I sat and stared at the laminated Scripture card I held in my hand. That verse in no way relates to the fear and doubt I had written on my response card that was now lying beneath the wooden cross where I had made the trade: response card with my doubts written on it traded for laminated card that had reassuring Scripture that God would use to speak to me about those doubts and fears.
Being a woman who friends describe with words like “steady” and “calm,” I’m not overly emotional and I was never a big fan of the weeping sessions that take place at women’s events. Mostly I just avoided going to the conferences and retreats in the first place. But She Speaks seemed different. I was confident God had something there for me to learn. I should not have been surprised that I would end up knowing Him better, and learning how well He knows me.
So, the laminated Scripture card…. As I had written my doubts on the response card, I had written a secondary fear, maybe even tertiary. I could not bring myself to write my primary doubt, as the entire weekend conference had brought message after message addressing that doubt. Pride prevented me from writing that doubt down, since with all the teaching I’d heard, that doubt should have been decimated, annihilated, demolished, destroyed, killed, massacred, butchered, slaughtered, and whatever other forceful synonymous verbs there are in the thesaurus. The teaching was that good!
But, the laminated Scripture card….I looked at the verse and read it again. “You are precious and honored in my sight, and I love you.” (Isaiah 43.4a) The tears fell fast and furious. Didn’t see that coming! I realized that God was not speaking to my secondary fear that I had written on the card, but to the fear that always crept to the top of the heap in my heart. God knew my heart!
Growing up in backwoods West Virginia was not that bad. I didn’t know I was poor until I was old enough to go to school and found out all the other kids had indoor plumbing instead of an outhouse. And they had running water instead of a well with a bucket. They probably didn’t have cardboard walls either, but there was no way for me to know as I was never ever invited to a birthday party or sleepover.
God did, however, gift me with the ability to succeed in school. And He did allow me to be born into a loving family. But once you think of yourself as a second class citizen, those feelings are hard to shake, and here at the conference they were again worming their way to the surface. I will never be as useful as the other women here. Why would God even want to try to use me as a speaker and writer?
The laminated Scripture card….there it was, “You are precious and honored in my sight, and I love you.” Precious and honored. Me! Highly valued. Esteemed in God’s sight. Precious enough for Him to give His only Son. Precious enough that He wants to know me and spend time with me. I am precious enough for Him to use this ordinary woman to do extraordinary things for Him….through whatever avenues He will use in the future. In a word, I am LOVED.