For the last week and half I have been in Texas for a company training. Most of my co-workers on this trip have been complaining about being sent to Texas in the middle of the summer. Indeed it has been over 100 degrees the whole time I have been here and the humidity is no joke. I, however, have enjoyed every minute of it. I’m one of those rare folks that loves hot, sticky, humid summer days. There is just something about the heat that I LOVE.
I came here on a low. I’ve been struggling with some things recently. Struggling with who I am in Christ, what I’m doing at my job, how to get the creeper guy at work to leave me alone, how to let go of the thing I should have let go of over a year ago, family things coming up, an insane desire to just run away from it all and on and on and on. I was losing my focus on Christ.
Then I got off the plane and landed in this heat and knew right away that God had purposed this trip so that I could get restoration in Him. Suddenly I knew, company trip or not, this wouldn’t be about work, this would be about Him. As I could feel myself starting to sweat in the intense Texas summer sun, it was like it was sweating all the impurities out and the heat was relaxing all my muscles and bringing me back to a place of peace. Immediately, I was in a place of praise. I was praising Him for His goodness, for His unending mercy, for always knowing exactly what I need.
Since I arrived I have spent my days in training and my nights in the Word. I’m saturating myself in it and allowing it to move me to a new place in Him. There are riches in His Word that I’ve only just begun to glean. It is an amazing gift that He has left us, it is a shame I don’t spend more time exploring it.
This past Sunday, I went to a tiny little church down the street from the hotel I’m staying in. There is a great big church not too far away that was recommended to me by my pastor, but this one was within walking distance and the big church would have cost me a taxi ride. At the little church I met the most beautiful man. His name is Justin. He isn’t physically beautiful by the world’s standards by any means; he is rather overweight and has a very distinct scar that runs all the way down the right side of his face, but none the less there is something extremely attractive about him. It is the Christ in him. He does not have an ounce of bitterness for what happened to him. Jesus shines through this man so thoroughly as to make you hunger for more of Him just by simple conversation with him.
This man has a ministry about allowing Christ to heal you. How sometimes healing leaves scars, but the scars can be an open door to lead someone to Jesus. Wow, could I relate to that! Like many, I have scars. A couple that are physical and hidden from view, and a few that are emotional, also mostly hidden from view, but they are there. Thank God, He has provided me a transformational healing in a way that only He can. Talking to this man and seeing how He has relied on Christ so completely was humbling. I rely on Christ intermittently. I stay focused for a short while and then fall off the wagon. Then He helps me climb back on and I stay focused for awhile longer before the next fall. Every time I fall, it’s because I have let go of His hand. Imagine the doors my scars could open if I was so consumed in Jesus that people saw only Him in me.
Having gone out to lunch with Justin a couple of times this week and suddenly I feel letting go of the other guy doesn’t need to be nearly so hard. I’m not saying I want to run out and marry Justin, I’m just saying that he awakened a hope in me. The hope that maybe there really is a reason God said no to the other guy and I, and that it wasn’t just to make me miserable. One of the reasons I have had such a hard time letting go of him is that I have secretly (and not so secretly) believed the report of a former person of authority in my life who told me that no one will ever love me. I thought he was the only one who could ever be attracted to me. No one will ever want this fat, ugly, old, depressing girl, I thought.
And then I meet this guy. There is nothing physically attractive about him, and yet, I am incredibly attracted to him. And it dawns on me, I don’t have to be attractive. If I am consumed in God, someone will see that, and that will draw them to me. No, they aren’t going to be drawn to this insecure, depressing girl. That girl has to go. The girl they will be attracted to will be the one who has her eye on the prize. The one who is pressing toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:4). I want to love Jesus better. I want to become more like Him. I want to win people to Christ by being open about my scars. His strength is made perfect in my weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). Thank you, Lord for this trip. Thank you for restoration.