Monday, December 5, 2016
Making Something Out Of Nothing?
I think it's fair to say that we all have scars. Some are external and noticeable. Others are hidden deep within us.
Whether superficial or long and deep, scars are permanent. Permanent marks that may have come as a result of a traumatic time in our lives.
Marks that appear because of something someone did or said to hurt us. Or maybe it was something someone didn't say or do that caused the damage.
No matter what the situation or person, scars develop and they sting. The physical scars can be seen and may remind us of something we long to forget.
The deep scars, those of the heart, might even torment us, causing us to set ourselves on a course we were never meant to plot. On a journey we were never meant to take.
I have scars. I have one on the top of my left hand that a family dog left when I was really young. It always makes me chuckle when I look at the scar and know exactly what caused it. It's amazing what the mind remembers.
Then there are the deeper scars. The ones I allowed to shape me into someone I was never meant to become. Someone who allowed the marks to slowly destroy herself.
Scars made of cutting words and abusive actions that wore me down and kept me in a place of anger, rejection, and self-hatred. The combination of these which made it easy to immerse myself in alcohol, drug and sexual addictions.
It's all I knew at the time to get through each day, to get through life. Even life became a struggle to want to live and I, often, contemplated suicide, attempting it many times.
When I became a Christian in May of 2007, the scars were still very much there but God began to change my understanding about those scars. Over the years He has been helping me to see them no longer as scars but as building blocks.
Building blocks to make something good out of something very real and very painful. Construction pieces of hurt turned into healing, immorality into integrity, and rage into restoration.
God began healing the very things I had been using to destroy myself and others. He was taking all of my anger and transforming it into love, empathy and compassion for others.
Turning my self-hatred, insecurity and insignificance into respect, understanding and forgiveness for myself and others.
God is still healing my innermost scars today. Scars I wasn't fully aware of. It's beautiful, to me, how God has never left me where I'm at and only loves me to a better place I never thought I could reach within.
Such an instance occurred yesterday when I heard a powerful message on the force that feelings of a broken heart and rejection can have. Feelings such as anger, being easily offended, and having a controlling/manipulative nature.
I was caught off guard with my mouth gaping wide as the words from the message reached deeper and deeper into me.
As hard as it was to hear the pastor speak on the topic, I couldn't deny that I felt as though he was speaking directly to me. Which was a good thing because those were feelings I had been fighting against for many years.
It was through the message and God's love and grace for me that I felt healed of my issues with rejection and all the feelings I had been carrying, associated with it.
Becoming a Christian doesn't guarantee a painless journey filled with lollipops and kittens (not to sound lame). It does guarantee that we will always be in a time of change and I have come to know and experience that change is good even when it might seem bad at the time.
God wants us to become better because of His love for you and me. He's not going to stop at good. He's aiming for getting us to our very best, but only if we're willing.
For me, I am beyond thankful and grateful that my scars won't be for nothing. Instead, they will all be used to build something. Something really good and so will yours.
Encouragement for the week:
I know you have scars. I know there are some you would rather forget. Don't let those scars define you. Don't let them destroy you.
God doesn't make junk, that includes you. Whether you are a Christian or not.
You are more than the scars you have incurred. God wants to take those scars and turn them into building blocks for something very good.
Something far beyond your own imagination.
If you are a Christian reading this, God wants to heal you using those scars to build you up, not send you crumbling to the ground. I pray you let Him.
If you are not a Christian reading this, you can know Jesus for yourself if you look for Him and let Him and God take you and turn you into what I KNOW is beautiful.
Let the building begin.