Please forgive me for being a day a few hours late…we’ve been in wheat harvest and consumed with baseball games.
When I was growing up, my Mother would often call me “a mess”. I was constantly being creative, developing a new idea, building a dream barn from cardboard brick, or playing outside. My pack-rat nature probably gave my Mother good reason to call me a mess, but the words have not left me to this day. I often hear myself asking my husband, “Do you love me?” He always replies, “Yes! Why do you ask me that?” And my response is always, “Because I’m such a mess…..” His reply is heartfelt when he says, “Yes, but you’re my mess. And God gave you to me.” (sweet, isn’t he?)
I’ve often wondered why God would ask me to share my stories. I’m far from perfect and often feel so inadequate. I find myself comparing my stories to those of Lysa TerKeurst (after all-we DO have the same name!), and other women who are wonderful speakers and story tellers. Somehow, my stories always feel so….shallow. They never quite seem dramatic enough or “deep” enough. It’s taken me a few years to realize that they ARE, however, MY STORIES. And there is not one person on the planet that can share MY story like I can.
It’s not always fun sharing my stories. Most of the time they stir emotions in me that others may not feel. Sometimes they highlight my faults and imperfections. Sometimes they are funny (I like those best!), and sometimes they make me and other women cry. No matter how my story comes across, I only pray that God will use the words he gives me and that he will use those words to change the life of ONE. I desire nothing less than to be real. And I’m learning that being real and sharing the “hard stuff” isn’t always easy. Or dramatic. Or “deep”.
This chapter was, once again, so timely. (Isn’t God so cool like that?) I really needed this boost and confirmation that YES, I CAN do ALL things through Christ who gives me strength. And just when I think there is something I can’t do, or say, or a place I just can not go, God opens the door and says, “Trust in ME.” Lysa pointed out on page 61 that, Satan will do everything he can to convince you to say no to God. Satan’s very name means “one who separates.” He wants to separate you from God’s best by offering what seems “very good” from a worldly perspective. He wants you to deny Christ’s power in you. He wants to distract you from God’s radical purpose for you. Those words weighed heavy on my heart. I read them and re-read them. How often have I been distracted? How often have I doubted God’s ability to use ME? How many times have I said, “no”. I’ve often labeled myself “mess” and walked away wondering why God would EVER want to use a mess like me. Have you wondered the same thing?
Do you seriously think God can’t use you?
Noah was a drunk. Abraham was too old. Jacob was a liar. Leah was ugly. Joseph was abused. Moses had a stuttering problem. Gideon was afraid. Samson had long hair and was a womanizer. Rahab was a prostitute. Jeremiah and Timothy were too young. David had an affair and was a murderer. Elijah was suicidal. Isaiah preached naked. Jonah ran from God. Naomi was a widow. Job went bankrupt. Peter denied Christ. (3x’s!!) The Disciples fell asleep while praying. Martha worried about everything. The Samaritan woman was divorced. (5x’s!!) Zaccheus was short! Paul was too religious. Lazarus was dead!
“Think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things-and the things that are not- to nullify the things that are, so no one may boast before him.” 1 Cor. 1:28-29
Ladies, let me assure you today; if can use me and my messes, he can use you. I want to encourage you to say “YES” to God and rely on HIS strength. You never know how God may use you!
In the comment section below, please write about how this chapter challenged you, and/or encouraged you.