Most mornings, I don’t wake up feeling like I can take on the world. After snoozing my alarm for a good half hour, I eventually trudge to the bathroom, and flip on the lights to see the damage I’m working with. The sticking up hair, the dark circles—yeah, its rough.
I don’t wake up feeling special, beautiful, or chosen. Maybe it’s me, maybe its society, but I wake up and immediately go into damage control mode. I’ve got to look great and have my life together; then I can take on the day as the best version of myself.
No one talks about the late nights, the heartbreaks, or the painful things that shape you into who you are. People don’t boast about the long and tiring processes that teach patience and endurance. In a “fake it till you make it” society, why set your fears, vulnerabilities, and weaknesses on display for all to see?
Today I just want to send you a little love-reminder that you don’t have to have it all together. You can be real, and messy, and honest. I think that version of you is much more beautiful than the perfectly polished glass façade that is waiting to crash and break into a million pieces.
Being real with yourself enables you to remove the barriers and defensive walls you have built, so you can be real with God.
If you choose to go there with Him, the end result is wild. There, in our brokenness—the place where world tells us to run from—God meets us, and He meets us with truth. He quiets down all the noise and the voices that tell you that you have to meet requirements and checklists to be loved. He reminds you that you are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalms 139:14)
That you are chosen, royal, and holy (1 Peter 2:9).
You are anointed (1 John 2:27).
Beloved an chosen (2 Thessalonians 2:13) before the foundations of the earth were laid (Ephesians 1:4).
His masterpiece (Ephesians 2:10).
There is one woman that specifically comes to mind when I think about being chosen.
Back in ancient Persia, there was a Jewish woman named Esther who lived with her cousin Mordecai. Both of Esther’s parents died and out of compassion, Mordecai raised her like a daughter. During this time, the king of Persia was looking for a beautiful new queen. All of the beautiful young virgins in Persia were to be selected, given the best beauty treatments, then presented to the king. The king would then choose whichever woman pleased him most and crown her queen.
Esther was very beautiful and lovely, and so she was chosen by the king’s eunuch to go to the palace and begin her beauty treatments.
It’s important to note that Esther had to endure much preparation before she even met the king. She had to through an entire year of just beauty treatments alone!
I imagine these beauty treatments similar to the ones we do now—face masks to draw out the impurities in our skin, hair treatments to make our hair thicker, shinier, stronger, and healthier. Oil treatments to make the skin healthier and even-toned—the importance of all this? I believe in a similar way, as we are being prepared for our destiny, there are seasons of “beauty treatments” we must first go through.
Our hearts need the impurities drawn out. God wants to make you stronger and healthier in every way. He wants to adorn your heart with elaborate, exquisite, expensive beauty treatments—the best of the best!
We all know the end product is beautiful—but what about that awkward in between?
Like most, I struggled with acne as a teenager. I went to dermatologists and tried all kinds of treatments. A common theme in these treatments was this ugly beginning and in-between phase of using new medicine. The dermatologists said that during the first few weeks—sometimes for half of the treatment process—the impurities hiding beneath the surface get drawn out. And at first, your skin will actually look worse! Once all of the infections and bacteria are drawn out, the medicine begins to kill the exposed infections, and the skin is cleansed from the inside out.
Two things needed to take place first before I had the clear, healthy skin I desired:
I had to go to the dermatologist with my issue.
I had to apply the treatment, and push through the horrible stage of being confronted with the ickiness going on inside of my skin and body.
When we recognize that we have an issue—whether it be anger, lustful thoughts, or depression; we have the option of continuing to let those strongholds fester beneath the surface or to come to Jesus in humility and admit we are struggling.
God doesn’t just forgive us and call it a day—if we allow Him to, He begins the treatment from the inside out, starting with the heart. And just like the acne process, this is where it can get ugly.
It’s not fun being confronted with our own pain and heart-clutter. Sometimes we think we are just rearranging some furniture, then come to find out there’s a whole pile of junk hiding beneath what we thought was a simple mess.
But as long as we are committed to this ugly, painful, in-between process…the healing will come. The beautiful, pieced together, wholeness of Jesus will break through the ruin you believed was your heart.
Back to Esther!
I love how Esther’s story so honestly depicts the processes she had to go through and all the doors God had to open for her. I love how she didn’t try to control the outcome, but instead allowed the hand of God guide her.
And although her process took time, she wasn’t chosen the minute the king picked her out of a line up. God had already chosen her and carefully placed her where she needed to be long before that, for an even greater purpose.
To all of my single ladies—hi how are you, I love you.
A lie that some of us can believe is that we aren’t chosen until the day some dreamy guy picks us out of a crowd. Although I’m sure that’s a great feeling, that’s not why you were created! That’s an awesome thing that you will experience, but that is not the sum of your existence.
Esther was chosen by a man, but it wasn’t so she could become a pretty trophy wife! That’s what the king thought he was getting, but God had a different plan.
You see, one of the king’s evil advisors wanted to completely kill and destroy all of the Jewish people living in the Persian empire. Once Esther found out about his plan, she revealed her Jewish ethnicity to the king, exposed the evil advisor and actually ended up saving an entire race of people!
Esther’s story reminds me that God’s purposes and plans for my life are far greater than mine and reach places far beyond me.
You are chosen. God has strategically placed you in your environment, with your quirks, your skin color, your hair texture, your race, and your voice for a specific purpose and reason. That reason? To love and reveal the love of God to others, in different ways through different callings and vocations.
“He chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us.” Ephesians 1:4