Monday, July 30, 2012

Take A Closer Look

Ladies, this post is for you. I love how God orchestrates those divine appointments when there’s no denying that He’s at work. Last year, during the planning stages of the W.O.W. Ladies Retreat, the Lord laid something on my heart and I shared it with Monica Sweeney, the director of W.O.W. at the time. I told her I felt that it was a subject that needed to be addressed as it went along with the theme for the retreat. She quickly replied and said, “I felt that I needed to ask you to speak and that was my confirmation.” So she asked me to speak at the retreat. The thought of speaking in public normally does not scare me, but in this case I was terrified. I knew God had given me a word and I felt a huge responsibility to deliver this message of Love and Unity.

I immediately got on my knees and surrendered this opportunity to Him. I did not want one second of this to be about me. I did not want one word out of my mouth to be about me or anything else but what God wanted to say. I submitted myself to him as a humble servant so willing to be his mouthpiece in this instance. When you do that, you better just hold on. When you ask God to use you, you better be ready for the ride of your life. Ask and you shall receive… right? His words and ideas began to flow from my pen to the paper. The title He gave me was “Crisis in Comparing…”

Everyone at one time or another plays the comparison game, but this is for us girls. Both consciously and subconsciously we compare ourselves to each other. It’s just what we do! It’s been said that we compare the worst of ourselves to the best of others. Why in the world would we do that?

Example, you arrive at a friend’s house; her house is clean and very well decorated. She is dressed to impress and looking beautiful. Her kids are playing quietly upstairs and her husband is tending to her every need. What’s your first instinct? To compare?

"My house could never look like this, I don't have any style."
"Wish I could look like that in that dress."
"Maybe she can teach my kids to manners."
“Her husband is so sweet; my husband never opens the door for me, and he would NEVER do the dishes!"

Then pride jumps in and needs to be justified:
"Well she just thinks she's better than me."
"Look at everything she's trying to throw in my face."
"Must be nice to not have any problems."
"He must be hiding something if he's treating her that well."

Insert wedge in friendship here; resentment and bitterness begin to creep in and you find yourself disconnecting and shutting down. The enemy puts the blame back on us so he can isolate us, get us in a vulnerable state and then begin to fill our minds with all kinds of lies. There’s something powerful about women united and the enemy knows that and that’s why he’s out to distort and destroy true Godly friendship. He's going to try to convince you that you are alone and the last thing you need to do is get close to anyone. He will tell you that everyone else has it all together and if you reach out you will only be judged. Romans 8:1 "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." We are better together and NO ONE has it all together. We need to realize we are NEVER alone. There is so much FREEDOM and POWER in that! I can't tell you how many times I've been so afraid to open up to my closest friends about something because I felt like I was alone and that no one else could possibly understand and then God in his gentle way will send someone to me and show me that I'm never alone. And even if there's no one physically in this life that "understands" or has gone through the same thing as you, HE HAS! Hebrews 2:18, “Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.” He loves you and He understands! He’s been there! God created us deficient by design. He created us for relationship; for friendship. But Satan knows how hard we are on ourselves and He knows that if he can get us to turn on each other, then we'll never fulfill our true God given purpose. COMPARING IS A TOOL SATAN USES TO DIVIDE US! Once we start comparing ourselves and our lives to others; we begin making assumptions based on what we perceive. How crazy is that?! We think we have them all figured out based on what their wearing; who their setting with; how their house looks; or how their kids behave.
So how do we fight this crisis of comparing? First, you must live your life with awareness, not fear. We want the enemy to see us and go running in the opposite direction. Be aware that we do have an enemy who is out to steal, kill and destroy us. Second, when those thoughts and attacks start to creep in use your mouth! Speak out the truth. Recognize those lies and audibly replace them with words of truth. Proverbs 18:21 "Death and life are in the power of the tongue" Lastly, use the tools God has given you to wage war on the enemy. Ephesians 6:10-18; Put on the full armor of God.

John 13:34; “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”

I’ve read this in a couple different settings and it makes me cry every time. Ladies, this is how God sees you. I pray that as you read this you will see yourself through HIS eyes.

Dear Women,

When I created the heavens and the earth, I spoke them into being. When I created man, I formed him and breathed life into his nostrils. But you woman, I fashioned after I breathed the breath of life into man because your nostrils are too delicate. I allowed a deep sleep to come over him so I could patiently and perfectly fashion you. Man was put to sleep so that he could not interfere with the creativity. From one bone I fashioned you. I chose the bone that protects his heart and his lungs and supports him, as you are meant to do. Around this one bone I shaped you. I modeled you. I created you perfectly and beautifully.
Your characteristics are as the rib, strong yet delicate and fragile. You provide protection for the most delicate organ in man, his heart. His heart is the center of his being; his lungs hold the breath of life. The rib cage will allow itself to be broken before it will allow damage to the heart.
Support the man as the rib cage supports the body. You were not taken from his feet, to be under him, nor were you taken from his head, to be above him. You were taken from his side, to stand beside him and be held close to his side.
You are My perfect angel. You are My beautiful little girl. You have grown to be a splendid woman of excellence, and My eyes fill when I see the virtues in your heart. Your eyes - don't change them. Your lips - how lovely when they part in prayer. Your nose, so perfect in form, your hands so gentle in touch. I've caressed your face in your deepest sleep; I've held your heart close to mine.
Of all that lives and breathes, you are the most like Me. Adam walked with Me in the cool of the day and yet he was lonely. He could not see Me or touch Me. He could only feel Me.
So everything I wanted Adam to share and experience with Me,I fashioned in you: My holiness, My strength, My purity, My love, My protection and support. You are special because you are the extension of Me.
Man represents My image, woman My emotions. Together you represent the totality of God. So man - treat woman well. Love her, respect her, for she is fragile. In hurting her, you hurt Me. What you do to her, you do to Me. In crushing her, you only damage your own heart, the heart of your Father, and the heart of her Father.
Woman, support man. In humility, show him the power of emotion I have given you. In gentle quietness show your strength. In love, show him that you are the rib that protects his inner self.


  1. As usual Tress, beautiful and well written. I love your heart and I'm so glad you're sharing it this way.
    And when you come over tomorrow night to work on Averie's book, I'll be in PJ pants and a t-shirt, and my house will be a pig sty. You're welcome :)

  2. Haha! Thank you so much! Asher and I both will come in our PJs too!!

  3. love this! It really encouraged me!