Second semester of my junior year in college I sat down in one of my youth ministry classes probably looking pretty frazzled to say the least, I had just gone through a big break up the semester before and I was taking like 26 hours of classes trying to finish up as fast as I could to graduate. I remember not feeling very confident in myself at the time, in my looks or even in my being there, I thought for sure that my ex was going to propose, it was afteralll a ring by spring school, spring had passed and instead of a ring I got a breakup phone call. I was not having the "time of my life" that college life had promised. I sat there uncomfortably in my seat waiting for class to start, surrounded by people that seemed to have it all together, one of whom was a girl named Becca. She was beautiful and funny and was dating a really cute guy, she always looked like she stepped straight out of Banana Republic, always put together and she had the most awesome southern accent. She's probably reading this now like "what?!?!" And she might not even remember this moment that meant so much to me that I'm blogging about it 14 years later, but Becca leaned over to me and said "you know Vanessa, I've always thought you were so pretty." A compliment which to some may seem so small but at that moment it meant the world to me. Here I was heartbroken from a guy that by most peoples standards was not the most attractive person, and even he had rejected me. My well meaning roommate, in hopes to cheer me up, told me that she asked her boyfriend if I was pretty... "she couldn't tell because she liked me as a person and that clouded her objective judgement" I wish I could insert the face I made right here. A good guy friend of mine who will remain nameless because we are still good friends told me that I was probably going to be like his aunt and " get really hot after I get old and married"..what? Guys to say the least I was not feeling very good about myself, but here this girl who was basically a stranger thought I was pretty. And something weird happened, I started to feel prettier. Her words changed my thoughts. and I never forgot it.
The King James Version of that verse up top says "Death and Life are in the power of the tongue, and those that love it will eat of its fruit" You see we each have one of the most powerful weapons to wound people or to heal people. Your words have the power to change thoughts. I'm sure all of us can think of a time when we were wounded by others words, or a time when a word slipped out of your mouth that you would do anything to take back. This scripture has become even more powerful to me now that I'm a mom. The words that I speak to and about my children have the power to grow them or harm them, I have the power to speak LIFE into their life, into their dreams, into their abilities, into their confidence, into their worth. Guys that's a powerful tool for a mom to have. And not just for my kids but for my husband too, to be able to speak things that build him up, build his confidence, words that inspire him to be the man that God created him to be. Wives! We have that ability with our words! And how often do we just squander our words, how often do we just speak just to be heard but not to build. I was talking to a friend the other day who is newly married and we were discussing how its so easy in the moment to say things in an argument not that we mean, but to get a reaction from our husbands, We have to make a choice to be more intentional with our words because they are so powerful.
Lately I have been having some big life changes going on, I made a decision for myself and for my family that I was going to be healthier. We have been eating clean and I have started working out everyday, but all of that started with a declaration. I said it with my mouth first and then I started to believe it in my mind, the last step was the action of doing it, and everyday since I have made a declaration "I'm going to work out today" "I'm going to make healthy choices" "I can do hard things" and as I spoke these things my thoughts started to change, and after my thoughts changed, my actions followed. Death and life are in the power of the tongue.
Now I'm going to add another level on to this. The Bible describes the word of God like a seed. Now a seed doesn't look like much but it has amazing potential. A seed planted can eventually become a mighty tree. Now we know that our words alone can change our thoughts and bring life but if we change our words, the ones we are speaking over our kids, spouse, ourselves and replace it with scripture, with Gods word, what amazing potential do the things we speak have? The scripture not only can change our mind currently but can take root and grow, it can permanently take hold. Colossians 2: 7-8 says
7 Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. 8 Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ.
What if we started to think about ourselves the way God thinks about us, what if we were able to approach every situation with the encouragement and knowledge that scripture lends. That doubt and fear were no longer our initial reaction, What if our roots were so deep in truth that it just overflows out of us into action. What if we could change who we are by speaking scripture over our lives. Romans 12:2 says to "be transformed by the renewing of your mind" and we can begin to renew our mind with scripture, God's words spoken to us. Let Gods words begin to change your mind today, and as your mind changes your actions will follow.
It's funny how life has a way of making things full circle, or better yet how God weaves things together so perfectly in our lives. The girl that I started this blog with, Becca, well her and her sweet accent have come back into my life for round two of speaking life over me and changing my mind, She is now my Beachbody coach and she has once again encouraged me to see myself like God sees me, she's an encourager, she's a truth speaker, and a life giver.. Be a Becca for someone today, be a person that speaks life over yourself and others.. Guys its life changing!
love you all