Up & Coming Weekly

May 16, 2023

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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Page 19 of 24

WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM MAY 17 - 23, 2023 UCW 19 Fearfully and wonderfully made for a purpose by MURIEL BROOKS FAITH While physical health is vitally important, emotional health and self- esteem are also key areas of wellness. Too many women discount their value and undermine their self-worth using the world's measuring stick instead of our Creator's. You are a masterpiece! An extraor- dinary work of art created by God. You are individually and intention- ally designed with unique features, strengths, weaknesses, perspectives, abilities, disabilities, personalities, race, ethnicity and gifts. What a bless- ing to know that each of us was pur- posefully fashioned by God to bring Him glory. "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful; I know that full well." Psalms 139: 13-14 (New Interna- tional Version). David so eloquently penned Psalms 139 to express the infinite knowledge of God and to point out the intricate design of the human body before conception. Reflecting on God's omnipresence, meaning God is ev- erywhere simultaneously, and God's omniscience, meaning God knows everything, Psalms 139 was also writ- ten as a personal prayer and song of praise to God. You have DNA and fingerprints which cannot be replicated by anyone else. You are not a carbon copy of any- one, and not one person in this entire world was mass-produced like cars, computers and tires. Always keep in mind that you were individually de- signed on purpose for a purpose. Our goal is to know God and to tell others about Him. We are to please God through a relationship with Him and to let our light shine daily in our hearts, minds and actions by living for Him. We are to love one another, care and encourage one another as we praise and worship Him. Loving the Lord is more than at- tending a church on Sunday. What did you really hear as the message was delivered? Did you apply that message to your daily life? Loving God requires knowing Him, and that knowledge be- gins with His Word. is learning hap- pens when you pray, read His word and meditate on it. e Lord wants us to love Him with our whole being and in every way. He wants us to serve Him with all our hearts and souls. Some questions to ponder: What is my purpose? Am I walking in pur- pose? What can I do to let my light shine to others? Whom can I encour- age this week? Many women struggle with feel- ings, both outwardly and inwardly, of being inadequate and insignificant or needing to change to measure up to a standard that was never God's plan for their lives. Some of these thoughts can filter into a person's mind: I am too short or too tall. I am overweight or underweight. I am not pretty or smart, and the list goes on and on, af- fecting your mind. is process brings into play thoughts of comparison to others. It can also bring envy into our hearts. e root of envy is a discon- tented heart. When those feelings of compar- ing or envying try to creep in, repeat Psalms 139:14 several times. "I am fearfully and wonderfully made." After repeating that verse, start meditating on the goodness of the Lord. Tell your mind, "Today, I will not allow you to compare and second guess who I am." Start celebrating who you are and who made you: "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future" Jeremiah 29:11 (New International Version). He took time to make you special and in His Image. You are not in competition with anyone. You are uniquely YOU! Many influences through the differ- ent forms of media such as magazines, newspapers, television, social media and celebrity portrayals of what is beautiful affect the perception of how to look, think and see oneself, which differs from God's. Always remember that you are not a carbon copy. You are precious cargo specifically made by the hands of our almighty God. You are fearfully and wonderfully made — a masterpiece! Editor's note: A version of this article appears in the May issue of Women's View Magazine. MURIEL BROOKS, Contributor. Comments? Editor@upandcomin- gweekly.com. 910-484-6200.

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