Hope for the Weary Woman

"Life is too short to spend it at war with yourself."

hope for the weary woman

She plucks, she prods, she scowls. Thick, vicious tendrils slap their feisty arms to her cheek. Dismayed, she surrenders to the wrath that is her morning hair. Fat tears well up in her eyes. Unruly and riotous to say the least, the bad hair day is subtly symbolic of an image and a life that she feels is out of her control.

How often can you relate to this? As women, appearances are where the majority of our doubts about our own sense of worth stem from.

Far too often, I believe the lies the Enemy quietly sows into my own uneasy heart:

That I can’t be successful unless other people think that my social status or achievements are enviable.

That I’m not desirable unless someone tells me I’m pretty.

I’m not lovely unless I model society’s increasingly scandalous standards of beauty.

I’ll never be a good mother unless I do all of the cute Pinterest crafts with my perfectly-behaved and immaculately-clothed children.

And as these lies take root, fear begins to sprout in my heart. The belief that I am never enough starts to strangle the true source of my identity, and confidence quickly withers. So I tell myself that if I control the image of myself that I want to present to people, then I can control whether or not I am loved and cherished and accepted.

It’s no secret that we’ve all wrestled with our worth to some degree. It’s almost second-nature as women to judge ourselves based on how we measure up to others. But when we let others determine our worth for us based on how our lives appear effortlessly “put-together,” then even living becomes a game of comparison.

We think we can paint the value of our souls into the eyes of others. But the Lord peers beyond the surface and reaches into the intricate depths of our innermost being. God—the artist of each beautiful heart—does not care about the prestige and popularity that the world worships.

Truthfully, we are all broken and scatterbrained and marvelously imperfect. We have limits, we have failures, and what’s extraordinary about this is that it shows we are completely and fully human. We cannot do it all, and thank goodness we can’t. Because instead, we have an extraordinary God who does have it all together all of the time. And with his kindness and gentle strength, he cradles us in our brokenness. He is not exasperated by our dependence on him—no, instead, though our reliance on him, his glory is magnified. He graciously envelops our self-doubt in his perfectly-capable love.

 “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” {2 Corinthians 12:9-10 ESV}

How liberating it is, to release the images that groan under our tight grip, and entrust them instead to God. Because God—even in all his might—is far more gracious towards us than we are towards ourselves. Instead of striving for acceptance in the eyes of this world, let us instead choose to abide in the unconditional love of our Savior. Our Lord who has no limits is far more capable of loving you and me than anyone on this planet ever could. Thankfully, “The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” {1 Samuel 16:7b NIV}.

The Lord sees your weaknesses and failures. And you are unconditionally loved.

The Lord sees your striving and doubts and fears. And you are utterly and eagerly accepted.

The Lord sees your bed-head, your acne, your backwardness, your every flaw and insecurity. And He says, “You, my beloved, are beautiful. Wholly cherished. Worthy.”