A friend recently shared my testimony in her blog (see HERE) and I have to admit, it was hard to look back over my story. If you were to blend the woman at the well, with the woman caught in the act of adultery, and throw in the story of the prodigal son, you might catch of small glimpse of who I was before I met Jesus. I was a very lost, very broken woman, a woman that is hardly recognizable to myself and those who know me today.
That is why I love to look back and remember who I was, and where I was when Jesus found me. Even though it’s hard to see, I know I must. For only in SEEING the reality of where I started do I get to SEE the reality of where Jesus ALONE has brought me. He ALONE had the power to give me a REAL life, but He couldn’t until I was ready to stop protecting the FAKE one. This seems to have always been the WAY of Jesus, He doesn’t accept our feeble attempts at pretty coveralls, but only our exchanges of our messes for HIS REAL LIFE. My heart races with what we could have lost if those who we most relate to in bible times were more concerned with their dignity than the STORY JESUS was wanting to write with their lives. After all, who would have ever known about the miracle of Lazarus’ resurrection if he and his family tried to cover up the fact that he was ever dead? How would we have ever known that Jesus could heal a woman who suffered with the issue of blood for twelve years if, after being healed, she had taken her miracle, run off and ignored Jesus’ question, “who touched Me?” And how could we have known that Jesus had the power to not only heal one’s life, but one’s whole destiny, identity and purpose if, after being confronted on that Damascus road, Saul of Tarsus (at the time, later Paul) when confronted with the truth about himself by Christ, would have responded by running away from it, instead of exchanging it for the destiny that God had laid out before him to change the whole world with the Gospel?
So often we fear our story, and so we hide it. Could the world be missing out in seeing Jesus because we refuse to release our mess into His Mystery?
Oh, that we would come out of hiding, and in so doing, proclaim the UNDOING of ALL the fake that the enemy tried to get us to wrap ourselves up in back in the garden so long ago. This need to cover over our story due to fear begins in Genesis 3:7-8 , “Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths. And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees in the garden.”
I wonder what it would be like if we began to actually become those referred to in Revelation 11:11 where it say, “And they have conquered him (the accuser) by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives, even unto death.”
What if we stopped hiding? What if we decided to be the COMPLETE OPPOSITE of ADAM and EVE? What if, no matter how afraid we are of who we are, we decided to TRUST that God’s LIGHT is ENOUGH to cover over ALL of our mess, all that is fake in us? What if we made 1 John 1:7 our life mantra, “But if we walk in the Light as He in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, cleanses us from all sin.”? WHAT IF WHAT GOD WANTS IS YOU TO TRUST HIM WITH YOUR WHOLE STORY MORE THAN HE WANTS YOUR CHURCH ATTENDANCE, YOUR SERVICE, OR YOUR MONEY? And what if the whole world is missing out on SEEING JESUS because you are with holding HIS WHOLE truth about you from the world, from your family, from yourself?
I am a woman who was about as bound, broken, and as close to destroying herself and her family as one can get. I can tell you, I was POWERLESS to change myself.
But nothing in my life changed until I exchanged my story for HIS. The day that my fear of who I had become became greater than my fear of anyone knowing my truth was the day I was set free. That was the day I became REAL, and I will never stop thanking God for that day.
The picture above was taken just before my second heart surgery. I was not naive, as I had already been through the experience once before. I was scared, I knew I would be awake enough to feel things going on in my heart, yet groggy enough to not take action about it. I felt vulnerable, yet resigned to surrendering my body to whatever means necessary to make my it stronger so I could be present as a wife, mom, friend and person.
When I think about what it means to be REAL, I think about moments like these. Moments when we DON’T put up our perfect pictures about our lives, when we are willing to be vulnerable with God and with one another, moments when we say, “I’m not doing too good, GOD, I may need You to come walk around in my heart a little bit so You can heal it. Do whatever it takes to make my heart REAL, to make it like Yours.”