This is My Story: God Uses Imperfect People

 

Remember me?  I haven’t forgotten you; in fact, I’ve missed you.  I am sorry for my silence, but to be honest, I’ve needed to be quiet.  This year has been an emotional rollercoaster for me with losing ones dear to my heart, big opportunities and projects, several health battles and surgeries for both of my parents, getting a new car that delights my heart every time I see her :), walking with friends through extremely hard seasons in their lives and celebrations and travel.  This has been my year, but I’m certain it resembles yours too.  We are all busy and overwhelmed, and even if our list isn’t as long & hard as someone else’s, ours is no less challenging for us.

 

Throughout this year’s rollercoaster ride I’ve carried the extra weight of two situations that played out as 2017 came to a close and 2018 began.  In one case, I wronged someone and in another, I was wronged.  One brought shame and the other anger.  Those are powerful emotions that I don’t often battle, so I was definitely rattled.

 

Details are unimportant, but earlier this year someone that I should have been able to trust entered my safe place and took what wasn’t theirs, turning the space where I gain my greatest strength into a place of violation and unrest.  Where was their integrity and respect???  They caused me more angst than they will ever know.  Healing has been a process and especially difficult because there was no closure.  They never admitted to their wrong, so no apology was made and nothing was ever returned.  But in the face of constant reminders that kept reigniting bitterness and anger God challenged me to have “a love that looks beyond” (like Jesus).  Admittedly, nothing about that was easy when I felt so violated.  Thankfully, as the months have passed, God has brought so much healing where this wound is concerned, but I still find myself whispering “soften my heart” and “remove the sting”.

 

Big sigh.  While feeling completely stabbed in the back, God gently reminded me of how I myself messed up only 2 months earlier, overstepping and hurting someone who should have been able to trust meWhere was MY integrity and respect???  I’m afraid I caused more angst in them than I ever knew.  I apologized for my words and actions, though I do not know if I was ever forgiven.  My wrong was unacceptable and shame is a powerful force that condemns, paralyzes and imprisons.  In her post “What Our Hearts Need When We Mess Up”, Holley Gerth said, “…what the enemy is really after is not simply to make us sin — the cross has already taken care of that — it’s to make us abandon our identity. It’s to convince us we cannot be both imperfect and loved at the same time. It’s to tempt us to believe our worst moments define us.”

 

In both situations, it has been a battle for me:  A battle to forgive the one who wronged me…and myself.  A battle to show God’s grace and forgiveness…and to receive it.  But the enemy does not get the final say in these or any other area of my life…he never has.  Anger and shame don’t win here.  I cannot let my offender or my offense own me because I’ve already been bought.  Besides, my enemy isn’t even the one who took things from me on a winter day, but the one who seeks to steal from me EVERY day (Ephesians 6:12).

 

I really struggled with how God uses this person the way that He does for His kingdom, yet at the same time they were capable of stealing from me.  But couldn’t the one that I wronged say the same of me??  I am understanding more and more of how God uses imperfect people…and I am thankful He does, otherwise He wouldn’t be using me.  As Holley Gerth eloquently puts it, “No level of spirituality or ministry exists where we are suddenly exempt from being human.”  The Bible proves it.  While there are consequences for sin, we cannot let the enemy deceive us into thinking that we – or others – are disqualified or a fraud when failure happens.

 

If you have been wronged by one of Christ’s followers, please don’t judge God, His church or a ministry based on the person’s actions.  If you are looking for perfection, look to Jesus alone because the rest of us are apt to let you down somewhere along the way.  Let’s keep our eyes on the work of God, not on the flesh and blood He chooses to work through.

 

To the one who I hurt, I hope you have forgiven me.  To the one who hurt me, I forgive you.

 

Love,

Michele

 

“Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” – Jesus in John 8:7

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. – Ephesians 4:32

But by the grace of God I am what I am… – 1 Corinthians 15:10

 

This song by Big Daddy Weave says it all.

 

20 Comments

  1. Wendy Taylor says:

    Thank you for sharing Michele! I know what the hurt feels like. Trying to understand what God has for me in the pain that I caused or when have been wronged. To forgive and move on. It is a daily struggle. Helps to know others are in it too. Press on! The victory is ours, praise God!

    • Michele says:

      Thank you so much for this heartfelt comment Wendy. It DOES help to know others are in it too, but I am sorry for all the pain and angst in your journey. Love how God uses it ALL though for our good and His glory in the end…as long as we allow Him to!

  2. Cookie says:

    My dear Michele. There are times when life is rough. Emotions broken. Trust destroyed. I have this year also been going through some thoughts of aniexty over things when compared to the kingdom of God are not worthy of my concern. Even though some things are needed. But God is always Faithful. Patiently waiting for us to say yes Lord we trust you. Remember greater is he who is in us than he who is in the world. Michele your anointed by God through your talent and your life to proclaim his faithfulness. Go forth doubled blessed today by your Father God. Your special in His eyes and very special to me. I love you so much I hurt when you hurt. Be blessed and refreshed my dear friend. Love aunt cookie

  3. Lois Christiansen says:

    Thanks for sharing, Michele. Your blog is everyone’s story at one point or another in our lives!
    Your honesty helps your readers to all face our own imperfections, and turn to the one who is perfect.
    Sincerely,
    Lois Christiansen
    PS That x- ray painting is phenomenal!!!!😊

    • Michele says:

      Thank you so much for your encouragement, Lois. It breathes life and purpose into my battles. And as for the x-ray drawing, thank you for your kind words. That was actually one of my favorites from the yearlong creative challenge I did a couple years ago. 🙂

  4. Anthony Brock says:

    Thanks for your honesty and transparency! Power is in the hands of the forgiver! God is making all things new! Keep sharing!

    • Michele says:

      Wow, that’s POWERFUL… “Power is in the hands of the forgiver”! Hmm, I’ll be chewing on that one for a while. I’ve missed my “Anthony Brock encouragement & support”!

  5. Melinda says:

    Oh, Michele, thank you for your vulnerability as a sinner, saved by the blood of Jesus. Bless you.

    • Michele says:

      Thank you so much Melinda for your words of affirmation. We can never have enough of it. 🙂 I appreciate all your support of me and my ministry! Bless YOU.

  6. Joanne Viola says:

    Powerfully shared. Like you, I have been on both ends and the struggle is real. I always try to remind myself, and others, to never judge God based on the actions of His people. We are all so imperfect, so broken. May God help us all to both offer forgiveness and receive it. Either way, it is a gift. May God continue to be with you and use you. I am grateful to have stopped here this morning. Blessings!

    • Michele says:

      Well said, Joanne. Every one of us really are struggling in one way or another. I am learning in such depth the power of forgiveness and all it unlocks. As you said, it is “a gift”…to both the giver and receiver. I am blessed you stopped by this morning! 🙂 Thank you for your time in doing so and for sharing. Blessings back to you!

  7. Laurie says:

    We are all imperfect and have all done things we regret, and yet, incredibly, we are still loved by our Creator. Welcome back!

    • Michele says:

      Isn’t it such a mystery, Laurie? God’s love blows my mind time and again. And thank you so much, it’s good to be back! 🙂

  8. Lesley says:

    I’m sorry you’ve been through something so hard but thanks for sharing what God has been teaching you. It is important to remember we are all imperfect and in need of his grace. Visiting from Holley Gerth’s.

    • Michele says:

      Thank you so much for your compassion and encouragement, Lesley…it means a lot to me. And thank you for visiting after Holley’s! 🙂 Don’t you just love her?!

  9. Michele,
    So much good gospel truth in your post.

    Thanks for sharing your story.

    Powerful: Besides, my enemy isn’t even the one who took things from me on a winter day, but the one who seeks to steal from me EVERY day (Ephesians 6:12).

  10. Amy says:

    Thank you Michele for sharing your vulnerability with us. Your words are always encouraging to me and this particular post spoke truth to some things I am going through. Love you.

    • Michele says:

      Thank you for sharing Friend. I am so blessed and encouraged by your words and support. May truth rule and reign…in both of us! Love you back.

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