“All the world’s a stage,” Shakespeare quipped. I can appreciate his enthusiasm for the theatre; I’ve been doing community theatre for about ten years, and I never get over the thrill of stepping onto the stage to put on a dazzling performance. There’s nothing like curtain call, the flash of the cameras and sound of applause.
Recently I realized I had created a stage-perfect life. My husband and I have a great marriage. We have beautiful daughters, and I had the fortune of being a homeschool mom until the youngest one graduated. My husband works for a national Christian radio host. We’ve been leaders in church. We have a nice house and lots of wonderful friends. Life was great.
I spent last weekend with fifteen wonderful ladies to train for our upcoming Community Bible Study year. As a children’s ministry worker, I learned what my curriculum will look like and scoped out classrooms. I got to know many of the people I’d be working with as we planned ways to love on our little lambs. Our leaders poured encouragement into us and reminded us of the high calling to shepherd children.
These precious little ones don’t know it yet, but we have an enemy who’d like to convince them that they are evolutionary accidents with little or no value. The sooner he can beat them down with shame and feelings of low worth, the easier it will be to prevent them from living an abundant life.
Can I just be real for a second?
Last week a load of not good enough pelted me. It just started pouring in big stinky drops and wouldn’t stop. You ever have weeks like that?
Nothing specific stood out; I just felt like I was standing under flow of shame without an umbrella.
What’s on your summer reading list?
If you’re on a healing journey similar to mine, or you know someone who is, I have a few recommendations for you.
Early in 2014, when I began having flashbacks to childhood trauma events, I ordered a pile of books from Amazon. One of those books was Not Marked, by Mary DeMuth. The rest were books on writing craft or Bible studies. I wasn’t ready to allow “sexually abused” be part of my identity yet, so it felt safer to receive it with a stack of other random books. I let it sit in the pile for a few weeks before reading it. From there, I discovered Kay Arthur and Joyce Meyer.
Not Marked helped me realize two life-changing things:
I’ve been thinking about the Canaanite woman lately. Her story is found in Matthew 15, verses 22-28 and Mark 7:24-30.
Jesus passed over the border to the region of Tyre and Sidon to escape the Pharisees’ ire. He entered a house, hoping no one would notice Him there, but His fame had spread throughout the land inhabited by people the Jews considered heathen.
A lot of people celebrated this week. If you’ve been online, you’ve seen rainbow colors everywhere.
Yesterday I celebrated the first Father’s Day since my dad passed away on September 11, 2014.
I say celebrated, because that’s what I chose to do. Honestly, it was hard. I would have rather curled up in bed with a book (or three) all day and avoided it. But since I have another father to honor—the man who has devoted so much love and care over the years to our now-adult kids—I wanted to make it special for him. He deserves it.
I wish I could be someone else. Why do I hate myself so much?
Though never verbalized, those thoughts tromped through my head often, especially at the beginning of 2014.
I had no idea that God looked at me as a priceless treasure. Despite reading Bible verses to the contrary for most of my life, I always thought they applied to someone else and not me.
“You are going to lead millions of people to the Promised Land after you free them from slavery. You’ll drive out all the people in the land flowing with milk and honey, and dwell there, away from the oppression of Pharaoh and the Egyptians.”
God told Moses he would be a leader. Not just any leader, but the leader of an unprecedented revolution over a formidable dynasty.
Can you imagine? Put yourself in Moses’ shoes. The world’s prominent leader of the time not only knows you personally, but he wants you dead.
What’s the saddest story in the Bible?
Different people all have their own opinions, but for me it’s the story of Tamar.
2 Samuel tells her sad tale. She’s Absalom’s sister, and the half-sister of Amnon.
Amnon, under the advice of his cousin, tricked Tamar into cooking food for him at his house. When they were alone, he raped her.
If that weren’t enough, he had his servant toss her out of his house and bolt the door. In that culture, she was finished—no longer a virgin, she would never marry or have a family. Never have a respectable profession. In her shame, still wearing the ornate robe fit for a young virgin princess, Tamar put ashes on her head and wept.