Matthew 5:16a “Let your light shine before men.”
In the deepest, darkest part of my life, I grew cold. Each day was spent in Survival Mode, just trying to get by. I didn’t even care anymore. I was numb to the pain of loneliness and anger. Bitterness had been growing for so long that its vines had wrapped tightly around my heart and nothing could get in. I distanced myself from people out of fear that they would figure it out and try to change me. I didn’t want to change, didn’t want to feel, didn’t want to hurt. It was an empty feeling, but it was all I had.
For months, I let things stay like this until one day I couldn’t take it anymore. All I could think was, there has to be something better than this! I didn’t know what to do but figured it couldn’t hurt to pray. Silly as it was, I was a Christian and I didn’t even know how to pray anymore. I was so exhausted both mentally and physically, I just lay on the ground crying, not knowing what to say. It was quiet, and I didn’t hear anything, but I knew God was watching.
This routine continued for a few weeks, and at some point I started opening my bible. I don’t even remember what I read, I just remember reading for the sake of reading. It didn’t make sense. It didn’t have to.
Eventually, I started talking to God about my frustrations and anger. I asked him, “Why?” and even shook my fist at him, but I never stopped praying and never stopped believing that there was “something better.” Even in my anger, he never shook his fist at me. I wondered why. I wondered when he would speak.
It took a while, but I noticed that my heart was changing. I don’t know if it was in prayer or through reading his word or something else, but somehow God put things on my heart that showed me where he was working. He gently showed me where I was wrong, where I was right, and where I needed to be.
Slowly—but surely—he turned my pain into purpose and he brought me into that “something better.” And it was so, so much better than I had ever imagined.
Today, just five years later, he has turned My Story into full-blown passion. My Story became the reason I started school to become a counselor, the reason I started writing for military families, the reason I started working at a pregnancy clinic, and even the reason I started writing bible studies for teen moms. I never imagined that my deepest, darkest time would become so useful and powerful. My Story.
But that’s just one story.
What is Your Story? How might God use your story to help others?
Read Romans 8:28. In ALL things, God is working for good. What “bad” situations have you had in your life?
How could God use them for good?
Read Luke 19:1-10.
This is a story about a man who was changed because of his encounter with Jesus Christ, so he changed the parts of his life that needed to be changed! He turned something bad into something good.
What is Your Story? What has God done for you? Where did you need mercy, and he provided it? Where did you need a friend, and he brought you that friend? Where did you think you have no hope, but then you found that hope?
What is Your Story? How can God use your story to help change the world?
Life Application and Further Study
Consider taking some time this week to write down Your Story. Title it, “My Story,” or “Melissa’s Story” (well, not my name, but you get the point). Then, do as Zacchaeus did and help the world!