Have you ever wondered where the feeling of abandonment comes from or why we can just never feel quite as beautiful as everyone tells us we are? Our friends gasp at our adornments, but linger on our faces: "Wow! You are gorgeous!" Yet, still, we blush and shy away. It cannot be so, right? Beauty is a curse and threatens our heart's purity. It goes against how we are supposed to be, strong and hard women. Ha. . . Nothing can be farther from the truth. But, allow me to dig a bit further.
It is also a very distinct possibility that though you are surrounded by a laughing group of ladies or a joyous, serving missions' team, you just start to feel that creepy, sickening feeling that you are alone. You aren't really alone, but you feel it. You feel whispers pounce on your heart, declaring that you suffer alone and your suffering is a direct result of something you did. Not only do you feel alone, but you caused yourself to be alone.
All. Lies. And. More. Lies.
Remember all those childhood fantasies or cinderalla stories? There was always a villain. . . always someone that dressed the lady in dull clothes and let her hair become covered in dust. The villain reminded the young woman that she was alone and all alone.
Ladies, there is a very real villain that beats on our doors. He doesn't ask to be invited, but instead whispers under the cracks, tears the door apart bit by bit, and we just stand there. Oh we deny it at first, but as the on slot increases and persists, we find ourselves repeating to our hearts the things he has whispered for years.
I want you to think about it. Satan was once called Lucifer, a name that means morning glory. Satan was not just once beautiful. . . he was absolutely gorgeous, breathe-taking, awe-inspiring. But, he let his beauty and his glory become his downfall. He believed that because of his beauty, he was more like God than any other. He deserved to be God. As a result, he was struck down and banished to hell.
Then, God made the world. When He created the world, He made man in the image of God, but He made Eve the glory of man. Eve was beautiful. Remember in the first part how I described Eve as magnifying the beauty of the Lord? The mystery of the Lord? The hope of the Lord? Have you ever thought, even remotely, that Satan hates Eve and her daughters with such a passionate jealousy that simply does not relent?
If the jealousy of her beauty was not enough, God gave Eve the ability to give birth to life. She became the life-giver and nurturer. Now Satan really hates her. Think of history for a minute. Women were merely property of men for centuries. Still today women are considered property of men in several nations; even looking at a man brings death to her. She is not equal, is not loved for her beauty, but diminished and told to keep quiet, alone and out of sight. Even worst, women suffer more abuse, sexual slavery, and just plain slavery than men ever have or ever will. There has been no relenting on the horrors dealt out to women of all races, nations, tongues, and tribes.
Don't get me wrong. Men face persecution too, and their suffering is not to be diminished. But, just looking at the sheer numbers of women who have endured countless occurrences they never should have had, how many times they have never been sought as treasure, is just heart-breaking. Not only that, but the women that do suffer. . . somehow believe they deserve it. How absurd and how horrific.
The pain you hide away in your hearts, the lies you tell yourself on a daily basis, and the lengths you go to find some warmth from others are all a result of Satan pushing you to do so. Women are targeted and are often successfully kept captive and tortured.
Yet, for every villain, there is a hero. And that hero is God. How many of you have ever walked down a moonlit path and said "My God, my Lover, thank you for all you have done?" My guess is some of you immediately tuned into the word 'Lover.' Or. . . let's say you are praying and all of a sudden you feel a whisper back "I love you too, dearest." That can't be right. . . It's GOD. He's not going to whisper endearing terms like that.
*smiles* Think again.
So many authors tell us that we have a God-sized void that can be filled by none other than Him. We can try to fill it but it will only become a black hole, sinking deeper and darker still. Well. . . you aren't the only one with a big, empty void in your heart. God has one too; one that can only be filled by you. Don't laugh at that. I'm completely serious.
God loves us more than we can fathom in a way that seems foreign to us. But, think about what He does. He wants to be pursued by us so much that He hides from us (believe me, Psalms says so). Not only does He hide from us, but He delights in amazing our hearts, in making us fall so much more in love with Him. He wants us to fall hopelessly in love with Him so much so that when He hides, we never stop running until we find Him. We want to find Him so much that our hearts ache and long. Basically. . . There is a hole in God's heart that you, and only you, can fill.
See, there was once that a friend of mine went for a run. (She loved running. . .I liked walking.) She loved running the city pathways and then going into the fields. Well, around here, something that you never ever see are salamanders. Oh, I'm sure we have them, but I have yet to lay eyes on them. Her story is incredible though. It was nearing dusk and she was just about home when she just started praying.
She had felt so abandoned that day, I later found out. She looked up for just a moment and suddenly looked down. . . The road was littered with salamanders of every size, shape, color and pattern that could be imagine, she said. She stopped in her tracks and just stared. She said she didn't know why but she could only start laughing and thanking God. It was the first time in a while that she heard Him whisper, "Do you understand just how much I love you?"
I remember loving that story, savoring it, wishing it could be mine. But, you know what. . . God doesn't give us all the same message of love. He knows what each individual heart needs. For me, my moment came while walking. It had been cloudy as usual, but for whatever reason, the wind suddenly picked up and the leaves swirled in the most amazing ways on the path that fall. The wind alone could not possibly have spun them in the way they were organized, much less around me. I knew. . . and I loved it. I saw beauty in the wind-spun, frantic blowing leaves while my friend saw it in the still, spotted coloring of animals. I needed wild and rustic. She needed still and sweet.
The point is God romances us in unique ways. Our stories are not going to be the same, but they all have the same principle: God is chasing your heart just as much as you are chasing His. Actually. . . He is chasing yours more. He has a deep longing to fill the void where you always should have been just as much as you want to fill the void where He should always have been.
And we already know who wins the battle in this world. But. . . who will win the battle for your heart? If you just seek Him, there is no way you can resist the way He loves you and pursues you. He and you are part of a romance story. You are His bride, His lover, His fiancé.
Open your hearts to Him and Satan will lose. The oppression dealt out by Satan will not match the romance He writes with your heart and His. Satan cannot touch your love story. The question is. . . will you let Him write it?
6Therefore, behold, I will hedge up thy way with thorns, and make a wall, that she shall not find her paths.
7And she shall follow after her lovers, but she shall not overtake them; and she shall seek them, but shall not find them: then shall she say, I will go and return to my first husband; for then was it better with me than now.
8For she did not know that I gave her corn, and wine, and oil, and multiplied her silver and gold, which they prepared for Baal.
9Therefore will I return, and take away my corn in the time thereof, and my wine in the season thereof, and will recover my wool and my flax given to cover her nakedness.
10And now will I discover her lewdness in the sight of her lovers, and none shall deliver her out of mine hand.
11I will also cause all her mirth to cease, her feast days, her new moons, and her sabbaths, and all her solemn feasts.
12And I will destroy her vines and her fig trees, whereof she hath said, These are my rewards that my lovers have given me: and I will make them a forest, and the beasts of the field shall eat them.
13And I will visit upon her the days of Baalim, wherein she burned incense to them, and she decked herself with her earrings and her jewels, and she went after her lovers, and forgat me, saith the LORD.
14Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her.
15And I will give her her vineyards from thence, and the valley of Achor for a door of hope: and she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, and as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt.
16And it shall be at that day, saith the LORD, that thou shalt call me Ishi; and shalt call me no more Baali.
17For I will take away the names of Baalim out of her mouth, and they shall no more be remembered by their name.
18And in that day will I make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field and with the fowls of heaven, and with the creeping things of the ground: and I will break the bow and the sword and the battle out of the earth, and will make them to lie down safely.
19And I will betroth thee unto me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in loving kindness, and in mercies.
20I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know the LORD.
21And it shall come to pass in that day, I will hear, saith the LORD, I will hear the heavens, and they shall hear the earth;
22And the earth shall hear the corn, and the wine, and the oil; and they shall hear Jezreel.
23And I will sow her unto me in the earth; and I will have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy; and I will say to them which were not my people, Thou art my people; and they shall say, Thou art my God.
A Woman's Heart Part Four: Bare Strength