Sometimes life gets foggy. For one reason or another stress piles up and it can become difficult to navigate or even find the path forward. When that stress is a result of deep betrayal, especially when it has been repeated again and again, the fog is likely to gather all around our perceptions of ourselves. Insecurity is almost inevitable. It can become so very difficult to find truth when our thoughts are clouded by questions like: Who am I? Do I matter to anyone? What’s wrong with me? Am I worthless? Is there anything about me that’s likable? Am I ugly? Is there any purpose left in my life? How long until the people that are still around figure out that they don’t want me either? Would the world be better off without me around?
These thoughts are heartbreaking. They’re debilitating. They’re dangerous! But most of all, they’re dripping with the lies the enemy uses in his assault against our very souls. Don’t get me wrong, the questions themselves aren’t really the problem, it’s the implied negative answers that are coupled to them in our minds. When I ask, “Who am I?” My troubled heart is automatically answering, “You’re nobody.” And that, my fellow dearly loved daughters, is simply not true. So let’s pull out our own weapons (that means get your Bible ready and get on your knees) and go to battle with the enemy. Let’s take back our souls, saturate them in TRUTH and hand them over to the safe keeping of The Rock of Ages, El Roi – The God who sees me.
Beauty is Fleeting
No doubt, when we’ve been betrayed by infidelity, one of the hardest hit areas of self-esteem is in our perception of our own beauty. While most of us don’t want this to be true, we just can’t help it. Most of us know that we’re not supposed to care about that and can even begin to carry some guilt because we feel like these feelings are a result of vanity. But ladies, if you’re struggling in this area, please know, you’re not alone. Not even close. I have not talked to a single other woman in my support groups who hasn’t struggled with this same insecurity. Unfortunately, we live in a world that puts far too much value on outward appearances and it is almost impossible to be unaffected by it. Realistically, we’re probably not going to be able to eliminate those thoughts. What we can do, though, is cover them in truth. That is, the Word of God. (I find it is very helpful to speak truth out loud when I am really battling negative thoughts. So get somewhere private if you can, and read these verses out loud and then say the truth out loud to yourself – maybe even into a mirror.) And we can ask the One who formed us to help us see ourselves through His eyes. Let’s look at what the Potter has to say about his precious jars of clay.
Genesis 1:27 – So God created human beings IN HIS OWN IMAGE. In the image of God He created them; male and FEMALE He created them.
Truth – I am created in the image of El Elyon – the Most High God! El Shaddai, the Lord God Almighty.
Psalm 139:13-18 – You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank-you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous – how well I know it… How precious are Your thoughts about me, Oh God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, You are still with me!
Truth – The Creator of the vast and awesome universe created me too. He did it on purpose. He made me wonderful, and complex, and marvelous! Even better, He thinks about me so much that those thoughts are too many to count and He will never, ever leave me!
1 Samuel 16:7 – But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearances, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
Truth – The Lord of Lords – who will ultimately judge us all doesn’t place any value in what I look like the way people do. Our Great High Priest is interested in what is in my heart.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 – Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.
Truth – The Sovereign Lord, who orchestrates all that is, all that was, and all that is still to come, into the magnificent song which He has already written, wrote in a part just for me. He has a plan for me! As that plan unfolds and I become what God created me to be, He will look at me and declare that I am beautiful!
Proverbs 31:30 – Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.
Truth – Beauty that the world measures is, at best, temporary. Even the most beautiful woman in the world will grow old and her beauty will fade and someone else will surpass her. I cannot hope to hold on to any value I might find by that measure. However, a genuine, righteous fear of the Lord – the Lion of Judah makes me a treasure.
1 Peter 3:3-4 – Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourself instead with the beauty that comes from within, the UNFADING beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is SO PRECIOUS TO GOD.
Truth – While outward beauty is continually fading, beauty that comes from within will never fade. I can think of many women who carried themselves with a gentle and quiet reverence for God and how unshakably beautiful they seemed to me, even as they became old and frail. That beauty never went away – it only grew! Above all though, Adonai – the Lord and Master thinks that kind of beauty is precious! That is the kind of beauty I will strive for. God, give me a gentle and quiet spirit, and make me a woman who fears You alone! As I strive for that goal, help me to rest in the knowledge that no matter what anyone else in the world thinks when they look at me, in Your eyes I am beautiful.
Purchased for a Price
Unfortunately, feeling ugly is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to how our self-esteem is often decimated by the pain of betrayal. Far more devastating than that are the questions about our worth as a whole. I know I often feel like there is no one on earth that sees any value in me at all. Of course, these thoughts are utter nonsense, and not based in even a shred of reality, but with a wounded heart they are common nonetheless. Even if they were true, though, even if there really wasn’t a single living soul on planet earth that believed I am worth the air I breathe, my Savior paid a very dear price for me. And THAT makes me worth a whole whole lot!
Romans 6:23 – For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord
Romans 5:8 – But God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.
Isaiah 53:5 – But He was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.
Truth – I am a sinner and the price that had to be paid for my sin is death. Jesus, the Messiah, paid that very high price for me. He was beaten and crushed when that is what I deserved and He offers His salvation to me (and to you) as a free gift.
Mark 1:11 – And a voice from heaven said, “You are my dearly loved Son, and you bring me great joy.”
Truth – Jesus, Emmanuel – God with us, was precious to His Father. His Father loved Him dearly which means He was of great value.
1 Corinthians 6: 19-20 – Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.
1 Corinthians 7:23 – God paid a high price for you, so don’t be enslaved by the world
1Peter 1:18-19 – For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And it was not paid with mere gold or silver, which lose their value. It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God.
Truth – I was a slave to sin, but I have been purchased. A value was assigned to me and it was paid. The One who paid that price set me free. After I was set free from the sin that enslaved me, the Holy Spirit of the Living God made His home in my heart and will indwell me for as long as I live here on earth. What was the price? What did it take to purchase me? Well, if I am without value then surely the price was small. The TRUTH is, though, that the price was so high that it could not be paid with all the silver or gold the world has to offer. I could not be bought with anything that we count as valuable here on earth. Not with wealth, not with power, but only with the most precious commodity in all creation – the blood of the sinless, spotless Lamb of God. The father’s precious Son – His most treasured One. He willingly paid that very costly price. For me. And for you! THAT is what I’m worth!
The Daughter of the King
But that’s not all! My value does not end with the incalculable price that was paid for me. No, because after He purchased me, Yahweh – the Lord, Jehovah adopted me into His own family. For all of eternity I am the Daughter of the King of Kings. His dearly loved daughter!
Galatians 4:4-7 – But when the right time came, God sent His Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. God sent Him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that He could adopt us as His very own children. And because we are His children, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba Father.” Now you are no longer a slave, but God’s own child. And since you are His child, God has made you his heir.
Romans 8:14-17 – For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when He adopted you as His own children. Now we call Him, “Abba, Father.” For His Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. And since we are His children, we are His heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share His glory, we must also share His suffering.
Truth – The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace adopted me into His family. Because He wanted me. To prove that I am His, to clothe me in His royal robes, and place His crown on my head He covered my ugly sins with the blood of His precious Son and filled me with His Holy Spirit. He desires a tender, intimate relationship with me. He wants me to call Him “Abba, Father.” “Daddy, Daddy!” He doesn’t promise that as his child I won’t ever suffer. In fact, He tells me that on this earth I WILL suffer, BECAUSE I’m His child. But this life is only temporary and when it ends I will inherit His glory for all of eternity!
Ephesians 2:19 – So now you Gentiles are no longer strangers and foreigners. You are citizens along with all of God’s holy people. You are members of God’s family.
1 John 3:1 – See how very much our Father loves us, for He calls us his children, and that is what we are!
1 Peter 1: 3-4 – Now we live with great expectation, and we have a priceless inheritance – an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay.
Truth – Because I know that my inheritance is secure in Heaven, and that there isn’t anything that can destroy it, I can live my life with confidence. Confidence in the love that my Daddy has for me. No matter what happens here in the temporal, no matter how much it FEELS like it’s going to last forever and like I can’t overcome or survive, that is simply a lie. The Alpha and Omega, The Ancient of Days holds my future secure. And I will live with Him forever, as a member of His family, sharing in all the riches of His glory! THAT is who I am.
Created for a Purpose
It doesn’t end there! Not only does the One True God think that I’m beautiful, not only did He willingly pay a dear price for me, not only did He adopt me into His own family and give me an everlasting inheritance in His Kingdom, but He also created me on purpose FOR a purpose. A very specific purpose that he planned out just for me. I don’t have to wonder if there is any purpose to my life. I don’t have to wonder if the world would be better off without me. God has filled my lungs with air and He keeps my heart beating. For as long as that is true, I have a purpose. For as long as that is true, I am right where I’m meant to be. For as long as that’s true I must continue to seek and follow The Bright and Morning Star, the Good Shepherd. He will show me the way.
Ephesians 2:10 – For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago.
Jeremiah 1:5 – I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you to be my prophet to the nations.
Truth – I was created by the Master Builder and I am His masterpiece! He made me and, like Jeremiah, He set me apart for a purpose – to do the good things He planned for me before I was even born!
Proverbs 16:9 – We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps
Proverbs 19:21 – You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purposes will prevail.
Proverbs 3:5-6 – Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take.
Truth – God is in control, and no matter how much it may seem like life is spiraling at times, His purposes WILL prevail! I can trust Him. I don’t need to try to understand what He’s doing, because I probably can’t. I need only to seek Him – the Comforter, the Counselor, the Advocate, and He will show me the way.
Romans 10:17 – So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 – Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
Psalm 32:8 – The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.
Truth – If I am seeking God, I will be diving into scripture every single day. I will be looking in the Bible before I make any plans or decisions. I will be crying out in prayer all day, everyday. I will be looking for opportunities to be thankful and joyful because I will be looking for (and finding) what God is doing in my circumstance. As I do these things, He has promised the Spirit of Truth to guide me and advise me.
Philippians 1:6 – And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue His work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.
Truth – The Author and Finisher of our faith has promised that He will finish what He has started. He made me, He purchased me, He adopted me, and He has a purpose and a plan for me. He WILL see it through. He will accomplish His work! THAT is my purpose!
If you are experiencing the darkness of betrayal, dear sisters, I pray these truths will cut through the hard shell of fear and doubt we raise as shields against the pain. You are so beautiful and precious to the only One that really matters – The High King of Heaven! I will leave you with this prayer that Paul prayed over the church in Ephesus. (Ephesians 3) It is my prayer for us all – may we truly experience the width and length and depth of His love for us and see Him accomplish more than we have even dared to hope for as we seek to honor Him through our pain!
When I think of all this I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from His glorious, unlimited resources He will empower you with inner strength through His Spirit. Then Christ will make His home in your hearts as you trust in Him. Your roots will grow down deep into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Now all glory to God, who is able, through His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think! Glory to Him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.