Friday, March 6, 2009

Imperishable Beauty

When we were in west Texas for the wedding, I told Cathy I wanted to buy me some spanx. She had an extra pair so I threw them in my suitcase and took them to Midland. They worked pretty good. For you who don't know, spanx is what the virtuous woman made and sold in verse 24 of Proverbs 31. I don't know if hers went half way down your thighs and all the way up to your armpits - or at least almost, or if they came in skin tone so there would be no obvious clue of your secret, but I do know she sold them. If it was good enough for the virtuous woman, it was good enough for me.

I gave them no thought until last week when I was at Mom's getting ready for my journey to the retreat for some young women from West Texas A&M. I had already dolled up my hair as much as I knew how to doll up, so I pulled the spanx out of the suitcase that had never been unpacked from the previous journey. Word of warning: when you are ready to put them on stand by a bed or couch or something bigger than you - just in case. See, on the inside around the bottom of each leg somebody piped a stream of rubber cement so that when it was in place it would stay there and not ride up to the nearest crevice. Because of that, your foot won't just go in and plant itself on the floor ready for the other foot's trip. It sticks to the rubber cement. It happens so fast that the message doesn't reached your brain before your other leg realizes it is still the only method of support for your whatever-pound body. The reason for the couch or bed. You wouldn't have as far to fall. I wrestled around trying to get my stuck leg out, starting to hyper-ventilate because I'm a tad claustrophic, all the while Prissy the little poodle is barking the bows right out of her ears. I finally get the leg released, sit on the couch and check my carotid pulse until it comes back down to resting rate, and hear in my head "Carol, what are you doing?" I'm about to go teach these young women I Peter 3:4, how our beauty is not to come from outward adornment, but from a meek and quiet spirit, so very valuable to God. This beauty from our hearts that is truly imperishable beauty. I put the spanx back in the suitcase, knowing that those girls were supposed to see all of me the way I am.

I prayed over this retreat for weeks. About two and a half weeks before the retreat God confirmed that I was supposed to go to that scripture. That is all He gave me. That one scripture to fill up about 4 hours of teaching. I looked up the definition for meek and it said "fully trusting in the Lord; not fighting His plan; complete humility". I decided in that first session to share the verse and take them to a couple of other places where Jesus stood up and defended the sinful women who had come to him. I wanted the girls to see WHY we could fully trust, not fight His plan, and be completely humble before Him.

I got to the retreat place, a beautiful Bed and Breakfast on Lake Meridith, about 45 minutes before the group arrived. I unloaded the van and went into the room I would be sharing with Sherri and felt like God was calling me to get on my face before Him. Actually I don't know if He was calling or I was just that desperate to know what to teach. I laid down on this beautiful bear-skin rug and began to pray. I heard something downstairs so I got up to close the door because I knew I wasn't done. As I was heading back to the rug, I felt in my heart that He was wanting me on the hard wood floor. Not the comfortable rug. I hadn't been down there a few seconds until my heart knew what He was doing. The last few weeks He had been teaching me the truest form of meekness. This retreat was not to be my agenda, my plans. It was to be His and His alone. He didn't give me what I was supposed to teach, because He was going to teach. I had to fully trust Him in complete humility to speak to the hearts of these precious girls. And to me.

Those girls didn't come to hear from a former Second Runner Up - Miss Yoakum County (judges didn't consider a pom pom routine "talent"). Hehe. They came to hear from the One Who would be the Lover of their soul, their Comfortor, their Peace, their Daddy, their Defender. We all needed Him. He didn't let us down.

3 thoughts:

~Trina~ said...

I've missed your blog this past week. Your word in today's entry was beautiful. I will also admit that I have a spanx. Wore it to a wedding. It's been in the drawer ever since...I traded it in for sweats. I really think the Prov 31 Lady did the sweats. =)))))

Terrells said...

Precious!!!! Spanx and all.... Thanks for being vulnerable and allowing God to really speak through you. I had such a wonderful weekend! Much Love,

Dena said...

Thank you so much for sharing this I was so encouraged! I am not sure if you remember me but Lauren and I stayed with you on our way back from Wisconsin about 5 or 6 years ago. I am in the process of planning a retreat for the fall with someone and it has been overwhelming for me. What you said at the very end about it not being about you but about Him really spoke to me. I have been on my face in prayer lately. I just want to bring Him glory. Thanks for your encouragement!