Trust, Trucks & Trademarks

I have the privilege of living with two beautiful girls, my daughters, Elliana and Annie Rose. It is one of the greatest joys of my life to be their “Mama”, as they call me… Our son Noah is our firstborn but because I was raised with two older brothers I feel like I at least knew what I was getting into with him. With girls, it’s like this slow realization of all that my own Mama loved me through! I watch my daughters, now 13 and 8, as they’ve started to linger a little longer in front of the mirror, wanting things to be just “so”. All the while not even fully knowing or understanding the deep longing in their hearts to belong and to be known…

My daughters are a constant reminder and a reflection of my own deep longing within. It makes me realize how important it is for them that I fully grasp that I already belong and that I trust that am fully known…and to mother them from that trust.

One of my dear (and honest) friends, Lauren Chandler, looked me right in the eye a few years ago at a restaurant after catching up over dinner and said to me (as a response to everything I had just spilled out) “Stop trying to belong…you ALREADY do.” I knew that truth…I did, I just needed to remember it and believe it.

With believing it comes the truth that my life, even my body, is sacred and set apart and created with beautiful purpose and detail.

From the very beginning, woman was dreamed up to belong. Created for relationship, and even deeper, a covenant with her God, she was made to be known… One of my favorite things on a Saturday afternoon is to take my husband’s truck for a drive all by myself. I love the smell of the leather after it’s been sitting in the sun…throw in a Dr. Pepper with crushed ice and a trip to the Flea Market (‘cause hey, I can haul some stuff) and my world is made. If you were a fly on the back seat of that truck, you might get blown away by the sheer volume of some Keith Urban. And every now and then, on those back roads in Leipers Fork, TN, I’ll hear the intro to his song “God Made Woman” and I might just roll down my window and let my hair blow wild a bit.

“It must’ve been the most beautiful day, looking down on all creation. He took a river that winds and turns, He took a fire that breathes and burns and put it all in place, in the most perfect way… When God made woman, He must’ve been proud… He must’ve been crying or laughing out loud. Must’ve felt like the first time, getting kissed by the sun, when God made woman.”

What an artful way…well, a celebratory way to say God. Made. Woman. Your moment might not be in an F150 blazing down a dirt road, but every woman reading this longs for those moments when you feel dreamt of, celebrated, seen and most of all, known. Yea, you might be as wild as a winding river but you’re never too much. He put that river in You to lead you to Him.

Psalm 139:13-18 says,

“For You created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand.”

I read these words and I realize that I have literally criticized the work of God when I’ve stood in the mirror and not liked or appreciated the way that He made me. We are “fearfully and wonderfully made”.  That means that there is a reverence and an awe associated with our lives and the way we were made. The Psalmist here, inspired by the Holy Spirit, says that we are to know it “full well.” Trust it all the way through…

Next time you’re at the beach, just pick up a scoop of sand in your hand and try to imagine that God has even that many thoughts towards you. Yet he said “all the grains of sand…”

It is mind-boggling but I’ve come to find it an act of holiness to let my mind and my heart go there. To know and trust “full well” His wonderful works in me so that I might praise Him…to understand that there truly is a sanctity and a beauty to our lives that is worthy of respect and awe.

Those of us raised in the Church, who have heard scripture all of our lives might actually have the hardest time believing it to be true. Sometimes we are so familiar with the words that they blow right by us or maybe we’re just quick to believe it for others but not for ourselves.

I’ve come to realize that part of being holy as He is holy is believing that He is who He says He is and that we are who He says we are.

Yes, let your mind go there, it is an act of worship. Instead of being tempted to take cheap shots at ourselves while standing in front of the mirror…what if we offered ourselves to God as an act of pure worship?

This could significantly change the morning routine. 

What is truly beautiful is as we begin to accept ourselves and see the beauty of God in us, the beauty that is ours to display, we begin to know full well. And as we know full well, we linger in front of the mirror less and less.

What if that moment becomes a pause in our day to pray over the women in our lives…that they might “know full well” today that they are lovingly known by the God who dreamed them up in the first place…

In fact, nothing will rid the spirit of comparison quicker like being able to speak compliments, truth, love and life over other people, especially women. I’ve actually tried this on a regular basis and it works. When I’ve been tempted through the years to compare, I have learned to start praying for that person in particular. I’ll ask God to give that woman favor in His eyes and in the eyes of men. I’ll ask that He even increase the anointing and influence {gulp} of her life above my own anointing and influence. I’ll ask that she walk fully and confidently in who He is.

I don’t necessarily keep tabs on that person to see how my prayers are working. The reason I know that it works is because I am changed from the inside out. It sounds a bit dramatic in practice but what happens is when you pray things like that in the Spirit (trusting He hears you, sees your heart, your desires and will cause those things to come into fruition as He sees fit) it literally births in you (by the Spirit of God) more of a trust and a deep knowing that you yourself are known, seen, loved and that you already belong.

And because you begin to TRUST these things for yourself, you become free to trust those very things for and on behalf of others.

With that belief, your heart becomes bent towards those things you have prayed for them and you actually begin to want it for them and you might even start to have a special place for that person in your heart. (Trust me, it’s happened)

What if our belief became our beauty, the very thing we are known for… Unwavering in our place as His daughter, we’d glow with the assurance of who He’s made us to be. What if we were the women who had the courage to stand beside our daughters (or sisters or friends) and look in the mirror with them. What if we picked them apart, bit by bit, saying “look what God did here and here and here…” Secure enough in our own skin to look outside of ourselves for once and call out the beauty in the women around us.

In fact, the most beautiful women I know… they’ve made this their trademark. To be able to look another woman in the eye and speak life into them…to wave another’s banner, to call out their beauty, to shed light on their gifts. This is trust at its finest…