This month, we’ve been talking about what it means to be “just” a mom, “just” an anything, really. I started by telling you about someone asking me if I was “just” a mom, and how that interaction impacted me.
And that really got me thinking about Leah, The Girl Nobody Wanted, a beautiful story from the Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones and how that story knocks me on my butt every time I read it.
I was blessed to grow up in a house where I was told I was beautiful. Where I was told I was smart. Where I was encouraged and pushed and loved.
Somehow the lie that I wasn’t beautiful, that I wasn’t enough, that I was less than or “just” whatever slipped its way in and managed to grow deeper and deeper roots over my whole life. I still don’t even think I fully see where all the roots have touched.
But just like Leah of the Bible, I also don’t see how far God’s redemption can reach. I can’t see all the ways that He has in mind for me, my children, our story, and our struggle, to reach across the generations and make an impact for His kingdom.
Leah was so unwanted, so second class, that even bearing sons for her husband wasn’t enough to earn his love. She lived in constant competition with her sister, sharing a household and a husband with her. Raising children who were embittered against one another.
Leah gave birth to a beautiful baby boy named Judah, who sold his brother into slavery, lied about his death, raised sons who were dishonorable, lied to their wife and denied her a chance to have a child, slept with someone he thought was a prostitute. Oh yes, you can read all about Judah’s antics in Genesis.
You know Jesus, our Savior, was born from the line of Judah. Out of a million small things we don’t see and some big things we do see, God redeemed this story and showed Leah that He wanted her, even when no one else did.
I know that God is redeeming my story. I see it in the work He has me doing and where He has me walking. I see it in my marriage and in my parenting. And I pray that I will continue to see it in my kids and grandkids.
And God is redeeming your story too.
In Genesis when God got done creating each part of creation, He looked at it and said “It is good” and it was.
Do you know that He said that about you when He created you, too? That He looked right at you, smiled in only a way that a proud Daddy does, and said “Wow. She is good.”
Psalm 139 is just jam-packed with so much truth about who we are to God and how He formed us. Check out verses 13 and 14 for emphasis:
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
Dear one, do you believe that, in your heart of hearts do you believe that YOU are fearfully and wonderfully made? That God painstakingly sat with His cosmic knitting needles and gave you every aspect of you that makes you, you? Your quirks, your talents, your interests, your dreams. All of that was put into you on purpose.
Your fearfully and wonderfully made-ness, what makes you YOU, embracing that is so important to see in this fierce inner struggle. Frankly, I’m just not made like any other woman and neither are you. We have similarities, sure, but we’re not the same. Our journeys are not the same. And we definitely have differences too.
What if instead of it being a comparison among ourselves, we saw it as an opportunity to acknowledge the fearfully and wonderfully made-ness of one another? What if we saw it as another opportunity to see how God is redeeming our story?
What if instead of seeing the woman who makes Pinterest gourmet cupcakes for her child’s birthday as a threat to our own store bought box mix plain Jane cupcakes, we high five her. We say “wow! Thanks for using your talents to make your kid’s birthday special.”
What if instead of seeing the lady on her way to the gym as a threat to our own I wear yoga pants but I don’t work out way of thinking, we say “It’s great that you go to the gym.”
Do you notice how those statements don’t have qualifiers? They don’t have any belittling pieces about ourselves, no slights of judgment on her or her motives. They are just short, simple truths.
Because believe it or not, by living our own fearfully and wonderfully made-ness, created by a God who lavishly loves us, and by walking confidently in that, we can each start see the gospel living out in each of us as we see our redemption story.
Sometimes, I wish I could influence that sweet 7 year who felt just all not beautiful, unwanted, not special. And I can’t do a thing about something that’s happened in the past.
What I can do is speak fearfully and wonderfully made-ness to my daughters. To each of you. To myself in the bathroom mirror each morning.
You are not JUST a mom.
You are fearfully and wonderfully made you, lavishly love and redeemed, YOU.