Many times in thinking about my own personal testimony, I shrink back a little in sharing it. The past is the past and I have changed and grown and matured, I'm no longer ashamed of the things God has brought me through. But, what is more often a sticking point for me is that it wasn't all that bad. I was a teen mother, who graduated high school with honors and married the man of my dreams who accepted my little baby with no qualms at all. Our marriage was almost a statistic, but we worked hard and fought a good fight and got back up. The doctors told us that our oldest might have cancer, but he didn't. Together we have survived so many near misses and when sharing I sometimes feel like the happily ever after spoils it. Do people really want to hear about a happy ending or do they want to think that I'm still fighting that dragon of despair until I die? Can I really minister to someone who's going through if I didn't lose it all?
This month I finally returned to the Dominican Republic for a visit. During our stay, my father in law took us past the site where his car accident occurred in November 2014. I know that even though he and his companions survived the accident and God was so good to them in restoring their bodies and continuing to do so, there is never an occasion that he drives down that road and by that tree that he doesn't remember. His mind and body carry the scars from that day.
It struck me that my scars aren't a reason to be ashamed. I lived something and came through on the other side, forever changed. I still have a story to tell. I don't have to lose everything in order to be qualified to testify to the goodness of God. His goodness shines through every time I remember those things I could never forget. The miracle isn't any less just because He came through for our family. I just finished reading a new book and absolutely loved it because while the author didn't have similarities to me in her struggles, her thinking about them was really close to my own. I read a lot of the reviews of the book and some of the reviewers mentioned that she was whiny, and complained a lot about silly things and that the fact that after finally giving in to adopting 4 children almost at once and after 10 years of infertility, God gave her a child of her own. They stated that last fact as if the gift of a child negated all of the struggles that she had gone through. They resented the nice happy little ending and totally missed the point.
This life is a journey and we all know that, but sometimes I think that we look at the Bible and even at other people's lives through a different lens. We can see through to the end and think how we would have done things differently if we had been in that particular situation. The thing is, we're not. We are in our own story. It weaves in and out with others and it does have a beginning and an end, but we are sitting right here, right now and we don't have the vantage point of God.
If my life is a tapestry, I don't want to be a boring stripe. Straight through, one color, no movement, no kaleidoscope. I wanna bob and weave and dance through the storms and be part of the big picture that God is fashioning through His people. Surprise endings, the unexpected visitor, the stormy night. That's what makes a story good and then, inevitably the happy sunset of His returning for His bride. Its a Sleeping Beauty, Return of the King, love conquers all kind of ending and I would much rather be battle scarred and still fighting, than shrinking back with flawless skin and a dead heart.