How He Sees You (Prayer Devotional for the week of November 1, 2015)

I dressed up as J.J. Watt (defensive end for the Houston Texans) for some costume fun at work on Friday. The boys were exchanging costume ideas for themselves, and one of them joked about padding his sleeves to look like muscles. Then, one of them piped in and said, “Mom’s arms are so buff, she doesn’t need to pad her sleeves. She’s so strong, she could lift a truck!” My first instinct – and I’m glad I bit my tongue – was to correct him and say that although I am pretty strong, my arms are pudgy, not muscular like J.J.’s. In that moment, though, it dawned on me that he saw me through a completely different lens from how I see myself: he really believed that I was so strong I could pick up a vehicle, if need be.

 

My son doesn’t see the tired, overweight, falling-apart body that I walk around in every day. He sees a strong and powerful woman. Wow, if I could just channel some of that confidence to myself! I’ve struggled with my appearance for a very long time. Even back in the day when I swam competitively and performed with the Colorguard, I was limber and muscular but never curvy or skinny like the popular girls, so I assumed I was too fat. Three babies, a couple of decades, and a bum knee later, and I only wish that I was as “fat” as I thought I was back then!

 

Psalm 45:11 is a verse that I have held onto for many years; it talks about how God sees beauty in us, and we are to honor him above all else. It’s easy to get wrapped up in our own view of ourselves and forget that we have a loving heavenly Father who sees us through his own unique lens of grace. Do you ever dwell on your inabilities or rehash sins that have long since been forgiven? God has so much for us to see, if we’d redirect our attention to him and let him show us.

 

Remember that God has equipped us with so much more than what can be seen externally. In 2 Timothy 1:7 (NLT), we learn that God has given us a spirit of “power, love, and self-discipline,” as opposed to timidity or fear. It doesn’t matter how the world sees you – or even how you see yourself. Through Christ, we have a brand-new identity (2 Corinthians 5:17). And if that isn’t enough convincing, Philippians 1:6 says that God will not leave the good work that he began in you unfinished! You are enough, and you are loved eternally.

The catch-22 of relocating

Q: What do these pictures have in common with each other?

The view from my seats in McLane Stadium, opening football season 2014

The view from my seats in McLane Stadium, opening football season 2014

 

Cedar Canyon: Cedar Breaks National Monument, Utah (photo credit: Google Maps — click for a gorgeous, panoramic photo tour)

Cedar Canyon: Cedar Breaks National Monument, Utah (photo credit: Google Maps — click for a gorgeous, panoramic photo tour)

 

A: Not a darn thing.

 

Actually, I guess that’s not completely accurate. The images above have one thing potentially in common: me.

In the case of the football stadium screen shot, my window of opportunity to renew my season tickets at the brand-new stadium occurred this morning at 10:06am. I had to log on within a two-minute timeframe to select my seats, and since season ticket allotments are already sold out, you could run the risk of losing your seats entirely if you don’t renew during your appointed time.

It’s very exciting, seeing as I’ve been at this university for 10 years, and for most of that time, you could hardly give away tickets to watch the Bears play football, much less sell them. But now, everyone is counting down the days until football season begins! (Even those who don’t care about football are pumped up, because school spirit has never been stronger.)

So, I eagerly logged on and bought my tickets. The catch-22 is that there’s a chance I might not be able to use them, which brings us to the landscape photo. (For my Texas friends: those bumpy things in the background are called mountains.) 🙂

The photo above is a street-view screenshot from Google Maps, which I linked to a breathtaking photo tour of Cedar Breaks National Monument. There are places of such beauty like this on Earth where I think that sometimes God must lean back and smile as he says to himself, “Wow, I’m good.”

The reason I shared that photo is because I’m heading that direction next week for a job interview! I’ll share more details if it actually comes through, but this is a follow-up to a Skype interview that we had last month. It’s for a faculty position and seems right up my alley, in terms of my preparedness and the direction I’d like to see my career go. I like what I’ve learned about the university; the public schools in the area sound good; property taxes are about 4-5 times less than what I’m currently paying; we’re supposed to hit the 90s this weekend, whereas it’s still in the 60s & 70s there … the “pros” list goes on & on.

There are “cons,” as well, and I haven’t overlooked them. The football tickets are a bit tongue-in-cheek, because if it really came down to it, then I could sell them. Besides, the Bears are playing so well now, odds are good that several of the games will be televised beyond just our local region. More important “cons” include leaving family, friends, church, and the sheer logistics of relocating. But, those aren’t insurmountable obstacles, and I’m hopeful that my path will be pretty clear in the coming weeks.

I hesitated to share anything here about the interview, but several of you have been so faithful to pray with and for me over the years, and I would appreciate your prayers for this season of my life, as well.

On the bright side, if the job doesn’t work out, I still have football to look forward to. 🙂