Woman with the Issue of blood, Jesus Christ, Savior, Faith, praise and worship, notsoskinnydreams

Women of Blood

A couple of days ago, I attended a service of ordination, of a fellow church member. It was held in a place very far from our own church and in a room with many people I did not know. There came a point where we, the audience, were to give our offerings. I sat with a few aunties from my own church. Upon hearing the call for offering, they smiled broadly as if they had been personally called to the front. I wondered at all the smiles and why they were bustling about as if in preparation for something. Then I saw the flags come out. Large, brightly colored and decorated flags were thrown in the air by these excited older women. Then one was thrust in my own hand. The flag trailed orange, yellow and red colors as if it would catch on fire at any moment. I hesitated at first then grasped it firmly, myself grinning from ear to ear. As the thrumming and rhythm of the choir and band’s music took up and shook the building, we shook along with it. I led the way to the front of the church waving my flame colored flag, aunties behind me jigging and singing along with the choir and waving high their flags.

In the not so distant past I would have been too embarrassed to join in. I would’ve smiled demurely at the expectant aunties and shook my ahead, staying firmly rooted to my seat. That was before I realized what God had taken me through. You know when you die to your flesh because God demands it of you to be all His. That moment when I gave up what I’d thought the world could offer me and gave myself to Jesus Christ, because I had nothing else to live for but him. Instead of living because life was worth living, I lived because he was worth living for. It took an extremely tough time in my life that broke me, to decide between life and death. I chose death, death to the world so I could have ever lasting life through Jesus Christ. I’d seen what the world was capable off and it was Ugly. God saw my brokenness and made a new shell for me to fill.

This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
2 Corinthians 5:17 (NLT)

What I understood that day as I waved my flag high, as high as my arm could reach, was that, that death and resurrection connected me to these women. My church aunties who danced and sang, praising the lord, as if nothing else mattered. In their movements you could see a similar pattern of old pain healed and joy in a savior that had heard their cry. We were women like Hagar who at one point were struggling on our own, crying to ourselves, and seeking help or death when He heard us, saw us (Gen 16: 7-14). Or like the woman with issue of blood who had nothing else to lose but to believe that one touch from Him, even just his garment would give us a new life (Matthew 9:20-22, Mark 5:25-34, Luke 8:43-48). That shared knowledge that Jesus Christ was the only reason we were alive today, made us the same despite our differences in age, tribe, and character. As our motley crew swayed, stomped and waved our flags around the room, we gave no care to the room full of gawkers we did not know, nor to how we must seem. All we knew was our audience was not in the rows of strangers, but in a higher seat we could not see with our eyes.

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:18

The Eye of the Beholder

That phrase “Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder” is really deep when you think about it. A few days ago, I had the opportunity to attend a sleepover with some young ladies. Looking at them I remembered my youth so distantly. The worries of my high-school years that at the time seemed so devastating now seemed so inessential. However, as the ladies spoke memories of a not so pleasant time came to the fore. The topic of beauty, was what was being discussed. I remembered when I thought I was ugly. For many years, I believed what I’d been told by mean-spirited kids who told me I was not attractive. I wasn’t depressed about it. I just took it as – “oh well, I don’t need to be pretty.” This mindset followed me through college and then through most of my twenties. When the first person I ever dated told me I was pretty… I just brushed it off as lip service. Of course I didn’t believe my mum when she said it, because she was my mum she had to tell me that. It also affected my interactions with men. I didn’t consider myself pretty so I depended more on my personality when conversing. I would maybe push my personality a little too much – I was too funny, too animated, too much of anything that would push my appearance to the back.

Listening to these young ladies talk of similar self-image issues I realized how damaging what we say and do to people can be. Also how even more damaging how we receive that information can be. Only 4% of women around the world think they are beautiful. Its disconcerting.  Now that I weed out a lot of things of the world, so that I feed my spirit with good things, my mind on this has changed significantly. I am created in God’s image (Genesis 1:27). Does that mean I think God is ugly? When he is described as a being of light and beauty in the bible (Revelation 4:3). As a Christian woman I strive to reflect Christ. For me, He is one of the most beautiful beings I can think of. So it makes no sense to have self-image issues when my creator made me beautifully.

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.
Psalm 139:13-14 (ESV)

To persist in such negative thinking is to insult the One Who Made Me. I wont lie it’s still a bit difficult to accept compliments. However, I smile now when I hear them because I am not accepting them for myself but for my God. They are complimenting his work.

I found this excerpt that I thought would be nice to share:

Heather Davis Nelson says in the Journal of Biblical Counseling:

In pursuing worldly beauty, we strive to become this elusive image in place of who we really are. You and I are created in the image of the living God. Our purpose is to reflect His image to the world. But since the fall, we let the world inscribe its image on us. It is the very picture of sin and ultimately death. Instead of being transformed to God’s image, we conform to the world’s image. We are hopelessly stuck in a lifeless cycle, exchanging God for the creature as our object of worship. But God in His mercy rescued us! In love, God sent Jesus Christ to take on the consequences of our idolatrous affair. He became sin so that we might become righteous. In Christ, God gives us freedom from sin’s power now and hope for its eradication in heaven. God makes you beautiful with the beauty of His Son, Jesus. It is in gazing at God’s image in Jesus Christ that you are transformed.Romans 12:1-2 says, “Therefore, I urge you, (sisters) in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not be conformed any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

Amen.