It was no accident that I met Tabitha when I did. It was no accident that my book and hers could have been siblings. It was no accident that her hashtag so closely resembled what I wanted to do with my life and my own books. It was no accident…
I’ve told my testimony a few times. For those who haven’t heard it, my life changed drastically in my early twenties.
See, I’ve always been a bit pudgy. Okay, more than pudgy. I was probably the biggest girl in my class for the entirety that I was in school. I was fat. That’s what I was called. That was what I called myself. And as I grew older, those derogatory words somehow made their way down into my soul and became part of my identity. My truth at the time was that I was fat, ugly, and worthless. I was tainted. I would never be loved. I didn’t deserve love.
Lies. All of them, but for years, for most of my life, I believed them. I let them consume me until I was depressed and useless. But then God… (Don’t you just love that phrase? Don’t you love how God can take you from useless and depressed to something more?)
God showed me that I was His. I was His daughter. I was molded and created by Him. He wanted me. I didn’t feel like anyone could ever want me, yet here He was, proving me wrong. I was loved! I finally felt beautiful for once in my life, and it was then that everything for me changed.
I no longer let those negative thoughts rule my life. I finally listened to the people around me who told me I was beautiful. I knew that my life would forever be changed, and I couldn’t keep it from anyone else.
A few years after this revelation hit me, I wrote this book, Entertaining Angels. It was unlike anything I’d ever written before, and it scared me. But the message was so strong. The message had to get put out there. So, I published it.
And it turned into something more than just a book. It became a message. God loves you. God has chosen you for greater things. In the book, an angel is sent to help show a young girl just how much she is loved, that her Creator loves her more than she’ll ever know. I’m not marketing my book. I’m telling you that it’s my story. An angel didn’t physically manifest, but the events that led to my life-changing moment was certainly orchestrated by a loving God would do anything to prove to His child that she was so much more than she thought about herself.
I never in a million years would have thought that I would end up here, advocating women to see themselves in a new light. God used an entertaining story to show me that I had much more to do for Him, and I couldn’t live out my purpose without first realizing who I was in Christ. So that is what my ministry has sort of become about. It’s what I teach my kids in youth class as their youth leader. It’s what I try and spread online. You were created for so much more.
Take Esther for example. Her story is my absolute favorite one. She was devastatingly beautiful which gave her favor with everyone around her. And let me tell you, the same favor and beauty that was on Esther is on you as well. It took me forever to realize that, and I don’t want people missing out on anything that God has for them. I missed out on so much because I couldn’t see past the hurt and hatred of myself. I didn’t want that to happen to anyone else.
Before all of this, I believed that I didn’t have a purpose. That God could never use someone who was so ugly and fat to do anything in the Kingdom. I was living in the shadows, constantly hating myself, but God told me that it was time to stop hiding. I had to step out in the light. I had a purpose. I have a purpose, and my purpose has become my mission. My mission has become to show others that no matter what you’re going through in your life, no matter how you feel about yourself, no matter what others may think, you’re beautiful. You’re never alone. You are worthy. God loves you. He created you for more. It’s time that you step up and #LiveChosen. As Tabitha has said, it’s time “to live your purpose on purpose.”
That’s what I have done. I’ve taken my purpose to help you see your purpose. I #LiveChosen because I am chosen.
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you;
Before you were born I sanctified you;
I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”
Emerald Barnes resides in a small town in Mississippi and has the accent to prove it. She’s an auntie, a youth leader, a Whovian, a little bit of a nerd, a reader, a writer, and a family-oriented person. God is number One in her life, and she thanks Him continuously for His love and favor. She’s addicted to tv and binge-watching shows, and she has a thing for superheroes.
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