Choosing Beauty

 

I almost missed the sunset tonight! I was on the phone with Jim, when I glanced out back, just in time to catch a glimpse of its glory. The clouds were infused with vivid pink and peaceful periwinkle. Like joy and peace, those two shades adorned a skyscape of azure love. The purity of glowing white touched the tops of billowy clouds. The dance of color confirmed continuance of life as the day neared its end.

After a short walk that gave greater views of the heavenly hues, I settled into a rocker on the patio. Azure deepened to cobalt, then to indigo. In the back of the yard, the two silver maples reached to the stars, their intertwined branches appearing as black lace against the background of blues.

I’ve always noticed beauty, I think. I saw it, but I didn’t dwell on it. I didn’t think beautiful things were meant for me.

What a sad way to live! I didn’t think I was deserving of the things I enjoyed most. How could I enjoy a sunrise or a sunset when other people seemed to enjoy them more? People spent hours painting and divining picturesque prose to describe the splendor of such things. What could I do that hadn’t been done billions of times over already, by people who did it much better than me?

Yes, I was that caught up in the lies of the devil. I even compared my abilities to appreciate beauty with the those of others!

Oh, and there’s more:

I was labeled “gifted” as a child, but I couldn’t be smart because there were others in my classes who were smarter.

My childhood nickname was “Purdy” (Kentucky for “Pretty”), but that couldn’t be true, because I had to have surgery to correct the overgrowth of both my upper and lower jawbones.

I liked being outdoors, but other people could identify nearly every leaf, plant or insect.

I liked makeup, but other girls could apply it much better.

I was never good enough, so I tried to be good at being bad. Guess what? Other people were much better at that, too.

I carried this from childhood to adulthood, and from adulthood to parenthood.

I wasted so much time comparing myself to other people.

Everything changed when I made up my mind to believe what God said about me. I had accepted Jesus as a child, so it wasn’t hard for me to believe that He died to save me from sin.

If I could believe that, then why not believe everything else the Bible said?

I am a new creature in Christ.  2 Corinthians 5:17

I am redeemed.  Romans 3:24

I am a child of God.  John 1:12

I am a friend of God.  John 15:15

I have been freed from the law of sin and death.  Romans 8:2

I am accepted by Christ.  Romans 15:7

I am no longer a slave to sin.  Romans 6:6

God does not condemn me.  Romans 8:1

God has mercy on me.  Ephesians 2:4-5

I have purpose.  Ephesians 2:10

God’s promises are for me.  Ephesians 3:6

God chose me, and He loves me.  John 3:16, Colossians 3:12, 1 Thessalonians 1:4

Now, I am free to be…me. 

Don’t think for a minute that the enemy of my soul doesn’t still try to tempt me back into that old “I’m not good enough” pattern of thought.  He tries to take me back.

“How can you call yourself a Christian, when you can’t quote scripture verbatim?”

“You damaged your brain with the lifestyle you lived, so what good are you now?”

“You still get nervous when you talk in front of people. You’ll never be bold.”

“How can you write anything? Your attention span is nonexistent.”

“Who will ever take you seriously?”

“Someday, those sweet people surrounding you now, that Godly husband that you have, they will all find out who you really are…”

 

Yes, the devil still tries to convince me that I am not good enough. The difference, now, is that I’ve made my mind up to believe God, instead. It is as simple as that! I know the truth now, and the truth lives inside of me!  The Holy Spirit, whom I have embraced as my guide, ministers the truth to me, and it literally drowns out the antagonisms of the enemy.

Do I remember chapter and verse for every scripture? No, but when I read my Bible, with the Holy Spirit as my guide, the truth of God’s word soaks into my heart.  The scripture is recited by the way I live…the new character that God is working in me…the character of Jesus.

Whatever the consequences of my past lifestyle, I am no less loved by my God, and no less useful to His kingdom, than anyone else who has chosen His truth.

I do get nervous when I speak in front of large crowds, but I have found that God gives me more than enough strength to do whatever He asks me to do.

Yes, I can write!  I can write all day and all night about how good God is!  I can write and write about all He has done for me, and what He wants to do for you, too!

Who will take me seriously?  Anyone who can identify with any part of my testimony will take me seriously.  It will resonate, and they will find hope in how God has transformed my mind.

Those wonderful people who surround me now…They DO know who I really am!  I am not the person I was in the past. I have been made a new creature in Christ.  My beautiful, blessing of a husband knows me better than any other human, and he loves me.  He always will.

I notice beautiful things now, and those are the things on which my mind dwells.  For every hissing lie of the devil, God gives me His word, the song of a bird, a painted sky, and the amazing love of my husband and family.  My writing drips with syrupy sweetness much of the time, as opposed to the deep depression that oozed from the writing of my younger years.  There is so much to enjoy in life now, and I won’t waste time believing the devil’s lies anymore.

You can do the same thing.  You can make your mind up to believe what God says about you.  You can CHOOSE to believe Him over the taunting, teasing voice of the enemy.  Choosing to believe God gives you authority over that nasty voice in your head!  Will the devil ever completely stop lying to you?  No, because he is a liar.  It is his nature to lie, but when you choose to believe what God says, the devil’s words become powerless over you.

You are not reading this by chance.  You are reading this because God has a plan for you.  He wants you giggling with joy, full of hope, and bathing in His love!  He wants you to know that those thoughts that cross your mind do not define you.  He wants you to know that His hand is always outstretched to take yours, to lead you thru the tough times.  He created you out of His deep love FOR you!

Make the choice to believe Him, and prepare yourself to experience peace like you’ve never known…peace that overwhelms the conflict and confusion in your mind.

You might just find yourself sitting on a patio, admiring the sunset, and giving God glory for teaching you that you can appreciate its beauty.

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