This past week I traveled to Mississippi to speak to 275 women. There were teenagers with big dreams of the future
and grandmothers with hair as white as Mississippi cotton. White southern women and African American women once divided by segregation and oppression shared tables and laughs over homemade chicken salad. Conservative southern belles with beautifully coiffed hair chatted with less conservative ladies who preferred short spiky do’s and nose piercings.
I didn’t know ahead of time how diverse the group would be or even that the room would be so full. If so, I would have worried about what message I could possibly prepare that would span cultures and age barriers to touch hearts.
It is so fabulous I didn’t know. My ignorance provided the open door for God to do what He wanted. The message He prepared for these women was this- Woman was created as the crescendo of God’s creation. Satan, jealous for God’s glory, has never ceased in his assault on her in this role but… God is greater! Jesus’ ministry was deliberate in its elevation of women. Woman’s identity and worth are secure in her Maker. She is precious in her Abba’s sight.
Afterward as I signed copies of Arms Open Wide women came to tell me thank you for being the messenger of God’s word. They came- teenagers and grandmothers. Southern bells and the less conventional. White and black. Over and again they told me how much they had needed to be reminded of their true worth.
One sweet lady who stopped by was dark skinned and lovely. Her radiant smile warmed me to my very core. Her name was Willie-Gloria. I told her I loved her name and her smile. She said her first name was her father’s. The second, “Gloria”, meant “for the glory of God.”
“I was wondering,” she asked. “If this message might have been recorded so that we would be able to listen to it over and again to remind ourselves of the things you said?”
So, even beautiful Willie-Gloria, whose very name reflected her purpose and worth needs to be reminded of just who she is in Jesus. Because, you see, she is just like all of the rest of us. According to 1 Peter 4:16 we bear the great name of Christ. As the redeemed, the children of the fall made new, we have glory in our name!
But this world has a way of wearing away at us. It whispers over and again that we aren’t enough. Fallen Eden’s winds blow harsh and cold.
And we forget. We forget we were created in the image of God for His glory. We forget that in His great love and grace, He redeemed our lives with His own on the cross. We forget there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ.
We forget that in Christ, we can stop beating ourselves up, stop striving. We forget that in Christ, we are enough.
We forget. Even when we have glory in our name.