God gave me the opportunity to share my testimony with a group of women three weeks ago. I did not want to....I was not jumping up and down for joy...I was not wanting to break myself open for all to see the darkness that lies beneath. But then, God (don't you love how every good story starts with that.."but then, God...") But then, God moved in my heart. He reminded me of the tragedy and the heartache He had carried me through, and He opened the door for me to share my ugly so others could see His beauty. I am humbled that He would use my sin, my failings, my inadequacies and my deepest sorrows to make known His saving power, His sufficiency, His ability to reach in to the depths and save, to bring great joy.
I wondered when He first began to whisper what He intended me to do. Why would He ask so much of me? Why would He ask me to speak of such awful memories, memories that I intended to lock in a box and put in a closet, for none to see? What were His intentions? Then, the moment came...I was there in front of forty women. I was trembling with anticipation and fear. The words poured out, a few tears, and then, the victory that He gave me broke forth from my lips with great joy. I told them how I had wanted to hide and refuse God what He asked, but He cleared the path for me to be there anyway. He wanted His light to shine in the darkness of their lives, just like His light shines in the darkness of mine. He wanted them to know His love reaches the unreachable, His Son's blood covers the unforgivable and His mercy and grace rescue when nothing else can.
His will was made known that day. He showed me that He had a perfect plan. I was broken open, but not only for my own sake. The women responded - many of them were broken open, also. They came up afterwards, hugged me and whispered their stories. It was truly overwhelming to hear so many say, "I have never told anyone..." or "I have lived with this shame and guilt for my entire life..." I wept with them...shame and guilt is not how the Lord wants us to live. When we put our failings, big or small in a box, we begin to feel it: SHAME. GUILT. The enemy has power over us. But, when we are broken open, He sheds His light and writes His Truth in our lives. Then, the shame is transformed into victory and the guilt is washed away by the blood of the Lamb. Only God could cleanse such sorrows as were whispered to me...only He could allow freedom to speak of tragedy so that His goodness could be made known. Only God could give me the strength and courage to give testimony of His amazing grace in my life. So, I rejoice. I give all praise and honor and glory to the One who whispers my name, who covers me in His love and who is mighty to save.