I was so blessed today to have lunch with 2 incredible men of God (and a family that I adore) that we worked with in Egypt and Jordan this summer. It brought back to my mind so many of the amazing things that God did during those few weeks...
newsflash: I always have struggled with insecurity...*like lots of you didn't already know that* Thankfully, God has always given me an abundance of grace on this issue and I constantly have to stay in the Word to speak life and truth in that area. There are so many things I wish were different about the way that much of my life was dealt to me, and while we were teaching the conferences in the Middle East, I felt that compounded in my heart again in a strong way. I love Brenda and Rachel SO much...hear my heart there...but it was almost tangibly painful at times to listen to their testimonies. Their stories of great love, strong family bonds and beauty were almost too much to bear at times. And then...the insecurity began. Because then there was my story. A story of something completely different. A story of emotional abandonment on many levels. A story of brokenness and pain. And as I cried out to God in my heart and prayers, I wondered why? Why wasn't my life picture-perfect like theirs? (please read that with the knowledge that I COMPLETELY know that isn't true--no one's life is picture perfect!!!) And as He began to deal with me...He began to show me incredible truth. The Bible says that He will make known to you the paths of life and will fill you with joy in His presence (Acts 2:28). Isn't that good?! As I prayed over that verse, He began to reveal to me that maybe, just maybe, my story was a story that these women needed to hear, too. Maybe my story was one of hope. of healing. of redemption. And aren't ALL of our stories that?
One of the most simple and yet profound lessons I took away from this trip was the knowledge that although our stories may begin quite differently...some of them good, some of them hard, some of them heart-breaking, some of them hopeful...we ALL get to end up in the same place because of the love of Christ. And that friends, gives me great hope. great security. I am blessed beyond measure to know that because of the relationship that Joshua and I have with Jesus, we are changing the legacy of our family. So as I am thoughtful tonight, I pray that you all reflect on your stories...our testimonies are some of the most powerful things we'll ever have 'ownership' of. Steward it well. Wherever you began...I pray that Jesus has you ending well.