My not so unique story

“I tell my story not because it is unique, but because it is not. It is the story of many girls…” Malala Yousafzai

I love this quote. It’s absolutely so true! My story, like Malala’s, is not unique, I don’t share it because it separates me from the masses. I share my story because it is like so many others in this world. 

We all have times when we feel all alone. We feel like our story is unique, that no one would really understand. I have felt like that so many times and in every different stage of my life.  My personal story is worse than some and yet better than most. The one thing it is not, is unique. So many have been through exactly what I have, they have felt the same debilitating feelings I have.  They get stuck on what has happened to them, what they’ve done.  How we live our daily lives depends on what we think about ourselves and our past. 

I have learned, through God and his love for me, to accept my past for what it is, my story. A series of sentences strung together that make a chapter. Each chapter extending the story, adding another piece to the puzzle that is my life. We think that as the story unfolds our true identity is revealed. Showing us who were meant to be and what we are destined to do. I have learned that just isn’t true. The random series of events that happened in my life, don’t define who I am. They effect my decision to accept the identity and the purpose that I already had, from before I was even conceived.  We all have an identity, a personality that makes up who we are. One that only I get to decided the direction of. Daily I get to make the choice, to accept my circumstances and where they leave me, or choose God circumstances. Believing that with Him all my junk, the terrible debilitating things that have happened to me, that I have done, the things that were intended to be harmful, I can use all that for good. My past can have a purpose. With this in mind my past becomes less and less intimidating. 

  

It no longer defines my everyday, but has helped to shape me into who I have needed to be for what God has called me to.  There are so many times that I felt like it was all worthless. That everything I went through only served the purpose of making me miserable. Everyday was “one is me.”  

I would love to tell you that there is a magic solution that changes everything in an instant. There’s not. There is however a God who waits for you to make the decision to use your story to reach out and help those just like you. He is there to support, love, cherish, and carry you through the rough patches. Because no matter where you are, where you’ve been, or will be, God loves you for you. 

Don’t allow your past to hold the power over you and your future. 

Audacity

I was reading my bible and came across a story that I have read many time throughout my Christian walk. It’s a story that I’m sure anyone who has read a little of the bible or even been to church on Easter has heard.

Luke 23:26-43…The crucifixion.

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Jesus is being led to his crucifixion and people are mocking him. Two other criminals are being crucified at the same time as Jesus. Both on the same mountain top as Jesus. The soldiers around them are mocking Jesus, and splitting up his belongings. Yelling insult at him.  37 ” If you are the king of the Jews save yourself.” Of the two, one criminal joined in. He mocked and insulted Jesus right along with the others.

It’s the actions of the second man that catches my attention.

Luke 23:40

But the other criminal rebuked him. ” Don’t you fear God,” he said “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”  

Then he said, ” Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”

The audacity! This man is convicted of a crime, severe enough to deserve the death penalty. Yet he has the nerve to ask Jesus to remember him when he gets to heaven. Many of us would look down on him, thinking the punishment is fitting the crime.

Jesus is dying and most likely in a lot of pain at that very moment. My response would have been something along the lines of, “Seriously? You really want to ask this of me, now!” Unlike me, Jesus has a whole lot of patience and love. His response is simple yet so profound.

43 Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

He responds without a hint of hesitation. No condemnation, only love.

This scripture stood out to me because how often have I felt like my sins are too great?  I’ve caught myself thinking that I could never be good enough. Here, Jesus shows no hesitation to a man who is dying for his crimes. He simply welcomes him into paradise with open arms. The man only needed to speak out, and ask. It took courage and audacity to reach out and ask Jesus to remember him, but he did it any way. He knew something about Christ that many of us forget too easily.  His love never fails, never runs out, and is available to ALL who ask.

Friends I hope and pray that we have this kind of audacity! That no matter where you are , or what you have gone through, or are going through, you can ask of God.  He’s waiting with open arms, ready to respond with no condemnation, ONLY love!