Made in His Image| By Gabby Jones

“Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.” Genesis 2:7 NIV

When God speaks, stars burn bright, trees grow up, and animals begin to form; but when God uses His hands, something special is about to happen.

With all the wonder we have in our minds about this world and how someone so small could move just a spec of what God created, we have to remember that He created us too. 

He did not just speak about your existence, He formed you in His own hands and breathed His breath into you. 

We have all studied science and know many facts about the world, universe, and the body, and a majority of the time, we feel small compared to what is out there. We start questioning who we are and the impact we could have in this world, and it can be a bit overwhelming. Even as young women, some of us still don’t know who we are and what we could possibly do in this world. 

Why were we made and how could we possibly have any effect on anyone or anything in this vast space?

When following the beginning of Genesis, you start to notice that God spoke when creating the skies, animals, and seas. He spoke everything into existence with each little detail we see today, but when we get to how God formed man, He decided to get down and dirty. You see, when God created you and me, He didn’t just say a name and move on, He rolled up His sleeves and decided to use His hands to form His greatest creation. He does not just know your name, He knows your heart because it first beat in His hands. 

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. Psalms 139:13 NIV

For a long time, I didn’t feel worthy enough to be compared to the beauties of this world. It was hard enough to compete with people, how could I stand to be this small person within something so big. But God. He reminded me that out of the things he created, I was His favorite. He carved out my left dimple, twirled my curly hair, and perfected my wheezy laugh. He smiles when I find the beauty in myself because he personally made me. He smiles when you see the beauty in yourself because He personally made you and you are His favorite. 

You were not just created to be a void in this world, you were created to show the world who God made you to be.

You may not know that right now, but as you continue to press into God, He will show you why He took the time to carve you into who you are. You have so many qualities that overwhelm and impact THIS WORLD. You aren’t just another name or word, you are His CREATION. 

To be more encouraged about who you are, read Psalm 139. You are His.

Bring Your Brokenness| By Rachel Lukinovich

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Do you remember back in your childhood days, when you were just learning how to color?

Wasn’t it fun to scribble all over that white paper and make whatever your little heart so desired?

But then, all of sudden, you accidentally pushed down on that crayon a little too hard and maybe a little too fast. Then pop, your crayon breaks, and man are you bummed. You’re a smart kid so you ask for some tape and voila, the crayon is back to its former “whole” self. Or, maybe you don’t have any tape, so you just throw those crayon pieces right where they belong – in the trash.

Does this bring back any memories?

A few weeks ago, my 2-year-old daughter Ava, and I were making creative little pictures. Just as she goes to finish the round edge of her circle, snap — you guessed it, her crayon broke in two. She, like most small children, feels very similar about her crayons, and within minutes, this was our dialogue-

Ava: “I can’t use these crayons, mommy, they are broken.”

Me: (not wanting to waste and throw away anymore crayons) “You can still use them, even though they are broken.”

If the Holy Spirit didn’t slap me in the face, I don’t know what did! Instantly, it was brought to my attention that too often we treat ourselves and sometimes others like this crayon. Our minds have somehow come to believe that once broken, we need to quickly slap a piece of tape on our brokenness, and if that is not doable, we are no longer usable for God’s kingdom.

For years, mainly after giving my life to Christ, I believed the lie that I had to seem perfect or altogether, but over time, the Lord freed me of this and spoke truth into my heart. It is okay to be and appear broken, as long as our brokenness is being handled in the hands of our Father. Others might see our broken crayons like pieces of uselessness, but Jesus sees a perfectly capable art tool that He’s thrilled to create a beautiful story with.

Have you ever thought that maybe our broken crayons are what will make our story so beautiful? When we are broken, it is guaranteed that God gets the glory because our own strength simply could not hold us together.

Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

Too often, we believe we need to quickly fix ourselves and tightly wrap some type of reinforcement to hide the brokenness – Why? Because a whole taped crayon looks so much better than a obviously broken one. Yet, reinforcing the crayon will only hold its strength for so long, and despite what its appearance may show, it’s still completely broken on the inside. The outer splint will only last for so long.

Our past hurts and mistakes do not define us, but that doesn’t mean we should slap a bandaid over a festering wound and call it a day. Wounds, mistakes, failures, shortcoming, hurts, – they all cause us to break one way or another. Brokenness takes time to be mended, a healing that can truly only be completely made whole and well by the grace, forgiveness, and love of our Father, Jesus Christ.

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalms 147:3

We may want our whole story to be written with a perfectly whole crayon, but at the end of the day, if we keep our eyes on Jesus and let Him write our story, it will be so beautifully written, regardless if the crayon was whole or broken.

Instead of seeking quick fixes to tape us back together, let us keep our eyes fixed on our Savior and King, and let Him do the mending back into shape, even if it means we have to go through the fire to be melted down and reshaped. After all, we are His work in progress and we are His masterpiece.

“And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” Philippians 1:6