To Tweet

My jealousy…

This wasn’t a new problem for me. I can remember in 2nd grade being friends with Kellie and Kathy. We were the 3 Ks. I can still remember the day I found out that Kathy had been invited to Kellie’s house to spend the night and I had not been included. I was devastated. How could they leave me out? I knew I could not let them know how much it mattered to me. But, man it mattered. This led to making assumptions about how they felt about me. I never asked them then how they felt… I just made it up… Therefore, I must not matter.

This kind of thinking followed me through high school, college, and even marriage and parenting. My heart had begun to rely on the subtle lie that my worth was based on how others perceived me and treated me. If I was wanted, valued or important, I was noticed, pursued even. That was a recipe for disaster. One that helped me see what I had been missing even as a believer. It’s a simple but profound truth.

My pursuer…

He pursued me.

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Romans 5:8, NIV

People were never intended to define me or to give me worth. That was God’s job. In my desire to be pursued, I had missed the biggest pursuer of all- Christ. I still have to work on this mindset. My heart still yearns to be noticed and validated, but I must allow God to validate me. That takes a lot of practice and a lot of “taking thoughts captive.”

When we put our identity in relationships, we can question if we are valued. People are going to let us down. This post discusses where our worth is found. | Women of Faith | Scripture | Spiritual Growth | Christian Mentoring

My help…

I’ve seen a few things help:

I have had to admit that I have an addiction to relational idolatry. I depend on the relationships in my life to give me significance. This is so hard to fight. I have to confess and ask for forgiveness where my relationships are sin and where they have taken places in my heart that really belong only to God.

Because I am prone to think I only matter if I am pursued or valued by others, I have to speak the gospel over myself again and again. The gospel tells me that Jesus pursued me when I was hostile to him. My worth is based on His actions not mine.

I have to be quick to admit my wrong and ask forgiveness from those I have offended and I have to pray about situations in which I have been offended. This may lead to me going to that person or it may mean I can lay this hurt down with Jesus.

We can rest in the worth that Christ has given us. Our worth does not have to rely on the hope from friends, or anyone else in life.

I lift up my eyes to the hills-where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the maker or heaven and earth.

Psalm 121:1, NIV

When we put our identity in relationships, we can question if we are valued. People are going to let us down. This post discusses where our worth is found. | Women of Faith | Scripture | Spiritual Growth | Christian Mentoring

Jon Del Rivero

Oh Lord Help Us, identity, layers, faith, Christian, women, ministry

Badges: Removing Our Old Identity to Become Who We Truly Are

To step into our true identity in Jesus Christ, we have to surrender our worldly badges of identity. We must stay hidden in Christ.



Picture this: you’re at a low-key social gathering where you’ve met someone new. You have a conversation lasting about 15 to 20 minutes. Parting company, you say, “Nice to meet you.” But you leave feeling as if you didn’t really get to know her, nor she you. So often, even in the midst of a conversation, I can tell that there is a much deeper level that could be reached with the person with whom I’m talking. But all too often, we never delve into those deep places. Perhaps many of us find it easier, safer somehow to stay on the surface of life because the deeper layers feel more difficult to broach. But just below the surface lies who we really are…our true identity.

The world encourages us to stay at the surface level and find our identity in something, anything other than Christ. The world defines us by the work we do, the food we eat, the clothes we wear, the things we own, and the accomplishments we achieve. These are merely the physical, material things that can be observed with the naked eye. But, as with most things, when it comes to identity, there is more than meets the eye. As believers, our identity isn’t in the flesh, but in the unseen realm where we are firmly rooted in Jesus Christ.

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Galatians 2:20, KJV

To step into our true identity in Jesus Christ, we have to surrender our worldly badges of identity. Know who you truly are under your layers. | Faith | Spiritual Growth | Freedom in Christ

The badges…

Until we step into our true identity, we will let the world and our own wounds define who we should be. Click To Tweet

Before I became a believer, and to be honest, even since I’ve been saved, I have found my identity in things other than Christ. Throughout my childhood, my identity was that of a social outcast, a weirdo, a poor victim, and an ambitious overachiever. I wore each of these titles like an invisible badge that informed who I was. Growing up in a highly isolated social environment, I had trouble identifying with the people who lived near my family. I could tell I was not like everyone else because my life looked so entirely different than theirs.

I would be out weeding in the garden or carrying a yolk across my shoulders with heavy buckets full of fresh cows milk from the barn. Meanwhile, I’d watch as the neighbor girls rode their shiny bikes and played on their colorful swing sets. They seemed so carefree, and their lives looked so fun and easy. Even though I was young, the stark contrasts were very apparent to me. My life felt completely foreign from their lives. So, while those “normal” little girls were earning their Brownie and Girl Scout badges, I was donning my own badges: “Weirdo” and “Outcast.”

Painful badges…

When I transitioned from home school to public school, I wore a combination of homemade clothes and secondhand castaways. That was when I began to understand that the shameful “Poor Girl” badge had been added to my wardrobe. After my dad died from a massive heart attack, I bounced around from home to home with many different custodial guardians in their “normal” suburban homes. It was then that I received two of my most painful badges: “Orphan” and “Victim.” While my classmates seemed to coast through school, I was working tirelessly to make straight A’s and assert myself as a leader in just about every extracurricular activity under the sun. So, when I graduated 4th in my high school class, along with the tassels on my cap and cords on my gown, I proudly accepted my invisible “Ambitious Overachiever” badge.

Surrendering the badges…

Sadly, all of the identity badges that I had amassed over the years seemed to serve me well in the world. They helped me win a ton of college scholarships to fund my undergraduate studies. They molded me into the model student who had met with and overcome a great deal of adversity, beating the odds and becoming a high achiever. And the pattern continued through college and graduate school. I graduated Phi Beta Kappa in college. Received Distinction and Honors in my Masters degree program.

It was as if the more badges I got, and the more achievements I made, the heavier the false identities felt. Outwardly, things were going along just fine and dandy…until the bottom dropped out. In my mid twenties, I finally hit an impasse in the form of a gigantic wall of anxiety and depression. All of the worldly identities I had constructed in my own strength–the badges that had ushered me through all those traumas and obstacles–began to rub, and prick, and tear, and hide who the Lord was really calling me to be. So, as I surrendered my life to Christ, I surrendered my badges.

Discovering my true identity…

And in doing so, I discovered my true identity. Christ. In me! And He didn’t see me as a weirdo, an outcast, or a poor victim. He invited me into His flock, and showed me that I belonged there as one of His chosen ones. Rather than seeing me as an overachiever who had to strive for perfection to survive, He accepted me with unconditional love and called me an overcomer with a testimony. I was no longer an orphan because He adopted me and called me His beloved daughter.  And remarkably, none of His love and acceptance hinged on what I could do, but on who He was.

For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

Galatians 3:27-28, KJV

Losing my life to find His….

When I “put on Christ,” there was no place for my old badges. My name was now written in the Lamb’s book of life (Revelation 21:27), so I had to let go of all those old names, those worn out, false identities that had defined me for so long. I had a new identity and was made new in Him. Friends, as difficult as it can feel, we have to lay down our badges. If we want to truly walk in our new nature, in the freedom that Christ offers all those who believe, we must surrender our old selves, relinquish our old ways. We have to let go of our notions of who we think we are in this world. And we must cling to our identity in Christ as if our very lives depended on it.

For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.

Matthew 16:25, KJV

Do not be entangled again…

As we take this walk of faith, inevitably we encounter difficult circumstances. And as challenges present themselves, the devil is right there inviting us to take up our old badges. To cope, rather than to overcome. To hide in fear, rather than to trust in the Lord to deliver us. But those old ways of operating won’t work in the kingdom of God. Those old badges only opened doors that are closed to us now. Wearing them, we can’t reach the new places of blessing where the Lord is leading us.

We mustn’t forget that we have relinquished our old nature. We have put on a new identity badge that reads: “Jesus Christ.” In so doing, we have accepted a new way, which is to walk, talk, act and think like Jesus. Let’s not return to our old identities. Let’s learn to walk in faith, hidden in Christ, and loved beyond measure.

Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

Galatians 5:1, KJV

What have your old badges read? Which ones do you still need to let go of to walk with the Lord? How have you relied on your new identity badge?

To step into our true identity in Jesus Christ, we have to surrender our worldly badges of identity. Know who you truly are under your layers. | Faith | Spiritual Growth | Freedom in Christ

Manolo Chrétien

focus, dream, purpose, mission, worth, value, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, ministry

Focus: The Most Important Step When Pursuing Our Purpose and Mission

We need to be careful not to do this with our focus when we are pursuing dreams and fulfilling the purpose we believe we were meant to fulfill.



I was feeling  discouraged. Why is it so difficult? Why, Lord? Then I heard in my spirit, “Rachael, stop trying to get everyone to like you. Love them, be kind to them, but how people respond to you or feel about you, is not your concern.” Ok, fine.

My longing and discouragement was deeper than that, though. So I made a decision. Instead of powering through and acting like I have my act together, putting on a show in front of the One who knows me intimately, I got honest. (Yes, sometimes my actions show that I believe I can actually fool the Lord. Ridiculous, I know.)

But what about you, Lord? Do you approve of me? Are you proud of me? I know I am approved, as in I know I am loved and am a child of You, the King. But do you approve of what I’m doing? I need something here, Lord! I’m not doing this for popularity, or something to keep me busy. I’m doing this because I have followed the direction of Your Holy Spirit one scary step at a time. Now I am in this place, and I’m wondering if I took a wrong turn somewhere.

A couple hours went by while I replenished my low endorphin supply with exercise. When I returned to my phone, a few confirmations were waiting for me. Validation. “Yes, what you are doing has worth. Yes, you are valued.”

Driving back home, I was feeling lighter, and it was not just because of the endorphins. It honestly made me feel special that the Lord, the Creator of the Universe, truly cares about each of us intimately. My hurt was seen, and He knew I was in need of Fatherly encouragement.

We need to be careful not to do this with our focus when we are pursuing dreams and fulfilling the purpose we believe we were meant to fulfill. #dreams #purpose #mission

Focus on the mission…

Then, later in the afternoon, the reminder came of why He has led me on this path. Turns out, it is not about me feeling valued, it about others knowing their value. This mission I am on is not about me, or getting that pat on the back. This mission is about finding freedom, and joy, and hope. It’s about people becoming – truly becoming – who they were created to be.

Yes, I love approval, who doesn’t enjoy a good compliment? It is so easy to get sucked into the mindset of it being about me. Almost 100% of the time, when I begin to feel discouraged, or insecure, it is because my focus has shifted to where it does not belong.

It is the Lord who fulfills me. It is this mission that makes me feel alive. The Lord is who brings me joy, the mission brings purpose. I love this mission I am on, and I believe I am doing what the Lord wants me to do. But more than that, He wants my heart. Only when He has all of my heart does He reveal the next step to take in pursuing mission and purpose.

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Matthew 6:33, ESV

We need to be careful not to do this with our focus when we are pursuing dreams and fulfilling the purpose we believe we were meant to fulfill. #dreams #purpose #mission

Focus on our purpose…

Purpose looks different for each of us, and this is so beautiful to me. But I do forget it at times. Sometimes I think everyone has the same purpose as myself, and then I feel like, why bother – she has so much more talent, she knows more people, she, she, she…

In actuality, if we stop looking at other people, and look to our Creator, we will find our own specific purpose and see how it all works together to glorify the Lord. We will see the value each of us hold, and how we need one another. We will be fulfilled by the Lover of our soul, be confident in the value we have, and motivated by the purpose we have been given.

God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us.

1 Corinthians 12:6, NLT

If we stop looking at other people, and look to our Creator, we will find our own specific purpose and see how it all works together to glorify the Lord. Click To Tweet

Focus on The Lord…

What is your mission? What dreams are you pursuing? And what purpose makes you feel alive?

Remember that the mission you are on does not define who you are. It is not your identity, or where you find your worth. If you find yourself holding on too tight to the dream that was place in your heart, I urge you to take a moment, and evaluate where your focus is, and where it needs to be. Yes, we are created for good works, but we are first created to worship.

xoxo

necklace, silver, loved

Sharon McCutcheon

Cherished: Stop Self-Deprecating, and Start Being Kind

Being loved and cherished by the Almighty, we are free to accept ourselves. It is time to stop self-deprecating, and start being kind to ourselves.



Psst! Come in close. I have a secret…You are AWESOME! Yes, I am talking to you. You are God’s creation, made in his image. How can you be anything other than wonderful? Believe it!

Some of you don’t believe this. I know because I’ve heard you and even joined you in making comments like: “I am so fat.” “I have to smile because I have resting *****face.” “It is a bad hair day.” “Why do I look like this?” I have looked at myself in the mirror and seen someone so wanting that it seemed impossible to see why anyone would want me.

Cherished: Stop Self-Deprecating

Here is a hard truth I want you to think about, because I love you…

Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.

1 John 4:19-21

Added to this, I would also say that God wants you to love yourself. Way easier said than done, I know, but we have to work on this.

Here is my naked confession: I have seen myself as short, fat, doudy, babyish, bossy, ugly, unattractive, and unlovable. I have cried myself to sleep, felt deep shame for walking out the door, and wondered why God even put me on this earth. In front of others I have demeaned myself and worse, I’ve done it in front of my daughter.

I don’t want to add extra stress to your life, but we have to stop it. You are a child of God. I am a child of God. He doesn’t want you, or anyone, putting you down.

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:4-7

Being loved and cherished by the Almighty, we are free to accept ourselves. It is time to stop self-deprecating, and start being kind to ourselves.

Cherished: Be Kind to Yourself

Jesus loves you so much. He chose you, even knowing you are imperfect. He was born, lived, worked, loved everyone, and died for you! Jesus was, is, and always will be perfect. So His love for you is equally perfect. Remember how Jesus feels about you.

No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us.

1 John 4:12

Being loved and cherished by the Almighty, we are free to accept ourselves. It is time to stop self-deprecating, and start being kind to ourselves.

So what should we do when we want to say these things or hear others say them? Simple…Pray. Open your heart to God and let His love pour into you. He will always be there in the moment. He will drive the doubt and fear away and give you the joy He means for you to feel in His love.

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment.

1 John 4:18

I have found prayers in God’s word are so comforting. They are His word and float right to my heart. When I am feeling defeated or tempted to say self deprecating comments, I remember His word.

I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through Him who give me strength.

Philipians 4:12-13


If you have found this inspiring, share the encouragement…

Jesus was, is, and always will be perfect. So His love for you is equally perfect. Click To Tweet

Being loved and cherished by the Almighty, we are free to accept ourselves. It is time to stop self-deprecating, and start being kind to ourselves.

Jamez Picard


You are fiercely loved, and in this love, fear can no longer remain!

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