Show It Off – A Song For My Daughter

4

I spent a large part of my college years seeking validation from the world.

Validation from friends and family that I had made the right choices in life. Validation from co-workers that I was good at my job. Validation from men that I was beautiful.

That last one really did a number on me.

I dated a lot of men. And most of my relationships were toxic, because I’d go into them thinking that the man could validate me as a woman. Then when the disappointing truth set in, I’d break off the relationship thinking the problem must have been him. He didn’t meet my expectations. I didn’t feel anymore validated with him than I had felt without him, so he must have been the wrong one for me.

Then I met Jereme.

And then, I met Jesus.

Jesus was and is the only one who could validate me. He is the only one who could say “you’re beautiful” and make me actually believe it. Not because I was beautiful at the time, but because He took me and made me beautiful. He declared it, and it was so. Much like the way He declared the goodness of His creation in the first chapter of Genesis.

Once the Lord validated me, I was able to sustain a healthy relationship with the man who is now my husband.

Now that we have a daughter together, I think it’s important that everything we do sets the stage for her to meet Jesus and find her validation in Him one day.

Because I spent so many years seeking validation, I neglected to follow my dreams. And in some ways, I still struggle with the desire to feel validated before putting myself out there and being vulnerable. Before releasing another song or video on YouTube or before publishing another blog post.

I want every piece of art to be perfect before I let the world see it. Too many times I catch myself saying “is this good enough?”, or “am I good enough?” And then He reminds me that it’s beautiful. That I’m beautiful.

That there is so much beauty in imperfection.

It’s hard being a woman in this world. Especially in the society we live in, where materialism is prized and the female body is over-sexualized. (So much so, that breastfeeding in public is often met with angry stares from passersby.) Our bodies are often seen as material possessions or things to be “had.” Sex is no longer a mutual, beautiful act of intimacy in many relationships. It’s often depicted in movies and on television as an act of domination. And I fear that as we grow older, it will only get worse and our society will only grow more apathetic toward it.

I started thinking about all of this a lot more yesterday, while having a conversation with Jereme about the moral and spiritual issues I have with men in relationships, who call themselves Christians, going to strip clubs. You may be asking yourself, “why would a Christian man in a relationship go to a strip club?” Great question. And under normal circumstances, most Christian men would probably swear them off, unless one of their good friends (who is not a Christian) was getting married and chose one as the location to celebrate his last night as a bachelor. As his friend, you want to be there for him, even if his activity of choice is less than ideal. (I’ve learned over the past few years that this is a very common dilemma among men and women friends of mine.) In many cases, a wife (or girlfriend) in this situation would shrug off her husband’s (or boyfriend’s) choice to go like it’s “no big deal.” All he did was look at some naked women. So he saw some boobs. Not like he does it every night. No harm, no foul, right?

Wrong. It is harm. It is foul. Those women are daughters. Daughters to parents who, perhaps, should have cared more. Parents who, perhaps, should have shared the love of God with them, so they’d grow up to find validation in the only One who can truly validate you. Instead, they’ve ended up in some nightclub, seeking it from the throngs of men who come, night after night, to throw money at them for a lap dance. And I’m willing to bet those men are seeking as much validation themselves.

We live in a very dark world. I know as Christians, we’re called to walk among lost people and shine a light, but you have to draw the line somewhere. You can’t justify putting yourself in a position to look at the naked flesh of a woman you aren’t married to with, “Oh, I’m just hanging out with sinners like Jesus did.” As a Christian man, you’re fooling yourself if you think you’re shining a light in that situation. No matter how you try to frame it, you’re ultimately sending the message to those around you that you condone the behavior and think it’s okay. And I don’t want Indie to grow up thinking that’s the case. Ever.

I wrote this song before the thought of even having children entered my mind. Now, I’m dedicating it to my daughter and her future. I hope she never looks to the world for validation as I did for so many years. I want her to understand the lesson I learned through day after day of pain and fear: don’t wait for the world to validate you. You are beautiful. Don’t ever let the world tell you any different. You are the miracle your dad and I prayed for, and we will never stop praying for you.

Indie Grace — independent of this world through the grace of God — we love you.

You have the light of Jesus inside of you.

Show it off.

Hiding behind the darkened doors of doubt and fear

Is a light that shines to reveal to you what’s fake and real

Don’t wait for the world to validate you

Hiding behind a silhouette of your regret

Is a life that’s trying to forget and start again

Don’t wait for the world to validate you

Take a look in the mirror, and you’ll see a miracle

Strike a pose for the camera, and bare your soul

Hold on to your dreams and don’t let go

This is your one chance to show

Show it off

Hiding behind a frozen face of apathy

Is a fire that’s waiting to ignite and set you free

Don’t wait for the world to validate you

Hiding behind a veil of broken promises

Is a dream that’s going to become the life you live

Don’t wait for the world to validate you

Share.

About Author

4 Comments

  1. Yes! our brothers and sisters need to read these words. it’s right for christian wives to ask their husbands to follow jesus and refuse to harm the helpless and hurting in our society. it’s right that we christian men should follow our lord’s example and “be there” for our friends who are outside the faith. It seems to me that the best way to “be there” for them is to refuse to become complicit in the destruction of their souls.

  2. Just stumbled upon your blog and WOW!!! You are just beautiful and your heart is so precious!!! What a phenomenal gift you have been blessed with, in all honesty I probably clicked on your video halfway expecting it to be a bomb, lol!!! But it was beautiful and your voice and tone are so unique and solid!!! As for your baby girl, whatever we show them is most likely what they will become. As an (overwieght) mother of girls I try to be very intentional when talking about self image and just eat healthy and exercise and only expose them to the choices I pray that they will continue to make so that they do not struggle as i do. The same with the heart, I pray they only see love, favor, respect, forgiveness and kindness when they look at my husband and I and that grace will cover all other sin and God would turn our sin around to glorify him. All that to say you are on the most precious path and being led by the Spirit is the biggest part of determining who our littles will become. You are such an encourager with a beautiful talent! What a blessing!!!

    • Ash, thank you so much! What an encouraging comment. It’s awesome to hear that other moms are connecting with and relating to what I write. I pray that God will continue to use the words and music he’s blessed me with to inspire you all. Thanks for stopping by and for taking the time to write such uplifting words. Curious – how did you stumble on my blog?

      • I clicked on the babywear hashtag on instagram and just began following you and then decided to look at your blog:) lol!!

Reply To ash Cancel Reply