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Last night the kids and I read about Leah and Rachel in their Jesus Storybook Bible. Even though the details are obviously a little skewed for small ears, it’s one of my favorite stories in there. A few weeks ago I even cried listening to it on the CD while going about chores. (Sometimes Mommy needs to just listen to the Bible, even if it’s a children’s version!)
Sally Lloyd-Jones, the author, really focuses on Leah’s rejection by Jacob and then redemption by God. Seeing her lonely heart, God chose Leah to be the one who bore Judah–the ancestor of David and, of course, of Christ Himself.
Leah felt less-then. Her “weak-eyed” self was outshone by her beautiful sister. Bearing son after son made no difference in Jacob’s love for her.
As a child and teen, I can’t remember many times when I didn’t feel less-than myself.
Don’t get me wrong: I had a happy childhood. I have two wonderful, loving parents, had a decent relationship with my sister, friends, and a church home. We went on vacations. I had lots of bliss!
But I never felt like I measured up. I was chubby from the time I was 9 or 10. I had giant pink-plastic-framed glasses, then braces. Wild curly hair. The wrong clothes. I could wear my mother’s dresses, and occasionally I did.
I rarely attracted any attention from boys, and any time I did it was a BIG HUGE deal. The plight for a relationship took entirely too much time in my mind-space. I’ll never forget the humiliation of insulting myself as a way to “ask a boy out” in seventh or eighth grade. (Not surprisingly, he never answered me.)
If I could look my 10-year-self in the eyes, I would say, so firmly, Jessie, YOU ARE ENOUGH. There is no measuring stick except the one of God – the one that says “neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39, ESV). You are beautiful, you are a princess, you are beloved, simply because He made you and you are His. Don’t believe the lies of Satan that tell you you’re not as pretty-good-smart-entitled-loved as so-and-so.
He holds you in His hand, cradles you to His chest, and whispers that YOU, Jessie, are His child, and He died for you.
I hope Leah felt that same rush of love I do when I write those words.
This month, Compassion is challenging us to get 3,160 children sponsored. Our family sponsors two children (one for a few years, one just recently). I can tell you from experience that it’s such a blessing to get to speak truth into a child’s life.
Our Compassion children may feel less-than for different reasons: where they were born, what circumstances they live in, what they have vs. what we have in the US. I hope we are speaking to them that they are enough, too.
Through Compassion, children get the opportunity to have their physical, emotional, and spiritual needs filled, something many of their friends may not get. They see Jesus’ love through the on-site workers and, I hope, through their sponsors.
Will you consider sponsoring a child today?