Handsome and Amazing

On Sunday the boys woke up early before church. They were eager to get out of their pajamas and into their church clothes. Each one picked out their shirts and begged me to put ties on them. Delighted that they wanted to dress up, I clipped their ties on and away they went.

We typically eat lunch at my fiance’s grandmother’s house after church. The woman is incredible she cooks for a ton of us and really goes all out. It has become one of my favorite routines. Even my son begs to go to “his Dottie’s house”. We all gather together and catch up on everyone’s week.

My man’s closest cousin, who has become one of my best friends, looked at my son and said, “How are you?”

He smiled and replied, “I’m handsome.”

We laughed and he went back to playing with the other children. A little while later as we were leaving, “his Dottie” said goodbye to him and he gave her hugs. He shouted, “I am amazing,” as he jumped down two stairs.

He can be so cute, but what really struck me was how in love with himself he was. You cannot tell that child that he is anything less than magnificent. I have no idea where that came from, certainly not from me. Sure, I am constantly telling all the kids how cute or funny or smart they are, but I know they hear me pick myself apart.

Psalm 139:14

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.

Somehow I have lost this belief. Sometime along the journey of growing up I stopped being magnificent. In my mind, I have become mediocre and not good enough. I believe that I am not pretty enough or young enough. I tell myself that I am not going to reach my goals.

This is such a horrific sin. Not only am I insulting God’s work, but I am completely preoccupied with myself. I obsess over how many calories I eat and how often I go to the gym each week. I worry that I am not being impressive enough at my new job. My mind is plagued over ways to organize and keep the house clean while chasing after 5 other people with a broom and dust pan.

How is there room in my head for God and others? How is their room in my heart for anything but me?! No wonder I’m so exhausted! Some think that ego is such a sin and that being overly confident is the only form of self-obsession. There are two sides to every coin. My behavior is equally sinful.

James 4:10

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.

Humility and humiliation are not the same thing. The verse says “humble yourselves before the Lord”.  Notice it doesn’t say to humiliate yourselves before yourselves.

When I go to the Lord in prayer or ask others to pray for me, I’m humbling myself before God. When I stand in front of the mirror and wish this and that were different, I am humiliating myself before myself.

It wasn’t always like this. When I was little I would scream Stevie Nicks lyrics into my Fisher Price microphone in a full evening gown and matching gloves. I was a total rock star. I was amazing. I was magnificent. But I have lost that.

I want that back. I want to be so proud of what God made.

Ephesians 3:12

 In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.

Let that soak in a minute. If I can approach God, the creator of heaven and Earth, with freedom and confidence, why not life, or myself? What will this take?

I didn’t get to this place right away. I don’t think it happened over night. I started to believe the lies of the world. My expectations began to mirror that of the world’s. The things I valued changed and were reprioritized.

I spend a lot of time with other women. None of what I am confessing is unlike every other conversation I have with these women. These are some pretty amazing ladies I am talking about here. It is scary and sad.

Sometimes we have to return to the basics. We have to dial back into the truths we knew in the very beginning. We are handsome and amazing. We are fearfully and wonderfully made.

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