Tag Archives: measured

You are a daughter of the King

 

I have battled with my weight most of my life, to different degrees. And most of my life I have received messages that because of my appearance I did not measure up, I was less than.

In high school I was told, “you have such a pretty face, if only you weren’t fat.” In college I watched as my girlfriends always got asked to dance when we went out, and I sat alone at the table.

My first real job out of college a colleague and friend told me how she and our boss (a woman) had been talking about me, discussing how I was so smart and hardworking, it was a shame I was overweight because this would hold me back in my career. Years later, a male boss told me I didn’t have “the right look” to be the face of the company in the media, even though I wrote all of our press releases and marketing materials (a male boss who was 50 pounds overweight, I might add).

At my healthiest I was a size 12, having lost 60 pounds after giving birth to my twins. I was running 3-4 days a week, even participating in 5k’s and 10k’s. It was hard to keep up this workout schedule with three very young children and a full-time job with a commute, but I did my best. I felt strong and beautiful. In 2007 I started a new job. I was making good money, doing interesting work, well-respected, and getting to travel the world. I felt really good about myself. About 5 months into this job I went on a business trip to Thailand. I was sitting in the hotel lobby with a male colleague talking…I don’t even remember what the topic of conversation was but at some point it turned to health and fitness and he asked me if I had ever thought about exercising. Before I could answer, he said “you know if you worked out you could lose some weight.”

This colleague had looked at me and decided that I must not take care of myself. Because I did not fit his ideal of health or beauty he assumed I did not exercise. Even though I was the fittest I’d ever been in my adult life. Even though I had just run my first 10k the month before.

In that moment I felt defeated. Like a failure. Because despite all the good things I was doing for myself, to take care of my body, I did not meet his standard of health. I didn’t measure up to what my colleague or much of the world around me declared as fit and beautiful.

And I felt inferior.

Nothing had changed. I still had that job. I still had my health and strength. I still looked the same on the outside. But on the inside I felt unworthy. I felt unloved.

Because I was measuring myself and my worth against worldly standards, it was easy to believe what the world told me. I let one off-hand remark, one opinion from someone I barely even knew, tear me down.

And it’s not just about my appearance. Throughout my adult-life I have at times felt like a bad mom, bad friend, and bad daughter. I have judged my marriage against worldly standards and found it lacking. I have doubted my skill and ability in my career based on another’s harsh words.

I have craved praise and compliments and confused approval for love.

But here’s the truth that the world doesn’t tell us: we’ve already been chosen.

Each of us has been hand-picked with love. And it is a love so deep and so fierce that wars have been waged, enemies cut-down, and evil defeated — for me, and for you.

There is a great King who has claimed each of us as His daughter. And now He’s just waiting for us to claim our inheritance and live like the heirs that we are.

 

Romans 8:15-17 (TPT) says:

15 And you did not receive the “spirit of religious duty,” leading you back into the fear of never being good enough. But you have received the “Spirit of full acceptance,” enfolding you into the family of God. And you will never feel orphaned, for as he rises up within us, our spirits join him in saying the words of tender affection, “Beloved Father!”16 For the Holy Spirit makes God’s fatherhood real to us as he whispers into our innermost being, “You are God’s beloved child!”

17 And since we are his true children, we qualify to share all his treasures, for indeed, we are heirs of God himself. And since we are joined to Christ, we also inherit all that he is and all that he has. We will experience being co-glorified with him provided that we accept his sufferings as our own.

We are God’s beloved children, His daughters. And that means we are not supposed to live in the fear of never being good enough. It means that we will never be orphaned or alone. It means that we, being joined to Christ, will inherit all that He is and all that He has.

And in case you’re wondering what that inheritance is, it’s heaven. Eternal life. And He’s reserved a spot for us at His table. The places are set and our name cards placed with loving care in anticipation of our arrival (1 Peter 1:4).

So what does God want in return? I mean He must only reserve a spot for those who can be good and live up to His standards, right?

Jesus put it very succinctly in Matthew 22:37-40: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Are we supposed to keep the commandments and follow God’s teaching? Absolutely. But God knows we will fall short and make mistakes trying keep his commandments. Yet unlike the world He does not condemn us when we fail (Romans 8:1).

He wants us to love Him. He created us, He claimed us, He protects us, He has reserved a spot in heaven for us, and what He wants in return is that we love Him.

This is why the Truth is so hard to believe. How can we believe that we are so important, so loved? How can we walk around declaring we are a princess, a daughter of a King?

The world tells us we are not good enough. The world records and catalogs every mistake and shortcoming. It tells us we have to try harder, do more, be more, and then, maybe we’ll be accepted.

God says: beloved daughter, you are my child and I love you. I have a spot ready and waiting for you in my castle. You need not fear never being good enough. All that I have is yours and all I ask is that you love me and desire to be by my side.

You are a daughter of the King.

you are a daughter of the King

 

 

Weighed, measured and found wanting

Are you familiar with the 2001 movie “A Knight’s Tale”? It’s a fun, slightly modern-twist on medieval Europe, taking inspiration from the Canterbury Tales, starring a then-relatively-unknown actor by the name of Heath Ledger. One of the most well-known lines from the movie is this: “you have been weighed, you have been measured, and you have been found wanting.” First said by the movie’s bad-guy to Ledger’s character, it is later turned-around and delivered back to the bad-guy when he is ultimately defeated in a jousting competition.

While this is the kind of line that makes good movie dialogue, it hits a little too close to home for this chronic people-pleaser. So often I convince myself that the rest of the world is weighing and measuring me, and I’m certain I’ve been found wanting. Here are a few of the things I tell myself:

  • Oh no, Janie and Allison got together for lunch and didn’t invite me, they must be mad at me.
  • My child’s teacher sent-home a note about her being cold in the classroom, I bet that teacher thinks I’m a neglectful mother who doesn’t dress my kids appropriately.
  • Oh gosh, I forgot to reply to that email from my colleague and now they’ve forwarded it on to my boss, they must think I’m totally incompetent at my job.
  • There’s that pile of “thank you” notes from Christmas, still waiting to be written and mailed, I’m sure my family thinks I’m the biggest ingrate that ever lived!
  • Yep, haven’t exercised in a month and gained another 2 pounds just looking at that King Cake. I bet everyone thinks I’ve just given up.
  • That latest blog post only had 10 people read it, no one really thinks I’ve got anything worthwhile to say, why am I even trying this writing thing?

Whether people really think these things or not, doesn’t matter because I’ve been telling myself that the world is watching every choice, every deed, every inaction and assessing me against them for so long that it’s become my truth. And instead of changing this inner-dialogue and considering maybe not everyone is passing judgement, I focus on trying not to care so much…on convincing myself that it doesn’t matter what others think of me. However, I recently realized trying not to care what others think is like trying to diet — it feels really good when it’s working, but as soon as you slip up you feel even worse about yourself than before. It’s not a sustainable way to live. It was watching my daughter that made me realize this.

You see, I have this beautiful, free-spirited daughter who is getting ready to turn 12. She is funny and vibrant and thoughtful and smart — so very smart. Since the moment she entered the world she has seemed to be confident that she was exactly who she was meant to be. And I have always admired that, sure that I never felt that confident about myself. But now that she is crossing that line — that simultaneously invisible and glaringly obvious line — between girlhood and adolescence, I’ve started to notice changes. The word “popular” is suddenly an adjective, verb and noun. The opinions of certain classmates have been given more power than they deserve. Both appearance and personality are coming under constant self-scrutiny. And my once self-assured, confident girl is starting to question if just being herself is good-enough.

…a friend tells her to settle down or others will label her as annoying

…a boy she likes tells her she is not pretty

…a teacher tells her she’s too slow at her work

…I tell her she’s irresponsible and unorganized

And maybe some of these things are said in love or with good intent. But what she hears is “you are not enough.” She starts to make a mental list of all of the ways the world is showing her that she has been found wanting. And the vibrant girl I love starts to change how she acts in front of friends. The confident girl I admire starts to doubt herself at every turn. The natural beauty begins to pick apart every feature in the mirror. And there it is, the beginning of a lifetime spent measuring herself against worldly standards. And I say no.

Uh-uh.

Not my daughter.

I realize, it’s time to change the conversation. I could tell her to ignore these voices, and not to care what others think. But my own wounds from years of fighting that battle are a reminder that it’s not sustainable. So instead I tell her this: God made you exactly the way you are supposed to be. He has gifted you with a multitude of talents and wrapped them in a giant bow of potential. And the only opinion that matters is His. The only standard by which to measure yourself is His.

Because:

  • God formed us in our mother’s womb to be exactly as He envisions (Psalm 139:13-14)
  • We are His masterpiece (Ephesians 2:10)
  • He gave us special talents (Romans 12:6)
  • And when we measure ourselves against others, we are missing the point! (2 Corinthians 10:12)

The world tells us we have been weighed, measured and found wanting. But the TRUTH tells us that we have been made in His image, are treasured, and loved without exception. 

And I pray that my daughter will grow to know this truth deep in her soul and never forget it. I pray that I might change my internal dialogue and lead by example.

“The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.” – Zephaniah 3:17