From My Heart to Yours...
Recently I was flying home from speaking at a weekend women’s retreat. I leaned back in my seat, exhausted, and began to reflect on the last few days spent with such wonderful women. We laughed, we cried, we ate too much and slept too little. I felt privileged that so many of the ladies felt safe enough to share with me the painful parts of their lives that few had seen.
As I sat there staring out at the clouds below and the heavens above, I wanted desperately to see a miracle in the lives of my new friends. I couldn’t help but wonder if anything I said would give Evelyn the encouragement she needed to start over again, help heal Joyce’s heart from her past, give Kim the ability to forgive those who hurt her, or provide Jan the strength to get through her trials. Life can be so hard to handle. Could one weekend of truth, transparency, and teaching give them what they needed to complete God’s call on their lives?
I began to reflect on my own life and the years I wasted not knowing God’s plan, His purpose, and the power that was mine for the asking. I regret the poor choices I made that led me down a road of selfdestruction to a life filled with drugs, depression, and eating disorders. In the midst of my misery, I was convinced that all I needed was to lose weight and be pretty and popular. Even after I overcame my addictions and lost weight, I found myself driven by money and success and desperately needing the approval of others. Even achieving a successful career and winning beauty crowns could not complete me.
In the midst of my emptiness and pain, a missionary couple shared with me about the great, eternal crown offered to me by God. I knew I had finally found the answer when I accepted His gift of eternal life, yet it still took me years to truly discover freedom from my past and the call He had on my life. Today, I am a new creation and I have left the past where it belongs…at the cross.
The airplane brought me safely home that weekend, but my heart ached for the countless women who would go home that night feeling anything but safe—or at home. With these thoughts tugging at my heart and after reviewing my own life, I realized we can live beyond our pain and our past, our fears and failures, and become…His princesses.
I know how hard it is for us to look at our lives and think of ourselves as royalty. But the truth is, God is our King and we are chosen by Him (1 Peter 2:9). Unfortunately, many of us have traded the truth of who God says we are for a tarnished version of ourselves, fashioned by the approval of others and adorned with our own insecurities.
I searched the Scriptures over the next few months and wrote what I thought God might say personally to us if we would really hear Him with our heart, take Him at His Word, and have enough faith to believe what He says.
I pray as your soul soaks in these “love letters” that you will never again doubt who you are, why you are here, and how much you are loved.
Love, Sheri Rose
Excerpted from His Princess by Sheri Rose Shepherd Copyright © 2004 by Sheri Rose Shepherd. Excerpted by permission of Multnomah Books, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.