Once upon a time, I had a really bad day.
A day that left me with an ache for days after.
Have you ever had one of those, a day that you knew God was there, but it was still so, so hard?
When you’d never been more confident in His plans, but giving over that stubborn piece of your heart got harder and harder each time you tried to lay it on the altar?
The day passed. I tasted the bittersweet. Bitter–because the sacrificing only got more costly. Sweet–because I knew my Jesus would be enough even in darkness.
The next days weren’t easy.
A lot of prayers. A lot of tears. A lot of wobbly smiles and Mom hugs and jumbled thoughts and wondering if this cloud would ever let the sun through again.
You’ve been there too–days that leave a stamp on your heart and you doubt the memories will ever really fade. And yet, God was there.
But that day, once upon a time, is not what I want you to remember.
It’s something else I learned, weeks after that day my light seemed to flicker out…
Sometimes God pulls back the curtain and lets me get a peek at His masterpiece.
This particular brushstroke in this painting we call history came to me in an e-mail.
On the dark day,
The day that laying down my self-will was so hard,
But I knew it was still worth it–
That day, God did something with me.
With a life that felt out of control, but was never really out of His.
Even when it felt dark.
When I thought that I couldn’t possibly be doing anyone else any good because I was so broken inside,
When just handing God my heart took all my breath away,
His grace was still amazing.
And He took this little flickering candle of a life and magnified the light, and this little light shone.
I didn’t know it, but a young girl was watching me on that day.
She saw me smile.
She saw me laughing, sharing a meal with my mom. Even when I was torn apart inside, God made a refuge for me and I laughed and loved and stuck close to my best source of hugs. (Thanks, Mom!)
And that little girl listened.
She learned that my mom and I are best friends. She could see that I respected her and that I wasn’t ashamed to be not just a daughter, but a friend to my mom.
It’s not that I was trying to pull myself together and put on an act.
But that even when I felt like I had nothing left to give, God was faithful.
Even when it took my whole soul striving to just keep moving forward, God was in the middle, still willing to use a vessel so broken.
And that bad, bad day?
I’m not sorry I had it.
I’d do it again, in fact, if I could get that email again too.
What did it say?
It was the mom of that little girl, and I could almost see the tears in the lady’s eyes as I heard her words.
After seeing how my mom and I are such good friends, that young girl decided she wanted to be friends with her mom just like that.
She hadn’t really seen another girl before that would admit to enjoying her mom. But God took my mom and I to just the right place.
And, licking an ice cream cone, I got to shine.
Even in darkness.
Sisters, don’t despair the black days. They aren’t wasted.
Don’t mourn the days that seem to spin far out of your control. No matter how hard it gets, keep surrendering.
In your pain, in your deepest weakness–this is God’s favorite place to work.
You may never know what a difference you made to a life.
But, then again….
….Maybe God will hold back the curtain and give you just a little glimpse….
“Take my love, my Lord, I pour
At Thy feet its treasure store;
Take myself, and I will be,
Ever, only, all for Thee.
Ever, only, all for Thee.”
– from the hymn “Take My Life and Let It Be” by Frances Havergal