Then there was me, dressed in black slacks and a somewhat-frumpy-looking red dress shirt that the hiring agency required us to wear. My job was to stand alongside my fellow YWAM friends and greet these great looking gentlemen and point them towards their meal. I did this for hours, for two days, breakfast and lunch, interacting with around 5,000 people.. mostly men. It got quite entertaining for my friends and I to greet the people according to their native language, switching things up from Germany's "Guten Morgen" and France's "Bonjour", to Japan's "Konichiwa"and India's "Namasday". I also prided myself in the fake British accent I used, feeling extra confident when U.K. natives expected me to treat them as special because "we were both from the same country".
Aside from all of the fun I was having practicing the different languages, I also experienced a deep battle within me that was undeniable. I felt myself wondering what these men thought of me. Do they think I'm beautiful? Would men of this status find me interesting and desirable? When a few of them acted flirtatious or looked at me with that look I wrestled with feeling bad for enjoying it, and yet also hoping that they would continue to recognize that even though I was hidden in my unflattering outfit, I was still an attractive young woman. All the while I was missing Shaun, because he had been in Asia for just over 20 days at this point, and I think loneliness was helping to fuel my issues with lust and insecurity.
As I sought God for help, longing for Him to free me from myself, longing to be a faithful wife to Shaun and a faithful daughter of Christ, longing for purity... I felt Him teach me a lesson that I am still seeking to understand. The process went something like this, I will type "the voice of God" but know that it is what I felt Him showing me in my mind and at the time it did not happen as concisely as I will type it:
"Jessica, I can answer your questions. If you do not come to me for the answers you are looking for, you will always be more focused on finding the answers yourself and never move ahead into the purposes I have for your life."
"God, what answers are you talking about?"
"Well Jess, when you go about your day, and are looking to these men, and are focused on your appearance, what is it that you are wondering?"
"I wonder if I am beautiful. I wonder if I am desirable. I wonder if I am smart enough, if I dress well enough, if I am funny enough, if my personality is good enough, or if it is too much. I wonder if one day I will look back and find out that I wasted my life, or that I made too many mistakes, and if only I had just done something differently back when I was in my twenties, then everything would be different. I wonder if I am successful or if I am doing a good job at my life...
I have lots of questions."
"Yes you do, I know them all very well. I have the answers for you, and I will be faithful to continue showing you the truth about yourself. But if you do not trust in My answers you will continue to allow men to have the power over you that only I am designed to have. If you do not allow Me to answer your questions then every man and every mirror and every situation becomes too powerful. You surrender your life to them and you believe the opinion you perceive them to have over you. Each man that you greet becomes the one who gives you your answer. If they flirt with you then temporarily you have an answer. But if they look past you, then it leaves you wondering again. I am your Creator, your Lover, your Friend, your Husband, your Father, your Lord, your Counselor, and the One that will lead you through life. Trust me to show you the truth about yourself and allow me to fill you. If you can rest in what I have to say about you then you will have the strength to move forward and share my love and life with others. You were made to shine, but when you spend your time lusting for the world, you are hiding your light. Trust in my answers and experience the freedom to be who you were made to be. "
I hope this conversation makes sense. Basically what I am learning is that we have so many questions about ourselves and our lives, and it is tempting to look to the world to get our answers. But only God has the Answer that will truly set us free. We need Jesus and He will give us the grace to trust what He has to say about us. It is not simply a fluffy way for insecure people to feel strong, it is the truth from the Creator of the Universe and no person will truly live free apart from the power of Christ.