still your [love] goes on.

18 Oct
The Lord has blessed me in my current season with a really awesome women’s Bible study. I got plugged into the Bible study through my aerobics instructor at the gym. I guess sometimes gym crushes pay off.The theme of this Bible study is “body image issues” so when I first heard about it, I didn’t really feel that strongly that I should go. I was blessed to be spared really any body image issues growing up. I kind of felt like a study about this topic wasn’t really “my thing.” But I kept getting a tickle in the back of my heart that told me I should go. So I asked my aerobics instructor if there was still a spot, and a week later I was at her house with a journal, a pen, and a whole lot of butterflies.It turns out that “body image issues” is kind of everyone’s “thing” at some point, even mine. My flesh still clings to wickedness in so many areas, and what I’ve always thought were funny self-deprecating remarks are actually the proof of a girl who doesn’t believe – and sometimes doesn’t act as if – she was created beautiful, worthy, or enough.

My story is not unlike many other Jesus-loving women’s stories; I found my self worth in something other than God: men. Sure, I knew God loved me. Sure, I loved Him back. But I couldn’t hold God’s hand or feel God’s touch. So I abandoned Him for a season in my life. I didn’t live like I was wed first and foremost to a loving God who made me beautiful. I lived like a frivolous woman who had not committed herself to anyone. I lived like a prostitute.

And then he set me free from the chains of that life.

Last night in our Bible study, we read Ezekiel 16. Ezekiel was a prophet who had been given a word from the Lord to be given to Jerusalem. In this allegory, Ezekiel depicts Jerusalem as God’s chosen wife, to whom He has given love, beauty, adoration, and protection.

“…’so you were adorned with gold and silver; your clothes were of fine linen and costly fabric and embroidered cloth. You became very beautiful and rose to be a queen. And your fame spread among the nations on account of your beauty, because the splendor I had given you made your beauty perfect.’”
[vs. 13 – 14]

In return, Jerusalem betrayed God, her husband. And Ezekiel describes Jerusalem as an adulterous wife who is acting like a prostitute.

It felt like a letter directly from God. Sometimes God whispers to me, sometimes he gently nudges. Last night he screamed.

“…’but you trusted in your beauty and your fame to become a prostitute. You lavished your favors on anyone who passed by, and your beauty became his. You took the fine jewelry I gave you, the jewelry made of my gold and silver, and you made for yourself male idols and engaged in prostitution with them. And you took your embroidered clothes to put on them, and you offered my oil and incense before them. Also the food I provided for you – the fine flour, olive oil and honey I gave you to eat – you offered as fragrant incense before them. That is what happened,’ declared the Lord.”
[vs 15 – 19]

When I trusted in my beauty, I felt empty. When I gave my love, my heart, my body away to anyone who passed by, I acted like a prostitute.

I took God’s best and threw it at the feet of men who never appreciated me anyways. Men who probably don’t waste any thoughts on me at all.

It emptied me.

My soul was created to love and serve my God first and foremost. When I don’t live like that, I break his heart.

When I put anything in front of God, I treat him like second best; like he isn’t my first commitment, my first love.

I have been blessed with a second chance – the type of second chance that never runs out. I have been blessed out of the overflow of God’s love for me, a woman who trusted in anything except her Creator.  A woman who put beauty, acceptance, and fame before the fullness of God’s adoration for my heart.

A woman who lived like a prostitute.

He scooped me up and put me back in my rightful place: on my knees before him. The view from here is incredible.
I used to feel so empty. I feel so full now.
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