Getting Free From OPA

Congratulations to the winners of Noelle’s book Transformation by Truth: 30 days to a healthy heart, mind and body!

  • Polly Schneider on September 17, 2012 at 11:43 am
  • Marilyn on September 17, 2012 at 1:44 pm
  • Donna Pyle on September 17, 2012 at 3:16 pm

Noelle will email you so she can send you your prize. Don’t you just LOVE giveaways?!


Lynn Cowell is a Proverbs 31 Ministries speaker and the author of “His Revolutionary Love; Jesus’ Radical Pursuit of You” and “Devotions for a Revolutionary Year; 365 Days of Jesus’ Radical Pursuit of You”. Her “His Revolutionary Love” conferences empower moms and young women with confidence leading to wise choices. She lives in North Carolina with her husband, Greg, and their three children. She loves the mountains, sweatshirts and anything that combines chocolate and peanut butter.


Transformed. That’s exactly what Jesus did when His love took away my OPA.

OPA – that’s what my pastor Steven Furtick calls “Other People’s Assessment”.

Am I doing this right? Am I measuring up? Do they like me? Why won’t he ask me out? What’s wrong with me?

I’ve always envied those who don’t suffer from OPA; those girls and women who can just go through life not worrying about what others think. They dress for comfort not style. They set their schedules according to their own priorities.

As a young woman, a sign around my neck read: Mad Hatter. My life was the Tea Cups Ride at Disney; spinning, spinning, spinning trying to make everyone happy. You know, I was never really that successful in keeping it all going. If I made my parents happy, my friends were mad. Make my friends happy, our youth pastor was disappointed.

For me, it wasn’t just about the assessment of parents and friends. It was about guys too…especially the guy. No matter what I did, I just couldn’t seem to get his attention.

Maybe it was my body. Standing in the Science hall, my “friend” called out, “Hey Lynn, why do you bother wearing a bra? You are so flat, you should just wear band-aids.” Can you say awkward?

Maybe it was my hair.I had huge hair! My “friend” gave me the nickname “Lucy”. You know Lucy from the Peanuts gang? Not quite the image that would match the word “hot” on Wikipedia. Not only that, but remember Lucy never got the guy!

Maybe it was my faith. Again, he gave me the nickname “Jesus Freak”. Not quite the title that is going to win you a boyfriend.

Flat, frizzy, freak…I am sure there were possibly more reasons why the guy I crushed on didn’t want me, many of them I made up in my head, not pursued. My crush crushed me; my confidence shot. If only he would see me, then I would be someone.

Have you ever been there? Wanting to be wanted but on the wrong end of a love equation? Guy + Me = Value? Maybe you’re a girl who has never been asked out on a date and you wonder “what’s wrong with me?” Maybe like me, you’ve been married FOREVER and some days, even if it only in your head, it feels like maybe you’re not wanted anymore? Or maybe the love that you thought would last forever didn’t and you wonder if you’ll ever be wanted again? Maybe like me you’ve silently asked the question, “what’s wrong with me?”

Somewhere along the way, I translated this whole concept of performing to God. Performing is how I received acceptance, approval and affirmation from others; it must be the way God worked as well! I figured the more I read my Bible, volunteered at church, went to Bible study; the more He would approve and accept me. That was how I made Him happy – or so I thought.

At the height of my struggle, the Lord brought into my life several godly women who could see through my performance. They began to help me see that my thinking was flawed. They helped me to see that performing was not what God had for me; not in my relationship with others and even more so in my relationship with Him. He didn’t want to just be the God I served; he wanted to be the God I loved.

These women sent me “love” notes from God, filled with verses that  they personalized:

“I think you are so beautiful, Lynn…Let me start at your feet and go all the way to your head. Your toes are so pretty…they each should have a ring on them and then be slipped into soft and lovely slippers fit for a princess. Your hands are so soft, with fingers that are slender and feminine…a diamond placed on each one. Your arms are strong and defined, but perfect for a lady…they each deserve silk gloves to your delicate elbows. Your cheeks are smooth and rosy, surrounding a smile that is captivating.” (Paraphrase of Song 7: 1- 6)

Maybe like me, you didn’t know God said stuff like this about you in the Bible either!

Here He said He wants me. He said I was His!

Isaiah 43: 1, 4 “…Don’t be afraid, I’ve redeemed you.  I’ve called your name. You’re mine. I paid a huge price for you…That’s how much you mean to me! That’s how much I love you! I’d sell off the whole world to get you back, trade the creation just for you.” (MSG)

Like a girl with her first boyfriend, I read my “love notes” over and over and over again. Exploring these treasure-filled verses changed everything for me. I no longer saw myself as flat, frizzy and freak; the more I read this truth, the more I was filled with His confidence.

Do you know a girl who needs to find this confidence like I did? Let me give you a tool to help her; my free 7 Day Faith Builder. For 7 days, I’ll send devotions from my new book “Devotions for a Revolutionary Year; 365 Days of Jesus’ Radical Love for You”. And if she loves them, maybe she’ll just want to get all 365!

“Devotions for a Revolutionary Year” helps a young women:

  • Begin each day with truth from Jesus
  • Develop the habit of spending daily time with Jesus
  • Apply God’s wisdom to the choices she makes each day
  • Find positive self-worth in Jesus’ perfect love
  • Make decisions that honor God & not follow her feelings
  • Empower her heart to choose relationships that are beneficial; not painful

3 thoughts on “Getting Free From OPA

  1. I love your insight… and I have used your amazing devotionals for my quiet times with my daughter. Thank you for the gift of YOU. You have truly spoken to the broken, performance-driven pieces of my heart… and then you’ve spoken God’s truth over them. Now to be able to share that with my daughter is a gift beyond measure. Thank you Lynn! Thank you Heather!


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