A month ago I attended a writing conference full of medical professionals and published authors. No prior experience or credentials were required to take the course, but I took one look around the room and my stomach sank. I felt ill equipped and unworthy of being there.
We were asked to break out into smaller groups and I feared what was to come…introductions. What was I going to say? Each participant introduced themselves with their name and identified what they did for a living. I wish I could say I was engaged but I was consumed by my own thoughts of how I was going to introduce myself.
“My name is LeRyiah. I just stay home with my children right now.”
Contrary to my expectations, no one was gasping or staring at me in disbelief. Instead, the instructor said, “the first thing I would like you to do is take the word “just” out of your vocabulary. Wow! Park on that for just a minute.
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart, I appointed you as a prophet to the nations” (Jeremiah 1:5).
The Lord knit us perfectly together, infused each of us uniquely with His perfect best because He isn’t capable of giving us less. If this is true, how can we consider ourselves to be “just” anyone or anything? God created us to be extraordinary. The Lord is ALIVE in and through our lives. He has equipped us individually, with intention, on purpose and for His glory.
Each of our “hows” might look different but our WHO is always the same. How amazing is it that the God of the universe created us and loves us unconditionally, before we ever did anything to deserve it?
Words, especially personal self- talk, carry POWER. Power to build up and give life or the power to pierce souls and slay hearts. Words can be healing or harmful; creating wounds that fester and spread like a cancer to the core of our beings.
In Psalm 139:13, David says, for “I am fearfully and wonderfully made”.
When you look in the mirror, what do you see? Does the image staring back at you reflect the identity of the One True King or is the reflection a result of what society says about you? Do any of these phrases sound familiar?
“Hey, it’s just me calling…” or “I just stay at home…”or “I am just a writer…” You fill in your own blank. I am “JUST” _____________.
The word “just” is a single syllable qualifying word that is flippantly and frequently used in our culture today and the power of the word is often underestimated. The definition of the word “just” (adv.) means simply, only, no more than. Do these phrases reflect how God sees us? Qualifying words can be helpful but they can also be limiting and devaluing. We enter dangerous territory when we tie our God given identity to anything but the Lord. When we define ourselves by our mundane roles and perceptions of others, we discredit our worthiness and marginalize our impact.
If we are brutally honest, I think we are all guilty of devaluing our roles, accomplishments and our service, through our self- talk or in conversation with others, in an attempt to sound overly kind, politically correct, or humble. Sadly, our self- sabotage through our speech and writing have become so commonplace, that over time, it has evolved into a harmful and unconscious habit. Not only are we self- inflicting deep wounds on our soul but we are not embracing who God created us to be.
We are all called and equipped for the highest, most sacred service that surpasses all earthly standards and expectations. The world may try to limit us or belittle our roles but sweet sisters, we are daughters of the One True King and our Lord is limitless.
In Exodus 3:14 the Lord appears to Moses in the burning bush and when He reveals his identity to him, God says, “I AM WHO I AM.”
“I AM” are two of the most powerful words put together but what we put directly after has tremendous effect on the way we view our reality and can dramatically skew our perspective. We must learn to move past our titles and labels and allow the Word of the Lord to take root in our lives and continue to grow in His image, for His glory, not the accolades or acceptance of this world.
As a child of God…I AM blessed. I AM worthy. I AM loved beyond measure.
Dear Sister, quiet your racing mind, lean in close and please hear me when I say:
YOU are adored.
YOU are called.
YOU are more than enough.
As women of faith, come on this journey with me and enter into “JUST” rehabilitation. Take this word out of your self-talk! There is no role more sacred than what the Lord has called you to. As His precious daughters, there is no such thing as “just” cooking dinner, or “just” staying home with kids or “just” going to work. Whatever our role, whatever our service, it is SACRED work being done for the Lord.
Promise me, when you find yourself up to your eyeballs in dirty dishes and laundry and the baby is sick, you step in cat puke, and your kids go to school without their lunches, all on the same day (and it will happen) and you ask God, “Is this really all there is? Set your heart to the tune of Matthew 25:40, “And the King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me.’”
There is no such thing as being “JUST” a child of God.
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him”(Genesis 1:27).
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