Photo by Dawn at My Home Sweet Home
When I was a kid I never felt comfortable in my own skin. Courage was something that I struggled with more than the Cowardly Lion from the Wizard of OZ and nothing made me feel weaker, smaller and more insignificant than being teased.
Insults found me with more speedy accuracy than heat seeking missiles and the names that landed on me most were stupid, fat and tomboy. These terms were repeated more than Brady Bunch reruns and sadly girls were often the authors behind the most hurtful words.
For a very long time I hated girls. I thought they were vicious beasts who secretly paraded around like girls during the daytime but turned back into monsters at night. I tried unsuccessfully to escape the beings of “sugar and spice and all things nice” during my adolescence but by high school the damage had been done and my labels stuck closer to me than a sweaty shirt on a summer day.
The biggest obstacles in my youth were my problems in school. I could do little to stop my cemented status as a moron. After all, my intelligence had been a long running joke and my spelling is the stuff of legend.
I also don’t remember a time when I didn’t have body image issues, even as a young girl.
Names can define who we are and my names labeled me as a loser, which is why my call from God was not only terrifying it was completely absurd.
About nine years ago, after I had spent too much time nursing old wounds and distancing myself from women God told me to do something. In no uncertain terms He told me to write for women and I responded with my best Robert De Niro.
“Are you talking to me? Did you forget who I am? I am the girl who can’t even string a sentence together without grammatical errors. I am the girl who considers other women to be the enemy. I can’t write for women and more importantly I don’t want to.”
In perfect Job 38 style God humbled me, “Do you know who you are talking to? I am the God who created everything out of nothing; I’m the one that laid the foundations of the Earth, who gave boundaries to the sea and orders to the morning. Did you forget what I could do?” When I realized that God wasn’t kidding and I wasn’t being divinely punk’d I knew that my calling would require a super-sized serving of courage.
God’s call ripped open old wounds and exposed me to the kryptonite of female censure. All I wanted to do was run to a fortress of solitude, but God came to my rescue.
With rapid fire redundancy God used Romans 4:17 to make me courageous, “…the God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were….” Meaning? It is always opposite day in Heaven, He can cause your life to do a one-eighty if you let Him.
The unbelievable truth is that my story isn’t really about me and my struggles it is more about God and what He can do for people who seek Him. He can save them; He can turn them around and He can make them new.
Are you facing a difficulty that you don’t think you can face? Are you in desperate need of courage? I have good news. While you might feel like the Biggest Loser there is a Bigger God who can take your biggest weakness and make it your greatest strength.
If he can take a dyslexic female-hater and turn her into a writer who has a heart to encourage women then I’m convinced he can change just about anyone.
Do you know who you are talking to? And do you realize what He can do?
He is all the courage you need.
by GinnyLeave a Comment
I loved reading your story…
My theme for this entire year is “GOD IS BIG”. So this resonated with me… deeply. Your response to God’s call on your life… was the same response I had when He plopped me on the mission field and told me to lead a ministry. HUH? SAY WHAT? …and He’s exceeded my expectations in every possible way.
I needed to be reminded of these things. Thank you for sharing your story.
ginny martyn says
Thanks Amy! I love your theme. Where do you serve? I was a missions major in college…not an easy gig! Blessings to you and thanks for reading!
Ginny. I have tears in my eyes after this. What a story. It is always opposite day in heaven. That, my friend, will stick with me for a long time.
ginny martyn says
Thanks for making my day 🙂
Girls still want to call you names….real, courageous, funny, honest, faithful…
Especially Heather says
I loved this! You have a way with words, girl.
I loved this line in your post: “In perfect Job 38 style God humbled me, “Do you know who you are talking to?”
Oh how many times I have heard that in my own life. Thank you for reminding me again of old struggles and God’s provision.
He blessed me through you!
(by the way… it was so fun meeting you and your funky glasses at shespeaks!)
Thanks for sharing your painful experiences which God is using in such a powerful way! What an (in)couragement to press on in spite of difficult circumstances.
This was a pretty powerful thing for me to read this morning. Thank you.
Melissa@a long way from the Theta house says
Amazing. It IS always opposite day in Heaven. Thank you for the sweet reminder.
Thank you & may God continue to bless you & encourage you as you so tenderly, yet boldly encourage us! Love you!
Thanks for the reminder. There were times when I felt similar to you growing up. Reading this was a great reminder that God can take care of my biggest weaknesses.
Angie W. says
Thank you, Ginny, for your words this morning. Not only do I remember feeling like you described thru much of high school, I’m working on allowing God to make me exactly what I am not. And believing He can work that big of a change. To read of Him doing that for you inspires me to keep going. Thanks!
Such a great reminder that His power is made perfect in our weakness! Your courage is (in)couraging!
Such a great reminder of how big our God is and how He knows the plans he has for us. I loved the line where you said God said do you know who you are talking to? I often am reminded of how many times I have wanted to run when God said that to me. Thanks for making my day.
Thank you so much for sharing your story. I enjoy your way with words 🙂 and I very much needed the reminder He can make us new. He cam turn our lives around 180 degrees. Thanks again!
~Grace & Peace says
Thank you for sharing your experience. I had something similar happen to me in high school (why is it always high school?!) with a bunch of girls whom I thought were my best friends. It took a few years (okay, a lot of years) but God replaced those so-called friends with new, much better ones. Kinda like Job.
Have a blessed day!
Thanks so much for this today.He indeed does make us new!
“you are the wind beneath my wings”… lol ;)love you! lori
I think many girls go through image issues with themselves at some point or another. Its such a topic for us, and I love that you wrote about it. 🙂
Fabulous! I love this post, because it is exactly what I have been experiencing this past year. God has called me to do something I know on my own I can’t do. And yet He gives me all I need to do it. I love how you said it is always opposite day in Heaven – I think I may borrow that with my kids sometime!
Whenever I am full of doubt over what He has called me to do and my abilities to do it, He reminds me of a line from a song (that I have no idea of what it is called!): In Your presence, I lack nothing.
Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect says
Ginny, I love this post and I just can’t wait to spend more time with you. (Seriously, how did we NOT meet at She Speaks??)
My favorite line? “It is always opposite day in Heaven.”
Mary @ Passionate Perseverance says
Awesome post…hits home for me. I to struggled in school and felt “stupid” most of my life. But God is so good. He can turn night to day, help a dyslexic learn to spell and have the courage to homeschool her son. My God is that BIG!
I pray He continues to move mountains in your life! I praise Him for speaking through you today.
Love it, my friend. I, for one, am super grateful that you listened to His call.
What a beautiful post and the feelings of so many of us. A great post.
Amanda (The Healthy Frugal Home) says
Thank you Ginny for such a wonderful and encouraging piece of writing.
It has touched, encouraged and given me courage.
Just before reading your article I had just realised that God has been calling me for quite a while and I’ve been reluctant to take the final few steps.
I AM ready and I can act on the plan that He has put in front of me.
Thank you so much for giving me the courage to go that final step. Blessings to you.
This is AWESOME. Thank you Ginny.
Angela Nazworth says
Oh Ginny…this struck so many chords deep in my soul. I was labeled a loser all throughout elementary, Jr and high schools. The wounds went deep and I struggled with feel inadequate, ugly, and worthless for years and years and even now sometimes fill my mind with negative thoughts about myself. I always found comfort in Joseph’s story and when he said “What man intended for evil, God intended for good.” I’m so glad you listened to God’s voice and not those old recordings.
Courtney Kirkland says
I never felt comfortable as a child, or even some days now as a grown woman. God is showing me more and more daily that my beauty “doesn’t lie with outward adornment…a woman of the Lord is to be praised.” What an awesome post! Thanks so much for sharing.
ginny martyn says
I am so blessed by all of your comments. Encouragement is in the wonderful women who know God’s heart.
Wonderful post Ginny! Thank you for always sharing and being so real. I am very proud to call you a friend!
Oh I love that you listened to His call even when it did not seem feasible to you. All things are possible through Him – I just found you via inCourage. Love your writing! Would love to hear your opinion on “She Speaks” if you have a moment (HA!) I am considering attending in 2010 but would like to talk to someone who has attended.