I am hosting and speaking at a Women’s Conference called “Precious & Highly Valued” in October. As part of my preparation I have been thinking about where my value and worth comes from in this life.
I suffered a lot from rejection before I became a Christian. My dad left when I was very young and mum had to work hard because the Benefit System didn’t provide for people in those days (1960’s) as it does now.
We often struggled for food, clothing and many other things. I felt ugly and rejected with my painfully skinny frame and tatty brown hair dressed in jumble sale clothes.
So as soon as I was old enough to earn money I bought nice clothes. I loved nice clothes – clothes made me feel special outside. Make-up and a good hairdo made a plain child look attractive and by the time I was aged 14 I used all these things to help me feel accepted and better about myself.
I married far too young at age 17 to escape a very unhappy home life – my stepfather was a violent man. After two weeks of marriage I discovered I was also married to a violent man! By the time I was 20 I was divorced – I had looked for love in all the wrong places. I got married again and had a child by the time I was 22 – there was also much rejection.
By the time I was 26 and having my third child I came to know Jesus. I was a stuttering wreck of a young woman, feeling of no value or worth whatsoever. But when I met Jesus He showed me what true love was!
He restored my soul and dealt with my fears – I was full of these! It didn’t happen overnight but God built me up to become a woman of dignity and confidence. It’s hard to imagine me now compared to what I used to be like before Jesus came into my life.
In Song of Songs 6:3 it says “I am my beloved and He is mine”. True love, pure love, complete love and security had come into my life!
My mind was changed by God’s word. My thinking changed, thoughts that used to be negative and fearful were changed too. Romans 12:2 says to “be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is.”
Jesus came not just to pay the price for our sin so we could go to Heaven – He came to give us so much more! Isaiah 61:3 says He wants to give us “a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.”
In Isaiah 61:7 it goes on to say “instead of your shame you will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace you will rejoice in your inheritance. And so you will inherit a double portion in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours.”
The love of my life, my rock, has been Jesus – He’s the one who understands me fully – He’s the one who loves me completely – He’s the one who laid down His life for me.
If you are looking for “The One” then look no further – Jesus is the one! He’s the one who makes me feel beautiful, loved, treasured, valued and complete. Jesus has truly given me “beauty for ashes”.