Friday, February 25, 2005

Weekly Word for Feb. 25 to March 4, 2005

Weekly Word - February 25, 2005

“For I am the Lord your God, . . . Since you are precious in My sight, . . . Since you are honored - and I love you.”
(Isaiah 43: 3a & 4)

As I brushed her long dark hair - I realized how much I cared for this little girl - and all that I hoped for her - and then I said: “When you get married - marry someone who will tell you every day - that you are beautiful!” She looked up at me - with questions in her eyes- - - and I too wondered - - - why did I say that to her?

As I looked at her - I thought about all that I wanted her to hear through her life - to believe about herself . . .

If I take the wings of the morning, And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, . . . Even there - Your hand shall lead me, . . . And Your right hand shall hold me.
(Psalm 139: 9 & 10)

The other day, I was visiting with a friend. I had only met her a few months earlier - when Ted and I moved. I knew right away though - - - that I liked her! She was the type of person who was always giving - to her family and friends - before herself. She was always there for her children and husband - and never said “no” when they asked her for help. So on this day - as we sat with our coffee - I found myself listening to her - as she told me about how tired she was - - - and then she said: “my husband told me - that he had believed that he was helping me to have more self worth - telling me I am beautiful all these years - - - and I don’t believe him!” She looked so sad - and so tired - and I wondered why she couldn’t see herself? Why couldn’t she see the amazing woman she really was . . .

“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine!”
(Isaiah 43: 1)

So many of us have been so wounded in our lives - - - that we cannot see ourselves - - - cannot see what is good - or who we are . . .

I have a very close friend - who I am just amazed by her gifts and talents! She is a wife - a mother - and day-care provider. She takes care of these little lives - teaching them all that they will need - to form the basis of the rest of their lives. My friend has overseen charity drives - and taken charge of her children’s scout groups. She has organized fund raisers - and made sure her children became involved in sports as well as church groups. And still . . . When her youngest child asked: “Mommy, what do you like the best about yourself?” - - - my friend couldn’t answer . . .

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you: . . .” (Jeremiah 1: 5)

Why do we not see ourselves? Because we remember the hurts . . .

The Lord appeared to him from afar, saying, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore I have drawn you with lovingkindness.”
(Jeremiah 31:3)

I was between seven and eight months pregnant - when I finally got tired of hearing that I was a “water buffalo” - and stopped eating. I wanted that little baby so much - - - but I wanted to not hurt too! So it wasn’t a surprise that I went into labor six weeks early. As the doctor checked me - he told me that I needed to go home and rest - and take good care of myself. I tried - - - but three weeks later I gave birth to my little daughter. She was so small - and had so many troubles that first year of life - - - problems that smaller babies seemed to have - - - and I blamed myself . . .

“I have loved you with an everlasting love . . .”

As the years went by - my children and I lived with a man who didn’t seem able to love or care for us very well. His words were biting - and went into us all . . . I know that I had my part in the marriage ending - - - but the words that he said - went deep into our hearts and beings. When the marriage became so troubled - I heard - “I would rather kill you - than divorce you and give you any of “my” money . . .”

Those words - - - I started to believe them! Would he have killed me? Probably not - but the words did! Looking back - I realized that the words had left their marks - and finally - - - there was “nothing” left of me! Did I try to love him - to make our family work? Yes! But God doesn’t let us live in death! And with His help - and the friends the Lord gave me - - - I left . . .

“For I know the plans that I have for you” declares the Lord, “plans for welfare and not for calamity - to give you a future and a hope.”
(Jeremiah 29:11)

I still struggle with how I see “me”! Just like my friends do! We’ve been hurt - - - and have believed the things that others have told us! But God sees us differently . . . He sees us from the moment we were created - - - and knows the good things that He put inside . . .

Every day - Ted tells me I am beautiful! I want to believe him - - - and maybe someday I will . . . I know that the Lord has brought us together - and with time - the wounds have begun to heal . . .

“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are mine.
For I am the Lord your God,
Since you were precious in My sight,
You have been honored,
And I have loved you.”
(Isaiah 43: 1 - 4)

As I brushed her hair - I thought about what I said to her - and just what it was I wanted for this little girl - - - I wanted her to know she was “precious” - to have someone tell her - every day - that her life was special - - -I wanted her to know - that she was worth everything - worth loving . . .

It is the same wish I have for you - - - that you will understand just who you are - - - and why God loves you! During this very special time of year - the time of “Lent” - will you stop - and hear His voice - calling to you - - - to bring you into a fullness of Life . . .

God bless you in the coming week ahead!

In His Love,
Debbie & Ted Ayers


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