I’m sure if you’ve been in any church setting long enough you’ve heard the saying, “God never wastes a hurt.” I have heard that said many many times and had it said to me. Truth is before I leaned into God, into the redemptive powers of Christ’s blood, it made me very angry. Thoughts of “why should I have to hurt for others benefit” would run through my mind. Or “God can do all things why must I be hurt for others to be helped?” I was full of questions like that. Then healing starting taking place in my life. All those hurt places began to be restored. And God started showing me just how true that statement is. And now I could appreciate it. It’s not until you are fully invested in God and His plans to use you, that you can fully appreciate these moments. I have had moments like these. I’ll share one of them in a minute that is truly inspiring to me. But first I want to speak to the one(s) reading this, that are hurting so bad right now, they just can’t imagine God ever using them. Or those that are so angry right now they don’t care.
First I want you to know deep down inside that I understand those emotions. I have dealt with them all in my own life. I have dealt with feelings of abandonment, being unworthy, being unloved, being useless, and more. I’ve dealt with these feelings in all the wrong ways before. Accepting unhealthy versions of love, bending my self in every direction to be there for others to prove my worth, living under a mask of I have it all together, among other things. All to help cope with those feelings mentioned above. I’ve been so filled with anger that I didn’t care how I treated myself or others. So I know how someone might be reading this right now not wanting to read any further. God abandoned you right? Has left you to fend for yourself. Stopped caring if you survive or not. I have felt all of those things and way more. I want you to know that is the enemy doing his best to keep you from God. To keep you from even thinking about reaching out to God. God has not forgotten you I know because it’s in His word. Psalm 40:5 “Many, O LORD my God, are the wonders which You have done, And Your thoughts toward us; There is none to compare with You If I would declare and speak of them, They would be too numerous to count.” Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the thoughts I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” God not only thinks about you but He has plans for you. Life though can get in the way far too often because we believe that as followers of Christ our lives shouldn’t be this hard. Or that God is picking on us or punishing us for our sins. (That’s the lie I bough it into for too long.) This sinful world was not Gods plan but free will won over and so now on all of us hard times will fall. John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” We are told in Gods word that we will have trouble. His way of preparing us. Yet we tend to blame Him when they happen. I know I did. See, if the enemy can make us believe that we are the only ones going through these things, like this pain is unique to us, then it’s easy to keep us from going to God for healing. It’s easy to keep us locked down in feelings of being picked on by God. It’s easy to keep us from believing God could ever use someone like us. After all we are the only ones hurting in this way right? Wrong!! That’s why it’s so important to be willing to share our stories with others. God has shown me that when I allowed Him to a couple of times now. One just last night.
I was asked to share a brief 5 to 10 minute testimony about myself, my life, and what healing has meant to me. So I prepared a little 470 word testimony that I felt did the job. Then I got up to speak and spoke probably more like 1,000 words. I shared things I hadn’t planned on. Went into further detail than I had planned on for some of the things I had written down. My story was out there last night for someone to hear. Later that night we broke off into groups to discuss and tell why we were in this recovery group. This lady begins to talk and just breaks down. She’s talking about how God moved mountains in her life just to get her in that chair tonight. Then she looked at me and said, “Christa your story is my story .” My heart was ready to leap out of my chest. It was in that moment I just knew all my pain was not for nothing. And though I don’t know if God caused it to get me closer to Him, or simply just allowed it, (read Job 1:1-12) either way God was using it. God was not wasting a hurt. But here’s the thing, I might have. Had I not surrendered to God and allowed Him into my life, fully let Him in, that hurt could have gone wasted. My pride, my ego, my bruised and battered tired heart, could have gotten in the way. That woman last night who said she wasn’t sure why she was there, but God put her there, would not have heard my story had I been too stubborn to share it. She may have left that night still feeling as if her hurts and pain were unique to her. What a waste that would have been.
I don’t know your story. I don’t know what you’ve seen, heard, done, or had done to you. But I have been around enough hurting people to know you’re not alone in it. Your pain though very important to you is not unique. Neither are your sins. Being afraid to share them with others is understandable but not necessary. But them being shared is necessary. Necessary for you to heal. There is nothing more cleansing to the soul than confessing our sins. Not only to God but to others. Once we bring to the light what we’ve done in the dark, Satan can’t hold them over us any longer. What little power he has is gone. That’s a true freedom some never experience, and that breaks my heart. Which brings me to the second reason we share our sins with others. It helps them see that they aren’t the only ones who have messed up. It can allow them to feel hope that they aren’t too far gone for God to love. It gives them the permission they have been looking for to enter the presence of God. You’ve heard it said before I’m sure, “If I walk into that church it would probably catch fire”, or something to that effect. I’ve even said it myself. Statements like that prove that a lot of us don’t feel as if we are welcomed in the presence of God. We are unworthy after all we have done or had done to us. It’s just not true. And sharing your story can help others see that. You don’t have to have it all together to be used by God. If that were true I wouldn’t be writing this right now. You just have to be willing.
Today decide to let God’s healing in. Decide to let Him restore your broken places. Decide to stop being a victim of the enemy. Decide to be used by God to help others do the same too. I promise you the story of what you have done or been put through is not the only one out there. And that there are far worse stories than yours. (At least that’s been my experience.) That doesn’t mean your story doesn’t matter, or that your pain doesn’t. It simply means that you are not alone. Someone else does understand. I pray that you truly understand that now if you didn’t before. I pray that you stop living in the dark and step into God’s light.