“I wish I could be brave, like you” was all she spoke through her tears, and then she was gone. Before I could think, let alone move toward her or respond, she turned and disappeared through the crowd.
If I had one more second, maybe 2, I like to imagine that I would have said, “you can be!” But I didn’t get another second. I prayed, “Lord, will you please tell her for me?”
“Like you,” she said. It wasn’t the first time I’d heard it.
34 years ago was the first time, and I never forgot it. Who would want to be more like me?
This passion in my heart — for women to understand how beautiful they are in their uniqueness, how God created them for a greatness that is uniquely their own, that the lover of their soul created them with great care and purpose for such a time as this — was beginning even before that day 34 years ago. It began even before He formed me.
This is what I wanted that woman who ran away to know. But, the humbling reality is this: whether I had 2 seconds or 2 hours, it was beyond my ability to convince her of her worth.
No words that I possess, however eloquent or compelling, can speak the language her heart needs to hear. I can be an encouragement to her, of course, and I always welcome such opportunities, but my words have their limits. They penetrate only so deep.
My words go in and mix with all the other words she’s heard about herself over the years: words from parents, friends, boyfriends, television, herself.
And those words have power. They form our perception of who we are. They shape the way we live our lives.
Let that sink in for a moment. We base the reality of who we are and how we live our lives based on what other people — broken people — say about us or to us.
That’s entirely too much power to allow another person to have.
God willing, as long as I have breath, I will do my best to communicate a woman’s worth, all the while recognizing that my words sink only so deep.
There is a language that God speaks into the deepest recesses of our heart. It’s a place reserved for Him alone. He speaks the language of truth — truth about who He is and who we are in Him.
Read His word. Speak to Him. Be still and listen for His voice. Let Him drown out all the others. Let the one who formed you tell you who you are.