July 18, 2012

It's His Story, His Light, His Glory

Even though you may have made mistakes, God hasn’t. God hasn’t, and He HAS promised to work everything together for your good. Not only that, but your story has power when it is entrusted to the Ultimate Author... The distinctive experiences and specific calling on your life can minister directly to someone’s heart. By covering up our pasts and trying to rewrite our histories, we not only rob ourselves of the healing grace God has extended to each one of us, but we also deprive others from witnessing how God can transform lives. He can speak through ANY and EVERY circumstance. ~Coleen York
For God, love determines knowing.  He knows those who are His.  He enters into ‘knowing’ with us because  He loves us.  He does not love us because of what He knows about us. ~Fabs
Honestly, I don't like my story. In fact there are parts of it that I just hate. Parts that weren't just broken, but totally shattered by my own hands and the hands of another. I have the uncanny ability to protect my shards... my "scarlet letters" with a ferocity from people. Nobody had to teach me to do that. I think it may just sort of be human nature. Most of the time I want to keep it that way. Keep the shards hidden away and locked. Nobody has the key accept me, and I've never given it to anyone. I justify it, because who wants to bother being shown shards of glass. You know what most people do with broken glass? They throw it away in the trash can.

What is it about a person that never really wants to share the most deepest things about them? I think we all have them. We don't admit it though. I don't admit it. We don't live in a world that's a friend of being known. We live in a world that judges worth and value before commitment or loyalty. We test drive a car before we'll buy it. We go through a series of interviews before we accept the job. We get a house inspected before putting a down payment on it. Our world runs on an unspoken motto: We'll make a judgement call when we know what we're dealing with. And for many things that's actually a wise base to work from. Test drive the car, go through the interviews, and get the inspection done. But, approaching community with all it's various relationships and friendships from such a framework, doesn't foster being known. People can't be known if they fear judgement. And unfortunately judgement is all to prevalent.

You know what I like? I like those mosaic candle holders. Those really nice ones they sell in Restoration Hardware. Expensive, but really sparkly and pretty when lit up in a dark room. Perhaps I could get away with saying it's a raw form of creating a stain glass piece. These mosaic candle holders are made with shards of broken glass. The artist sands down sharp edges, arranges the pieces in a specific design, then cements or solderers everything together to create the final piece.

And God has been confronting me on handing Him my box of shards for a few weeks now. It's become more evident to me more than ever just how long I've hid them; the pieces that make up the story I dislike and hide so much. He's gently coaxing the box from my fingers. Although, that's putting it nicely. In reality it feels like He's been ripping an infected scab off of my heart.

But through the coaxing and the ripping I hear the gentle voice: "Give it to me. Get up, and walk with me. I'm taking you somewhere."

But I don't want to! It scares me. You just ripped a flippin' scab off of me! I just want to lay here and bleed to death... or maybe another scab will grow over it. I could use that damn box as a pillow. Not terribly comfy, but better than nothing here on the floor. [I never claim to be all that brilliant or courteous with my words in times like these.]

"Give it to me. Get up, and walk with me. Take it in baby steps, but walk none the less. I'm here and I'm not going to leave. I need to take you somewhere and show you something."

OK. Fine. I think I can handle a couple of baby steps. I hope I can. I really have always been a fan of baby steps. It's part of my hard wiring. I have to be eased into literally everything. It's like dipping your toes at the shallow end of the pool. Some people go through life being tossed into the deep end and somehow they do really well with starting there. I on the other hand, have to be eased and coaxed into the deep end. People have tried tossing me in and it's never gone well. Not once. I start thrashing out of fear or anxiety, which only leads to sinking. My parents know it. My closest friends know it. And the other day, it dawned on me that God knows it, and it's out of His great kindness that He's easing me into this and not just tossing me.

Then I remember. Ultimately, it's not my story, but rather His Story.

It's His story of His grace and His redeeming love through and in me. I am not the lead character here. He is. I do not get the applause and the praise. He does. I don't have a ton of say when the story gets told. He does. I cannot rewrite the plot line or the scenes when I don't like them for various reasons. He's got the pen and He knows what the beginning, middle, and end have been, are, and will be. He can see it all in it's entirety, I cannot. He knows the audience to show it to. And He loves this story, because it's His. It's to His credit and His glory.

Step by small baby step, piece by piece, He sands down the rough edges and chips of those shards, then cements them back together, creating what will hold His light. It's His light that shines through the colored glass casting a soft, beckoning glow for others to see. There's a story behind the shaping and making of every mosaic... every piece of art. Behind each one of us: you and me.
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. ~Roman 8:28

8 comments :

  1. Beautiful. Brilliant thoughts. Something i've learnt so much about this year!

    ReplyDelete
  2. thank you.
    exactly what i've been going through and you've done an amazing job of putting it into words.
    "In reality it feels like He's been ripping an infected scab off of my heart"
    hahaha i feel the same.
    BUT, you're so right. HE is writing the story and as messy and painful as the past is, we know this story has a good ending!

    ReplyDelete
  3. i love how raw this is... and being known entirely is a fear of mine that the Lord is addressing with me... this has been completely on my heart recently. thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Natalie, thank you for sharing about this struggle you're facing. I think that we hide because we often fear judgment or condemnation from others; having them think less of us because of our brokenness. But I have been convinced time and time again that our God truly does make BEAUTIFUL things out of our brokenness!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I can really relate to this. There are definitely parts of my story I don't like, but I do know God is taking me somewhere and equipping me for something. I sure would like to know what it is, and soon! :) Thanks for sharing so honestly Nat!

    ReplyDelete
  6. God can do so much more with our brokeness than we can even begin to imagine! Love that verse in Romans, it encourages me everytime I read it!

    ReplyDelete
  7. LOVE this! I want to hear more of your story, because this past year for me has been one of opening up and allowing old wounds to heal! THanks for your encouragement! love Katie

    ReplyDelete
  8. This is beautiful. I am never going to look at shards of glass the same way again.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for leaving me your thoughts, comments, and encouragements! =) I do monitor every comment I get so that I can comment back as much as possible.

Any comments I personally deem as inappropriate or disrespectful (and any spam) will be trashed.