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Precious girl,

I don’t know if you meant to weep that loudly or not.  I’m not sure if those were quiet sobs that had reached the point of no return, or if this was actually your way of pulling back the curtain on your pain for all to see – what the mirror has done, the lies it has told you, the way it has limited and so poorly defined you.

I so connected with your feelings that I was ready to barge in that dressing room at Lane Bryant and take your face into my hands like you were my own sister and tell those feelings that lie to you what’s up.  Aren’t you counting your lucky stars that I showed shreds of self-control?  Plus, the thing about barging into strangers’ dressing rooms to preach a Psalm 139 sermon is that law enforcement might not take too kindly to it.

I too remember the stores, the feelings of failure and inferiority, the ways those images I saw in the mirror morphed into these big lies I started to believe about me.

The Enemy had a field day with me. 

But he won’t get you like he got at me if I have anything to say about it.  Look, I know this next part will make you all kinds of uncomfortable.  At first.  But I will pause to pray right now that you could trust me, a stranger…and trust the heart of a God who is enthralled with you.

I just wanted to pass a note to tell you that you’re so lovely.  

That red hair–did you know women spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to get their own strands shaded the way God has so artfully hued yours?  It was shiny too, and if you write back, please let me know what products you are using because I would also like to use them since they ARE WORKING AND EVERYTHING. But I digress.

Your skin with nary a blemish– as I watched you try on some things that didn’t fit and get discouraged, what you couldn’t see was just how beautiful you looked in so many different colors.  God made you a special canvas to display His glory, friend.

I know it sure doesn’t feel like that now.  I completely understand.  But could I pause to tell you a little secret?

Satan keeps lying to you in those dressing rooms and messing with your image of yourself in that mirror because he is afraid.  He’s afraid of what will happen if you offered the beauty of your brokenness.  He’s scared of what will become of his treachery if exposed by God’s glory inside youHe knows the most powerful thing in this world is somebody who knows who they are and WHOSE they arewhen we take off the smock of lies we’ve donned and exchange it for a garment of strength and dignity.

I heard it in your tears: deep vulnerability.

“You see, beauty indwells every woman…. it reveals itself for a moment, then fades back into cover. Usually it comes when she doesn’t know it…Rather, something is happening that allows her defenses to come down for a moment. For instance, when someone is listening. She knows that she matters. Someone cares about her heart, wants to know her. Her beauty emerges as if from behind a veil.”  Captivating, John and Stasi Eldredge

Come out of that dressing room and offer your precious beauty to a world that’s truly starved for it. 

{And don’t forget to bring your hair products.}

 

Love,

Lauren from The A* Team

 

 

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  1. 2

    So powerful, have we not all been that girl in the dressing room. Thank you.

    • 3

      Yes, my friend…We have all felt this pain in one form or another…so thankful God is redeeming our beauty for His glory and our good. Enjoy the fact that you are CHERISHED today :)

  2. 4

    What a beautiful story! Knowing “who” we are and “Whose” we are! Will never forget this :) Thank you for your heart for Jesus and those who need Him!

  3. 6
    Jessica says:

    You truly have a wonderful way to deliver God’s message. I have been that girl in the dressing room, not necessarily with clothing, but with relationships and feeling insecure. I have lived with the smock of lies that I have put on myself and let Satan in and feel me with doubt, instead of letting God’s truth in. We were all perfectly made. Thank you Lauren.

    • 7

      Oh, Jessica…you are so loved. Today is a new day – others have wounded with words and actions but your beauty is worth offering again even if not everyone appreciated it like the Father does. I am praying Zephaniah 3:17 over you. You are the apple of His eye, my friend!

  4. 8

    Thank you so much for this. Beautiful truth. I struggled for years with eating disorders and believed so many lies from the Enemy that I didn’t know what the Truth was. It took some very compassionate and very persistent women to continually speak truth into my life until it soaked through my thick skull. Jesus has defeated the father of lies and I am now standing in His truth. Thanks for speaking this — it can never be said too much. Bless you!

    • 9

      I am glad to hear you are being transformed in the truth Sarah — the Truth that His approval, the nod of His head in our direction, is truly ENOUGH. Keep going beautiful one!

  5. 10

    Tears, more tears falling than I would have imagined.

    I have been there.

    I refuse to stay there.

    May we all continue to fight!

  6. 12

    After having fought the self-image demons in junior high, I was unprepared to face them again after having surgery for breast cancer. And now I find myself involved in that story with other women. The lies are always the same. Thank you for this.

    • 13

      Lynne, the beauty is in the perseverance…I am cheering you on! Your fight is being won by your tenacity to accept only God’s Word. Thank YOU for sharing a glimpse of your story with us today!

  7. 14

    These words are so close to my heart. Having a daughter has made me look at women in a different light… the way we all think beauty is found somewhere other than within us. Short, tall, straight hair, curly, smaller, bigger – the beauty of a woman’s heart is unmatched. May we all learn to see beyond the image in the mirror and turn off the volume when the lies begin.

    • 15

      I completely agree!

      “May we all learn to see beyond the image in the mirror and turn off the volume when the lies begin.” This made me want to stand up and cheer!

  8. 16

    Perfect! I pray God gives her dreams & visions of His great love for her, and that she will delight in the way He made her!

  9. 18

    I LOVED this. Thank you.

  10. 20

    It’s been awhile since I’ve tried on new clothes and I don’t have read hair, so I know you’re not talking about me, but everything else rings true! It’s been a week of battles…everytime I’ve walked past my mirror or tried to read the Word and convince myself I’m not fat and ugly, the enemy has screamed otherwise in my head! “He’s afraid of what will happen if you offered the beauty of your brokenness. He’s scared of what will become of his treachery if exposed by God’s glory inside you. He knows the most powerful thing in this world is somebody who knows who they are and WHOSE they are!” Thank you for these annointing words! Everytime I re-read them, I feel just a little more beautiful…as the Bride of Christ! Bless you!

  11. 22

    Love this. Thank you so much!

  12. 23

    Have been on both sides of that dressing room door! I have also been reading the book “Captivating” but I will admit it’s hard to read. It’s not that it’s difficult to understand. It’s that the truth, even when it’s kind and gentle and wonderful, can be hard to hear. You start looking around at your own life and see how far it is from God’s reality. So glad you were willing to reach out to someone you didn’t know. I pray your words have found her heart.

    • 24

      Kat, I agree. Captivating is hard to swallow because we are used to such different tones from our culture. I want every woman who reads this (including myself) to choose truth and we will work from a place of victory as Christ has already made us complete in Him!
      Blessings!

  13. 25
    Theresa R. says:

    Many years ago I was part of the management team at a Lane Bryant store. While cleaning the dressing room mirrors I heard a mother berating her daughter about her appearance. I wanted to go into that dressing room and slap that Mom, but I could only say a prayer for the tearful daughter. My own mother once said to me that she wished she didn’t have to make my clothes, she wished that she could just go to a normal store and buy things. Before that day she told me that store-bought clothes were too expensive for us. I understand the tears in the dressing room.

    • 26

      Oh, Theresa…my heart ached at your comment — as a mom I am so frustrated with this lady you mentioned, but then I think, “What kind of things did SHE hear growing up?” We need toencourage our daughters…speaking words like this will do more for them than any amount of shame or spirit-breaking talk.

      And you, friend…you are lovely too! Jesus promised His disciples in Luke 24:49: “…you have been clothed with power from on high.” I believe the same is true for you, Theresa! And someday, you will have a beautiful gown that fits perfectly and is just your style to wear when meeting your Heavenly Bridegroom.

  14. 27

    That was so beautifully written, I hope and pray that the red headeded woman finds these words. I’ve struggled with a poor self image for such a long time, the words could have been written for me. I always feel like I’m not good enough, never pretty enough, and always too heavy. My husband tells me I’m beautiful but I dont believe him.
    I know real beauty comes from within, and in the eyes of God I am beautiful.
    Thank you!

    • 28

      O Lord, let Lisa praise you because she is fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, so may Lisa know that full well deep in her spirit. Thank you for creating her with Eternity in mind!

  15. 29

    WOW!! Most powerful and well-articulated piece I’ve read in a long time. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! Beautiful expression of the heart of God. Absolutely stunning. Wow. Just… wow.

    • 30

      Your sweet words made my heart smile, Dana! Thank you! What would the world be if women began to encourage one another instead of comparing ourselves?

      F-R-E-E
      You are a revolution, sister!

  16. 31

    WOW! I really needed to hear this today. I have so been that girl in the dressing room. You could not have expressed it better! Thanks for this…

  17. 33
    liza lee grace says:

    Such a lovely post. As I read, I felt like you were describing me. I have long, straight, red hair. My skin is usually blemish-free. And yes, I shop at Lane Bryant on occasion. I’ve spent plenty of time getting frustrated in dressing rooms. But there’s a difference in me and the girl you described. I KNOW whose I am; I know that I am beautiful and strong and HIS.

    I loved this post simply because it doesn’t hurt to be reminded from time to time. Because even though I know, I’m human. Which means I can forget, especially when I have a mirror whispering lies.

    • 34

      Liza,
      Aren’t you glad we have a God who sings louder over us than the screaming lies shout at us? Hallelujah. You’re a red-headed wonder. Go change the world, girl!

  18. 35

    I LOVE this! It is a simple truth that no matter how old you are you struggle to live out daily. I have 2 young girls and I want to live, love, and teach this truth. Thank you for sharing this with us.

  19. 37

    I have been her…and how I love Psalm 139 something awful and I may have hugged you if you barged in an preached it!

    I have 2 daughters, one a preteen who already is struggling…I will remember this.

    thank you.

    Jen
    @jenchic

    • 38

      YES, Jen! hopefully there will be an army of women gettin’ their PREACH on in the dressing rooms of this world from now on! Agreeing in prayer for your sweet daughter…may she know as Scripture says, “You are beautiful my darling, beautiful in EVERY way.”

  20. 39

    You did something very beautiful in this post — you identified yourself with the weeping person in the dressing room ! It was vulnerable and real and a precious moment of grace ! Thank you ! I needed that today too !

  21. 41
    Melissa says:

    Thank you for sharing such a beautiful story. What an open vessel you were that day, to receive what God allowed you to be a part of, and then to offer His grace to this beautiful child of His that was in the dressing room next to you. I PRAY that she reads your article and feels God’s presence in every word.

  22. 43

    I SO love this. Every woman needs to hear and read.

  23. 45

    I have so many friends who have had breast cancer — some with a lumpectomy, some with bilateral mastectomy — would that they would read these comments. Yes, they have had a major change — God sees them as beautiful and always will. How do I know this — I too had cancer and when I try on clothes sometimes I just want to sit down in the dressing room and cry. I know God loves me, sometimes though I get overwhelmed.

    • 46

      Sweet Becky,
      You have come away from a hard battle, bearing the marks of the mission. You are not defined by your scars but rather your courage in the midst of adversity – and you must be such an inspiration to your friends now fighting their war against cancer. YOU ARE NOT YOUR SCARS…You are a shining example of Christ’s victory.

  24. 47
    Kim Fair says:

    Lauren – you know all too well that I could be that girl in the dressing room. You and I have discussed the self esteem issues. THANK YOU for sharing this blog. . . . it hit home to me and I so much appreciate your gift of connecting to others so well with your words. LOVE YOU!

  25. 49

    Wow! What encouraging words for all of us … and things that we need to share! Thanks so much for sharing this!

  26. 50

    Wow a good article and one can tell it affected a lot of ladies myself included. Thank you for the reminder. I am back after some time away due to health issues. The enemy of our soul will lie to us in so many ways. Ill health has been my constant companion for over 27 years now. I have not been able to work, or get disability, like millions of Americans who suffer invisible illnesses. At times I buy the lie that I am useless for I must live in a kind of bubble in order to survive, yet time with the Lord often exposes the lie for what it is and reveals the truth of His warm embrace. Thank you again for the reminder.
    Mrs. J.

  27. 53

    Girlfriend, this is so good. Just loved reading it.

    Best,
    Amanda

  28. 55

    Beautifully written! Thank you! I needed to hear this message this morning! I am one of those girls being lied to by the mirrors! <3

    • 56

      Sister Stephanie, I am bowing my head at the computer to pray for you right now. Father, help Stephanie to see what YOU see when she glances into the mirror. Give her courage to fight the lies with your Word. For Jesus’ sake, amen.

  29. 57

    Lauren! This is important! Thank you SO much!
    I will definitely be sharing this.
    As a recovering bulimarexic this is a subject that is close to my heart.
    Blessings to you, my beautiful friend.
    Love and Light,
    Joy

    • 58

      Joy, just like your name your comment has brought us all JOY to see you winning victory a day at a time! We are all walking arm in arm to take back what the Enemy has tried to steal from us.

      I am thrilled you were moved!
      By His grace we will not give up.

  30. 59

    It’s funny, because I’m on both sides of this. I’m the woman longing to tell everyone else how awesome and beautiful they are. But I’m also the one crying in the dressing room. Although I try to avoid dressing rooms these days, so it’s really my bedroom mirror instead. But there are still tears. Lots of tears.

    • 60

      Sweet Crystal,
      God longs to tell you about everything you are in Him. As Lisa Welchel said during a Women of Faith event once, “You delight HIS HEART in a million ways.”

      I pray you glimpse His great love for you today, friend!

  31. 61

    I just stumbled across this blog today and loved this post, thank you for writing!

  32. 63

    I have to know…did you? Did you comfort her? I actually believe that every store buys these special mirrors where when you try something on, all the clothes look good on you, until you get home and stand in front of your own mirror. Then, you realize that ruffle should not be in that area and that design actually broadens the waistline, and then you put it away in your closet…forever.

  33. 64

    Hello Nikole,
    I am sad to admit that I did not say these things to her in person, but I felt so sad about missing my opportunity that I came home and wrote these words to her that very night. I thank the Lord, who took my failure to seize an opportunity and used it to touch more women than just that one. He is so faithful, even when I am not.

    Blessings to you! And next time, I am gonna DO IT!

  34. 65

    I’ve always struggled with being comfortable in my own skin. I have never felt like I measure up. I know God is calling me to more and because of health issues this year, I’ve put on pounds. The mirror (and hormones) tell me I’m beyond help. Your words are so timely. Thank you.

    • 66

      Faye,
      I am delighted to know God used these words to minister to you. Just want to encourage you – you are loved, formed in His image, and filled with the beauty that only His son can bring to a life!

  35. 67
    Shannon Crane says:

    You’re beautiful, Lauren. Fun coming across your writing here!!!!! xo

  36. 69
    ardeth hines says:

    Yesterday I spent several hours at the bade pool of a Korean spa, with a shifting group of 30-40 women of all ages and all stark naked. The variety of shapes and sizes is quite amazing; all that we had in common was that we didn’t mind (that last word should be in italics for emphasis). There is no female body that isn’t beautiful in a thousand ways, even in the natural. Me, I have no right breast, a mutilated left breast and enough surgery scars for a quilt. But the hot water is wonderful, a true gift of God. And it is very therapeutic to find out that there is no ‘normal’. Satan — and Barbie dolls!!– have a lot to answer for!!

  37. 70

    Lauren, I feel like that woman was ME. I had a breakdown in the fitting room of a different store just yesterday. With bright red hair and thighs growing thicker than I would like them to, I just lost it. The Lord always knows what I need at the right moment. I came home and discovered this post. I couldn’t get past the line, “God so artfully hued”. Not just my red hair, but every inch of my body. This helped start the healing rising up in my heart. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!! <3

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  1. [...] (you can read those posts here, here, and here).  The other day, I read a post titled, “An Open Letter To The Girl In The Dressing Room.”  Those are only two examples of this “open letter” idea, two among a sea of [...]

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