I'm the kind of person who wants others to be encouraged by my life; the struggles, the joys, the pain, and the success. It's not (normally) coming from a place of pride or wanting to seem better than others, but instead wanting others to be encouraged by my struggles. Which is still almost a foreign concept for me to think about. My struggles haven't been, up until about a year or two ago, something I've wanted to openly share, let alone encourage others, with. And from the culture I live in, I'm guessing many other people feel the same way.
Yesterday was Fake Patty's Day here in MHK. While I do not, nor ever will have a desire to participate in this, my biggest struggle with this "holiday" is finding the grace to extend to others when hearing about the things that take place during it. It's hard for me to understand why people make the choices they do when it comes to alcohol and sex and everything that goes along with it, but the Lord is teaching me more and more lately that I'm not meant to understand it. I'm meant to be open to the hurt that comes after...the shame that often envelopes, and the faces of the people who need redemption --> not to stare harshly at their faces with condemnation or judgment, but to gaze lovingly at their faces with grace and compassion. To give them a glimpse of the God who redeems even their worst decision.
So if you woke up this morning regretting a decision you made last night, remember you are worth more and valued more than even your wisest decision. Our God is a God of grace.
My heart is hurting for the lost and broken. My soul longs for their presence to be filled with the presence of a Savior who knows them each by name.
He is not deaf to our calling - He is not blind to our sorrow - He is not number to our pain - His heart is open and hands are willing - Will we do the same?