The most powerful emotion I know is fear. It is sneaky and bold all at the same time, but it steals so much. Fear is the very thing that makes me go two steps forward and one step back regularly.  This process of renewing my mind is a fight to stay focused on truth. The Bible says God did not give me the spirit of fear, so every time I allow it to grab hold of me, I fall back into my past that has long since been gone. I believe Christianity is this process of continually being challenged to step out in faith and do things that are out of my nature. Today is a day for reflection on the places God and I have traveled together. Throughout this journey, I have built many monuments to remind me of His faithfulness. Those places He alone brought me through remind me how far I have come from the person I used to be. Fear is nothing but doubt and insecurity in my ability to prove my worthiness and value in this world. To be clear, I’m not talking about my irrational fear of spiders but my fear of allowing myself to be more. Vulnerability is a real issue for an extreme introvert, yet that is the constant whisper in my ear. “Say out loud, you’re beautiful,” and then walk in it. Live, talk, and walk every day like I am perfect because I am perfect in Him. This revelation that vanity creates darkness but beauty is a true overflowing of the God that lives in me. I want to think that the number of women that struggle with putting their value on their outward appearance is small, but I know it is not. I live in this world, and I know the pain of having my physical flaws pointed out in public, but truthfully, those words are usually just a reflection of someone else’s fear. There is freedom in vulnerability that is hard to define in a culture obsessed with outward appearance, and yet that same culture creates campaigns and slogans to encourage people to love how they look. I love the concept, but true beauty is not me deciding to love my body and my imperfections; it is me becoming the woman I love and respect. Like most good Christian women, the Proverbs 31 woman comes to mind, and I have to chuckle. She is an excellent example to strive for, but God has called me to be a woman that embodies 1 Corinthians 1:13. In truth, He is not asking me to be vulnerable in my ability to love but to pour out what He has given me in abundance. That overflowing love from my Savior makes me beautiful, and fear has no place there. He calls me Beloved!  

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