One of the most comforting verses in the Bible (for me) is 1 Corinthians 1:27-29:
“But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence.”
I cannot thank God enough for making sure that this verse appeared in Paul’s writing. Each day I realize how incredibly weak and imperfect I am, but each day I have also been granted the wisdom to realize how incredibly great God is.
I was given an opportunity about a month ago to co-lead a women’s bible study for seven ladies who are in the process of transitioning from prison to living in the real world. Each Wednesday at 11:30am, my partner Andrea and I meet these women and spend an hour sharing truths with them, building relationships with them, and simply loving on them.
Each week I am blown away by these women. Every single one of them has gone through a trial, a hardship, an obstacle, or a hurt. Every single one of them has made mistakes that have cost them something in one way or another. Every single one of them could have given up and called it quits.
But, here they are… with a hunger for the Word of God, with a renewed hope for their futures, and with a desire to love and to be loved by their Creator.
I came in to teach and lead these beautiful and strong women, but in reality, each time I sit with them and listen to their stories and their hearts… they teach me. The Lord humbles me every time I walk in through that door, and I couldn’t have asked for anything more than that. I have learned that just because I personally have not gone to prison, it does NOT mean that I am above them in any way. I struggle with some of the same things they do, and no matter the age or the ethnicity or the crime, we are all equal and we are all human.
God has a way of knowing exactly what we need when we need it, and I can honestly say that I have fallen in love with seven new sisters who are just like me. Broken and imperfect, but loved and cherished.
After growing up in a church where everyone puts on a mask of perfection, it is probably one of the most refreshing things to be able to be myself and share my “dirty laundry” with other women who have just as many “clothes” as I do.
This is church. This is Christianity. Acknowledging our weaknesses, renewing our minds, and coming together to build each other up in the Lord’s strength and love. He is bigger than our past mistakes, He is bigger than our hurts and our pains, and He is bigger than our guilt and our shame.
I am in a season of learning what it means to love the unloveable, to serve even when its hard, and to be humble in every circumstance. As difficult as this season is, I know God is using it to prepare me for South Africa, for ministry, and hopefully (one day) for marriage. So far so good, but there’s much more road to travel down…
So as the classic cliche says it best, its time to: Let Go and Let God.