Words – they have power.

I don’t know if y’all remember my post a few months ago about how I felt like I had no voice. It’s funny. I kind of still feel that way, even though I can see evidence of how women are being encouraged day in and day out by something I’ve posted on social media. Sure, it’s friends I’ve made being an author and with Vox Dei, but it’s someone. And that’s all that matters.

Friday night, I was headed out with a friend from church and her friend (my new friend) to watch a movie. (War Room is HIGHLY recommended if you want a deeper, more meaningful prayer life or marriage.) We were almost to the theater when I noticed a Twitter notification on my phone from my awesome book manager, Becki Brannen.

The tweet read:

See how uplifted a girl two states away simply by showing Shining Bright http://t.co/Z4gjeKPLNg

Well, completely clueless, I clicked on the link and followed it to my publisher’s site. An author, Amy McCoy Dees had written a blog post for that day. As I read through it, I was in awe. Was this real? Had someone actually written this post? About me? I was in tears at how my words had impacted someone.

But then I realized something, it’s not about me. It’s about this girl who needed encouragement, reassurance that she was beautiful. It was about how I didn’t give up when I felt like it so many times. It’s about how one story could make one girl have a newfound confidence. It’s about learning to love yourself enough to share your story and encourage others. It’s about God using me to reach a child who needed help. It’s about words and how powerful they are.

No. This story isn’t mine. It’s all of ours. It’s about finding our voice and learning to love ourselves for who we are. It’s about being confident in your own skin. It’s about not giving up when you can’t go any further. It’s about encouraging others and not tearing them down.

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Words can tear you down or lift you up. I’ve been on the receiving end of both, and I’ve given both. I’ve torn people down, but I have to change that now. I have to be better. I choose words that give life, not death.

Today, you have the power to change someone’s life. What will you choose?

Amy said this in her post, “To me, Emerald Barnes is much more than a writer. She is an encourager, a mentor, and an empowerment to these young middle school girls struggling with body image issues.

To my young chorus student, she is a hero.”

I don’t see myself as a hero, but I do know that if I hadn’t posted what I posted for Amy to see, this young woman might not have any confidence at all.

Please take a moment to read the article here.

Maybe, just maybe, you can change someone’s life, too.

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Lies I tell myself

I tell myself I’m not beautiful.

I tell myself the reflection staring back at me isn’t worthy of love.

I tell myself each and every flaw.

I tell myself that I need to look this way.

I tell myself I need to change that about me.

I tell myself I’m don’t deserve to be happy.

And then I remember.

I’m beautiful.

I’m worthy of love.

My “flaws” make me who I am.

I don’t have to look this way to be happy.

I don’t have to change to make others like me.

I am completely deserving of happiness.

See,  we let lies take us over and dictate how we feel. I’m guilty of it, and it’s a daily struggle to overcome these lies and to replace them with the truth. I don’t have to be a victim of my own thoughts, and you don’t either. I think we forget that sometimes. Our biggest enemy is us. It’s a daily struggle to love ourselves for who we are.

But, I hope we all can trade our lies for truths and see how beautiful we truly are. We all deserve to be happy.

I know it’s not easy. It’s like the mirror shouts each flaw at us loudly. We’re too fat. We’re too skinny. Our hair isn’t the way it’s supposed to be. These clothes make us look worse. My nose is too big. My lips are too small.

Flaw after flaw, we’re pointing it out, constantly putting ourselves down. What would happen if you spoke only good things about yourself for one day? Instead of saying, I’m too fat. How about you say, “I’m me. That’s all that matters.” Instead of calling yourself too skinny say, “I’m me. That’s all that matters.”

One day could change how we see ourselves. Is it worth it? Would it be worth it to learn how to love yourself? Are YOU worth it?

(For a more God-inspired version of this same post, click here.)