With over seven billion people in the world, it can be difficult for women to believe they were designed for a purpose. That they individually have value, and their life has meaning that goes beyond what they see or have been told to believe. But that's just the life-changing message Debbie Lindell passionately shares and champions. Every woman, no matter her history, social status, or position in society, was beautifully and magnificently designed by her Creator to live an amazing life.
In She Believes, Lindell shares with women the beautiful truth of God's love for them, empowering them to live out their own unique purpose and bring change to their homes, their workplaces, their communities, and the world. With personal stories and biblical truth, Debbie invites women to trust God's Word--and discover the incredible, abundant life that he created them to live.
|Publisher:||Baker Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.70(d)|
About the Author
Susy Flory is the New York Times bestselling coauthor of Thunder Dog, as well as several other books. Her writing has been featured in Focus on the Family, Guideposts, and Today's Christian Woman. She lives in the San Francisco Bay area with her family.
Read an Excerpt
Embracing the Life You Were Created to Live
By Debbie Lindell, Susy Flory
RevellCopyright © 2016 Debbie Lindell
All rights reserved.
You Are a Masterpiece
For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us. (Eph. 2:10 NLT)
* * *
de-signed: intentionally planned; artistically, skillfully, and purposefully fashioned
Life isn't about finding yourself; it's about understanding who you were created to be.
The artist and designer had been working on his project for months and planning it for more years than he could count. This magnificent work of art was his very own unique creation. It wasn't a copy of anything he had seen before. He had carefully and purposefully selected each shade of color and the exact shape and curve for every part. Each tiny, intricate detail was meticulously and perfectly designed.
As the day for the revealing came closer, he took time to add a few finishing touches, a detail here and there to set this project apart from all the others. Up until this moment, no one but him had even glimpsed the beauty of this extraordinary creation.
His masterpiece was now complete. He stepped back to gaze at what he had made and smiled to himself. This is exactly what I envisioned. It's perfect. I absolutely love everything about it!
He was so very proud. He couldn't wait to reveal it to the world!
* * *
Genesis talks about all that God created, along with his design and purpose for humanity. It tells us this in chapter 5:
This is the book (the written record, the history) of the generations of the offspring of Adam. When God created man, He made him in the likeness of God. (v. 1 AMP-CE)
God made everything. But most importantly, for his pleasure, he made mankind. Every human being who has ever lived and every baby who will ever be born was and is intentionally and purposefully and beautifully made by God to display his glory. And that includes you!
* * *
In her pitch-black cocoon, she felt safe and secure. The only sounds were those she had heard for months now — distant, muffled voices and the constant soothing sound that had become so comforting to her. Thump, tha-thump ... thump, tha-thump. She had only one challenge. The space that had been her home was getting rather cozy and even uncomfortable. With her arms and legs folded tightly up against her tiny body, she was beginning to have trouble moving. She was growing rapidly now, and it was obvious that something was going to have to change.
Then one day, out of nowhere, she felt an odd and unfamiliar sensation. An unexplained pressure pushed up against her, surrounding her. She did her best to ignore it and slowly drifted back to sleep, sucking her thumb.
Her eyes fluttered open. Now what? What is this? The pressure was back, and it was stronger now, making her even more uncomfortable. Forget sleeping. She was fully awake and even starting to get a bit anxious.
What is happening? She could hear her own heart beating faster as the tightening increased and her little body felt as though it was being forced to move ... but where?
And then, in an instant, everything changed!
The security of the only home she had ever known disappeared in a flash, replaced by a world filled with light, cold air, noise, and sensations she had never known before. But as her mind tried to process what was happening, she heard these three little words: "It's a girl!"
And that girl was you.
* * *
Do you know that you are one in a hundred million?
When you were born, the world was given an amazing gift — your life! Whether you choose to believe it or not, you are an incredible work of original art — a masterpiece. Your life is beautiful, created and designed by God, the ultimate master artist and designer. There has never been anyone like you on earth, and there will never ever be another girl born who is exactly like you.
You, gorgeous girl, are one of a kind!
I know we have just met, but I want to talk to you about sex. That's right, you read that correctly. S-E-X!
That got your attention, didn't it? I am a firm believer in having sex and lots of it. I think it is a total blast and should be for everyone (as long as you're married, that is). Well, I hate to disappoint you, but that is not the aspect of sex I want to talk about.
What I do want to talk about is how you were made, because it's pretty incredible and I think it's important for you to understand.
We all know what happens at the moment of conception. Just in case you forgot, let me remind you. Your body began to form when a single egg from your mother and one microscopic sperm from your father found each other and connected inside your mother's body.
But that is not really when your life began. Your existence was planned and purposed by your Creator long before that moment.
I want to remind you how amazing it is that you, precious girl, are here on the planet today. When you think about the odds of that one egg and one sperm coming together to create you, it is absolutely mind blowing! This thought is relevant to what you believe about yourself, how you view your Creator God, and why you are even alive today
Listen, sweet girl, because this is really important. Your beautiful life was planned and designed long before your parents had sex and your mom became pregnant with you. And no matter how it happened — whether it was a good situation or not so good, or what the circumstances were — you were not a mistake! God wanted you to be born. He planned for you to exist, and he was over-the-moon excited about your birth.
Whether you believe in God or even question whether the Bible is true, you need to hear what I am saying, because it affects everything about how you will live your life and what you believe about yourself. The Bible says this about you:
Long before he laid down earth's foundations, he had [you] in mind [planned for you to be born], had settled on [you] as the focus of his love. (Eph. 1:4, brackets mine)
Did you catch that? God knew who you were before you were even born. The book of Psalms says God saw your unformed body, and all the days of your life were ordained by him before one of them came to be (see Ps. 139:16).
Isn't that incredible to think about? You were not an accident or just the coincidence of two people having sex. You were planned for and wanted, created on purpose by the God of the universe. Pretty awesome!
Let's talk about sex again for a minute. There are two kinds of sperm that every male produces and emits during sex. They are called X and Y. If an X sperm fertilizes the mother's egg, a baby girl is conceived. If a Y sperm completes the job, a baby boy is conceived. Now, here is why that is important for you to know. During sex, an average of a hundred million sperm enter a woman's body. You read that right — a hundred million! And as they are designed to do, each one starts competing to make it to the prize first — the one lone egg tucked up inside the mother-to-be's body.
When you were conceived, one of those itsy, bitsy, tiny sperm from your father's body had to survive and swim for ten hours to find that one egg. That was one physically fit sperm!
When your mother was born, her ovaries already contained a lifetime supply of eggs. Millions and millions of little potential life makers in waiting, each one the size of a tiny grain of salt.
Now listen to this, because it is so amazing! On the day you were conceived, out of those millions of eggs inside your mother's body, just one was waiting there for the fastest-swimming sperm to find it. That one egg, like the sperm, possessed a unique combination of twenty-three chromosomes. And when it connected with that one-in-a-hundred-million sperm, together they created a brand-new, completely unique human being. You!
Of course, the mother's egg and father's sperm don't just pass along a copy of their chromosomes but rather new, unique chromosomes that contain a mixture of the genes from your parents, ensuring each new child is genetically and distinctly and altogether different from any other.
All of this miraculous coming together was preplanned and predetermined. God planned for that sperm and egg to come together to create you because he wanted you to be alive! And when he made you, he loved every single detail about you.
Here is something else the Bible says about your creation: your body was formed inside and out by God. That means every intricate part of your being, from the top of your head to the tip of your toes, was meticulously put together by his hands. You are his very own handiwork, his workmanship, created to be on the earth at this moment in time. You, precious girl, were perfectly, magnificently, and beautifully designed to be alive today!
You were perfectly created by the God of the universe.
By the One who made the sun rise up in the sky this morning.
By the One who created every star and calls each one of them by name.
By the One who made every plant, tree, and flower.
By the One who designed the mountains and oceans and every amazing creature that lives.
He, your Heavenly Father, brought all the details together to make your life happen. Why?
Well, the truth is, just because he wanted to. He wanted you to be a part of his plan for this moment in time. He anticipated the day of your birth. He knew your name before you were born, and he was completely prepared to welcome this brand-new baby girl into the world.
* * *
Our daughter Savannah's conception was a huge surprise. Even though God knew she was going to be in our family, we were not expecting her to come when she did. Now, you would have thought that since we already had two little boys — David and Brandon, who were under the age of two — we would have understood the potential consequences of having sex (there's that word again!). But no, we did not seem to take notice of the fact that I was extremely fertile. It seemed as though I could get pregnant just by looking at John. So within six months of giving birth to our second son, Savannah was conceived, to my shock, fear, and denial. Soon (in nine months, to be exact) we would have three children in diapers, and none of them would be able to communicate in full sentences. This was going to be interesting!
The morning Savannah was born, I remember waking up with a jolt. My due date was still almost two weeks away. It looked like this little sister was not going to reach her due date, just as her brothers hadn't. I quietly slipped out of bed, got dressed, did a five-minute makeup job (because a girl's got to have makeup on during labor and delivery), and went back into our bedroom to wake up John.
"Hey, babe. Wake up. Today you're going to become a daddy of a baby girl."
A baby girl ... Just saying it made me smile.
John and I made it to the hospital just in time. We went in at 7:30 a.m., and she was in my arms by 9:35 a.m. Love those quick babies! I remember looking at her very wiggly little body and realizing from the moment she appeared, she was nothing like the boys. First of all, she was so tiny, barely six pounds. But besides her weight, she was just different. Her face had petite, feminine features, and her tiny, delicate fingers looked nothing like the chunky, stubby fingers of her brothers. Then there was her anatomy. She was in every way a girl! One of John's X sperm had won my prize egg — the egg with the chromosomes needed to create this little baby girl with olive skin, dark hair, little rosebud lips, and a very loud, screechy cry!
At first, when they brought her to me, I actually wondered if she was really our baby. Her skin was so dark, and her little round head was covered with wispy, nearly black hair. But since she was the only baby girl in our small-town hospital that day, she was the only option. She was ours!
The nurse came in to fill out some paperwork. "What is the baby's name?" she asked.
"We don't know yet," I said, gazing down at my daughter's sweet face. For the next three days, everyone called her Baby Girl Lindell because her mom and dad weren't ready to give her a name. I know that's terrible, but we have a good excuse: we were sleep-deprived parents. Neither of her brothers were sleeping through the night yet. They were both up several times a night. Every night! We had tried every "how to make your baby sleep" book out there, even hanging Christmas lights and playing music. Nothing worked. So I just don't think we'd had the energy or mental capacity to make such an important decision, at least not yet. We were too tired.
The morning we were scheduled to be dismissed from the hospital, a nurse walked into my room and informed us emphatically that we had to give our baby a name before we could leave. Thankfully by then we had narrowed down our options: Stephanie, Sheri, Scarlet, Savannah, and Olivia. John was leaning toward one name, while I liked them all. How about Stephanie Sheri Scarlet Savannah Olivia Lindell?
I don't recall how we finally made the decision, but for our daughter's sake we managed to pick one name. And with that, her proud-as-punch mom and dad took Savannah Marie Lindell home. But poor girl, naming her was not the only thing we weren't prepared for. She didn't have a bedroom either. We lived in a tiny, two-bedroom house. Savannah's two older brothers and their cribs took up the small second bedroom across the hall from ours. So when she grew out of the little cradle beside our bed, the only place for her to go was on the lime-green, floral, hand-me-down loveseat in the living room. For the next six months of her life, the living room was Savannah's bedroom.
But even though she was a surprise to us, and even though we as parents weren't ready for her arrival and didn't even have a name picked out for her, God was fully prepared for her birth. He had been expecting her to come on her birthday since the beginning of time!
And it's the same with you. He not only was fully prepared for you, and he not only knew your name (even if your parents didn't), but everything about you was perfect to him. From the very moment you were born, you brought him joy!
Listen to this:
You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand! ... How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. (Ps. 139:5-6, 17 NLT)
On the day you showed up on the planet and the words "It's a girl" announced your birth, God celebrated you because you were exactly who you were made to be — a beautiful and magnificently designed masterpiece. And he was thrilled out of his mind to reveal you for the world to see.
"Look at her. I made her — isn't she absolutely beautiful!"
Yes, you are!
Excerpted from She Believes by Debbie Lindell, Susy Flory. Copyright © 2016 Debbie Lindell. Excerpted by permission of Revell.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Do You Believe What You Believe? 13
Section 1 Believing… You Were Designed on Purpose
Open up before GOD, keep nothing back; he'll do whatever needs to be done: He'll validate your life in the clear light of day and stamp you with approval at high noon. (Ps. 37:5-6)
1 You Are a Masterpiece 19
2 Your Reflection Is Beautiful 31
3 Your Story Matters 43
4 You Are Loved 53
Section 2 Believing… Changes Your Heart
You're blessed when you get your inside world-your mind and heart-put right. (Matt. 5:8)
5 Faith-It's That Simple 65
6 Prayer-a Difference Maker 77
7 Following Is Leading 89
8 It's Foolish Not to Be Wise 99
Section 3 Believing… Affects Your Mind and Spirit
I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. (Rom 15:13 NLT)
9 You Have an Attitude 115
10 Peace Is Not Always Quiet 127
11 Treasures in the Darkness 143
12 Big Girls Do Cry 161
Section 4 Believing… Makes Being Together Even Better
You were all called to travel on the same toad and in the same direction, so stay together; both outwardly and inwardly. (Eph. 4:4)
13 You've Got a Friend in Me 175
14 Making Your Connections 185
15 Home Where You Belong 197
Section 5 Believing… Is for Your Future
"For I know the plans I have for you," says the LORD. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope." (Uer. 29:11 NLT)
16 Dreams Are for Real 211
17 Rise Up and Shine 227
18 The Sisterhood Revolution Is Now 239
A Note: This Is Not the End 251
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
In her book, She Believes, author Debbie Lindell seeks to help each reader to embrace the life for which we were created by God to live. She writes in an easy to read and conversational style so that we feel like every word was written personally for us. Each chapter is rich with Scriptures and a closing prayer to help deeply embed God’s truth in our hearts and minds, therefore, enabling us to embrace our identity in Christ. This is a wonderful book especially for young women and/or new believers. Each chapter shares truths which are sure to encourage women to journey life with Christ as they embrace the truth that “He is calling us to a new level of faith – to believe what we believe and live it out loud for all the world to see.” ** An Advanced Reading Copy of this book was provided in exchange for my honest review.
Debbie Lindell is a women's speaker who serves alongside her husband John, Lead pastor, at James River Church in Springfield, MO. Lindell has a down-to-earth approach to sharing God's Word and how to live the Christian life to uplift women of all ages. She Believes is uplifting and offers a lot of advice and encouragement to women wanting to live the life God created them to live. This book is divided into 5 sections: Believing you were designed on purpose, Believing changes your heart, Believing affects your mind and spirit, believing makes being together even better and believing is for your future. In each of these areas, Lindell shares wonderfully uplifting stories from her life, the lives of other Christian women she knows and the Bible. In that mix, she shares from her heart how God has spoken to her and used her. Through her shared stories, I felt uplifted and encouraged. When I read She Believes, I feel like God can use me--and you too. Lindell helps women believe that God does have a purpose for each one of our lives and that we can make a difference. I think that is something we all want to believe in our heart. I recommend She Believes to any woman who wants to truly believe that God is involved in each of our lives and can use us all in any place we are in life to make a difference to those around us, no matter what our position in life is at the time. I received She Believes from the publisher, Revell Books. I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for the book.
This book is a must read for women of all ages and the men who love them. Debbie writes with contagious love and joy. Feel your beauty and genuine heart as you read then share it all with the world. Debbie reminds us all how beautifully and lovingly we were created...she reminds us that we must embrace our beauty as that is how God intended when He created us. Love yourself, love life, love this book.