Kyle volunteered me to share my testimony in church on Sunday. I was thankful, humbled, and thrilled to have a chance.
It had three to five minutes. Brief is not my strong suit. Ask me to be brief about what the Lord has been doing in my life over the past five years and see what you get.
There was no way. It was around ten minutes; double my time-limit. Five shared and five went overtime. When God shows up, it can’t be contained in three to five minutes.
I sat on the piano bench and waited for my turn. The gentleman who spoke before me was older and wiser; seasoned with years of grace. His final words broke me.
He was desperate to communicate God’s love to his children. “I look at them and I tell them, “I love you.”” His voice quivered with emotion and he paused to hold back the tears.
I lost it. I sat behind him and struggled to retain composure. Today was the wrong day to put on my new eyeliner. I would have to stand up and share my story with black streaks all over my face.
I clapped as he finished and nodded my thanks. We switched places. Hundreds of faces waited to hear. The Lord encouraged me to let go of the eloquent words I gripped so tightly. I talked from the scary place, the real places of hurt and insecurity.
It wasn’t pretty. It was ugly, raw, un-eloquent and real.
The first service I sobbed the entire way through. I walked off the stage and spent the next five minutes avoiding the land of ugly-cry.
I was still choked up in the second service, but I didn’t sob. My vulnerability, God’s sweet sovereignty, and BridgePoint’s love and grace caused my heart to swell and gush with thankfulness.
Earlier I had stretched my arms up in worship, singing “I will boast in the Lord my God, I will boast in the one who’s worthy. He’s worthy.” I had boasted in the Lord. I admitted to everyone that I was a sinner in need of grace and love. As the services ended I felt awkward.
I wanted to connect with people. I wanted to be eloquent. I wanted approval. I had told everyone that I had found love at BridgePoint, but I still wanted more love.
Admitting sinfulness often leads me to believe I have arrived; conquered it. It can’t beat me and take me down because I have recognized it. My own confidence tricks me into ignorance over temptation.
Admittance should lead me to a quick awareness of the temptation to fall right back in. Freedom in the light of honesty is much more joyful than the chains of darkness and guilt.
I am not going back. Don’t be surprised if I suddenly get a whole lot more ugly and sin-stained. It isn’t new. It is just newly-exposed. Come on in, the light feels good.
Are you seeking to be open and honest with your community of faith? What are you desperately keeping hidden? Take a step of faith today and pray for God to guide you to truth and vulnerability. He will.