Friday, September 12, 2008

"I'M BEAUTIFUL!"

“Come now, let’s settle this,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool. Isaiah 1:18, NLT

I often see scripture illustrated in living color through the lives of my children. The way kids see things, the way they react is so transparent, so honest. When my daughter, Caitlin, was in kindergarten, she was invited to attend the “Cinderella Ball” with her Daddy. It was a fundraiser for a local school, and it was to be a memorable Father-Daughter event, chock full of Kodak moments. Dads would wear suits and ties, and the daughters could wear anything that made them feel like a princess. What a wonderful idea!

I must confess that when Caitlin was little, I dressed her like a frosted cupcake! She had dozens of fluffy, ruffled confections hanging in her closet, in every shade of the rainbow. Well, every pastel shade, anyway. She had lacy socks, and darling hair bows, and she never objected to anything I put on her. Fast forward to the preschool years. Jeans and t-shirts became her outfits of choice. Though she wore cute little dresses to church, she much preferred the comfort of her well worn jeans. She got used to seeing herself that way.

So now it was time to choose something “princess-y” to wear to the Ball. We shopped at the local pageant and bridal store and found a sweet ballerina length dress of white matte satin and tulle that made her feel very royal, indeed. After what seemed like years to Caitlin, the day of the Ball finally arrived. Her hair was done in a charming up-do, we put on a dab of mommy’s perfume and a little clear lip gloss for fun. When she was all dressed, she looked in the mirror and gasped “Mommy! I’m beautiful!” It wasn’t an expression of vanity, but of surprise! She was so used to seeing her reflection with tousled hair and hand-me-down jeans, she was truly shocked at how she looked!

Today, Caitlin is a beautiful fifteen year old. She’s returned to jeans and t-shirts, and hasn’t been to any Balls with her dad lately. But there’s a powerful truth illustrated here. Our sin makes us feel like we’re dressed in tatters and rags. We’re used to seeing ourselves that way. But if we’ve trusted in Christ, His blood has washed us clean of our sin. And God doesn’t see our old ragged “clothes” when He looks at us. He sees us all dressed up in the finery of His righteousness, sparkling white as snow. Like Caitlin looking into the mirror at home, we can look into the “mirror” of God’s word, discover who we really are in Christ, and exclaim “Daddy! I’m beautiful!” because He made us that way. Have you trusted in Christ?

Prayer today: Father, I believe that Jesus died to wash away my sin, to make me a child of God, to make me whiter than snow. Be the forgiver and leader of my life, starting today. In Christ’s name I pray. Amen.

6 comments:

MyThreeSonsandMe said...

Leslie, It has been far too long since I have seen myself as a princess, and I fear that I have never had a great understand of God as my "Father". I often feel like Cinderella, not the one at the ball, but the one beaten and tattered by the demands of life, the daily internal battles I fight over deep seeded feelings of abandonment and hurt from my past. Thank you for telling me, through God that I am beautiful. I pray that one day I will be able to call out Abba Father, and not cringe at the memories of my earthly dad.

Isn't it just like satan to deceive God's girls into believeing that they are not worthy to wear the clothes of righteousness and that they are impure so why should I wear a garment as white as snow. Why is it that I am so quick to believe Satans' lies, and struggle to believe God's Words to me?

Thank you for sharing!

Leslie Oden said...

My prayer is that our loving Heavenly Father would reveal Himself to you as the Perfect Daddy. Unlike fallible, and sometimes cruel, earthly fathers, God will always love you and never, ever leave you......

Shelly said...

Leslie, let me say that I have really enjoyed your 2 blogs but this one ..... this one .. well this one hits home so well. I truly don't see myself as a princess in Gods eyes. Quite the contrary in fact! When I see myself standing before the Lord I see myself in worse clothes than old jeans and a t-shirt. Worse actually with my hair in knots and unbrushed, down on my knees crying for the person that I am and the way I have become because I know its not the way that God would prefer. I am a lost soul searching for that right outfit for God. I'm trying so hard to wear that perfect dress he sees me in but its so easy just to wear the old stuff. Thank you for once again helping me see through so much doubt. You and Gene are the only people that helps me to keep the faith when I just want to give up. Your words of encouragement (your blogs) and Genes, are my life line between faith and nothing.

~Shelly

susan said...

Thanks for sharing the Princess story with me. I can remember when Caitlyn was dressed for church. I love having tea parties with her and Kelsey. Thanks for the memories.
I am learning to let God show me how I am a "Princess". This past week-end was the annual ladies retreat. A friend shared with me that we are all Princesses in God's eyes. We just need to learn to crawl up in His lap and just let Him love on us. I am doing that each day in my quiet time. I know that He loves me so much and I need to share that love with others.

Diana M said...

I have never had a hard time viewing god as my father, I think it was because I viewed him as all the strenghts of my own father and so much more. It was always seeing myself through his eyes that is the hard part. Thanks so much this completely opened my eyes!

Leslie Oden said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, girls. I think that's the hard part for most women: seeing ourselves cleansed, forgiven and adored by our heavenly Father. I pray He would continue to open our eyes to the truth of His word in 1 John 1:9.

L.