2 Corinthians 5:17 – King James Version
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
I went to wash the gel off my hands this morning after putting it in all through my hair to curl it up. I did the usual….squeezed some liquid soap into my palms as I ran them under the water to lather up. It was then that I saw them…..black marks at the tips of at least four of my fingers. Yep, black marks that are the leftovers from what happens when you hold a joint too tightly to try and get all you could out of it. I didn’t care then that holding it to the bitter end would burn my fingers and that, years later, I would still have the scars.
As I looked at the scars, I remembered what seems a lifetime ago. Getting high and drinking. Making a game out of coming home that way and no one ever detected in my house that I was out of control. If I had to anaylze myself then, there were many reasons why I was behaving this way. Trying to fit in, trying to find my place in the world, trying to escape family problems and self-esteem issues.
As I sit here and write, tears are streaming down my face. I know without a doubt that I went to church every week and sang in the choir and didn’t really know the love of Christ. I sang about it and read about and repeated the commandments and other scriptures week after week. But His love did not reign in me. How could it when I was on such a self-destructive path?
I did stop getting high on weed and crack because I could see that having no money when I got paid was not the life for me. But if I can be real here, it was years later, many years later, before I could look at myself and see that I was worth so much more than the abusive situations I found myself in. That no relationship can top the one I am in with my Creator. That no man can love me more than God can!
As I looked at myself in the mirror this morning, I had to stop and give God praise! I shouted out and cried and my middle baby came to see what was wrong. I told her that I was all right! That sometimes you get a glimpse of where God brought you from and you had to praise Him right then!
I don’t know about you but life is tough for me right about now. I’m in the midst of a few transitions and experiencing moments of not really knowing what will happen next which is enough to drive me crazy! But as I thought about where I used to be, I had to give God glory for it was only His grace that has changed me and rearranged me.
If you are still here, I know you have had circumstances happen to you that have threatened to take you out! Wounds that cut so deep that you thought the bleeding and pain would never stop. Scars present and visible from the beatings, literally and figuratively. I know some people who are still hurting and are still battered and bruised. People who walk around going through the motions of life, not knowing how to let go of past hurts and pain too much to even talk about.
I know what it’s like to not feel good about what you see in the mirror. To be so disrespected that you don’t feel like you are worth anything.
I can’t exactly pin point all of my aha moments – those moments of clarity that come to awaken you out of the mundane and the old way of thinking. I do know this – that as I began to look at myself the way Christ does, I began to see that I am worthy. Because He loved me enough to die for me, to forgive my faults and my past and my issues, I can love myself. I can lift my head up and strive daily to be better for myself, my children, and anyone else I come in contact with that needs to know that they can make it!
Yeah, I was broken, but I’m still here! I was hurt, but I’m still here! I cried, yep, still do – but I’m still here!! Have some scars, heck, got a lot of scars, but I am still here.
My scars are not my shame. As I lift my hands in worship, I show God that the scars are not hidden. They remind me as I look at them what can happen when your life is yielded to the love reflected in the face of Jesus. He loves ME!! He really loves me! My scars are indeed a testimony of grace too amazing to comprehend.
I most certainly still have the scars but more importantly, I have the love that gave me the wisdom to know that I had to leave that old life alone, the strength to live life on purpose now, and the courage to tell somebody else that you can make it. You can be free today if you give it all to Jesus! Your secrets are safe with Him.
I pray that you will take your pain, your hurts, your battle scars to Him. Ask Him to make you a new creature. Your life will never be the same – I promise you that! To God be the glory for the great things He has done in me!!!
I AM LIVING VICTORIOUSLY!!!