Current painful trials litter our conversation. We laugh and cry between bites of pizza and slurps of coffee. In the background, squeals from our little ones trail through the kitchen. Shadows of our past revisit us this year.
“Some days I can’t get out of bed,” she admits, reclining in her chair, tossing her arm over the back.
“Has everyone on the planet been sexually abused?” she says throwing her hands up in disgust.
“I can’t stomach another person giving me legalistic advice.” she confesses through gritted teeth. “No one understands the spiritual abuse we endured.”
We’ve know each other for decades and trust each other enough to undress our wounds, expose the damage, and welcome healing words. We’ve cried together through gut-wrenching ordeals. And we’ve marveled at God’s gifts working through us over the years.
I see God’s image imprinted on the lives these women lead everyday. And I witness the pain they grapple through.
Occasionally, when we examine our current battles or the pain of our past, we doubt God can work through us right now. Can God whisper His kingdom to others despite the complex life I lead today?
History proves, none of us is perfect. And none of us escapes the gnarled hands of the enemy as he smears his nefarious plots against our destinies. Yet, no past or present negative experience barricades God’s calling on our lives. No current suffering snuffs out His gifts working in us.
God never changes his mind when he gives gifts or when he calls someone. (Romans 11:29 GW)
The truth is we are bounding with purpose. Gushing with hope. And valuable to those around us right now.
Currently, we all have something to give. When we give it, it multiplies. Even the littlest smile.
You are not disqualified
Don’t restrain yourself from giving a gift because you are warring with pain in your life today. The gift is separate from you. The gift was given for you to partner with God in liberating a hurting world.
Your person, your heart, that tender naked place you hide so no one crushes it, that is hidden with God. He knows your suffering. He sees your fear of being hurt or being found out. Everyday, get into that vulnerable place with him. He is healing you in that place. This trial will not consume you.
Although we feel like fragile wine glasses that could shatter at any moment, our brokenness doesn’t disqualify us from giving what we have right now.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (2 Corinthians 12:9)
Simultaneously, we have soul scars land marking our pain, and soul reservoirs filled with God, aching to leak out.
Your light still shines even though you are processing pain in a dark room of your soul.
Who are you processing your pain with right now? Do you have a friend you can confide in?
What project are you working on that you are tempted to quit?
Will you reconsider quitting today and recline in God’s grace?
We all need to experience the piece of Him living in you.