Dear perfect lady in front of me at the grocery store:
You stand there, all 110 pounds of you, in that trendy, striped sundress, with perky, man-altered breasts, freshly painted toes and fingers and stylish blond hair looking so pulled together. You look so perfect! As I stand behind you looking at my half-picked-off pink toe polish, no make-up, messy hair hidden behind a hat, I become all too aware of my mid-forties growing frame.
As my voice of jealousy continues to blare in my ears, I hear another voice, a bit softer and gentler voice saying, “She is beautiful.”
“Heck ya,” I think, “look at her!”
The voice continues, “Not her outward appearance…I love what is inside her.” At that moment, conviction was swift and hard as I looked at the beautiful young girl again. Instead of seeing too much skin, I saw her heart. The Lord gave me a picture of a tender precious heart but it had a hole in it. I sensed her deep longing to be known and accepted. The Lord spoke past my own insecurity and said, “I love her and accept her just as she is.” He loves her just as he loves me.
He beckoned me with the words, “Tell her, tell her she is accepted by me just as she is. Tell her I love her. Tell her she is made in the image of Almighty God…Jenn, tell her.” My heart beat faster, my hands became sweaty and fear took over. So friends, at that moment I would love to tell you I tapped her shoulder and spoke life, blessing and truth into her, but, I did not. She walked away and I paid for my groceries. Sadness entered my heart and I made a crazy promise to the Lord that, “If I see her by my car, I will be faithful.” I desperately looked for her in the parking lot; she was gone. The moment was lost and I had experienced yet another epic fail for the kingdom!
Have you experienced an epic fail? Have you ever lost out on the blessing God had for you due to fear? I often wonder where I would be if fear did not have ahold of me. Are you human too? Are you growing?
I believe these are spiritual growing pains.
“People look at the outward appearance but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7
Unfortunately, I struggle at times with this but, that day, maybe, just maybe, the epic fail was to teach me. To teach me that failure happens but–what am I going to do about it now? To teach me that you and I you are loved by the Great I Am who knit us and created us in His image; that we are all standing in this grocery store line of life looking at those around us with judgmental eyes but the Lord. He sees our hearts and wants to reveal His love to each of us. Failure sucks! Just no other way around it. But, overcoming and learning from it is invaluable to our growth. So, whether you are the perky beautiful young lady with a hole in your heart, the worn-out mom who feels neglected, or the grandma striving for purpose standing in that grocery line, let’s pick each other up and walk boldly to Jesus and let Him heal our epic failures.