On March 7th, I traveled to Austin and spent the weekend with a precious group of moms and tweens.
I witnessed moms and daughters set aside their imperfections to worship God, who IS Perfection, together. I heard that a mother and daughter chose to read their Bible during free time, together.
Pipe cleaner crowns were paraded around and admired.
A grandmother was roped into a harness and flown high above our heads.
I saw the way these almost-teens looked at their mamas as they played and got dirty together. I beheld what happened when mothers told their daughters how beautiful and significant they are to them.
The world may not think much of these moments- but I certainly do.
I bet God delights in these moments, as well. For there is another daughter, mentioned in the Gospel of Luke, who was “dirty.” As I prepared my retreat message, the eyes of my heart beheld what happened when Jesus looked into her eyes and accepted her.
The world may not think much of this moment or Jesus’ opinion of this particular daughter- but I certainly do. So should you…
I ended my talk with the story of a woman found in the Gospel of Luke, chapter 7 verses 36-50. This woman had a reputation- her “sins were many” (verse 47). Though Luke omitted her name the host of the party knew who she was, and he condemned her.
Jesus did not condemn her. He welcomed her. Though her sins were many, this woman knew that Jesus’ opinion of her ultimately counted. So she wept openly before her accuser and anointed the feet of her Savior.
She gets it.
Or rather, this woman gets Jesus.
Losing extra pounds or wearing a designer robe and sandals wasn’t what she needed to feel loved or accepted. She needed and received the forgiveness of Jesus:
“Your sins are forgiven… Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
~Jesus, in Luke 7:48b,50b ESV
Jesus’ opinion set her free.
I am like this woman. You are like this woman. We need to decide whose opinion of us ultimately counts, because a multitude of sources will tell us what we should do or how much we should weigh to be beautiful or accepted. But Jesus’ opinion saves, forgives, and sets us free.
So whose opinion counts?
Though you may feel unnoticed, unnamed, slandered… you are never nameless to Jesus. He knows your situation.
Jesus sees you.
Though you may be criticized, gossiped about, or abused by those around you, or by those who supposedly love you-
Jesus esteems you.
Though our sins are many, never forget whose opinion matters ultimately.
Jesus forgives and sets you free.
I encourage you to set aside your imperfection and worship Perfection today.
Make a pipe cleaner princess crown.
Stop allowing criticism or numbers on a scale to define you.
Remember whose opinion of you ultimately counts.
I also want to say thank you for lifting me up in prayer as I prepared to speak. I also felt so welcomed by all the GOGM leadership, Grannies, moms, and tweens- thank you!
Lastly, I am sending a big cyber hug out to Catherine and Jen- thank you for believing in me, for allowing me to serve with you, and for letting me wear my fabulous purple Kansas State shirt- Go Cats! 🙂
***Retreat pictures courtesy of Girls of Grace Ministries