Welcome to May, where hopefully we see far more flowers than we have during April in my (Tracy’s) neck of the woods. We’ve encountered a month full of showers – lots of snow showers. The white fluffy stuff seems like an affront come this time of year. Stealing time, winter keeps the blooms we long for from bursting forth into spring’s first breath.
The season causes our eyes to scan the ground as we look for signs of spring. What is it about those first flowers that delight us so? And how do flowers relate to our topic this month here at FACETS of Faith? How has God changed your perspective about yourself?
It took a few winter seasons to see the significant change and beauty God desired to bring into my life. During those really tough times where I felt frozen, buried beneath the snow, God was doing something significant. He was changing my perspective about me, and in doing so He changed me.
In order for a flower to grow, she needs to be nurtured. Her first baby shoots can’t withstand harsh conditions.
One of the most significant ways God changed my perspective about me was by revealing what His perspective was (and is) of me.
I came from a place where I excelled at internally flogging myself for all my failures. Oh and the list of those was long! How could I have done that? No wonder my life turned out to be such a train wreck. Maybe I deserved to be sitting in a ditch, life destroyed. What happened to me? How could I make so many wrong turns? Look at all the weeds – so many they choke out any hope of a beautiful bloom. You’re not (insert adjective here) enough.
I lacked compassion toward myself. Can you relate?
God heard that self-critical voice in my head. He had something to say about that. Too much was at stake for me to berate myself and believe the belittling words any longer. Future blooms, mine and others, depended upon digging deep into God’s perception of me. In spite of my failures. He knew (and knows) they exist. But eyes of Love saw through those to what I could become on the receiving end of His compassion.
Someone recently asked me how I came to love Jesus so much. I think the root is right here: God’s mercy reached in and nurtured my soul.
Early on, I felt like I was supposed to journal and ask God a question. It was a terrifying question. I wanted to hide from what I might hear. It was not only my voice I was accustomed to hearing harsh words from. There were plenty of humans who had hurled accusations and unkindness my way. My tender shoots couldn’t take any more torturous words from anyone.
I wasn’t sure I could handle what God had to say. I was too ashamed and certainly not feeling brave enough for any more berating. Even so, I felt a nudge. Nudge. Deep breath. Can I take this plunge? Do I want to know what God thinks of me? I don’t think I can. Oh, just jump! Jump already!
I leapt. Words scampered across the page of my journal.
God, what do you think of me?
I waited for the word gauntlet to drop.
No such thing happened. Mercifully, God’s words were the ones I longed to hear my whole life. Tender. Loving. Soft and gentle. In spite of my sin. Yes, He saw it, but those first tender shoots of our time together He said nothing of it. Not one word. Even though He had every right to. And that endeared me to Him FOREVER. Even now, it moves me to tears. How could it not?
What words do you long to hear?
My child, you are enough.
My dear, you are my delight.
You are Mine.
You are dearly and deeply loved.
I have seen all that has happened to you. It is not okay. Let me hold you in my arms.
You are forgiven.
I am not ashamed of you. Hold your head high.
I am proud of you.
You are worthy.
I have a calling hand-selected just for you. Only you can fill it.
That’s the place, the nutrient rich soil of mercy and forgiveness through the sweetest of words, where beauty in every flower emerges. Spring has arrived. And look at her blooms! God’s Word has this to say regarding beauty:
Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.—1 Peter 3:4 NIV
God helped me to see the importance of nurturing my inner self. He led by example. His words of compassion taught me the power of their impact on a person’s spirit. Mine.
The more I thought about His words and how they touched my heart, the more I realized how important the words I spoke over myself (whether silent or aloud) carried weight. I could either be weighed down by my words as the enemy attempted to keep me buried beneath the dirt, or I could choose God’s way. I could tap into the gentle and quiet spirit God was growing in me and speak sweet words over myself.
Timid at first, I began to give it a try.
Now, no word weapon formed against me will ever prosper again. Nope. You see I know whose I am and how much I am loved. I believe in myself enough to fight the spiritual battle and come out victorious.
Old Man Satan not fair keeping our flowers in hibernation when we long for them to burst forth into spring’s first breath. So let’s not let him. We’ll take authority with our words.
For me, I will remember how God sees me and not believe one stinking lie the enemy would like me to believe about myself. I’m too busy trying to bloom. I’m too busy pointing other flowers to smell the sweet intoxicating aroma of the love of Jesus, so they can bloom too. God’s glory bound to be revealed in a beautiful garden of fragrant flowers pointing to the Son.
How has God changed your perspective about yourself (or how does He want to)? Join the conversation.