I am the prize…

I know, I know…it sounds like my self esteem has taken a huge leap toward cocky. But I promise it hasn’t…you have to know the whole story.

When I was growing up my Dad always told me I was the prize. He would say, “Keri, you are the prize, don’t ever let any one tell you otherwise. And don’t let any man steal your prize from you.” Preserving my virginity for when I got married wasn’t the only thing my Dad was talking about. Being the prize meant that I was worth striving for, appreciated, cherished and treasured. The prize is something exceptionally desirable. He wanted me to have confidence in how God felt about me even when I didn’t have confidence in myself. He wanted me to know how much God loved me; how much God prized me! But like most girls I struggled (struggle) with how I saw myself. I could easily pick out all my faults and point out where I was…where I am falling short. I am well aware of the fact that the size of my jeans isn’t in the single digits like it should be. I can see how I have not succeeded in all the areas I could have. And just to be sure I can’t rise above it all I am reminded daily of my inadequacies by the world around me.

It’s so hard to believe that I am the prize when I see so clearly all the ways I have failed.

When I was 18 I went to Calvary Chapel Bible College. My parents took me to Lake Arrowhead, California for my first semester away from home. I was nervous but excited. Before they left my Dad pulled me aside and gave me a present. It was a gold heart locket, so beautiful it made me cry. But it was what he had put inside that really got me going. He had cut out several verses from his Bible!*gasp* He had folded them up very small and put them in the locket. He said that whenever he came to those places in his Bible he would be praying those verses for me. He had chosen them because they signified what he wanted for me and to remind me of who I am in Christ. The first verse was Ephesians 3:14-21 (NKJV)

14 For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— 19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

How amazing is that?! In The Living Bible verses 18-19 say this, “and may you be able to feel and understand, as all God’s children should, how long, how wide, how deep, and how high his love really is; and to experience this love for yourselves, though it is so great that you will never see the end of it or fully know or understand it. And so at last you will be filled up with God himself.” His love for me is so great that I can never see the end of it or fully know it or understand until the day I am filled up with God Himself…So beautiful.

My father has been praying this verse for me for the 23 years its been since he gave me the locket and I am sure for the 18 years before that as well.

Ephesians 3:14-21 is just another way of saying “you are the prize”.

I am confident that my father’s prayers have been heard through the years because each year I find that I understand a little more of how high, deep, long, and wide the love of God is for ME! I pray that I will at last be filled up with God Himself, then I can truly live every day of my life as a woman prized by God.

My journey toward living life this way is through immersion in His Word. I am choosing every day to put His words in my heart so I can know Him better and walk with confidence toward His plan for my life. What are you choosing to fill your mind with as we come to the end of one year and the beginning of another? Join me in January for scripture memory and reading through the Bible. More news to follow!