What does your box say?
We can easily live our lives safe within a box – a box with labels plastered outside – some are labels that life has put on for you, some are labels that you have stuck on yourself. The box comes with you. It frames how you look at yourself.
It frames how you look at others – go on, try it. Go grab a medium size box, cut a hole in it and stick your head through. Now try and get a good look at something on either side of you – what do you see? The sides of your box.
It’s not comfortable. It’s not pretty. It’s not you.
But right now, it’s all you have.
What does your box say? Lonely. Depressed. Abused. Single. Unhappily married. Afraid. Divorced. Infertile. Exhausted mama. Stressed. Breast cancer. Ashamed. Hopeless. Not only does it affect the way you see the world, it affects how everyone else views you.
My box says widow. Single mother. Orphan. Lonely.
When my husband died 5 years ago – the hardest thing for me to get used to was the ‘box marked widow’. I must have filled out 500 forms during the paperwork process, and on every one had to check that box for marital status. Widow. Widow. WIDOW!!! This word was (is) hard for me to embrace.
The government had decided this was my label. My bank. My doctor’s office. My kid’s school. My tax returns. Over and over again I was forced to check the box marked widow.
I wanted to scream – this is not me! This is not who I want to be. I want to be wife. Partner. Helpmate. Sister. Daughter. Mother . Friend.
The bad news is, this is not a place where you will find the ‘answer’ – that I have come up with the secret to embracing the box marked widow. However – I can share with you God’s faithfulness in two very specific ways…
One – he has mentioned me specifically by name. In His word. A lot. Oh, yea. I love when the great I AM mentions who I am. Apparently, widows and orphans are precious to His heart. (
Two – Every time I put a check in that box, that widow box, I make a tiny ‘n’ in between the ‘I’ and the ‘d’ - and poof! Widow becomes window. ‘Cause if I am going to check that box, I want it to say something more than just my marital status. He has given me the ability to share of His amazing faithfulness over the past six years. To share my testimony over cups of coffee and government counters and carpool drop-offs. And hopefully to shine my story so that He is reflected through me. Sometimes through laughter and sometimes through tears. But still shining. It says in the word that ‘they overcame by the blood of the lamb and the words of their testimony.’ Jesus has already done the work of redemption in our lives. We have the opportunity to use our words to affect many. But it’s hard to do from inside a box.
And you know, boxes just aren’t real shiny. They are dull and brown and confining and usually pretty darn unattractive. But windows – they reflect and shine and frame what is inside.
You can’t change your labels. Sometimes life just is what it is. But you can decide to look at the box life has placed you in through His eyes. And stick on His labels over the ugly ones. You are….Adored. Treasured. Hope-full. Grace-full. He can work His purposes through the ‘ugly’ that has labeled your life. He’s promised it. Go on and find five verses that tell who you are in Him. Put His labels on over the world’s attempt to define you! And then go tell somebody. ‘Cause when they look at you shining, they’re gonna wonder what’s up!
Golly Gee! - A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1 (ESV) Golly gee, can people just remember to say one standard line to a ...