Monday, September 15, 2014

What's Your Story?

“What is gained if I am silenced, if I go down to the pit? Will the dust praise you? Will it proclaim your faithfulness? Hear, Lord, and be merciful to me; Lord, be my help.” You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent. 
 Lord my God, I will praise you forever.
 Psalm 30:9-12

My life was so filled with insecurity and self doubt, I tortured myself for years thinking I was never good enough. This was heightened in my middle school and high school years generally around the first week of school. I would make myself physically sick and barely eat, afraid of making a poor impression and caring way too much what people thought. I was never popular but not an outcast either. I did everything to ensure that I would stay right there in the middle. Be a little too bold and you might be called weird or compromise my morals and I might fit in line more with the popular crowd. I made sure to try to fit in where I was, just getting by and not rocking anyone's boat.

This was how I lived most of my life. My grandfather would always look at me and say, "There is Michelle, Miss Go with the Flow". I know he didn't mean any harm in that comment but he was right. I never wanted to do anything to get myself into anyone's business and made sure no one got into mine. I was good at putting a smile on my face and going with the flow. Unfortunately, this personality trait of mine backfired when my family fell apart during high school. My mom got very sick and my parents ended their marriage in a horribly bitter divorce. I am not incriminating anyone or going to air any dirty laundry, but when my business became public knowledge I internalized everything just like I had always done. This happened to me once before when I was just a little girl. I fell into vicious cycles of depression and anxiety and fooled everyone into thinking I was ok when most nights I cried myself to sleep.

I was in, what I call, a "yo-yo" relationship with God. When times were good, I was good and I did my own thing. When times were bad, that is when I ran to God for help. He was my little secret on my shelf, my pill to pop, my comfort when the world offered nothing else. When I was in my late 20's I had another crisis. This time I was married, with children and it was serious. I didn't like it, at first I ran from God. I thought, What kind of God could allow this to someone who believed in Him? He didn't just want my belief, He wanted a relationship! He wanted to walk and talk with me, He wanted me to call Him on the phone, not my grandmother all the time. He wanted all my attention not just part of it. He put something in my heart, Michelle, I don't want to be your medicine you take when your sick, I wanna be your multivitamin, a daily regimen...that keeps you healthy. He was tired of me being wishy-washy, in the grey areas and lukewarm. 

He wanted to raise up a woman I didn't know ever could have possibly existed in this body. A woman full of courage, bravery, and wisdom. A woman full of God's love ready to pour out to others and a heart for other women. He wanted the best of me, not what was left of me at the end of the day. My story goes so much deeper, wider, darker and there are so many aspects of it. But what is important here is that I am telling it. When Jesus met the woman at the well she ran into the town proclaiming, "Come and met the man who told me everything I ever did!" She changed her town with her testimony of God's grace. David in the above verse says God turned his wailing into dancing and clothed him with joy. He then says I will "sing your praises and NOT BE SILENT". In Revelation 12:11 it explains that the way we overcome Satan is by the blood of the lamb, which that is Jesus part and He already did that, and by the word of our testimony is our part. 

God wants us to tell our stories. He wants us to share the grace given to us and give it to others. You can spare the gory details, I did. We aren't' trying to glorify satan and the mess he made in some of our lives but glorify God and the miracles he performed despite our mess! If we are silent the bible says the dust and rocks will cry out! Let's not ever let that be the case. Ask God everyday who you can be a blessing to each and everyday. Then ask Him how he wants to use your past to bring Him glory. It's not meant to be locked and the key thrown away. Someone needs to hear it and be encouraged by it. So...what's your story?

Check out this powerful song by David Dunn "Ready to be Myself"

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