Currently it's 1:12 am and I know that at any moment my daughter could very well call to me in the dead of night with a whimpering cry and break this still moment I am hearing the Lord speak and challenge me and call me out for the fake I have been... but I will press on.
I wrote a response to a blog from a girl I know named Ashley. She wrote about an experience close to what we experienced at our church on Easter Sunday. During the song Remedy by DCB members of our church held up signs to the congregation that named their deepest struggles, sins, convictions, and life circumstances...(talk about being real) and on the reverse side of those cards were beautiful words of how God had done what He's so good at doing, restored and healed their scars.
It reminds me of God's word:
"You tuned my wailing into dancing, you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy." Psalm 30:11
She asked at the end of her blog, what would be your cardboard testimony? I thought and thought and as I tried to think of something clever to say, something less transparent, less labeling, and more safe... I felt God calling me to step out.
As we know God and grow in Christ-likeness, it's a reality that we will have many labels to demolish and many strongholds to break, and Praise God many new beginnings. It's a beautiful thing to know that the dance is ours to be had... but it's also greeted with great fear because revelation must be had deep within our hearts. And that means it can get messy. It's not pretty to look over a life of mistakes and perverse motivation to see what a wicked person lies beneath it all...and lets face it, even the best of us are wicked. At one time I thought that word didn't apply me, and God asked me some questions...
Ever been jealous? Ever wanted someone to get what they deserve? Ever not had love for someone different than you? Ever thought unkind things about someone around you? Family member? Friend? Person driving down the road? Ever spoken unkindly to someone, whether they were unkind to you or not? Ever had a doubt about God's reality or character? Ever had a hard time forgiving? Ever been selfish with your time or money? Man!!!!
Wow, mercy is so good isn't it!? The more I know God, the more I KNOW His mercy is real and relevant to our lives!
So she asked what would be your cardboard testimony... hard question for some. For others it's so easy, I am convinced it's because they know the fullness of God's forgiveness.
I fought and fought for my answer like I mentioned earlier, and at the root of all my poor choices and all my searching and all my struggles, I found one desire to be true. The one desire that would define who I was, and what drove the choices I made BR (before redemption).
I shared with Ashley the cardboard testimony that God had given me... and I hope it's okay for me to share that with all of you and also ask:
What would your cardboard say?
"Put your hope in the Lord, for with Him there is unfailing love, and with Him is full redemption."