October 24th, 2005: I so love this time of the year. Here in Nashville the air is finally crisp and the smell of leaves burning always reminds me of when I was in first grade. I would get to wear my burgundy and navy plaid wool jumper. I always thought I looked good in that one. So I was always excited when the weather was just right to wear the little outfit that gave me such happiness.

In the last several months I have been traveling around the country meeting some incredible women and men at churches and at the women's conferences I've gotten to sing and speak in. It seems like the theme of my speaking has revolved around helping others remember a time in their lives when they felt special or "pretty". You see, as I read in the Bible, God always sees us that way. To Him we are all special and beautiful. I hope that we never forget this but in the world we live in, it's easy to. The Bible tells us that we are His chosen children. In 1st Peter 2:9 it says, "But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light". (NIV) This is hard to realize at times. I know this first hand. I haven't always felt like a royal anything. (Maybe a pain) I haven't always felt I was very special and I certainly never saw myself as He does. I am so glad that the Word tells us that He sees our heart not our outer appearance. It says in 1st Samuel 16:7, "The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance but the Lord looks at the heart". (NIV)

Recently I wrote and published a book of my testimony titled "He Never Wastes the Pain". One thing that became abundantly clear to me as I wrote the book was that the Father defiantly saw something more in me than I did in myself. He saw what He had created me for when I didn't have a clue. The book isn't all "happy times" believe me. Life isn't always "happy times" is it? But through my pain and lost hope, He reached out to me in a way that changed my opinion of myself forever. He made me see clearly that I wasn't in control, He was. It was through sweet surrender that I finally found out how precious I was as we all are to Him.

As the weather gets colder as does our world, I think sometimes we are all looking for the quick fix. We want someone to "tickle our ears" and tell us that all we have to do is have positive thoughts and everything will be just fine. Sometimes bleak reality is too overwhelming for quick fixes. What I tried to reveal in my book is that it was a process and a searching. It was defeat and surrendering. It was knocking and finding Him right there where He always was, just waiting for me to invite Him in. I am so glad that He sees my heart because He can see that I am truly in love with Him. He never wastes our pain; He never wastes anything that we hand over to Him.


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