whole

I hope one day you wake up and realize that you are whole on your own.

That you don’t need a thousand words from other people to affirm your worth.

I hope you see the light in your own eyes and the beauty you are capable of bringing to the world.

Some days I see it, and other’s it’s hard.Processed with VSCO with a9 preset

But I see it most days now, whereas before such days came so few and far in between.

I always thought it would be impossible to believe that who I am is enough. It isn’t easy for anyone. All of us seem to have a fascination with “enough.” We are constantly thinking we have to do something outside of ourselves to be seen as complete, enough, valued, or worthy of love.

But maybe even if we never “accomplished” anything else for the rest of our lives our presence here would still be enough. Our laughter and love and hearts. Who we are at the core of our being is not defined by success or failure or accomplishments.

We can get so caught up in running after trophies that the world awards us for busyness, beauty, and fame, that we forget about why we’re here. That we forget that it is not selfish to step back from something. That it isn’t bad to let go of seasons and move on. That it isn’t a mistake to leave something that might be pulling us farther and farther away from who we were created to be–even if everyone thinks we should stay.

Insecurity-Wholeness-worthiness-they are laying on my heart heavily lately. How we spend all of our lives thinking we have something to prove when in reality we are missing our life because we are trying to convince people who don’t really care or people who are broken themselves to take the place of God and tell us we have what it takes. We spend all of our time looking for approval from people who don’t even have the capacity to give our soul what it needs.

So many of us can feel whole because we’re pieced together with the glue of people’s affirmations and approval and likes and comments. But if we took everything that people ever said about us away, would we fall to pieces? Have we been made whole by the one who truly makes whole or are we just looking for fillers to piece us together? Cheap glue may be easy and convenient but it doesn’t last forever. We’re going to start falling apart if all their opinions are holding us up, because they could change their minds in an instant.

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I don’t have it all figured out. In fact, I’m starting to realize how I know less and less every day. I don’t know the way God wants me to view myself. I’m still learning that. I don’t always remember why I’m here. I don’t always have faith like I should. Some days I’m overwhelmed with so many doubts I wonder if I still belong to Him. There are a lot of areas of my heart that are so stubborn and don’t want to obey. But then I remember I am still His when I look back and see how He is working.

To be whole-without their opinions-that is one of the things I am still learning. But when I see how He has changed my heart in the past year I know that He can do it in you too. He is able to allow you to see the beauty, value, and inherit worth in yourself.

I’ve realized that I don’t need people to affirm who I am every moment of every day. I’m not walking on eggshells wondering if people still like me the way I used to. I’m not insecure about every word I say or every little thing I do. If someone doesn’t have the eyes to see the beauty and worth in you, it has nothing to do with who you are and everything to do with their vision. You cannot spend all of your time proving to everyone in this world that you are enough and worthy of love.

You have to start spending all of your time telling yourself what the One who made you says about you.

I hope one day you wake up and realize that you are whole on your own. It might not be today, but you are getting there.

Take it from me and know, that nothing compares to the freedom that comes when The Lord sets you free from what has held you back for so long.

Speak, laugh, dance, write, and simply be.

You are so beautiful in His eyes.

Let that be your place of radiant confidence that enables you to follow Him wherever He might take you,

you are whole.

 

SaveSave

the beautiful is coming

Maybe you’re in the ugly today.

An ugly situation that you wish you could change. A heart you want God to revive. You just want flowers and spring but your heart is caught in the dead of winter.

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Deuteronomy 8 doesn’t just promise that God has a purpose in the unexpected, it promises even more. { read part one here }

This has unexpectedly become one of my favorite chapters in Scripture. Let me tell you, that once you begin to study God’s Word, once the Holy Spirit begins to speak to you and come alive through the pages of The Word, you get hooked. It’s become this way with the chapter I’m reading, I can’t put it down. I can’t rush through it because I don’t want to. I think there is enough truth and promises in this chapter to read it every day and never get tired of it.

So here’s part two.

For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, flowing out in the valleys and hills, a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey, a land in which you will eat bread without scarcity, in which you will lack nothing, a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills you can dig copper. And you shall eat and be full, and you shall bless the LORD your God for the good land he has given you.

Take care lest you forget the LORD your God by not keeping his commandments and his rules and his statutes, which I command you today, lest, when you have eaten and are full and have built good houses and live in them, and when your herds and flocks multiply and your silver and gold is multiplied and all that you have is multiplied, then your heart be lifted up, and you forget the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. -Deuteronomy 8:7-14

After the promise of holy in the hard at the beginning of the chapter, God promises to bring His people to a beautiful season.

If I had to guess I would imagine that you’re either walking through a season that is difficult, or have at some point in your life.

The beautiful thing about our God is that He promises redemption for every season. Although your heart has been bowed low in this valley, God is redeeming that unexpected challenge, and bringing you up to a good place. A full place. A satisfying place.

This land he is bringing you into-it is not mediocre. It is no less than the most glorious season you could imagine. Because in your darkness He is bringing the incredible light of His goodness. A rich land. Where your soul’s joy will abound. A land where you will be given diamonds-the good things you longed for and thought you could manufacture up on your own.

The rubble will be exchanged for rubies.

The dirty pebbles you held onto and thought so beautiful-the ones who didn’t want to let go-they’ll fall from your hands as Jesus places in your palms the most beautiful pearls. This place and this new season of beauty will still hold hard days and confusing emotions, but you will be satisfied.

Trust that Jesus is bringing a beautiful season in your life, even if you are in the dark today. Trust that His light will come bursting forth. Trust that He hasn’t given up on you, even if you feel like giving up, or even if you have. You may be finished, you may be tired, you may be bored of who you are and where you are but He is not.

You will come to be satisfied because of where you have been, and where you have walked. Because you will have learned that any hint of goodness is from the Lord, and is a gift. You will have learned that apart from His strength you can’t put your feet on the floor and get out of bed each morning.

 

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Because of where you have been, you will bless the Lord for where He is bringing you.

You shall eat and be full because you have been brought to the place where you know who gives the food and His face is the only face you see.

This doesn’t promise that you will be brought by the Lord to the scenario in your life you’ve always wanted. Often King Jesus loves us far too much to give us what we want. He gives us what He wants and slowly tunes our hearts until His will is our fullest, most vibrant desire.

When you have been brought to this season of joy, don’t make the mistake of thinking once again that you can do it on your own. Don’t look back constantly, but when you do, do it to remember how faithful God has been. Do it to surrender the future because you know God has brought you this far.

Unless you are continually fighting to find your joy in Jesus Christ alone, you will always be pulled back to wandering in the wilderness, no matter what season God brings you to.

So when this season comes and the blessings come, don’t set your heart on the given, but on the Giver. The beautiful is coming-even if you don’t see it today. The greatest thing about our Jesus is the hope that He gives us, that even if the beautiful never comes in this life, it will be full and complete when we are with our Savior together.

insecurity and I broke up

Insecurity and I broke up last night.

April 13, 2016–

been there. over. done.

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I never thought of myself as being held captive by insecurity.

I never thought it was the source of so much hurt and hindrance.

I never thought it was the breeding ground of the fear and lack of confidence in my life.

I never thought it was the thief that was robbing me of my God-given joy.

But my eyes-oh were they opened.

It’s been keeping me back from who I was created to be.

and now I see my pride,

and now I see my self-obsession,

and now I see my desperate need to be free.

I didn’t realize I have been held captive by insecurity for so long because I didn’t realize what insecurity truly was. Little did I know it was the source of what has been pulling my heart apart.

It’s time it is long gone from this girl’s heart. This heart that’s ready to be set free to run wild with God-exalting dreams. This heart that’s ready to explode with a love so vibrant and leave all of herself behind in the pursuit of Her God.

& so we’ve broken up.

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It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. -Galatians 5:1

Insecurity tends to be defined as a generalized, vague notion in our minds. We might say insecurity is “not being content with how we were made” or “wishing we looked different.”

But oh it is so much more than that.

I opened Beth Moore’s book, So Long Insecurity, and I’ll never be the same. Let me pause right here and say that if you haven’t read it–please pick it up. So much of what is on my heart to share with you has its roots in her words and reflections ( I owe that woman some serious gratitude).

Every insecure heart pulsates reverberations of one thing:

doubt.

doubt in self & the beautiful person you were created to be.

doubt in God & the unfathomable worth He has placed within you.

Insecurity refers to a profound sense of self-doubt–a deep feeling of uncertainty about our basic worth and our place in the world. Insecurity is associated with chronic self-consciousness, along with a chronic lack of confidence in ourselves and anxiety about our relationships. The insecure man or woman lives in constant fear of rejection and a deep uncertainty about whether his or her own feelings and desires are legitimate. -Joseph Nowinski

The insecure heart places unrealistic expectations on other people to fill what only God was made to fill, and runs on to the next thing if those expectations aren’t met, breaking down friendships and relationships and asking broken people to be its god.

The insecure heart weeps at the very thought of rejection. It is overly sensitive to every little thing someone else says or does. It lives in constant fear that someone will disapprove.

The insecure heart breaks the moment someone else does better. It wants to be a “the” instead of an “a.”

The insecure heart is not content with being average, but wants to soar higher, just to be better than someone else. Everything is a competition. Everything is a fight to be best.

The insecure heart wants to be the highest priority to their friend, boyfriend, family, or boss. It wants constant affirmation from these people that

And yet in all of this mess of an insecure heart–the most insecure person will often appear some level of perfect. Because perfection is what a diseased heart will use to patch the pain of insecurity.

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As I read through the pages of Beth Moore’s book, every word pressed into my heart and echoed,

Madyson: this is you.

This is you because all of this insecurity that is weighing you down is rooted in pride, self-centeredness, and self-obsession.

This is you because insecurity has made you do some stupid things. Insecurity has made you sit quiet and not speak for fear of saying something stupid. Insecurity has made you tell people you’re “quiet” as a cover up-as a lame excuse that disguises the real you. Insecurity has made a fool out of you. It’s stolen your life, and it’s held you back.

This is you, Madyson. Because you’ve placed your security in the hands of other people. When you do that, when you give your security and purpose to another person or people or friends to hold–they drop it every time.

This is you, Madyson. Because you’ve doubted yourself so much it’s pathetic. Truly sad. You’ve doubted so much the beautiful person God has made you to be. You’ve doubted your potential. You’ve kept dreams hidden too far inside.

This is you, Madyson. Because you’ve felt yourself so inferior to everyone else. Because you’ve let yourself be held captive by a lie for way too long.

I’ve spent hours telling God I am done with this. Begging forgiveness. Seeking to understanding what it truly is. But I know that it will not be over in an instant. It takes time to heal a heart that has been bruised.

But when those thoughts of self-doubt, inferiority, and fear arise I am standing up and recognizing them for what they are. I’m calling my enemy out, he’s had enough time to mess with me. I’m claiming the truth and promises of God’s Word over my heart. I’m posting sticky notes in places I see them to remind me of this truth.

It may be a battle to overcome this,

I say bring it on. I have the power of Christ in me.

Slowly, little by little, God’s truth will begin to erase those lies I have believed for so long. As I feed my heart and soul with that truth, I pray it fills my spirit, until all of me knows the perfect fullness of resting secure in who I was made to be. Of reaching my fullest potential in Him.

I was made to do hard and holy things. Insecurity will no longer keep me back from living a full life of joy and peace in my Savior. I will listen to His voice, His opinion of me, and His words alone.

Since the night I decided I’d had enough-and the next morning after that spent with Jesus-I have never known so much freedom in my heart. 

It is a beautiful thing.

Next time insecurity calls- I’m not picking up.

I’ve moved on, I’ve had enough, and #IamSECURE

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p.s. this is just part one of me sharing my journey through insecurity. please follow along as I share more of my heart with you in the next few weeks and months, and ways through which I am seeking to overcome it.  Sisters, in the Lord #weareSECURE.

risen for relationship

 

she fell in love with Jesus

and everything else soon fell away

every other desire–

except the smile of His face upon hers

except His presence and grace and fullness

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rae

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she fell in love with Jesus-

and man’s approval fell to the side

she didn’t even care anymore what they thought

she wasn’t deterred by rejection

or concerned with meeting their standards.

 

she fell in love with Jesus-

Her Savior was resurrected

risen

He rose for a relationship with her

and she knew this within the depths of her being

this–His resurrection–it gave her life a whole new meaning

this love poured out through His blood captivated her

it stole her heart, and all that she was

it gave her freedom

freedom to be all He had made her to be.

and now there was one resolve in her soul,

to be wholly His

in thought

in word

in deed.mak

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Because that is truly why He rose. for His glory, for our greatest joy, for His deepest and most ardent love to be poured out over us through His agony. His blood brought beauty. His resurrection, relationship.

The truest Lover of our hearts laid down all His glory and magnificence so that He could know us eternally as His beloved.

So that He could rescue us from the clutches of ourselves. From self-obsession and eternal damnation. From the world, from the evil of our own hearts, from death. We are rescued from death forever.

& praise God we can know Him. We can walk with Him each day for all of eternity. We can know His fullness, the beauty of His presence and the joy of His face upon us.

because we have been labeled perfect.

blameless.

enough.

& it’s all because of Jesus.

 

 

what approval addicts need

our hearts are all aching for someone, or many people, to tell us we’re approved.

it’s a longing in all of us to be told we are enough and accepted. it can be a poison that infiltrates our bones and destroys who we were made to be.

if we let it go on long enough, we’ll soon find ourselves sick.

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consuming thoughts about gaining approval in the eyes of men are rooted in self-obsession. we’re looking and running after what only God can give us. we’re looking for love in all the wrong places, from all the wrong sources because it can only be found in Christ alone.

no matter how hard you try, the world’s approval will never be enough! but you will find yourself destroyed as you keep searching after what will never fill. man’s approval can never satisfy you because it’s not supposed to. we were not created to live to please man “in whose nostrils is breath” (Isaiah 2:22).

and we can’t serve two masters. we have a choice: serve the world, or serve Jesus Christ.

I think I’ve got an idea:

 

let’s long to be broken of our selfishness and pour our lives out for others.

let’s forget about ourselves and look only to Him.

let’s care less about whether someone approves and more about their soul.

let’s stop craving approval from a world that hates the God we serve.

let’s step out in faith and forget “I”

Just JESUS.

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John Piper’s words cut straight to my heart,

“So my counsel to every Christian who struggles with the fear of man’s disapproval and the craving of man’s approval, which is all Christians, more or less, is this: Realize that in Jesus Christ, in a solid, God-chosen relationship with Jesus, man’s disapproval cannot hurt you and man’s approval cannot satisfy you. Therefore, to fear the one and crave the other is shear folly. “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32) — free from the fear of not getting other people’s approval and craving it as though you just got to have it.

And the truth that set you free from that is: “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31). You don’t need to fear anyone’s disapproval when God almighty is for you. Think about it. Let it sink in. And the other truth is that knowing Jesus, looking outside ourselves to the glory of the Son of God in the gospel in the triumph for us over evil, looking to him is all-satisfying. “I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:8).

So the itch is satisfied, not with successful self-regard, but with breathtaking Christ-regard.”

and so the solution to this obsession isn’t to love ourselves more and be more confident in our individuality, it’s to forget ourselves, to lose ourselves in His grace, to reach up and out to a hurting world. it’s to become consumed instead with pouring ourselves out and living to make others rejoice in our God. it’s to forget about our own agendas and reputations and dreams and concerns and lay them all down at His feet.

is this something you struggle with? me too, girl! leave me a comment or shoot me an email (beautiefullthings@gmail.com) to share what helps you fight this and live for an Audience of One!

check out John Piper’s whole article on this:  http://www.desiringgod.org/interviews/gospel-wisdom-for-approval-junkies

on “s e l f – e s t e e m”

stripes

from the song lyrics to the t-shirts, from books to billboards, this world is successful in captivating and controlling and conforming so. many. minds.

the world out there-which perhaps you’ve let inside-is charging the platforms with command after command to love yourself. to embrace who you are just where you are and for what you are. to never change. to stay true to the inmost heart of your being because you shouldn’t be anything else. and yet it portrays images of unattainable perfection and beauty and allure. it magnifies the impossible. and it shouldn’t come as a surprise-the world and the devil and the flesh are the greatest champions of whispering roaring lies.

and the church-we’ve retaliated with broken bullets. with nothing. the message of the “church” is now seeking to persuade and attaining to convince you that you must love yourself because you are beautiful, and you don’t need a change. but they leave out the part that you are nothing

that is, apart from Christ. and soul, you need a radical change.

in this generation of insecurity and impossible standards and painful soul confusion, the solution to our problem is not self-esteem. it is not an improved body image and a growing flaunt of self-confidence. it is not becoming fully persuaded of our own beauty that will heal our broken souls and our insecure longings.

oh this church-this church of America-needs to see that there is nothing to praise of self. there is no confidence to be gained in exuding your true personality-because your true personality is deceitfully wicked and desperately depraved above all else.

but there is a beauty in surrender to a King who is most beautiful. and the heart that bows its knees to receive His gift is the most secure of all. resting, trusting, beautiful.

such a heart does not radiate a show of self-confidence and self-love, but rather becomes a reservoir for the love of Christ which is broad and wide and full. and as His love fills this heart, this heart overflows. onto every soul this love pours out, in words that make stronger and actions that give recklessly.

and such a heart is so captivated by its Lover, that it looses time to think of what it wants to gain. this heart is not consumed with looking good, and appealing to others while in this breath of a life-but doing good, and serving others.

you will have no peace in striving to love yourself-because honestly, the problem is that we love ourselves too much. the problem is that we’re even concerned about our confidence-instead of radiating His. the problem is that we want to be esteemed, when truly and really we should be like Him-

“esteemed not”

oh look to The Cross to find your beauty. lose yourself, oh soul-in Him. fall madly in love with the breather of the existence of stars and galaxies and oceans. surrender yourself and forget all your insecurities.

because at the feet of our King, we can forget who we have been. at the feet of our King we can find His glorious confidence-that we are the Beloved of God. get alone and spend hours with the God of all existence, and you will not be the same. because His story and His plan and His glorious unfolding is so much greater than you.

and when you forget yourself-the world will blink and stare, wide-eyed with wonder at such a confidence, because you will have the confidence of Christ.

love,

(( mm ))

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