Kayla went into the dressing room with four dresses to try on. She thought to herself, “Why do I even bother?” The realization of the weight gain had hit her square in the face that morning, as her husband spouted off another rude comment about how big she was getting. He didn’t have to remind her, she looked in the mirror everyday.
She needed a dress for the ladies tea at church. The dresses in her closet were much too tight, out of date, or too casual. Three stores and ten dresses later Kayla decided on the black skirt and jacket with which she would wear her teal blouse. Black was supposed to be slimmimg; she had alot of black in her wardrobe.
At the event, Kayla sat with two friends from her women’s Bible study. The speaker’s presentation that night was entitled, “A Woman’s Identity in Christ”. Kayla had been a believer for many years, but could not grasp all that God’s grace entailed. The speaker gave this example: ” Let’s say you were speeding and a policeman pulled you over. He came to your car window and did not give you a speeding ticket, which is what you deserved for breaking the law, that’s God’s mercy. Instead, he handed you a $100.00 bill, which is what you did not deserve, but much more wonderful, an extra bonus. And to top it off, you did absolutely nothing to earn this $100.00 bill, that’s God’s grace.”
One of the awesome gifts of God’s wonderful grace is that we become a new person in Christ. Kayla heard and received the message that night that she is God’s workmanship, which translates, ” a piece of poetry” (Eph. 2:10), free from condemnation (Rom. 8:1-2), has not been given a spirit of fear but of love, power, and a sound mind (2 Tim. 1:7) ,and has been redeemed and forgiven of all sin (Col. 1:13-14). She had heard these things briefly discussed in sermons and Bible studies, but hearing it now it seemed that these truths were meant uniquely for her. The speaker gave only a small synopsis of all this encompassed and encouraged the women to leave and continue this discovery of who they really are in Christ, then to walk confidently in it.
For months Kayla studied and devoured God’s Word to find out more about the treasures His grace had given her, especially her identity in Christ. She became a confident woman in Christ. When her husband made those snide comments Kayla refused to allow it to bring her down because she knew her God loved her, created her, did not condemn. It was His love for her that changed the way Kayla saw herself. She began to believe she could become healthy from the inside out. Her diet changed, she added exercise, and she began counseling.
Years of shame and guilt had ripped her self esteem to shreds , then to marry a man who only made her feel worse, there was nothing left. Then came the Savior… Jesus in Kayla lit a light that shone brighter than any dirty, old past could dim. It just took someone telling the truth. The light was inside Kayla from the moment she knew Him, but no one told her the whole truth of the gospel. She had no idea of all that our God gives us when we come to Him.
If there is anything that should be done more thoroughly it is this… tell the truth, the whole truth. Give the Kaylas that come into your life John 10:10 “The devil comes to kill, steal and destroy, but I have come that you may have life and have it abundantly.” Jesus came not only to give life in the hereafter, but in the here and now and abundantly, generously, completely, to the full, your cup running over. Not materially necessarily, but inwardly, with peace, love, hope, faith, joy, and wisdom. Even in the trials we face, when done by Jesus through us, they can be faced peacefully with a spark of hope. Tell them there is more to salvation than a ticket to heaven, but also the power to live a full life here. We can live life in confidence and walk with our heads held up, but only because Jesus has set us free to do so. It is all about Him, for Him and through Him.
Kayla and her husband are now living a contented life together. He has learned to respect and love her for who she is and who she is becoming. She accepts him for him and continues to find her own identity and calling in Christ Jesus. Life is not perfect, for if it were she would be in heaven, but life is good and Kayla is learning what it means to live abundantly.