But I Don’t Want To…

“But sharing the real stuff is a gift we offer to each other because it is something we need and crave. So it wouldn’t be bad to push ourselves a bit.”

Lisa Whittle, Jesus Over Everything

I often don’t want to be real. And by real I mean raw. I don’t want open up about real pains from my past. I don’t want to “re-hurt”. I’m sure you’ve been hurt by a person or an event. I don’t just mean got your feelings trampled. I mean really, genuinely, to the bone, bruised by life. I know I have.

My daughter had some serious medical issues at three weeks old. If you know me closely, you probably know that story.

I don’t want to talk about it. I don’t want to write about it. I don’t want to spend anymore mental space in that time at all. I’d rather write something pretty and flowery. I’d rather say, “God is good all the time”, and not have to focus on the truly terrible time He was still good in. But lately I have been feeling little tugs on my heart strings to make that sincerely awful experience into something useful. When I say make, I mean allow God to mold it. Give God access to create with it.

But I don’t want to. It’s not that I don’t want God to use it- because believe me, I want more than anything for that horrific event to be beneficial. Nonetheless, I don’t want to dive back into those feelings and memories. I’m sorry, but I don’t want to.

I began reading Jesus Over Everything by Lisa Whittle this week. She’s pretty much read my mail. Her book has called me out on all the things I’ve been trying to spiritually hush. In it, she talks about the necessity for real over pretty. In the book she says, “Choosing real has led to freedom. Choosing pretty has shown people a facade, with hollow result. Choosing real has impacted people’s lives, sometimes for eternity. Choosing real is living a Jesus-over-everything life.”

After reading about choosing real over pretty I’ve decided I’m going to let God work with the raw and real testimony of mine. I’m not sure what all He will do with it, but I’m offering it to Him.

I trust that Jesus mourns with me. My daughter is healthy now. She’s healed and happy and growing. But it still doesn’t justify those nightmare weeks. I’m still not “okay” with them. I trust that Jesus isn’t either.

But because I believe Jesus isn’t “okay” with it either, I believe He will make the impact of my testimony worth my trouble. I believe He will shape the ashes into something of beauty. (Isaiah 61:3)

I believe He will do the same thing with whatever it is that is real in your life that you’ve been polishing up and tucking away. I trust that our real and raw moments are the ones that get most of the work done in Kingdom building.

You don’t have to dress up your mess for God to use it.

You do, however, have to hand it over. No matter how vulnerable and exposed that makes you feel. I’ve decided I’m not going to waste the hurt by hiding it any longer.

Don’t waste your past pain by thinking it is purposeless.

Your testimony is valuable. In fact, it’s vital. Not just for you, but for someone else in need of triumph.

“They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.” Revelation 12:11(NIV)

Trust that God knows exactly how to use your pain to produce beauty. Don’t try to manufacture elegance on your own. You can’t.

And even though I often don’t want to be real, someone else needs me to be.

And even though you might not want to be raw, someone else needs you to be.

And even though I don’t want to, I trust that God knows best.

I trust that God knows the best way to use this mess.

Be blessed!