In Her Shadow

Two sisters – Leah and Rachel. One is described as beautiful with a lovely figure. The other, well, she had "weak eyes." No one knows what that means for certain, but I’m sure it wasn’t a complement. Some suggest that her vision was so bad that she squinted to see. Others think she was cross-eyed. In either case, Leah was perceived as the “lesser” sister. One day, Jacob enters the lives of Leah and Rachel. He quickly falls in love with Rachel, and he vows to work seven years for Laban, their father, to earn her hand in marriage. The wedding day and honeymoon night come and go. With the morning light peaking into the tent, Jacob discovers that he had been deceived. He actually married Leah.

This was an intentional plot to marry off the oldest daughter first. Apparently, Laban thought the only way someone would marry Leah was by tricking him. Now, that’s a confidence builder!

Still determined, Jacob pledges to work an additional seven years for Laban to earn the right to marry Rachel. After all, she was the one he actually loved.

[H]is love for Rachel was greater than his love for Leah. – Genesis 29:30

Today, I want to speak to the “Leahs” of the world. The women who are not appreciated for the value that they bring. The women who spend their lives living in the shadow of another because they are perceived as lesser. Maybe you’ve been compared to your sister like Leah was. Or maybe, you have been overshadowed by your mother, aunt, friend or even a co-worker because they are more attractive, talented, or successful.

Ladies, you need to hear me. God wants to pull you out of the shadows. He wants you to see the greatness that He has deposited inside of you, yes you! It is time to break free from the stigma that has been placed upon you, and walk boldly into the light – His light.

Sadly, I’m not sure if Leah ever realized that, although she did not have Jacob’s favor, she had God’s favor. In fact, Rachel spent most of her life envying her sister, because unlike Leah, she wasn’t able to have children. It wasn’t until the end of Rachel’s life that she was able to conceive. And with that, she died giving birth to her second son. With God’s favor upon Leah, she bore six sons and one daughter for Jacob. One son, Judah, is part of the ancestry of Jesus. What a wonderful legacy!

God saw Leah’s value. But, she missed it. She spent her entire life feeling inferior to her sister.

“Leahs," your lives have significance! You need to stop feeling second-rate to the “Rachels” of the world. God has a purpose for your life. Boldly step out of the shadows, and into your destiny.

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. – Psalm 139:13-15

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So Loved

Train wreck. Failure. Screw up. Loser. Worthless. Ugly. Useless. Fat. Hopeless. Stupid. Pathetic. Sinner. Have these words ever been spoken over you? Worse yet, are these words you have spoken over yourself? Words spoken over us shape the way we define ourselves. Truth disappears and perceived reality becomes truth. We then begin to define ourselves according to the wrong standard – a standard that is not from God.

The devil wants to make us feel insecure and keep us broken. He doesn’t want us to know that there is freedom from these lies through Christ Jesus. Hear me today – you are not defined by these words. You have a future with Christ Jesus. You are loved by the Father.

For God so loved the world that he gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. – John 3:16

You need to understand that even if you were the only person on the planet, Jesus would have still died on the cross because of His immeasurable love for you. Jesus’ death is the ultimate gesture of love. You need to understand that nothing can separate you from the love of God.

For I am sure that 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

Some of you may be struggling with sins in your past and you may think that you have a legitimate reason to believe these negative words. God can turn the biggest catastrophe into a beautiful masterpiece, but you need to let Him. Make a choice today to believe what the Word of God says about you.

Right now, I want you to look yourself in the mirror and repeat after me:

I have a future with Jesus.

I am beautiful.

I have purpose.

I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

There is hope for me.

I am forgiven.

I am redeemed.

I am His.


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The Battle of the Scale (by Guest Blogger Shila Anderson)


The scale isn’t too nice to me today. I try to rationalize the number staring back at me. Did I have too many sweets? Were my portions out of control? Or just maybe it’s my body’s natural tendency to store the fat during the cold, frigid temperatures? I know as I step off the scale that I have a choice to make today. Is this number going to dictate my worth? Is it going to affect my mood and everyone that comes in contact with me? Or am I going to look past this number and know this number does not define who I am?

I’ve made the wrong choice in the past, too many times to count. My days were filled with bitterness, self-loathing, and insecurity. I would search all day for someone, anyone, to tell me I looked beautiful. I would hunger for attention. I’d try to gain approval by what people thought about how I looked. Anything to make up for that awful number that stared at me from the scale.

“How can you believe if you accept praise from one another, yet make no effort to obtain the praise that comes from the only God?” – John 5:44

Other days, I would just throw in the towel. What’s the point of all this eating healthy and exercising if it’s just not working? Maybe I’m just meant to be heavy. I would spend the day pigging out and filling my body with food that never really satisfied my soul.

Neither of these choices worked in my favor. They always left me empty. I was focusing on me, me, me. I was still making that silly number on the scale my idol for that day – the thing I thought about ALL DAY LONG. The scale would win.

Today, I’m going to make a different choice. I’m not going to let that number define me. I will continue on the healthy journey that God has set before me, I won’t give that up. But mainly, I will focus on who I am, not what the scale says I am. Today, I will feed myself with God’s Word, not chocolate. I will read my Bible, read my devotionals, and have good prayer time that isn’t focused on me. What does God want me to do today for His glory? It’s amazing how much more can I do for God when I’m not focused on myself?

Ladies, if you have ever gotten yourself into a battle with the scale, take this vow with me - I WILL win the battle of the scale, because I’m not going to let it define who I am. I am a child of the most high God. I am a princess. I have worth. I am loved. I am wonderfully made!

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” – Psalm 139:4

(Thank you Shila, for this wonderful word. I know many women can relate to this battle.)