Nov 23, 2017

True Colors

Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.  (James 1:2-4, The Message)

It's been a very difficult year for me - one of the hardest in my life.

Not on the outside, necessarily, where people would see the difficulties. But on the inside, where the true colors hide.

Ugly colors of pride, judgment, and controlling behavior. Colors that came out when challenges hit from all sides - at work, at home, and just about everywhere. Colors I tried so hard to keep safely hidden while pretending to be someone who was above all that.

The year started with a dream that the Lord ripped off a mask I didn't even know I had on. It was securely in place, hiding all the yuckiness and enabling me to be whoever I thought I needed to be in that moment.

Truth is, the mask hid nothing, but instead kept me in a prison of my own making. Once the mask was gone, the Lord used several hurtful circumstances and events to force my true colors to the surface. It was a painful, ugly time, and the most humiliating part was looking in the mirror.

Yet what a blessing this journey has been...all of it!

I am still pondering, still learning how much I need God every single day, still learning how much He loves me despite all the mess, still learning to walk in new ways. It's scary at times to be vulnerable, for yes, vulnerability is one of the by-products of learning to walk without a mask.

But unless I am vulnerable - free from hiding - I can never be all that God created me to be. And I want that more than anything else in the world...whatever it takes.

It's been the worst of times.

It's been one of the best years of my life.

Today, Thanksgiving Day 2017, I am thankful for the gift of every test and challenge!

What challenges do you face in your life right now? How is God using those challenges to drive you closer to Him? Trust Him, especially when it seems darkest. That is often when He's doing His deepest work in us.

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