As I was reading my Bible this morning on the swing on the back porch with a blanket wrapped around me and a warm cup of coffee in my hand I had an overwhelming sense of gratefulness at the miracle and mystery that the God of the universe speaks to me through the words on the very pages I held in my lap. I wasn’t looking for anything in particular. I wasn’t asking for anything. I was just reading. I came across a passage in John that I’ve read countless times before, but today I saw the beauty of its truth in a different way. The words I’m referring to are the ones that come right after what is one of the most memorized and recited verses in the Bible, John 3:16. That’s a beautiful verse, but what grabbed my attention today started with verse 20 which says:
Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God. -John 3:20-21
It isn’t pleasant to have your deepest secrets and biggest failures exposed, and I certainly never wanted any of the things I was doing early last year to see the light of day, but they did. As I’ve mentioned before, I find comfort in knowing that God can make beauty from ashes, and in this failure in particular I feel passionate about allowing Him to do just that. It requires me to stop hiding or letting my own pride keep me from openly sharing the parts of my story that I’d rather no one ever finds out about. It’s being real about who I am, where I stumbled and fell, and the transformation taking place within my heart (even now).
Being transparent and authentic is so much more important and impactful on the lives of others than trying to look like or be someone you’ve told yourself a Jesus follower should look like. I know this because the willingness of just a few women to be transparent and vulnerable with me 8 years ago totally changed my life and everything I thought I knew about walking in relationship with Jesus.
I’m a mess, full of contradictions and flaws and despised by at least one person on planet earth (Quick curtsy to the Schmoopster. Woot! Woot!) This isn’t old news. I have nothing to hide and neither do you (no matter what you’ve done).
God can use all of us for His glory, no matter how broken we think we may be. Let go and let Him.
Currently playing in the soundtrack of my mind: Hail to the Chief composed by James Sanderson. President Trump just walked to the podium to give his first SOTU speech, so you know where I’ll be for the next two hours!