I recently sat in a living room wrapped two circles deep with women. I strategically placed myself behind a lampshade kind of because I wanted to blend in not stand out. Introductions moved clockwise and were, for the most part, kept brief. Listening intently the Lord quickened me at a couple of their stories but even more so to what wasn’t being said until she spoke.
“May I be honest?” she inquired of our hostess teacher who nodded and said, “Of course!”
Hardship. Heartache. Loneliness.
At her words, I began to exhale. FINALLY someone brave enough to share what others held back. Finally, someone willing to be TRANSPARENT.
Not to make light of circumstance but it was so refreshing to hear the heart of someone who wasn’t “fine.” And even more encouraging was the response to her transparency. One dear began to pat and comfort as she shared, another passed the Kleenex, one began to pray aloud followed by a multitude of others willing to whisper a prayer for a sister in agony. Lastly, one crossed the room to offer a heartfelt hug of assurance accompanied by a smile, “You are not alone.”
The women of whom I had the great pleasure to meet and begin to get to know crossed generational lines and represented multiple denominations and once again confirmed, as it turns out -we’re not that different after all.
You’re struggling in your marriage
She’s struggling with her loneliness
You want to be sober
Her husband passed away
She wants to be okay
Your raising grandchildren
You wish you had her confidence
She wants your waistline
Her husband is an alcoholic
She wants her heart work to be published
You want your life to matter. She does too.
Yesterday I stumbled upon these wise words from Warren Wiersbe and I hope I never forget, ‘Discovering our uniqueness and using it to the glory of God is the challenge that makes life what it is. Why be a cheap imitation when you can be a valuable original?”
Isn’t that good?
“Why be a cheap imitation when you can be a valuable original!” I’m changing the punctuation because a quote that good needs an EXCLAMATION MARK (or 2)!!
We are unique because we have been fearfully and wonderfully crafted by The Creative Creator of the Universe!
We are made to glorify Him. We do that when we use the gifts He has given us for the good of others and when we allow Him to use ALL the messy parts of our lives, to bring Him glory- the parts we adore and the parts we hate.
We are valuable because The God who knows the number of hairs on our head is CRAZY IN LOVE with YOU & me! So much in love that He sent His only Son, Jesus to pay our sin debt and die for us. In Him, we have salvation, forgiveness of sin, find our worth & righteousness! Thank you, Jesus!
The challenge: Embracing our lot, accepting the hard seasons and surrendering completely to Christ, The Sovereign King.
Even as I type #thestruggleisreal!! With my whole heart, I believe every single syllable of the redemptive Gospel but I battle with the enemy daily, hourly and even moment to moment at times to surrender my full self, to resign as manager of my life and walk faithfully forward with my eyes fixed on Jesus.
The truth is, whether or not we love what’s going on in our lives doesn’t change what is true: God is Sovereign & His TRUTH stands.
It is by faith, we believe.
I suggest we take Mr. Wiersbe at his word and accept the challenge by embracing our uniqueness and give God glory in spite of our circumstances trusting that He is working ALL things together for our good & His glory.
Remember dear, YOU are a valuable original crafted by The Creator of the world and He loves you! Oh-how-He loves you so!
P.S. Have you been following our Facebook Live on Thursday nights @8:30? We’re having a great time and would be thrilled if you would tune in and join the conversation!
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Jamie Larson says
How many bazillions of times do we sit there and be the crowd pleaser and not say anything other than a brief introduction? About as many times as I’ve sat in a group is how many for me. It is so hard to be honest. Really honest about what life is throwing our way. When we do let ourselves breathe and let others in MAYBE, just maybe, I feel better as well as others who are hearing and feeling right along with me. Thank you Karmen for reminding me to not just sit there. ❤️