Meet the Author's Author

Meet the Author's Author
Live for Jesus! That's what matters! That you see the light in me and come along! :)

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Short Sight and Scars

This past weekend, I attended a Youth Conference (along with one of my UK besties, Stephanie, and my twin, Joseph) at Bethel Free Baptist Church in Birmingham.

What I was expecting ran something along the lines of:
1) Listen to preaching and be fed
2) Sit awkwardly on the sidelines and fail miserably at interacting
3) Spend the weekend watching and listening

What actually happened was totally different.

God moved this weekend. I watched young people recommit their lives to the Lord. I recommitted my life to the Lord. I gave Him the burden of my broken heart and prayed for release.
It's still broken, but He's got the burden of it now and the joy is...unspeakable.
I watched my Stephie change from a girl who is shy and self-controlled, though happy, start singing in public - something she would never do even if I begged, though she'd do anything else. I watched as she stepped out on the streets to witness - which she was scared sick of. I watched her cry, and go to the altar, let go and surrender and talk through issues, make friends...I watched God glow through her face, literally.
The power of our singing and Nathan's playing the choruses and songs because of the joy in our God that flowed out while we were on the streets caused people to walk by gaping. It has been so long since the joy of the Lord flooded me that powerfully, and I am blinking back tears as I type.
I watched young people reach out to me, when it's usually the other way round - Curtis, Kaine, David, all breaking the ice and oh, my gosh, you guys are so utterly _amazing_. Thank you so much.

God moved. I prayed to surrender. I believe I have and that He will continue to do so in my life, the life that I want - desire most, to be completely sold out to Him.

Then it was over...
We hugged goodbye...exchanged last few words...drove away. Stephie stopped with me until today...and I had the joy of watching her running off to read the Word every few minutes, exclaiming as God showed her something new, talking about the difference and the joy this weekend has brought to her.

Oh, but. I left my glasses at church. And my contact lenses. My eyes were dry after the weekend so I tried/am trying to avoid using the couple I have left.
Walking around half blind has been somewhat an exercise in both faith, confidence and thankfulness. In fact, on Monday I made it my goal to find things to be thankful for regarding my current forced reliance on my actual weak eyesight.

I found several, not including the fact that my left eye's vision has sharpened a little, although my right eye makes me feel like a helpless wimp. :P

It also enables me to be thankful for both the ability to actually see at all, and the technology that gives me clear sight - when I finally get my glasses back! :)

One of my joys in this has been seeing things closer to my face and appreciating them more; in particular, when it's drizzling lightly, I can see the rain next to my face, falling, looking almost like it's doing some crazy, joyful dance.
(I admit, I've been complaining too, especially as working on the computer today has really strained my eyes and my nerves. :P I did apologise to my colleagues for grumpiness - and God!)

My eczema was pretty bad yesterday. As I was scratching my irritated arm, I bent my head to look at it - and for the first time, I saw it.
Ash saw the look on my face.

"What's wrong? You look horrified."
I swallowed.
"I am."

Then I briefly explained.

You see, I used to be a cutter. Self harm. For two years. But by the grace of God alone, I've stopped. Oh, there are still times I want to. Still times when the agony of the pain inside, especially when I lost the man I love, cried out for anything just to numb it and let me breathe.
But I prayed. And fought. And God held me. He really did. can be done. I'm testimony. You can stop cutting. And I don't care how bad it gets.

Because I bear the scars on my body to prove it.
I knew about the one on my leg, from the last time (bar courts) I ever saw my dad - the day we raided our old home and had forty five minutes to get our personal belongings out under police escort.
I never saw the ones on my arm.

Til yesterday.

I always thought it was a miracle, how they healed so invisibly. Those thin, neat lines. So many. And my skin's so delicate, I don't know how I missed them. But the light caught them, my skin was clear enough to see them, and my short-sighted lack of glasses brought them into view.
I'm scarred more than I thought possible.

I thought it was just my heart and my leg. I bear more than that.

It took a few minutes to sink in. It still is, slowly.

I just want to say something, right here and now.
I'm not ashamed of my scars. Oh yeah, I regret them. I wish I'd found or figured another way to deal with the pain. I also know that what I went through was extreme and that it's only God's grace - alone - that I've come through as clean as I have.
I also know they have done, and will, bear testimony to the grace of God's work in my life.

Don't hate your scars. Those who despise you for them are less for it. They have never walked the paths you have.

Use them. Because God uses all things in your life, if you give them to Him. The burdens. The pain. The loneliness. The tears. The crosses. He's already carried your sins to Calvary and He will help you as you live your life. Keep surrendering.
Because He can use your scars.

As we learned this last weekend, let go of your past, of your bitterness, of your pain. Make sacrifices of them to the Lord. He is attracted to your weakness, and He loves you for it.
God can't use people who are mighty in their own strength. He wants people who are empty vessels, poured out and weak for Him to fill with His glory. He shines through those who don't obscure Him for their own glory.

You know the way to use them? Put your glasses back on. Look past them. There's more to you than scars. These are the marks of your past. Bear witness to God's grace as you stride forward into the future, your hand in His and your footprints in those He's already marked.

If you want to talk to me more about this, leave a comment or message me. I'm always here to talk and listen, even though i'm slow.

Oh, and by the way. My anniversary of a year since my last self harm is coming up in June. I'll be celebrating it publicly. Join with me. :)

We serve a God Who sets the captives free.