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Beautiful Lie #1: Man is not your Mirror (and the better truth that sets us free)

When I decided to do Beautiful Lies on Facebook live, we couldn’t have guessed our son’s childhood friend would die tragically in the first week.

As the Word says, “Man is but a breath; his days are like a fleeting shadow” (James 4:14). The painful truth is that people we love will be here one day and gone the next. Isaiah describes man’s glory like the flowers of the field — he rises, shines, the breath of the Lord blows on him, and like the flowers, he falls.

I won’t pretend to know why this precious 14-year-old boy went to heaven this week, when his family would have loved one more snow cone, one more baseball game, one more laugh.

As I reviewed week one of Beautiful Lies, I returned to the truth that won me at “hello.” We are cherished sons and daughters of the most High God —

What great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” (1 John 3:1a)

You may believe in God; you may not. Perhaps you muse, as I once did, about a God of your own making. One thing I know: man is but a breath. His days are like a fleeting shadow, but the word of our God stands forever. His Word has never failed to comfort or guide me or show me the way. We come from dust; to dust we return. No one is promised tomorrow — and in the end, our hearts will be weighed by the way we loved, so judge not.

Throughout God’s Word this theme repeats:

Do not put your trust in prices, in mortal men, who cannot save. When their spirit departs, they return to the ground; on that very day their plans come to nothing. Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD his God, the Maker of heaven and earth . . . . (Psalm 146 3-6)

Many of those closest to us are facing trial upon trial: the death of loved ones; the disappointment of divorce; the dregs of depression. While I don’t know why life brings pain and agony in the face of God’s lavish love — I do know putting our hope in man will only fail us. The only firm foundation is faith.

At Luke’s funeral, the pastor stated it as fact: “We were created for eternity.” And the only way to have eternity with God is to believe He gave His One Son in exchange for your life. That, simply put, is just how precious your soul is to the Father — He gave everything He had to purchase you with the blood of His one and only Son. Who would do that?

In times like this, we mine for gold. I sift sand for silver glints, moonlight casting light on stones. 

His delight is not in the strength of the chariot, nor his pleasure in the legs of a man, but the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love.  (Psalm 47:10-11)

I read a fallacy once, a poem called “Children are mirrors of their mothers.” Sounds good, but it’s a lie. At the time of reading, it called to mind a vision of our first son running down the aisle of the grocery store in a yoda costume, totally wild. How glad I was he was not my mirror; children are not mirrors; they are gifts. We are reflections not of man, but of our Creator.

“God created man in his own image, male and female he created them” (Gen 1:27).

People are created in the likeness of God, but are not gods. Man is neither our refuge, our source of strength, or our Savior.  Man is a reflection of a loving God who gave His Son willingly. The only answer I can see as I mine the passages of Scriptures is that He delights in those who fear Him. He is an ever-present help in times of trouble. In the midst of whatever deep waters you must cross, don’t let the waters overtake you. Call for help.  

Call Him first. Then call a close friend who will hold out a hand and help you to the shore.

Man is but a mist, here one day and gone tomorrow. Love well today, my friend. If you do anything well today, love.

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About the Author: Jennifer

Jennifer Strickland is a wife, mom, TEDx speaker, and former professional model. She is the author of Girl Perfect, More Beautiful Than You Know, and Beautiful Lies, among other books and Bible studies that teach women their worth in God’s eyes. Since leaving the modeling industry, she founded URMore.org, a non-profit ministry that provides resources to hurting women and girls. Her favorite moments are found working on the family ranch with her husband, who she calls “the Cowboy”; in her kitchen, concocting a new version of her famous spaghetti; or spending time with their three precious children.

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING

The honesty that Jennifer uses to tell her story drew our young women in and captured their hearts. She provided them with practical tips that the women use daily to transform their lives. These decisions have caused them to do things differently. We loved her so much, we are having her back!

Chrissie Dunham

Chrissie Dunham, Prestonwood Baptist Church, Plano, TX

Jennifer is a captivating speaker. She keeps the listener hanging in wonder of what’s coming next! Her presentation is not only absorbing, it reveals the truth of God’s power to heal a wounded spirit.

Barbara Brown

Barbara Brown, Former Stonecroft Ministries Regional Representative, San Diego, CA

Jennifer has the ability to make you laugh, cry, and see yourself as one of God’s glorious creations — and that is just her warm up! Once Jennifer starts speaking, all you want to do is listen, learn, laugh, and love her. She takes you outside of yourself while helping you see inside of yourself, and does it in such a way that you feel safe, empowered, and capable to embrace all that the Lord is waiting to give you. She opens your eyes and your heart to hear from God in ways you never have. She connects you with others who share similar life experiences — and shines a bright light on the pathway to forgiveness, love, and blessings. Jennifer is also an amazing mother, compassionate, loving wife, and loyal, dedicated friend. Any opportunity women of any age have to hear from her is a gift and one that will produce fruit in their lives.

Lori Kennedy

Lori Kennedy, Outreach Event Coordinator, Riverview Evangelical Church, Bonsall, CA

I just picked up my girls from school today and they both talked all the way home about Jennifer’s presenation. It was a BIG HIT with Middle School and High School kids (both boys and girls). My high school daughter mentioned that she was glad that for once, a speaker focused on girl’s topics instead of sports or boy topics. She said that Jennifer engaged with the boys and made them answer questions too. My middle school daughter said that everyone in the middle school was paying attention too, and that all her friends were very tuned into what Jen was saying. Both girls said that they thought it was fine that the boys were with the girls during the presentation because the boys “needed to hear this stuff too.” 

Mother of two student attendees

Mother of two student attendees of Jennifer's U R MORE school program for boys and girls

If you think Jennifer gets the attention of adults, just see how the teenagers respond! My teenage grandchildren said they wanted to hear more from her and that her book was the only one they’ve ever really enjoyed reading! If teenagers are informed, inspired, and desire more, does anything else need to be said? Jennifer is an unusual voice of truth, integrity, and dignity. She needs to tell the world about her experiences and her victory. She encouraged me, a 70-year-old great grandmother. So, from teens to grans she has something everyone can benefit from.

Dr. Thelma Wells, D.D.

Dr. Thelma Wells, D.D. (Hon.), Speaker / Author / Founder of the Ready to Win Conferences

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