If you asked her, Teri Lynne Underwood would tell you she prays Scripture because she isn’t really sure what else to pray. Far more comfortable studying and teaching the Bible, prayer has never come easily or naturally to her. Desperate to know how and what to pray, Teri Lynne began forming her prayers around the passages she was reading and teaching. And it changed everything! Praying Scripture gave her confidence and boldness like she’d never had. And she’s been encouraging others to pray the Word ever since. It’s a grace to welcome Teri to the farm’s front porch today…
My first recollection of not being chosen was in sixth grade.
I tried out for the basketball team. Rather than rehash the whole traumatic tale, let’s just say dribbling while running wasn’t my thing.
Honestly, I didn’t really want to play basketball. But it was my first year at a new school and I thought it would help me find a place to belong, an opportunity to be accepted.
Instead, I was the clumsy new girl.
In the thirty-plus years since, the sting of rejection has come around more often than I’d like.
And I bet you’ve known it too.
This is where it gets hard.
Because we know how much it hurts not to be accepted, not to be chosen, and we want our girls never to experience that heartache.
But we know they will.
How do we prepare our girls to deal with the inevitable rejection they will face?
How do we help them settle in their hearts and minds the truth that they are chosen by God? (Especially when we aren’t always confident of it ourselves.)
Two of the best tools we have for guiding and teaching our daughters are story and Scripture.
When we can share our own stories with them, we remind them they are not alone and that we understand more than they think we do. (Trust me, if you have a little girl, there will come a day when you’ll want her to know you aren’t completely out of touch with her world.)
But our stories are most powerful when we use them to point to biblical truth.
One of the best examples of how Jesus meets us in our rejection is the woman at the well. In John 4, we read about a Samaritan woman, filling her water jars in the heat of midday. According to ancient customs, this timing reveals she is, at the very least, uncomfortable around the other women in her village.
Grab your Bible and read John 4:1–45 to refresh your memory of this encounter. I’ll wait right here.
So good, right? I love how Jesus responds when we feel rejected.
First, He chooses to meet us where we are.
Note in verse 4 where it says, “He had to pass through Samaria” (emphasis added). Geographically, Jesus could have traveled from Judea to Galilee without going through Samaria.
But He didn’t. Jesus’ compassion compelled Him to be where the need was.
Second, He chooses to see us as we are.
In the familiar conversation, we learn that Jesus knows the woman had been married five times and now lives with a sixth man who isn’t her husband (verses 17–18). Can you imagine the look on her face?
But I believe that since she stayed with Jesus to talk, she recognized something different about this itinerant teacher.There is something deeply comforting about being seen as we are and accepted anyway.
Third, He chooses us based on His character, not ours.
Jesus didn’t spend a lot of time rehashing all the woman’s sins, nor did He point out what she could do to make the situation better.
Instead, He helped her focus on who He is and what He offered her.
Fourth, when we believe He chooses us, we are changed.
Jesus offered her living water, and she was changed! After her encounter with Jesus, she went and told the very people she’d been working so hard to avoid, “Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did” (verse 29). And they did! And they too were changed (verses 39–42).
Our daughters long to be accepted, to be chosen.
Little girls want to know how much you love them.
Big girls want to be reassured they can’t do anything to lose your love.
And deep inside, friend, you know that need too. We all do.
Isn’t it sweet to know that Jesus’ acceptance of us isn’t rooted in who we are but in who He is?
That’s a sweet promise both our girls and we need to believe and cherish.
Teri Lynne Underwood isn’t a perfect mom. In fact, if the past seventeen years of parenting her daughter have taught her anything, it’s this: Without Jesus, she’ll never be wise enough, gracious enough, or anything enough to encourage and equip her daughter to become the person God created her to be.
Praying for Girls: Asking God for the Things They Need Most is her earnest and engaging invitation for moms to join her—not as perfect pray-ers but as humble daughters of the perfect Father, interceding on behalf of the girls they love.
With Teri Lynne as a guide, Praying for Girls equips moms to identify and understand five key areas of their daughters’ lives, to apply biblical truth to challenges and obstacles their daughters will encounter (things like the sting of rejection), to pray with boldness and confidence using Scripture as the solid foundation for their prayers, and to engage their daughters in understanding and applying biblical truth to their own lives.
[ Our humble thanks to Bethany House for their partnership in today’s devotion ]