Thursday, October 31, 2013

My path to knowing I'm beloved--When A Woman Finds Her Voice

I love words. I love everything about them. I love how they can fail you but also tell of everything in your heart. I love how the littles use them (completely wrong in context and usually without all of their consonants or vowels). I love how they tell the listener exactly how you are feeling. I love how they avenge you or make you look silly. I love that some people know more words than others. Most of all - above all else - I love that words help us to understand what Jesus did for us...why He came. That within the Word of God - the bible - we can find all of the promises, truths and hope that will sustain us from one disaster to the next.

After spending time leading worship over the weekend, I began thinking about words from the songs we sang. One in particular, "Not For A Moment" by Meridith Andrews. I love the words within the verses and chorus of this song...
After All, you are constant.
After All, You are only good.
After All, you are sovereign.
Not for a moment, will you forsake me. 
Sovereign. Such a powerful word. It elicits feelings for me because of my belief in an all-knowing King. I am a Christian. I serve a God who is in fact, sovereign. But what does that mean?

The official definition of a sovereighn God is a God who is in complete control. A god who has complete power over all of the earth and everyone in it. Sovereignty could be a stumbling block to an atheist or unbeliever because of inner turmoil that if God is in control of everything, why would he allow us to suffer so much here on this planet? If our sovereighn God is so in love with us, why all the pain and destruction?

As described within the pages of Jo Ann Fore's new book, When A Woman Finds Her Voice, 
" Short of heaven, I can't find anywhere God promised a pain-free zone. But He does have good things in store for us. He promises. And He keeps His promises. Anytime we're tempted to doubt God's hand in the circumstances of our lives, we need to meditate of Psalm 103. Here we are reminded (promised) that God not only forgives our sins, redeems us, saves our lives, crowns us with love and mercy, but He wraps us in goodness and, "makes everything come out right"
The yucky truth is that sinful human beings deserve nothing from a Holy God. We cannot manipulate God in prayer. We cannot expect a rich, pain-free life, as expressed by a man made false gospel that speaks nothing but prosperity. Neither can we expect to reach heaven because we are a "good person." Jesus Christ has been provided to us as the way to heaven. (John 14:6)

Part of God's sovereignty is that despite our unworthiness, he chooses to love and save us anyway. He gives everyone the freedom to accept or reject his love.

Bad stuff happens. Really terrible things occur in this life - entering our hearts and threatening to take from us, sometimes threatening to take everything from us. "At a time when hope threatens to never rise again, the power in the simple truth of God's word can call one's spirit to attention, can transform lives." (Jo Ann Fore, When A Woman Finds Her Voice 

For me, the pain of this world came fast and hard. Very early on, the family life I called home threatened my very sense of security. I remember walks home from school, wishing I could manufacture the environment I would walk into. I knew that what the afternoon held could only be determined by the one who was governing our home- Satan. I didn't know it then, but Satan was the responsible party for the elimination of my carefree childhood, and I can imagine he was thrilled about that unfortunate truth. I had the weight of the world presiding on my shoulders. I worked hard to fix - always trying to fix things enough to make everyone happy. I thought if I cared hard enough, loved everyone enough, cleaned the house enough, succeeded in school enough, succeeded in sports enough and just flat out pretended enough, that my home would be a normal healthy place. The problem was, I was never enough. I was never good enough or pretty enough or smart enough and Satan had his way in fooling me into finally convincing my tired soul into believing that my inadequacies as a young child were the reason my family life was a disaster. Do you have any idea what that does to the heart of a little girl? Always feeling, no always knowing, that whatever I did was never going to be good enough? I was exhausted and sad and feeling worthless before I was even 15 years old, and this was just the beginning.

I would do anything for attention, and I got plenty of it, but the quick realization flooded my soul that attention and admiration for my pretender self was never going to be good enough either. My heart was so lonely and no one ever knew. The pain of never being accepted or loved or cared for crashed around my heart and thoughts of the false reality that I was unlovable were sometimes too much to bear.

It wasn't until I allowed words - words given to me in the form of forever promises - to penetrate my heart that I was able to begin to fully realize how lovely I am, and that all the ugly realities of a young girl being swept aside were not God's plan for my life.

There is something my friend Jo Ann says in her book, When A Woman Finds Her Voice. Something that even after all the healing I have allowed God to orchestrate in my heart, brings me to my knees. She's speaking of full healing - the kind that only a sovereign God can bring.

"When she learned how much God loved her, 
how much he valued her, 
the soul-corroding shame lost its power." 
Jo Ann Fore When A Woman Finds Her Voice

To me, the truth that I was so very loved by a God who holds my tomorrows was the golden nugget that I needed to begin to heal from living a life of 'not good enough'. Reading this very quote reminds me of a time when crawling out from under an unimaginable pain of 'why did all of that happen' into the loving arms of a savior and the truth that I could trust in the promises of One who loved me so much that His 'mercies are new every morning' was the exact transformation I needed to become the whole version of myself that God had intended me to be.

I wasn't enough by myself, but I was always enough for Him. Satan had convinced me I could never be worth anything to anyone, but God has promised that I am worth far more than any riches here on earth, and tat there is no flaw in me. 

I spent my childhood and most of my adolescence just wishing someone would hold me and tell me it was all somehow going to be OK. I found that - but not the way I had searched for. In my searching for all of the wrong things  the temporary fixes, I found a God who is enthralled by my beauty. He makes nothing that is not worthy of love - I believe that is why we are in 'His image' so there could be no mistake of that. 

Another song - one that slays me every time has truths directly from the word from which I  was saved:

Under my mercy come and wait
Till we are standing face to face
I see no stain on you my child

You're beautiful to me
So beautiful to me

I sing over you my song of peace
Cast all your care down at my feet
Come and find your rest in me

I'll breathe my life inside of you
I'll bear you up on eagle's wings
And hide you in the shadow of my strength

I'll take you to my quiet waters
I'll restore your soul
Come rest in me and be made whole

You're my beloved, you're my bride
To sing over you is my delight
Come away with me my love

 Yes, it's all going to be OK. More than OK. Find your voice. God has a magnificent plan to use you for the glory of His kingdom. I can't promise you it's is all going to feel good or that it is always going to be easy, but I can promise you that it is - without a shadow of a doubt - going to be OK in every sense of the word.

Do you want to find your voice?  
Find out how important your voice is to the God I speak of. 
Read more below.

This week we are celebrating the official release of When A Woman Finds Her Voice: Overcoming Life’s Hurts & Using Your Story to Make a Difference. Join us? Leave a comment over at Jo Ann's post and be entered for a chance to win a FREE copy. Meanwhile be sure to head over to and sign up for a FREE Bible Study. And if you can’t wait and want to go ahead and pick up the book, Jo Ann is offering some awesome FREE gifts for you this week only with your purchase.


  1. Bless you for this. Your words are wise and so true. So thankful for you and your voice!

    1. Thanks for your comment! And for stopping by. Your voice is beautiful too!

  2. Sweet Jesus!
    You have captured my heart with this post Michelle.
    I too, love words. I too, know the stomach churning anxiety of a little girl walking that walk home after school. My heart is captured by His Song as well. When I think about His eyes of Love upon me....I too melt down low.
    Thank you so much. Bless you my dear sister.

    1. Bless you! Thank you for your words. It is amazing how we can connect over similar pasts. God is so amazing. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Thank you for your heart Michelle, you are a true gift!

    1. As are you, sweet Sarah! Thanks for stopping by.

  4. Oh what freedom comes when we learned we are loved & valued by the King of Kings. Thank you for your brave voice!

  5. Dear Michelle,
    Thank you so much! This was lovely, heartfelt and true. And it is exactly what I need to hear, believe, let transform me on the inside and hold onto right now. Thank you for sharing so openly about your feelings and experiences and how God has met you.
    I am really blessed and encouraged through you this morning!
    Bless you,

    1. Oh Susan, I am so glad my words have reached your heart! You are never walking alone! Holding onto the truths and promises in His word will NEVER let us down. God bless you, sweet sister.