she will be loved.

       I remember I was twelve. And crazy about the Christian singing group Point of Grace. Oh, I owned all their CD's, memorized every single lyric to every single one of their songs, copied all their outfits, and plastered their posters all over the light pink walls of my bedroom. They were the coolest. In the life of a pre-teen girl who loved God, they were my role models. And oh how thankful I am for their godly example in my life throughout the years. Beyond thrilled, that night was their first concert I attended and it was amazing. Their perfect harmonies wowed the audience and after the concert, a line began forming outside the big church where the concert was held. The "POG" girls were graciously signing autographs for all their fans, and I was in line to meet them (dream come true!) Quickly, my sister Mandy and our best friend Rachel and I raced to the ladies room to throw on our new "groupie" Point of Grace t-shirts that our patient dads had just bought us. As I waited by the door of the bathroom for my friends to come out, I noticed someone. A tiny older lady wearing a plain, baggy blue uniform. Plain and serious, she pushed a cart full of cleaning supplies and held a big black trash bag. She smiled at me as she passed, and in broken English she warmly asked me, "Did you have fun at the concert?" I answered positively and smiled back at the sweet, quiet soul. And as she passed me, straining to push the cart full of Windex and bottles of disinfectant spray she said, "God bless, sweetie." And the she disappeared behind the door that read "Women." In that moment, I became still and the Lord whispered to my heart, "She is just as beautiful to me as the Point of Grace girls. As she cleans up the trash, she is serving me just as much as those girls do when they sing to thousands. She is just as beautiful to me, in her absolutely un-glamorous service to me. You remember that." 
         I can't explain that realization as anything but a God-moment. He certainly didn't speak those words to me audibly, but in my heart these truths just resonated. And I've never forgotten it. An hour later, I met the singers I looked up to so much. Surely they were weary after meeting hundreds of little girls, but they treated me with such care and love.
I've never forgotten that night. Because, the whole experience seared my heart with one incredible truth: to God, we are all the same. A maid does menial tasks and cleans toilets in service to the Lord while a singer shares the Gospel on stage in service of God and takes time to talk to each little girl who looks to her as a role model. And He loves them all the same.

     To this world, a maid should be pitied while a popular singer should be admired. But not to God. In His eyes, they are equally precious. They are equally beautiful. They are equally loved. Because, you see, they are not defined by their jobs, their social status, their popularity, or their outward appearance - they are defined by His love for them. 
    I remembered that encounter today for some reason. And it got me thinking. About how precious the Lord's love is. I realized how often I forget the lesson He taught me as a 12-year-old girl. How I often search for my identity in how I look, what I do, in who cares for me, what I've achieved. Sweet friend, may I ask you something?

    Where do you find your identity? Who makes you lovable, beautiful, worthy? Where do you find your value? Is it that gorgeous head of hair, your fashion sense, or your well-toned body? Is it your mad organizational skills, your athletic ability, or how well you mother your children? Do you find your worth in your job performance, the number of "blog followers" you have, the "likes" you get on Instagram? Do rank your value on the way men view you? On how many heads you turn while walking down the street? How your husband treats you or your boyfriend's words? Do you feel worthless because you've been dumped too many times or guys just don't ask you out? 

   Darling, I speak truth to you today - you are valuable not for what you do. Not for how you look. Not for how you are treated by men. Not by your skills and abilities. Not by how much money you make or the academic degrees you've earned. You are valuable not for how you pretty you are, how much weight you've lost or how tan your skin is. You are valuable not for how men view you or what your relationship status is.

 You are valuable and worthy because God loves you like crazy.

 I'm not just saying this, girl. God says it in the Bible: 

"...You are precious and honored in My sight...
because I love you." 
-Isaiah 43:4

       You are not defined by your job. You are not just a nanny, an accountant, a teacher, a doctor, or a maid. You are not defined by your relationship status. You are not just a wife, a momma, a friend, a girlfriend, a fiance, a single gal, a daughter, or a sister. You are not the number (or lack thereof) in your bank account. You are defined by how God loves you.

     God doesn't see the outer trapping we get caught up in. He doesn't see glossy hair or acne-covered skin. He doesn't notice a work uniform or designer jeans. He doesn't care about social status or the number of Twitter followers you have. He cares about you, beloved. He created your heart.

 "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 and I know that full well." 
-Psalm 139:13-14

  Take a moment today and read Psalm 139. Grasping this truth - His love for you - will change your life. It is the only self-confidence that truly lasts. It's the only peace that will stay. My prayer for you today is that you are reminded of who you truly are. Jesus defines who you are. His indescribable mercy, grace, care, forgiveness, love and incredible peace. 

    Precious soul, know that you are a gem. Remember that always. And remember that you are extravagantly loved by God. You might be a maid doing the dirtiest of jobs or a celebrity under the brightest of lights - it doesn't matter to Him. He just loves you. 

   You are loved by the One who spoke the stars into place. How beautiful is His love for you. Embrace it, taste it, receive it, and walk in it. 

"See, I have engraved you on the palms of My hands, 
your walls are ever before me." 
-Isaiah 49:16

Run to Him and fall at His feet. You are His daughter. Oh how He loves you.