Friday, January 18, 2013

It's Time To Celebrate Our Imperfections

I'm learning that if I totally have my eyes open and my heart ready, that I can just about find a lesson in everything around me. Ladies, lets be real. It's hard at times to be us, isn't it? I recently seen Brooke Burk-Charvet, speaking about her thyroid cancer and the scar she now wears. She was sharing how difficult it was having a scar right there on your neck for everyone to see. I too have one of those scars. I remember when the bandage came off and found myself looking in the mirror. I was horrified. It was one monstrous scar. It's a little over two inches across.

Over time my scar has faded. At first I would notice people looking at me and I knew they were wondering what in the world happened. I looked as if my neck had been slashed. I didn't want to wear any kind of shirt where my scar was visible. I even kept my bandage on longer than I had to. Now, it's a different story. That scar has grown on me. It's a story I can share of God's glory and the power of His healing.

I carry quite a few scars. A few are on my wrist. Battle wounds of a softball player. Yes, each scar has a pretty cool story attached. It's funny really. I remember having surgery and asking, "Is this going to leave a scar?" I was terrified of being imperfect. It plagues us to think of what others will say about us. About the things they will wonder. With each passing year my scars fade and I have almost stopped wondering about the thoughts of others.

I carry scars that cannot be seen from the outside. I think we all do. Life impacts us. There isn't one decision that doesn't leave an impact on someone. I think it's more about what we do with those scars than the appearance of them. Don't you?

We have visions of what we think perfection looks like. Is it really ten fingers and ten toes? I don't think so. See, God doesn't make junk and He surely doesn't make mistakes. He hasn't placed illness cloud over my head, but He has allowed certain circumstances to touch my life. Yes, your life too. There is nothing that is just happenstance. God can bring beauty from ash. Every single flaw and imperfection we wear, He can use for His glory. Our Savior has His own scars. Life giving scars that tell a wondrous story.

Whether it's our attitude, our actions, or our beliefs. We are all flawed. We have imperfections. Grace creates righteousness. Praise gives over to glory. Forgiveness brings a humble heart. All of these things bring about perfection in Jesus Christ. In His eyes, He doesn't see me as being flawed. He looks at me with the love of a Father. A Father who chooses to see beauty.

Read these words slowly and allow them to ruminate in your heart. "God loves you just the way you are, but He refuses to leave you that way. He wants you to be just like Jesus." Max Lucado That's great stuff isn't it? Powerful statement of truth. Jesus loves me beyond my flaws. Yes, beyond my sin. He chooses to love me today, just the way I am. That's a great and mighty love. I can get hung up on my flaws. I can go to Jesus asking forgiveness and He forgives. My sin is cast away never to be brought up again. It's me that can get hung up on my sin. It's me that cannot forgive myself. It's me that continues to bring it up. It's Satan who likes to keep me locked there. That's a sad place to be. Because when we are focused on our flaws and imperfections there isn't room to see the glory of God take place. Friends, there's a lot of glory taking place. We are just stuck and refuse to allow ourselves to see it. Why? We have been told that we are unworthy so many times we are now beginning to believe those lies. We are worthy. Why? Because Jesus lives in us. We are His children. Whether we are saved or have yet to accept our Savior, it doesn't change the fact that we are loved!

Yesterday while my husband and I were having Dove chocolate with our coffee, he opens his chocolate and tosses the paper to me. Wait. Let me back up. After he creates a plane, he flies it to me. lol The wrapper says, "It's OK to be fabulous and flawed". That plane went straight for my heart. I pondered this Dove wrapper and decided I would like it better if it said, "It's possible to be fabulous and flawed". I tell you I wanted to stand up and shout, "YES!" Friends, we can be fabulous and flawed. This is what Jesus wants us to tap into. He wants us to see our value goes far beyond our scars and our sins. It's us as humans that are a little mixed up in our thoughts of imperfection. We choose to see the imperfection before the beauty. We choose to focus on the scar and not the story.

I can wake feeling wonderful. Read my devotional. Seek the heart of God. Twenty minutes later I'm cleaning a dirty kitchen and furious over the mud that has been tracked through the hall. I can snap at my husband. Be frustrated at the person on the other end of the phone. My attitude can completely change without a moments notice. By the afternoon I'm telling myself how unworthy I am and there is my Jesus reminding me of His grace. He reminds me that His mercy is new every time I choose to accept it.

"Now we see things imperfectly as in a poor mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God knows me now." 1 Corinthians 13:12

We are a work of art. A work in progress. God is creating in us a masterpiece. A one of a kind. There is no one else exactly like you. I think that is the coolest thing! My Savior created me just the way I am and it's Him that is still molding and shaping me. When He is finished no one will recognize the new me from that old girl of long ago. He takes each blemish and scar and pieces them together like a puzzle to tell a story of redemption.

Friends, it's time to look in the mirror and celebrate! It's time to be comfortable in our skin and know that we were created in love. We are complete in Jesus. He isn't finished with us yet. There may be many more scars to come. As each one tells a story, think of it as a chapter in your book. Don't close the chapter just yet. Keep reading. God doesn't just leave us where we are today. He continues working in us. We are valued. We are loved. If you have to repeat those words to yourself throughout the day then do so. Remind yourself that you are one special child of God!
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