That is how it started:
- by hearing others be real and open.
- by having my group leader there to ask questions I hadn't thought of before.
- by opening my mouth and speaking the truth of what I was feeling even when it didn't sound spiritual or pretty. God already knew it all anyway.
Healing is like that. It happens slowly, almost imperceptibly.
As I continued to meet with these women for nearly two years, I grew to love them dearly, but I wasn't always comfortable. God, through them, cleaned my wounds and applied His medicine. I will tell you truthfully: it hurt.
When all was said and done, I experienced dramatic change, but left with a scar: a souvenir of both the hurt and the healing process. Today that scar reminds me of the good work God has done in bringing me from there to here.
It was in this group that God placed a dream in my heart. My dream was to minister to hurting and broken women. God wanted to use my biggest hurts to create my greatest ministry opportunity. "Your mess is your message," someone has well said.
God wants to use your mess too, because He is good like that. Who else says, "Hey, this is the area you really blew it in. How about teaching others?" Only God would do that. My areas of expertise, today: openness and grace. Because this is where I blew it.
Back in the day, I was not so graceful, but rather self-righteous. I wasn't that way all the time and or with everyone, but overall, a real Pharisee. I didn't really want to "waste" my time with those whose lives were a mess. I wanted disciples whose problems were mostly fixed and were serious about getting into the Word. So easy. So neat. So perfect.
I was not so real or authentic as I thought myself to be, either. I pretended to be happy when I was sad or angry. I smiled and conversed politely when I should have walked away. I said I wasn't hurt when I was. I thought I was an honest person, but my words didn't reveal the truth in my heart. The Holy Spirit had to show me these things through others speaking into my life.
Now, I am one of those support group leaders working with HopeQuest. I get to learn to ask the hard questions. I get to help clean and bandage wounds; and watch a slow, but amazing healing process begin. Best of all, I get to see lives transformed by the life-giving grace of God.
"Delight yourself in the Lord and
He will give you the desires of your heart."