We are surrounded by the impulsive pressures of being perfect. The cosmetic stores provide us with cover ups that are “necessary” to looking our best. Social media has become a window in which we share the greatest edited versions of ourselves and, though we want to put our best face forward, are we doing so at the risk of hiding the beautiful scars that God has healed for the sole purpose of sharing hope to others?
It’s easy to believe the lie that our mistakes and imperfections are undesirable or that the healing God has produced in our lives needs to be hidden and covered, in attempts to eliminate our shame from past mistakes.
Embracing Your Story
Transparency is a challenge for us all and it’s easy to feel contempt, instead of thankfulness, in our individual testimonies and stories of salvation. But understand that it’s the scars that we’ve healed from that make the loudest statement to the grace and goodness of God!
In my life, I have endured many moments where healing was necessary. I spent so much of my college life compromising and cutting corners that ultimately lead me to spiritual brokenness. I compromised in my purity, in my obedience and in my relationship with God. For the sake of friendships and popularity, I gave so much of myself away. So, when I came to Christ, I needed a major heart transplant, which He provided through Salvation in Jesus. So many of us came to Christ because of brokenness- broken hopes, broken hearts, broken dreams. But it was His loving kindness that healed us and He desires that we boast in Him about the good things He has done in order to give hope to others who need it most.
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” -2 Corinthians 12:9
To boast means to proclaim, and as Paul did, so should we: to proclaim that God’s love and power perfects us in our imperfect places!
Delighting in His Goodness
We each have a powerful and beautiful story to tell of the healing and deliverance that God has performed in our lives. We need to learn to love that story because it is ours and plays an intricate role in God’s kingdom. Part of loving your story involves simply discovering what is beautiful in what God has done, is doing and will do in your life.
Love your story and share your testimony, with confidence, because God, Himself, wrote it, and though there are areas and seasons that we wish we could avoid or re-do, the scriptures declare that all things are working together for the good of those who love God (Romans 8:28).
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True, human error and the shame that comes with sin makes it so easy to hate parts of our testimonies. Though our gracious God declares that He will forget our transgressions through confession (Hebrews 8:12), we are not always as gracious to ourselves. But, there are those in our lives who need to know our stories. They need to know that there is hope for them, too!
Often times, we are both impressed and feel unworthy of the ‘picture perfect’ Christianity that is sometimes portrayed to us. We put people on pedestals for their abstinence, their blooming ministries, their seemingly perfect marriages and their blessings. But I have come to understand that it’s our healed scars and brokenness that the world is more interested in because these are proof of God’s redemption.
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None of us are perfect and even your most trusted mentor has been through the fire and the flood, at one point in their lives. No one lives without their share of heartache and each of us experience growth in seasons of discomfort and challenge. Don’t be afraid to show your scars, as the Lord leads you to because it is the beauty out of our ashes that attracts the world to Jesus!
No matter where you are in your life right now, no matter the pain, the shame or the confusion, you are dearly loved and you are never alone. In Christ, you have a hope for a future (Jeremiah 29:11) and that future involves living your life to declare the goodness and the glory of God!
Don’t give up and don’t count yourself unworthy.
You are victorious, you are called and you are equipped to do all that God is preparing for you to do. Your scars do not disqualify you; they are proof of your authorization to share your testimony with confidence in what the Lord has done!
“Blessed is She who believes what the Lord has declared over her”- Luke 1:45
Katrina McCain is the author of Beyond Being Good: Seeking Christ’s Perfection for Our Imperfect Hearts.