God's love, individuality, confidence, hurt, worth, encouragement, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry

You: Finding Individuality and Worth in God’s Love

We often look inward or outward for our own self-worth. Instead, we should look upward to the One who created us and loves us. You are worth it!



I want to talk to you. Specifically you. A lot of stuff rolls around in that brain of yours, and even more courses through your heart. You have doubts. You need affirmation, or reassurance, or comfort.

We often look inward or outward for our own self-worth. Instead, we should look upward to the one who created us and loves us. You are worth it! Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #scripture #devotional #individuality #hurt #worth #encouragement

People Have Hurt You

You have a strong heart, but it is fragile. A friend has wounded you with her words too many times without apology. Your husband puts his career or his hobby ahead of your relationship. A boss has humiliated you in a team meeting. A stranger made derogatory comments about your body.

Your child said that she wished you were not her mom. Leaders at church overlook your contributions on a regular basis. An old boyfriend threatened you. An acquaintance hit you–someone who should have been safe. Someone you trusted stole your right to consent right out from under you.

You Have Hurt Others

You know how you want others to treat you. Your intentions were right, but you have found yourself on the losing side of your own history too many times. Reprimanding your kids for their negative tone of voice while you yell at them.

You insulted your husband in retribution for the ways he hurt you. Canceled plans on a friend for the third time in a row. You told a friend someone else’s secret–and they found out that you did it. You missed an important deadline at work simply because you were unmotivated. Anger gained a foothold in you, and you pushed a colleague much harder than you intended, and they fell.

You Doubt Your Worth

As you sit in the midst of all the hurt you have inflicted and the hurt you have incurred, you wonder about your own value. You worked hard at school, and yet your job is not as important or high paying as you had envisioned. You have failed at every diet you have ever tried.

Other people have talents and accomplishments that hold so much more weight than your insignificant contributions and pursuits. If your relationship ended tomorrow, you could not imagine anyone else seeing you as valuable enough to love — certainly not for a lifetime. You feel mediocre, invisible, wholly insignificant.

So, How Can God Really Love YOU?

Once you have convinced yourself of this, it becomes really hard to believe with every fiber of your being that God can love YOU. Yes, as John tells us, we should:

See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.

1 John 3:1, ESV

But, God loves everyone — which is good, and right — but it is easy to take that knowledge and turn it into a love that is such a corporate entity that it can easily pass over you as just one in the crowd. God sent Christ to die on the cross for us so that our sins were redeemed. But there are so many believers. Wouldn’t it be easy for God to overlook you? Love you, yes, but love everything about you? How could He when the math you’ve done does not add up to you being worthy of his intimate, individual love?

But, He Did Make You with Inherent Worth

For you formed my inward parts;

you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

Wonderful are your works;

my soul knows it very well.

My frame was not hidden from you,

when I was being made in secret,

intricately woven in the depths of the earth.

Your eyes saw my unformed substance;

in your book were written, every one of them,

the days that were formed for me,

when as yet there was none of them.

Psalm 139:13-16, ESV

God didn’t make you like a manufacturing company makes little green soldier toys. He made you intimately. He formed you, knitted you together, wove you intricately, and He saw you. You weren’t one of many. He designed you to be uniquely you.

He loves you for who you exclusively are. Individually. He sent Jesus to be an example for you. He sent Jesus to the cross to pay for those very things you have done that you think make you unworthy because He loves you. You hold weight in His kingdom, in His eye, in His heart.

You cannot determine your worth by your own perception or allow the body of believers to assign you value. Don’t let the world tell you how much weight you hold. God has already made that determination. He designed you for a purpose, and you are living that out right now on this earth. Your battle scars and new wounds do not invalidate you as a person of Godly purpose. Your sins do not disqualify you. God loves you.

You.

God didn't make you like a manufacturing company makes little green soldier toys. He made you intimately. He formed you, knitted you together, wove you intricately, and He saw you. Click To Tweet

We often look inward or outward for our own self-worth. Instead, we should look upward to the one who created us and loves us. You are worth it! Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #scripture #devotional #individuality #hurt #worth #encouragement

unsplash-logoJanine Joles
balance, comparison, unique, wisdom, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry

Handle: Balancing What God has Given Us, What Really Matters

It can be difficult to handle all the abilities God has given us as women. With Him and our fellow sisters, we can learn to balance what really matters.



While traveling to my best friend’s house one day I heard a speaker on KLove. She was discussing how we as women try to handle multiple tasks or commitments at one time. My active imagination conjured up this image of a female waitress with octopus arms, holding multiple platters with ease.

It can be difficult to handle all the abilities God has given us as women. With Him and our fellow sisters, we can learn to balance what really matters. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #scripture #devotional #balance #unique #wisdom #comparison

Handle It

I had to chuckle when this picture came to mind. But, seriously ladies, unless we have octopus arms none of us can handle it all. Where are you right now in your life? How much are you trying to handle by yourself? Do you have a teacup, a bowl, a plate, or a platter you are trying to handle? Let us talk for a few minutes about what really matters!

Similarly, teach the older women to live in a way that honors God. They must not slander others or be heavy drinkers. Instead, they should teach others what is good. These older women must train the younger women to love their husbands and their children, to live wisely and be pure, to work in their homes, to do good, and to be submissive to their husbands. Then they will not bring shame on the word of God.

Titus 2:3-5, NLT

Juggling Act

There is a young woman I have known for many years that has 7 children. She home schools them all. The kids are perfectly well behaved and docile, not to mention beautiful within and without. She has a petite figure and always seems to have it all put together! She is the woman who has the platter!

I have a dear friend who also has multiple children and is heavily involved in the homeschooling community. However, as dearly as I love her she is a teacup kind of girl. She is very focused and intent on what is in her cup, but that is all she knows she can focus on at that time. Very wise if you ask me. She knows her abilities and limitations and accepts them both.

I would like to think of myself as one who carries around a plate. As a single mom coordinating school, church and appointments for three kids is sometimes overwhelming. I use to carry around my platter trying to manage it all by myself.

It took some major life-changing situations to learn God does not want us to rely on our own abilities or handle it all by ourselves! It places other people in our lives to help us handle it. I sometimes have to pass a plate off to my mom, or my oldest son, or a dear friend who offers to help.

So, ladies, do you know what kind of dish you are carrying around? Are you handling what God has given you the right way?

Comparison

There is a lot of “mom shaming” in our culture today. Thanks to social media and our inter-connected society we see the accomplishments of others constantly. I often see or hear things like, “She can’t handle that! I can do that better. What is wrong with her kids? Does she not know how to discipline them. What is her problem?”

When we fall prey to “mom shaming” we fall prey to the devil’s handiwork. He wants us to compare ourselves to each other, to build up our pride, or to fuel jealousy between us. What we have on this earth does not compare to what Christ has prepared for us in heaven as believers.

Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.

1 Corinthians 2:9, NKJV

God does not want us to dwell on what others have, or what we do not have. Throughout the Bible, there are numerous examples of how jealousy created bitterness, anger, and lead to strong adversaries.

Rachel and Leah bickered out of jealousy (Genesis 30:15). Hagar was fruitful and bore Abraham a son, but instead of being her advocate, Sarah was cruel to her (Genesis 16).

Now I have to tell you I am sure if I was in the same situation as these ladies I probably would have felt the same way. But, I have learned some hard lessons over the past few years and having a community of strong Christian women around, is powerful!

The fact that I am a women does not make me a different kind of Christian, but the fact that I am a Christian makes me a different kind of woman.

Elizabeth Elliot

 Handle What Matters

There will be different times in your life when you carry different sizes of dishes around. It is okay. God made us all with different abilities, personalities, strengths, and weaknesses. Instead of becoming jealous and bitter towards one another, we should help teach each other.

God gave us an example to follow in Titus 2. I have been encouraged and learned from spiritually older women throughout the years. Remember God places women in our lives for specific reasons. Listen to the wisdom of these women and learn from their godly counsel.

Perhaps you feel like you have too much to handle. Let me remind you for a minute that God never gives us more than we can handle. However, He does expect us to handle what we have been given. Matthew 25:14-30 has the parable of the talents. Each servant according to his own ability was expected to use what he had been given for his master’s glory. Are we using what God has given us to glorify and point others to Him?

So, sweet sisters, it does not matter if you have a teacup, a bowl, a plate, or a platter. What matters is we handle what God has given us the right way.

Until we meet again… Gracie

God expects us to handle what we have been given according to our own ability. Are we using what God has given us to glorify and point others to Him?  Click To Tweet

It can be difficult to handle all the abilities God has given us as women. With Him and our fellow sisters, we can learn to balance what really matters. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #scripture #devotional #balance #unique #wisdom #comparison

unsplash-logoIva Rajović

Comparison: Finding Validation in Christ and Not Others

Comparison is something that we all battle. It is crucial that we focus on what God has given us so we can break loose from the bondage comparison brings.



“Why did they get that and I didn’t?” “What do they have what I don’t?” “Must be nice.” “I wish I looked like that.” How many times a day do we allow ourselves to think and even speak these things?

Comparison has reared it’s ugly head many times in my life. It is a constant battle to not compare myself to those around me. I often find myself focusing on what others have that I don’t, instead of focusing on the blessings in my life.

Comparison is something that we all battle. It is crucial that we focus on what God has given us so we can break loose from the bondage comparison brings. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #focus #comparison #beauty #unique #freedom

Comparing Accomplishments

Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. For we are each responsible for our own conduct.

Galatians 6:4-5, NLT

I am one that tends to focus on what those around me are doing. I focus on the things they are accomplishing and wonder why I am not able to do what they are doing… then I wallow.

We are called to focus on our own work. We need to pay attention to what we are doing and make sure we are doing our work admirably and with good conduct. This results in a job well done. When we turn our attention to what we are doing it allows us to grow and will help us overcome the trend of comparison in our lives.

Comparing Possessions

Then Jesus said to them, ‘Watch out! Guard yourself against all kinds of greed. After all, one’s life isn’t determined by one’s possessions, even when someone is very wealthy.’

Luke 12:15, CEB

One of the biggest ways comparison takes root is when we look at what others have. I constantly have the thought that “it must be nice” when I look at what those around me have. We can be so quick to focus on what we are lacking that we forget about the many blessings we have. Our life is not determined by our possessions but by our actions.

For we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world.

1 Timothy 6:7, ESV

No possession we have on this world will be taken out. It is futile to be jealous of what others have. At the end of the day, Jesus has to be enough for us. Therefore, it has nothing to do with how much money we have or how nice our car is. It is all about how we live out our faith.

Comparing Stages of Life

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

1 Thessalonians 5:18, ESV

It seems like no matter where we are in life, we are always ready for the next stage. Because of this, we compare ourselves to others in the stage of life we desire. When we are single we want to be in a relationship. When we are in a relationship we want to be married. And when we are married we want kids… so on and so on. We are in a constant state of discontent…

This goes against what the Lord wants for us. He tells us to give thanks in all circumstances because this is God’s will. Our stage of life in God’s will. This is the point He has taken us. Each person is where God wants them to be, so instead of comparing where we are in life with everyone else, we should celebrate with one another; Content and thankful for where we are.

Comparing Looks

Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous — how well I know it.

Psalm 139:14, NLT

At least ten times a day I am bombarded with thoughts of how my looks don’t measure up with those around me. There are so many voices out there telling us how we are supposed to look. And advertisements trying to sell us on how to look better. We are constantly comparing our looks with those around us.

When we do this we are telling God he made a mistake and that he should have done a better job creating us. We are wonderfully made. God’s workmanship is marvelous! God beautifully, uniquely, and perfectly created us.

We all look different from one another but that doesn’t mean we should compare ourselves with one another. While it is true that we need to take care of God’s creation, that does not come through comparison it comes through paying attention to and being grateful for the body God has given us.

Ending the Comparison

Comparison is something we will constantly have to battle in our lives. Recognizing when it happens, allows God’s truth to replace the lies. The lies telling us we aren’t good enough. God has blessed us abundantly and individually. Comparison is a disservice to ourselves, our neighbors, and most importantly, our God.

God has blessed us abundantly and individually. Comparison is a disservice to ourselves, our neighbors, and most importantly, our God. Click To Tweet

Comparison is something that we all battle. It is crucial that we focus on what God has given us so we can break loose from the bondage comparison brings. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #focus #comparison #beauty #unique #freedom
Tom Morel

anxiety, purpose, unique, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry

Significant: Overcoming Anxiety and Embracing Our Unique Gifts

We are all uniquely created and hold significant roles in the Kingdom of God. We often play down our gifts and feed anxiety’s lies. It’s time to overcome…



The number one lie in which I have believed in my life is the same lie that millions of others have believed, maybe even you… Because I am an introvert, because I struggle with anxiety, I have believed for many years that I do not have what it takes to successfully spread the gospel…

We are all uniquely created and hold significant roles in the Kingdom of God. We often play down our gifts and feed anxiety's lies. It's time to overcome... Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional

Anxiety Lies

What is anxiety if not blindness to the truth? Anxiety distorts reality. It whispers, “You are not good enough.” It makes you feel less than. It is the lie that makes you believe all other lies.

Anxiety is something I have struggled with my whole life, and it is just now, in my late 30’s, that I am learning to feel comfortable in my own skin. It is just now that I am starting to see myself as a creation of God. I have a significant and unique purpose to which He has called me. I may not be able to minister like everyone else, but I am able to minister in the way that God created me to, and with the spiritual gifts He has provided me with.

My church is dear to me, but even in the church, this lie is inadvertently propagated. We are told that as Christians, God expects us to do things that make us uncomfortable. While this is true to a certain degree, I also believe that God uses different people in different ways. Some people may feel comfortable turning to a perfect stranger and talking to them about how to become a Christian. Others may feel more comfortable giving a snack and a scrawled Bible verse to the homeless man on the corner.

Haven’t both instances spread the message of God? Didn’t we both spread His hope? Didn’t we both spread His love?

Freedom in Truth

In the Bible, there is one undeniable theme that is seen time and time again: God uses ordinary people to do significant, extraordinary things. When He sent His Son to save the world, He didn’t send Him as a powerful king; He sent Him as a helpless baby. Jesus didn’t make His triumphal entry into Jerusalem in an adorned chariot. He rode in on a humble donkey. There is one thing for sure, God is not only a fan of the underdog; He is a fan of the introvert.

While being an introvert certainly has its drawbacks, many of the most creative, influential minds have been introverts. Albert Einstein. Abraham Lincoln. Mahatma Gandhi. Rosa Parks. My heightened sensitivity allows me to be more attuned to the emotions of those around me. I can hear the words that aren’t being said. I can help soothe the hurts that go otherwise unseen. Since I know how life-crushing it can be in the midst of the darkness, I am at a vantage point to be a light where others cannot. I can point people to my lighthouse, to my life raft, to the One who speaks truth, to my Lord and Savior.

Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

John 8:31-32, NIV

And isn’t it about time that we start to trust Jesus to free us from the chains of anxiety, from the bondage of our own minds…

The Whispers

Anxiety says… You can’t do anything right.

but God saysYou can do all things because I give you strength (Philippians 4:13).

Anxiety says… You just don’t know what to do anymore.

but God says… I will show you the way, listen for my voice (Isaiah 30:21)

Anxiety says… You are all alone.

but God says… I go before you and I will never leave you or forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6).

Anxiety says… You are weak.

but God says… I am your safety and strength (Psalm 46:1-3).

Anxiety says… You should be scared.

but God says… Don’t let your heart be troubled or be afraid. I am not of this world (John 14:27).

Anxiety says…You are too tired to keep on fighting.

but God says… I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28-30).

Anxiety says… You will never find peace.

but God saysI will fill you with peace and hope (Romans 15:13).

Anxiety says… You are worthless. You are not significant to the Kingdom of God.

but God saysI have given you unique gifts to use for the good of My Kingdom…

There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. Different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.

1 Corinthians 12:4-6

Where We Are

Booker T. Washington once stated, “Cast down your bucket where you are.” Stop comparing yourself to other Christians around you—who they are, what they are doing. Love where you are. Start where you are able. Each person has different needs that can be met best in their own unique way. Some people may respond to a more outgoing individual, while others may appreciate a more quiet, unassuming approach.

I have found for me personally, that I am much better at writing about personal matters; about spiritual matters. I will write posts on social media, text messages to a friend, write stories on my blog that I would never feel comfortable sharing with someone face-to-face. Physical distance, for me, sometimes leads to more emotional intimacy. All the fears and lack of confidence seems to disappear with the miles.

But the more I share with my writing, the easier it becomes for me to be more vulnerable and have those conversations with people. However, I will never feel at ease getting up on stage and giving a sermon. I am much more comfortable letting my life speak for me. And while there will always be times when God takes us beyond our comfort zone, we should not be terrified when serving Him.

If we are uncomfortable in our ministry, how are we ever going to make others feel comfortable? We are all different, but we are all significant and necessary to the Kingdom of God. Click To Tweet

Significant Gifts

I am not good at talking to other people about my emotions. I have a hard time knocking on doors and telling strangers how God has changed my life. But, what I have found is that there is strength in silence. There is courage in waking up every day and continuing on life’s path even though you are paralyzed by fear. There is faith in trusting God to lead you through what He has called you to do. Not all sermons are preached, some are merely lived. Not all testimonies are spoken, some are shared by acts of love…

If we are uncomfortable in our ministry, how are we ever going to make others feel comfortable? We are all different, but we are all significant and necessary to the Kingdom of God. You have to understand your spiritual gifts before you can use them. You have to appreciate who you are and Whose you are before those gifts can benefit you or anyone else.

I know that my gift is not speaking, and I have learned to be okay with that. You know who else wasn’t good with his words? Moses. The same Moses who led the Israelites out of slavery and brought them to the Promised Land.

God has a plan for each of our lives. He has a significant purpose for our pain. Maybe the very thing we are going through right now is what God wants us to use to lead others out of slavery and into their “promised land”. So, you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when He adopted you as His own children (Romans 8:15).



Misty Johnson is a teacher and former psychiatric nurse, who strives to be the change she wishes to see in the world. She spends her days seeking God’s peace by meditating on His word, hiking among His splendid creations, and reading thought-provoking stories. Her goal is to encourage and educate others on ways to improve their spiritual, physical, and emotional well-being. If you would like to join others on this journey of holistic healing, you can visit her website at https://spiritbodymindrenewal.wordpress.com/. You can also connect with Misty on Twitter  and Instagram.

We are all uniquely created and hold significant roles in the Kingdom of God. We often play down our gifts and feed anxiety's lies. It's time to overcome... Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional

All scripture referenced from the NIV Bible.
friendship, love, sacrifice, unique

Friendship: A Practice in Sacrificial Love

Worldly standards on friendship can hinder our ability to be a Godly friend. In our quest to become the “truest” friend, we often stretch our personal boundaries and limits to the point of breaking. The Bible offers a multitude of advice on friendship and why sacrificial love is key.



I have the worst habit of telling new, potential friends that I am a “bad” friend. I began believing this idea when I started comparing what my friendships looked like with other friendships.

Surely a good friend should be able to drop anything at a moment’s notice. Isn’t a true friend able to carry the other through any darkness with strength and perseverance? Aren’t you “supposed to” go shopping, do lunch dates, talk on the phone?

I figured, since I wasn’t able to follow through on these standards 100% of the time, it meant I was not a “good” friend.

Well, that’s a load of junk.

Friendship: The Honest Truth

In my experience, stereotypical norms discourage Godly friendships from thriving. The world standards of “girl-friends” doesn’t always align with my personality type. I am not one for getting excited about shopping dates. I sometimes cringe at the thought of play dates. Socializing leaves me feeling exhausted. Typically, I get heavy after long conversations. Not by the subject matter, but by over analyzing my words and interactions.

Most people cannot commit to answering the phone WHENEVER the call comes; work, sleep,  and alone time are extremely important. Many of us can say that we will not ALWAYS make that coffee date; life happens and money is sometimes tight. We cannot ALWAYS keep it together while the other is going through a valley; pretending to have it all together is tiring, and quite frankly, insincere.

So, are these the reasons friendships go awry? Does lack of perfection cause us to feel guilt and give up?

Worldly standards can hinder our ability to be a Godly friend. The Bible offers a multitude of advice on friendship and why sacrificial love is key.

Friendship: Where We Go Wrong

When thinking back on fizzled out friendships, I was surprised to find they were completely within my control. Instead of enriching relationships inside my own God-given strengths, I shook them off. I compared and belittled what I brought to the table.

Having a successful relationship, doesn’t usually fit into obvious standards. Feeding into the lie that we have to be like all the other friendships, is where we go wrong. God created us to be exactly who we are: unique. Thus, our friendships will be unique.

You use steel to sharpen steel, and one friend sharpens another.

Proverbs 27:17, MSG

God ordains friendships knowing that each person has what the other needs. When we try to operate outside of this knowledge, we mess it all up. When we refuse to allow God’s love to fill in the empty spaces, our friendships die.

Worldly standards can hinder our ability to be a Godly friend. The Bible offers a multitude of advice on friendship and why sacrificial love is key.

Friendship: What the Bible Says

The Bible emphasizes love as the greatest way to be a friend. When we come together IN love, TO love, we are committing our hearts to serving the Lord.

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.

1 Peter 4:8-9, NIV

Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

Romans 12:10-12, NIV

Jesus spoke the most significant advice on friendship…

This is my command: Love one another the way I loved you. This is the very best way to love. Put your life on the line for your friends. You are my friends when you do the things I command you.

John 15:13-14, MSG

Friendship: The Promise

Jesus’ sacrifice gives us the greatest example of how to truly be a friend. Laying down our lives doesn’t necessarily mean our hearts stop. Sacrificing our lives looks like prayer. It looks like following through, being trustworthy, showing respect. Sacrificing ourselves resembles grace in the midst of pain; love in spite of selfishness. Love looks like 1 Corinthians 13.

I have come to terms with the fact that I will always be in a state of progress. I will never, ever be a “perfect” friend because I am not Jesus. Understanding and accepting these truths, has made me realize, I’m not a “bad” friend just because I’m not a “perfect” friend. I may not commit to every coffee date, phone call, or outing. But, I can promise, from the depths of my being, that I will love fiercely.

If we can become comfortable with who we are and what we have to offer, I believe we would see less broken relationships/friendships. Striving to love in friendship, honors God more than striving to do and be all the things.


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Pretending to have it all together is tiring, and quite frankly, insincere. Click To Tweet

Worldly standards can hinder our ability to be a Godly friend. The Bible offers a multitude of advice on friendship and why sacrificial love is key.

Don Ross III