Paraphrased from a devotion I received, but nonetheless, my story. We all have one.
I am sure some of you will see yourself too..
Mistakes I’ve made demanded silence. Because of what I’d done and where I’ve been, at times I was bound to be quiet whenever the sacred topics of life arise. Shame buttoned my lips. Then I came to know a deeper grace. A grace found in the testimony of redemption. God’s Grace. A grace that testifies of hope, healing and restoration. A grace found in the sharing and releasing of my broken-hearted places. Amazing grace that boasts in the truth that all things can work together for good to those who love God and who are bound to His will and purpose. By the grace of Jesus Christ, I now understand that – knowing what I know and having been where I’ve been – I am actually uniquely qualified to speak and encourage others toward life… forgiveness… and hope. Those who look to Him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.(Psalm 34:5, NIV)
I used to walk around with so much deeply-embedded-shame that I couldn’t even hold my head up. I have mentioned this before but it is true – I honestly didn’t like meeting the eyes of most people & would look at the ground in passing. Then I met this Grace the author above speaks of.
Even though I had walked with God for many years, I didn’t understand what His sacrifice really gave to me. It was always more about doing this or that & doing it well or falling very short & not being worthy of love or any real blessing. Now I walk tall & God’s Great-Love-for-me holds my head up high. I don’t feel that paralyzing shame anymore & I humbly & gratefully share what He has done for me whenever I feel an open door to do so.
Am I perfect? FAR from it. Is the story of my past ugly? Absolutely – and sometimes my present isn’t so shiny either. But I try to stay transparent – even when, in doing so, I know it makes me vulnerable & open to criticism. But I am finding more & more people are just like me but are afraid to admit their weaknesses & shortcomings. This way, in sharing, we can link arms & weave in some strength we didn’t know we could. It’s a beautiful thing – this grace – & giving it one to another.
I do have great hope for my future & a giddy-up in my step for my present that was unfamiliar for most of my life. Not anymore.
Much Love & Grace to you today,