Have you ever seen a picture, and have been surprised by what you see? Just the other day I saw a picture, and I thought, do I really look like that? I think a lot of the time we view ourselves differently than others may view us outwardly and inwardly. Inside we may be shy, introverted, insecure, hurt, bitter. But, on the outside we look confident, put together, strong, and happy.
I have told you before, for so long the first couple of years of church planting I was a die hard introvert. Not only that, but it was my early twenties, and I was still finding myself and trying to figure out what this new role looked like as pastor's wife. What people saw, was probably completely different than what I saw. I played it well that I had things together, and because of that people didn't see me how I saw me. I struggled with thinking, if people knew I didn't know what I was doing in this role, would they still respect me as their pastor's wife? If they knew that I didn't believe in myself, would they still come to our church?
I had built all these walls out of fear I wasn't good enough. Unfortunately, because I built walls I was unable to love people like they needed. A part of loving people well, is loving them inwardly. Have you ever been told, "God loves you and thinks you're beautiful." It can be hard for us to believe that because most of us are basing His love off of what the world says beauty and love is. We aren't the weight we want to be, our teeth are crooked, we don't have the extroverted personality, we have a crazy past, and so on…But I think, if we fully grasped what God is saying He loves, and says is beautiful our lives would radically be changed. God doesn't look at our bodies and think we are beautiful. These things are only temporary, thank the Lord, for some of us. Am I right? But He says you are beautiful. The good, the bad, the ugly, the past, the future, the mistakes, the growth, ALL of it is beautiful. He says, I love you. ALL of you, the right, the wrong, the little secrets you hide deep down. HE LOVES YOU.
Can we truly love people, if we can't love them from the inside out. If what we are giving them outwardly isn't truly what is inwardly, than loving them well might be hard. I have written the blog before "Through Your Past There Is Purpose." The same goes for the inside of you there is purpose. If we are too afraid to let people see us, then we are wasting purpose? I understand, it is hard to be real with people when it comes to the stuff we hold deep down. But if we hide it, we can never speak truth to it, and help others that may be struggling with it too. Hidden is exactly where the enemy wants you. Be who you want to be all day on the outside! But, when it comes to the inside--what really matters and has the power to set you free, and others free, the enemy is afraid of that. That's why we believe the secrets, and insecurities the enemy likes to breathe in our ears. "People won't like you. They won't respect you anymore as a pastor's wife. You aren't good enough."
But none of that is true. God says, He loves you. and you are beautiful. So many of us are afraid to say what's inside. If more of us would be transparent with people through our lives and speak to what everyone is thinking and not saying, than it would not only set us and them free. It would love them well. It would set aside our fears, and say I love you. And I am going to die to myself to love you well, from everything inside of me. Even if hurt may come my way, for being vulnerable. I am not going to hide anymore. My life and other peoples lives are too important to Christ to live out of fear and the lies the enemy likes to tell me to hinder me from loving people like Jesus calls me to.
xo a girl who sleeps with the pastor