Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Power of a Beautiful Word

Yesterday my mind was still pondering my post late Sunday night, wondering what kind of repercussions to expect. The concern for women and the wounds they carry due to the stripping of their true value was still in the forefront of my thoughts. When I opened my Bible to Proverbs, I read the following:

Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.--Proverbs 12:18

I thought about the wounds I've had as a woman, finding my value, loving who I am as a package, and the healing that has been done is not because of surgery or some physical makeover. It was not instantaneous because of an act either done by or upon me. In fact, the source of hurt and the source of healing were the same thing: words.

Reckless words wounded me and perverted my view of myself. Kind words, words of vision, words of love healed that perception, and the words were not just verses I memorized. Many of the words were of from human lips. Many were from my husband, but a lot were from other women.

A lot of women believe men are to blame for the devaluing of women. Men contributed. However, if I am honest, I must say the greater damage was done to me not by men but by women. It wasn't men who whispered about my size when I changed clothes in the locker room. It wasn't men who made snide remarks about my not wearing designer clothes. It wasn't men who turned up their noses and whispered comments just loud enough to be heard that criticized my hair, jewelry, or fingernails. No, all of that came from women.

Last fall I attended my high school reunion. It was wonderful, except for one thing that has stuck in my mind, and honestly, I hope the Lord never lets me forget it. As with all classes, we had the adolescent issues. Some students were known for bigger problems than others, and some had a harder time in our 20s than others. One particular classmate had struggled but had turned her life around in incredible ways. When I hugged her and told her how excited I am for her, I was sincere. She likes her life, and she likes herself, and that is exciting.

The second night of the reunion a group of us got together for dinner, and that particular classmate wasn't there. She needed to be home with her children. Several others met for dinner, though, and we had a lovely time. As we were leaving, a few of us ladies headed to the restroom because that is what we do, and one of our other classmates asked if I had seen "A" the night before. I said I had. She asked if I had looked at her very closely. Uh, well, I noticed she was still beautiful. "Did you notice her boobs?" What?! "Her boobs. Did you notice her boobs?" I can honestly say I didn't. "Well, they aren't as big as they used to be. I think she had a boob job." I was stunned. Twenty years later, and we are still being that catty? I wanted to puke.

I looked at the person in front of me and said, "No, I didn't notice that. I noticed I am now the only one overweight here at the reunion, and since I have brought it up, you won't have to whisper about it in the bathroom. You can talk about it openly," and I left the bathroom feeling like I needed to go home and take a shower.

Bathroom Gossip has gone to church as long as I have known her. She was the Christian who did nothing when everyone else was doing anything. She prided herself on being good and being a Christian, and despite knowing how "A" had changed her life and was having a positive impact on others' lives, all she could think about was whether "A" had had breast reduction?

No, ladies, we cannot blame men for all the damage done to women.

While I hope you are disgusted at Bathroom Gossip's comment, I hope you see the bigger picture. At that moment, she held the power to pierce a heart or to heal a heart. At any given moment, we have the same power.

Satan has done a great job of creating an atmosphere of competition through building on our insecurities. The weapons of catty remarks, disapproving looks, and cold shoulders have worked. The devestation is obvious.

We are women, and we have the power to take back what has been stolen. We have the power to restore value and heal hearts. And we don't have to organize some national women's group to do it. We don't need political clout. We don't need a TV. We don't need some platform. We need the wisdom to speak words that heal.

You have great power. You have power to pierce a person's heart. You also have power to bring down the enemy and take that which he has stolen when you choose to release the power of a beautiful word.

8 comments:

Robin said...

Powerful post that I so relate too! You have such an amazing gift with words! I shared one of your comments with Laura this morning (while she was at Daniel's bedside in the hospital) and I could barely keep my composure because your words were touching my heart too. Every prayer and comment you have left has been so meaningful. Mark and Laura are especially blessed by what you share! So who gives a rip what size your jeans are - you have an incredible heart full of love!

Want to hear something one of my kinds said the other day when I had your blog open... whichever one it was thought you looked like you could be my sister. I only have brothers.

What you mention in this post and others regarding self worth, etc... are things I plan to post about also after Daniel is better or maybe sooner if I feel so led.

Thanks again for being you, the person God made you to be!

Jerri Phillips said...

Robin,

Thank you for this beautiful comment. I would be honored to be your sister. We would have a great time.

I am so honored to be able to stand with and for Mark and Laura. I don't even have words. I pray for Daniel, and I weep, not out of sadness. As a prophetic intercessor, I ask the Lord for His heart so I can pray in agreement, and when I begin to pray for Daniel, I am overwhelmed with pride and joy. I'm crying right now. There is such a feeling of ecstasy that fills me. I think ecstasy is the wrong word, though. It is joy in its purist form. The Lord is captivated by Daniel, and His heart is so full toward that beautiful boy.

It is an honor to intercede and experience the Lord's heart for Daniel, and the Lord has such pride over Mark and Laura's joy and enjoyment of their son. Their hearts bless Him so deeply. He looks at them and nods and says, "Yeah, that's it. That's me. They've got my heart. They see him." And He has such great freedom because of them, and He is allowed to use Daniel as a vessel through which He pours out greatly because Mark and Laura give Him freedom because they have His heart.

Robin, it is truly such an honor to pray for them. I don't even have words.

tonya said...

Jerri,
What a great post! Words can be so powerful in our lives. Twenty years later I received healing from words that had pierced my soul. Words can be lasting. Again, great post.

Robin said...

Thanks Jerri! I'm about to call Laura at the hospital again and read her your comments - she loves hearing them. She is in great spirits right now and is walking in God's power and peace!

Thank you so much for your love and prayers, Sister!

Jan Parrish said...

I don't understand why women are so mean to each other. We should be united in sisterhood instead of stabbing each other in the back.

"A Word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver." Proverbs 25:11

I find it very hard to believe you were the only one who was overweight at your high school reunion. You must have gone to school in Hollywood or had a very small class of 10.

Jerri Phillips said...

Jan,
Believe it or not, I was. I graduated from a rural school in farm country. We had 14 in my graduating class. Only 3 did not come to the reunion. Of the 11 there, I was the only one overweight. Of the 3 missing, I know one is overweight, but he has been since I've known him. He's just big. I graduated high school at 5'4" and 133 pounds. I am still 5'4" but weigh over 200.

As for why women are like that, I think there are two directions to go with that: insecurity or superiority. Both are of Satan. With this particular person, she has always had a superiority complex, and I even commented to her, "You are still so much like you were in high school," and I said it with a smile.

Robin said...

I think your picture is beautiful -the love of God shines through - who cares about the scale :)

Jerri Phillips said...

Robin, thank you. I took that picture. :-) Timers are wonderful things.

You know what my real issue is? Clothes. My waist is significantly smaller proportionally than my hips and thighs, so my clothes are a hassle. But then, the same was true when I weighed 133. I had to put darts in everything; they were just smaller darts. :-)

And you are right? If my Husband and husband are happy, then every one else is going to be fine.

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