It was any other morning with my friend at the playground. Our kids were playing, and we were chatting. She was telling me that she has a long night ahead of her as she was going to do outreach in New York City that night. She was going to be doing strip club outreach with an organization called Treasures. As I heard what she was doing, I felt this stirring in me that I needed to go. It was something that caused other people fear of what I would be doing, but something that caused excitement for me. This excitement left no room for any fear. I knew God wanted me to go, and I felt that He had something for me that night.
Plans very quickly fell into place for me to leave in just a few hours. When we got to our destination, I was sitting across the table from the woman sharing the heart of the ministry, and training us on what we would be doing. She had a tatoo on her arm that said “fearless daughter”. I felt that way in that moment. Fearless.
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18
As the room of about 12 women worshipped and prayed for the night before us, I prayed and as I was praying in this group of women I felt so confident. It was a confidence that I can rarely feel. But as I prayed I got this vision of a broken bride. Brides are ones that draw attention, and awe. People love to look at brides because they have this glow to them that would cause anyone to gaze. They are hopeful, expectant, and shine with love. They are excited for the future that is ahead of them, and everyone can see it.
But this bride that I saw was on her face, her makeup was smeared all over and she was emotionally shattered. People wouldn’t want to look at her, they wouldn’t want to be near her, and her wedding guests wouldn’t want to put a picture of her walking down the aisle on Facebook.
My group got into one of the clubs we went to (the other clubs we were able to leave the gifts with the bouncer, along with some homemade cookies for him. Genius move, by the way). I’ll never forget one girl who stood before us in the dressing room only wearing only a thong. She covered herself with a look of shame, as we gave her her gift that included a card that said “You are loved. You are valued. You are purposed.” Jesus gave His life for her too. He wants her to know she is loved in the most intimate way possible. He wants her to know that she is loved, valued, and purposed.
He wants His bride to notice the untouchables, see the broken, and proclaim freedom for the captives.
Beautiful one, that is His desire for His bride. His desire is for her to rise as “fearless daughters” because she knows that she is loved, valued and purposed. He wants His church to not live ashamed but to shine, to glow because we know His love. He wants His bride to notice the untouchables, see the broken, and proclaim freedom for the captives so they can rise as His fearless daugthers.
What does that look like? I can say that I can often feel like the bride I saw as I was praying. The one who was broken, that no one would want to look at or love. But as His church He asks us to stand firm, and rise up. It looks like keeping our eyes on Him as we glow with expectation of the life ahead. It looks like praying with a confidence in the One who hears us. And it looks like putting on the armor of God each day, because when we put on the armor of God, we look like the bride of Christ.
Beautiful one, getting ready on your wedding day is like putting on your armor of God. So, put on your dress, that is like the breastplate of righteousness. Your white dress that spiritually signifies that the blood of Jesus washes you to be white as snow.
Put on the decorative belt or lace up the back of your dress, that is like the belt of Truth. When we carry Truth, we are protected from the lies of the enemy.
Put on your footwear on. Maybe it is pink heels (like mine where), ballet flats, converse, or flip flops. Whatever you wore or desire to wear for your wedding, may it be a reflection of the footwear of peace. Footwear protects you from the dangers of walking barefoot. And peace, well the peace that passes understanding protects you from the fears that can cripple you.
Pick up your bouquet, which will represent the shield of faith. Faith that shields you from what will come against you. But His promise is “that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow–not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.” Romans 8:38
Put on your tiara to represent the helmet of salvation. Salvation that protects you from the attacks of the enemy, and saves you from death and separation from our good Father.
And then my favorite, the ring. Put on your ring to remind you of the Sword of the Spirit. Jesus. The Word of God. For years I wore a crown ring. It was a reminder to me of Truth. That I am who He says I am. That I am deeply loved. That He will never forsake me. And that His Spirit lives in me. It is the same Spirit that turned water into wine, raised the dead to life, and walked on water like it was solid ground.
The world needs His bride to rise. Rise beautiful one. Rise in confidence, expectancy, and love.