I’m about 97% sure that I’m not alone in thinking this statement: walking into a room of women is intimidating. Oh I hope you are that 3% who feels differently. That you don’t second guess your shoe choice or add one more layer of lip gloss as you step out of the car. I envy you if you don’t scan the room for friendly faces or affirmations of welcome and acceptance because there’s even a twinge of doubt that you are enough.
I am not in that 3%. For sure.
Why do we allow ourselves to go down this road? What’s funny is that while we fluff our hair one more time or gird up the courage to step into a room full of women, EVERYONE else is doing the same thing too! My friend with beautiful green eyes and an even more beautiful heart, she is thinking to herself, “What am I doing here? I have nothing to offer.” Then there’s my friend who loves so well but is struggling at home in her marriage. She is pasting on a big grin yet on the inside she thinks, “I’m such a fake. But I will keep grinning.” And well, there’s me. I’m usually the one who shies away from group pictures because of my body image junk. But, I grab another cookie from the dessert table and give you a big compliment on your cute dress. If there were little conversation bubbles above our heads, we would see that EVERY one in the room carries some sort of deep-seated insecurity. If we could see it, might our hearts soften toward ourselves and might our hand reach out to our friends and offer more real, meaningful encouragement?
God sees. God knows. God sees what’s swirling around in our head and threatening our confidence to walk boldly as a woman chosen by Him.
Would you take a minute to sit with this truth...
“But you are a chosen people, set aside to be a royal order of priests, a holy nation, God’s own; so that you may proclaim the wondrous acts of the One who called you out of inky darkness into shimmering light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received it.” 1 Peter 2:9-10 The Voice
Chosen. This is a big one for me. I’ve spent years idolizing “being chosen” by people. I know in my head this is an idol and that striving to be chosen or accepted by anything other than Jesus will keep me in a cycle of despair and stuck in a deep pit all based on whims of humans. Just as Peter writes that God calls us out of that inky darkness, my own “shimmering light” moment was when I finally took hold of the VALUE of living, operating, walking confidently in the truth that I am chosen by God. He’s whispered into my heart, “I AM greater and have more for you. Put value and weight on My thoughts of you. In My presence you are accepted, you are enough, you are valued.”
But taking hold of being chosen by God starts first with taking hold of God Himself. Those moments where our eyes are taken off ourselves and captivated by the beauty and love of God put everything into perspective. To know that this God – the God that created us, created the universe, and holds it all in place- had it in His heart to love us and call us out of our brokenness is mind blowing! When we look and behold God for who He is, our desire for value in the eyes of others is but a shadow of the value we already hold in God’s eyes. Yes, we have a deep need for validation and acceptance – God put that there. But He built that in us in a way that can only truly be met by Him. Compared to Jesus, the approval of others doesn’t even come close. As we take hold of God as a lifestyle, we can more easily take hold of the truth of being chosen by God.
I truly admire Mary who lived this kind of life. In Luke we read that she chose to sit at the feet of Jesus, soaking in His presence and His word. Yes, she had it right. She valued intimacy and connection with her Lord over the fleeting satisfaction of busily, anxious “doing.” She sat still and blocked out distractions. It is through this deep intimacy that God speaks to our need for validation, our need to be known, our need to be chosen. But, the distractions around us shimmer and shine, don’t they? We think they are more attractive because we perceive them to be just more tangible to take hold than the deep, eternal truths God has for us to live steadfast in His love. Oh yes, we are KNOWN by Him, called by name for a specific Kingdom calling. But we miss this calling when we get too caught up in what shimmers and shines. We miss God’s yearning for us to walk confidently in our God-given gifts and our unique calling.
We don’t want to miss it. Instead...
~Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith. (Hebrews 12:2)
~Let us look to Him and live radiantly, never ashamed. (Psalm 34:5)
~Let us quiet our heart to then live in confidence as we choose Jesus...chose what is better. (Luke 10:42)
What waves we could make if we took this word deep into our heart and in our thought patterns as we break the cycle of intimidation. Then, we grab more of our friend’s hands and lead them to this truth as well.
So, let’s change the atmosphere. Next time we walk into a room full of women, or anywhere really, let’s pray through these truths...
I am chosen by God!
She is chosen by God!
We each have unique and beautiful God-given gifts to share.
I will cheer her on in the ways God is moving in her life.
I will, with open hands, ask God to move in my life and walk confidently in that.
We will praise Jesus for the cross and for making a way for us to LIVE chosen by the God.