If you missed my last post Who Will Bear My Shame, Part 1, follow this link for the beginning of story.
My journey may not be as long as others but it has been filled with many lessons that have made me who I am today. It has been filled with a God that would not let me go, and a God that knew I needed all the grace and mercy He could pour out on my past, present, and future.
God had many plans for me and it seemed that none of them were on my list so far. I was in my mid-twenties, childless, single, and jobless. I had just left my beautiful paradise home on Oahu and was heading back to the Midwest to move back in with my parents. Is this sounding like anyone’s fairy tale they dreamed of as a little girl?
Not only had my life not been going as I had planned or expected, I was carrying a lot of baggage that I had accumulated over the years. I would have loved to throw it all out as I flew over the deep blue Pacific Ocean and get a fresh start in my life. Getting rid of your sins is apparently not that easy and it was something that God had to work out in me.
I could present myself as this good Christian girl but deep down inside the pain and agony of shame, fear, worthlessness, regret, and disappointment were weighing me down. As I continued to suppress all those feelings inside they just became larger than I could take care of on my own.
When I moved back to the mainland, things seemed to be turning around for me. I was quickly offered a teaching job. I began attending church again. I was spending a lot of time with my family and I was really discovering who I wanted to be, so I thought.
Shortly after being here a teacher friend of mine asked me to go on a blind with her husband’s good friend. I quickly said, “No.”
I was on a mission to discover who I was and not what or who any guy told me I was. I really wanted to become my own self without any attachments. I already had an image of myself and that was looking pretty bleak and downright disappointing.
My 28th birthday was approaching. My friend had asked me several times to go out as a group with her and her husband so I broke down and said yes. By this time I seemed to really know what I wanted for myself. I wanted a turn around.
We went on a blind date. Many of you may be groaning right now. I know it could have been pretty disastrous, it wasn't bad but I told myself I probably wouldn't go out with him again. However, he called me back with a plan and to make a long story short, I am happy to say I am married to an amazing man and we
will be celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary this year.
Our relationship didn't start out quite as I would have hoped. We went out a lot with friends and I was back into my lifestyle of doing whatever made us happy at the moment. We were happy. We had great times together but they were not all my proudest moments.
Several months after we got married my baggage really started weighing me down. Here I was with a really great guy and I had so many regrets in my life. Let me start by explaining with a little story.
When I was teaching there was a guest speaker for the school district. I am not exactly sure what he was about. Maybe he was there for me or I guess it might have been for the kids. He was talking to the kids about purity and giving themselves someday to their mate.
He stood in front of all the kids and held up this beautiful red rose and said something like this. “This is you. You are beautiful. There are many layers to you and each one of them is very special. However, each time you give yourself to someone, you lose a little bit of yourself.” As he said this he was peeling away pieces of the rose. He continued to talk about doing different things in life and each time he would peel away another petal. By the time he got done with his story, the rose was just a stem, the center, and a few petals.
Then he continued, “Someday you will meet the mate that you want to be with. What will you offer them? Will there be just pieces of you or will you offer them your whole beautiful self?”
This is exactly how I felt all the time. Here I was in a new marriage and I felt like all I had to offer this amazing man were pieces that were left of me. This was completely me. He had told me early on that he didn't care about my past because it made me who I was. I really loved him for that reassurance.
Slowly, I began to break. I had come into this marriage with all this excess baggage and I had not figured out any way to get rid of it. What I didn't know at the time was God was beginning to make me whole but before he could get me there I had to stand and face Him. I had to look Him in the eye.
I relate to Peter here in the beginning of Luke 22:61 which reads: At that moment, the Lord turned and looked at Peter.
Peter said he would never deny Him Lord, but the Lord knew Peter would get weary and fall away. When I was young, I remember sitting at church camp and promising to live a life that was pleasing to God. Now here I was, afraid to look Him in the eye. Running this way and that just so I wouldn't have to face Him. Here He was, looking me in the eye, undaunted by my life, and ready to pour out some grace and mercy so I could be more glorifying to Him.
Come back Sunday to read more of this story. Maybe you need to face your King today and you no longer want to do it with your head bowed in shame. Maybe you have no idea what I am talking about but you know you need something different than what you have, please come back for the rest of the story. It will be worth your time. In the mean time if you want to know what it means to have a relationship with Christ you can read, Who Loves a Good Rescue Story, Part 1 and Who Loves a Good Rescue Story, Part 2.
Until then, I will be praying that the Lord will do a work in you and pour out His mercy and grace onto your life.