“I’ll never be able to forgive myself.”
She whispered and then hung her beautiful head in shame. I was holding her hands in mine, asking her to look up at me while I tried to convince her about the truth of the lavish grace waiting on her if she was just willing to receive it.
“Do you believe the word of God is true?”
“But, you believe his forgiveness and promises are for everyone else but you?”
“I don’t deserve them.” Where shame tried to threaten her, I did my best to surround her.
“None of us do, but they are ours for the taking.”
We are just not that good, too far-gone and broken enough to forfeit the grace that Jesus purchased for us. While he throws our sins into the sea of forgetfulness, we drag them right back out, carrying them with us throughout life. But this is the place where surrender begins- when we are ready to trade our burdens from the mess we made for his, which is so much lighter and like a healing salve that needs to soak us through to the bone.
Honesty becomes my norm, she asks me who I am. I tell her that I am just someone who keeps trying.
I am a girl stitched together and mended. I am not what happened to me or defined by it. I am not limited by broken moments; I have been launched by them and positioned for a purpose.
I am a messy minister who finds value in honest moments instead of faking perfection. All of the things that I thought would limit me have actually made me someone I really like.
Broken homes cannot stop us.
Loss cannot limit us.
Pain cannot erase the promises of God meant for you and me, those heartaches simply point the way towards Christ. We share our stories and we heal a little more each time we are brave enough to add just one more thing that we’ve hidden for years trying to make peace with it.
Peace comes and joy takes up permanent residency in a surrendered heart, so I guess I am a woman who refuses to hang on to things that are toxic. I refuse to entertain them, dwell on them, or fuss about things that are not up to me to change.
Learning to forgive well and often has been my bravest acts and the things that I am most proud of. It was easier when I was younger and ridiculously perky. Now it’s a choice I refuse to unmake and dismiss the truth that I too need a truck-load of forgiveness.
We are women who press on toward the things that matter most and build the ones around us up. We cheer the loudest for our sisters, always, because we know that her success is ours as well. Instead of competing, we link arms together to do the work that God has called us to do.
I would rather fight for you instead of with you. I want to love you fiercely without strings attached.
I have found the worth that I longed for as a child. The worth I thought I had to earn was already mine; I had to learn to receive it instead of trying to work for it. Now, what you see is what you get. I am unmasked and unhindered.
What is the measure of our worth?
A mirror cannot show it.
A man cannot assure you of it.
A magazine cannot strip you of it.
Our past cannot deny us of it.
And I will give you the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that you may know that I, the LORD, who call you by your name, am the God of Israel. (Isaiah 45:3)
Much love to you,