From the Inside Out

Last year was a challenging year for me. I struggled with deep-seated insecurity and spent months begging God to “fix” the physical flaws that caused such grief.

Although I believe that He is able to do anything, it was clear that He had another way for me; that an “instant fix” wouldn’t ultimately last. It wouldn’t provide a strong foundation for me to stand on in the years to come.

Unfortunately I was so blinded by my own desires that I couldn’t–or wouldn’t–recognize what God might be doing. Instead I spent months searching for satisfaction from the world. I believed every advertisement, convinced that all I needed was “this cream” or “that diet” and I’d be complete! I went to God with it, but always asked for the same things, “fix this, change that, take it away!” It wasn’t until September of last year that I reached a breaking point. While on vacation with my husband, I found myself in tears over insecurities about my appearance. I’ll never forget that moment. We had just landed in San Diego, California, and I had an entire week to explore a new city with my husband and to visit old friends. But somehow I was in tears, so despondent over my situation. I saw, perhaps for the first time, that this was too much. I had let myself wander too far.

The change wasn’t immediate, but as September turned into October, I slowly opened my hands to Him. I’ll be the first to admit that it was not an easy process. I walked through a period of refinement and the fire was hot. I had to lay down many idols in order to be transformed. I saw my own sin and shame on full display, but never once did He leave me.  Through the fire, He was there, molding me to look more like Him. As it turns out, that’s the whole point! A silversmith will hold his silver over the fire until he can see his reflection in it. That’s exactly what God wants to do with us. “He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver” (Malachi 3:3), and He will not stop until we allow Him to complete His work in us.

I spent the majority of 2013 petitioning God for a quick fix. Why couldn’t I see that there was a reason He wasn’t answering me the way I wanted Him to? I can see it with clear eyes now. He wanted to deal with my heart and I was only concerned with my outward appearance. Almost 9 months later, I can say with full confidence that His way is better.

Ladies, I pray that we will allow God to transform us from the inside out, that we will be more concerned with what’s in our hearts than what’s on our bodies. It’s difficult to lay down our idols of beauty, comfort, money, health. But if we will surrender what we think we cannot afford to lose, He will give us back more than we ever dreamt possible. It’s for our freedom and His glory.

Are there things in your life you’ve been asking God for an instant fix? What might God be trying to reveal to you through this experience?

– Anne Boyd, Pelham Campus