I debated whether to end this chapter with powerful conquerors – boy, that is a great high to go out on. Being grounded empowered conquerors enables us to revise how we live as working women and define success and worth. But I would be remiss if I did not address two of the biggest challenges women face today.
First, the battle we fight daily about what the world says regarding our physical beauty. Second, the constant struggle we have to find internal peace. I may be alone in this warring ship, but even after I get past all of the messaging that the world rains down on me regarding what makes me a success, I still have two silly messages pummeling me with attacks that wound.
I am not pretty enough. I should be thinner. I should be tanner. I should have better hair, eyes, nails, teeth, abs, thighs, and the list goes on. My appearance on the outside is never good enough to measure up. While this is not “technically” a measure of your professional success, it no doubt affects it.
And then there’s the worry. I have to worry. Everything that can go wrong will go wrong. Since we all know I am in control of it all, if everything falls apart it is my fault. Stress out. There is not enough time. There is not enough money. There is not enough me. This can cripple your ability to succeed on anyone’s scale, God or man’s, and can cripple your ability to live fulfilled and empowered.
These two messages (never being beautiful enough and needing to worry about everything that could happen), both of which don’t officially appear on the vicious cycle list of achievements and failures, are omnipresent. They are also untrue. God says you are beautiful. You are His handiwork created in His image. If we could hear His whispers of beauty over your life, then maybe we wouldn’t be so all consumed with how we look every second of the day.
God also says that He offers peace. You can rest. Do not worry. Do not trust for a moment the undercurrent in the vicious cycle that tells you that you are anything less than or that you should panic. I canI worry about my worth, my job, my kids, my marriage, my finances, and everything in between and it can keep me UP nights. God, a far more trustworthy advisor, tells us to stop.
How do I know?
You ARE Beautiful:
Isaiah 62:3,5: You will be a crown of splendor in the Lord’s hand, a royal diadem in the hand of your God….as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you.
Isaiah 61:2-3: He has sent me …to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes…They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.
I Peter 3:4: It [your beauty] should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.
Ephesians 2:10: For we are God’s handiwork.
Psalm 139:13-15: For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
You CAN have Peace:
John 14:27: Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
Colossians 3:15: Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace.
Matthew 6:25-30: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry.”
Isaiah 26:3,12: You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Lord, you establish peace for us; all that we have accomplished you have done for us.
Ezekiel 37: 26–27: I will make a covenant of peace with them; it will be an everlasting covenant.
Philippians 4: 6-7: Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.