When you’re beat up with a sense of inferiority, offense, or shame, where do you turn?
I felt validated and encouraged by a few authentic Jesus-loving leaders from my church, Bethesda, who spoke from the heart at a women’s conference called Reign on March 3. Down-to-earth (pictured left to right) Bree Keel, Libby Louman, Andrea Nelson, Jessica Grace, Jacqueline Smith, and Tisha Straup spoke on a panel, followed by Bethel Church’s Abi Stumvoll.
Here are a few highlebrights.
Comparing yourself to others
- Andrea Nelson: If you feel jealous of other people, go low and serve them. Pray for them. Declare your God-truth. Pull on their spirit! Trust the process.
- Jessica Grace – Our history carries us. We build trust with God in our history. Hand over your destiny! God is building revivalists!
- Libby Louman – God uses us in every season, no matter how it looks. There is an anointing on changing diapers. It’s spiritual! It’s not lesser! God will use it to bless the next generation.
- Jacqueline Smith – Life is about growing. I was humble, cleaning toilets, and yet I felt like God was using me. He met me in tough times.God uses them to grow me.
- Bree Keel – We now forgive ourselves for comparing ourselves to others. We now close the door of comparison.
- Tisha Straup – We don’t need to compare ourselves to others. We can celebrate our unique gift mixes from God.
Offense: How do we handle our emotions when we are deeply hurt?
Andrea Nelson: When we feel left out, we cry. That’s when we can ask God, “How do you see me?” We need to be honest with people and say we were hurt.
Tisha Straup: I’m a giant slayer. Offense is killed by gratitude. In one brief moment, I decide how I’m going to handle an offending act!
Jacqueline Smith: When we’re offended, we can cry. We can be real.
Bree Keel: When I get hurt, I’m so mad! I cry. I check my heart. We don’t have to figure it out. We have friends to talk to and be real.
Libby Louman: The enemy is real. Be alert to his tactics. Forgiveness is the key. How do we handle someone who continually hurts us? Bless them. Pray for them every minute. If your husband has hurt you, pray, “Encounter my husband in his day.”
Tisha Straup: I love this Steve Backlund quote: “Your hopelessness is more of a problem than the problem.” We can pray, “God, You’re not hopeless. Let me see things through Your eyes.” When we experience offense & unforgiveness, we can look back at times, when, like David, we take down the lion and the bear today so that we can influence more people.
Bree Keel: Ask, What is God in this situation? When we feel separated from God by something we’re struggling with, we can say, “I am not defined by this. I’m defined by what God thinks.”
Abi Stumvall: There’s pain in life but it doesn’t need to take you out. Shame is not, “I did something bad.” It’s, “I am something bad.” Shame is the identity question. Shame says, “If you knew this about me, you would not love me.” Love isn’t plastic. We need to tell people about our imperfections.
Getting rid of shame takes away the problem.
But when we’re transparent with each other, we express love like this. We now know your stuff. Here’s our response: “We know you. We are you.”
Sometimes we live in an imagined world. We imagine that everyone thinks the worst of us. But if you’re going to live in an imagined world, make it a good one! Say to yourself, “People, I imagine you think I’m awesome!”
Once we get free of shame, we’ll realize that God gives us permission to dream again. God will redeem what has been lost.
Friend, which highlebright resonates most with you?
Rise to freedom!