My God-Image, Part 3 - Girlfriends in God - January 13, 2015

January 13, 2015
My God-Image
Part 3
Mary Southerland

Today’s Truth

Before I made you in your mother's womb, I chose you(Jeremiah 1:5, NCV).

Friend to Friend

I have spent many years of my life trying to earn the favor and love of God. I worked very hard at being the person I thought God wanted me to be instead of seeking Him to discover who He created me to be.

I was sharing that struggle with our friend, Rick Warren, who listened quietly, and then asked, “Mary, who is going to be you … if you don’t be you?” I had to stop and think about that statement for a minute. Rick went on to share what God had taught him about learning to see himself through the eyes of God.

I was reminded of the lesson I learned from my mother, and the truths God taught me while I was sitting at the bottom of the pit of clinical depression. God really does have a special plan just for me. My highest act of obedience is to seek that plan each and every day.

For the first time in my life, I came completely clean with God.

I abandoned myself to Him – and He was there – never condemning me - and always loving me.

His love set me free from my own human and very confining expectations, as well as the lifeless expectancies of others. They were not my audience. God was. And His heart was for me.

I could almost see God grab those heavenly pom-poms when I quietly turned to Him, leaving a world of hurt behind.

And His smile – His smile dried every tear and healed every hurt.

I no longer needed a relationship with any human to prove my worth. The only relationship that mattered was with the One who made me worthy – my Father and my God.

I think Mama learned a lot of these truths through the many difficult years of her life. She knew. And she also knew I would have to come to those truths the same way she had – the hard way. The lessons really have been and will be worth the pain it often takes to learn each one.

I learned that God loves me - period - just as I am – warts and all.

I learned that absolutely no one could take my place in the Father’s heart.

I learned that I am indispensable to absolutely no one but God.

I learned that I am not an accident. I may not have been planned or wanted by human heart and mind, but I was definitely planned and wanted in the heart and mind of God.

I learned that I was created in response to God’s special and unique plan for my life, not as an afterthought. God never has to say, “Oops!”

I learned that God is crazy about me – no matter what I do or don’t do. If I never did another thing in the Kingdom, His love for me would not change.

For so long, I had desperately looked for worth in the eyes of people the world deemed worthy - instead of finding my worth in God alone.

No more.

Mama saw me – just as I was – precious in her eyes and in the eyes of God. And she loved me unconditionally, just as God loves me.

Psalm 139:14-15 (NIV) “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”

There was not an ounce of pride in Mama’s heart and life. I never saw her put her own needs above the needs of others - not once. She was a humble and precious woman who loved God, cherished her family, and knew how to be a true friend until the day she died. Maybe that’s why she could so easily spot pride. It was a foreign language that she simply could not and would not speak. I want to live my life the same way.

By the way, the first time Mama met my husband, Dan Southerland, she looked him dead in the eyes, measuring every inch of his gorgeous self. Mama then smiled and softly said, “Take good care of my daughter.”

Let’s Pray

Father, I am so tired of trying to be good enough and measure up to the standards of others. Today, I surrender my self-image to You and take up my God-image. Please help me keep my eyes fixed on You and the race You have set before me. I celebrate who I am in Your eyes.

In Jesus’ name,


Now It’s Your Turn

What masks do you wear in an effort to prove your worth? If you want to be right with God and with others, you must first be real.

Find seven Bible verses that talk about the love of God. Write each verse on a 3x5 card. Memorize one verse a day for the next seven days and share the verse with someone you love.

Who or what makes you feel abandoned and unloved? Determine one step you can take in order to see yourself through the eyes of God.

More from the Girlfriends

Hope in the Midst of Depression is the story of my struggle to see myself as God sees me and in doing so, be set free from the darkness of judgment and condemnation. I encourage you to visit my online store and pick up a copy.

Be sure to connect with me through email or on Facebook. I love hearing what God is doing in your life!

Seeking God?
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how to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

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Huntersville, NC 28070

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Originally published Tuesday, 13 January 2015.