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{Week 12} WIWW Link-Up Party… Beauty redefined…

{My friend Tammy, second from left, at our pre-chemo Girls’ Night Out.}

I’ll never forget the first time I met my friend Tammy.  I was a brand new mom, and had just moved into town.  Exhausted from little sleep the night before, I plopped the heavy carrier car seat into the pew beside me, and pleaded with God to please let baby Jack sleep for the next forty-five minutes so I could soak up the much needed sermon.  Oh, how this weary momma needed to hear it.

Tammy was sitting in the pew behind me, next to a baby carrier of her own.  Her brand new baby boy was just five weeks older than mine, and the compassion in her eyes told me that she knew what I was going through.  How the Lord knew that I needed her smile and reassuring words!  We connected instantly, and a beautiful friendship began that day.

God has given us much to enjoy together through the years:  kids’ birthdays, small group bible studies, spiritual accountability, ministry opportunities, plus many, many Starbucks dates after the kids were in bed for the night.  But in May of last year, our friendship took on a whole new level when Tammy called me with news I didn’t expect to hear.

My friend had cancer.

For the next nine months, our times together looked a little different than before.  There were late night, tear-filled phone conversations and texts filled with scripture.  We laughed our way through a pre-chemo girls’ night out and piled in Tammy’s van for a wig-shopping road trip.  Whenever we found ourselves at Target, we’d keep our eyes peeled for scarves that would make good head wraps.  Emails were exchanged after appointments.  Meals were delivered after hard chemo days.  Friends got together to pray.  And sometimes we just sat together, holding hands, without saying a word.

From the moment I met her, I thought Tammy was beautiful.  Physically beautiful, I mean.  But I learned so much more about true beauty as I walked this cancer road alongside my friend.  While cancer treatments took their toll on her physical body, my friend became more beautiful to me than she had ever been before.  Why?

Because God can take trials and develop a beauty in us that we never knew we had.


I saw beauty in her unwavering faith in a good God, even in uncertain times.

I saw beauty in the way she shared her faith with her co-workers, family and friends, and how she often reassured them that God had a good plan for her life.

I saw beauty when she leaned on God’s strength when hers was gone.

I saw beauty in the way that she clung to Truth as she poured herself into God’s Word.

I saw beauty when she gave God complete control of her life to be used for His glory as He saw fit.

I saw beauty when she chose joy instead of self-pity.

I saw beauty when she turned her worry into prayer.

I saw beauty when she worshiped her Creator from a thankful heart.

Witnessing this kind of beauty has challenged my thinking.  We live in a world where physical beauty is elevated to the highest levels.  Celebrities and magazines and – let’s be honest – our own discontentment in how God made us - cause us to compare and long for more than we have.  And if we’re not careful, we can easily spend more time stewing over and working towards some physical goal of beauty, rather than investing in the inner beauty that overflows from our hearts because we are daughters of the King.

I don’t know about you, but I want others to see lasting beauty in me.  An inner beauty that doesn’t fade with time or in times of trial.  A beauty that takes the focus off of me and onto my Savior.  A beauty that reveals that a makeover has taken place in my heart, and that it’s here to stay.  A beauty that is not defined by the world or my changing circumstances (or by the numbers on the scales!), but by a God who wonderfully created me in His image, and who is changing me to be more like Him – by His grace – from the inside, out. 

That kind of beauty, my friend, is contagious.

“Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”

~Proverbs 31:30

At His feet,

{Tammy, now cancer-free, and completely beautiful, from the inside, out…}

Women around the world are IN THE WORD!

Every Wednesday we will have a link-up. If you are a blogger we invite you to link-up any blog posts that you have written about your quiet time that week. We ask that you put our button in the post or on your sidebar so we can find each other. We do not have code for this link up button. Just right click and save as. Then link it to http://www.goodmorninggirls.org

 

 

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Comments

  1. Oh Whitney – this was SO beautiful! Amen! And praise the Lord she is cancer free! Thank you for this today!
    Courtney

  2. My Mom had a short 44 day battle with cancer before going home and your friend Tammy reminds me of exactly how she was during her battle. Thank you for sharing and reminding me to “keep up the good fight”.

  3. You will never know how I needed to read this today. Thank you

  4. Lovely photo of Godly ladies! Praise God for His healing mercies! Thanks for the great post & linkup, & God bless,
    Laurie

  5. I WOULD LOVE to win the Dig!! I am Aunt Lois to 4 wonderful children, aged 6-10. Currently they live in a very unstable home with their fighting parents. The parents are not christians so you can only imagine what these children are subjected to. I have taken it upon myself to take the responsibility to give these precious little souls the spiritual training. I currently have them getting involved in church/bible class/camp, etc. I need all the help I can get!!
    Satan wants these kids but not as bad as Aunt Lois does!!!!

    In Him,
    Lois

  6. I am SO sorry my comment for the Dig book is in the wrong spot!! I cant delete it. and I find great inspiration in your story about your friend Tammy…what a wonderful example she is!!

  7. Such a beautiful post, Whitney! Loved this quote from you: “Because God can take trials and develop a beauty in us that we never knew we had.” :)

  8. You made some good points there. I looked on the net to find out more about the
    issue and found most people will go along with your views on this web site.

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