I so enjoyed time with family and friends last week. I am a thankful and BEYOND blessed girl. Thankful for friends. family. a great husband. food. adoption. Eric. miracles. work. grace. time together. church. discipline. lessons learned. and much more.

But… I am I want to focus on my thankfulness of redemption.

I am doing another Beth Moore Bible study… Esther.  My heart really really wants to be poured into by a more experienced and God-fearing woman… so Beth is it.  Yesterday’s lesson blew me away. It was stuff I knew… but was a VERY needed reminder of His great love for me and His amazing redeeming power.  Esther, a young girl chosen to be in the beauty pageant of the universe… competing for King Xerxes’ heart and affection… high school drama multiplied by the thousands!!! Hundreds of girls… living together… fighting for the chance to be named QUEEN! Can you say hormones? comparison? self-esteem issues? cat fights? PMS? … YIKES!

Beth makes us think back to high school… and all our insecurities. Ouch. We all remember those days. Here I am:

Chaser of popularity. Danceline captain. Prom queen. Happy-go-lucky. Loud. Member of the Fab Five. Flirt. Youth group member. Condoner of my friends’ actions. Believer of boys’ lies. Selfish. Compromiser of my beliefs. Fearful of the future. Driver of a 1990 Firebird. Attender of church camps, mission trips, and retreats.  Insecure. Ashamed of my mistakes. 
I compromised when I should have stood strong. I gave in to lies… when I knew the truth. I was selfish when I should have loved more, given more, and learned more. I ached for attention when I should have sought God.  I stayed quiet when I should have shouted Jesus’ truth. I was broken and ashamed most of the time… hiding it as I wore my big Christian smile and pretended to be the goody goody.
BUT… my God is gracious and He is good. He loves me… despite me. HE REDEEMS! He uses sinners… like me. I hurt for the teenage girls I love on each day… I want them to know God’s love… not temporary pleasure and popularity – it’s worthless. I want them to seek HIM… not everything else. I just want them to know HE is better. FREEDOM and JOY are waiting… 
But… back to Esther. So, Beth wrote something she prayed to God in her quiet time that impacted me. And I echoed it in my prayers… because it is so my heart.  In comparing our amazing God to a king like King Xerxes or the boys/things we gave ourselves to in high school and college… let this ring true in your life today: 
I thank You for being the king of King who GIVES a woman dignity instead of taking it, a righteous King whose commands are always for my good and whose ways are always toward WHOLENESS

Thank You for restoring and loving and redeeming. 

We do not have to compete and compare for His love. He is our Husband. He is our Savior. He is our Satisfier. There are no games with Him. There is no beauty pageant… the King is already ENTHRALLED with YOUR beauty! His love for you is great. You are His bride. He will not lie. He will not forsake you. HE WILL NOT FAIL YOU! 

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