When I was a kid I never felt comfortable in my own skin. Courage was something that I struggled with more than the Cowardly Lion from the Wizard of OZ and nothing made me feel weaker, smaller and more insignificant than being teased.
Insults found me with more speedy accuracy than heat seeking missiles and the names that landed on me most were stupid, fat and tomboy. These terms were repeated more than Brady Bunch reruns and sadly girls were often the authors behind the most hurtful words.
For a very long time I hated girls. I thought they were vicious beasts who secretly paraded around like girls during the daytime but turned back into monsters at night. I tried unsuccessfully to escape the beings of “sugar and spice and all things nice” during my adolescence but by high school the damage had been done and my labels stuck closer to me than a sweaty shirt on a summer day.
The biggest obstacles in my youth were my problems in school. I could do little to stop my cemented status as a moron. After all, my intelligence had been a long running joke and my spelling is the stuff of legend.
I also don’t remember a time when I didn’t have body image issues, even as a young girl.
Names can define who we are and my names labeled me as a loser, which is why my call from God was not only terrifying it was completely absurd.
About nine years ago, after I had spent too much time nursing old wounds and distancing myself from women God told me to do something. In no uncertain terms He told me to write for women and I responded with my best Robert De Niro.
“Are you talking to me? Did you forget who I am? I am the girl who can’t even string a sentence together without grammatical errors. I am the girl who considers other women to be the enemy. I can’t write for women and more importantly I don’t want to.”
In perfect Job 38 style God humbled me, “Do you know who you are talking to? I am the God who created everything out of nothing; I’m the one that laid the foundations of the Earth, who gave boundaries to the sea and orders to the morning. Did you forget what I could do?” When I realized that God wasn’t kidding and I wasn’t being divinely punk’d I knew that my calling would require a super-sized serving of courage.
God’s call ripped open old wounds and exposed me to the kryptonite of female censure. All I wanted to do was run to a fortress of solitude, but God came to my rescue.
With rapid fire redundancy God used Romans 4:17 to make me courageous, “…the God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were….” Meaning? It is always opposite day in Heaven, He can cause your life to do a one-eighty if you let Him.
The unbelievable truth is that my story isn’t really about me and my struggles it is more about God and what He can do for people who seek Him. He can save them; He can turn them around and He can make them new.
Are you facing a difficulty that you don’t think you can face? Are you in desperate need of courage? I have good news. While you might feel like the Biggest Loser there is a Bigger God who can take your biggest weakness and make it your greatest strength.
If he can take a dyslexic female-hater and turn her into a writer who has a heart to encourage women then I’m convinced he can change just about anyone.
Do you know who you are talking to? And do you realize what He can do?
He is all the courage you need.