A couple of weeks ago, we had an event at my church called Ladies’ Night Out. It was beautiful, from start to finish.
We started out with an icebreaker activity where we had to go around and compliment 5 other women and vice versa. We were each given a piece of paper to list the 5 compliments we received.
Well… apparently, I wasn’t fully paying attention because I didn’t do the activity right.
I was supposed to take note of what each woman said to me about myself. Instead, I did the opposite and took notes or what I said to the women I met.
It could have naturally just been the encourager in me or…possibly because I don’t taken compliments well.
Never have, but I am getting better.
But that’s another story…
Needless to say, I couldn’t remember much of what was told to me about me…well except one woman who told me something toward the end of the activity.
She said, “I just think you’re so smart and you have so much confidence. You are comfortable with yourself.”
She must have taken note of the fact that my eyes raised in surprise or possibly confusion.
Then she asked, “Do you feel that way about yourself?”
And I said, “Well yes…sometimes.”
Since then, I have been thinking about my response and all that was going on in my head before answering her.
It came up again the following Sunday morning as I was ironing a blouse for church.
Now ladies, y’all know how it is when you get your hair done and you are putting on a cute outfit.
There’s an extra bit of confidence you have because you may feel extra good about yourself.
That’s how I felt…
Until the Holy Spirit quietly asked me a question.
“Is that where your true confidence lies? In your clothes and what you’re wearing?”
And I instantly felt convicted.
Because for so many years, this was the truth.
Now hear me out.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with feeling good about yourself.
But…it shouldn’t come because you have a new fancy hairstyle or your clothes are on fleek. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist, even though my youngest sister told me I couldn’t use that word anymore. Not sure if I even used it right, but anyway...)
True confidence should come from the fact that you are clothed with righteousness by the King of Kings.
It should come from the fact that your head is crowned with beauty in exchange for ashes.
Your true confidence should come from that gentle and quiet spirit, which Paul refers to in 1 Peter 3:4. that you can only get from your Heavenly Father.
Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. 4You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God. ~1 Peter 3:3-4, NLT
True confidence should be present in you at all times because you know that you are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14), God’s very own masterpiece (Ephesians 2:10).
It should come from knowing your identity-who you are and whose you are.
So as I continued ironing, once again, God was reminding me that I didn’t have to hesitate when someone said this to me because my true confidence isn’t in what others may see externally.
It rests in the absolute truth that He has truly given me beauty for my ashes (Isaiah 61:3), not because of anything I have done, but simply because I am His.
Sis, may you know, embrace and walk in this truth as well, even while you are waiting.
P.S. If you are reading this, I am currently on a local missions trip in Gainesville, GA with a group of women. Not coincidentally, the specific program is called Beauty For Ashes. Please pray that everything the Lord has prepared for the women who participate they will receive openly and freely. Can’t wait to share my experience when I return!