My friends were all good at something. Adriana could play the viola and piano. Tessa was the best swimmer on her swim team. Hannah could speak French. Sophia was incredibly smart-witted and hilarious. Then there was me. I couldn’t play any instruments, couldn’t sing, I tried to be funny, I spoke American fluently… if that counts, and apparently everyone knew not to ask me to be on their team in P.E.
Then I started going to church.
I discovered the girls in my youth group were all good at something too. Sam played piano on the worship team. Julie lead a lot of mission trips. Dominique was great at memorizing bible verses. Amanda was fearless to talk to people. Chanel was beautiful on the inside and out and so kind and wise. These girls were obviously special.
Then there was me.
It was harder sometimes to be at church than at my school. I would compare myself with girls around me, in and out of church, but at church, I felt I was failing God for not being more like these girls who were doing incredible things for Him. I don’t think He cared much if I wasn’t good at basketball, but if I wasn’t brave enough to talk to strangers about Jesus then He must be disappointed. I remember feeling so far from God. I ended up being known as the girl who wore stripped tights, converse and would sit in the corner at church, alone, writing in her journal.
I felt so unseen and unknown and I really didn’t know how God could use me for anything when I was obviously so un-special.
But God did see me.
I remember this day so clearly. I was sitting in my room, doing homework, when I sat up, threw my pen down and said, “Jesus, I am so average! God, what do I have to offer you? How can you use me when I’m not good at anything?” I cried.
I wept for the person I wasn’t and the person I wanted to become.
I wept for all the ways I had disappointed Jesus.
I wept for my broken heart and for His.
I wept for the judgement I had received for being me.
Then like an echo inside of me I heard these words: I want you just as you are. I want you just as you are. I want you just as you are.
It was God. It was Him. Really Him. And He wasn’t disappointed.
That moment changed my life.
Let me tell you Princesses, my story isn’t just my own. Listen as He speaks to you and tells you this: Daughter, I want you just as you are. No more, no less. Just you. If you don’t want your life, give it to Me because I want it. In your hands, you life is ordinary. But in My hands, I will make it extraordinary. Trust in My love for you. You are fearfully and beautifully made, Beloved. I don’t want you to be like her. I don’t want you to try to become someone else. You don’t need to be more like them. I don’t expect you to be anyone else but you. And I love you just as you are. I love you. I love you. I love you. Do you hear me, daughter? I love you. YOU. My sweet bride. My dearest child. Let me walk with you, stop trying to do this alone. I am here for you, and I love you with all that I am. Will you trust me with your life? Will you take my hand? I see you, daughter, and I know you, and I will never leave you nor forsake you. I love you.
Listen Princesses, you are already loved so much by God, without doing anything. He is so pleased with you because you are His daughter. Don’t worry about what people see, God is looking at your heart (1 Samuel 16:7). And if you are worried that heart is a little messy right now, just be still. If you let Him, God can help to clean your heart, mend it, and make it beautiful. God isn’t like a judge on American Idol. He isn’t searching for next talented and gifted person to shine His light. He is the kind of God who takes the lowest of the low, the average, the fisherman, the farmer, the little person, the unseen and the outcasts, and He raises them up, He teaches them, He lives through them and by His Spirit, they do the impossible.
“So He said to me…‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty.” – Zechariah 4:6
It’s been 12 years since that day, and I can really say God has transformed my life. It didn’t happen overnight, but He has taught me about love, about who He is, helped me to be a better person and love others. But I couldn’t do that alone. I gave up trying to change myself, it wasn’t working, so I let God have His way with my life. Friends, you can never go wrong with giving your life to God. He isn’t looking for perfection or talent, just obedience and trust.
You know this blog? I started it when I was battling an auto-immune disease and was sick in bed. I couldn’t go to the nations, I couldn’t meet with people and I didn’t have strength to talk to strangers. I was doing NOTHING for God. Literally. But you know what He told me everyday? I love you so much daughter and I am so pleased with you. It was so incredible and I learned so much about the love of God in those five years. But one day the Lord put such a strong desire in me to share what He was teaching me and He told me to start a blog and call it “To All You Princesses”.
However, I almost was held-back in 7th grade because my teacher said I was such a horrible writer! No, I wasn’t a writer and God knew that, but He asked me to trust Him and start this blog anyway. I said yes, and from my bed I couldn’t do much, but I could write and He used all I could offer for His glory. It’s been a few years now and I’ve gotten letters from girls all over the world how my words encouraged them. It’s pretty unbelievable, but it’s all because of Jesus.
“Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.” – Titus 3:5
I know I still have so much to learn, and there are still days I feel I’m not doing much for God, but if I pause and I listen, I hear those words again: I want you just as you are. I love you. I’m so pleased with you.
If nothing else Princesses, I pray these words would resonate in your heart and that you would know wherever you are right now, God loves you.
Will you say this prayer with me?
Father, I thank you for how you have created me. I know I’m not perfect, and sometimes I feel I fail you, but I thank you for your love. I thank you for reminding me of your truth and how unconditional your love is towards me. I thank you that you don’t need performance or perfection to be used by you, but simply a willing heart. I don’t have much, but what I have I give to you. Lord, help me to hear you and to know your voice. Teach me about the ways you want me to live. Direct my footsteps, for I want to follow you, Lord. I ask you to forgive me for criticizing the way you have made me. Help me to embrace who I am and see myself the way you see me. Jesus, thank you for not giving up on me and for loving me just as I am. Help me to love others as you have loved me. I give this life to you, do with it as you will. Have your way. I am yours. In Jesus’ name, amen.
With all my love,
“This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” -1 John 4:10-11